Hello everybody I am sure you will find Laurie Avison’s letter very interesting. It goes to show national servicemen, like Laurie were the back bone of the British Army
I hope you are Keeping well. I know probably many more have said this, but I just happened to find your Web site and a very good one at that. It stirred my old grey matter.
When I went for my medical they asked me what I wanted to join, the Navy I said. Obviously a complete waste of time, because I got my call up for the Army Catering Corps and report to Aldershot for basic training.
After training I was posted to Catterick for my cook’s course. On completion of the course I was sent to Kure in Japan.
I embarked on Empire Orwell, a troop ship; where I spent eleven weeks cooking in the ships galley. I was dropped off at Kure and spent six months cooking for the Royal Military Police. The Korean War was at an end and that is where I got posted.
Korea was so cold, that I had to boil frozen eggs first before I could fry them. I was in Korea six months and then it was back to Japan for me to catch the troop ship Asturias home, or so I thought.
It came as a surprise when I was told that I would be dropped off at Singapore.
I spent two weeks in a transit camp before being posted to RASC camp in Malaya.
The camp was in a jungle area and it took four days by train, sat on a wood slat seat. The train must have been built in the eighteen hundreds and still going strong. I finished my service at this camp and I was told that I would be flown home for demob, no such luck.
The Suez crisis came up and I was stuck there and had to wait for it to finish. So I did a little bit more National Service than most.
My pay at the time was one pound per week, ten bob of that was taken from my pay and sent home to my mum, to save for me for when I got out. The trouble was my mum had spent it each week as it was sent. So when eventually I got my demob, I had two days off, then back to work down the coal mine.
Laurie Avison 23100328 A.C.C Leeds W/Yorkshire