Archive | August 2012

August 31, 1942

At 6 a.m. the convoy leaves Seaford – I have my truck with Ralph and Furman – Cal and I drive in the Gyp. Very heavy rain during part of the trip. We pass through Brighton, Shoreham, Winchester, Amesbury, Stonehenge, Wincanton, Langport, Taunton, Williton, Dunster to Minehead, a distance of about 200 miles. This is in the north of of Somerset facing the Bristol Channel. Our camp is on a high hill, overlooking the Town and valley. The scenery is the most perfect I have ever seen. The Range is about two miles beyond the camp.

August 30, 1942

Final stages of packing done – will go to bed shortly and get up and leave for Mine Head at 5:45 a.m. Am driving through in convoy. Bill Hunt will be leaving in a day or so – I will certainly miss him as he has lived in the house with me since last December – so many changes come and we don’t like them.

Dieppe: a family scrapbook

HMS Locust and Doc Alexander

Here’s an interesting fact that I hadn’t realized until it was pointed out to me recently connecting the new and rather surprising research by military historian David O’Keefe presented as part of the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid has a connection to Doc Alexander. O’Keefe’s research has shown the real reason for the Dieppe Raid was to create an opportunity for a secret group of commandos to steal a four-rotor Engima machine and its code books. The HMS Locust was to deliver the commandos into the harbour, but the fire was so fierce it was driven back into open water. The commandos then attempted to land in landing craft. The Locust, meanwhile, took casualties from Tank Landing Craft No. 8, the Calgary Tanks Regimental Headquarters that along with the tanks of the regiment’s commanding officers, carried two of Doc Alexander’s ambulances. Once the casualties had been transferred to the Locust, TLC 8 was tied to its side and hauled back to England. And while it is not a direct link to O’Keefe’s research and this secret unit of commandos, its is a connection nonetheless as Doc Alexander references the Locust multiple times in his Dieppe journal.

August. 28, 1942

Last night I was out to dinner at a Fr. Fison – some friends from the Isle of Wight had written about me. After supper we went next door – don’t remember the man’s name but he is a retired steel magnate – magnificent home. Tonight I am going to have dinner at “B” Squadron with Bob Purves and Bruce Trotter, to meet their new officers. Tomorrow I have lunch at “A” Squadron with Freddie Jenner, Pim Watkins to meet the new officers there. Seven new Officers are arriving today. It looks like an entirely new unit – we have not yet become used to it. Mickey Mouse returned to the Unit today and came over and talked with until I sent him home. Poor kid is not happy here and is not happy away from here.

August 25, 1942

Drove to Horsham Hospital today and called in at 2nd Field Ambulance on the way home. Just trying to build up our supplies in readiness for our trip to Somerset, where we go on the Ranges for eleven days.

August 23, 1942

Memorial Service for the fallen in Seaford Parish Chapel. Harold phoned.