Manuscript diary for the year 1944 by an English army officer ('H. E. Nash?') in the 23rd Armoured Brigade of the British Eighth Army in the Second World War.

Diary of an officer in the 23rd Armoured Brigade, British Eighth Army, 1946]

Editorial: Entries from 1 January to 27 December ., 1944
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

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Text on 87 pp of a 8vo 1944 'Surrey Desk Diary' (Mitcham: Surrey Manufacturing Co.). Text clear and complete. Volume in good condition on aged paper. While the author's ownership signature at the front of the volume ('', ', '') is not decipherable, there are clues to his identity: his birthday is on 24 June, he states on 5 October that he is in the 23rd Armoured Brigade, and on 19 August he gives his Identity Card No. as 116941. He begins as a sergeant, and by 13 January is 'H.Q. Troop commander, which, out of action, no schemes, no censoring, doesn't amount to much'. By 18 August he is a colonel: ''Interview with C.O. 104 RHA whilst feeling very dim this AM | Then to Pay Office & Barclays Bank and Officers Shop | All this in the glory of my new Sam Browne and one pip.' On 11 October he is made orderly officer. There are details of duties (including route marches), including drill and training ('Gave sigs. some W/T practice this A.M. They are very slow in getting it but if necessary I'll pump it into them by dint of extra hours at it.'), but the emphasis is on the author's recreational activities ('We British make some very poor films'; 'Somehow feel that a pretty girl on my arm would improve my appreciation of the civilization offered by Alex.'; 'Hellish party on brandy & ginger until midnight when white bands were ripped off.'; 'Unable to do anything with two reasonable WAAF met at coffee AM.'). Well written with a dry sense of humour, in a slangy ('browned off', 'akkers') colloquial style, as witness the entry for 4 October: 'Our weekly visit to Alex. This has settled down to a regular routine. Trip down by truck - usually after some discussion as to who sits in the back. Firstly, ice-cream and a gaze at the luscious selection of Wrens in Unicas. Then a general stooge around and shop-gaze. Cinema - the least worst show. Shortage of first class shows recently. Then to "Au Petit Coin de France", for their incredible tomato soup - whatever else is going, a carafe of vin blanc and turkish coffee. Then to the EFI for a beer for the road'. First entry (1 January) reads 'Awoke late, feeling rough after a very restless night, which was not improved by other Sgts wishing me to join their merrymaking. was very rude to several. Went to Alex. for the day - my first trip since we've been here. Lunch a beer at C & P.Os Club (A.F.C.) then "My Favourite Blonde"[Hollywood film of 1942], some shopping, dinner & a litre of red wine au petit coin de France. Excellent. A notable half-Corona followed. A stroll, then "Commandos Strike At Dawn" [1942 war film] Mediocre Chilly ride back in windslers truck. Wish I could get rid of this filthy cold. Bad dust storm - apparent even in Alex.' The author exhibits the sort of casual racism not unusual for such individuals at the time. 11 October: '[.] wogs have got wind of move and are anxious to acquire as much of our equipment as they can'. 10 January: 'We are to have an Iti P.W. to work in the cookhouse. Good idea'. 11 January: 'Iti in cookhouse looks very sad & pale. Has my sympathy.' Interesting evaluation of other officers on 28 September: '[.] | Jack Hayward is just a little maknoor and holds strange ideas | Phil Boyd is a bon viveur - one of those chaps born with a natural ability for all games. [.]' In October he sails with his brigade to Greece. On 7 November he writes of prisoners to be brought back to Egypt on SS Copperfield: 'I have 16 officers & 207 O[ther] R[anks] - told 223, of which 25 are Huns, remainder Itis. A miserable crowd - very scruffy'. Two days later he writes: 'Some of the Huns are Free Germans fighting with Partisans. So they say anyway'. On 13 December he watches a 'grim attack on camp from about 0300 hrs from O[bservation]. P[ost].' The last twelve pages of the diary carry names and addresses of colleagues, family and friends. N° de ref. de la librería 9534

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Título: Manuscript diary for the year 1944 by an ...

Editorial: Entries from 1 January to 27 December .

Año de publicación: 1944

Descripción de la librería

Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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