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Feb. 29 – March 8, 1944: promoted

Feb. 29 – General inspection a few miles north of Lingfield. Gen. Montgomery gave his usual address. Everything went off well.

March 2, 1944 – We had a dance for the men in their mess hall. This was largely an experiment but went off a hundred percent. We are planning on another next Thursday night. Yesterday Lt. Dibb and I went to Woking where we met Col. Hazard and proceeded to the 3rd Cacru where I lectured to the Officers and then gave a demonstration of my jeep. Later gave a demonstration to the 3rd Div.

March 3 – Went with 3rd CC (Maj. Patterson) to a rendevous for a general inspection next week. On Monday I go to a medical meeting in London. On Wednesday I lecture to 3rd CCS. I am now waiting for Timmy Cameron to arrive. He will spend the weekend with me. Timmy arrived at Dormans station and I met him in a jeep. We went to East Grinstead for the evening.

March 4 – Rus. Noble (of 4th Div.) phoned for Tim and I to meet him in Burgess Hill. we took a jeep and went over. Molly Hunt (Bill Hunt’s wife) was there and a Jean Black from Toronto, also Major … ? from 4th Div. workshop. We went back to his Mess for lunch then back to Russ’s Mess for dinner. It was grand to see them all again. The old Army Tank Brigade in force.

March 5 – I took an early morning train to London to attend the Royal Society of Medicine meeting. Met a lot of chaps I knew. Came home late the same night. Timmy’s brother-in-law called for him during the day. It was a grand weekend.

March 6 – on another meeting with 4th Div and 2nd Corps – in final preparation for the inspection by the King which will take place on the 9th of March.

March 7 – Was at Corps H.Q. for a medical meeting.

March 8 – Gave a lecture on Sicily and Italy to 3 CCS today. This afternoon I go to Lewes to see Capt. Fleetwood (Eng), an old friend of mine from 14th days. I am trying to find a suitable place for going under canvas. Tomorrow will be a heavy day. The King’s inspection.


Meanwhile in Italy: Unidentified personnel of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) in a Universal Carrier equipped with a Vickers machine gun, Italy, 8 March 1944.
Credit: Lieut. Alexander M. Stirton / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-189892

April 14, 1943

Move again to the Downs, about 10 miles out of Worthing – right behind Arundle Castle – we are living under canvas again. Will be her until about the last of the month.

Feb. 18 & 19, 1943

Feb. 18 Quite a lot of mail and pictures from home today; have been inoculating all day and tired tonight. Had new orders meeting about the scheme “Spartan” tonight. On Wednesday night John told me about the possibility of his replacement due to age. I may get a bump in the neck myself.

Feb. 19 Terribly foggy this morning. Stoney Richardson leaves us for Brigade on Monday. One more of the old boys gone…

Stoney Richardson. Alexander family collection.

Stoney Richardson. Alexander family collection.


Feb. 15, 16 & 17, 1943 – Start of Diary No. 2, Feb. 15 – May 20, 1944

Doc Alexander, left, and John Begg. A military censor painted over Doc Alexander's regimental badges with red paint.

Doc Alexander, left, and John Begg. A military censor painted over Doc Alexander’s regimental badges with red paint.

Feb. 15 Opening new diary today. Am sending old one home by Jack Hesson. It seems like parting with an old friend, but will feel much better to have it at home. Will send the parcel up to Hess by Ed Brown.

Feb. 16 Ed and his Unit arrived at 10 a.m. and gave a lecture on mines –  then after lunch all went out to Kingston, just north of Shoreham for combined demonstration. It was excellent. One of his men wounded by shrapnel. After the show he came back to RAP (Regimental Aid Post) and we went up to the Mess for dinner. Got a phone call from Horley and Marje Florendine saying she would arrive in Worthing at 9:30. Ed and I met her at the train and after a light lunch – she and I went up to the Mess where John B., Stoney, Poop, Dave, Charbonneau, Hank, Edmonds, Bob Taylor and I proceeded to entertain her. I am just on my way to sick parade.

Feb. 17 After sick parade will go and meet Marje – she will ride in a Tank etc. and have lunch in the mess. John took Marje for a ride in a Tank, after which we went to the Mess for lunch – then took some snaps and drove her down to the train. Tonight is the Sgt.’s dance – partners provided sight unseen. I am all beautiful waiting to see what the fates drop in my lap. Bert Rutledge and Dick Freeman lands the picking of a partner for me so here’s hoping. Later – no luck – neither John nor I had a partner, but we enjoyed ourselves never the less.

Feb. 14 & 15, 1943 – End of Diary 1

We drove up to 14th Can Gen Hosp at Holley to see Ness – who is in bed with arthritis. He has been boarded “E” and will be leaving for Canada soon. Also Gordon Duncan who has just recently joined the staff, we then drove down to Ed’s Mess, had supper and then drove home.

Feb. 15 Annual innoculation of B squadron this morning, and H.Q. Squadron this afternoon. Don’t know just when I will manage to get the other two squadrons.

10 p.m. am getting the things together to send home by Hess. Wish I could climb in with them to go too. I want Muriel to have this book as a souvenir and a brief running account of my first two year’s experience in the Army. It’s like parting with an old friend to part with this book, but from here I carry on in another diary which I hope to carry home with me. Thus endeth Volume 1. I hope you will enjoy reading it and perhaps get some idea of my thoughts and actions during all these months. Please take awfully good care of this as I prize it very, very highly and shall look forward to spending many happy hours with it when I return.

L.G. and Muriel Alexander

L.G. and Muriel Alexander

Back row: padre, Clint Richardson, Dick Eldred, Freddy JennerFront row: John Begg, The M.O., Major Mac, George Valentine

Back row: padre, Clint Richardson, Dick Eldred, Freddy Jenner
Front row: John Begg, The M.O., Major Mac, George Valentine

Feb. 12, 13 & 14, 1943

Feb. 12 Very busy today. Ed arrived this afternoon and has just gone home – we have had another nice visit. He will be here tomorrow to spend the weekend with me and on Tuesday is bringing his Unit down for a combined scheme with the Tanks. Will not see him very much after this week – as we soon will be on the road again.

Feb. 13 Ed came down today and we went into Eastbourne to a picture show. Came home very late and he spent the night with me.

Feb. 14 We drove up to 14th Can. Gen. Hosp. at Holley to see Hess – who is in bed with arthritis. He has been boarded “E” and will be leaving for Canada soon. Also saw Gordon Duncan who has just recently joined the staff, we then drove down to Ed’s mess, had supper and drove home.

Feb. 3, 1943

Exceptionally good morning, but monotonous afternoon. Came straight home and studied all evening. I seem to be awfully tired when night comes.