Hooligs Army yarns

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by hoolig, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    I was conscipted in Nov 1944, and ordered to report to Redford Barracks Edinburgh. We were issued with our gear, and had all the inoculations, we were
    told that the weapon training would come later.
    I was not concerned about weapon training, I had been in the Home Guard
    at 16 and was issued with a Lee Enfield 303 which I kept in my wardrobe, I was also able to use and strip and clean a Bren Gun, I had fired the 2inch Infantry Mortar, and primed and thrown Mills hand Grenades, we also had a demonstration of the Northover Projector but thats another story. We had the advantage of living in a garrison town, and had easy access to the ranges, we had the same hat badge as the Dads Army actors, which was cap badge of The Royal Wests Kent whose barracks were in our town.
    More later I am a one digit typist.
     
    Za Rodinu likes this.
  2. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Interesting mate. Look forward to hearing more...
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I assume that was Maidstone ?
    Looking forward to the stories.
    There's a few members with specfic interest in The Home Guard who'd like to read your yarns.

    I like this ...
    at 16 and was issued with a Lee Enfield 303 which I kept in my wardrobe,
     
  4. MyOldDad

    MyOldDad Senior Member

    Keep them coming!!
    Best regards,
    Tom.
     
  5. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

     
  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    So you are a Kent man originally? Did you live in Maidstone or one of the villages?
     
  7. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Hi Paul,
    Maidstone I was born there.
     
  8. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  9. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Before I tell my Army train journey I must tell you about the Northover Projector.
    The Anti tank weapon was designed by a Home Guard Major Northover, we were ordered to assemble at the Kent County cricket ground for a demo, the reason, it was because they had a large tank, a large galvanize water tank which had sprung a leak in the dressing rooms, they dumped it in a grassed carpark, that was to be the target.
    The Major turned up with a long wooden box, when opened it look like a plumbers tool box he got out a 3ft metal pipe about 3in diameter he clamped a tripod to that, then he fix the breech, lastly he screwed the foresight and back sight in with ordinary screws and it was ready, he put a glass bottle of Phosphorus in followed by a bagged powder charge the idea was to shoot the bottle into the tank, it was fired by shooting a .22 blank.
    He took aim and fired there was a bang and the area in front of gun was smothered in burning Phosphorus, he screamed dont try and stamp it out, we were to stunned to do any thing, there was a large area of blackened outfield grass the groundsman nearly give birth.
    Came the inquest, the Major had screwed the foresight in too far and broke the bottle,
    we were lucky he did not try to fire a grenade.
    Needless to say we never got a Projector.
     
  10. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  11. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Hi Paul
    When I was conscipted we were not put into a Regiment we had Epaulette which read GSC
    that was General Service Corp.
    We were not put into a Regiment until we had finished training.
    My mate told a bird we were General Stillwell Commandos
    I dont know whether he got his end away Lol
     
    Paul Reed likes this.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Your Army Number will fit in here somewhere then.
    General Service Corps 14200001 - 15000000
     
  13. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Hi Owen
    You might forget your name never your number
    14869924
     
  14. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Hi Paul
    When I was conscipted we were not put into a Regiment we had Epaulette which read GSC
    that was General Service Corp.
    We were not put into a Regiment until we had finished training.
    My mate told a bird we were General Stillwell Commandos
    I dont know whether he got his end away Lol

    Thanks for that great story. :lol:
     
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hoolig,

    You are providing good stories to read. Keep them coming.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  16. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    We did 6 weeks at Edinburgh, and then moved to Colchester where we were put in Platoons our Sgt marched us to the toilets and said to a bod go in the toilets and tell me whats written on the doors, the bod came back and said on all the door is "Sgt sugar is a bastard', the Sgt said and I am Sgt Sugar.
    He drove us hard with no let up, he said its for your own good, he was really good and we had plenty of laughs, at the end we had a great party with him and a good piss up.
    We then moved to Hemsley in Yorkshire we thought it was a experiment by the Government too see how long a eighteen old soldier could last doing 20 mile route marches and dig trenches and wade through rivers and survive on the smallest rations, the other thought on it was that somebody there was making a few bob, we came to the conclusion it was the latter, we survived lean and hungry.
    We then moved to the East coast, to Overstrand, and Sidestrand where we had a couple of Armed turn outs with reports that a Uboat was seen close to shore, but we found nothing.
    We were told one day we were going to join the Wiltshire Regt, but the next day we were told you are joining the Somerset L I, we then moved to Crowborough in Sussex and we were in the 2nd Batt. Somersets.
    We were told abit more training and then you will move to Germany and earn your keep.
    I can in all honesty say I knew every tree and dug up every inch of Ashdown Forest, digging scrapes and trenches, we were called back early one day to be told that the War was over, we had the next day off and then the training intensified we were told we would be involved in the invasion of Japan, and that we would not only be fighting uniformed troops but to expect armed resistance from civilians.
    We were paraded one morning and told that 2 bombs had been dropped on 2 cities and that Japan had surrendered.
    We were then told we were going to India and giving 14days embarkation leave, when we got back we were told you are off to Greece.
     
