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We were then posted to different parts of the country for more training. I was to learn to be a staff car driver, so was being posted to Horsley Hall in Gresford, North Wales. Whilst waiting for arrangements for our posting, we were given jobs helping the new recruits. My job was to take an intake of Irish girls for their medical examinations to the medical room. Just before we were to leave for Wales we had our last medical examination. They duly put some evil smelling liquid on my hair and told me to report to my new medical centre on arrival.
I was so ashamed I got one of my friends to check my hair which was soon clean. However I was sent for and reprimanded for not checking in I blamed those Irish girls for my predicament. Horsley Hall My next period of training was at Horsley Hall, a magnificent country house in the small village of Gresford, situated between Wrexham and Chester, North Wales. Years before Gresford had been the scene of a major mine disaster which resulted in many lives lost.
I enjoyed my stay at Horsley Hall, Gresford. The countryside in North Wales was beautiful and I learned to drive through all the different villages. We spent a lot of time in the offices learning the theory of motor cars, such as how to change tyres, check oil and numerous other things.
Still talking about driving, we were taught to drive in convoy and how to properly tow another vehicle. We were, after a few weeks driving taken in a convoy to Rhyll. This was quite a dangerous mission as we had to negotiate Horseshoe Pass. As we were driving 15cwt lorries our instructors had to take over, we were not considered experienced enough to cope with this difficult terrain.
I must admit it was quite scary, but enjoyable. Whilst stationed in Wales, the Japanese War came to an end and everyone went wild. So I and two of my friends hitch hiked to Birmingham where one of them lived. One of them, Peggy Ashcroft, was to remain my pal throughout my Army career. This walk went on forever, and we seemed to walk all night in the pouring rain.
By morning we called into an all night bakery and we were given hot bread buns and a mug of tea, nectar! We passed through Shrewsbury and eventually ended up in Aston. This was the home of Katherine, one of the girls, I can still remember her address. I also remember the smell of vinegar that came from the H. P factory on the corner of her street. After a meal and a tidy up we proceeded to Castle Bromwich to dance the night away, the aerodrome was packed with revellers, celebrating V.
We returned to Gresford by train, thank goodness, as we were given our train fares. We escaped trouble without permission, were improperly dressed and had just taken off. Back at camp, life went on as usual, more driving, but more testing now. Liverpool was to be our destination, and I had the second-in-command in my 15cwt lorry to test me.
Everything went swimmingly except I kept stopping for the pigeons which were gathered on the roads. I passed, thank goodness and I could now wear my leather cap strap, over the top of my cap, signifying I was a driver, only staff car drivers were allowed that privilege. The irony of all this, I helped a few of my friends with the answers to questions and they all passed. Lingfield, Surrey Once again we were on the move and with my friend Peggy was posted to Lingfield in Surrey. This however was a holding unit and after a short stay we were sent to Chatham in Kent.
Our barracks were just a short walk along the road. We reported every morning and we all had our meals there, if there was anything left from tea, we were allowed to take it back to billets for supper. Usually it was hard tack biscuits and mouse trap cheese. This was my introduction to cheese on toast and have liked it ever since. My first calamity was driving a 15cwt Chevrole I had to take it to Swanley in Kent to pick up some sort of equipment, the day started off cold and frosty. I had slept in, so was feeling a little frayed.
In those days all cars had to have their radiators drained overnight no anti-freeze then , so I spent quite a few moments looking for where the water had to go. Good start to the day, I spent the journey driving on the pavements in a state of sheer panic.
When I reached my destination I proceeded to knock the top off one of the pillars at the entrance. Needless to say I was soon returned to base. What a day!. At last it was my turn, I picked him up in the Tilly and was given orders to proceed to Fort Darland in Gillingham.
This was a prison for the really hard case British soldiers who had to be incarcerated a British Colditz. However on approaching the turn off to the prison, after looking through the mirrors and giving hand signals notice hand signals, no indicators in those days.
I turned and to my surprise we were hit on my door side and sent yards down the road sideways. I have never been so shocked in all my life, I had been so careful. The M. To our great amusement this poor chap had taken the M. My car was written off and I had to fill in all the accident forms in triplicate. I never heard another thing. Winston Churchill Our time in Chatham came to an end and we were posted to Sevenoaks to a very large house, opposite the local water works.
