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Memoirs of a Soldier by George Hadfield

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PRIVATIQGEQQGE HADFIELD. ,rv..» V . 1 ¤;, HE? , M 1 ‘ L, · AV ’ `· ‘*# 1 · ig; ,. ..=;:=* 2 , . A » w · ° ° 1 `. ``,, · · ` e,·· Y $‘ V; 1. J N0. 14844186.
MEV!9!B$ (KA§Q.;F 1'1/tw/1944 (mll up) m KI/l2/I947|dern¤b.) l/01/IMS ml l/03'\94B[Z When W W Il snarled ln Sepumber l93•?,l was V3 yeais nldl Ml ml-lou! on my 14‘” mu-idiuy and mam wink in Pei-mnmes Foundq in an mppmvuee inn in Ch.npelnown,my wage ymwuk was 10 shvllmgs wnn inn Fmes sx ld mum n day When l reached l5y:ms l mined me Cml Defence ns .4 meswngerl-my Hnylend (my hike msn Ibsluillingqnn me Cneneil Oqkn and my ull the Sherileld home wz mn out ¤lpe1ml,n¤ vernal srauenx vnzn sn wu pushed me I was called up whcnl was liiyears old in 1044,1ny msn can-ly was Om.agh,N¤nl¤:m Ireland when we did 6 weeks busi: u-nnmryund lmn nes me nghx wnrdl0¤1 of hed an Sam inm me eblmmn nI¤:k,n¤ lighls wspemzd no see xlyuu had shaved l slipped up on me ming rangel gma marksmem badge Im my snucnmg every Smdny fnrenumh psrme we lefx bmaeks and were sm un our own an mumh.Whm ¤ few ufui diu w»s,nip duwn u sm sneer and rhumh u MI an che buck ufa lorry tn Shcrlieliund spend s couple nf num an nmne befmv sneaking back Lu camp, hy sem-le Pnwhuxc Rcymemx Ommszhny men asked few velunlkeis end yan were paid 2shi1li¤gs{\0p)a day e><m.A¤ our pay was only £\ u week l vulunmeewd ssmghl ewny We were uken m a small camp in the grounds of Huwiek Hell fm a 1'¤nmg_ln nfmuglw physical u11mng,¢v¤ry morning we were mn urly uv do a zwu w muse mile nm,dress w¤s;vesx,fau;ue xmusels and booxsrno unpplng,Bm»kf¤s1 wes wlwn we gm hunk One ming we had an dn was
elrmh up n r·ope.gmb hold ofenmhu and xwinganoa xo a rope thzt you eould go dowrr.\\e also hull to do mrlling wcanng boxing grate; Iwo rows ofmen on opposite side: nh boxing ring whe·r·e.wh¤n 1 whistle blew the lint mm livrn ureh rowyumpul mw the nng.They started bashing each other na hard esthev would Lill the whistle blew md they got out while thenext peujurnped in and bashed eaehomer Lveryone had todo it with no shirluugrnll good fun‘At the end ofthe cwn weeks yvu had to do ¤|| the thing we had been doingthe lut tes wu n I0 milerun in full htttleequiprnent with helrrretmr und nfl: ut your Irnnduhrs had to be dune in lss than 2hoor< or you were furled end sent back to your old unit We wu: nett uken rn Ringway Aerodromtil think it would become Manchester Airport) to lam how to be apnrrolrutist It was ull vcry physical und ru eddrunn we hud to learn how to Iund,rhis wuiumping olh blockand rolling in n cnurn way or in lnidrng by pendruu The next step was climbing up to r plntlorrn about 2Ul¤vt high beau; lined imo a liamess and yiunplng otfrlre edge,your rope was aruehed to a fan that slowed you down so you were able to mll u shown The next step wu itmiprug from a sutie balloonnhr: we drd twine with four men in the balloon an ume The balloon would grr up to wtlfeer then yourpraehrne sum: line was clippeiw abar uid you went tothe uperungrn the side and you atood where gripprngthe edge ofthe ¤peuing,Vou wuld we tin; ligurex below you and the only thmgl kept uying to myself was “pl¤ser•perr par¤¤hume"rYou were towed on the shoulder and out nid down you we-rigitseerrxd forever betore your panchtne opmed and you llcwmd downutn lorgetzing ur roll properly The next fivejurrrw wen from e Dakota arrcrulltliisrirrie with your stetre line interred You had to wdk tn rhe doorwawstnrid with your font on the edge and when uppednldxtime ure slip .nr¤rr gm you md your ehure opened quickly (Nr lnrjump was from A balloon at night timenlris wax the worst bwausc you couldn`t see the floor Unix ngatrr ilarvyone refused tolurrip they were sent beelt to iherr regimenunlw next step was going on puede and being presented wltlr mnred beesylththenieral bndgempinmitmrjukmwmthnr tukenro hue the parnlrute logo': sewn on,i•nd me winged Pegasus badge The following dxy we wml ra Bulford Bamclu on Snlrsbrny Plainjt
