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by Bruce.
Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Drama · #2293263
Elsie arrives at Uxbridge.
WAAF=Women's Auxiliary Air Force. LACW=Leading Aircraftwoman. ACW1=Aircraftwoman 1st Class. ACW2=Aircraftwoman 2nd Class. NAAFI=Navy Army & Air Force Institute. MT=Motor Transport.

Chapter 11

Uxbridge. I know where it is but have never been there. It has an underground train terminating there so is not far from London. I never knew that it had and aerodrome there though. Saturday afternoon I said goodbye to the girls and set off to the train station with the heavy kit bag on my shoulder.

         I arrived at Paddington Station in London. All the station lights were dim and I heard a distant explosion to the East of London. That is where I lived and despite it being just a single explosion I became a bit scared as I made my way across to Mile End. Back to reality and the devastation was very evident. It had been fairly quiet at the training camp with only the odd few air raid warnings. I struggled home in the dark from the Underground station at Mile End with the weighty kit bag on my shoulder. I knocked on the door and mother opened it.

         “Elsie, what a surprise. Why didn’t you let us know you were coming?”

         “I didn’t know myself until the last minute. It all happened so quickly.”

         Mother went to the kitchen to make the tea. My father looked at me. “You are looking well,” is all he said and then he carried on reading the evening paper. My sister Alice came clumping down the stairs as soon as she heard my voice. She rushed over to give me a hug.

         “Elsie, I have missed you so much. How was it? Tell me all about it and what were the airmen like?” We sat talking for a while about my adventure.

         “So,” Father said. “Where have you been posted to?”

         “Uxbridge,” I said. “I can’t wait to see all the aeroplanes taking off.”

         Father gave a laugh. “You won’t see any planes at Uxbridge. There are no runways there and it used to be a recruit training camp.”

         “Oh, well, never mind,” I said. But I did mind and I felt very disappointed that it was not a flying station.

         “Pity you didn’t get here earlier we could have gone to the dance hall,” Alice said. “We could still catch the last hour or so if we hurry.”

         “To tell the truth I could do with a rest. I just want to relax until I go off to Uxbridge on Monday.”

         Early Monday morning I got off the Underground train at Uxbridge. I struggled trying to lift the kit bag and ended up dragging it along the platform. I got outside and tried to lift it again but with all the extra items I had brought from home it seemed an impossible task. A young man saw me struggling and helped me to get it onto my shoulder. I looked around and although it was the end of the line I felt as if I were still in London, but on the wrong side. I walked up to the camp feeling a bit silly with this thing on my shoulder and the weight was starting to get too much for me but I knew I had to struggle on. If I put it down I would never lift it again. Luckily it was not far to the camp gates. I called into the guardroom. The sergeant looked at an airman and they both seemed to think the sight of me and my kitbag was funny.

         “ACW2,” Godsalve, I Said. “I have to report to the Motor Transport section.”

         “Oh, no you don’t,” the sergeant said. “You have to report to the WAAF admin office first. Before that, I need to see your identity card.” He grinned again at the airman knowing I would have to put my kitbag down.

         I dropped the bag with a thud and got out my identity card and gave it to him.

         He checked it and gave it back. “Go to the third block down and the WAAF admin office is there.”

         I struggled and struggled trying to lift the bag while the sergeant just watched me with a grin. The airman stepped forward and lifted the bag onto his shoulder. “I’ll take you there,” he said. I’m Mike, I work at the station HQ but I have just been trained up to man one of the machine gun posts.

         Why do I want to know that? I thought.

         "I will be off tonight so if you want I’ll meet you in the NAAFI and I’ll get you a drink.”

         “I’ll bear that in mind,” I said.

         I got to the block as some of the WAAFs were returning from their evening meal. Mike dropped my bag at the top of the few steps and said he hoped to see me later and then set off back to the guardroom.

         I dragged the bag to the door of the admin and gave a knock. An ACW1 opened the door and I looked across at the officer sitting at her desk. “Driver ACW2 Godsalve, Ma’am,” I said. “I’m to report to the MT Section.”

         She looked at the wall clock. “Bit too late tonight. Come in Godsalve. I am Section Officer Harvey. Any problems, feel free to come and see me. Show me your identity card and your driving permit.” She went on to tell me all about the camp, the facilities and the restrictions. It was a good half an hour later when she told the ACW1 to show me to a free bed space.

