Letters to Alan 5 -Peter Tucker National Service – 33rd Airborne Light Regt R.A.

17 Dec

Hi there, I am Peter Tucker and I was called up for my National Service on the 3rd March 1949 and I had to report to Park Hall Camp, Oswestry and was enlisted into the Royal Artillery and my no. was 22112917 after doing basic training with 17th Trg Regt R.A., further training followed and finally I was posted to Germany and sent to Woolwich Depot to await a draft, whilst there awaiting Embarkation Leave I went down with appendix pain and was sent to Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich where I had an operation the same day. During my stay in hospital there was a National Dock Strike and Woolwich Depot was used to billet Service Personnel for the strike so when I came out of hospital the only place to sleep was on the verandah of a barrack block on a mattress filled with straw, next day I went on 7 days leave, during which time the strike was settled and the Depot had returned to normal. I had missed my draft so I was sent the next day to Germany and as I was still wet under the collar I was placed in the charge of a Sgt returning to his unit in Germany after being Y listed. He escorted me as far as Hannover where we parted company, I was given all my posting documents and taken to the RTO at Hannover, as it was late at night by the time we got there they put me on a truck and sent me to the Transit Camp for the night, with instructions to report back back to them the next morning. The next morning which was on the Saturday having left Woolwich on Thusday I was placed on a civilian train for Celle, and given a compartment to myself with all the necessary details and told to report to the RTO at Celle . On arrival at Celle about lunch time the RTO contacted the unit to which I had been posted and I was sent to the Lakeside NAFFI club to await the duty jeep, this arrived early afternoon and I finally arrived at my unit 33rd Airborne Light Regt R.A. stationed at Fallingbostal they gave me some bedding and the Orderly Sgt found me somewhere to kip down until Monday when I would be finally placed. On the Monday I was interviewed by the Assistant Adjutant and becaused I could do shorthand and touch type it was decided that as they were not expecting any replacements anywhere I should stay in RHQ and take a place in the Regimental Office.
In November of 1949 the whole brigade (16th Independant Parachute Brigade Gp) returned to England to the Aldershot area, we were at C Camp Barton Stacey. My release no was 4905 which was due out in August 1949 I was lucky as the day before I was to be posted to my TA unit NS was increased from 18 months to 2 years because of the Korean War but it did not effect me so I duly was posted to my TA Regiment which was 255 Medium Regt RA (West Somerset Yeomanry) for the remainder of my National Service which was 4 years. The Bty to which I had to do my drills was P Bty and was 14 miles away from my home. As I had to do 4 years I thought that it would be better if I became a volunteer TA member and receive the annual bounty and many other privledges, in the end I did 8 years with the TA reaching the rank of Bdr finally finishing with the army in 1958.

Good luck

Peter Tucker

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