Sunday, January 29, 2006

BBC - Radio 4 - Coming Home

BBC - Radio 4 - Coming Home

The above link takes you to the series of five programmes presented by Charles Wheeler. I was in the second programme Home Again, broadcast on Tuesday, 10 May, 2005. Something I said, 'Home Again' gave the title to this episode. I was 16 at the time, not 10 as Charles Wheeler implies.

The programmes begin with the end of the news, so be patient.

To kick off our blog, why not add your memories of coming home? Demob really depended on the date you joined, and many men and women had to wait a year or more. Let's have your memories and your impressions of the changed world you found.

N.B. Send your story as a Comment to this Post.

9 Comments:

Blogger Frank Mee said...

A vivid memory of coming home was after my infantry training. Coming on leave after only a few months in the army. Although it was forbidden to wear civvy's I tried mione on and they would not fit. I had gone from ten stone six to eleven stone six and did n ot move from that muscled up weight for nearly ten years.
The next shock was going out with my mates who were not in the forces and finding out their outlook was still as little boys.
Everything had changed in those few months and what a shock it was.
Frank

Sunday, 29 January, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

It was May of 1947 when I was finally released on Z(T) reserve
and the train from York to Birmingham was extremely slow and it was way past midnight when I finally arrived at Birmingham. Not wishing to awaken the household - I stayed in the waiting room drinking copious cups of "British Rail" tea which I swear they used the same tea bag all the way through the war.
At long last I was able to board the tramcar for home, leaving my kit in beside the driver, I sat close to keep my eyes on the kit.
Eventually the stop approached and so I went into the drivers area - picked up my kit - left the tram and walked in front - not thinking of the change in driving attitudes - a whole fleet of bicycles were intent on knocking me down, and many a curse I heard.
On settling in with the family I noticed that the house opposite was literally covered in bunting ,flags , balloons etc and so I asked if the people had moved as the two sons were still youngsters when I left " oh NO" - I was told " young John joined the Navy three weeks ago and is due home for a week end leave " !
Made our solitary Union Jack a bit shabby !

Monday, 30 January, 2006  
Blogger Ron Goldstein said...

Peter et al

I've played "Coming Home" from start to finish and the whole program is well worth a listen.

However...for those of us who are impatient to hear your 'portion' it starts at 6 mtes 34 secs into the program and that 'Chapter' ends at 7 mtes 33 secs.

There is also more from you a little later in the program.

Happy listening, everybody !

Monday, 30 January, 2006  
Blogger Frank Mee said...

Yes Tom a bit of a put down.
The next vivd home coming was from overseas duty. I had been in the Middle East and then Cyprus, wounded patched up, done and seen things that were best forgotten.
Getting home and being greeted by my Mother with a big hug and the question when do you go back.
A good meal a bath and back into uniform as none of my civvy's would fit and off to the dance.
It was full of uniforms though many of my friends still had not been in the forces. The greetings went "You home again you are never away" Well it had only been two years. Hello Frank "my this army life must be a doddle well fed laying on your pit all day and chasing girls all night". Yes? if you could count good looking female Camels.
It was a world that I did not know, the Rationing had almost ended, Zoot suits long skirts different music and no one wanted to know where you had been or what you had done, you did not belong was the impression I got and it hurt.
The girls I had left had married some with family. The boys who were not in the forces were on a different wave lengh, we had nothing to talk about.
I never admitted it to my Mother but I was glad when the leave ended and I was on my way back to my own kind.
Sad, but people were sick of war hardship and anything military in general, they just did not want to know. It was a rude awakening for people like me.
Frank.

Monday, 30 January, 2006  
Blogger Ron Goldstein said...

Gents
Being the lazy blighter that I am I went back to our 'old' site and found my own 'Welcome home' story which I now repeat below:

In November '45 I finally got my first leave home after being abroad since April 1943. I came back to London and Manor Road over the LIAP (Leave In Addition to PYTHON) route that I had previously helped to run.

I travelled for three days via lorry, train and ferry and finally reached Stoke Newington where my parents were now living.

As I got off the bus in Manor Road I could see the front door some 200 yards away. Over the doorway I could also see that decorations had been placed in position in patriotic red, white and blue. It was obviously one of those many 'welcome home' signs that I had been seeing all the way from Dover and I have to confess to feeling quite touched.

It was only when I got right outside the door that I could read the sign itself. It said: 'WELCOME HOME JACK'. My name is Ron! My brother-in law had beaten me to it and his name over the door had taken all the wind out of my sails!

Despite the sign, however, Mum, Dad and all at home seemed pleased to see me and I had a fantastic 28-day leave.

Monday, 30 January, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

There were six of us from B sqdn 16th/5th Lancers due for LIAP at the same time so we were well prepared to keep the cold out having stocked up at the Mess with the wherewithal.
We started the long journey from southern Austria catching a train at Villach on through the mountains to Udine then Padua - Vincenza - Milan - Dollomodosso - Geneva where many young Swiss Maids in National Costume were handing out oranges of all things to us, this was around 4.am. !
As we travelled across France we finally ran dry - until some joker came up with a bottle of Kummel - which was frozen solid. The "heaters" in the carriage had about one candle power and so we were fast approaching Paris when it was in a fit state to drink - we thought - ALL the sugar had settled in the bottom and it was a very potent drink indeed. By the time we staggered off the ferry at Dover we were still had not found our sea/land legs and as a consequence when someone - who looked like a 16 years old Home Guard - started yelling at us - he got both barrels. - Unfortunately he was wearing the insignia of an RSM. So it was with some speed that on our return to the regiment - the company clerk had free booze for some time until we were assured that all charges had been incinerated ! Otherwise it was a very good 28 days leave !

Tuesday, 31 January, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my second try at blogging: so if i make mistakes..... sorry!
I loved to read the stories about you all having diff. experiences comming home! I am sure you did not expect many remarks or other" THINGS" like bicycles you had to fight: go to Holland to learn the ropes!!it must have been diificult to adjus tKummel ! a drink i personally don't care for but at that time any alcohol was welcome!
My demob in Batavia was uneventful: just signed out, got my bonus and that was it!apart from preparing to get married!!!What a JOY!!!So long I do not know how to sign off:future blogger: i.e "OTHER"?
Odyssey

Tuesday, 31 January, 2006  
Blogger Peter G said...

Welcome Odyssey, our very first guest.

It's especially good to see an 'old hand' from the BBC People's War website.

Tuesday, 31 January, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Josephine -
lovely to hear from you once more - now you can give us all of your experiences in SE Asia - don't be shy - or I shall send you more of our rain, along with the Arctic Outflow to cheers you up !
Cheers
tomcan

Tuesday, 31 January, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home