Sunday, 7 June 2009

Another Course at RAF Hereford

Things were going perfectly at RAF Hospital Wegberg. Plenty of cash, owing to the cigarette scheme I had with Herr Puhl; plenty of sports, keeping me ultra-fit; and a dalliance with a young lady WAAF for a short while.

This WAAF was actually going around with another chap stationed here but one evening, after bust-up with him, she came out of the dining hall in tears. We had been on nodding terms and she approached me in some distress. She literally used my shoulder to cry on! I now knew the full meaning of that well-worn cliché. I gently put my arms around her shoulders and just let her get it out of her system, so to speak.

Eventually she calmed down and said she was sorry about her "silly behaviour" and we took a stroll on this pleasantly cool evening. I said: "What about a drink in the nearest café bar?" and she said that would be nice.

We walked for perhaps twenty minutes or so and went into this local café and ordered two drinks: a Steinhager for me (sort of German gin I'd say) and she had something called a Jagermeister, a kind of herbal liqueur. We just sat talking for about an hour when she wanted to return to camp - which we did.

I took her out a few times, once to a dance in Munchen Gladbach, and everything was going very smoothly and I thought a new romance had been born. But no. Her boyfriend had seen the error of his ways and he shortly persuaded her to resume their affair and that was it; we remained "just good friends", but no more dates. Oh well, never mind.

My application for the Admin course at Hereford was approved and within a month I was on my way to Blighty. I spent a few weeks on this new course and naturally the time went by so quickly as I was enjoying every moment of it, especially the many moments I spent with Joan Turner. We were always together in the evenings and every weekend. I got on extremely well with her Dad, the Hereford United club secretary/manager, and with her two older sisters. I didn’t spend much time with the family but they were all highly likeable and pleasant people.

We went dancing regularly; to the cinema too. Country walks on Sunday afternoons were memorable too, because we could find some lovely spots that were devoid of other people. We spent many romantic hours alone in the sweet and pleasant countryside and life was perfect.

Nothing lasts forever and soon I had completed the course and had to say another fond farewell to a tearful Joannie. Parting, as the bard says, is such sweet sorrow.

Joan again watched as the train pulled out of Hereford railway station, weeping and waving until she was no longer in view.

Back at RAF Hospital Wegberg life went on just as before. I'd only been back a couple of months when my boss W.Officer Robinson told me that I was on the promotion list to corporal! I'd only been in the RAF for around two years or so and was soon to be a substantive corporal! More pay and a couple of chevrons on the arm of my tunic - but there was a snag. Yes, there's always a snag. I had to be posted to RAF Bruggen, where the promotion would be confirmed. Hmm ... a bit more in the pay packet but my little black market shennanigans would be at an end! However, it would be new surroundings, new work, and I'd be on a fighter station.

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