was night nun: when we amved .p»ut in hum and wld nr find u l>nI,we cmrldn’\ believe nur eyes when wz saw what il was lil<e.l\ was a real up with odd bullet: and bins nfplastic erqrlnaive laying amund ll appeared that the 7** Battalion had been san tu Belgium in a big hur·ry,the gennans were pushnrg forewud in Lhe Ardonmes so no time fur army bull They were brought back me following day and were put mw Platoon: when men had been lost,} was put intn n¤.K Plalmnywe were being suit nn leave furthe limrime `we were dnund in nur but rmifunn ruydy m gn and was called an par-ad; tn be wld by the ¤ nlwlmxe name was Lt, Cel Pnneechiny that there wu going uv be a lug up¤.·ratran.I thought uz myself "I’ve dmppnd a right danger vdlvrnleering for thi: lm,bn\ it was loo Inte l was there" \'¤u didn‘t wear a tie an parade in than- daygbm olfduty you cnuld I was dressed fcrgoirrg hum: and never lhotrgln about iLdw Reg. Sargn-nt Maior saw it though and l gm a right lellnrg ¤IlZWe had been wld nut to say a word about Lhe oper-axmn :¤ ljim enjoyed my leave home alzhmghl luievs cuuld be my Inst Back at camp we nannd serious mining and l was made a sniper and showr how nz use a telescopic sighl,we did a lot nflmg route mmm: and we used In pass Stonelu.-np a lm We were wld we were manning fura large airbome crperuiun trverllne river rhine using us paraclumsk and glider bam ms¤ps,t.lus niciuded a parachute dwp rn hill gunwe flew fmm Nedmavun Atrlicld with a Dakota aircrafl in f'ormau¤•n,and in nn tune it was red light una!] stand and face mhz dw in mounds l was no umncr Eloaung down whcnas 1 was loweunp my nfle on its mpc when l was hir by wunmue else-s1if1e.I looked up and tn my lrwmr anmher soldier had his legs tangled in my 1-lgginglll-as and itwastipping my parachute onto tu aide ,a¤ l :ouI¤n`\ wntml my chute at all We must have cum: down twice as by as the ofheml landed heavily but was ok wlrilsl he was lurucknd rmnnmmmzs wlth broken legshe was really thu: lucky une becauae he couldn`! goon the nrpernion We when mmcd tn a camp whew we got ur knnw whn was giving rn happen in deusilahis included a model ufwhwe we would land and where we had In Iind our way tothe rendezvwdv/nat I reached this irwasjuu Ilke going to a plan: I had been before) 'lhm night we packed our kit and climbed aboard lame: tn herakm ln whe airheld,as a matter nfimerest we aaw a bua h•1rnh(gemran rocke1)w1tIt a long rail nf [lame behind it We reached me airfield at dawn and all you could see wu planes Al glider: The date wu I4" march l94$J wnjust l9yean nld
We were directed to our uwn pIanc,thcn rl was umu to put ull yum equipment on ,y¤u wurr a¤rnouI'lage;ncIte·t with your webbing with ammunition pouchr:¢.harrd pettnd: pluxtin bomb and II)0 round: nl ammunition.] then had a telscbrre In a leather use and my sniper scope Errueryncy natrons in my pocket; and a lump surtw mver everything This was tn stup my parachute catdturg my equipment We then Md m fasten our parachute over tltr.9a·ith oerythrng I had on me I couldnt {mm min: .so I wu told tn get un the plan; und aomeorv: would help rrw.We did manage tu dn it but thc pLane was taxing for rake ulfbelbre I got tn my snatflhse were lcmgwcodnn lsmchcs down either side with no such thing ns safety belts. We eventually tnok nr`f»•ith all the planes getting into lhrrvmIron,t.he sky was full ofairerall including gliders bein; rnwed hy fntmertgjrrod yrlanr: Besides the b' Airbume Divixusn there wan the IUI" American Airborne Divisrtm.w¢ seemed to cross thc su In no time .Th¤t looking, down you could see where there had bear lighting Th: ant:-aim-aI\ guns opened up as we crossed the Rhirreevcrymxere there was heavy xrrurke and we saw shells exploding round us As we cmsxed the river Rhine we all mad upjrncked our static linesw the banwatching the red Iigrt above the dbor.WiLhm secntrds tt turned tn green and we walked nut of the drxtrund were Ilumtng down We had rurnped from about MOI`! but wrth buIle1s,arrd rhrapuel all earning at y¤u,aIl you wanted tn dn was gn dnwrttn the yound and lirrd some nryer ldidn't Lnnw t.ill allerwards that the man whnyunrpcd before me and the mart after me mn gm killed while sill in the air,] landed In the rntddlc ala plnngherl field surrounded with high hndgesxhe lim thing Idtd ams take my rllle frvrn tt': tilt hag artrl cbtsk it.Tlt:re was dm tn the muzzle fravrn Iutttng thregrtunrhullirndittnclunitnut The gunfire was huvy sol moved over In the gate and saw our men getting themselves urynrxaduhe R.S.M. was pointing the dtrtxtinn we had tu go The Gernans were drtrpplng mortar bombs um¤rng¤ ue and I saw qutm a fw men laying dnnnyou had ro keep going lhuughl gradually began to recognise land marks and then I readtnl the orchard where mrrunit l-tad tn dtg in.lt was all exanly es the umd model looked back in Lnyand lwastheLimmantauuchitxrllnydrrwninaxmnlldttthanrdkcptas clnse ta the ground n I onuld,th¢e platnnn nhicer camo with aymrp cfrnen und wld metn dig a slit trench where I w¤.We all had our own little spade so l started diggngevmmally more men arrived so I mnvad tn rny pla 00~ positron which was at a cromtnds and I dug anmher uermh.Alt¤ arr hour