         My room was on the first floor of the three storey block and the girl helped me up with my kitbag. The room had eight beds on each side and had radiators. Because it was a brick building it was a far cry from the Nissan huts I was used to. We walked to the third bed along on the left. “You can have this space,” she said and without another word walked off.

         The girl on the second bed gave a smile. “Welcome to the fun house,” she said. “What trade are you?”

         “Driver,” I said.

         “Oh, well Thelma is in this room and she’s at the MT section. And that bed next to you, that’s Ellie’s. She is a supplier and I’m sure she will be able to fix you up with a better kit bag than that monstrosity.”

         “I’m Elsie.” I said. “Nice to meet you.”

         “And I’m, Daisy. I work in the radio station."

         "Oh, you play the music?"

         "It's not that sort of radio station. I’m was just going over to the Mess for my evening meal, but I’ll help you unpack and then you can come with me.”

         We were soon on our way to the mess and were about halfway there when the air-raid sirens went off.

         “Where is the shelter?” I said.

         “Don’t worry about that,” Daisy said. “It’s far safer in this building than in the shelter. Probably a false alarm anyway, or maybe one of their surveillance aircraft has been spotted nearby.”

         We went to the servery to get our meal. The food looked a lot better than the slop at the training units. Try the rabbit,” Daisy said. “It’s really good.” As we sat down Mike from the guardroom walked over with a corporal.”

         “This is Dennis,” Daisy said. “He is my chap and we will get married when this is all over.”

         “Dennis, this is Elsie.”

         “And that posing idiot, Elsie,” she said, “is, Mike.”

         “I know, I met him earlier. Hello again, Mike,” I said. He responded with a silly grin and a nod of his head.

         “Good to meet you, Elsie,” Dennis said.

         “And you, corporal,” I said.

         Dennis laughed. “You’re not at a training camp now, Elsie. You can call me Dennis.”

         I love this place. The corporals are normal people, the food is good, and the barrack room is quite civilised.

         “Dennis works at the armoury. He runs all the machine-gun posts,” Daisy said.

         “This rabbit stew is really nice,” I said.

         “Yes, it’s fresh,” Dennis said. “I shot it this morning.”

         “I looked at the rabbit portion on my plate and then looked back at Dennis.”

         “Only Joking,” he said.

         We finished our meal and Daisy and Dennis said that they were meeting in the NAAFI bar later and asked me to go along. Mike was going as well and although I didn’t mind, I was hoping that he didn’t make more into it than it actually was. He seems nice enough, but he is not really my type.

         More of the girls were in the barrack room when we got back. Ellie, the supplier, was a pleasant girl and said she would sort me out a normal kit bag, which pleased me no end. I didn’t fancy ever using the long white tube thing ever again. I noticed a smart blonde LACW walking into the room.

         “Thelma,” Daisy called and Thelma walked over. “This is Elsie. She is a new driver at your section.”

         “Pleased to meet you, Elsie. It’ll be good having another woman in the section.”

         I immediately took to Thelma. This was the first time I had been called a woman instead of a girl.

         “I came here three months ago,” Thelma said. “And some of the drivers didn’t like the idea of a woman driver in the section, but they soon got used to it when they realised that I could drive as good as any of them and better than some.

         “I think we will get on, Thelma,” I said.

         “I hope so. If you get any shit off of any of the other drivers, just let me know. Well, I’m going for a lie down. I’ve had a busy day today.”

         I turned to Daisy as Thelma walked off. “Will she be going to the NAAFI tonight?” I asked.

         “No, she doesn’t drink. She does go in there sometimes but will only drink tea or lemonade.”

         Later I had a good night at the NAAFI with Daisy and a few of her pals. I was impressed with the place. Mike came over and was hinting at having a date with me but I was not really interested. As we left he tried to kiss me and I shoved him away. He tried again and I pushed him away again. “Mike, I’m not interested,” I said. “Come on Elsie, just one kiss," he said and grabbed hold of my arm.

The Girl From Mile End. Ch 12.  (18+)
Elsie makes friends at her new posting.
#2291478 by Bruce.
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