Royal Marines Depot Deal, in 1946
Written by albert eddie smith(ply/x 116075)
Having been made virtually redundant by forces personell returning to their jobs after the war I decided to ’do’ my Nat. Service so April 23rd, St Georges Day 1946 saw me walk through the gates at the Royal Marines Depot Deal Kent.
Time has smoothed the pain of some times 8 hours per day of ’square bashing’, left turn right turn about turn & the most important ’turn’ of all " how to salute an officer". only then were we allowed out of the depot!
Early September and on to the ’Field training’ camp in Devon, a holiday camp after Deal and the food was a big improvement! Woodbury Common & Dartmoor became very familiar as did all the different infantry weapons from Browning pistols, Sten & Bren guns, mortars, grenades and that horrible anti tank device the P I A T. What a ’Kick’ that could give you!!
All good things must end! so on to mid Wales, now 1947 and a good year for snow. Route marches of 5, 7,9, 12, 15, 20, 25, & 30 miles were taken in your stride (sorry) speed marches @9 mins. to the mile of 5,7,9,12,&15 were rrrough! a helluva ’assault course against the clock and a final individual 40 mile yomp over Cader Idris, well almost as the snow was too deep on top so when it got to 4ft. deep we went round the side. An extra mile or so but still only 10 hours to get back to camp!
Anyone remember "King Cole" leave? the weather was so bad most services shut down for two weeks leave, it took me 17 hours to get home to Nottingham.
Back to Wales for a week and then off to the Army & RAF for 7 weeks @ 2/6d. a day extra whilst we did 8 Parachute jumps.
Fully trained soldiers now so off to Malta to join up with 3 RM Cdo. Brigade who were arriving from ’border patrol’ in Hong Kong.
More training now but of a distasteful type , "duties in aid of a civil power" as the message filtered down that we were destined for ’stand by’ duty in Palestine so I wasn’t upset when ’sailing orders’ came at the same time as my demob number came up to tell me it was time to return to being a ’civvy’ again.
Only 2 years but well remembered 67 years ago today.