Our dormitory was all oak panelled, very posh… Peggy and I still together after driving school, were once sent out on detail to an Italian prison-of-war camp in Tonbridge. Our duties were to take the Italian Medical Officer to different camps. When we arrived the M. My stay in the lovely Kent countryside lasted for 19 months. We wore a badge with a bulldog on it on our sleeves denoting we were stationed in Kent. I wish I knew what happened to it. Once again we were on the move and this time to Vintners Park in Maidstone.
Another huge house and large grounds. Once again I drove either the Medical Officer or the Officer in charge of catering for the different prisoner of war camps in the Dover area. I was very popular in one camp and was always taken to the kitchen to await for the officer to conclude his business. The German P. I suppose I was the only female in their lives. The other prisoner of war camp was on the cliffs in Dover and I definitely was not allowed inside. This was the British equivalent of Colditz.
All the German inmates were escapees from other camps. The drive from Maidstone to Dover was lovely, all little tree lined villages, not at all like it is now. One detail was to Dover Castle and manoeuvring through the narrow ways was quite hair raising. Wandering through the castle looking for a toilet was amusing. I opened one door and was confronted by an Officer, his trousers round his feet, never have I moved so quickly, I was off like a shot leaving this poor embarrassed man sat there.
This was most interesting. I drove a civilian surveyor to quite a few large houses in Kent. We measured up all the damage caused by army boots etc. Believe me the damage was considerable. All the beautiful oak staircases and oak panelling was gouged out. Banisters marked and ruined, leaded windows broken. It was very sad to see. I also had a go at cherry picking, I ate more than I picked.
Time for another move, this time to Tunbridge Wells, apparently this was where the D Day landings were planned. The house we lived in quite a posh one was a few doors away from our N. We should have walked the few yards. Our house was ruled over by this particular nasty piece of work of a Sergeant, not very well liked.
One night one of the girls took her car and I jumped in with her. Of course we got caught. The ensuring row between Jerry and the Sergeant was heated, and it seemed to go on forever. This was my first offence and boy! Jerry got two weeks pay stopped and posted. My posting was back to Maidstone. Actually this was rather severe punishment for a first offence, I went before the Junior Commander back at Chatham, buttons gleaming and shoes well polished and a knife pleat in my skirt.
That was the first time I had misbehaved in the A. I got my good conduct stripe later, plus a skill at arms badge. My pal Peggy and I decided we would volunteer for an overseas posting. We wanted to go to Hong Kong. We thought we were very brave to put our names down to travel to the other side of the world.
In preparation for this we were moved to Shorncliffe on the outskirts of Folkestone. This time we were billeted in the First World War Nissen huts. Some of the girls were practical jokers and I returned from detail to find my bedding missing, after much searching I found it on top of the toilet cistern.
Another trick making apple pie beds. Childish really! During my 19 months in Kent, most of our weekends were spent going to London. Our first port of call was to get a bed for the night. If all else failed we had to go to Victoria Station for 11pm and then transported to the Balham Underground station. It was used as an air-raid shelter during the war. We clambered down hundreds of iron steps to where bunk beds in rows of three awaited. Talk about claustrophobia.
When our sleeping arrangements were completed we called in Lyons Corner House in Leicester Square and enjoyed an afternoon tea. There was also musicians wandering around the tables. Ah this was the life. There were many clubs in Piccadilly, one was the Nuffield Centre and we spent our time visiting them all.
This is where all overseas service people gathered. Canada, America, Poland to mention a few. If any visiting celebrities were in town they came along and did a turn. I loved my dancing and had many good dancing partners. I must say we always looked smart. Our nylon stockings were Officers issue and we wore them inside out. The women M. Needless to say we ignored them. Our uniforms were taken off us because they looked so good, and we ended up with the usual serge ones.
Our shoes shone so you could see your face in them, Peggy was an expert at shining shoes, whilst I was good at pressing uniforms. After the first few days everything seemed so dull. You missed all the camaraderie of your life in the A. Two of my friends were in the forces, one in the R. My leave came to an end and I dutifully reported back to base. This was very exciting as I had never been on a large ship before.
It was crammed with different servicemen, Airforce, Army etc. It also had the first married families, wives and children joining their husbands, plus the addition of German prisoners of war, returning home. They were held in the hold of the ship whilst we were allowed to move freely. The large room used was a type of NAAFI canteen and here all the chaps were playing cards , reading etc. The date of sailing was November? We cast off about 7pm, I remember that time and I remarked how smoothly the ships passage was, only to be told we were still on the river Humber.
We finally left the river and entered the North Sea and Oh!! Apparently there was a 60 mile an hour gale blowing and we hit it. After a while I noticed the regularity of chaps turning a beautiful shade of green, and dashing out on deck. This caused a lot of hilarity but by this time Peggy and I had joined in the game and soon we had little piles of money, much to my amazement. We were playing with this very tall airman and saw this horrible green pallor on his face, and he was off.
We were congratulating ourselves on our luck at not being ill and our little pile of cash. By this time the boat or ship was rolling around and the prisoner of war chaps were being allowed out on deck in batches. Conditions in the hold were shocking. Stench and people very ill. Then it became Peggy and my turn to succumb. We were sat on a seat with our heads down and hands in our greatcoat pockets when this chap approached us.
When I think back it sounded so funny, but not at the time. After all the retching and wishing to die, I found a niche, out of the wind and spent the rest of the night in the arms of a fellow RAF sufferer. When we disembarked everyone pale and weak, we joined a train, which was to take us to a holding unit in Bielefeld, which was miles away.
This train was known as the Rhine Army Special and it had many carriages and we all boarded it for the journey which ended in Bad Oeynhausen. What an eye opener this was to become, to see all the damage caused by the bombing, nothing was left standing, just piles of rubble. When the train came to an halt for different reasons, out of the rubble appeared many children all asking for chocolate for Mama and cigarettes for Papa.
For the long journey we were issued with large white bags containing food and drink. Seeing the children we all handed down these bags and it was sad to see the mad scramble to reach them. It was frightening to see the said children diving under the train and were on tender hooks in case the train pulled off.
This was our first glimpse of war torn Germany and there was more to see as we continued our journey. Roads were very badly damaged and most had craters as quite a lot of the roads were cobbled and were quite dangerous to drive on, as I found out to my cost later. After an uneventful journey apart from the sad sight of the children we arrived in Bad Oeynhausen. There we were taken in lorries to Bielefeld.
A few days later we were posted back to Bad Oeynhausen and I remained there for the rest of my Army career. Skiing My bulldog badge on my sleeve was exchanged for a new insignia, this time it became two crossed swords on a red shield. Do not enter private information; it may be published. Submit Form Do you know if they allow kids with their parents to stay here? Submit Form Do you have to be married to stay here as a couple?
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If you are tall or extremely girthy, you may not be happy here. We loved it. You can hear the crashing waves. There is a great spot near the water to sit. Sunrises are amazing. It really is a nice little spot off the beaten path. The only con would be that there are some windows you cannot open due to no screens, and if it is a hot summer day, the cottage gets no shade and gets hot and stuffy. At the very least, the ability to open more windows would help, but a window unit would be a nice addition.
We stayed a week and would have probably run it for about 5 or 6 hours on about 3 days. For any fisherman, you can catch fish here. I managed to catch one striper and I had another chasing my lure. Fishing is easiest once the tide is mostly out or mostly in. High tide you can just fish above the high tide line and cast out.
I went down and to the right some for all high tide fishing as the drop off is quicker over there and there are less weeds and rocks to snag on. At low tide, you can still go to the right and make your way down to the water's edge. Once employed, graduates can apply for housing with the pride that comes from naming their employer and their rate of pay on their applications. With housing as a primary goal, we dedicated the top two floors of our six-story building to living quarters.
Fourteen furnished studio apartments comprise GateHouse. GateHouse offers permanent supportive housing for homeless men and women. Living here eases the difficult transition for women leaving shelters. Located in the former YWCA, the rooms provide a safe environment for ten women at a time, as well as daily meals.
During a stay of up to six months, the women attend classes or may work in an enterprise program, all the time supported by individually designed wraparound services. We emphasize the practical aspect of managing money, encouraging them to save toward the funds necessary for a rental; i.