They have taken the bridge and Second Hall. We have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long. The end comes soon. We hear drums, drums in the deep. We cannot get out. They are coming.

It is raining, it keeps the smell of the spice down at the foxhole level. It makes everyone uncomfortable, from the battalion commander in his post to the Bakers making the pies in the captured blockhouse.

It is miserable, and I fear we shall have no respite.

Arrived in [the hamlet of] Seattle today, after a very hard march. We’re billeted in tents, between the enemy and our own heavy guns. At night-time, one sees little slits of light shining from the tents on the puddles of water outside, which give the impression of a fairy land.

Rolling into our blankets, we occasionally hear the ‘splash, splash’ as some fellow moves, or the plod of the sentry. Plus the continual high pitched laughter of the Ashleys, but ever present is, the smell of the spice.


This afternoon we lost four more. But we’re quite resigned nowadays to losing old originals. It seems as if the fates have decreed that they’ve had a good run and it’s time they went. Kilby asks: ‘Whose turn next?’ We all wonder…

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