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

It was between five and six oclock on Thursday the 24th of August 1939. I had just returned home from work and was having my tea. My father was sitting at the other side of the table. Suddenly something outside caught his attention and after a few moments of gazing through the window he said “Whos he looking for?” I turned around and saw a man in uniform walking up the street. I went outside and asked him who he was looking for and he said "W.S.Ward." I said “Thats me" and his next words were “Come on weve been mobilised.” I was in the Territorial Army Carmarthen Fortress Searchlight Company, Royal Engineers Llanelli. We had only recently comeback from a months camp in Hertfordshire. It was a shilling-a-day all-found holiday. In those days not many could afford a weekend in Blackpool or Brighton Spain or even Ferryside (even if you walked there!). There had been a call-up the year before but after about ten days we all went home again -another few days holiday or so we thought. But there were dark clouds gathering over Europe. By the time I walked into the Drill Hall in Llanelli a lot of my Army pals were already there and being kitted out. We had a roll-call and by about 9 or 10 oclock we were told togo home and report back the next morning at 9 oclock. This went on for a few days until one morning we were told that we would be moving out and would not be sleeping at home that night. We boarded a train at Llanelli not knowing where we would up.end (No doubt the officers knew.) After about an hour we stopped at Bridgend where we were billeted in a dance hall called the Queens. We each had a palliasse which we filled with straw and two blankets and we slept on the floor with our backpacks as pillows. A few days later on the 2n d of September the searchlights arrived from Woolwich. We were split into detachments often men and outspread from Bridgend to Cardiff. My detachment went to a place called Boverton not far from Llantwit Major. Boverton 1939-40. Stan onWard left. 1
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