[transcription and transcription annotations have been provided by the collection donor]
Sun Nov 1, 1942:
A big muster parade this morning for the Group Capt., followed by an open air church parade. After lunch we went to the Intelligence Research Room for a lecture by the Intell. Officer, then one by the Medical officer. After tea it started raining.
Mon Nov 2, 1942:
This morning we had a practice for this afternoon’s funeral, 4 of the crews are pall bearers. The burial was in Cambridge, it was quite an impressive affair. In the evening I went to the Rex Dance, took an A.T.S. gal home and ran nearly a mile to catch the train. Another fellow and I sat in one part of the train for an hour then discovered the rest of the train had gone without us. We stayed in the R.T.O.
Tue Nov 3, 1942:
Came home this morning on the 6:35 train. In the gym this morning did some barbell work. In- tended going to the RAF Regiment Dance in the gym, but spent the time in the Star Inn.
Wed Nov 4, 1942:
Slept in this morning. Stopped raining. In the evening I went along to Cherry’s and at the dance there met a couple of girls whose boy friends were at Dafoe Sask. On the train home Taffy my rear gunner broke a window by leaning against it, however he got off.
Thur Nov 5, 1942:
Raining again. This morning we made out our leave forms, were paid and got ready for 7 days leave. I caught the 5:20 pm train at the village for London. Arrived at Liverpool St. Station very late as this train stopped at every little station on the way. Had a bite to eat in the “Y” canteen and slept there till morning.
Fri Nov 6, 1942:
A clear day. Left Liverpool St. Station and booked a room in Hopkinson House, Vauxhall Bridge Rd. Went to bed till noon. Visited RCAF HQ in the afternoon to see about my flight crowns. I’ll hear more about them later. Saw a photography display at Eastman’s aerial photos and cameras - we are certainly ahead of Jerry in aerial cameras, airgraph procedure was displayed. Had a bite to eat in the Beaver Club and met a fellow I’d last seen in Brandon. We later went to see Gaston and Andrea at the Whitehall. A few beers and back to my room.
Sat Nov 7,. 1942:
I woke up to the noisy patter of rain against the window. In the afternoon I visited Madame Tus- saud’s Wax Exhibition. Went down to the Beaver Club for tea and saw some CWAC’s, they have a very smart uniform. Phone Alf Batcheler and went to see him at Kelson’s Stayed there at night.
Sun Nov 8, 1942:
Alf had to get up early to go to Aldershot for church parade, but got back early in the afternoon.
Took a few pix, then went for a walk in Wimbledon Common. People were gathering autumn colored beach leaves. Went over to Batcheler’s in the evening then back to Victoria.
Mon Nov 9, 1942:
A bit foggy out. Put in the day roaming around. Saw an amusing sight, a squad of soldiers were marching down the street closely followed by some very small boys carrying sticks at the “slope”. Went to see Max Miller in “Town Hall”.
Tue Nov 10, 1942:
Up too late for breakfast so I went for a walk in the fog, over Vauxhall Bridge along the Embankment, past Lambeth Bridge and Lambeth Palace to Westminster Bridge, over this to the Parliament Bldgs. Up Whitehall to the Beaver Club, where I had flapjacks and maple syrup. Back to Victoria. In the afternoon I went to Southend-on-sea, where I met 4 Auxiliary Territorial Service gals and helped celebrate Sheila Dodds 21st birthday.
We went to the Queen’s Hall to dance where Sheila Dodds was the toast of the company. Stayed with a color Sgt. (Basher).
Wed Nov 11, 1942:
Got up at 8 and caught the train to London. Enveloped in a thick fog when I got there. Got back to Hopkinson House, Victoria, had lunch and was given a free ticket to see “Quiet Weekend”. Still foggy - there is a lot of smoke in the fog as it bothers my eyes. The fog was so bad that a man carrying a lighted torch had to walk in front of each bus.
Thur Nov 12, 1942:
Up early, went to Trafalgar Sq. had flapjacks and maple syrup at the Beaver Club, then joined a sightseeing party. First we visited the Tower, Beefeater acted as guide. The White Tower is the oldest part, this is surrounded by an inner and outer wall, then the moat which is dry now. We went up in the Bloody Tower and saw the room where the two little princes were murdered. Out on the tower green we saw two of the Tower Ravens - their wings are clipped, they are sworn in and receive their rations. Then the spot where Lady Jane Gray, a male and 3 other females were beheaded. We visited the church where the headless bodies were buried. We then went into the White Tower saw the suits of armour etc. and the chapel with its Norman architecture.. Outside again we saw the remains of the Roman Wall. Leaving the Tower we went to the ruins of All Hallows Church in the crypts were examples of Roman tiling as it was found, also bricks and pottery. Then in a little shrine the original Toc H lamp was burning. Our next stop was the Guildhall where we saw the Banquet Hall in which were the standard measures, the wooden roof burned out by incendiaries is now replaced. In the crypts were relics from Roman London also stone coffins. In the evening I caught the train from Liverpool St. Station for Waterbeach.