my nergunx told mc to cmu IM ueek which pm me in from oluvzrybndy and I then dug my third xmxzh In the lirdmancel could see sonic (Jarman saidrus moving ecrass my Iron! but not wwnrds ns All ih: hglxung was to the left ni nw wa were lrnky. We were bemg supplied by fam engined bornberw and they would mma In low and drop their Luuinnncmwhilel was watching I uw one show dawn and it nan: dawn wiih a massive explociem whennhn rhe rvnund Ahn tha: happened I wasurld to move further {onward so I urawled ma xpm ahaai Ktlyds awny.rfi.er digging three slit tm-iehex I'd had enaugh sa I got under a tlnrzk bush. I could still we movnnarit in (mnt going acrvsrfrom as when I suddenly saw a (nee bob up ianking inwards Barn ahont100i-as away,I Vind immediately and he disnppnmd Some time in Llre ahernmn we were pulled hack mwanls r rnme wml posiijan and Dun Is when I saw a lm ofnunrlues I uw men still ia aherr pareclnnes one wnhnut his h¤d.•nM.lver was a glider pilor still at his c¤ntrols,gI.idnr: rhat had crashed with equipment everywhere We reached a fmnhause mai was hendqunnevs arehold no dig uname: sm rrennlr (my |"'),md thu wu where I slqrt far my Hm miyiuwe lined our lreurhes wah porachutes so we kcm warm Dur casurlnes furilm da) was apprnx9¤ d¤d,w¤und& and missing gnod look around] wcm inm the farrnhnux l<itdten.rh:y had loaves al bleak brud on ah: uhIe,n didn`: look yer; gnod for uung We uw a Dakuua airenll rharlud ¢nsh¤cLvh¢ plane had utmed Arne-nun pamroups and I faund me man with both ha chures <vpra,(\hcy hndxwu chuteswe had une) I cm the nnergenny nhute aft him and mrfled n in my puc.k,we xtrli have n piece in me house Themxt morning we started our advance rhrougr Germany and wa would hq guurglill we rndmd me Baltic Su.We warn nr xrnglc hlcntparumrw p•th when we found a lung mu afdead Amenuns,we kept moving up ra the mp and me next rhino we saw was a long line ol dud Gzmnns I'ur glad we landed where we did or I mightnot be writing rms 1\ury.Allttre Americans had the Muhiun lair nvlepuru was ism shmt hack and sides We moved forward 1211 ue reached a place called I-Inrnelkllrrjt looked a qtninl little plane wim e very smell unl:,wir.h the (rmnons rn fall nsrent we stayed lar aha nighLMy bed wm up the iuwerurd n was Ivvely leur'! rcinenrher every place we wevn rhrough Iran ir was dnmation eve where,pwple,wws and horses all dnnldie smell wu terrible
Oar next (ight came, when we came under Iire from ·nar.lrine arrti—ain:ra.l\ guinwe had several men killed and wounded before we vapwrvd lhun The Gut big town we came to was Osriahnrclnwe were advancing slowly in me dark,rto1 a sound when auddcnty Lhere was a srnge rrile slnrt Lwyone was on the floor in a smund,bm -1 was a lalse alarmsomeorrc had aealdentallv lircd ln: weapon lr was hererhat l tnuk two prisvneml took a weren nflnne nl vhunj st hare ix in the hmse,As vte moved forward reavslanw wu pxuchy hut we had we Pwd tunca Une ofrlwm was when we ruched a airlielrl and were halfway audss when they ivpemri up wlnh mudnine guna.a lot ul men were hit wha were rn lrorn lr wm [lar to thc ground again tlll we were given an under m Gx baynmvls and change Lveryone was yelling and screaming (and prayrngaand there wnsbullcts coming ut null ofa wdden 1.he Bring snapped and wv reached the lzulldlngs,1\r.·y were gone, we searulued everywhere Rwnd noon:.