A departure from RAF matters for once. Today marks the 350th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Marines.
Our late father James Augustus ‘Gus’ Proctor was a proud Royal Marine. To continue a common theme on this site – Dad never really told us much about his war other than stories that involved playing football, dodging predatory birds in Egypt which would dive-bomb to steal food out of mess tins, interminable train journeys across India with locals hanging on the outside of carriages and snatching cigarettes from marines lips, being bombed by Japanese aircraft in Ceylon, running into a building in Bruges driving one of the trucks. There were more sobering tales though – witnessing the aftermath of a V2 blast on a cinema in Antwerp. The patrons were dead in their seats still staring at the screen.
|Any ideas ?|
Corporal J A Proctor, extreme right, always considered H M Royal Marines to have been the best dressed, the best at ceremonials, marching, the best band, toughest Commandos, you name it – they were the best. Dad was unabashed that his reason for joining the Corps was in reaction to seeing a pair of Royal Marines in their best blues marching perfectly in step down Tring High Street – they looked so smart…….
I believe that Dad served with MNBDO1, Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation, 1st RM (Heavy) AA Regiment, probably ‘D’ Battery, ending the war as a Sergeant.
No 3 Section OC ‘D’ Battery No 4 Section OC ‘D’ Battery
Another common theme here is ‘the luck of the draw.’ – Dad told us of being assembled in a hall, the room was divided down the middle, one side went, I think, to Crete, and suffered heavy casualties – Dad happened to be on the other side of the hall with the Egypt contingent.
Every year at about this time in the run-up to his birthday (the day before Armistice Day) Dad would announce, ‘I must apply for my medals’