12 January 2003

RAF Compton Bassett 4 Postscript

OldEric says :-) At last we neared the end of our nine-month course and it was time to say farewell to this pleasant place where knowledge and study was the important requirements and 'bull' took less than second place. I really was reluctant to leave.
Most of our intake were posted to various RAF establishments throughout the UK and when it came to my posting it was Cyprus and my spirits soared once more. I was going overseas again and to something fresh.

Cyprus.... I remember feeling very exited, never mind the terrorists, I was on my way to pastures new. I have always felt like this from my first trip to sea after graduating from South Shields Marine College. As a young boy I would read of far off places of seeming mystery and as the years rolled along I still felt the same when going overseas. As I write this in my golden years that feeling has never left me and I still sometimes dream of far off lands and places. I digress.

We were given leave before departing to our postings, we packed our kitbags and backpacks and we said our farewells once more and I headed for home for a few days. It was good to see everyone again on my leave home and it did'nt seem long before the day came to head overseas to Cyprus. Several others and I were flown out to Cyprus on a noisy RAF freight carrier and not at all comfortable. There must of been twelve or fifteen of us. We were given one .303 rifle and no ammunition among all of us, it was just shoved in the nearest persons hand. God knows what we were supposed to do with it. No one commented as far as I recall. By this stage in the RAF we had learnt not to try and reason why.

In April this year 2003 Pat and I go to stay at our sons home in Cricklade in Wiltshire not very far from Compton Bassett and I intend to go down the little side road to Compton Bassett village off the A4 road. Down the side road a short way before the village is a right angle bend in the road to the right and a little way further along was the camp gates on the left hand side of the road. I believe there is nothing there now only fields but I will take a photo of the fields where this large busy camp once stood and when we return home I will look at the photo now and then, picture the camp and I will think back to those once vibrant times I and many others like me experienced there.

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