What did you do in the war Grandpa?


Kit Reviewer
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Well as it happens nothing of note, he was too young to join up.

However, in 1946 he was called up for national service in the Royal Signals and was immediately sent to Palestine where he spent his time as the regimental clerk on account of his public school education and typing skills.

Other than that, I know little about his time there. He once mentioned to me that the cinema on his base was bombed with many casualties and he reckoned the worst job was motorbike dispatch rider as the locals had a habit of stringing piano wire between trees.

After this, his unit moved on mass across the Sinae desert in a big convoy, through Egypt to Tripoli. Water was rationed and as the owner of a clockwork razor, he was the only man who could shave. I still have the razor now.

Eventually they made it to Tripoli, boarded a boat and sailed home.

Anyway I'm currently going through his stuff and he kept all of his paperwork, everything even the receipt for the razor and old ticket stubs from the cinema which was bombed.

Here is some of it, an interesting little snapshot into the life of a national serviceman in Palestine:


Nice pics! My gramps did national service too in 1947... but the other relatives like flies on shit took all his military possessions as soon as he passed away! :eek:(
Maternal side, NS in Royal Marines post war, served on HMS Vanguard I think. On paternal side, was in a protected role as a mental health nurse at Calderstones hospital in Whalley, which was once again a military hospital in WW2 as it was in the first great unpleasantness.

First war, I know one was infantry, and the other, my namesake, was RAMC.
Interesting stuff Ravers.
One of my grandads was too old for WW2 but I`m led to believe he was in the home guard, in WW1 he was too young so missed that one. My other grandad was an already married US sailor who got my gran up the duff whilst based in the UK, then buggered off to the pacific, never to be heard from again, apparently passing away in New York sometime in the early `80s.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
There is tons more of this stuff, I'm only just properly sorting it out.

Just found an interesting letter, written after his service, describing how he got a cabby in a Dakota, Mosquito and some German aircraft.

Not sure how or why, but it's an interesting read describing his first taste of flying.


Book Reviewer
I suppose we all hoard this stuff and then too often afterwards it just gets binned. A couple of years back someone was telling me how he discovered too late that his relatives had chucked out all his father's letters written home from the Grand Fleet during WW1.

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