February 10th 1946

I take Angela down to St Ives, where Ma has arranged for her a small flat near the Quarterdeck. Ma seems to get on with her extremely well with her as day succeeds day. I get a bad attack of stage funk on the train, and retire to bed the first night in a state of extreme gloom, which is however dispelled in the morning when I go and collect A. for breakfast. I still do not feel somehow as I imagined that I should feel, but I seem to have been caught out in a somewhat similar fashion before.

The Air Ministry gave me another week’s leave, and another warrant to St Ives, after which I shall presumably report to 1 P.H.U. Innsworth (JDW: 1 Personnel Holding Unit, formed at Innsworth March 1945),. Let there be no more gloom.

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February 7th 1946

I go to Baffy’s lunch at Chandos, where Bernard Fergusson is holding forth and one Anne Balfour, her niece. Then down to Mongewell Park where I meet Angela for the dance. Her parents come over, but I didn’t feel too good about things, and retire to bed somewhat confused.

Saturday she brings me over to Stockenchurch, and after lunch I take her for a walk, determined to say my piece, but still not feeling as though I was floating on a cloud. Rather the reverse, as though an abyss was at my feet. With some difficulty I spill the beans, with the rider that I don’t feel as happy as I should. She says she hasn’t known me very long, and we decide that I should take her away for another week, on approval, down to St Ives.

Her parents, she tells, and they soon overtake us on the fairway, and are practically putting on the green before we have driven off the tee. I have a session in the library with Dr Elliott and deny any insanity etc in my family, and say I can keep her on my pay, without feeling inclined to go into various financial difficulties that may well arise. Saturday night we rather bill and coo on the sofa until 1am, and on Sunday we drive over to Mongewell to try and get A. off for a week.

Today I drive her to work, in a 1933 Morris 8, the first time I have driven a car in the UK since 1937, and am going up to town shortly, hoping to meet her this evening and go down to St Ives tomorrow.

I ring up Ma, who didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic – so we shall see.

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February 2nd 1946

We go out to dinner in “The Lamb” in Wallingford on Monday and Tuesday, and I leave for town on Wednesday. I go to the Air Ministry and find out that my application for a permanent commission in the RAF has not been considered, so I decide to return to the Indian Army. I have one week’s leave, and apparently no unit, so I see some chap who says go away until you hear from us as having been given back to the India Office. I then go to the India Office and find that I can claim only British Lt rates until I reach India.

I have a drink with Bernard Fergusson in Mayfair where I meet Pete Jennings, a W/C with more gongs than I have! Yesterday I take Aunt Vivy to lunch and a cinema, and then visit Mrs Fraser for a very excellent dinner in her flat, and a discussion of Ma’s finances. Today I am off to Baffy’s lunch party and then down to Mongewell.

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January 28th 1946

I go up to town with Gus and then meet Angela at Paddington station. We drop her bag and go to Quaglinos, where we have a damn good evening. Saturday to see “Sigh No More”, and I get a table at Bagatelle for dinner, after a couple in my favourite bar the “Mayfair”. I don’t think much of Bagatelle as the Scotch runs out, there’s no room to dance etc. Sunday we walk around Hyde Park, then to a film “Caesar and Cleopatra”, and back to the Wings Club for dinner and then the 9.25 from Paddington. I have given up trying to convince myself that I am not in love with her, and instead sometimes wonder how much it will hurt if she says “No”. With no effort on my part we seem to click, and everything has seemed so natural without any of my usual evasions, prevarications, and what-have-you’s when dealing with “dames”. I am to be put out on Wednesday and will go to town for a few days, and then back here on Friday for a dance, and back home with Angela on Saturday for the weekend. Oh – Hell!

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January 25th 1946

We have quite a successful evening and consequently I get no sleep until 3am through thinking of this and that. I had arranged to meet Barbara Paul in London this weekend, but I think it would be far better to meet Angela, so I ring up Barbara and say I am awfully sorry but I have gone and fallen in love with some girl and want to see her instead. She says it’s alright and “I hope you will be very happy”. Which grates a bit on my ears, and I try and explain that I am not in that deep yet…

Last night I take Angela to “The George” but we seem a bit sticky and I for one have difficulty making conversation. I burn my boats and write to my unit, now I.P.H.U. Innsworth, the India Office, and the Secretary for recruitment who dealt with my Burma Police effort, and hope to get my khaki uniform let out, if there is enough to let. I should be boarded soon but the M.O. is sick, so God knows how long it will take.

