February Returns

February 28, 1941

February 1st – Farnborough (Sat)

Sun shining during afternoon. Visited Col[onel] T[?] & Col[onel] C[?] at Corps re vehicle returns etc. Had dinner in the mess – 3 double scotches. Found that train leaves Farnborough Station at 09.05 hours for Sidmouth. Rec[eive]’d cable from Prof[essor] Clarke stating that arrangements had been made for introductions in Sidmouth Area. Rec[eive]’d copy of Haddow Report from London U[niversity] Library.

February 2nd – Farnborough (Sun)

Worked all day preparing precis on vehicle returns. The sun shone for several hours. Went to Egham after supper. No alerts.

February 3rd – Farnborough (Mon)

Cleaned up work so that I could go on leave. Bought leather holster & arm pouch for 19/3. Bought double scotch al round for 4 Ord[nance] Officers – 13/6. Snow on ground. No alerts.

February 4th – Sidmouth (Tue)

Left Farnborough for Sidmouth, Devon at 9.05. Arrived in Sidmouth at 2.00. Snow 9″ deep in Devon. Grace met me at station. Went to Greenbank – saw Aunts B[?] & Thirze. Stayed at Eagehurst [?] Hotel for night. Cost me 10/- for bed & breakfast. Also paid 1/- for gas in bedroom.

February 5th – Sidmouth (Wed)

Went to Exeter in A.M. with Grace. Saw Mr Armfeld, director of education for Devon & arranged with him & his assistant, Mr Phillips to visit certain schools in Devon this afternoon & on Thur[sday] & Fri[day]. Went to see Exeter Cathedral before this – sent book re same to Renie. Ate dinner in Deller’s with Grace & took menu to send to Renie. Visited Exmouth senior schools in afternoon – Mr Bulled, headmaster boys’ school & Miss Webster, headmistress, girls school. Boys & girls carried on poultry work – incubation. Weather cool – roads icy – oneĀ alert in evening. Moved to teed’s for duration of visit.

February 6th – Sidmouth (Thu)

Visited Teignmouth S[enio]r co-ed school under Mr Seymour. Saw pottery work – wheel & bake oven in classroom. Seven teachers short (ill or called up). Then went to Secondary School (called Teignmouth Grammar Sch[ool] under Mr Silvester – although chiefly academic, they also had art, woodwork & domestic science. No alerts. Snow all melted.

February 7th – Sidmouth (Fri)

Visisted Honiton S[enio]r School under Mr Griffiths & j[unio]r school under Miss Lee. Both schools very new & up to date. Spoke to several classes on Canada. Promised to send Canada Year Book etc to Mr Griffiths. Bought a sample of Honiton lace & 2 pieces of Honiton pottery for Renie (owl & fox). Weather wonderfully warm & bright. One alert during evening.

February 8th – Sidmouth (Sat)

Walked round Sidmouth to see various views with Aunt B[?]. Took Aunt B[?] & Thirza to pictures after tea. Weather fine. No alerts.

February 9th – Sidmouth (Sun)

Went to church with Aunts B[?] & Thirza.

At Walduck’s[?] for rest of day. Mr Walduck[?] gave me cameo[?] for Renie & an old coin. Heard Churchill’s speech at 9.00pm – excellent. No alerts. Weather rather cloudy – we climbed peak-hill to see the village below during afternoon. Gathered snow drops & crocuses to send to Renie.

February 10th – Sidmouth (Mon)

Left Sidmouth for F[arnborough] at 12.30. Lunch on train – 4/3. Arrived F[arnborough] at 5.00pm. Could not get a car to go to “C” mess as H[ead] Q[uarters] Div[ision] on a scheme, so took bus & walked rest of way. Got 14 letters from Renie & parcel (also 9 rolls papers) & one from Mother. Weather beautiful. No alerts.

February 11th – Farnborough (Tue)

At work again – feeling first rate. Six more letters from Renie & 4 bundles papers. No alerts. Weather fine. Max Meighen on leave.

