My Wartime Memories, W.S Ward Gunner, 484 searchlight Battalion R.A

'------------ -— % § ^ 1 a herd of cows out of our field and : ------- --------- --- J H jp t t into another, and get the -------- -----. searchlight ready for action. The —_________next thing was to put the tents up --------------- --------------- tor sleeping and cooking, and _____ life - finding a place where the cows not k ft their mark was a bit of P g a i ^ ^ M r a job! The next morning, 3rd -------- September, was a fine sunny y Sunday; the birds were singing — ---------- and everything was great. We r------- B ¦ ¦ ............. ......... were on shilling-a-day all-found ---------holidays again, even if everyone - - - o t h e r than the detachment -----;; ¦ - - * - commander and the cook had to "*•' ----- do hours guard duty day and night. By about ten o'clock two of the men who had always had a ggBHkj drink in a club in Llanelli were very thirsty so they talked the D.C. into letting them go and see J S H B H i ^e y a Boverton, 1939^0 somewhere. At about eleven thirty the air sentry shouted over to us that he could see the men running back shouting something but he could not make out what they were saying. We had no telephone, wireless or R.T. Radio so we had no news. The news they brought was not good. For a while we could not take in the news that we were at war with Germany. Our holiday, if you could call it, that was over. We were at war. We had our searchlight sound locator, a Lister for power for the light, a Lewis gun with only two magazines with thirty-six rounds in each, and two rifles with five rounds for each rifle. These, plus two or three pick handles and six bottles of petrol, were all that we had to stop a tank with. As time went on we were given a wooden hut instead of the bell tent but we still only had the ridge tent for cooking. We had a coal stove in the hut but we never had a lot of coal for it, and the winter of 1939-40 was a cold one with a lot of snow and East winds. We still only had two blankets and a groundsheet each, and one under and one over did not keep us warm, so we paired off in twos and slept together with one blanket under and three on top. 2
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