SIMMS, Harold - WX3671

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Original items held by the Army Museum of Western Australia

Pte Harold Simms
Conflict World War 2
Service Arm Australian Imperial Force
Unit 2/7th Field Ambulance, A Company
Service No. WX3671
Service Arm Army
Date of Birth 9 May 1905
Date of Death
Relatives Wife - Caroline Jessie Simms

Harold Simms kept a diary from the time he entered Blackboy Camp on 10th June 1940.

Part 1 - 10th June 1940 - 10th January 1941.

WX3671 Prt H. Simms, A Coy,2/7 Field Ambulance, AIF
Enlisted in Perth May 30th 1940
Went into camp June 10th 1940
I was drafted into the first W.A. 2/7th Field Ambulance Unit formed here to leave for overseas, with the A.I.F. Commanded by Lt Col L.E. Le Souef on June 12th 1940
June 15th 1940 Our unit was made up to the full strength of 254 comprising of four companies being A Coy, B Coy, H.Q. Coy, MT Coy. Our M.O.s, Major Dawkins 2nd I.C., Major F.K. Wallace, Major J.D. Palandri, Cpt A.J. King, Capt M. Mayrhofer, Capt Gillet, Capt Ferguson
From June 17, 1940 We carried out kinds of extensive training in, First aid, Gas & stretcher bearing, Evacuation of wounded up to Sept 12, 1940 and then we were given 6 days embarkation leave. Returning to Northam on Sept 18th which ended with our final march through Perth on Sept 19th
Sept 20th 1940 Parade through Northam
Sept 22nd 1940 left our camp at 3AM entrained for Fremantle arriving at Fremantle 11AM we embarked on the transport SS Indapoora, there been 6 ships in the convoy with the HMAS Canberra, the Yarra and two subs escorting us, we left Fremantle at 2.30AM Sunday Sept 22nd 1940 our ship being the last one to leave Prt. All went well till night came by then we were well out to sea. On board our ship was a lot of stores & trucks for the Middle east, stored at the bottom of the ship. Troops on board being our unit 2/7 Field Ambulance, 1st reinforcements for 2/11th Batt, 2nd Reinforcements for 4th Batt, 2nd Reinforcements for 5th Batt, 2nd Reinforcements for 8th Batt, Staff for 2nd 5th A.G.H.. Most of the troops being packed at the aft end of the ship. Things were not too bad up to 4 days out, then the food got a bit on the rough side the refrigerator went off & all our meat had to be dumped over the side.
Sept 27th Five days out a soldier from the 2nd 5 Batt ran wild & jumped over the side just after tea, the ship was stopped & an attempt to pick him up was made, but by the time a boat was lowered he was lost, so we got under way again. All quiet for the next 3 days.
Sept 30th Fire broke out in the store room & lasted 6 hours a lot of stuff having to be brought up and thrown over the side.
October 2nd 1940 The coast of India is sighted, the next day Oct 3, we go into Colombo for coal at 5AM, we coal all day.
Oct 4, 1940 We go ashore at 9AM, until 6PM. It was very hot, most of the troops spending the day in the water by 7 o'clock all on board again except for a few who got a bit too full.
7AM, Oct 5 We are on the move again. The Canberra and Yarra leaving us and the escort being taken over by two RN warchips, Cornwall and the Manchester and two more subs, by night time we are on our way to the Middle East.
Oct 7th We enter the Red Sea. The heat is terrific and all try to get on deck, they put awnings all over to keep the sun off the deck.
Oct 10th 1940 We go through Hells Gates Pass. The equator things are very uncomfortable for us.
Oct 12th 3PM we have an alarm, two ships are sighted but make off again by 4.30PM all quiet.
Oct 13th. We enter the Suez Canal, at 9PM, we have our first air raid, bombs fall on the desert near Ishmailia on the banks of the canal, all ships get through allright.
Oct 16th 8AM We reach El Cantara where we disembarked half way down canal, all troops glad to get on land again, all units are now divided and each CO takes charge of his own unit, we are now on our way after a feed and six hours sleep. Then we have orders to prepare and make ready to move off.
Oct 17th 7AM with our packs we march 11 miles over the desert to the border of Egypt & Palestine where we entrain for Palestine desert taking 3 days hard traveling we arrived at noon on Oct 20th at Gaza Ridge, we go into camp and join up with the 2nd 11th batt.
