I should have mentioned before we left the Afrigola area, that that little village was out of bounds to any troops. But, every once in awhile, someone either from our regiment or others stationed nearby, would break this order and would enter the town, usually raising hell and putting a prop under it. One of these nights when someone was raising a ruckus in the village, the Colonel ordered a number of Sergeants to be armed with tommy guns and see what was going on. If it was our regimental gunners, we were to bring them back immediately. Oh yes I was one to go into the village accompanied on patrol with Sgt Sid Robertson, a real character and a chap about 15 years older than I. So I was pleased that I had such a stalwart with me on this patrol. Well the streets of Afrigola was strewn with refuse of all types, human and animal. Rats hustled out of this garbage and you had to walk warily down the middle of the road.
The reason for this was the householders threw the contents of their chamber pots [thunder mugs] out the upper windows and if you passed under you wore whatever they threw out. It seemed that Sid and I could see some movement of people dodging out of doorways and furtively into other doorways ,
The civilians had a curfew and risked getting shot at if they were on the street after a certain hour. Well as we walked along the centre of the road we saw a younger woman come out of a doorway and sguat and take a crap on a pile of refuse. Being young and naive I said to Sid that is terrible. Meaning how could a person be so immodes. Sid replied it sure is Gordie, she never even used paper to wipe herself.
My education was being furthered. The rest of the patrol went well and we did not find any of our gunners roaming the streets of Afrigola.
Some side trips were taken to Pompeii during this time but I either did not have the chance to go or elected not to. But I enjoyed the terrific oranges and nuts that we could purchase in this area. By this time in life I took most things as they came about and like all were anxious to get into the real thing.
That would disperse as time went on.
Now we will get back to our move to Gravina .