9th August 1944

Observer Post at 1am.  Cloudy, and no ‘planes about.  Ate plums, drank tea, took things very easy.  No ‘diver’ on.  Wilshire with me, talking about things that happened earlier in the war.  Told me about old Harry Bullock (another of our watch) and the blowing up of the “Beehive” at Little Horkesley in 1940.  The Beehive pub was destroyed when a land mine hit Little Horkesley Church in September 1940.

“I was on at the old post along o’ Harry on the Monday after the Saturday when the “Beehive” went, so I said ‘Hullo Harry,’ I said ‘Where was you o’Saturday night?’ ‘Cor boy,’ he say, ‘I was in the Beehive’.
‘You was?’ I says ‘how’d you get on?’ ‘Cor,’ he say, ‘I was right flabbergasted.’
‘What’d you do?’, I says.
‘Well,’ he say, ‘I got my bike out and rode off home’.

Yes, that’s what he done only they never knew up there, you see, and they was a-looking for him for nigh on 4 hours, then somebody say ‘Well, p’raps he ain't here after all?’ so they went off to his, at 2 in the morning, and his wife say ‘No, he ain’t a-buried, he’s been in bed along o’me since half past eleven.’  But mind you, that made him feel right queer for the best part of a week.”

About three times there were a few spots of rain, then the clouds blew away, and the moon shone out clear and still, till at last the eastern sky paled again, and the sheep stirred and bleated in the fields down by Green Lane.  As the light grew we could see the standing traves of corn, and rabbits like little grey shadows hopping about among them.

As I came away, it was light enough to see the tower of Stoke Church against the pale yellow sky.  Bed 5.15, up again 8.15, got in rather late.  Captain Folkard and Maidstone off to meet the Executive Committee at Layer.  Soon after they had gone came a frantic ‘phone call to say the Executive’s motor coach had broken down at Braxted.  Had to send messages to depots and so on, to try to reach Capt. Folkard.

Very busy all day, and for once did not waste time writing private stuff. 

Lovely evening.  Went to see Father for an hour. Felt very tired but much better.  Wrote some letters, then to post and on to Boxted.  ‘Forts’ circling to go out. 

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