Tuesday morning (9 October 1917)

(Near Folkestone)  When I wrote the last word above the train stopped with a jerk and we were tumbled out at Gilford station where we had to squat about for an hour, nice and warm, except that the sweat we had got up marching now grew clammy.  Well, we were poked into another train and arrived here at 4 a.m. and eventually got down on the board floors of some tents in a waiting camp or whatever they call it.  We have now had a snack and cleaned up a bit and expect to move off to the ship.  There are Tommies, Ozzys and other troops here as well.  We are all very cheerful, almost hilarious.  The huts we are in are mottled in colour, green and white etc. to baffle aerial observation.  There is a fine Y.M.C.A. here; plenty of stalls, piano, Post Office etc.  Scores of men are writing, eating, drinking, smoking, with the inevitable rag-time pianist at his musical machinations.  Will now conclude, last Blighty instalment of this record of deeds and misdeeds.

Didn’t sail after all but have got leave at about 3 p.m. and I and another chap went into Folkstone and wandered about the big marine promenades.  This is a picturesque town, sloping down to the sea with trees lining the streets, promenades along the top of the cliff – a fine view to the west where the cliffs seems to break abruptly away and a long low coast swerves out sea-ward into the glare of the setting sun.  To the east are high chalky cliffs.  We could see the French coast.  The walks were seething with soldiers, sailors and officers of every race and clime, and many well dressed ladies.  The channel studded over with small craft, mine-sweepers, destroyers and such, showing what numbers guard these coasts, and there were several planes overhead.

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