This massive armada of American war ships was soon to leave us. About a day out of Britain, the fleet swung away from us and only three allied destroyers shepherded us the rest of the crossing, which was another day. Soon we sailed up the Mersey River to Liverpool. All along the sail into Liverpool the masts of sunken ships marked the channel. These sunken ships were the result of enemy action. We knew we were in a war zone.
Soon we were tied to the dock. Here all the dockworkers were out in force welcoming us to Liverpool, and at the same time saying have you any fags mate? Seeing we were told there was a shortage of a lot of things in Britian and fags, or as we called cigarettes, were in short supply. Well our fellows having a few cigarette started to throw them over to these chaps who of course seeing they had a good thing encouraged our chaps to throw more. Now it was not too long when our fellows wished they had not been as generous in throwing their cigarettes to the dock workers, It was quite some time before they were to get cigarettes from home,
I happened to be duty Sergeant that day and along with the RSM who was duty officer, we were standing watching the throwing of cigarettes and the banter between dock worker and our chaps. Bill Briant was a very vocal fellow and talked a mile a minute. Well while talking a seagull flew over and shit a great gob hitting Bill right in the mouth. Well Bill spit and swore for the longest time and did not repeat a single cuss word for it seemed moments. The RSM Murray was quite serious but he really cracked up with laughter. Bill Briant survived the war, but passed away at least six years ago.
If memory is correct we marched off the ship the next day and boarded a small train (compared to our large trains in Canada), destination not known, as we sped across the English countryside. All the time we were watching for any sign of bomb damage. In the dead of night we arrived in Aldershott, a large military camp and town that had been build almost a hundred years before. Our advance party had been in England for a short while and out of the darkness came the voice of Bombadier John Amyotte Calling for 76 Battery to follow him. We marched up Gun Hill and soon found out we would be in Waterloo West barrack block.
I will digress. We spent a long while in this barrack area-December 41 to August 42.