Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Page 40

I was also looking out of the carriage window when the train rumbled into Austria, homeward bound, in June '46. The trip from Italy, which takes about three and a half days,is interesting the first time, boring the second time and a severe strain on the nerves the third time .

In November '45 I finally got my first leave home after being abroad since April 1943. I came back to London and Manor Road over the LIAP (Leave In Addition to PYTHON) route that I had previously helped to run.

I travelled for three days via lorry, train and ferry and finally reached Stoke Newington where my parents were now living.

As I got off the bus in Manor Road I could see the front door some 200 yards away. Over the doorway I could also see that decorations had been placed in position in patriotic red, white and blue. It was obviously one of those many 'welcome home' signs that I had been seeing all the way from Dover and I have to confess to feeling quite touched.

It was only when I got right outside the door that I could read the sign itself. It said: 'WELCOME HOME JACK'. My name is Ron! My brother-in law had beaten me to it and his name over the door had taken all the wind out of my sails!

Despite the sign, however, Mum, Dad and all at home seemed pleased to see me and I had a fantastic 28-day leave.

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