Oct 21st to 22nd we are given two days leave in Tel a Viv,
Oct 24th 1940 we all move to Beersheba, we go into hard training for 5 days with the Infantry.
Oct 29 All day march over the Desert 15 miles trek, returning next day. Half way back to camp a terrific sand storm blows up & makes things very bad for us, sore feet & dust in eyes & swallowed tons of dust, very uncomfortable for all.
Oct 32st & Nov 1st two days rest
Nov 2nd Orders come through that we will soon be on our way to Egypt, each man in the unit is given his job to do when we go into real action. H. Simms Stretcher Bearer No. 1, G. Foward Stretcher Bearer No. 2, F. Wiseman Stretcher Bearer No. 3, B. Bailey Stretcher Bearer No. 4.
Nov 2nd 1940 We cross the Sinei Desert on the old Turkish road to the rail head 4 days march. We entrain at El Shar for Egypt, we travel for 4 days arriving on Nov 10th. We get to El Cantara and cross the canal on to the Egyptian side where we entrain for Alexandia arriving there 4PM Nov 12th 1940 rest of day free, report 6 AM
Nov 13th On military reserve in Alexandria for review by General Blamey, Ivan Makay & G. Wavell 4PM entrain again for the desert get to Burgle Arab Nov 14th at 11PM there we pick up with all the A.I.F., all concentrated at this place before moving up to the front.
Nov 16th to 19th I am in charge of the R.A.P. giving medicine and helping to dress desert sores, which are very bad now.
Nov 19th we get a bad raid on our supply dump, 15 Itie Bombers coming over at 6AM, about 12 heavy bombs abd 18 incenery bombs falling, wounding some of the N.S.W. diggers, about 9 being killed, a bit of damage to our stores no one in our unit being hurt, four planes down.
Nov 22nd 1940 we move 10 miles further up, the weather is very bad, continual dust storms, the 11th Batt, 8th Batt & 4th Batt ahead of us.
Nov 24th we are 3 miles from Mersa Mutrah, the New Zealanders already there.
Nov 25th we are at Mersa Mutrah, here we see the Tommies and Indian troops, our unit helps with the sick, we remained here waiting for the attack to start on Sidi Barroni, our stretcher bearers going out at night with the patrols four of our unit being lost for two days, and brought back by an Indian patrol.
Nov 30th 1940 Things are geeting very hot, raids on the forward lines occupied mostly by Tommies and Free French also Indian troops, our unit the 2/7th Fld Ambulance still helping with the sick and wounded, myself being on the ambulance today, the stretcher cases go to the rail head which is now 4 miles away, Jack Manfred being the driver up to Dec 7th 1940. Then the attack started on Sidi barrani by a British & Indian regiment, the armoured division going into it first, the dust storms are very bad.
Dec 8th The battle for Barrani is going on the noise is terrific, we put up our first M.D.S Corporal Jones being in charge. A lot of wounded are now coming in, mostly Tommies and Indian troops & a few New Zealanders, all our unit are going flat out for 3 days and nights. I go with my ambulance to the A.D.S. and collect wounded from them to bring them back to the M.D.S. unload there and go up to the front for more, my driver is very tired and has to be releaved on the 3rd day, a very nerve racking job.
Dec 12th 1940 Driver Hillman takes over, we go up to the ADS, our ambulance is loaded with six bad cases, two pass out on the way down, I give two of the other chaps a sleeping powder each to help them a bit, arriving back at the M.D.S. I get releaved for eight hours I have a good sleep.