February 12th – Farnborough (Wed)

Parcel containing cake & sox & candy from Renie. No alerts. Weather fine – some rain & fog last night.

February 13th – Farnborough (Thu)

Considerable trouble brewing re returns demanded by Corps – our units slow in making returns ready for Corps. Weather beautiful. No alerts.

February 14th – Farnborough (Fri)

Worked until 1.30am getting vehicle returns ready for corps. One alert weather fair.

February 15th – Farnborough (Sat)

Dance at Holloway. Joe & I took dinner – chickens etc & ate it there with Stella & Jack. Rain & one alert.

February 16th – Farnborough (Sun)

Weather damp. No alerts.

February 17th – Farnborough (Mon)

Weather fine. One alert.

February 18th – Farnborough (Tue)

Major Downes went on leave for a week (12.00h[ou]rs). Started to get returns on veh[icles] ready. Weather damp. No alerts.

February 19th – Farnborough (Wed)

Veh[icle] returns coming in better than last week. P[rive]te Williams very good on returns. Weather colder & wet. No alerts.

February 20th – Farnborough (Thu)

Only 6 veh[icle] returns not in by deadline. Weather fine. One alert.

February 21st – Farnborough (Fri)

Went to Corps with completed returns. Col[onel] T[?] was very pleased with the promptness of the returns & the heatness of the work. He took some to Brig[adier] M[cQueen] who telephoned General O[?] & congratulated him on the fine veh[icle] returns from 2 C[ana]d[ia]n Div[ision]. I had a conference with Col[onel] T[?] re a simplified veh[icle] return form. Had dinner at Corps & continued conference. Then I drove back to 2 Div[ision] with rough draft at 9.30. P[riva]te Williams & I worked until 1.30 getting out a very fine typed copy of proposed draft. This finished I drove to Corps & got back by 3.30am – very tired but quite well pleased with results.

February 22nd – Farnborough (Sat)

Had Williams prepare a copy of “draft” form to include in the Gen[?] & G[?] I[?]’s copy of vehicle returns. Went to 1st Div[ision] for A[nti]/T[ank] rifle accessories. Also dished out tools for 30 carriers in shed 8. Got lost on way home & landed up in Horsham instead of Guildford. Weather dull & wet. No alerts.

February 23rd – Farnborough (Sun)

I dished out A[nti]/T[ank] rifles at shed 8 during morning. Prepared veh[icle] return form for units & duplicated some. Not through until 7.00. Weather bright. One alert.

February 24th – Farnborough (Mon)

Delivered new form to units – took all afternoon. Weather fine. One alert.

February 25th – Farnborough (Tue)

Collected all returns from units – 9.00 – 12.00. Maj[or] D[ownes] returned from leave 12.00h[ou]rs. No alerts. Weather fine – frosty in morning. Pocked up injured M[otor]/C[ycle] man of R[oyal] A[ir] F[orce] on road at 11.00pm. He had run into a civil lorry. Not very badly injured – but semi-unconcious – name was Stan Bryant – 40 Roberts Road, Aldershot.

February 26th – Farnborough (Wed)

Compiling prpoer veh[icle] estab[lishment] for all battle orders of Div[ision] Col[onel] Cope[?] visited from Corps. Got ready for “Dog” – move off to be at 21.30h[ou]rs. Weather colder but fairly clear. One alert.

February 27th – Farnborough (Thu)

Landed at Chidingfold – “Dog” Rear H[ead] Q[uarters] at 03.00am. Raining continuously. Slept at “Crown”, a 13th Century Inn. Used bed roll on floor – so did Joe. Max slept in the double bed. had breakfast & dinner at H[ead] Q[uarters]. Worked at “Dog” & regular routine in F[ie]ld office set up in a bell [-tent]. Left for home at 5pm. Still raining – back in mess at Ellen House for dinner (supper).

February 28th – Farnborough (Fri)

Weather wet. One alert. Completed veh[icle] returns for 2nd Div[ision] & delivered same to Corps at 10.30. Back in bed by 12.00pm. (Revolver drill at 14.00hrs).