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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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151 of 301  Fri 28th Apr 2017 3:12pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

LesMac, I hope yesterday was a good day for you. My father was a bit of a fanatic about the safety of guns and explosives, so no, I never dabbled with any of those explosives (although I saw other boys) until I was trained by experts. But 'Operation Dynamo' (Dunkirk) - I could not see how that fitted with what we had on a bike, in 1940, and in later years wondered if my father had been a tunneller in WW1, or if he had something to do with the 'Home Guard Auxilieries', the special resistance units that were formed after 'Operation Dynamo'. I never found out, not even if Coventry had such. You said about your hands, I was always scared of losing my feet from explosives, walking miles and miles of possibly mined railway, then in 48 some girl on a horse lost hers on a Surrey Heath riding on ex-military training ground. About two hundred men formed a line and once again I was walking on a possible minefield. Life just got too darned tedious.
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LesMac
Coventry
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152 of 301  Sat 29th Apr 2017 1:47pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:288

Hello Kaga. I served for 25 years, then a further five years, as a mercenary. You and I served in different times and different countries, therefore mines were never a worry for me but getting shot was. I was shot twice, first time was in Oman while protecting the sultan at Salalah, and the second time was aboard a Maersk container ship where I was shot in the butt. Both times I had little more than flesh wounds so I was lucky. Looking back I remember many different places and good companions. I would never wish to change one second of my life.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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153 of 301  Sun 30th Apr 2017 11:21am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

LesMac, hi. The red tie, the white shirt, the blue hospital suit, and someone sitting by your bedside asking if you need help to write home. I remember it all. Have you read 'The Feather Men' by R Fiennes (about Oman)?
Our Kaga
Roger Turner
Torksey
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154 of 301  Sun 30th Apr 2017 1:26pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:462

LesMac and Kaga. What a super thread this is developing into. It`s not often we onlookers hear it "as it was". Thanks for the reminder of the blue suits, white shirts and red ties of the wounded. As a youngster evacuated to Polesworth and Measham and being about in the area in between, plus being in hospital in Bromsgrove, Tamworth and Leicester, I remember seeing these men about and being told they were wounded (recovering), but as I say I was a youngster, relatively "safe" and knew little of the war or what it was about or the day to day lives of those fighting at the front. It was reading your reference of those "uniforms" Kaga that gave me a moment (or two) to reflect on my war and where I was at the time - I suppose you call them bitter sweet memories.
Our Kaga
Midland Red
Cherwell
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155 of 301  Sun 30th Apr 2017 1:47pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4380

For us youngsters amongst the members Wink (born post-WWII) Oh my any anecdote or memory is SO interesting Thumbs up
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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156 of 301  Sun 30th Apr 2017 5:09pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

Before D-Day happened nearly every inch of ground was used as a training ground by the Forces, so it was obvious that some live explosives would be left behind, but the army supposedly cleared these sites before releasing them back to the public. But rider on a horse was badly injured on one of those areas in Surrey, The horse was so badly injured it had to be put down, of course it caused a stink in all the papers. So the Army sent about two hundred men to go over the land and clear it again, this time I was roped in along with about twenty other friends that had only two weeks before returning to civilian life. So, as the line advanced there were twenty of us trailing some way behind the line.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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157 of 301  Mon 1st May 2017 8:14am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

May is in and May is out This is the time to cast a clout Our grandmothers told us We must not flout The old ladies knew what they were about But 'how can May be in and out' you doubt Well it has to be in, or it couldn't be out.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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158 of 301  Mon 1st May 2017 10:08am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

THE CUCKOO We once had a Cuckoo Day, 14th of April, but over the years it faded away. The general belief that this bird sits upon and lays eggs in the nests of other birds has long ago been denied and disproved. The cuckoo does not sit upon any nest, but, after reconnoitering a hedgerow, it lays its egg on the ground and carries it into any nest whose young are fed by insects, irrespective of its size or shape, hence the inclusion of such an egg in a domed nest. The cuckoo has a peculiarly-formed bill, and it can, and does, carry the egg with closed beak and insert it into any shaped nest, whether it be in a burrow or, as it sometimes happens, suspended from the roof. It's a mistake to say only a single egg is deposited. Many instances can be given of two such eggs, in such nests as doves, pipits,etc. The cuckoo is held in special aversion by other birds, and it may often be chased by one or two small birds. It is impossible to rear to a tame state a young cuckoo. It never loses its extremely wild nature.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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159 of 301  Mon 1st May 2017 2:34pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

So I was laying in a hospital bed expecting to be visited by Military Intelligence. Instead I was visited by a middle aged English woman. One of two who had our welfare in mind, offered to help with writing letters home, or talk through any problems I had, even read a poem to me. But they also sold pillow slips and cushion covers, etc with designs and patterns of butterflies, flowers etc on them, little skeins of coloured silk to sew into the designs. There were three or four lads from my regiment in the ward, so here we had three or four guys of a top trained combat unit sitting in bed SEWING.
Our Kaga
LesMac
Coventry
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160 of 301  Mon 1st May 2017 4:18pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:288

