Just after the BLITZ on Plymouth my papers came and I had to report to
a place called Penarth in Wales. There, we were all kitted out and shown
how to pack everything in our kit bags and our back packs. It was a work
From there I was sent to Blackpool, into private digs. Here in 1942 we were
taught discipline and how to handle arms and many other things about
The landlady’s name was Mrs Varley and it was 66, Egerton Road. Three
of her rooms were occupied by raw recruits, about 12 in all. Quite a few
of the chaps I served with right through the war. Every one of us had to
do housework including the dishes, of course there was a proper roster
made out by our Sergeant who was called Cox.
I Was sent on leave and was informed to report to RAF Snaith In Yorkshire,
it was Number 99 bomber squadron the station had 2 squadrons of
Wellingtons, usually called
Wimpys. I learnt things about the RAF very
quickly & it was usually the hard way. I was then sent to a satellite
airfield to learn refuelling but while there we saw an aircraft blow up
in midair with a full fuel load and bombs.
After two days we were sent back to RAF Snaith where for a month I drove a
dodge left hand drive crew bus, got to know the crews very well and had
lots of perks. Once when we had to practice throwing a "hand grenade" (a
dummy one) into someone’s hat, we each paid some money to make it worth
while, I got the grenade right into the hat so I got the kitty. Another
time I had to refuel a tractor and kept the engine running because it had
to be started by hand. I had a right good lecture & telling off by the MT
Officer. Was issued with an American
which withdrawn when I was posted to RAF Weeton.
Eventually we were sent to RAF Weeton near Blackpool to learn all about
every type of vehicle then being used by the Air Force at that time,
including Artics, tractors, large lorries, cranes, refuelers and tankers.
While there we were paid every 2 weeks. On pay parade, someone would shout
your name & you had to reply with the word Sir & the last three number, of
your service number. Then an officer would say the amount. Mine was £1-15p
for two weeks pay.
One pay parade, I shouted “Sir 351 one pound fifteen”. Of course, I did
not get paid and was arrested and given 14 days jankers. Which meant
reporting to the Guard room every lunch break in working rig and twice in
the evening in best blue with full kit to be inspected by the Orderly
NO. I DID NOT TAKE IT KINDLY. IT NEVER HAPPENED AGAIN.
While I was there I volunteered for overseas duty and after the course was
sent home on embarkation leave and at home I sold my bicycle and my 12
bore double barrel shot gun.