I wondered if you could record the passing of an old comrade: one Ron Couchman who died in October this year, in Brighton. He was originally from Hull. He joined 65th Trng Regt on the same day as me 2nd June 1953, we met at Richmond Stn on a wet and windswept freezing morning, I having left my ploughing horses behind, on the other side of the world, in Somerset, little knowing it would be forever, and he had just left his mother for the first time, unlikely buddies, I know, but we bonded quickly as a few minutes later we were herded onto 15cwts by red necks, hell bent on our mental and physical destruction( and they were only the drivers but they were old hands with at least 10 days mil service under their belts) and the brutal business of turning us into soldiers began. (They failed miserably in my case as we know!!)
By the end of the summer, which seemed like a lifetime, Ron and I were both badged to the 14th and made our way to Sabratha via Googe St. Air-raid shelter and by 8 seater DeHaviland and minesweeper via Malta and a Legion Post, (French Foreign, I hasten, to add not British) a journey which took three months. we were "welcomed" at the gates of Sabratha by the provost Cpl Jim Sharp and Ben Moore, "where the F..... have you two turds been" I seem to recall were the opening words of endearment, hence my catch phrase," I expect you are wondering where we've been." Right, back to Ron, as a National Serviceman he quickly made his mark as a sporting gladiator in C Sqn particularly cricket, and as a wireless instructor, yes wireless, we are talking 19set and boxes of valves here, he also became sqn pay clerk and was shrewd enough to remain a National Serviceman on a pound a week, while I, always the smartarse, was lured to the brightlights and 2 pounds a week in the regular army!
Ron's time seem to go like magic and as he packed his kit to go home to Hull, I wondered what I had done.
We never actually saw each other again, but were in contact every 40 years or so!! He was a really good guy and I'm sure there are a few other 80 year-olds around who will remember him. He leaves a widow, Pat and two sons.
I would be very pleased if you could use this bit of Regimental history, mentioning that it came from me, and I will relay any response to Pat, who was delighted when I asked her permission to inform you, telling me how proud he always was of his Regiment.
Thank you Singe. RIP Ron