~>o starred mvvlngommthe rmin ple When our seclron got Lhere I was detailed w1r.h anolher rnan ru hang around and see ilany Gemuns came nuune acurally uuyn xhree tryingtn sneak away.One ofrhem had a antcrnaric pistol in hut pocket and l roul, ll frmn hirnjrrcluxiarg all hi: rnoney ltwn gelung dark and noazrre elw umeao we aent them mar-ching down the rod iu where the othev umu wemwhilewc wen: forward tn loin uurs.We Mud a large han; and we knew there was trouble in front nl us.we evenumlly reached our hmallrm uid was told the Gem-rms had blown a bridge with a plnuon ohrttr men on it Arnonpt those killed wu Jack Green wlm lrvnd on Feemley Rdjr hits you when ir is someone you knew aa a boyahr ohm was called Neunadafhe following da) we bald a burial service and they were land to resljaat in a blaakar on the edge ofrhe villagelt wu here tltarl found asenond pistol and nwar hidden rn an omaidc une room.! think n belonged lnlhe woman ol the hmm who didnt wunttuhe :aa;h\wiLlt iton hu All the time we were moving forward r.lll we mer annie resrsunce although it dtdn‘\ awp us fur long .Whm we gm to a place when: we slapped for the niyirjxwas eiaher a house or ahom and you just got into someones bcdjusi as you were bums and all your clmhrr un One small village we ¤me ttxthcn were some small bnysvnatching, we always moved in srrglv lile with a pp betwsn each man,m there wu lus chance nf being cauyn m a bunch and eweryor-re hir As! was pawn; the buys one ofmem said in good Englixh to me"Hitler will wan the wat”'.wa
all looked at him andl said "l don't think snl"V¤¤ have to rranenrbet we were ltalfway across Germany thcrt ar the end ofthe road we came rn a group of lauildingx that looked like a small harnnkglwu told mget imc a h0use,go trrntairs and aer ifthere wax anything.! broke the door dmam and went no tht- bedroom tn It¤rk,t ¤ouIdn`t sue any rnovemertt sol Bred a round through tt wmdovtpwhcn tltcre was no remm nre I wutt dcwntutrsarai tnld the oflicuthue were nn signs uf We crept through the trees tyll vtc reulred a tluanrtgnnd wddrrtly a rnm ume ornofa door with a whit: flagshe was followed byalxnn IS 20 German soldiers with their hunk m the air.l dunk they had had enough an were marched awa) to uprdvny The next plum we reached wat atown called (`elle when we myed fnr two or three day1t,l think we got msn: new men tn replace thou we had Ion We were called tm parade une rnommg and told we oould be doing another parachute dmr: over the othu side ofthe river Elheaalkabottt being reared nfgmng through all that again l uvkily it was culled all at other units ol the army had gone over in boats Before we Ieh Celle we had another p¤rta$e.\hts was a identity parade busause tornoone had snlen a wornan: weddlng r·irtg.She was unable to pick anynne nut so we were all clagnd u bad as eacr We linally reached the Elbe and l cottldrft believe how wide rt wnstit looked to be a mile acruts The Royal Engineers had built a pmmwrt bridge mos ireutese were buns made for this ptuponand were mtenad together wih steel platea,r:r even tanks crwld gp nn iLl thought tr wasbad znnutyt vmlkittg mt it w<t.h the way tt seemed ta swaynt nas good to get to the other rver We had traveled along way some or it hard and some eary,we panod pnsonets ofwnr who had got out aftheir campnpoltsh wornnulave wodrcrs all going to tlterr txudonni also remember aiimrran yet plane dying overhead and that was before lsaw any ofouts We pasved throupjt l unebere where the German surrender would evmtuatxv rake plmeahere ina phntngaplt in lite imperial museum ofthe Generuk all signing tive pap•:rs,and stand tothe bank was Frank Lrownshau from Hoylattd Co•n1mun.H: was a military policeman and] believe he was Gen. Mmtg01tr¢fy's ttuard We reached the Baltic coast nnrtn a town called Wisrnar and smite ofunr units had rnetthe Rasmus 1 little to the eas from us lltc civilians were temhcd ofthe l'(uskt‘tr(u they called d1em),and were pleuul rr was
English soldiers men The war ended May B" xc we relaxed, one uhh: Lhing; I did was rake my clclhes all rmd have a swam m uu- Bnluc Sunny lim buh since leaving England To help our ralmns cul we wem out hunlmg ln lhc lureauwherc I .hvl a d:cr,lr wu beuerlhan all me crvmed beefwe had num. Willun ¤ week we were lluwn ou1¤fGerrnanv,w¤land¤d al Dnmels for me nrghi Ulm nexl nmmmg we wuz on a plane lnr honwilhe plane sr-med llying ima a non-n ,we had lighlzrurlg all around au and with all the weigu aboa.rdircunldr1’lpelabnve lhe clnudwo rl had Io landlhe had mnolhcr day ui Brussels before we flew home lh: following day We were sent home un leave fur four weeks and rl was lovely,lhe urrly sad purl wu;] wenl ur sue Mr and Mrs Green lu re'I mem aboul Jack dying Wa had beenlnld when we returned from luve than we were goingm me far eur wllh r.he ld-: ol' droppmg url Singapore We sailed from Slmrraer