My Days in the Army by Ronald Frederick Gurdin.
At the age of 18 I was called to do two years in the army, this was called CONSCRIPTION. I had applied for the Royal Engineers but, until I arrived at camp in Winchester did I realise I was to join either the Rifle Brigade or the King's Royal Rifles Corp both are known as the Royal Green Jackets so I picked The Kings Royal Rifles, and embarked on 10 week training. After the training period was over, my squad were taken to their depot which was 2 miles from the training camp, where we stayed for a while. One morning we were lined up, and told that we were to go on a fortnight's leave, and returning we would be off to Düsseldorf, Germany. But alas it was not to be for me, I had instead to go to a place called Great Malvern in Worcestershire to start a trade course, this lasted for 4 and half months that consisted of workshop practice in woodwork and on preparing living quartets for the instructors from empty old huts. On completing the course, we were given our trade badge the cross axes and a divisional badge which was the war office badge, I was now told to report back to my unit, on my depot I was then posted to military college of science in Swindon, where I was given charge of all maintenance work at the collage, this collage by the way was for officers, where they learnt different types of weapons etc this was where I stayed until the end of my service with the regiment. I had my own workshop under me.
I remember one big parade, in my first year of service, after I finished my trade course, a general invited us, asked me how long had I served up till now and then I said this was the end of my first year sir, and he told me I was the first conscript that he inspected that had least put my time to good use by earning my badges. I did on two occasions lead to big parades mainly church parades as I was rather good at keeping up the 160-180 steps minute which was our regiments pace. I was demobbed on 9/5/1950 at Aldershot 1948-1950.
After being demobbed for a while, I received some papers asking me to go back into the army, on a new scheme called The Z scheme, this was a scheme which, if you were in it for a fortnight you would automatically be exempt from having to the five years’ service normally done.
So I did the fortnight as a Z man they called us this and so was finished with the Army for good. So I thought, after going back to work as civvies again, things had not changed for the better, so I met a friend who was in the territorials and he persuaded me to join so I volunteered for four years’ service and was in the Queens Territorials based at Chart Lane, Reigate, Surrey.
My total service was 6 years and 2 weeks altogether. My service was from 1948-1950
KRRC and Queens TA 1954-1958.
Ronald Frederick Gurdin