|Later I was told about the political background that had made the matter so sensitive and urgent. The newly elected Labour Government were anxious to keep up the momentum of their house-building programme which was in danger of being held-up because of the shortage of wood. Consequently they were breathing down the neck of the War Office and they in turn were putting pressure on the Commander of the Rhine Army to get a move on! It provided a distinctive high-note to end my War-time service by keeping the Commander-in-Chief of the Rhine Army waiting for about ten minutes - for me!
Finally my War service was over. On the 30 December 1946 I reported to the demobilisation unit in the United Kingdom and handed in my revolver. I still have the receipt given to me by the quartermaster for my 'Pistol Revolver point-38 Smith & Wesson No. 819442'. I was fitted out with a blue pin-strip suit and given a first-class rail warrant to Peebles; returning not as a callow youth of 18 but as a man aged 25. No matter what the years ahead would have in store, I knew I had to try to live in a decent way and never by my actions or reactions to life dishonour my fallen comrades.
Note: I have since added Page 26 to record Padre Wood's
Remembrance of the men of the 7th/9th at Flushing;
Page 27 to record the last Public Commemoration Service held in Walcheren and the Tribute by The Royal Scots Colour Party to our Fallen Comrades of the 7th/9th;
Pages 28 to 31 when I rediscovered copies of the Battalion's War Diary covering the Walcheren Campaign (November 1944);
Pages 32 to 37 with notes from my Battalion Intelligence Officer's War-time file about the German Army;
Page 38 to 45 my time as an Infantry Signaller: Infantry Battalion's Signal Platoon.
Joe Brown born 1921; began newspaper career 1936 with Peeblesshire Advertiser published by the Neidpath Press, Peebles: served with the local Territorial Battalion 8th Royal Scots (May 1939-43) and 7th/9th (Highlanders) Battalion The Royal Scots (1943-46). Post-War: executive posts with The Scotsman Publications, Coventry Newspapers and Birmingham Post & Mail; CBE for services to British Newspapers. Honorary Callant of the Royal Burgh of Peebles Callants’ Club. Warden of Neidpath 1983. BA(Hons). Publications: History of Peebles: 1850-1990 (J. L. Brown and I. C. Lawson) Mainstream 1990.
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44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 Index