My Wartime Memories, W.S Ward Gunner, 484 searchlight Battalion R.A

L '\winter was just ending and everyone was white while I was a bit brown. One of the ladies said tome “Have you just come from overseas?” and when I "said “Yes she gave me a big mug of tea and a plate full of sandwiches on the house. I will never forget that as long as I live. The war was still on and when I arrived back in Burry Port at about midnight I couldnt see a hand in front of meas there were no lights. There was no-one about as I walked along Station Road but when I was where the British Legion is now I heard the footsteps of a couple of people coming towards me. It was black and I couldnt see a thing but one of them said “Stan!" and I put my arms out in front. They were my two brothers Fred and Mervyn. They had been only eleven years old when I had last seen them and now they were sixteen years old and working. We threw our arms around each other. We couldnt see each other, only feel. They carried my kitbag and other things and we walked to the Suburbs and up Bryn Gwdig to No. 2. We went in through the backdoor and into the living room where my father and my Aunt Alice were sitting and I broke down when I saw them. I had been away for four and a half years but it was my Aunt that I cried over most. She was only forty-three years old and when I went overseas her hair had been dark and now it was white. Only she knew what she went through. I was home after four and a half years. I dont remember much about what I did. It was just good to be home although there were none of my old friends around as they were in the Services somewhere in the world. It was late April. I called at the Llanelli Foundry where I had worked before I was called up just to say hello. I also went to West Bromwich to see my Aunts and Uncles and I was thereon V.E. Day. The streets were in blackout but only because the power hadn't been put back soon the people came outwith candles and they lit fires in the streets. After my twenty-eight days pass I went back to Southsea. We were therefor about three or four weeks in a house that the Army had had since the start of the war but now that was over the people wanted the house back and we had to get out. The war was still on in the Far East and there was a possibility that I could be sent out there. But for the time being we just had to move out of the house and we upended in Kirky Barracks Colchester. The war was going our way in the Far East and it seemed only a matter of time before it was over and it was not long before the factories were turning to making cars instead of tanks. In August 1945 America dropped the Atomic bomb on Japan and the world war came to an end. All I wanted was my one-way ticket to Burry Port home and Civvy Street, and I had it by late September or early October. I had togo to Fenchurch Street station then across London to Paddington station with one call to make at the Olympia to pickup my civvy suit as no doubt the clothes I had before the war would not fit me now. I had a navy blue red-and-white pinstriped double-breasted suit two shirts, a tie a trilby hat and a pair of shoes. I was out of the Army on a three months' paid holiday that would have taken me into January 1946 but I went back to work in the foundry in late November 1945 and was discharged from the Army on 8th January 1946. Gunner Ward W.S. 206768824/03/0316
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