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January 23rd 1946

I go up to town last weekend with W/C Briggs in the car. He was in 1 Coy at RMC (Sandhurst) and I meet Joan Anderson in Mayfair for dinner and dance. Whilst out with Wendy and the Pekinese I had met her in the Brevet Club and fixed up this date. I get on fairly well, and arrange to call her on Saturday afternoon, but get browned off and don’t, going out instead to the Bristol Grill with Bill Robinson and two of his girlfriends – Daphne, and Majorie Wheldon the American, now in the U.N.O. Secretariat. I go to the India office and some Brigadier thinks I should go back, and that they will be unlikely to let me go to the Burma Police as I was thinking. I give Baffy lunch and pour out my troubles to her, and she reckons the Indian Army is the best as there is a pension.


On Monday (21st) I invite one of the physiotherapists out for a drink, Angela Elliott Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.00.26, and we drink in a couple of pubs in Wallingford. Since then I have spent all my time thinking of her, taking her to India etc, though I’m sure I don’t know why. All last week I had this Joan on the brain.

On Monday night my room mate, one F/L Young, excels himself by coming to bed stinking and wetting the floor and fouling his counterpane. Today I am taking Angela out to dinner, and expect to be chucked out next week as fit.

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January 14th 1946

I go down to Mongewell Park, which is a millionaire’s house and grounds near Wallingford, Berks. The Doc sees me and I throw away my sticks and do intensive P.T., swimming and bicycling. Gus Sheret is here and we go into Henley one evening and I meet some doctor and his erstwhile assistant.

Thursday I go to a Mess dance, and get hold of one Kay Beamish, a dental flight officer, and give her a kiss or two behind a screen in the billiard room. I meet up with Ellis and Briggs with whom I was at Sandhurst, now a Wing commander. Friday Gus takes me to Uxbridge tube by road and I spend the weekend at the Wings Club. I ring up Wendy and meet her and her “latest”, one Derrick Llewelyn and a Patsy Westly, at the Cumberland Hotel, where we get large scotches by asking for brandies – some arrangement of Wendy’s. Then to the Brevet Club, where I meet Mills (9 G.R.), one of my junior A.L.O.’s in 2 squadron I.A.F., from there to the Wellington and a night club called the “Silver Dollar”. I am set back to the tune of £8 and get nowhere, on this Patsy job, though good to look at and with long blond hair done up in a scarf like a Pekinese. She has a load on her mind, a Norwegian husband she doesn’t want, and is extremely difficult to talk to, though she eventually has sufficient scotch to pour out all her troubles. I see her home and suggest she comes to stay in Mayfair with me, but no go. Bed at 4am and next morning to Grindlays Bank to get some more money and then to the India Office, where I had filled in a form for recruitment in the Burma Police (Class 1), but cannot produce my birth certificate to prove my age. He tracks down my 1936 Sandhurst entrance exams, papers and results, where the age qualifications are set out, and by a little calculation my age is proved. I then have lunch with Bill Robinson in the Wings Club and then take myself to see “Whilst the Sun Shines”. Saturday evening I go drinking at a Mayfair bar, where I meet a South African Major and a G.I. who, whilst on temporary duty in the UK, get double my pay. I take the Major to the Brevet Club where I meet this Patsy again, get a bit drunk, and retire. I spend £2 on the way, and annoy the woman by attempting to kiss her.

In the Brevet Club on Friday I had met one Joan Anderson and arranged lunch on Sunday, but on calling her up she says she cannot come, but we fix up a date for next Friday – but quien sabe? So I take myself to see “Brief Encounter”, then out to Uxbridge where Gus collects me at 7.30pm in his car. We stop in Henley for a few drinks and then come on home. My leg is damn stiff after stopping exercises for a couple of days.

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