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WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
Civic Centre, Bedford
People in story: 
Ron Ward
Location of story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 June 2004

During this time my mother and I were living at a small cottage in Braintree, located between the railway at the end of the back garden and the canal supplying water to Courtaulds mill at the end of the front garden. Our cottage was the first in the row of 6, built at right angles to the road which passed under the railway and then over the canal. The railway bridge carried the sign saying "low bridge 14ft".

On one excercise my Father's 3 ton radio truck was in convoy and passed through Braintree. Due to narrow streets and the market, the convoy became segmented and Dad "lost" his leading despatch rider. However, knowing the town he instructed his driver around the centre intending to re-join their route on the Chelmsford side. This "detour" included passing our house and the railway bridge. The truck passed under the bridge OK; however a 30ft aerial does not pass under a 14ft bridge without problems. Being flexible the aerial bent backwards, scraped under the bridge and sprang forward so fast the tip hit the road in front of the vehicle and dug into the ground. This caused their truck to stop and with it the 4 to 5 trucks following him ( Dad always says he did not know that he was being followed!)Mum was, of course pleased to see Dad although she and her siter who lived next door were hard put to provide tea for about 20 soldiers! The local police were not too happy either as these trucks virtually closed the road as the aerial was removed, tea drunk, etc. just at the time the local factory was due to close for lunch.

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