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   Arrangements are detailed.

"Administration         ditto

"Medical                    ditto"

The rifles have arrived, one per man plus bayonets and 60 rounds per rifle. (God bless America!) The rifles are in cases thick with grease after twenty-odd years' storage in an arsenal. Our Company Commander, always to the fore when help is wanted, has them degreased at his works, saving hours of training time. A member provides slings, another paints the 2in. red band during his free time on guard duty.

We have been mounting Night Guards in our stable guardroom since 12th June. One N.C.O. and six men per night, each man doing one night in six. Two hours at dusk and dawn on O. P. duty, the remaining hours on patrol or sentry-go. We receive many visits from officers of the Company calling to deliver equipment or stores now beginning to come in, or making a perilous climb in the darkness up the numerous ladders to our O.P.

The weeks fly by. We have now been in three months. Good progress is being made in training and everybody is now a little more confident of his ability as a soldier. In another sense, too, we see a change, the keenness and enthusiasm are better than ever, but we now have, in addition, a strongly developing esprit de corps. We are all getting to be very proud of our unit and a healthy spirit of comradeship and mutual respect prevails throughout the platoon. The Sections vie with each other for a mythical pride of place in efficiency. Fathers bring sons (a graceful compliment to the unit) and the other men bring neighbours, and so we maintain our strength despite our losses by call-up and the writing off of non-starters.

Night guards have become more active. The guard report book tells of many things: of quiet nights and exciting nights, of planes overhead, of bombs and heavy flak, incendiaries and fires, flares from the air and from the ground, suspicious light flashes and signals and of hours spent in investigation, often without result; of patrols contacting searchlight units, neighbouring detachments and Civil Defence. It tells of long night watches, frequently without sleep and in an atmosphere polluted by a smoky stove and by countless generations of horses. It does not report, however, the full day's work done yesterday or the full day's work which will commence when the guard is dismissed and at a pressure only known to those who took part in the post-Dunkirk industrial drive.

Every Guard report contains much of interest and the following two extracts are typical of the nightly incidents of that time:

August 15/l6th, 1940

21.00 hrs. Guard mounted. O.P. manned. A very clear night.
21.25  Visit from Platoon Commander who visited O.P.
22.00  Visit from Orderly Officer.
22.15  Guard reports searchlights up.


(Images of the Platoon can be seen on this page)