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A friend has just sent me two separate newspaper clippings of Jimmy (aged 96) and Barbara (aged 94)..(was she known as Babs?) who lived in Aden who have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at a retirement home in Hamilton, Scotland. The article mentions a son called Ken.
I have no recollection of the couple but my mum thinks Jimmy may have worked at the Post Office in Little Aden?
The article says they "lived in a war zone and dodged grenades"......hmmmmmmm makes a good copy but not really quite true when I lived there.
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"The article says they "lived in a war zone and dodged grenades"......hmmmmmmm makes a good copy but not really quite true when I lived there."
Like you, I am a little sceptical with regard to the "dodging grenades" bit and depending upon when they were there, Aden wasn't a "war zone" until late '66 and most of '67, if indeed it was ever classified as a war zone.
The British Government tended to classify it as an "Emergency", but the press, as we all know, will embellish anything they can get their hands on. Grenades were mostly aimed at British forces patrols, and in Aden town or Sheikh Othman (or other built up areas where the perpetrator could disappear among the crowd).
I didn't even know that there was a post office at Little Aden, as all our mail went into internal mail bags to be transported to the central forces mail office. Perhaps the civilian one was within one of the BP compounds. I'm sure that someone on this site will remember where it was.
Anyhow, we can all be prone to glorifying our history, given the chance, although only a select few are aware of the VC I won. :laughing:
Happy Christmas to everyone and best wishes for 2019
Your VC would be well awarded. What was it issued in recognition of, I'm sure it will be very well deserved indeed.
We in BP were always thankful to all our Forces members and their families
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The VC is a bit of a joke on my part, with regard to how we are prone to exaggerate things a little in our declining years.
The truth of the matter is that I only have a "South Arabia" clasp to my General Service Medal in recognition of the fact that that I was there for the prescribed period.
Only brave people get VCs. I'm not one of them.
Have great Christmas and a safe 2019.
As a 12 year old, I was extremely grateful to see the soldiers going around. Although you may not have received a VC your contribution to being there was indeed very welcome. Nowadays, I see terrified children in Syria and such places on TV and think what a hell their lives are. As a 12 year old I did get scared from time to time as when I became that age my awareness of what was going on was more acute.
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We were just doing a job; a job that we joined to do and for which we were being paid. It was also a privilege to be helping to allow the brave people such as your parents carry on their vital work. Not many people would have wanted to step into their shoes.
I'm an old man now, and I look back on my time in Aden with a mixture of pride and sadness - pride that I was given the opportunity to serve in such an ancient and beautiful country, sadness because of the friends that didn't go home.
Hold on to your good memories of Aden; the happy times and not the ones when you felt afraid.
I hope that you had a good Christmas and that this year will be a good one for you in every way.
I got the joke immediately. Like I say I got my Aden medal for being first in the NAAFI Q. Aint that the truth. lol.