WW II, a British focus




 

 
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These are the War Diaries of Private Steve Lonsdale, 7538963. The Army Dental Corps 131st Mobile Dental Unit, 8th Army MEF & later with the LRDG, RAMC & ADC Corps Base Depot MEF & 64th General Hospital Alexandria.
Later as Corporal Steve Lonsdale, No5 Field Dental Lab from 5th December 1944.

To my wife Una

This diary is about my journey east from England to Egyptand later in Genifa, Alexandria and many other places in the Western Desert. During the period from December 1940 to July 1941, the facts were as I remembered them writing in Cairo during July 1941.

The remainder as I saw daily life during the war in the desert.

I hope someday she will read them.

Steve Lonsdale

"JUST A SO-SO DAY"

THE DIARIES OF A ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS DENTAL MECHANIC
THE WESTERN DESERT 1940 - 1945

1941 14th July

Started fitting out No4 Lab at Genifa. At that time some the staff I worked with consisted of the following :-Major Simons & Major Osman - Dental Officers.Sergeant Kemp, in charge - a regular soldier.LCpl Nicolson - a regular.Cpl Horner, Clerk Orderly - a regular.Cpl Pickering - Clerk Orderly.Gordor (Scotty) Foote.Syd Smith.Jimmy Lamb.Harry Butler.Steve Lonsdale.Eric Sylvester.Tony Toner.Arthur Fairclough.Trooper Sears.
"Just A So-So Day" has been compiled virtually word for word from the notes and diaries that my father penned during the whole of the period from leaving England in December 1940 to his returning home to Wickersley near Rotherham in July 1945.

It gives an account of life during the Second World War as seen through the eyes of a Dental Mechanic in the Royal Army Dental Corps travelling with a Mobile Dental Unit attached to the famous 8th Army and the Long Range Desert Group.

Sometimes sad, often humorous and certainly a love story as far as he and my mother were concerned. Reading through them, I found myself becoming involved in his daily life and I began to feel quite sorry for my father towards the end of the war. A number of his mates were going home early but this was never to be his luck.He had to stick it out to the bitter end. As one entry says, "missed the boat"!

"Just A So-So Day", as he would often begin a daily entry, is I believe quite unique in its content. It is a genuine and completely honest account.

"......... felt pretty bloody awful today so eased off work. Tummy upset. Taking tablets. Just after tea, Jerry came over with eight 'planes. A bit of fun was seen, bombs, ack-ack, but nothing was brought down.........a quiet night".

Transcribed by Stuart LonsdaleApril 1994

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World War II, a British focus

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