from the north Yorkshire line platform 5. This was the start of a lifelong friendship, though
thick and thin they would stay together.
Preston depot of the loyals was a short journey from Carnforth, dad arrived on time, a
good start for your army carrier, and the ones that were late got off to a bad start.
“Get in line you lot, I'm your sergeant major”, this was the start of six weeks of hell,
Sergeant Johnson took over. All you lot, get yourselves into the stores, the uniforms were
the worst fitting garments you could imagine, everything was too big or to small, lucky for
dad Jack was a tall well-made lad and dad was small and thin type, having swapped their
kit around they both had something verging on a good fit.
PE was the first problem running 5 miles before breakfast was a killer for a farm boy
who had never run anywhere in his life!
After breakfast it was square bashing till noon, then after dinner (they still had the
main meal at dinner time) it was the shooting range, dad liked this as it bought back
memories of hunting with Sam.
After basic training it was 5 days leave back to Carnforth to show off his new
uniform, mum Nora was so proud of Philip seeing him marching round chin up chest out,
his back was ram rod straight, and he looked 3 inches taller.
Then off to Stoke on Trent, where they were issued with more gear, then they moved
on to Leicester, there they were given Places to sleep in the stables of a mansion called
Little Dalby, a few weeks later they moved to horse racing stables in Somerby.
All the time it was training, training, and more training, after Somerby they moved to
Camberley in Surrey, and the now famous you and you, you’re on motor bikes and sidecar,
the idea was everyone got to try the brakes clutch and gears the ones who could get
them moving got the job as driver.
Dad had been driving trucks so he had no bother getting a motor bike going, with this
and intense training that followed many hours with bike and the deadly Bren gun.
With Twiss in the side car, brengun mounted on the front of they would go, they
travelled the south coast, spotting anywhere that could be a possible invasion point they
would ride over ploughed fields and all over the South Downs, they would go down
narrow road at full speed, the motor bikes were high speed hit and run vehicles.
Dad loved the army life they set off and travelled for days camping out, everything
would pack in the side car, six weeks later it was off to Salisbury plain for manoeuvres, the
journey was exciting with Jack in the sidecar, in those days it took three days.
They stopped over nights in different army camps, always worn-out! “Pitch your tent
over there would be the orders and get yourself over to the naffi” before it shuts.
Next morning after picking up more troops for the manoeuvres, and with dad up at
the front with the out riders, they would go ahead and stop all the traffic for the large
convoy of trucks and tank carriers.
The manoeuvres where full brigade strength 28 armoured brigade it was three days
of war games with tactics put into practice dad loved it,Reds against the Blues it was so
exciting Dad and Twiss against the rest! with the manoeuvres over, It should have been
up to Catterrick.
Thing had changed the British expeditionary force that had been sent to defend
Holland and Belgium had met with the German army full on! Blitz screed! the full might of
the German army. With the panzer tanks stooka dive bombers and fully armoured troop
The British tried to stop them but they were still using the equipment from the great
war, Adolf Hitler who had come to power in 1933 had been building his army for years in
readiness for this moment.