March 1954. I had been in the RE's 10 months when I first set eyes on the transit camp in Barton Stacey better known as Barton Stalag. I was sent there on transit for Korea along with another half a troop ship load of squadies. I remember a Sergeant Major who lived there and had a wooden bungalow with what seemed umpteen kids and was in charge of our draft. For some unknown reason we would parade each morning on the concrete paths around our huts and in front of his bungalow and not on that huge square for some unknown reason. He would carry a large stick this a big knob on the end which he used to demonstrate a point when telling us some of the type of women we might encounter on our travels.
I remember many guard duties there walking round the camp thorughout the night in the rain or standing in that little sentry-box outside the guardroom.
I was at Barton Stacey Four times in all during my three and a half years service. I went back August 1956 being recalled for the Suez crisis the same Sergeant Major was still there trying to turn Teddy-Boys back into soldiers.
When I go by that area now I swear I hear that Sergeant major shouting even now.
A memory shared byon Jan 23rd, 2008.
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