Extracts from an unpublished book
L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe 14640525
we were put into drafts to go to regular Battalions, or to training camps.
I was one of the unlucky ones; I had a small jungle sore on my ankle and had
to go into the Camp Hospital for a few days, and when I came out the draft
had gone. So I had another month to stay in this camp. So I taught myself to
swim, going down to the baths every day after duty. Then the drafts started
to come in again, and off we went on an 800 mile ride to Madras. There we were
met by Officers and N.C.O’s of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Berkshire
Regiment. We were split up into four groups, one to each rifle Company. Here
we had supper in the dark and most of us got lost getting back to our huts
amongst the trees.
.....Next morning we were soon in trouble with our new C.S.M. who was XXXX by name and nature. Here we stayed for about two months, having to brush up on all the training we had already done and a little jungle stuff. I went into Madras about four times, as we were about 19 miles in-land, at Poonemallee. Orders came for us to pack up once again. I was taken off at the last minute. A week later we entrained at Madras. The canteen owner giving us a free breakfast at the station. This was a real army effort getting in and out of the trains by the call on a Bugle. Many of our fellows got into trouble for buying fruit and charr off the vendors on the stations where we stopped.
.....After a cup of tea we were formed up in groups of eight. I was with seven others who had been abroad nearly three years. As I had been mad an N.C.O. 3 weeks previously, I was in charge of erecting our tent. As usual they did not like being told what to do by the ‘Rookie’ as they called us. They took quite a lot of persuading to get on with the work. After getting it up, and then having to move it over a few feet to come in line with the other tents to please the Officer. Off we went best part of a mile to fetch our ‘Charpoys’. For the next 6 weeks we had a very busy time digging monsoon trenches and getting the camp into a habitable condition and then I was asked if I would like to go on leave.
L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe