The Open Door

Memories: Derek Adams

After completing my basic training in Yeovil in December 1959, I found myself and four other lads outside the main gate at 47 Company at Watchfield. After the accommodation was sorted out, we were there are over the weekend. All of a sudden the billet door was thrown open and in knee-jerked Captain Robinson! Can anyone remember him? I’ll never forget the shotgun he had in the crook of his arm. Can anyone remember Roger the cook and Lieutenant Martin? They could be mistaken for twins although they were not related. Both of them had identical moustaches, and guess who had to shave his off. Many a time I had accidentally saluted the wrong body (in civvies).

After our Air Despatch training it wasn’t long before we were winging our way to North Africa on Exercise Starlight 1. My climbing skills were greatly enhanced when I learned how to shin up the side of a Beverley aircraft into the cockpit and sniff out the Compo rations hidden there. All this whilst it was still taxiing over the sandy man-made runway. We ate well that night. I was a tent with four lads, National Service all of them. They were as follows, Johnny Beames from Bristol, Taffy from Penarth, Trevor from Northampton and finally but sadly, Jock Curran from Scotland. He collapsed and died not long after whilst unloading Jerry Cans off a truck. Cpl Kenshaw was there as well. I was one of the coffin bearers at his funeral. I have never forgotten it to this day. War Graves Photographic Project

On a lighter note, I made some good friends at Watchfield. John Davies who is the Standard Bearer at all Air Despatch parades for one. We have been in touch since 2004. Scouse Constantine I would like to hear from again. Does anyone know where he is now.

Finally, whilst stationed at 47 Company in Cyprus from 1960/1962, there was a Cpl there nicknamed ‘lofty’, he stood about six foot four inches tall, white shouldered and mid-brown curly hair, we got on fine. Can anyone remember his name? All I know is that he came from Leicester. I remember that his head shook slightly when he was speaking.

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