25th July 1944

Up 8.30.  Fine and sunny.  Heavy ‘planes going out.  Felt rotten during night, but a little better this morning.

During the morning Daven Soar came in with his lovely little daughter.  Arranged to go out with him tonight.

Very tired.  Slept after lunch.  Cycling along Magdalen Street saw Rene and her child going up the steps into the old house.  Didn't see me.  Thought I heard Brantham alarm just after.

Busy all day on the aftermath of Committee.  Capt. Folkard very sad about the Joe Percival row.  Nothing from Chairman.

Tonight called for Daven, and cycled off, first to Layer, then to Fingringhoe, then across the ferry to Wivenhoe, calling at pubs.  All very silly and rather amusing.  Became very fuddled and can't remember where we went or what we talked about it.  Daven is now stationed at Harrogate, and is having a very nice time indeed.  How I envy him.  [Daven Soar was a Post Office Telephone Engineer and had been a school friend of Rudsdale's].

Got back to Colchester about 11 o’clock, still quite light, and left him at the top of Brook Street, with much promising to meet again soon.  He is trying to get a job abroad, at Khartoum or somewhere like that.  Sees no future in this country.

Had to be on duty at 1am so made my way slowly in the direction of the Post.  Somehow found myself at the railway crossing at the old Brickyard and walked in a confused way into the side of an engine which happened to be standing there. 

Felt so tired and dizzy that I lay down on the grass by the cart track, near where the firework factory used to be, and dozed off, only to be awakened by the sirens and the noise of a ‘diver’ roaring over on the other side of the town.  Had no idea of the time, and in a panic hurried to Horkesley, only to get there 20 minutes too early.  However, felt much better by that time, and the other men noticed nothing.  About 1am a balloon came drifting over, lit by the searchlights, and the Bromley guns fired at it as it crossed the coast.  Great flashes showed where the trailing gable dragged across the high tension wires.

Fell asleep twice during the watch, but we had nothing on our sector.  Bed 5.30am, exhausted.  Very hot.

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