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- 09 July 2005
Many youngsters falsified their ages and joined, I did at age just 15.
I joined the 3rd Battalion Edinburgh Home Guard, Signals Company from the Army Cadet Force, By doing so, I hoped to be a dispatch rider and learn to ride a motor cycle (petrol was strictly rationed so there was none for such frivolous civilian purposes).
Instead, I was made to learn the Morse code and polish the mirrors of the heliograph ! This instrument, a relic of Empire, used the suns rays to flash signals. Useful, no doubt on the North West Frontier but less so on a
cloudy Edinburh February ! Some regular Army quartermaster must have been delighted to get rid of such relics from his store.
We had a delightful member "Daddy" Webster who must have been in his 70's, but with a sharp sense of humour. We were being instructed by a regular Army instructor on unarmed combat whose advice in dealing with a Nazi paratrooper, was to kick him in the area of the 'crown jewels'. Daddy raised his hand and asked, " But sargeant, what if he was a eunuch?"
In an excercise between. the Falkirk and Stirling Home Guards, some of the former had to impersonate 5th column spies (in civvie clothing) and try and infiltrate Stiring Castle). My father-in law suceeded in doing so using a false Indentity Card. Surprising really, for the name on the card was Adolf Hitler
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