Tuesday 31 December 2013

29th & 30th January, 1948 - Ron describes procedures and becomes a little philosophical about letters of Condolence

Thursday, 29th January, 1948
Every time we go on duty we have to parade at the guard room where the Detail of Duties is checked and those on important jobs detailed off to draw a Thompson Sub Machine Gun.  We are then called to attention, port. arms and charge our magazines with five rounds of ammunition.  Then according to the officiousness of the Sargeant taking the parade we either straightway dismiss to our duties or first Slope Arms and then Dismiss, turning smartly to the right and marching off.  As my guard point is near the Billet no transport is provided and as at seven am there is no-one to relieve we make our own way to our posts.  The Sector Sargeant usually comes around to see us in accordance with his orders but he does this purely to safe-guard himself.  He signs our note books and departs after a short chat.  I have not known him come around on the afternoon shift.

Friday, 30th January, 1948
Although the weather was very poor today we all felt in much brighter vains as we were paid this morning.  I have never been in more sorry straights financially as I was before today.  I am now able to buy razor blades & shaving soap, stamps, envelopes and other necessities of which I have been short for a fortnight.

I wrote to Aunt Rosa today but fear my letter conveying my sympathies for her and the whole family’s great loss in Uncle’s Death is not as I would wish it to have been.  In my heart I think she and all others in such a position would rather not receive letters of condolence which of necessity must add to her already heavy sadness.  For she realises how we all feel but the act of committing our feelings to writing is just another of those many acts which would be far better left undone but which society or civilization or something dictates will be done.

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