in Scotland nn mc “C¤vhr",¤n1rd:.slinallmrlra1ra.lr was a large shipand our quanns had uers vffoldmg himka.My pnl Slan Ponlm was ¤ good anis andhn did apencil drawing of me undurrhe bed aboxe me He drnwrhe sam: plclure or- a picec ofpaper I broughr mk hum; with me and we skill have ir. We sailed through the Medilcrranun bar il was mu hm lobe eomiorlahlzpu gm used xo rl buryuru had in keep your shin an -ru¤ sun num in rlwse days We reached Pon Said in Egypl where me bmi rdueled ,rhen il was down Lhe Sue: Canaljiyuwl lonkcd as if we were sailing on land bcmuve we were close lu me sld:.s.ll beam bomrg ailzra while wirh lou of sand,l1l|s nlgrecnery and a [cw people with carrrelsand more sand,We reached lhe soulhem md uflhe canal then ir was ima ihe R¤i Sea and mer me Indian Ocean and men ro lndlawe cvemrally ruched Bmnlaaylifs called Mumbai no·w),and ui our way ln another war.AIl mule caunuieslwd their srrvellshul l'm <ure vuu could smell India from hundreds ofmrler oul al We landed m Bombay and manzlwd suaighl lollve railway sulimmnmn a wailing vain uz gow a place called Khalyan The umagcs had wooden seal and lhc loilel waajnnl a hole in lh: {lou wim two hnolprinl maps lo pul your fool in lm rlghl plac<.l dvn'l rznlernber alas in the vnrrdowsjun shutrers As lh: iraln moved through the suburbs rhevc were lillle boys running besidnlhe r.rain,wanxing lo sell you rheir slum fw a few rupeesihey all looked very dirly so l imagine lh: girls vmnld be the same While lhe lmm was moving lhwagh lhe poorerarus ol Bombay we saw shdlm mad: hom banana leaves. and we uw real puveny r.h¤·e
charpoysmn ell-when wuhod wld; she dhdbl wallnnoultca wu made wivh about a fnrtmgln gerung ln shape fm our next dropwxhnn we wen: wld uw {nw days leaverrhais whom l nan my ulluo: pm vn.'l`alk about a nyc opmer www all nver rhe place wrm mathe havmglo gn round v.h¤m.n¤ unc would move rhern huuuse lhey were sacred ld Hindu`; Beggar; were evevywhcle s lm defnmred, nhose winh no lcgn wddlpd abmn nn wha; Imknd like We eventually su sm for Malaya and Slnypnrei when we were near rn lh: ln rtw mcanume l oa; pm nn a charge fm disnhzying an nvderl was given rlle slmv aides mw lmrdlng amt Then rhey wenl sleeping aboul looking lor Jnps who had alum; gune. rheymld mexlvey had walked for miles amd were wr reached Sinpnpnrn and mc docks were hugo, we were soon surrounded by bnmlwnu sellmg anything dw; unuldl couldn leak: my rye: dffme xhe way.] •xvuId.n‘\ wml to ge: one and1rhinl<1orerheldr,lzhinklpald one pm on ehnrge.To lnok autumn you wouldn': mink may would say boo uv a Chinese wilh lndlsns, Malays and Euraslansl was sem wish hw mhur men was packed wxh nelmillicn pounds woah of food and ohwlhlng This had been nollcexpd by thc Rod (Tm:¤,l wouldrhmk in nudays values nl would be Chinese larmlys fool on n snokewz saw xlre ruhher nees url willr sloping games wah rh:
tnllky mhhersap dmnmg inn: cupt With all that {ood in Lite wneittwxe we employed Chinew wmtten and their dnughtetstn mult int us,wlt¤t nutarmy mtinns urn: we gnve mine ¤l`n to the Chitwsectmltes who wot·lt¤dtnete.\\eaJs¤ had a1npan·:scl‘UW to clean up fur tn,tt wu the nsies job we over had it mon mine tu an etttl th¤ugJz.we went buck ta camp tn be mid we watt ptvtng to lavtundnnnu u it is tutw lmdwn had belonged tn tbc lhtwh but aftntbc Japanese surt=ttdcrtheywnrn`t ping ta bc awlctty atwn.l\iu.1t had to be British snldiets whn were there so tt wu deeided tn send us tu help We embarked on atmtk landing uu|\,itwa¢ inst a steel lwll with n small shelter for tlte captain with htx :re¤,we tust dumped nut equtpntenton me xwcl deck end luydnwn beside it Yau un trtugine hnwhdx it wu ettming the eqt¤n>t,we didn’t fuel like cclebmlng in time conditions at n|l.\Ne saw shnals ofilying lislt and that was our duly enl¤·tamntent,t¤e wnndensd what the temperature was but never lbtxvnd out We fatally tenehcd Bamia tn lava and mmhed thtuuyt the tuwn to n Japanese ban tclsout morris cunststed ofmised platforms eixl-net sitle ni the dwrand they nn the tull Intgth ofthe muttnand tltuwaawhat we slqat mt,Tlt¤es’s 1 photo in my nm; ulhum sitnwing tt Truublc surted xs soon ns tx was dark.but we had been wamed what tn ettpectwe were all tn nur split tmtelta waitingtucktly furme they xtutektxd dte main uttrance and I was mund the stde,¤ur machine guns mnn mad: them ret.tm,l·trst Lumpe and then south Asia and it was Bghttng fmm day welt was two htxus nu yard men but ltntns nt`! through thentght and nearly every ntghnyau could say it was vu-y tiring, Wheat we had time 0H we went inn: Bauvxatn ltavea mul and talk with tnen hunt other units Etery me had a smryemnstly hurmt sutries about service men ltetrg euptured and having bin and pietu cut uiyuu havent use your own tntagimttcn for r.