On the 7th of march 1978 I walked out of Southwood Camp, Cove, Farnbrough as a free man and bade farewell to army life. 23890635 Sergeant Andrews R was now Mr Roger Andrews (no tear in the corner of his eye this time, just a big smile on his face) ...............
I was set to take up a position with a company maintaining military vehicles for the Shah of Persia's army. but as luck would have it there was a revolution in Iran just before I was due to take up the post, ( they must have known I was coming ). The Shah was ousted ( the job kaput !).
I settled in Newton Abbot, Devon where I met Carolyn, and in March 1980 I became a married man with two stepsons who were quickly joined by a new sister and then a brother (all have now flown the nest).
After several jobs and redundancies, I joined Devon County Council in 1992 and worked within the Highways Department as a Highways Enforcement officer within the Traffic Managers Unit.
In December 2005 I suffered a heart attack from which I made a good recovered and I returned to work after four months. I remained with Devon County Council until my retirement in Jan 2012.
On Christmas eve 1946 the sound of a baby crying was heard in No. 23 Wordsworth Road, Swilly in Plymouth I had arrived born at home the youngest of five siblings .............
In 1949 my father left the dockyard at Devonport where he had worked since leaving the Royal Artillery in the 1930's and took a job as a maintenance fitter with a clay mining company on Dartmoor. We moved to a terrace of Clay workers cottages in the village of Wotter about twelve miles from Plymouth.
One of my earliest recollections is playing on a tricycle with Ray Jenkins who lived two doors down at number 5.
I went to school at Shaugh Prior CP School, a two roomed school in the next village. Senior school was Plympton Secondary Modern, about ten miles from Wotter.
As soon as I was old enough I joined the Army Cadets at the local Drill Hall in Plympton. From there it was but a small step to enlisting in the Colours on my fifteenth birthday.........
Me: in the early 50's
Me: around 2012
On Tuesday 2nd January 1962. Standing on a wind swept North Road Station Plymouth awaiting the train that would whisk me away to a new life, my father spoke his farewells saying, "Son be good, if you can't be good, be careful and if you can't be careful don't". He went on to say "Don't discuss politics, football or religion if you remember that you will never get yourself into any serious arguments". these are words I heed to this day.
As the train pulled out of Plymouth I'm not ashamed to say this 15 year old Schoolboy had a little tear in the corner of his eye.
Later that cold winter day, a some what bemused 15 year old boy arrived at Old Park Barracks, Dover Kent and was immediately re branded as.... 23890635 J/Spr Andrews R. of B Squadron Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Engineers. From that day until my de mob on 7th March 1978, I was known to all my friends and peers as 'Andy'.
Me: J/Spr Andrews
Me: Sgt. Andrews
Me & my family