After celebrating Victory in Europe Day here at Avondale, in Aylesbury, we sat down with RAF veteran, Alan, to speak about his life before joining us as a resident.
When we asked about his experience in the war, Alan explained how he was first called up to serve in 1941. After one brief week of basic training, Alan took up his post as an Air Traffic Control clerk.
At this time, it was customary for married men to serve for three years, and single men for four.
Next, Alan recounted being given his ‘tropical kit’ which consisted of two kit bags including a rucksack and a side sack, rolled blankets, and a ground sheet that doubled as a cape. He said that the kit was so heavy that he could barely walk! He recalls that having departed on the ship as a young man, not long out of school having never drank alcohol, smoked, or sworn, he arrived in Egypt 12 weeks later after mastering the art of all three!
When he returned home, life was very different but thankfully, his parents and brother all survived the war. Alan went on to be an accountant and for his service, Alan was awarded five medals and a mention in dispatches.