\mt\V¤ quant Ummm day WM tnne and as it wu their summer itwas verv hut Another duty wu guarding the biggest bank in Batavia.: pny we muld getinm the vaults,We were mbvdd kdm there w aplaoe ulled Sentnnng. tltiswau tt pon dmtgtlteunnn sid: nt‘t.he ixlsndnwurtmnspmt was an nid rub where the cuukhouse was un deck,artd we all slept tn huttrnucks all packed like urdines when we landed mm wan': a nntivn: in sight, at we marched tntvugt the t¤wn,we {txund nut later that they had been tnld that we wut: all cvnvtets who ltad been let nmafpdwt lfthey went intotlupnntrcnps
We were blllemd amongst mlm really push enlnnlal houses all with columns fronting the house, tmlhrttrnntely our mem was in the yuunda nfa hmm: that had been a stmeninrn, and we rusr had nnim to lie down,l| was here rlut Igor rnyselh rame n|onMv,it wnuld creep under my meeauitnnet while l was asleep and l wauld fuund him curled up there in the morning One patrol we were dningwas along aide a river ,wlvua we came across some people trying tn reach the body nfawurrlan that had been in the water a lung time.| won' say whalsl1e|0:rl¢edli.ke.Ana1lter palm] was along wma: railway Iinvs tr/hen we were amhushnd hy men lnding nv rh: jungle, mtr rnaohine garmerwns hit stnight away and there were bulleu evcryv/rim: lr stopped aswvn as it started and we were able to pick the wnunded man up and move haex dorm the llneahis was their wav el ambush and nm, it didnh do yournmvcs any good but thai': the way it wu Another psnml we did was gnmg aveund the outlying district using jeezpswe were in the middle cl nowhere when ihis Jannmesc soldier lumped in {mnt at us hrandishrnghis rifle. Whar we did.u’t know (bin mu ollicer didlwa: that they wne on our side and were helping us deal wilh lhe nauvcs. That is a swry nal many people will knr. The following week there was a nmice nn the mdm board asking for volunteers for the sigtals platoon. l reckoned anything wu better than palmle and guard dtny,5»n my name wenr an v.h¤ list I was autepted andl sand gped-bye to my mans.l spent the mst nf my time in Java lumn-lg how to be a sigialer. that was the end ofpalrelx for me in lava The aurmncy in lava was Dutch guildcrs but when rt was payday we had an equal amount cflapanese gai|d¢·rs,it was wmthlew money but Ihelavanese would nnly aceept the Japanese nate: attheuyi it wu worlaless.'l7¤ey wamed to be free from the Dutch and this was how they shaawed it When thing; aarted tn improve: we went back tnSingap¤re fura shun my which was lovely and peauful, We were som: bonding lame: and packed nfftn Smu(’l'hailand )lo go barvdxt chasing, we rraveled the full length of Malaya which tmk a few days. With naps in interesting placealilte Kuala l umpttmllnrstar and nnerstmu villages with nn name.All thc huts were nn stilts with wooden waLkways,l suppose that wvuld be fen when the monsoon rain camc,\vut also tu keep nut suorpinns, snakes etc Une place we were driving lhrtsugh had some nrangv looking visitonahey were hill tribe-amen and all they had on was a little l'lap in Fmm. and hnldmg a spenr,1t was tntemvjng anyway.We linally reached Siam and put mw huts,nuas were beside a fast llcwing river which was named Yula aller the
W: set up it radio and switchboard (tht: was 1 lnpruwse swltohbmxd and In bcnzr than our army nrt:). wc didn`t do 1 smgju parade and ilwu w¤:rr’t un duty you wuld walk tn tnwn and hn: iced nollee, plus t-hrps md egg Unc day wc wcrtt tn alwullliytt. and uz get tu your seats you had to walk pa.4 the lrulls, 1 but worrying but dlllerutl We were iyrtitad to thc local hudmank lwarw when we had mIT¤c, il was 1 buutilul wuudm building, md rh: lima was polrshad mnhoprwy Inn was 1 big curtain rhautrctrzluzd amos; the width nlnrtc cud nfdu: room, wc wrrc told Inter that was what: he krpt ltxs www We had 1 young Simms: buy who curl: rndn I-ldd pbs lou bit ofmorrcy one day beasked us tn gu to his hnmc for 1 rrvcul, which we did. It was 1 small one mmrr