My War Days
West Burton Local Defence Volunteers
These are the Local Defence Volunteers from West Burton. Us lads used to call them Look, Duck and Vanish, but they always stuck to their guns.
Evacuees from the North East
These two young lads came as evacuees to stay with my mum. They came from somewhere in the North-East and stayed for about a year. When they had to go back they were very upset as they didn't want to leave here. Does anyone remember them?
The picture was taken in Flanders Hall vegetable garden and the boys are wearing special constables helmets, one of which belonged to my dad Horace. Special constables were enlisted during the war to help out the existing police force.
The old lady in the photo is my grandmother sitting with the shepherds wife from Walden.
I wonder if that is where the term "gas bag" came from?
Home on leave
I was a fitter in the REMES Motor Transport in the Canadian 2nd Air Force.
This is a close up of part of a large photograph of the whole company. I had been out all night on recovery and just came in in time to get my mugshot. I am the one right in the middle.
SS Samstrule Singapore
SS Samstrule, SS Samdart, SS Samcanyon. All these ships were known by us as the 45 day ships although there official titles were the Liberty Ships. They were built in sections and then floated at sea and welded together. They only took 45 days to build. They were the most Heath Robinson ships you ever saw (dog rough) but they served their purpose well which was to haul bulk munitions and supplies across the atlantic.
There were 28 lads billeted in the bowels of this ship whose job it was to look after plant, and deck cargo etc. The boat was noisy and banged a lot especially when the prop came out of the water and then dropped back in again. It nearly shook you out of bed.
There were three areas of the hold. At the back food, tents, ropes and other small supplies were stored.
This is the kind of things that the ships transported.
Swimming Pool SS Samstrule
Raggy the ships' bosun designed this swimming pool and the lads helped him to build it. The main reason for this was to help to keep us cool. It was helish hot out there.
I'm the one in the middle again.
Not a good photo I'll agree but it's just to show how the ships got through the canal. They were pulled through by tugs on tram lines.
This photo was taken illegally by a lad laid down on his belly so he couldn't be seen.
In the Philipines
Babies as young as a year old would drop into the water watched by their mothers. The mums didn't appear to be worried. You would hear a 'plop' and another baby went in the water and started to doggy paddled.
The Straits of Singapore
This photo is taken in the harbour. I am sitting on a mine that has had it's whiskers taken off.
The famous Raffles in Singapore
Does anyone remember these little motorbikes.
They were issued to parachutists. They folded up really small into a cylinder that was strapped on with your parachute.
When I checked the bike over I found that the brake drum had been put in back to front.
My sqadron leader had this jeep flown out from India to Malaya and when he went back to England he gave it to me 'Sergeant Brook' for the use of. I clogged it to death.
The regiments mascot Corporal Scruffy.
This dog was a crafty beggar.
He would sit waiting at the roadside.
The driver had to stop and pick Scruffy up and give him a lift back.
On the left is a copy of a petrol coupon. Petrol was rationed.
While I was in Singapore I had a bad accident. I was crushed by a lorry coming off a jack when it was run into by a driver running into the lorry and pushing it off the jack. (Accidentally).
I spent 4 months waiting for my de-mob to come through.
I kept seeing the doctors but they said I was only bruised.
After the war a mate of mine who was a cabinet maker made me a little coffin with a slider on it to store my spare ribs in.
Back in Civvies
Back in West Burton up the back alley after the war with from left to right my cousin Reg on an AJS or a Matchless, John Furnish on a BSA 500 and myself on an ex-army surplus BSA M20.
My War Days
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