The winter and summer of 1942 were a steady diet of training and somewhere along here in the early part on 1942 I wrote an exam, as I had been selected as a candidate to become an officer. I did not pass the mathematics part of the exam, but I rated quite high that I could have gone for an infantry or service corps commission. Our battery major Boulter said it is up to you whether you make that choice. He then added but we artillery officers lead a better life and you will get your chance again.
Oh yes I was disappointed but what the heck life must go on.Yes I did write the officer exam once again and could not at this moment remember whether it was in 1942, or 43. Anyway I failed the math again. But here is the thing. I had taken trigonometry in high school and probably did not understand it . Still I was able to coach Roy Murphy, Fred Schwab, and Ken McFarlane who had never taken Trig, and they passed! Roy Murphy told Edith in 1960 I was the one who taught him trig. Oh well if I had become an officer I would likely have lost my life either in Italy or in Normandy. It all worked out.
I stayed from day one with the unit until it disbanded. I have often thought it was my poor penmanship that caused the problem.
The regiment went from training areas and schemes all over the south of England. In August 1942 we were in an estate called Chapelwood Manor. A terrific area with the small village of Nutley a mile away, and two good pubs. The Shelley Arms, and at the moment the other name is gone from my memory.
We were here when the Dieppe raid was on. The flights of Spitfires flew overhead towards the French coast all day. The noise of the guns and aircraft was something to remember. We did not know where or what really was going on until the next day or so when we were told the Canadian Second Division raided Dieppe. It was not long before we heard what an absolute diaster the raid was - 900 young Canadians losing their lives in a matter of a few hours, out of 5000 only less than 2000 came back. The rest were killed wounded or taken prisoner of war .