June 12th 1944

I get flown down to Ternhill with my kit in an Oxford on Sunday. I go to the Mess, a vast building like a hotel, and meet the training wing adjutant, one Scott, who says he doesn’t want to see me until the evening of the 13th. So I get my buttons cleaned, pack a bag, and leg it down the road for the Shrewsbury bus, which I just manage to catch. In town I ask some RAF type which is the best place to stay and he takes me to the George Hotel, where I get a room, though at first they deny such a possibility. I take a walk at 6pm, but it seems dead, so I return to the George at 7, beer time, and join two RAF types sitting by themselves. Various people join us but my attention is on a girl on the opposite side of the room, with an RAF officer, and we exchange odd smiles. I meet him in the gents and he has to go away to some other dame, so he introduces me to take her off his hands. My original party is off to the ‘Post Office’, some low pub, so we go too but break away by ourselves to the Lion. She is one Sonia Price. private secretary to the boss of Swallow Raincoats in Birmingham. On closing time we go down to the river and sit, and I set to work, but though very keen on kissing, nothing else doing. Seems odd to me, but then I know nothing yet!

We return to her hotel and sit in front of the fire for some ten minutes and then she puts me out. I am to meet her this morning at 11am and go shopping, but then she may not be there! Quien sabe?

I can’t get any damn matches in this town.


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