  17. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Well we were back from embarkation leave and packing to leave for Greece, we had no idea about the long journey by Rail, Road, and Sea.
    We left Crowborough and travel to Dover by train, we were then herded on to a Ferry, it was standing room only, loaded like pack donkeys, after about half hour I said to a crew member its a rough crossing, he fell over laughing saying we are still tied up along side.
    When we got into open sea, I realize why he laughed, we were thrown every where, we were thankful to get on dry land.
    We then boarded a train and started a long slow journey, it was slow with stops and starts due to track repairs, it got worse when we were going through Germany, when the train slowed to walking pace we had Women and children walking along the track begging for food, but we had none.
    We eventually pulled into a siding where the Army had a feeding station in a engine shed
    we had a hot meal of M & V and Rice pudding, and plenty of tea, before we left we were given Haversack rations for later, On leaving the shed we were besieged by Women and children who wanted to scrape the left overs from our Messtins, but we did not leave much, I opened my Haversack and we had doorstop sandwiches of Cheese and Smashed Monkey, I with others halved the sandwich and gave children half each, two Redcaps came over and said stop giving the food away, we told them to fuck off, they got very humpy, so we said we would put the food on the ground, with that they shrugged their shoulders and walked off, we were told our next stop was at Cologne to see the bomb damage.
    More later, sorry for spelling and bad Grammar.
    Hoolig
     
    Owen likes this.
  18. MyOldDad

    MyOldDad Senior Member

    Thanks Hoolig, your recollections are very much appreciated.
    Best regards,
    Tom.
     
  19. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    We gave most of our sandwiches away, I kept two cheese door stops, well a mans got to eat.Then we were off, the train stopping and starting, the train eventually reach Cologne where it stopped to show us the bomb damage,well it was a awe inspiring sight, I had seen plenty of bombed buildings, my own house had been damage twice, once by HE, once by Incendiary bomb, but this was just acres of pulverized bricks, and sticking up in the distance was Cologne cathedral spire, there was nothing said, what could you say, we stood in silence, then there was some shouting from the next carriage.
    We moved off, and at the next stop we asked who was shouting, we were told it was one of the lads, he had come home from work, he was aged 16 and found his home had been bombed, his Mum Dad and two young sisters had been killed.
    He had shouted out " Cop that you bastards its a present from my Mum and Dad' he was very bitter.
    Our next stop was the Swiss frontier.
    More Later
     
  20. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Moving on we soon came to the Swiss frontier, we were given labels to write our name and number on, and then tied onto our rifles, and handed over, no Guns to be taken into Switzerland.
    Then off we went but not too far the train stopped and we were told to dismount, we were greeted by Men and Woman who shook our hands and embraced us, they then served us Tea, Coffee, and handed out loads of cake, biscuits and cigarettes, and plenty off them we loaded up our small packs, we gave them three cheers, and reluctantly left.
    Back on the train, and our next stop was Italian territory, it was a large field and the Army had dug toilets, constructed Ablutions, and a kitchen, we had a good wash down and some refreshments, my mate and I then had a wander across the field, a horse followed us and I remembered the cheese sarnies, I gave one to the horse he enjoyed it so he had the other one, that was a mistake, he followed us pushing me in the back.
    We then met two civvies, and in mangled English and Italian let it be known they objected to their farm being used has a toilet, my mate who I feel sure was destined to be a Diplomat, said " Listen up Wop, to the victor the spoils, we shit where we like so fuck off.
    We went back to the train followed by the horse, I climb the fence and got on the train, my mate stopped to speak to a bod and got a bollicking from an Officer for bringing the horse into the feeding area, when he got on the train he ask whether my Mum and Dad were married, I think he was Joking.
    More Later
     

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