Dec 14th Sidi Barrani is taken, prisoners are being brought down and enemy wounded attended to, we move on to Sallum, we pass a lot of dead, being some of the Highland Brigade, about 300, that had got caught in the Itie's Machine Gun fire in the first attack, it is said they over stepped their mark in the excitement, we also see a lot of the enemy dead, quite a lot with their throats cut, done by Indian troops. We get along as fast as we can, as the smell is very bad, we travel all night till daylight, we stop near Bug Bug, a long line of Itie prisoners pass us, our C.O. Col. Le Souef comes around, he says he is getting things on the move for us all to have a good hot meal we are all very hungry, 9 oclock Charlie Adams one of our cooks sings out come and get it. Three cheers for Charlie. Then we had our first cup of hot tea for two days, it was like nectar to us, then we had a stew with plenty of grit in it so very filling. Musso must have thought we were doing too well, he sent a few of his 'Birds' over to have a look at us, our chaps went up to meet them. We saw three very thrilling 'dog' fights, two of our Planes came down to six Ities, the last we saw of the rest our own 'Birds' were chasing them. We did not have any wounded to attend to in that lot, all six planes went up in smoke. We make ready to move on again it is now 2 PM Dec 16th, we hear guns going off, the Navy is bombarding Sallum, we are not far away now, even the ground trembles, we are on our way again, we travel fast till 1 oclock, a Don R comes down to HQ with orders to stand by, as the attack on Sallum is on, the artillery opening up at 2AM, the Infantry going into it a daybrake, we move up with our A.D.S., & M.D.S. strecher bearers to the foot of Sallum,just behind our lines, we start to get ready to receive wounded again, we go up to the line as soon as the barrage stops we get our first load of wounded from the A.D.S. by 6PM. Sallum has fallen. We evacuate all wounded the Ambulance Motor Convoy taking over from us, the 2/7th Field Ambulance moves on to the Fort Capuzzo at the foot of Hell Fire Pass right on the sea front, prisoners are now coming down in hundreds, we stand by for five hours while the navy bombards the Fort, which falls immediately after we get all the casualties down to the water where they were taken over by the Red Cross Sea transport and taken to Alexandia, the Base.
Dec 18th we rest for two day, we have a look at the prisoners about 1,200 on the beach waiting to be taken behind the lines, Indian troops on guard over them, we get a lot of souvenirs from them, they seem quite happy about it.
Dec 20th after two days rest and some good feeds we pack up to move on again, we are off at sundown and well into Libya by morning, we travel for three days the desert is very bad, everything is covered in dust, the armoured division and Infantry having gone ahead of us, we pass a lot of enemy guns & trucks as well as crashed planes on the side of the road, also a lot of enemy dead. The pioneers of our A.I.F. are getting Italian prisoners to bury their dead.
Dec 24th 1940 we are getting near Bardia, we stop about 6PM, a postal car comes up, we receive our first air mail, all are in high spirits, during the night we start to unload and get ready to erect our M.D.S & A.D.S and all ambulances ready for the receiving of wounded.
Dec 25th early morning all hands hard at work, by dinner time we have all our gear out, we erect our operating tent for the first time. The A.C.F trucks come along and give each of us a Xmas hamper which was very nice, our C.O. gives us a bottle of beer each, and gets us poultry from somewhere, we all sit down all together the Officers, Sergeants, Corporals & privates all in one big party, we have a swell feed. By night all is ready for the attack on Bardia.
Dec 26th Dawn The 2nd 4th Batt, the 2nd 8th Batt & the 2nd 11th Batt move up past us to the front line just behind the artillery, our unit the Australian 2/7th Field Ambulance just behind the lines, we get some chaps brought to us for treatment for boils, Desert sores & disentary, some are bad, we send them back to base on Motor Ambulance Convoy. I am now off the ambulance and working in the operating tent, we get a few casualties from the Patrols who have been out at night. One of our unit walks on a boobie trap and gets two of his toes blown off.
Dec 28th We suffer our first casualty in the Unit. The weather is getting bad again, very cold at night and dust storms all day. A big air battle is going on over the lines but we can't see much only the flashes of air craft guns, it is too dusty.
Dec 29th All is very quiet, we are told the attack is soon to begin on Bardia, at 10AM the Navy starts to bombard the town about four miles from where we are. The noise is terrible, it lasts for three hours, at 2PM our air force goes over Bardia Bay and bombs the harbour, the very earth shakes. The Italian shore battery ties to shell our ships, night again. All quiet except for a few field guns go at it during the night, we get no sleep. We begin to find we have company, we start to scratch and take our flanells off we find them nice and juicy, each of us sees who has the most.
Dec 30th 1940 Terrible dust storm all day, we eat it and sleep in it, we have to use eye shields, more troops come up to the line.
Dec 31 We are to stand by. Carl Fred Bob & myself being No. 2 squad of a stretcher party. We move up with other companies just behind the artillery about 5,000 yards away the infantry being just in front of us, our Ambulances being behind us at the A.D.S.
