June 12th 1945


I push off regardless of the posting signal after a small bottle (Scotch) party the night before, to which Burt Mann comes over from Group. We drive down in a jeep through the Ruhr and it takes about 10 hours. Not many occupation troops in evidence and I see one coal mine working again. Many lorry loads of displaced persons pass, one with “Subjects of British Empire” chalked on it. I stay two nights in the Palace hotel and fix the details of this job up with T of Rear. The second day I meet Jonny Benbow, now a Lt Col, in Shaef, looking after POWs (Indian), and go on a bit of a party with him, though I do my usual vanishing trick at 11.30pm. Next day I drive to the Hague in a shockingly dirty 30 cwt truck which is governed down to about 30 mph. We arrive eventually and I get a room at the Terminus hotel where my office is to be, change, and go to the officers club. There I meet one John Hall, a F/L in Movements at T of Rear, plus one Lola Crowe, an attractive half Dutch driver for the Dutch Red Cross, and Jerry Pinder. We consume much Scotch and are joined by a Dutchman, one Bart de Schepper, to whose house we go for supper. I am the only sober one, Lola is sick and goes to bed, and I eventually collect them all in their jeep and see them on the way to Rotterdam. Jerry has vanished and I find him asleep on the W/C seat. He gets up, apologises, and says that he was listening to the news!

Next day W/C Mason in Air Component Shaef Mission lends me a Utility, as I am supposed to have a car, in fact I am allotted one but it hasn’t turned up. I lunch with Bart, then take him out to his house near Valkenburg airfield where I have to go. He takes me home for tea and I find that Betty, his wife, has produced a blonde and a brunette for inspection. I go off and change and take the blonde, Mary Wibort, out to dinner in the Officers Club. We try to dance at the Metropole but too damned crowded, and end up smoking and necking in the Utility outside her hotel. I have a date for tonight but don’t think I shall get anywhere, so I shall then have to give her up and go after Kieks again if I can find her. It’s damn difficult.

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