hut when hz and his mother lived. we understood his fathn had been killed by the Japanese Them was 1 big whit: cltvth on the fluor with all the food lard out, wc all sat crossed lzggad on the flour whilst lux mum Gllcd our plans wirh rice chicken and other food I can`! mall, btclhvv: our plates wm cmply sbc was there to hll rt up again Talk about being full, we had r.ak¤t our Sikh rntuprutcr with us su were able tntharrk ber Tn: wilcts had rttnnirrg wntzr. it wss lmilt num the river with 1 wooden Door with rwn holes, as it was 1 fan llowlng river it was takur dovmstrvnm We wm thm dunng thc monsoon season sn when you wanlnd a shnwnr. jun uk: your shorts ¤f1r¤d sund out in the nin W: had 1 lol ofliglttmirrg and on: day it struck our ndra 1¤rl1l,bou1tc¤d nhthe table and went passed rn: asl stood mathe door, the soldier on the swuchboard was knnnxcd ull his chnirmd laid out We wont on Iuvc to Penang Island oflthe Malayan coast, rt wu 1 lovely plea: with plzruy nfshqas and bcwhn I had my photo t1l<¤t ut 1 Chinese sltnp and told him tn send to me in Sum, when il amvnd my hrmt was blue ln thus: days photos wor: black and white mthry coloured thrm hv hand,! rhoqglrt I wu in the RAF regtrrtent W: zvnttually rettrmud to Sinypmv tu bc mld we were gnina to Pultstine. In no time at 1ll we were on another boat uu another cnuvury where there was trmtbl:. we tloppvd chat Ceylon for mfualrng btrtwe wav not allowed 0lT the boat The tmubl: this time was Arabs versus Jews and it would be us rnhcowe ow liru ump was 111 plane called Namnyn right on thc Mndunrurmn coast nr u Palnstirriun police post surrounded by barbed wir: From thnrewe moved tn Lydda airport patrolling nrustly at night trying lo catch Jewish gangs we seetrrl tospcnd n lot nfthc rim: cmcping through vrrng: grove:
but we nnI¤’uirnv: to sud an nnngp W: managed rwn days Imvc in Jmualcm and it wa wnndzrfol wc went tn the wailing will and to lunch ituml know rl whs brnll by Xing sulnmnlrwr waiked all om th: plane lookrngat all ih: sights. W: ware mvlng northward; all the lime. going past Dcthlehcm md Naurcth and we wutzm Aocra far a while. and that wm anne cmlc with wallv that mum have bent twenty [aut thick Tlwrc were nn umsadnrs tlnnryr, only Jews wurtrngto lx triad for murdnror mrnr: who had hun mund guilty and were wanting tu be hung,w: had already had wm: ul nur Ind.; thm and blown up. Them had been som; armntpu to rzwwe them but thry dulrv't suocud Uno vnphl they triod ln lrlow a Ml: in the wall with nn luuk W: wm also patmlling nn the bodies waiting mr mnt; that we-rz bringing Jewish immigrants from Europe, the boats wu: crammed with these poor thing who only wanlzd n new lil':, but we had to su1pt.l•em» which wc did Our nut mow wu to a small camp near to Jordan and once again it was out thehillt with our radios Mule lookirg for my kind uftnwhtr, wc had n good view ofthe sn ci Galilee When we could gu any time uifwa wm able to wxlk into thc town and have n swim, l was never able to wnlk on water like lexus did. Once in the middlnoftlru night we had ro rid: zscmt to a convoy uflomes that wm mrrymg soma kind olload thnl they w0uldrt`t tzll ux about unjust wznl nvu thc Jordminrr harder thru rwrmni tu narnp We paid a tisrt w s kihburz whm vt: lladbuzn utvrmd to play them nt haiku ball twe lust), lublrinz were a communal villng: wher: parvnls slept tn one donrtitnry md cltildruv in anrnlner; ithrd a txrrlral dinrng room. We were tnvttcd fur a meal which wo: a cup oftn wirh nn rntllr or sugar and scam unlcavurnd brad,} ¤n`t lunemhcr what els: My worst nlghlrnan: happcnod when we wcnt nn me tiring range when my job war the mlephonc nt lh: urge: bum. when th: Nam wngmt unt: wtlh cupsoflnlorttsliringsloppedtndrvcrymwmtwgztnwrvrvdbnef sandwich,} had mupadly Iell any wohbing with automatic yinul ut tts holswr besides the plimm As soon asl vnachzd th: queue I mthzzd wlml had dom somtbarcktngnthngtrrulwutooluztlvvughrlhrdbcen¤t\<zn.Iwent luck andutld th: olliuer what had hnppntzd andthnt wasthe and ur shooting practice for the day, we had sum soma aralrs plouynng a held nurhy. so the Palnrtirtiun polio: wu: sam Iorand after: lat nfshunting they said it wu buried m the Held. We all timed tiiggng with our har: hand: ind! was dr: one who found it. gettingthe gun luok saved me nom nl lust stx rnenttm tn prism and instudl only gu three wedrs.