Jan 1st 1941 3 AM The artillery open up the Barrage along our front it turns night into day, we lay flat on the ground. The infantry are all waiting to go over as soon as the barrage stops, it is terrific the earth trembles, we hug the ground the air is like acid full of smoke and fumes. The barrage lifts at 6AM & all is quiet for a moment, one wonders what has happened, the infantry go over, our own boys 2/11th Batt, we move up behind them, picking up the wounded and receiving them from Regimental Stretcher Bearers, the battle goes on all day. Our Unit 2/7th Field Ambulance, collecting wounded off the field, by A Coy who give first aid where they are then transported by our ambulance to B Coys Medical Officer gives them a look over then they are taken on to our main dressing station where is situated the operating plant and after treatment they are taken by Motor Ambulance Convoy to the Base hospitals and then perhaps home. Night time, it is very dark, we keep going over the battle fields, our boys work like trojans, we make four trips with our party, we bring in fifteen men that including four badly wounded Italians. We go all day to day
Jan 2nd We keep going all night again, our M.O. and doctors working flat out, we get a feed when we can, the wounded must be brought in first.
Jan 3rd 1941 The battle is at its height, hundreds of prisoners are coming down from the front. We meet a lot of Tommies from the Duke of Gloucester Regiment, with about 5,000 prisoners, my party of bearers are just about done up, getting very weary, we go out again for more, we bring in three from the R.M.S. bearers, it is now 8PM, we are at the advance dressing station, we help load the ambulances, that night we get three hours sleep
Jan 4th 1941 Dust storms make things very bad. Navy and air force blast Bardia harbour again, we evacuate wounded all day, and bury some of our dead. Night time, we work on bad cases to get them ready for moving next day.
Jan 5th 1941 7AM We see hundreds of prisoners coming down over the desert. Over the town terrific explosions are heard, we see debris of all kinds fly into the air, by one oclock all is quiet. Bardia has fallen. We rest for a little while, and then have a good feed. By 6PM on Jan 6th all sick & wounded have been evacuated by us to the No.1 C.C.S. which is now at Sallum. We pack up and go into Bardia town, rather a nice place, we get plenty of souvenirs but are not allowed to send any home. We spend the day in town, most of the boys getting full on wine of which there is plenty also cigarettes and plenty of good food
Jan 8th We move on again towards Tobruk, we go through a lot of barb wire and other defences, we see hundreds of enemy cars and trucks guns dugouts and trenches on the battle field, and all the enemy dead, they had not been buried yet, ours were being moved now. They have a cemetery just out of Bardia town for them.
Jan 9th We come across a big batch of prisoners on their way down to the beach, we have an air raid on our forward convoy, we remain still for three hours. We see the air battle five Italian planes are brought down for one of ours, some troops ahead of us were machine gunned, a number of stretcher bearers and our ambulances were sent up immediately for the casualties. The road was cleared by 8PM and we were soon on the move again having evacuated the casualties to the M.D.S. We travelled all night it being very cold.
Jan 10th 1941 The weather is very bad and we had to stop owing to a bad sand storm. The storm keeps up all day, we can only have tin dog and biscuits, we remain all that night of the side of the road and get down in shell holes where the road has been bombed.

Part 2 - 11th January 1941 - 25th January 1941

Jan 11th 1941 By morning the storm has cleared off, it turns out nice by 7AM we are all very dirty and shake the sand of our soles, while the cooks get a hot drink ready for us we have a look at all the loot we got out of Bardia. Some of the boys have a number of watches clocks and suits also a lot of womans clothes revolvers, we get our hot drink and are told we will be off again after dinner. The cooks are going to make a hot bully beef stew for us so we hop in and have a bit of fun while they are getting it ready. Some of the boys dress up in the differect togs we got out of Bardia town, some have part of the town band and we do a bit of shooting out of the different guns, we got in fact we forgot all about the war until the cooks yelled out come and get it, by the look of the stew it was like the desert very gritty still we got it down. By 2PM we were on the move again, at six oclock we came across a big Italian food dump just below the ground, we pull up and have a look down and find it to be a large dug out more like a kitchen, there is all kinds of tin foods and wine so the C.O. tell us to collect as much of the food as we can but to leave the wine where it is, we never even had a drink of it, we also got a lot of soap and towels but no water about. We move on again it is a lovely night, in the early hours of the morning we come up with the British regiment making towards Tobruk, by daylight we are not far from our own lines and pass our own A.I.F. supply dump.
