In 1965 'Mac' was destined to join the Royal
Hampshire Regiment, but was barred by reason of age from joining the 1st
Bn who at that time were on Active Service in Borneo. As a result I was
transferred, without consultation, to the DERR. At that time the DERR were on
leave having just completed three years in Malta after which they
were destined to spend the next three years in Minden, West Germany as Mechanized
'Mac' was in the first intake to join the Battalion in
Minden, where after continuation training he joined 'C' Company. It
would be a total understatement to say, but young 'Mac' experienced what
can only be described as a culture shock when he joined this bronzed,
tattooed, beer drinking fighting bunch of professional Infantry
Soldiers. 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em realized our young
hero, who then embarked on three very happy years, learning the art of
being a Mechanized Infantry Soldier. Exercises in Libya, France, Belgium
and Norway followed, all of which involved digging up half the world.
The first lesson of being a Mechanized Infantry Soldier is 'It's not Mechanized'
most of your time is spent marching, digging and running.
A posting to Catterick followed where 'C' Company had the
honour of being amongst the first troops to be deployed on the streets
of Londonderry in August 1969 in support of 2nd Queens Regiment, and look what a mess we made of it, it's
still going on.
On our return 'Mac' headed to British Honduras (Belize)
where he spent 9 months avoiding snakes, with a short trip to Panama
thrown in. 'Mac' gave the American instructors loads of advice and as a
consequence I think they lost the war in Vietnam. A further short
trip to Ulster followed during which our hero had a clash with the
authorities and was without further ado transferred to 'B' Coy
Berlin beckoned next by which time our hero was a
'Married Pad'. This was a good posting with most of our time being spent
in West Germany, Norway and France on Exercise. 18 months into this
posting 'Mac' decided to throw in the towel and try pastures new.
On leaving the 'Mob' Mac joined the Thames Valley Police
and got posted to Reading. He has remained in the Force since that time,
with his postings being almost equally divided between C.I.D. and the
Force Support Group, which incorporates the Force Firearms Team. Much to
the horror of the Chief Constable, our hero has managed to claw his way
through the ranks, where he is at present a Detective Inspector in
command of the West Berkshire C.I.D. based at Newbury, where he hopes to
remain until the end, which beckons in the near future. During his time
in the force he also spent 5 years with 'E' (H.S.F.) Company, 2nd Wessex
Regiment up until disbandment. (Was it something I said?)
'Mac' is a total Regimental Historical Anorak and has
always had a interest in the Regiment's past, this was never revealed
whilst serving through fear of being roasted alive. He has co-authored
four books on the Royal Berkshire Regiment in the First World War, with
more in the pipe line.
A lot of you will not know me, be you will no doubt have
encountered one of my four brothers who also served in the
Regiment, from 1965 onwards there was always one or more of us in the
Battalion at any one time. If you don't believe me check the
Guardroom prisoner sheet.