Hove and Brighton England, March 1945. This part of our leave did not have many remaining memories in this old head. Sid and I arrived in Brighton and went back to the Brunswick square area where we were stationed in 1942. Sid had the addresses of Marty Allan's wife and I think a couple of girl friends of our fellows that had not arrived on leave. These ladies were anxious to know where were their husbands and boy friends. Sid had messages for them that their men would likely arrive in the next day or so.
We attended a dance with this group and here is where an old Queen thought I was ready to be had. This old Queen was a retired old theatre type who wore satin breeches with ribbons in bows at the knees. I even think a powdered wig. I had one heck of a time getting this creature from fawning around me. I said to Sid let us get out of here before this old Queen gets a punch in the nose. Brighton and the Hove area was a place where there was retired theatre folk plus a great amount of retired Indian Army types. All were definitely characters out of Dickens and the Poona club.
Soon our leave was over and back on the ferry to Ostend then to rejoin the regiment at Wervik. On arriving home.
Home, you say? Yes our home was the regiment and had been for years. Odd when you think about it but true. Home where we were the safest, Home the comradeship, home where we hoped to attain a goal and stay alive and get back to Canada. Yes the regiment was the family and we loved and respected it. We had to find out what had gone on in our absence.
You remember my writing about Bobby Cochrane burning his manhood while peeing in a gasoline can? Well hold on there is more! General Montgomery [Monty ] was to visit the division and a general smartening up, clean up was to take place. I'm told airplane gas was brought in to wash uniforms and degrease equipment. The dirty gas was poured down an out side urinal which was up against a two seat pit toilet. Bob Andrew could tell this tale better then I cause he was one of the chaps that had the misfortune to be in the two holer. Here is how I remember it being told to me, That either Bobby Cochrane was seated doing his business and the other Bob Andrew came in or was it vice versus, any way one of them lighted a cigarette and threw the match down the hole that was vacant. This resulted in a violent explosion throwing the two Bobs out of the toilet and onto the ground covered with burning shit. I believe they were evacuated out by air for treatment for their burns.
Bobby Cochrane of the gas can episode added another wound stripe for getting his manhood well toasted again. Both men survived and of the two just Bob Andrews is still living. Bobby Cochrane had many adventures after the war and died of cancer in Victoria many years ago, and with him went a fire scarred manhood and two wound stripes. Whereever you are old friend I hope the angels keep gasoline away from you as the third time might cinder it all! R I P, Bobby Cochrane. Bob and Shelia Andrews celebrated their 50th anniversary 10 July 2004. Some of us attended a good gathering of family and old comrades .