Jan 12th 1941 By 2PM we are at our own rear lines and are told to stand by for orders, by 4PM we are up again behind the artillery about 5,000 yards, all our convoy arrived and unloading commenced immediately. Orders are given to erect the M.D.S. and operating equipment to be got ready, as the attack on Tobruk will soon be on. Myself Carl Forward Freddie Wiseman are told we will be on Duty at the operating theatre for this stunt, being now in head-quarters company for this stunt as some of our chaps are sick. The ground around this part is very rocky, flat as a pancake, just a few hills over to the left of us, we carry on all through the night getting things ready as various infantry units move up to the line. Our A company and B Company stretcher bearers with the remainder of H.Q. move up behind the Infantry.
13 Jan 1941 6AM We get a good meal but no water for a wash there being only enough for the daily ration 2 pts each and the water for use in the operating theatre for sterilising the instruments and hot drinks for the boys when they are brought in. By 9AM we are all ready to take our part in the battle of Tobruk. The 2/1st Field Amb. arrives and unloads, to the right of us different Infantry units Tommies and Indians, we see part of a Northumberland and London regiment move up, they were singing pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, our own W.A. boys 2/11 Batt, 2/8th and 2/5th singing we're off to see the wizard, having done a forced march after the fall of Bardia, in the meantime a few raids go on further up the line and bit of artillery duels, a few casualties start coming in, by night time all is quiet on the front but it is very cold, the night passes with only a few gun flashes here and there, every man being at his post. Day light beaks with a terrible sand storm which makes it very uncomfortable. We are now in the treatment tent, a lot of the boys from the infantry units are brought in with desert sores and colds, the M.O. wants to evacuate some of them back to the C.C.S. which is ten miles back but they refuse to go as they do not want to be out of it when the attack on Tobruk is made. After receiving treatment they go back to their lines, by night time the storm is very bad, our operating tent gets blown down and everything gets covered in sand so we had to set to get it up again and get everything sterilized
Jan 14th By morning it is a bit better, the wind dies down, at 7AM our Navy gun boats bombard the harbour and town of Tobruk, we see and hear attack over the town by our air force, some of us have field glasses which we got out of Bardia, some of the Ities planes come down in flames also ours. The Italian anti aircraft being pretty good we are told after it is over, four of our planes were brought down and 7 Ities. At 5PM they raid our forward lines, mostly machine gunning our troops, the casualties are brought down to the operating tent where we are back again, they are brought down by our A and B company stretcher bearers and ambulances, our job being cleaning the wounds and getting them for the M.O. while others keep hot water going and giving them hot drinks and attending to the walking wounded.
Jan 16th We are still receiving the wounded, some are now ready to be moved back to the C.C.S. which is now at Sallum by the Motor Ambulance Convoy, everyone is flat out. Our H.Q. Company being 54 strong which comprises nursing orderlies, operating staff, treatment staff who look after all walking wounded and general duties team who load and unload the ambulances and bury the dead, cooks, M.O. Every man has his own job to do.
Jan 17th Again we carry on through the night, things are getting hot, more troops move up including a British tank brigade, supplies come up to us, our ambulances and first aid staff move up to the line, trucks are emptied and move up to bring back walking wounded, blankets and stretchers are laid out ready, we get 4 hrs rest but nobody sleeps, it is very cold, the rattle of guns going off all night, we rest in turns.
Jan 18th 1941 6AM Hot drink is made for us and we get our bully beef and biscuits down. The Navy opens up again and bombards the shore batteries causing terrific explosions which helps to swallow the bully beef and biscuits without any trouble at all, another dust storm comes up which makes things worse, about noon 200 Italians from an outpost come and give themselves up. They are taken behind the lines by some of our 2/11th boys who had been out on patrol. Most of the sick and wounded have been sent back to the C.C.S. except a few who are having a rest, having been on the march from Bardia they are held in reserve.
7PM They make another raid on our forward lines, both sides having a go with their artillery.
10PM All is quite and we have a good night.
Jan 19th 1941 6AM More wounded come down from the line including 20 prisoners captured by the night patrol which keeps us on the go all day. Night time 9PM All is quite orders come through we are all to be at our post as the attack on Tobruk is any time now.
Jan 20th 3AM The barrage opens up all along the front, we all lie flat put a handkerchief between our teeth, the enemy artillery opens up, some of the shells passing over us, the noise is terrible, some very young soldiers make their way back to our First Aid Post, we calm them down and give them a hot drink, we are told to keep them with us for a while.
5AM The barrage is still on, it being freezing cold now but we cannot move from our post till it lifts and the infantry goes over.
