EXTRACTS FROM THE WARTIME DIARY. GUNNER HARRY THOMAS 14346364 ROYAL ARTILLERY PIONEER CORPS 49 th DIVISION BADGE: POLAR BEAR Called up in 1943 December 2 Leave started 13 Arrived back at New Milns travelling Euston Carlisle Kilmarnock January 14 Packed for Rothsay 15 Arrived at Rothsay 9.30pm at billet 22 Due to embark went on 4.45 pm ferry onto Greenock in trucks stayed at transit camp. 24 Saw Major about loss of my rifle February 3 Arrived at holiday camp Hemsby Norfolk 8 Leave 19 Arrived back very fed up. 21 Started mine laying course 22 Did demolition with own charges mine detecting in afternoon. 23 Duty officers mess cleaning and polishing March 1136 hr Pass 15 Issued with khaki berets. 16 Batman duties 17 Waiting in mess had inoculation. 18 Stayed in bed all day feeling rough. 27 Waiting in officers mess 29 Went out as gunman on calibration shoot April 7 Rifle range at Lowestoft. Best scorer battery 40 out of 40.11 Left for scheme went into hide nr. Woodbridge 12 Arrived at gun position. 13 Dug slit trench. 19 and 21 st Waiting in mess. 24 to 27 th Leave May 4 Left for military control scheme Werstead flats 7 to 23 Mostly waiting in mess. 23 rd last day as batman June 3 Route march finished up with blisters and fagged out. 4 Usual panic among our leaders. D-DA Y 6 Arrived at marshalling area. 8 Left for docks went aboard and moved off 9 Sailing 10 Sleeping in hammock did watch on bridge. 12 Came ashore on French soil weather noO.K. trouble. 13 to 16th went into action. 17 Simons and Baldwin killed. R.I.P. 19 Rained all day lashings of mud. 20 and 22nd Shelled. 28 Had our first sight of hell. 29 Digging in new position. Raining like hell. July 2 Had shower in farmhouse. 7 Nothing doing digging all day. 10 Moved back to St Mgt.
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