Oct. 28–31, 1943

Regular journal

Oct. 28 – Raining cats and dogs. I wam in my desert tent at noon – with a lantern burning. It is very cold but I am dry in here and my section is under canvas, so no complaints. Dave Clapperton has been sitting here talking to me. He drops in nearly every day. We are still on the side hill outside of Jelsi. A staff Sgt. from Brigade Workshop is making me lighting plan for my tent and will probably be over this afternoon to install it, so that will help will help a great deal. A glorious mail yesterday, so even if it is raining today – the skies are bright.

 Unloading of the first load of airmail for Canadian soldiers in Italy from a Boeing B-17 aircraft of No.168(HT) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, Foggia, Italy, 30 December 1943.   Credit: Lieut. Frederick G. Whitcombe / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-140094.

Unloading of the first load of airmail for Canadian soldiers in Italy from a Boeing B-17 aircraft of No.168(HT) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, Foggia, Italy, 30 December 1943. Credit: Lieut. Frederick G. Whitcombe / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-140094.

Oct. 29 – Very muddy out. The C.O., Bob Scholes and I drove over to Riccia to try and find a place to locate a hospital. There is a large school there which we may get in a week’s time. Called in at Bde H.Q. on the way back and had a chin wag with Timmy Cameron. This afternoon, Jerry Booth and I went to ASC and Advance Workshop. Stoney Richardson was here on my return. He is coming to town for a visit one of these days. Tomorrow morning the C.O. and I are going into Campobasso. May find something of interest there.

Oct. 31 – Halloween – no party. Ralph and I have some potatoes for tonight. Yesterday the Colonel, Bob Scholes and I went to in to Campbasso for the day. Did some shopping and went to the “York” Hotel for lunch. This is an Italian hotel under the control of our R.A.S.C. In the afternoon we went to the Sacray Theatre and saw an Italian show, run by our own Auxilary Services. Real theatre and a very good show. Leading lady was from Lentini – our H.Q. in Sicily. To look at her, I could never imagine it.

Extended journal:

A terrible day, dark, rainy and cold. The ground is drenched – cars and tanks are stuck everywhere and we are wading everywhere. It is also terribly slippery. There is a good deal of sickness and everyone is wondering whether we live outside for the winter. It is beginning to look like it and not a pleasant thought.

On Oct. 31 we went to Town – spent the day in the Maple Leaf City, Campobasso. Tried to do shopping there, but there was absolutely nothing worth buying. In the afternoon we went to the Theatre and saw the Lady from Peatina.

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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