Jan 20th 6AM The barrage lifts, over go the infantry into the attack, our A and B Coy stretcher bearers follow on behind the regimental bearers. The M.D.S. being all ready to collect the wounded, we move out in parties, 4 men to each strtecher, the wounded are soon gathered up and put into ambulances and taken to the M.D.S. We remove the identification disc off the ones who have passed out, the battle moves on, more reserve troops come up, the noise is terrific, planes of both sides are in the air and the Navy is bombarding the town again
Jan 20th 10AM The ambulances are moving backward and forards from the lines to the M.D.S , fifteen in all and five trucks with walking wounded and are unloaded at our M.D.S. where they are attended to right away, we are going all day and night as they are coming in fast now. We have three oil drums going all the time boiling water for the doctors. Night passes again and we are all flat out, none of us stop for a feed, we manage to get a hot drink as getting the wounded evacuated from the M.D.S. to the C.C.S. is more important. Noon. We have to clean out the operating tent owing to the dust and dig a hole to bury limbs that had been amputated and different things out of the way.
Jan 21st The battle is still on and the wounded still coming down, hundreds of prisoners start to come in and enemy wounded are being brought down in their own trucks. They are unloaded by their fellow prisoners and tendered to by their own doctors, having been captured in the big push. Some of them want to help us with our wounded, they were very good, the day goes on, a lot of wounded having been treated and are now ready to be moved on to the C.C.S. meaning Casualty Clearing Station which is now at Bardia where they are now putting them on hospital ships and taking them to Alexandria where the base hospitals are.
Jan 22nd daylight We get a hot meal in tums by 10AM our boys are in Tobruk itself by 2PM the town is in our hands. Our planes come over doing the Victory low, we know the battle for Tobruk is over, the town seems to be on fire. The oil tanks and ships in the Harbour are burning, there are a lot of dead bodies all around us having been collected, they have a grave yard not far away. The Pioneer squad come up and they take that part of the job over, all day the wounded are brought down by night they slack off a bit, we are allowed a rest of two hours each in turns.
Morning Jan 23 41 We look aroud us, all is quiet now except for an explosion now and then coming from the town, we look around our M.D.S. and get the rest of the wounded ready to be evacuated to the C.C.S. It breaks ones heart, we know some of them will not reach there, and some we have put aside as their number will soon be up. We can't do anything more for them. The Infantry have moved on as the advance goes on, we start to clean up & by night we are ready to pack up again to push on behind the advancing troops, all casualties having by now been on their way to the Casualty Clearing Station. The 2nd 11th Strecher bearers having helped us with the job od loading them onto ambulances. The rest of the work been taken over by the Pioneer Squad & Recovery Unit. Our part in the battle of Tobruk having finished, we get ready again to push on towards Derna, the next Italian stronghold, by midnight we are packed up, we rest till day light.
Jan 24 1941 Our cooks get a hot meal for us, we are all very grubbie now, most of us have a good growth but it helps to keep our faces warm, we spend an hour delicing ourselves, we have had all our clothes on for nearly 4 weeks now. 9AM we start to move on, by lunch time we are in the town of Tobruk. We are told we are staying till night and will have a chance of a bit of a clean up. The town has now been taken over by our troops. We pull up just outside the town with our convoy just near the cities defences. Hundreds of prisoners have been rounded up by the 2nd 11 & 2nd 18 Batt. There are a lot of machine gun posts & enemy dug outs now taken over by our guards. We go into the town and we pick up our A and B Coy. There are only civilians here now mostly women children & old men. We are billeted at an hotel, & have a hot bath & shave and plenty to eat & drink, as well as smokes. We have a look at the town it is still burning in places. The harbour is very pretty in places where it has not been knocked about, a few enemy transports are still burning. We look over the Itie's hospital, their wounded are still here including medical supplies & staff also some of our own wounded, they were quite civil to us and showed us all over the hospital. At 6 oclock we all met back at the hotel & our C.O. tells us we are to be ready to move off by 8 oclock. After a good tea & by 8.30 we are well on the way to Derna, it is a lovely moonlight night clear & cold. A good night for bombing but we get through without any this time.
Daylight Jan 25th 1941 We are still on the go having plenty dog biscuits & tin dog by 6AM we come across a well & pull up we get a supply of water, the Infantry & British Army Artillery have just pulled out ahead of us.