Ships That Pass In The Night… Leslie, Alex and Alex

23rd October – 1st November 1940

Leslie Chadwick  184965     Aged 23 years.     Home:- Blackpool.

Alexander Southward  86409. 14′ December 1918.   Home Glasgow.

Alexander Williamson  –        Home Glasgow.

157 (L) Field Ambulance. R.A.S..C.

Stationed: – The Garage, Harston.

We met Alex and Leslie at a dance in Harston Village Hall on the 23rd October. Although we have been to many dances before and since, this was certainly the most lively it has been our good fortune to attend. How breathless we were after the Eightsome Reel! Oh why didn’t they hold another dance before they left the village?

Alex is Scottish and at first we had difficulty in understanding what he said. He was an Assistant Scout Master and in civil life a watchmaker.

Leslie, who in civil life was a lorry driver, came from Blackpool and was a “real good sort!” In fact, they both were.

On 26′ October, in te evening, we three saw the boys outside Cory’s Garage and some-one sort of suggested that Leslie daren’t take the oil-can home. (Beryl and Monica had been to Bass’ for paraffin.) But daren’t he? He did! The other Alex went with him and they nearly collapsed when they got to the back door, because Father, who was at home on leave, greeted them. They told Mother all sorts of yarns about having found the oil can and then fled back to the Garage where we still were.


We took them and Alex, back home with us to supper and they came every evening after that until they left the village.

On the 26th October, Audrey and Alex went to the pictures to see Deanna Durbin in “It’s a Date.” The next evening Monica went with Stanley (billeted with Mrs Wisby) to see the same film, and Audrey and Beryl were taken by three boys to an E.N.S.A. concert in the village hall, which was very good.

W had a sort of farewell party on the 30th October when Leslie insisted on bringing their “rations” – salmon sandwiches and cakes!

On Thursday 31st October, their last evening, Leslie told our fortunes, past, present and future, by cards. The past and present were very true. How about the future? We shall see.

Alex often writes to Audrey,we have had two letters from Leslie, and they both sent a very nice calendar to Mother at Christmas.

May Good Fortune always attend you!

Audrey continued to write to Alex and I will post more of their friendship later.

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