27 Comd Workshops 1948 - 49

From the Memories of Those Who Visited Sutton Veny Many Years Ago
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27 Comd Workshops 1948 - 49

Post by admin » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:15 pm

Thank you for your interest in my earlier email, by all means use the information as you wish but please add an "l" to Deverill.

From an air photo I recognize the site on Sack Hill as our old work shop, it was mostly staffed by civilian mechanics as we soldiers had only 14 weeks of trade training and generally no prior experience. I worked on Jeeps and small Austin and Standard pickup trucks but all repairs were handled there up to and including tanks. We were paid (a derisory sum of money) to fix them, while others were paid to wreck them on Salisbury Plain. In the Jeep photo I am the one wearing a beret.

We had almost no contact with the village of Sutton Veny, most of us were city dwellers and could see nothing there; I remember a petrol filling station but no shops, although there was probably at least a general store with post office. On one occasion a few of us were invited to meet some girls in one of the houses, I guess that we were not very exciting as to my knowledge it did not happen again.

In one of the cottages, in that triangle where Deverill and High Streets meet, a family lived with a son of about eleven: I took over coaching him once a week in maths from another soldier who was posted away; we remained in contact for several years afterwards. Periodically we soldiers would be divided into Church of England, Roman Catholic and Non Conformist; the C of E group were then addressed by the minister of Sutton Veny church; he had a thankless task and was unable to inspire much interest in his subject.

It used to be possible to walk into Warminster via a series of foot paths that went mostly through woodlands, however the property must have been private as we were told to stop going that way. In Warminster, on Weymouth Street, there was, and from the air photo still is, a public park with a small lake on which some of us occasionally rented row boats; and somewhere on the opposite side of the street was a NAFFI where tea and buns were available at low cost to military people.

I the summer of 1949 the camp CO, Colonel Glendenning, formed a shooting team, we trained five days a week for several months at the Mere range and entered the Southern Command REME shoot at Mere; we did very well and were rewarded with a party in the corporal's mess (high living) and some professional photographs; we went on to shoot in the all UK REME competition at Bisley but were way outclassed, so no party and no photos.

My best wishes to you and all in Sutton Veny, David Brown.

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