1945 ORIGINAL WWII MANUSWCRIPT DIARY HAND WRITTEN BY A YOUNG MAN WHO GOES ON TO A CAREER IN ONE OF ENGLAND'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING FIRMS

By: R.J. DOUBLE

Price: $2,255.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a fascinating diary from WWII. Measuring 7 inches by 6.75 inches, it contains 183 pages. The cover and pages are in good condition. The handwriting is quite neat and legible. Also included are several loose ephemera including some period news clippings. The author of this 1945 diary is R.J. Double, an officer in the Royal Engineers of the British Army. In 1950s he became a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and was one of the founding partners at Gibberd and Partners, architectural firm created by Sir Frederick Gibberd, a pioneer of modern British architecture. The diary records his various postings and travels during the year. And he did travel! The diary opens with him in England: "Our usual Sunday lay-in but it is so dreadfully cold. I went to church in the morning but it was so cold. Worked on pencil perspectives of my church. It is coming out quite successfully." [Jan 7, 1945]. He notes that things are slow and people are fed up. Much of this stems from the increasing sense that the war is drawing to a close. Three days later, things change for him: "My interview with the Commandant was very charming laughed heartily at my OTS report. He told me I was being posted OVERSEAS - Italy. Oh boy is this great. I am delighted although I fear it may upset my repatriation." [Jan 10, 1945]. On Feb 6th, he embarked on a troop ship for a very circuitous trip to Italy. His route took him around Africa and up through the Suez Canal. He keeps a daily record of all that transpires on the journey. "... the condition of the men is not so good they are very crowded the arrangement for food is very poor and is not yet working properly ..." [Feb 8, 1945]. For an officer, things were different: "There is not a lot to do ... I am doing quite a bit of reading and a little writing. Evening we spend sitting in the lounge reading or playing the gramaphone ..." [Feb 9, 1945]; "When I awoke at 7 AM we were already on the move. Went up on deck before breakfast. There was a lot of fooling about and finally we reached Port Said about 1 PM. Then we came near to a hospital ship. Thinking we would be able to see some sisters or nurses on board, we borrowed some glasses from a ship's officer. I had a look. To my great surprise, through the glasses I spotted none other than Capt. Jackson. There was no doubt about it ..." [Feb 18, 1945]. He arrived in Italy in time for Operation Grapeshot - the final Allied attack in the Italian Campaign. As part of the British Eighth Army, he would be crossing the Senio River. "Taylor and I were given the day to look around and see what the front line was like. Certainly nothing was happening. Just Jerry sitting on the Senio River holding both banks ..." [Mar 19, 1945]. The battle began on April 6th: "Orders for the big attack received. I am to build the bridge. I have great misgivings but still there it is. I wonder how I will take it." [Apr 6, 1945]. The big announcement was his entry for May 7th: "UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OF GERMANY. The news for which we have worked for so many years has come at last. Worked all day on our big bridge. Started to actually build on the rollers. Quiet evening in the mess. I didn't feel like celebrating." [May 7, 1945]. His war ended on Nov 8th: "Went to office to see what was happening discovered my papers had come through and I was to be off to Naples today. Of course the usual rush of packing and saying goodbye. ..." [Nov 8, 1945]. The remaining entries document his train trip across Europe and ship crossing to England. Christmas was spent with his family. This is an excellent detailed record of service in the final stages of WWII. There is a great deal of detail that a military historian could use to corroborate information from other sources. Double is a good writer and his entries convey some of the colour and sense of what it was like to be there. The ephemera includes a dock pass made out for him for the British-controlled Port of Bombay.

Title: 1945 ORIGINAL WWII MANUSWCRIPT DIARY HAND WRITTEN BY A YOUNG MAN WHO GOES ON TO A CAREER IN ONE OF ENGLAND'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING FIRMS

Author Name: R.J. DOUBLE

Categories: 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,

Publisher: BRITAIN -EGYPT- ITALY, 1945

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008215

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