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15 October 2014
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An Embarassing Injury, and an Embarassing Mistake

by A7431347

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
A7431347
Location of story: 
Nonington, Kent -- Goodnestone, Kent
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
A4547333
Contributed on: 
26 July 2005

It was 1940. I was seventeen years old, in the Home Guard, based at Nonington in Kent.

A group of three of us were walking through woodland in the area. We heard a plane circling low. Suddenly, our line stopped. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of the group, and didn't stop quickly enough. The bayonet carried by the chap behind me ended up poking me in the top of my bottom!

It drew blood. His name was Norman Garlinge -- a little younger than me, a good cricketer. I swore at him at the time, but I guess it was my fault! We had a few laughs about it.

There was another memorable event on Chapman Hill, in the same area, near Goodnestone Church. I was on midnight patrol with a chap called Frank Theobald. I heard bells ringing -- but didn't know where they were coming from. This was startling, because this was the signal of invasion. But I then realised that no, this was simply the bells tolling midnight. It was a false alarm! But, living in "Hell Fire Corner"(in East Kent), so close to France, it was something we were expecting at any moment.

The Home Guard was enjoyable. It was a mixture of the older soldiers, and the very young. Injury wasn't common -- in fact, that was just about as close as I came to it.

THIS STORY WAS SUBMITTED BY JOHN YOUNG OF BBC SOUTH EAST TODAY, ON BEHALF OF JOHN MARSH. MR MARSH FULLY UNDERSTANDS THE SITE'S TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

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