Sgr. Graham A. Campbell Hounslow Aerodrome 6 December
We were all jolted out of our sleep this morning by a terrific thunderclap right over the top of the Barracks. We blearily looked around at each other, all half-sat up in our bunks, through the low visibility of morning. Listening to the wind howling through the building, and the rain savagely beating at the roof, I watched in amazement as Freddy, three bunks forwards of mines, promptly laughed, lay back down and went to sleep again. There were several more thunderclaps, but the stubborn Kiwi refused to be roused by them. I suppose that he was somewhat used to sleeping through such a percussive din.
About half-an-hour after we had all finally fallen out of our bunks (again, except for Freddy), the door swung open with an almighty crash, to reveal a drenched Corporal who regarded us all with a hateful eye. "By order of Cpt. Instructor Andrews, there shall be no flying today". He bawled. "Whyever not?" Weston called back, and we all chuckled. The dripping Corporal growled under his breath, and promptly stepped backwards out into the storm, hunching himself over in a vain attempt to keep from becoming further drenched, and the door swung shut once more.
A few of the more resilient lads decided to try and get a hold of a car to take a trip into London, but the majority of us were content to laze around the Barracks, writing letters home, playing cards, and otherwise keeping ourselves entertained. The day seemed to drag on at a snail's pace, with the constant howl of the wind and beating of the rain slowly fading into the background of our conscious thought. When we reluctantly headed to the mess, all of us at once, a small group of pilots, including Weston, had the barmy notion of throwing a bedsheet over their heads to keep dry. I only feel sorry for the chap who will have no sheets to sleep under tonight!
We had again the breakfast of Bacon and Eggs, which in all honesty had become somewhat tiresome, and decided to stay put in the mess rather than braving the weather once more to return to our quarters. Outside the window I could see that the seagulls were gone, having issued their warning the day before. As I looked up into the dull sky, a flash of white caught my eye on the airfield and, looking down, I was amazed to see a B.E, tilted on one wing, sliding along the aerodrome with two mechanics in tow, before finally tilting completely on to its back! Desperately the two mechanics fought to tether the rogue machine down, and I (now joined by several others) cheered them on from our vantage point, finding the whole spectacle to be incredibly amusing. To nobody's surprise, before long Freddy's shape appeared on the field, bounding over to help the two poor mechanics, and with his help they had soon tethered down the waterlogged aeroplane.
The rest of the day past just as slowly as the first half had done, and we soon became bored with our newspapers, cards, and unsavoury stories about encounters with young ladies back home. When it was finally time to turn in for the night, we all crowded out of the safety of the mess, being blasted one last time by the storm, before gratefully sinking down to sleep, to put this most boring day behind us. Some of the bunks were still empty, and so I assumed that our pals had made it out to London after all, and were currently still in the middle of a binge.