Southend-on-sea

TA - 134 Regt

I have no information on this unit, which has long since gone into suspended animation - but I did get this email from John Tarlton;

I signed on 12th February 1947 (my birthday) with 314 Sqn. 134 Regt. TA at Southend on Sea because I was studying for membership of the Chartered Surveyors Institution,and then got fed up and applied to join the Sappers in 1949. During  my basic training at Cove I was whipped off to SMRE at Chatham to take A3 and A2 Trade Tests (they wouldn't let me take A1 because  I was regarded as National Service !). Back to Cove to pass off and received embarkation orders as I stepped off the square. Had already arranged to  go to Singapore but two months after arrival I was ordered up to  Kuala Lumpur that night. Not too pleased with that because the train had been shot up every night for 18 months but I was lucky. On arrival at KL they said "who sent you,we didn't request ?" Great ! They then posted me back South to Johore Bahru to survey and set up police patrol camps around Johore State on rubber plantations. Back to UK in 1951 to serve 3 years compulsory in my old TA unit at Southend. Life there was totally different as it was compulsory and the majority were bolshy !

In my original TA days it was so  interesting ! Among other things we were asked to demolish a Napoleonic Watchtower in Shoeburyness Garrisonwhich we did with a plastic explosives ring, Than at summer camp at Landguard Fort Felixstowe the Borough Council asked us to demolish the end of Felixstowe Pier because it had been disconnected during the war without subsequent servicing. We set  up plastic charges on the beach then rowed out to lower them down the centre of the piles  which were in clusters of four,set them off on a timer and rowed back to shore during which time of course they exploded ! Being a hot summer we were in shirtsleeves and of course our arms got bloody from the barnacles. The women on the beach were very concerned that we were injured ! We put that to good use !

Gordon, I would like to find out if there are any of the members of my  old TA Squadron still around. (The majority were railwaymen from the Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line) The unit itself has long been put  to bed of course. Likewise old comrades from CRE Singapore and DCRE Johore Bahru, Malaya.

If you remember John, please look him up on the member search page and send him an email.

REgards,

Gordon