My Service Life
Joined DCLI as National Serviceman
Jan' 1958 -after basic training went to Strensell
York on NCO's cadre.
Posted Osnabruck to finish off training in D Coy.
Joined A Coy under WO2 Love who's wife was known to
my wife as they came within a couple of streets of
each other in High Wycombe. L/Cpl
Transferred to Signals Pln after amalgamation then
Moved to Gibraltar via Plymouth. Wife and family arrive
Xmas 1962 (I think) Cpl
Placed on Signals Course at Hythe, Kent in Jan 1963
much to the disgust of family who only managed to
see me for a couple of weeks.
Returned to Gib April 63 and then off to Tobruk within
another couple of weeks. Mrs "B" not happy.
Berlin next stop. Promoted to Sgt in Signal Pln alongside
Transferred to Bath TA 1964 to spend a couple of years.
Involved in closing down "old" TA format
Transferred to Shrewsbury to set up the New TAVR HQ
Informed that I will return to Bn in N.Ireland ( Ballykinler).
But attended Tactics course in Wales where I suffered
damaged ligaments and was returned to Shrewsbury to
hand over the position and stores to my successor.
Allowed a weekend to purchase a property in High Wycombe
for the family whilst I was posted in Ireland. Executed
the task and managed to get the family in place before:
Embarking on my journey to Ireland. For personal reasons
I decided to curtail my service career in NI January1969
The day when I left the Service, early Feb’1969
I remember only too well. The previous day , late
afternoon, it was saying farewell to all the WO’s
& Sgt’s Mess members and then directing
my speedster (a Wolsley 1500cc saloon) through the
barrier and towards Belfast docks enroute to Liverpool.
The remainder of the journey was quite emotional and
hard to describe but eventually on reaching home in
High Wycombe,Buckinghamshire (a home that I had managed
to sort out only day’s before embarking to N.I.
some few months earlier) a grand family reunion was
held so had little time to reflect.
By this time it was Sunday and I was to present myself
for work at the local Curry’s Electrical store
Monday morning. New faces, new team, and at 32 years
of age was surprised to find myself more senior in
years than most. I was fortunate to have a pretty
good knowledge of the local’s even after being
absent for some 12 years. I was pushed forward into
management and speedily got to managing a large branch
eventually in 1971. My employment with Currys lasted
for some years,but then the family firm was taken
over by Dixons and they have and still are renowned
for employing much younger personnel so the hairs
at the back of my neck began to stand out and sure
enough after a couple of years they had their wish
and removed me but not after a great battle that eventually
went to a tribunal and they lost.
By this time it was never going to be an easy ride
to get re-employment so I decided to build up my own
Plumbing and heating business having got my City of
Guilds before I joined up as National Service. From
then until I retired 2001 I never looked back and
only wished I had the balls to have done it earlier.
That’s life I guess.
My eldest,a son, and my daughter (born in BMH Munster)
both eventually left home to fend for themselves and
my son owns a business in Egypt whist my daughter
married a French guy who after working in UK for some
21 years decided to move back to France with his family
to set up their own business. That meant that all
of my direct family plus Grandchildren were away for
large periods. On one visit over here in France I
decided to invest in some property that eventually
became my Grand daughters and then a good opportunity
arose for another property that took my eye that was
close to all the family again. Hence why I reside
here. No regrets either!!!! April this year Tricia
and I became Great Grandparents for the third time
so the air…wine…water or whatever suits
us fine. We live in a small village where community
matters and have found each and everyone most helpful.
Tricia not been too well this year as you now know
, but she is, as Bobby Bogan would say, a daughter
of the SCLI.