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by cornwallcsv

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Archive List > British Army

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mark Harper
Location of story: 
Fulford Army Barracks, York
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
01 July 2005

This story has been written onto the BBC People’s War site by CSV Story gatherer Jessica on behalf of Geoffrey Harper. They fully understand the terms and conditions of the site. Following a Luftwaffe Raid on targets near York in 1943, two Heinkel bombers were shot down and their Air crews captured.

My father acquired the dress uniform of one of the pilots, complete with decoration ribbons and side arm, and, interested to see how quickly this hive of security would respond, strutted (not actually goose-stepping) on the footpath adjoining Fulford Barracks, passing within two yards of sentries guarding the three entrances/exits.

Apart from two dedicated guardians of this high security zone, who actually saluted him, not the slightest indication of concern was shown.

However, a young subaltern on a bicycle passed him, peered at him, cleaned his spectacles and turning round to get a closer look, literally fell off his bike and stopping, asked him for his I/D whereupon my father obliged him and spent some half an hour in the guard room explaining to the embarrassed subaltern i/c guardroom that this was a security exercise. It appeared that the cycling subaltern had spent the previous two days on a training course in identification of personnel by their uniforms!

He got a bottle of scotch for his perspicacity!

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