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An old soldier’s stories.

Discussion in 'War44 General Forums' started by brianw, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. brianw

    brianw Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Bridgend, Mid Glam.
    via War44
    I’m 64 years old and a product of the “Baby Boom”, so I’m not old enough to have any direct memories of the war, but I have worked with some of the “old sweats” who were there; men like George (Benghazi) Checketts who served as a WOp/AG on Blenheims, Les Lammers who flew as a Wireless Op on Wellingtons, Sid Murphy who was injured by being shot in the knee in the days immediately after D-Day, an injury from which he never fully recovered and Selwyn James who kept us all amused with his wartime exploits.

    Selwyn was in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (REME) otherwise known as Reemee, and being “technical types” and more than a little rebellious weren’t that bothered about what could be called regimental protocols.

    He was a wireless technician, preparing and repairing the various types of communications equipment that was used in those days, in fact we all blamed Selwyn personally for putting the wrong crystals into the wireless sets which couldn’t be used at Arnhem, but he took it in good part.

    He was stationed in the Western Desert and their tented camp area was located next to an area occupied by the Coldstream Guards.

    The Guards in their own inimitable fashion had everything laid out in absolute straight lines; everything perfect and the gate to their compound had the regimental motto “Second to None” over it.

    The REME camp, being slightly less respectful of “good order and military discipline” was laid out in less than straight line and comms trucks parked in a “tidy REME fashion”; that is wherever they stopped, the place was after all a working camp. They too had a motto over the gate to their area, not the regimental motto but one to wind up the Guards all in good fun.

    It simply read “None”

    Selwyn was also at Monte Casino in Italy. Recounting his time there he remembered when they heard the drone of approaching aircraft, a close check of the type was made.

    If the aircraft were British they knew the Germans were taking cover.
    If the aircraft were German the British took cover.
    And if the aircraft were American … everybody took cover!

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