I was never injured badly enough to warrant a hospital stay. As far as mines are concerned the only experience I had was with the American M18A1 that we used in Oman to secure the airstrip that lay between Salalah and the mountains. A rather nasty bit of kit that when detonated threw about a thousand steel balls at the intruder. To the west was the SAS but they were looked after by the SAF so they were safe enough. The war was started as the Dhofar Rebellion but it seemed to us that every man and his dog was getting involved, even the Russians.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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161 of 301  Thu 4th May 2017 11:24am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

Roger Turner. Around 1936 there was trouble in Europe and for the first time people were talking of war. If war came then the government and the councils had some massive planning to do - evacuation, ration books, blackouts, shelters. And Coventry would need some protection. By 1939 most of those were ready, but the real eye-opener for me was that we had two soldiers billeted in our house (were we the only street in Coventry?) and the field opposite that I had played in for 12 years was out of bounds and wired off. We quickly learnt that some people were hostile to these young soldiers. These soldiers levelled and took the turf off the field by hand spade and barrow, built huts and everything needed for a gun crew - the council had to provide water, electricity etc. The turf heap was bigger than the two houses we and grandparents lived in. But I got to pick up a .303 rifle and to learn the basics of a soldier's life. Later we learnt much about the big gun, which really helped when it was fired, we knew it was friendly and knew most of what was happening on the site. It was awfully loud and scary. The government also knew they would have to recruit millions of people into the armed forces and send them round the world. This was called mobilisation, and at the end of the war they would have to bring them all home and this would take time (three years) and space, demobilisation (demob). So as every recruit was signed up he was given a demob number, the government would announce the date and number as each batch was cleared. This affected me. I was in the Middle East, entitled to six weeks leave. I sailed home to Southampton with about 7 other guys from Coventry or abouts, Warwick, etc. I stood on Coventry Station with my three mates, we all had the same instructions to report to Liverpool, catch the same boat to return in six weeks time. We wished each other a good leave and we would meet up in Liverpool. Four weeks later I received a telegram from the Army to report to Aldershot when my leave was up. I only had a another three months to serve, it was a waste of time and expense for me to sail back. I never saw my mates again, never even bumped into them in Coventry any time after.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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162 of 301  Mon 8th May 2017 11:45am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

Until about the time I was born in 1927 the peaceful, plodding pace of life to which the human had been geared since the beginning of time was dictated by the limitations of the speed of horse-drawn traffic. But there was something in that steady pace that entered a man's heart and made for a leisurely frame of mind. And these qualities are now in danger of joining the growing list of lost arts, for the very nature of speed precludes gentle thought or graceful movement. Time was, when steady progress allowed time to greet a fellow worker in the field, to hear the sound of a bird song, to smell the sweet-briar in the hedgerow. He who has ridden on wagon load of hay behind a team of horses along the tracks of Warwickshire has indeed ridden to the sound of hooves and jingle of harness, felt the wagon lurching beneath you is to have travelled for a while in Anglo-Saxon England. It really was remarkable how closely cottage life went on then, very much the same as it had for centuries, the speed of transport, the speed of thought and speech, the speed of progress was still geared to that of the horse and cart. But the world was changing, we knew we were poised on the threshold, ready to step forward into the new world of speed.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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163 of 301  Thu 18th May 2017 4:37pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

On 17th May 2017 09:17, Midland Red said (on another thread): To me, cross country running always seemed to be a punishment rather than a sport Oh my
On 17th May 2017 11:51am, Roger Turner said: I`m with you all the way MR on that, would run all day with a ball in hand or at my feet, but hated the dreaded cross country run. Mind you, I`m on for a spot of cross country walking - specially with a suitable companion on my arm. Cheers
Roger Turner. I liked nothing better than to be out on the hills running. We started a race at 9am on the Saturday, were still running at 1am Sunday. This was not on the flat, but the South Downs Way, 80 miles across the downs, and recorded as the hottest day of the year 1983? Took me 22 hours and I lost a stone in weight. I was 56 years of age and I loved every minute of it. Especially when I saw teams of police, firemen, etc. drop out. I think it was the last time it was run, as they couldn't get the stewards and drinks organized again.
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LesMac
Coventry
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164 of 301  Fri 19th May 2017 11:41am  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:288

Try a 30 mile forced march while carrying a full backpack and a rifle.... But then I was not 56 years old in those days.
Our Kaga
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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165 of 301  Sat 20th May 2017 1:23pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1680

LesMac, yep, done that, and I can beat you by 2lb, we had the old 9lb model rifle, and 18 inch bayonet, changed to 7lb in 1945/6. Our ten mile run, full kit, the greatcoat was the biggest handicap, everything, had to be inside 1 hour 45mins. Failure meant you were out of the regiment. The SAS adopted the same test and the same rules when they re-started the regiment. Now my dumb brain takes its time to tell my feet to move off the ground.
Our Kaga

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