William Diment's War Years
My one lasting memory.
My one lasting memory was not actually of events during the war but as a result of a wartime action and which may have altered my life.
At the beginning of the war as I had not yet received any national service papers, I decided to enlist and went to the recruiting office in Romford one morning where I signed on and was in fact sent to a unit at Gravesend on the same day.
However, the forms that I signed on enlistment were for ‘the duration of the war’. Sometime later into my service I received a memo which said-” re.your attestation papers , please delete duration of war and insert duration of emergency.
This meant very little to me until years later after VE day and VJ day in 1945 demobilisation started with firstly the time expired regulars and the longer serving national service, as it was considered I had signed for duration of emergency, I didn’t get my demobilisatiopn papers until late 1946 and on my return to England I found the euphoria of VE day had vanished and all the best jobs gone. Also it seemed to be that a section of the people believed that the eighth army were a dissolute and infected rabble. Perhaps I should have waited for call up.