Geoff's experieces at BCGH.

Geoff Archer

RAMC. National Service. Left for Japan, aboard the Empire Halladale, from Liverpool.

Served at BCGH from July 1953 to September 1954.

I worked in the Company Office, as Company Officer’s Clerk, at Tenno Barracks and later, in the hospital, when the company office was moved to BCGH in April ’54. We travelled to and from Tenno Barracks to the hospital by bus and they ran from early morning to 9.30 in the evening.

I bought a transistorised record player and played records, in the morning, prior to the morning parade. Some of my records were, Drum Boogie, Tenderly and The Tender Trap etc. I sold my gramophone and records to a Sgt, for use in his mess, just before departure to the UK.

I remember Major Sinden Registrar, also a Chief Clerk (I don’t recall his name) a very smart WO 11. He would also inspect the barracks at Tenno wearing white gloves! There was a RAEC Sgt (a Jock) who coached a party of us for our Education 11 examination. He would teach us map reading on the roof of the hospital. I also gained a Nursing Orderly exam.

One of my jobs was to dispatch unit personnel to leave (Ebisu Camp and Myja Jima) and to JRBD (Japan Reinforcements Base Depot) for homeward troopships. I also printed daily orders. I was also the relief driver for our 15cwt truck, which ran between Tenno and the hospital. On numerous occasions I drove (3ton truck) a New Zealand water polo team to their matches. One destination was Iwakuni an American base, which was just like a little piece of America. Servicemen had their cars, wives and families there.

I took leave at Ebisu Camp, Tokyo; it was an 18-hour train journey and I went with Norbert Fishwick. We went to the Ginza and Maxim’s restaurant. I also had Rest and Relaxation at Miya Jima. I visited Hiroshima on many occasions.

I recall the following RAMC personnel. Cpl Cherry and Cpl Norbert Fishwick hygienist (see Ken Hodge’s memories on page 21 for these two names). Pte Tommy Ainsworth (on psychiatric ward), Cpl Todd (motor pool) and Sgt Codd (Coy Office). Also Pte Rush, he went AWOL for six months and also stole a typewriter from the office. I recall Col Meneces, Lt O’Dowd (Coy Officer) Major McGrath (Psychiatrist) and Mike Bennett in Coy Office at BCGH.

I worked in the canteen, at Tenno, for a short spell with Pte Dargue (Geordie) under the temporary supervision of Sgt Roche (from Liverpool, who worked in the operating theatre at BCGH) that was a good number!

To finish, I remember a typhoon hitting Kure harbour the day prior to leaving and had to board my troopship (Empire Fowey) by landing craft as the docking pier had been damaged by the storm.

Geoff Archer at Tenno