Other National service Story – Derek Ormerod – KORBR

2 Feb

Derek sent this story to me a few years ago which I published on another one of my former of my sites

My name is Derek Ormerod from Accrington soon to be 23435361 Pte Ormerod in the November intake 1957 at the Border Regiment Depot Carlisle Castle After ten weeks training under C.M.S Smalls I was presented with a rifle shooting cup at the passing out parade. We had a few days leave then sent to Berlin to join the regiment via the port of Harwich. The sea trip to the Hook of Holland on the T.S.Wansbeck was quite unforgettable with the sea being rough. From the Hook of Holland to Berlin we were transported on a long slow train.
On arrival at Wavell Barrack in Seekt Str, Spandau a western suburb of Berlin I was put into (D)Company and became a rifleman later a L/Cpl Apart from the rifle training, square bashing, guard duties and obviously plenty of bull. The time spent in Berlin was military exercises in the Grunewald Forest, riot duty with the German police. Not forgetting train guard duties on the overnight train from Berlin to Hanover and back. Also two Queen’s birthday parades, first at R.A.F. Gatow airstrip, then on the big day at the Olympic Stadium complex.
I also did ski training at ST. Andresburg West Germany. The most interesting job was the guard duties at Spandau Prison. The prisoners at the time held there were Albert Speer, Hitler’s Armaments Minister; Balder Von Scrach head of Hitler youth and Rudolph Hess, Deputy leader of the Nazi Party
Free time was spent drinking with the lads in the mess dodging the Military Police patrols on the streets, travelling on the trams along Her Str. To the NAAFI Club and visited the pictures at the Jabor Theatre. Out with the lads we had some fun at the bars in the Kurfusten Damm in the City. I also took trips into East Berlin in civilian clothes (illegally) crossing at the Brandenburg Gate and along the Unter Den Linden. At that time the currency was three East German Marks for one West German Mark. To be honest there was very little to spend it on in the East Sector of Berlin. On odd occasions we were allowed in the Eastern Sector officially wearing our military uniforms.
Our stint in Berlin soon came to an end and the Border Regiment returned to England and based at Humbleton Camp Barnard Castle. Not long after the regiment returned I was spotted by Colonel Gillen doing a bit of sign writing for some body. He made me the Battalion sign writer. I had no choice in the matter because they had been looking for one to change all the signs and Divisional boards in the camp prior to amalgamation with the King’s Own to form the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment. I did not attend the Amalgamation parade, because on completion of the sign writing. I was sent to the Army School of Civil Defence at Millom for yet more training. It was here at Millom I celebrated my 21st birthday
I was demobbed and it was back to civilian life. Looking back over the many years I have to say I had a great time in the Army. I was also very lucky to be based in Berlin and as the years roll by I often wish I were back in those times

Best wishes to you all

Derek Ormerod

One Response to “Other National service Story – Derek Ormerod – KORBR”

  1. denis burbidge January 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    these comments are really nice , reading them bring back some treasured memories.my army number was 23491869 and I was in support company. I was billeted in s block which was quite comfortable .I had lots of good mates… oughterson, Kelly whiteside.wilson I can still picture them all. I still remember walking round the wall in Spandau prison and phoning in every quarter of an hour.i do remember going out with a mate call ormerod who was also in support company and we did have some good times best. regards to everyone


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