was ready for an early morning departure and so we set off for Bremen where we believed the battalion was located.
Alas, they were no longer in Bremen as the 52nd Mountain Division had moved eastwards and the 7th/9th Battalion was located in Magdeburg, some miles west of Berlin. We went in pursuit, arriving to a marvellous reception. I was immediately appointed signals officer and within a few weeks had the job of handing over the battalion's telephone lines to the Russian Army as the Mountain Division was to become part of the Imperial Strategic Reserve and, therefore, to be ready to go where necessary; we thought this would be to the Far East! However, the war with Japan came to an end on 14 August 1945, after atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 7/9th were re-deployed in the army of occupation (BAOR).
In due course I became Adjutant of the battalion and this coincided with the appointed of a new C.O. A very able professional soldier who had been the senior major (Battalion Second-in-Command) with the Black Watch and captured at St Valery during the 51st Highland Division's heroic rearguard action at the time of Dunkirk. After being at locations in Detmold and Oldenburg (the latter where we took over from the Canadian Army GHQ returning to Canada), we eventually received orders to place the War-time battalion in 'suspended animation' and this involved posting all our officers and men to other units and to return all our arms, transport and equipment. Much of the work fell to me as Adjutant and when completed and the War-time battalion no longer existed, I was appointed Staff-Captain Rhine Army GHQ 2nd Second Echelon and given responsibility for posting reinforcements from two large holding barracks in Belefield, Westphalia, as and when these troops arrived from the United Kingdom.

The Army Commander waiting for Me !

Part of my duties was to post parties of men within the 21st Army Group to camps sited in various forests so that they could cut down trees to provide wood for shipment back to Britain. This was part of the 'reparations' agreed in the settlement at the end of the War by the Allies and Germany. I had encountered delay in securing accommodation because an RAF unit refused to move from a hutted camp that had been ear-marked for occupation by a detachment of Army tree-fellers!
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21st Army Group

 


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