14 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary
Well Darling it is very difficult to think of this as a Sunday – for we have had our first taste of blitz. Reports have been very slow in coming in and so I fear that it means buildings down and nobody knows what the casualties are.
But I’ve had a very busy day. We had a quiet night but I didn’t sleep very well because I was worrying and thinking all the time. I felt that my organisation was breaking down. The whole Chinese civilian population is skulking in basements and in the tunnels we built costing millions - and refusing to do any work. Of course my men, scavengers and so forth drawn from the lowest strata of life are just the same. I can’t get a job done. It’s amazing what a bolster to morale a steel helmet is - though actually I think they are of very little use. Well eventually I had a big confab with Macleod, Pope and the Chief Inspectors – Septic wasn’t there but we fixed up everything. I won’t go into details. So tonight though there is no more organisation really in existence yet I feel much happier for I know the beginnings are well laid.
I’m beginning to draw rations too – I got chow today without paying for it!
And this is a good job I have done today – I have scrounged a car – a beautiful Plymouth - belonging to Dr T.Y Li. It is now mine for the duration. The only difficulty is that it has the new gear change with the handle on the steering wheel shaft. I’m not into it yet but I’ll learn. Still even motoring won’t be easy soon. The Central Police Station was heavily bombed today and there is a big crater at the top of “Old Bailey” in Caine Road. I got past it and then at Magazine Gap there were 3 small craters but I negotiated them and so home.
Bertie is home – 2 fingers lost but otherwise not so bad. I am glad he has come off pretty lightly. I don‘t quite understand how it happened yet - Dora is rather incoherent these days.
Well Honey - I am sure when you get this scribble you won’t be in any way critical of the culprit - so I’ll shut down now.
I am still terribly stiff and sore from my walk down the Peak – I was a mutt - why didn’t I ring for a car and wait? But I wanted to get down quickly.
So Goodnight Loved One. BB