May 25th 1944 – Hawarden

Doreen comes over for two days and we sit in the sun on top of a hill amongst the gorse bushes and get down to things. Monday we have a farewell Bass in the Sloop and then Doreen and I and Mama eat a lobster in the flat. Later we depart and Doreen and I call in at the Gibson’s shack where my luggage is kept. I come up against the armour of Roman Catholic principles, as on the preceding night, but it gets too hot for her and I am eventually fobbed off with some typically Papist trick.

Day before yesterday up to London and spent the night in Gig’s flat. We drink masses of gin, feed at Manetta’s, more gin at home and bed at 2am, having discussed everything. almost, under the sun. Yesterday I take my blue cloth to Flights in New Burlington Street and foolishly perhaps order it to be made up – 10 guineas. Lunch on Gigs in a neighbouring pub and then out to Stanmore HQ. A muddle as to where I shall sleep, so I go along to ‘P’ Staff, one F.L Heyward, and am posted to 41 O.T.U. Hawardon as a supernumerary instructor-cum-pupil, which may be a bit difficult to cope with, before going on the dreaded Ops! It is then 6pm so I ring up Gigs and return for the night to her flat. We go to the Berkeley Buttery for a meal – rabbit called game, and some lager beer. Now I am waiting for breakfast and then off to Euston. My month’s leave cost me about £30/- – half a guinea for b&b so I must have drunk about 10/- a day on average. Cannot last out like that, or staying in London.

I arrive at Hawarden and am put on the course and stop me if Hammerbeck isn’t the senior pupil. There is a dance the second night and I get myself fairly well organised with a WAAF flight officer called Celia Spink who is the boss here. I take to the air again in a Harvard and Hurricane but find on a dual and country I cannot steer a course properly, through not coping with the gyro correctly, and then we decide, F/L Brown and one F/O Trevor Mitchell, that an A.F.U. course would be good for me. So the C.F.I. is going to fix it, through 9 group. We do our flying from Poulton out in the country near Chester, and live here.

Last night F/O Ashgrove RCAF and Bishop and George Bainbridge (ex Army) go for drinks to Chester and Bishop dates himself up with some telephone girl we encounter in a bar and to bring a friend for me – tonight. But he has stomach trouble so we shall not go – in his car. Tomorrow I go and see E.N.T. specialist about my blockage in Cosford. Very hot here and I seat like hell in my battledress, when I should be wearing shorts.


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