Historical Walting

It might have, but many times over the years George (RIP) told me that the ratings were kept on board as much as possible to prevent problems. He was only allowed off as one of the ships entertainment NCOs (I don’t know what they call them in the Navy) to swap movies with other units. After what they saw in Singapore they sailed off to Australia and were all given a couple of weeks leave.
Par Avion senior was a Royal Marine on landing craft on the Assault Ship HMS Persimmon. After carrying out Operation Zimmer on the coast of Malaya, they returned to India to pick up more troops to land in Singapore. He was allowed ashore but he said it was deserted, not many people around.
 
Yes, it's surprising how often Lt Col Warren's name crops up when reading accounts of that period - as you no doubt know, he was involved in pre-hostilities clandestine work. his part in the escape network and his time as a POW. I found his biography 'Marines Don't Hold Their Horses' a worthwhile read and the odd title reflects that he spent his final years teaching English at an American high school and that was his stock reply when his American wife told him to 'Hold your horses'
I think the classic story of escape from Singapore must be the autoiog of an airman (not aircrew) who went the other way, in a manner of speaking. Escaping from capture post-surrender (most rare) he and his small party travelled eastwards via the islands of the Dutch East Indies, sometimes with the help of Dutch stay-behind parties. He and his somewhat by then diminished party finally ended up in Australia before being repatriated to UK. As I recall from the book, at the war's end he returned to Singapore to be re-united with his Malay wife and to take part in the war crimes trials. The book is titled 'You'll Die in Singapore'
Yes, I have read both those books. Apparently before Colonel Warren died he burnt all his papers which was a loss. It was a long time since I read his biography. I have just bought a copy on Amazon for £7.56
 
I remember a story in one of the tabloids a few years back of one old boy in is eighties claiming to be WW2 Bomber Command aircrew. One of the dambusters I think. He was in the local press and the tabloids being feted at the site of the dam where Barnes Wallace tested his bomb and at the local RAF station. He had all the right medals, beret, poppy, blazer and badge etc.

He was outed by his estranged daughter who informed the tabloid that her father had never served in the RAF during the war and in fact was an all round waster who had faked an exemption from military service on medical grounds.
Yeah, I met the old tw@ a couple of times at the end of Remembrance Sunday parades, when he spotted my uniform and couldn't wait to tell me about his 'background'. He took me by surprise, so I just had to take him at face value, but I thought that he was a bullshitter and made my excuses. When it happened the second time he was trying too hard and his story didn't stand up to even a little light questioning about where he served. An ex-41 RM Cdo friend (wounded three times from D-Day to Germany and who was then well into his 90s) threatened to rip him a new arrsehole if he ever saw him wearing medals again. :) About six months later the story appeared in the press and it's somewhere on ARRSEpedia. I seem to remember that he had done national service just after the war as an RAF cook or somesuch?
 
Certainly, in the case I cited in the original post, the teacher didn't make a big thing about having been in World War II, but I think he implied it and let people's imaginations fill in the gaps. I've searched old school photos on line and found one of a school remembrance service and he is not wearing medals although other members of staff are (whereas I was convinced he did!). We know how legends build up around teachers, and soon take a life of their own. Possibly his keen love of military history bled into his persona to make up for his own sense of inadequacy for not having served, as @dingerr suggested.

But their home was full of memorabilia; I specifically recall the arms of the Durham Light Infantry up in the study, along with bits and pieces like bayonets and German helmets etc. He had clearly convinced his family he'd served.

His son did an Infantry SSC in the 1980s; that might have led to some "What the...?" moments. We had been close friends throughout school but drifted apart when I went to university and he joined the army. I last saw the son about 20 years ago and appears to be living in Australia and has just retired, according to LinkedIn. As I mentioned I've dropped his a quick message (without reference to his dad's 'military career'), but nothing heard. This awkward incident has made me think about other war veterans I knew in my youth and being a bit more critical in my perspective. Certainly, my dad 'moved on' after the war; as far as I can remember he never went to RBL or Regimental events and was critical of the 'full bores' (as he called them) so often found in pubs years ago.
 

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