We spun all uu: Lime pumung the stunvsrhu wen; all umn; Hu my nl the mnds an umn, we had In din thnrn an buckets of llme became wr had no brushes, ir mnde our hands clean lhnngh I nlm spun my lwentv Gm hmhdny null In custody and than wu the shy we dug nvm large male rn the gmund in Gl n pmol unl in. llmilm thing Ihn hnppcned. we were ln a tem and another prisoner set fire wlhctezn and it www tn the ground vn uwnds We mnvud (mm that eurnp to Haifa which as nl me nnnhem end of the man rnd mdrvud inlu u Inge huvuckn. We spent our lime urwking 1 vcry busy swilchhourd md dump mdm duryon lup uh large block af {lsu, this was nlwnyx night shill wnrkmd Il wu nlwxys Iwldzrly cold. We went nn nwcuks Ieavc m Alexandria in Fgypr while same al the mlnss vent tn ("mrus it wm a Img Lvntn nmrney the Iunmh oflhlcxune then Along the com In Alexandrw. Uwcunp wu callod "'IT•e Lon: I‘1lm’ I n gc inln lawn ynu never mem n\cne,jus1 another wunlry whue Bnnslx wemfl wanted, there wns plenty nfshcpy bars beggan and boat blacks all ¤l\er your money. One har we went imo Iud u hellydmcer And she nennmly made her lvellv wubble We were walking down nn: arcade when a man Uneurmed us wnh 1 knife and when we rounded up mr him he mak m hlsheels We boarded Im train ln go buck rn Pnlesline, l wss sn again; ulne wirulnw wirh my arm restlng on the ledge wbenjus ns lh: main sunzd moving nhand yzbhed huld afmy walsh md mud no pull it nllmy wrisr, I swung nyc: wnh my olberlund and hil him and be let go .s¤me hnlidnyl Buck In camp I volunteered for dlspmch rider, I had aren tn my I cnund ride n mnlnr bnke md this involved ndxrq rn and mn nh mw ul perm] drums Then I vu; given n drivmg license, I thmk the ust wok live mmutes ul me mem. My job wu tn uxk: dispatches whcadquanns which wes srluuled u che mp nf Mount Currncl. you had to he wm; ufalhcr unflie whrch mcludnd urnels, dcnlwys and there driven Nur mlm end of I946I was grunted Iuvcw the |..K. fm une m¤n\h.n train jmrrney un Egypt, zbnaljounwy m Toulnu in tlw smnh nl'Frnnc¢, vnu by train In Calm: md Dover, then borne ,Le¤ve was swn aver rhen in was back uz Palestine On: pnuvl we went ur we mel m Arub shnep herder, he had has rmure fnminv with hxrn and Lhey had this very Inge lent made frum ummm skins. wha.-n nll the gum wu enwn ln the nu lbeyjust moved un till they found
Thu mime enmc when my drmob Number mm: up and ima; ume Lo say wnrh The rminjourney rc Pun Sam Ind ns dangens mn, when me nam umd w swp wr us eu ger bud mere when no p\a¤D¤rrns,jus1 bar: ground dm you h.¤A m go dawn snaps w reach. One suldwn had hn ryflr snnmlwi num hrs hand by a waning Arab who cmuchr-d bcncazh nh: train and he was away m have s fm- {mm infccuon parade, rms involved gum; mmugh .¤ een! Hm hnd xwu open sndns wvzh mc medxcai umccr san xnsidc, and as ynu rnme no him you had an dwp your shun: wmle bs liikd your has und pieces wink a pcncvl He wm hmknng [urcmhs rn any nmer ivvfmuun, no prmrnew for me,} We Gnally boarded u boar us sm! forhnrne amy sm;-wpmg in Vmerm We boarded a umn Uuuock ua no Lmcolnshne svhzre we rueuwed u denwb sun.shm-s,rurnccnr and rrilby hm plus undnrweur, msn onm n min Rn Shcmeld {was hnme in uma for Chrfsxnm uml my meme: gm an sneh a smm mm she tek me msndes ohh: mrkey vn and nrmkud n, In my nme rn che amy} spun thm years nfiv ab:-und 'Hm's' my awry,! Pe Between 200647 un 2670647 we wen: on upnmahuxe reirubvr wana jumps Tms hmughx my mul nfpumuhumjumps xd 13. A phnwgmph nf rne as 1 hmujumped rm: ulthe pun: dooryxas taken by n RAF plwwgrayhm; n shows me wind slmxhun wim smuke hom ¤ Gro (It was only when I frmnd my om pay bank uml foundtrns inlnnnmiun.)
by Samuel Stead

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