Maidstone 1964 - 1966
61 Field park Sqn RE.
After a short leave following completion of basic training at Cove I was part of a group posted to 36 Engineer Regiment RE at Maidstone in Kent. There was some confusion on arriving at Maidstone, the address we had to report to was The Barracks Maidstone (this was prior to Invicta Park Barracks being completed) so.......... naturally we got off the train at "Maidstone Barracks Station" (Wrong). we should have got off at "Maidstone East station", the one we got off at was on the wrong side of tthe river and had no connection with the Barracks we were to report to.
After reporting in we were allocated accommodation in one of the wooden huts down by the river, we were informed that two new Squadrons were being formed (61 Fld Pk Sqn & 10 Fld Sqn) we were to form the nucleus of the two new Sqn's. The two Sqn's consisted of about a dozen of us all in the one hut. As there was so few of us at the time we were given the luxury of choosing which Sqn we wanted to join. It was rumored at the time that 10 Sqn was going to Aden and 61 Sqn would be going to Balieze. I thought a trip to Cental America would do just fine so I choose 61 Sqn. (I never got to go there).
As the number of personnel increased the two Sqn's split and went into separate accommodation. We were still in the wooden huts by the river, you could hear the rats scurrying around when the lights were out, we spent many a night on rat hunts in those huts.
In January 1965 I was packed of to Chatham to do my A3 trade training as a Engine Fitter IC & P (internal combustion & Pumps). I returned to Maidstone in the August suitable qualified. I soon found myself back in the routine of sqn life, and in January 1966 I was informed that I was to be sent on a Twelve month detachment to CRE Crown in Thailand. In March following embarkation leave I was ready and eager for my first trip abroad.
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