Archive | March 2013

March 16 & 17, 1943

March 16: Everything packed, breakfast over, we leave for Worthing in Convoy of ten cars, in about 45 minutes. We left at 9 a.m. and had a very pleasant trip back, by way of Slough, Eton, Windsor, and then Guildford. Arrived home at 5 p.m. – had dinner, bath and then bed.

March 17: Two years ago today we left Calgary – seems ages. Getting settled today. Hess called in today to say goodbye. He expects to leave for Canada on Friday. We have just received word that we leave for Minehead in Somerset on March 28. We are all looking forward to it.

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March 13, 14 & 15, 1943

March 13: Called at 5 a.m. for wheeled vehicles to pull out at 5:30. Great scramble, we keep Ralph and our baggage and Bill and Jim go off in Rex. We are waiting around for a few days and will proceed by rail. In the afternoon, John (Begg) and I go to Buckingham, Brackley and Bicester and then back home to our harbour outside of Beachampton. In the evening Poop, Jimmy Edmund and I go up the road two miles to Stony Stratford – later joined by Junior, Patterson, Ritchie, Sgt. Major Freeman and Morrison. Spent a very pleasant evening.

March 14: Convoy left at 10:30 and travelled thru Nash, Buckingham – to four miles out of Brackley, where we are Harboured in a very nice wood across the road from an Italian Concentration Camp. The Tanks are starting to load Brackley. John and I go up to Brackley, then to Stony Stratford and 7 miles down the London Road then return to camp and go to bed.

March 15: The remainder of the Tanks and Carriers are loading today. Ralph and I stay here tonight and drive home in a wheeled convoy tomorrow. We are going out to have a look at the country today. John and I drive to Northampton, a City about the size of Calgary, but one of the least impressive cities I have every seen seen. We then drove over to Banbury to see if the lady still had bells on her toes. We saw the Cross and went in and had tea at the “Original Tea Shop,” famous for its Banbury cakes. After supper I went in to Brackley with Poop and Jimmy Edmunds to see the last bunch of Tanks and my Carrier loaded. Afterwards we went up to the Crown Hotel where we were joined by McIndoo and John – we then came home to bed. John slept next to me and fell out of bed in the middle of the night.

March 9, 10, 11 & 12

March 9: Col. Token casualty today – just evacuated. Orders just out to be ready to move in 15 minutes. Air attack – fifteen wounded – ten killed – all Spartan casualties. At 5:30 p.m. pull out north for Lobbersdown Hill Farm – three miles south of Thames.

March 10: Move off for Claydon House Park – fifteen miles north of Thames. Spend the rest of the day and night on stand to.

March 11: Fourteen mile day march to Beachampton six miles north east of Buckingham. Just get to bed when “F” Group is called to pull out immediately. Sgt. Major Freeman and ourselves in two carriers follow the Scout cars north to Stony Stratford, then south east to Bletchley where we join the Tanks and stand to until 3 a.m. Very cold night move to Tickfordfield Farm – two miles east of Newport Pagnell.

March 12: Prepare for attack on Bedford, but just before moving off – cease fire sounds. Later in day return to Beachampton – Col. returns from hospital minus a batman, so he bunks down with me.

March 7, 1943

Canadian mail arrives. We are still in Harbour. Ralph, Jim and Bill arrive in Rex. An ambulance will be attached to us this afternoon. We pull out at 7:30 p.m and go north along the Thames to a little village called Chalgion (?), about eight miles southeast of Oxford. Arrive there at 3 a.m. – bed down and called at 5 a.m. to stand to. This is a miserable harbour.

March 5 & 6, 1943

March 5: I traveled most of the night in a Bren Carrier driven by Scotty Bachelier. It is warm today. Tonight we are all packed up and ready to move off; but wait all night. Nearly freeze to death.

March 6: Move off at 2 p.m., go to Newbury then east and north to Ashamptead Common. A very lovely wood about eight miles west of Reading. Arrive here after night – make our beds down and have a grand sleep.

March 4, 1943

Bruce Trotter, Bob Taylor and John Begg (left photo). Bruce Trotter (right). Alexander family collection

Bruce Trotter, Bob Taylor and John Begg (left photo). Bruce Trotter (right). Alexander family collection

Still lying in Harbour, but warned to be ready to leave in 2 hrs notice, so have all tarps and canvasses packed. Just got into bed and asleep when Bruce Trotter flies in with “Fighting Group” ready to move off in one half hour. Bert, Mike and I scramble out of bed and get loaded on our carrier. We move north thru Winchester to “Grotto Copse” a wood about eight miles south of Newbury. Arrive at 4 a.m.

March 3, 1943

Had a grand twelve hour sleep last night. Today we are still in Harbour. Poop and I did some fast work at an accident. We are still blowing about it. May not move until day after tomorrow, but we are real comfortable here.