Tag Archives: national service blog

Stuart Williams RAF 1954-57

26 Jan

Hello Alan

My Granddaughter found your ‘story’ on the Web which I am reading with great interest. I was born at Barrow in 1936, and lived at 15 Hastings St with my brother Ralph Williams, my Mum, ‘Molly’ (Mary) Williams and my Dad, Jack (John) Williams, and my elder sister Joan Williams. My Father’s Father lived on the same side of the street, further up probably about opposite to your house. He was called John Williams I think. My Father worked in Vickers as a Capstan Lathe Machinist throughout the war.
I remember VE day and the party outside Joe Condron’s. We used to play with his son Colin regularly. I would very much like a copy of the street party if you can supply one. I think myself and my brother is among the boys seated on the right of the picture. I am struggling to remember you by name. In 1941 (I think) I was playing at the bottom of the street with some other boys, when a small group of other boys came around the corner from the rear of the back of your side of the street. They were calling names and throwing stones at us. One struck me directly on the left eyeball. My eye swelled up very badly, and my parents trailed me all over Barrow to various Doctors and the Hospital and they all said that the eye would have to come out. With careful nursing however I still have it although there is a tiny mark on the front of it as a reminder.

 Also I remember being snowed in during the very bad winter of 45/46 I think. The snow was drifted right to the top of the downstairs front window and my Dad had to dig a way out of the front door.
Most of the early war years seemed to have been spent at night in the Air-raid shelters that were built in the back streets, with guns firing all around and plenty of pieces of shrapnel in the streets the following day. I had quite a collection at one time. There was a big searchlight and anti-aircraft gun on some ground behind the Picture House. We used go the Saturday morning matinee for kids watching Flash Gordon and cowboy films. The place was a riot with everyone shouting and stamping their feet when the ‘baddies’ came on. I remember a bakery nearby having a sign saying ‘Closed for the duration’ and I couldn’t understand at the time what it meant. Men coming home on Leave in Uniform and local families upset when they had received news by telegram of a family member being K.I.A. There seemed to be a lot of waste ground and the Lakeland Laundry electric vans and electric milk floats coming and going from street to street. . I also remember vividly going with my father, to look at the bomb damage in and around Barrow and also watching ships and submarines being launched into Walney Channel.
.I did go to Ocean Rd School until 1946, but I don’t remember any of the teacher’s names.
.In 1946 our family moved to Haverigg in Cumbria. Just across the Bay from the Northern tip of Walney and eventually into a Council House in Millom.
In 1954 I left Millom to do my National Service and it will be 60 years this June since I left and haven’t been back since. I joined the Royal Air Force in 1954 for 3years for the better pay and served at RAF Hornchurch and RAF Kirton in Lindsey as a RAF Policeman. I met my wife Maureen who was from the village of Kirton. I ought to say that my full name is john Stuart Richard Williams. When I joined the RAF everyone called me by my first name John. Only my family still use the Stuart name. Leaving the RAF in 1957 (the year we were married) I worked for 5 years in Scunthorpe Steel Works and on the 10th December 1962 (Very bad winter) I joined the West Riding Police. I served for 30 years in and around Yorkshire retiring back to Lincolnshire in 1996. We have lived in Sleaford for the past 17years.

Sadly Maureen passed away on 31.12.2013 after bravely fighting an illness for many years. We had been married for 57 years and had two sons PAUL and IAN. Paul was on HMS Hermes for the Falklands War. He went away a bright young lad and came back a completely different man. It certainly affected him and sadly he died aged 36years of age, leaving a wife and four young girls. The eldest girl 11years of age died suddenly at home with a heart defect not detected. As one can imagine, it was a very sad time for the family. We are a close knit family and life goes on

I am enjoying reading your story, with memories of my early days flooding back. Finally I would like to wish all my family and friends, good luck and best wishes for the future

 Thanking you

Stuart Williams

 

 

 

 

Follow the Blog Reminder

9 Apr

Hi all, don’t forget to follow the blog, you will not get loads of spam emails only a note when I update the blog  which is usually once or twice a week. Click the follow in the right hand corner – Cheers Alan

February Sales Update for Get In ‘Get Out and Get Away’ – my National Service Story

1 Mar

Another great month, just missing out on the record month by a couple of books. Thanks to all who purchased my National Service book, for more details click the picture above to take you to Amazon or try my other website www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk

The details of the book are:

