10th February 1944

Writing most of the night.  Up at 7.  Had a very small breakfast.  Had to cycle against a bitter wind, but got a tow with a lorry.

Put my cycle in the Town Hall basement, walked down Culver Street, turned into the Wesleyan Church forecourt.  Never been in there before.  Noticed a foundation stone laid by “Mrs Brewer, 1869”.  My mother was two years old then.  Along a narrow draughty passage, following signs which read “Medical Board Room and Recruiting Centre →”.  

Into the cold, dark old school room, into a passage, the walls covered with posters – “Hitler will send no warning – Always Carry a Gas-Mask.”  “Men Wanted, RAF Air-Crews”.  “Reserved Men, - You can Volunteer for Air Duties.”

The waiting room was small but tall, with a partition, on one side two-dozen chairs, and on the other two desks with Ministry of Labour officials.  A bright coal fire burning in a large old-fashioned grate, and more posters – “Army Recruit Class … ‘Joining Notices’ are not usually sent less than 10 days notice before date of joining … recruits must take their own toilet requisites.”

At 10 the four oldest men were called outside – our hour had come.  We marched into the big schoolroom, which was divided by partitions into a narrow passage with cubicles on one side, a large space in which the examinations took place.

Rudsdale's account of the medical examination is published in his book.  At the end of the examination he was classified as Grade 3 and therefore unfit for armed service.  CP

Felt I could not go back [to the office] for a few minutes, so went to Benham’s office, and had a cup of coffee with him.  Talked about the Journal extracts; he is most enthusiastic.

During the day, showers of snow fell, and it was intensely cold.  Back to Higham at 7.30.  Saw Poulter before I left, who told me Hull had lost the whole file of the Colchester prints and drawings, which he removed from the Muniment Room a year ago to prevent my using it.

More writing tonight, feeling dazed.  One anxiety gone, and I have a new life, but another anxiety is where am I going to live it?

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