Wednesday 17th February 1943 – “None of us have rifles of our own so we had to borrow some at the last minute and they were all dirty”

Sig. Moore J.T.,
H.Q. 3 Company,
12 Corps Signals,
Home Forces.

Guard Room.

Wednesday 8.15

Dear All,

If you have seen the above words “guard room” you may be thinking that I am in here for doing something but that is not the case! I think I told you that we were excused guard but this order has unfortunately been changed and all GROUP E operators have to take a turn from now on. The first of them did it yesterday, and I have dropped in for it now. It is a 24 hour guard at this place a guard on each of the two gates and we do 2 hrs. on and 4 off. We mounted at 6 o’clock tonight and I am on from 10-12, 4-6, 10-12 (tomorrow morning) and 4-6 tomorrow afternoon. We have to be very strict about anybody coming in so there’s plenty to keep us occupied. We had one of those really severe inspections before we mounted. None of us have rifles of our own so we had to borrow some at the last minute and they were all dirty. We all got ticked off about them and he told us to clean them better next time! It should be all right standing about tomorrow because these last few days have been really warm.

I got Mam’s letter this afternoon and was very pleased. I hope you got my washing, etc. As for my voice, well it’s almost normal again, I think probably my voice is breaking a bit more but but anyway it’s just about right again so you needn’t worry. If it does get worse again I’ll do what you say and go sick. Satisfied? – good. As I say the weather here is grand and I should love to be here in the summer. I think we shall be here for some time, possibly about three months. There’s some talk about us taking our BIII trade test in three weeks and then staying on for a further period in which we should study for BII – the next highest (and rather stiff) trade test. I hope it works out like this for one or two reasons. The first is that BII operators get 4/9 a day. Also we are all going to apply for leave after BIII in a week or so and we should get it. Besides this is quite a good place so I hope we stay.

They have opened up a wireless station here and we are going to take turns working on it for a day. I can’t tell you where we are working to but it is a very interesting and important station at the other end. Of course most of the stuff we shall send will be just practice but we might get operational messages.

Regarding week end leave. So many chaps have been putting in applications each week that they can’t be dealt with so each class has now to arrange it amongst the chaps in the class. They are going to allow one 48hr pass, 2 36 hr. passes and 2 day passes each week end, so we shall have to take what comes. I shall keep putting in for 48. I suppose this upsets our plans for that possible London business but if I can get 48 hrs. that will be much better. And I sincerely hope they give us 7 days very soon.

There’s very little else to tell you. We’ve got meat pies in the oven ready for supper so we shall be all right and in case Mam’s worrying about I shall keep warm outside during the night, I shall be wearing my greatcoat, two prs. gloves and various other articles of clothing so I’ll be O.K.

Yours as always,

John xxxxxx

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