1940 Derrick Mumford
I still enjoy the website, thank you. Well, I have made it to my ninetieth year, but only because of the care given to me by my wife, family and friends, not forgetting the Medicos. I can now look back over the years and wonder what has happened to the World I knew when attending Mayfield School. It is not the safe place that my generation thought we were helping to create for our young people.
When I left Mayfield in 1940 we were war. I was sent to a Government Training Centre to learn Engineering Lathe Work. Three and a half years later I had the choice of being a ‘Bevan Boy’ (coal mining) or the services. I chose the Army, the Essex Regiment.
During my Service in the Army I went to Scotland for my training and then India. We flew out in the bomb bay of a Lancaster Bomber. Thirteen men on each side knee to knee and shoulder to shoulder. From India I went by ship with a contingent of Indian Soldiers to Japan. We arrived after sailing through a cyclone in the China Sea. That was quite an experience with the boat being completely swamped by the sea. I think I was the only Brit on the Boat.
When we arrived in Kure Naval Base, Hiroshima, it was total devastation for as far as I could see and all the ships in the harbour had sunk. The Japanese people were devastated, with very little food or clothing.
In June 1947 I was sent to another post to join up with the British Army. Another long sea voyage from Japan to Egypt to GHQ Middle East Land Forces at Fayid on the Bitter Lakes, Suez. In October I set sail again, this time for home and demob.
On arrival at home I found some work and at the same time met my wife Diana. We married in December 1948 and our daughter, Kay, was born in 1950. In 1951 we emigrated to Australia.
We had several business’s in the catering world and I was fortunate enough to finish my working life, together with three other men, running a large Banqueting section, which could seat 1300, in a new Casino owned by the American Hilton Family.
What does the future hold? Who’s knows, but we look forward together to whatever is in store. To everyone at Mayfield Memories, have a very happy and healthy New Year.
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