Letters To Alan – Jim Thomas – Kings Own Royal Border Regiment -Signaller – Cameroons National Service

14 Feb

Hello Alan,
My name is Jim Thomas and my army number was 23772116 I came across your site accidently, while looking for something else entirely.
I was in the K.O.R.B. and went to Cameroon as a signaller in HQ Company. At first I was stationed at the Buea camp, and (against all odds) volunteered to go up to Bamenda with some security codes for the radio.
On the way I stopped over at the Mamfe camp, for a night, and was well-fed. Then up to Bamenda to deliver my parcel.
I travelled in a Landrover with a mate who was also a signaller but could drive. (I had no licence at that time). We stayed one night in Bamenda and I met all my mates from the Signals platoon.
Then, off back down to Mamfe, to stay the night again. If I remember rightly you could only travel one way on a certain day, then opposite the day after. Anyhow, while at Mamfe I did a stint on the radio to relieve a mate.
When I got back from Mamfe to Buea my Captain, named Blinkoe who said that he had heard me on the radio at Mamfe, and asked me if I fancied a transfer to Mamfe. I jumped at it has I saw that Mamfe was a very relaxed place, no bullshit, no parades, no saluting and all on first name terms (even the officers)
So, off back to Mamfe the next day, where I was in with a full corporal Albert xxxxxxx, a private names Mick Hargreaves and two Royal Signallers. We worked the radio in shifts, so it meant that you only worked one day in three, split into mornings and afernoons. Cushy hey!
We were kept busy with signals to UK ordering stuff for the RAF to finish off the camp.you obviously were demobbed before me (mine was April 1962) but before hand I was transferred to the Loyals for two days (typical army).
Jim Thomas.

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