Lea Lane, Pagham, Sussex
My Darling Chotie,
Received your letter this morning, and also your telegram of course, which was already here by the time I arrived.
I'm just penning these few words, to let you know that I'll meet you on Chichester Station on Saturday. The train should get in somewhere about 7.30 I suppose. Remember, Chichester - not Bognor.
Bye, bye ‘till Saturday Darling –
© Chotie Darling
Chotie and Dick met up at Pagham.
“…and when they moved to Pagham, Sussex, to a pretty chalet-like house, I went to stay with them.
That house was full of singing and music – so happy. We walked round a lagoon , ending up with a beer in a Selsey pub. I did so like his family. There was no
serious religion, which I was subject to at home. Dicker did not have much time for the church, saying “Why do Bishops live in Palaces?”
From ‘Chotie’s Story’.
© Chotie Darling
While Dick was on leave 1st Air Landing Squadron were training on the Vickers MMG (Medium Machine Gun) Range on Saturday 13th June 1942 and on beach bomb Ranges for field firing on 14th June.
14th June 1942 – German saboteurs landed on Long Island near Jacksonville in Florida, USA. They were quickly picked up and executed after trial.
(From WW2-net Timelines )
1st Air landing Squadron were moved by rail to Kimmeridge Bay* (Dorset) for field firing training on 15th June. On 18th June the squadron marched 25 miles from Kimmeridge Bay Firing Range back towards Bulford. Unit transport picked them up for the last 20 miles on 19th May.
(From the War Diary of 1st Air Landing Reconnaissance Squadron, National Archives, Kew)
* Kimmeridge is on the south coast of the Isle of Purbeck, ironically close to Chotie’s home town of Poole and near where she was (briefly) stationed in the Land Army at Church Knowle in October 1942. The lovely bay became England’s first voluntary marine nature reserve, managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and in later life was one of Chotie’s favourite places to visit.
20th & 21st June 1942 –
Dick appears to have been granted his 1st Long Service and Good Conduct (L.S. & G.C. badge - one chevron on lower arm) retrospectively. It was due on 21st June 1942 and although this date appears on the record of his Service and Casualty Form it follows records from September 1942.
Copy of Record
SERVICE AND CASUALTY FORM
21.6.42 Granted 1st L.S. & G.C Badge Army Rank Trooper Place Home Forces
21st June 1942 – Rommel’s Afrika Corps capture the key port of Tobruk in Libya.