Officers in black market racket. One for ever covering his haversack. On guard while fast asleep aroused by doodie ffalling on dyke. Not properly awaked but nerves affected for half an hour. probably reason why so many suffer from headaches, subconcious taking shocks.
There are a couple of words here I’m not sure of: ‘covering’ and ‘nerves’. They are the words that ‘fit’ best with the context, but I could be wrong.
There is more evidence here of the growing impact of the Doodlebugs – the constant threat of them taking its toll on the menatl health of the soldiers.
I’m not sure what he means by the officers – whether they were leading the black market racket, or whether their presence meant those involved had to be more careful that they weren’t caught.
18th Feb: Floods steadily subsiding after 8 weeks.Everybody cutting down trees for firewood coal costing £2/18/- Cwt went to Ghent 55 miles away. Shops very dear.
19th Feb: Lovely old church and cathedral. Orchestra in NAAFI. Long day there but enjoyable. Went to cinema there. ‘Fanny by Gaslight’ Met Peter Highfield on 967 Sqdn.
20th Feb: Lovely weather but not much sleep. Doing well on black M. market. Many doodies over, after shipping on Scheldt.
21st Feb: Narrow escpae from doodie. Saw one unexploded en route for Blighty. Headache probably due to Doodies and loss of sleep.
22nd Feb: On pass. Took snaps and went to St. Nicholas. About cheapest shopping centre. Good black market. One of the boys suffering from shock from nearby doodie. Near to us.
23rd Feb: Busy these days long days too. Laying off beer. Most cafes with attractive looking girls to overcome poor quality of beer. Not worth the money.
There is a growing sense in Grandad’s posts of the impact of the ‘Doodies’ (Doodlebugs: V1 Flying Bombs) on the troops. Whilst he has not referred to any casualties, the constant threat of them seems to becausing stress-related headaches and ‘shock’.
Surprising number of farms hit by doodle bugs. Little girl here Marie wonderful warning for V bombs. Dashes away long before we hear them. Most kiddies similar. Eggs from farms 3 for soap go 7 fumes each. Met P. Highfield and G. Kendal
There is an interesting observation in this entry that the sharp hearing of most children was good enough to give a warning for incoming V1 flying bombs.
Given the random, untargeted nature of the V1, the fact that so many farms had been hit by them indicated just how many had been sent to hit Belgium once London was out of range.
I think I haven’t quite translated the penultimate sentence correctly – Grandad seems to be saying that he can barter eggs from the farm in which his is billeted for soap and cigarettes (fumes), but I’m not sure of this, because I cannot find any indication that ‘fumes’ was a slang for cigarettes.
On Scheldt Estuary. Still plenty of water from floods. Bartering for eggs. Plenty of D bugs around. Saw British jet planes.
I’m pretty sure that the jet planes Grandad saw were the Gloster Meteor, as these were the only jet planes that saw service by the British in the 2nd World War. That must have been an exciting and encouraging sight as it was superior technology to the ubiquitous Doodlebug flying bomb that was still causing problems. I included a bit of detail about the V1 flying bomb in yesterday’s post.
I love the contrast between the rather prosaic need for eggs and this new technology – jet engines.