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A Shout From The Attic: Back To Normal

Ronnie Bray returns to civvy street.

It was the back half of July, 1955, and I was more or less enjoying myself in Nicosia, holed up at the sumptuous Garrison Club, resting, eating when I could afford to, seeking amusement, but finding little that I could afford, when one morning as I went down the marble staircase to cross the foyer and go outside into the sunshine, I was confronted my a young man who appeared to be carrying an oversized round tray on his head.

“Craftsman Bray?” He enquired with not so much as a smile.
He took me by surprise, so I admitted that I was.
“You have to return to Dhekelia immediately.”
“What for?” I scoured my brain to recollect what I had been found out in, but nothing came.
“I don’t know. I have been sent to take you back!”

I went with him and found I was almost late for my demobilisation. It’s funny how time slips by when you are having fun.


My demobilisation from the colours was a very low key affair, conducted by soldiers who were as green-eyed as Jealousy herself that they were doing for me what they desired someone to do for them.

Aldershot is a famous place in British Army history, though I was fortunate only to visit once, and that for a short period when I was demobbed and sent back to Civvy Street, to take up the reins of civilian life I had let fall three years earlier.

My demob outfit consisted of a brown double breasted, pin stripe suit underwear, a couple of shirts, a tie, shoes, a rainmac, and a trilby hat. Not high fashion, but serviceable until I could get something more suitable.

I was given a travel warrant that I exchanged for a rail ticket at Aldershot railway station, and went home with four years to serve in the Army Reserve.


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