Get In Get Out and Get Away. This may sound strange but not for your uncles, brothers, fathers or grandads. They knew from an early age that one day they would be called up to do their two years National Service.
I am sure the countless millions of ex-National Servicemen will have many things in common in these memoirs, hopefully they are happy ones. I was born in a small terraced house on Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, England in 1938. In that era, the toilet was outside and the bath which was made of tin was kept in the backyard and brought into the house when needed.
Whilst growing up, the cloud above one’s head of having to do National Service got closer and closer. I knew older lads who were getting called up on a regular basis. I was twenty one years old and had just finished my apprenticeship in 1960 when it was my turn. This was the last year of National Servicemen being called up for the services.
I served my two years National Service in the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment reporting to Fulwood Barracks, Preston. For ten weeks, the drill instructors shaped the platoon from a rag tag outfit to smart soldiers. From Fulwood the platoon was sent to Barnard Castle, County Durham and later to the British Cameroons, West Africa for ten months. The regiment was chosen to keep the peace and oversee a vote on the Cameroons future. There was a terrorist organisation on the French border that was intent on disrupting the process and the memoirs include numerous encounters and an eventful raid on a terrorist camp.
This true story is mixed with amusing anecdotes of growing up in post War Britain through the swinging sixties. I was given an eye opener in life then and I am sure when you read my detailed account, you will agree, and also see the parallels to the modern day operations undertaken by the American, British and United Nations military.
It is all history now but it has been a privilege on behalf of my fellow countrymen to put it all down on paper.
We all had one thing in common, that was to Get In Get Out and Get Away.

National Service Blog – Follow

14 Feb

Hi – dont forget to follow the blog if you like what you read, I am keeping the blog up to date about weekly so you will not receive lots of mail but hopefully some military stories of interest.

There should be a follow button in the right hand corner of your screen. It would be great to have you reading regularly, you will receive an email when I have updated the blog.

 

Thanks for reading and dont forget to check out my other website www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk

Blog now listed on www.milblogging.com

15 Jan

Delighted today that the blog is now featured on Milblogging.com the best and largest listing for military blogs. The listing is here http://milblogging.com/listingDetail.php?id=5437 and the site general is here http://milblogging.com

For new readers to the blog I am featuring the history of National Service (send in your own stories as well please) and have also published a book on the subject:

The book Get In Get Out and Get Away can be found on Amazon or from this link http://www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk or from this Amazon link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Get-Out-Away-National-Serviceman/dp/B0050I6A2E or for US readers  here http://www.amazon.com/Get-Out-Away-Serviceman-ebook/dp/B0050I6A2E.

The website www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk  contains pictures to accompany the story and the description of the book is here:

Get In Get Out and Get Away. This may sound strange but not for your uncles, brothers, fathers or grandads. They knew from an early age that one day they would be called up to do their two years National Service. I am sure the countless millions of ex-National Servicemen will have many things in common in these memoirs, hopefully they are happy ones. I was born in a small terraced house on Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, England in 1938. In that era, the toilet was outside and the bath which was made of tin was kept in the backyard and brought into the house when needed. Whilst growing up, the cloud above one’s head of having to do National Service got closer and closer. I knew older lads who were getting called up on a regular basis. I was twenty one years old and had just finished my apprenticeship in 1960 when it was my turn. This was the last year of National Servicemen being called up for the services. I served my two years National Service in the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment reporting to Fulwood Barracks, Preston. For ten weeks, the drill instructors shaped the platoon from a rag tag outfit to smart soldiers. From Fulwood the platoon was sent to Barnard Castle, County Durham and later to the British Cameroons, West Africa for ten months. The regiment was chosen to keep the peace and oversee a vote on the Cameroons future. There was a terrorist organisation on the French border that was intent on disrupting the process and the memoirs include numerous encounters and an eventful raid on a terrorist camp. This true story is mixed with amusing anecdotes of growing up in post War Britain through the swinging sixties. I was given an eye opener in life then and I am sure when you read my detailed account, you will agree, and also see the parallels to the modern day operations undertaken by the American, British and United Nations military. It is all history now but it has been a privilege on behalf of my fellow countrymen to put it all down on paper. We all had one thing in common, that was to Get In Get Out and Get Away.

Your Letters and Short Stories

7 Jan

Hello everybody, if you the reader would like to write a letter or short story or anything that will be of interest to other readers about your time serving in the British Forces. I will publish it with your approval on this site.
What is paramount to all concerned, is that it is all history now and your experiences should not be lost, but should be read by the younger generation in what you experienced many years ago.
If you have trouble putting things down on paper, I will help you if you send me a basic draft.

Best wishes

Alan

Author of Get In Get Out and Get Away – www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk

Welcome to the National Service Blog

26 Nov

I started this blog after releasing Get In Get Out and Get Away – Memoirs of a National Serviceman for the Amazon Kindle. If you want to check out the details of it you can go to my website http://www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk/ or buy the book here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Get-Out-Away-National-Serviceman/dp/B0050I6A2E

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