|| - which
is a foreign expression I know meaning that a feller thinks
he is some swell guy.
That is why I am at a loose end when a character known
as Mr. Eden comes on the air and tells us about the Local
Defence Volunteers. I tell myself that this is most certainly
where I get into the betting, because if they want volunteers
to defend the "local", this is just my line of
So off I go to enrol at the police station. And I don't
mind telling you, because I know it won't go any further,
this is the first time for many years that I visit such
a place of my own free will. I have always held the opinion
that it is only very foolish people who go around visiting
police stations without a pressing invitation, and thereby
originating much trouble for one and all.
On my way down, I meet a character I know who asks me if
I am thinking of joining the L.D.V. He says to me like this
: "I have been appointed to take command of the spot
of trouble which is blowing up among the local citizens
and I want somebody to take on the job of adjutant. As I
never hear of you doing anything but just getting around
and about, you are just the bloke I'm looking for to give
Now this is not quite what I had in mind
myself. I had an idea that I should get command of a brigade
or something of the kind. But, of course, I could see that
I should have to start somewhere, so I decided to have a stab
at it. No doubt I should get rapid promotion, and, in the
meantime, I could mug up my platoon drill and such and bring
it right up to date so that I should be all set to take on
anything that was offered.
But facilis est descensus averni.
(That's the other foreign expression I know, and this seems
a very appropriate place to bring it in.)
So that is how I became a member of the L.D.V., and if
anyone is interested in such a proposal, I am laying a very
fair shade of odds that the unit I was with at that time
before I came to the Thirsty Second, was the first to go
into action against the enemy.
It happened like this: One very hot afternoon in June 1940
I am sitting in my office at B.H.Q. feeling very drowsy
and little inclined for work. I get to thinking of this
and that and wondering why on earth I had taken this job
because, the way I look at it, it seems very likely to interfere
with my getting around and about.
And getting around and about is a thing I am very partial
This office I am sitting in is very small and stuffy and
there is not even room to swing a cat. But swinging a cat
is a thing