Fri Nov 13, 1942:
I slept in this morning. Very little on this afternoon because of fog. While I was away on leave some of our kites went on a nickel raid over Paris that makes Vipond an “operations “man. Harry Budd and I went to Cambridge and hoisted a few synthetic beers in the Castle.
Sat Nov 14, 1942:
The weather is getting colder. Still nothing doing for me here. In the evening I went to Cambridge roamed around with Budd and his girl friend from Grantham. On the train I heard we were to have an egg for breakfast.
Sun Nov 15, 1942:
Got up early for breakfast - a real egg. Weather still cold, but not so foggy. In the evening I went to 3 of the village pubs with a Women’s Auxiliary Air Force from the mess office.
Mon Nov 16, 1942:
Got up in time for 10:30 am break period, then collected a parcel from the mess, our room did well in that line today. Went to the station cinema to see Jack Benny and Carole Lombard in “To be or not to be”.
Tue Nov 17, 1942:
As cold as a March day on the prairies. Up to the Flights at 8:30 am, but I wasn’t required so I headed back to the billets.
Wed Nov 18, 1942:
Still nothing doing all day. Weather is cold and cloudy. Went to Cambridge sat in the castle for a while talking to some Canadian, E.F.T.S. pilots, then went to the Eagle.
Thur Nov 19, 1942:
Slept in today. When I did get up I wrote letters and listened to the boys nattering.
Fri Nov 20, 1942:
Slept in today. Wrote letters all afternoon. In the evening Woods, Budd and I went down to the village across the track to the Bridge Hotel, a posh joint. Here we met Monk and his WAAF friend.
Sat Nov 21, 1942:
Still a bit cold occasional showers. My pilot has got back from his eye treatment course. In the evening Harry Budd, Hank Woods and I went to the village and down to the Bridge Hotel, where we met their pilot. After closing we went to the Fish & Chip shack and so back to Barracks.
Sun Nov 22, 1942:
Cold today, the puddles were frozen. Spent most of the day indoors. Met my pilot and discussed prospects of getting out of here. Went to the show at the station.
Mon Nov 23, 1942:
Up early for breakfast, then on parade at 8:10 am. We were dismissed outside “B” Flights. Put in the afternoon writing. Broke still so stayed in barracks.
Tue Nov 24, 1942:
Up early again, parade at 8:10 am. Found that my crowns have been authorized. Discussed the possibilities with my pilot. Swung an aircraft’s compass. Big mess meeting at noon. The W.O.’s on the committee are a slippery lot. As I am still broke I stayed in tonight.
Wed Nov 25, 1942:
This morning we did quite a lot of drilling for a forthcoming Group Capt’s parade. After the Victory parade I went to the Nav. section and read over some gee gen. The weather is clearing up. The pilot (Willy Milne) did an hours flying in the afternoon. In the evening I went to Cherry’s where I spent an enjoyable time dancing with Betty Davis and Margaret Reynor. Caught the midnight train back to camp.
Thur Nov 26, 1942:
More drill this morning in the rain. My feet are soaked through so I’m heading for the barracks. Weather clearing. Budd and I went to the village for a quiet pint. We met his pilot, Jeff Taylor and a Sgt. WAAF in the “Star” so we stopped to natter. Willy has gone to a squadron to do a couple of 2nd dicky trips.
Fri Nov 27, 1942:
Slept in this morning. Pay parade this morning. I read up some gen in the Intelligence library in the afternoon. In the evening I met Les Santos my WAG in the Criterion, we went out the Baron of Beef and back again to the Horse and Groom where we met Taffy Berry, our rear gunner. After closing time we had something to eat in the Oriental Café, can’t go there for a while as a couple of fellows walked out without paying the bill.
Sat Nov 28, 1942:
On parade this morning. I put in the time in the Intelligence Library. In the evening I went to Cambridge and ended up at the Dorothy Dance Hall, where I met my Druxforth. Tonight is the last time we can get 12:10 train to Waterbeach.
Sun Nov 29, 1942:
Breakfast consisted of (dried) egg scrambled. I roamed from Mess to Barracks to the Flights and back again. Budd and I toured the village at night, the Tap, the Sun and finally the Star, where we chatted with Mr. Chase.
Mon Nov 30, 1942:
Couldn’t get up early, my head felt too heavy. Jeff Taylor (Budd’s Pilot) has been given his “walking papers” for ropey flying. I had an argument with the crew about me not flying on circuits and bumps this afternoon. Budd and I visited the village. Played a few games of darts in the White Horse.