Most notable period was when 50 Bty was detached as artillery support to the School of Artillery under the command of Major (later Colonel)'Jack' Tyrel M.C. R.A.(1948/9). A brilliant leader of men, the worst punishment was to be declared unfit for service in 50 Fld Bty and sent packing, I saw grown men break down in tears at this punishment, and beg to stay; they were never allowed to do so.
National service men queued up to sign on when we were posted to Hong Kong.
Being underdeveloped and in poor health (I failed every recruitment test except IQ and was declared 'unfit for military service' but in 1944 the government was scraping the bottom of the barrel, and no one escaped)Jack offered me the job of bty clerk. Not wanting to be separated from the other ex boy servicemen I declared that clerical work was not real soldiering and I would rather be a real soldier; I learned later that Jack was highly amused at this reply and I became a technical assistant under Lt Lambie (cannot remember which troop). When Lt Lambie was promoted captain and moved to HQ troop he took me with him and I eventually became HQ troop sergeant. After retirement, I became an (unsuccessful) insurance agent; a (highly successful)newsagent; Built a 51ft catamaran and spent 11yrs in the Caribbean tourist trade; a camera repairman and finally the carer of my very sick wife.
Altogether thanks to two brilliant sergeants and a small group of excellent officers, one third of my army career determined who I would be for the rest of my life; those years are still regarded as the best years of my life. From 1952 to 1955 however, army life was disappointing, the good years were over, far too many officers were not fit for purpose and I could do little other than try and keep my men out of trouble.
I was however highly amused when one of my three daughters, as part of her academic work; lectured officers of all ranks (UK and NATO) at Sandhurst and other military establishment.
My memory and health are deteriorating but if any of you remember me I would be delighted to hear from you.
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