Tuesday, 7 November 2017

My First Overseas Posting

January 1954.
I had requested an overseas posting, stating a preference for Hong Kong or other far-flung areas.
The request was granted: GERMANY.
A tad disappointing - but at least it was to a foreign shore.
The "cold war" with Russia was still on. I would be 'on active service' as the RAF mentioned in my travel instructions, sailing on a noisy and very cramped troopship, sailing from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.  I was quite excited.
After the North Sea crossing, I travelled by train, through Holland and into a place in Germany, the name of which is long forgotten.  A transit camp, in an old castle, a Schloss, where I stayed overnight.
Next morning I received my travel papers to RAF Hospital Wegberg.  A brand spanking new building opened a few months earlier, not far from the town of Moenchengladbach. 
Here's my new home for a year or more.

7 comments:

PhilipH said...

As the words of Hotel California says: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave! And so it is with so many memories, such as this lovely place.

Snowbrush said...

The buildings will "be intact," but empty? On the bright side, it's good to have happy memories of places you worked. Peggy was a nurse, you know, and I don't think she would ever want to revisit hospitals. Maybe it makes a difference when the hospital is in foreign country, and people get together for fun activities.

PhilipH said...

Hi Snowy. Hope you are as well as poss at the moment.

My work at RAF Hospital Wegberg was most enjoyable and I went back in the 70s or 80s just to see where I worked and enjoyed life. It was still fully operational and I had a great few hours wandering around that brilliant place and having a lovely cup of real coffee in the little cafeteria where I always to my morning and afternoon tea breaks. Just writing this brings back that wonderful aroma of coffee.

Nothing lasts forever, as the place is derelict now. The link shows how it looks now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQguJNXg-xc

Cheers Philip

All Consuming said...

Fascinating post Philip! I love that extra link you gave Lowell too, there's something that draws me to old places like that which time is allowing to be claimed by nature. Nothing lasts forever as you say, but good memories leave a warm feeling in our hearts X

PhilipH said...

Thanks, Michelle. You're perfectly right, and the years speeding by, ever faster, tend to embellish one's sweetest memories more and more.

the walking man said...

January 1954--My mother probably wasn't even sure she was pregnant yet with me. I bet the old girl hoped she was not seeing as she had just birthed #3 the past June.

The military is odd Philip--the recruiter promises adventure, travel and oorah--my only foreign port of call in 4 years of sailing the Atlantic was Halifax Nova Scotia--saw a hell of a lot of that ocean though.

PhilipH said...

Thanks Mark. Hope you didn't suffer from Mal de Mer during your voyages!