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  • H G Lambert      a soldier with the Chindits
    Nottingham Racecourse

    Nottingham Racecourse, Colwick


    Harold trained at Colwick Park in Nottingham, where the Battalion was billeted on the racecourse, initially sharing 100 rifles, between then before Battalion were deployed to Lincolnshire where they were responsible for Coastal defence work. The initial posting was to Cleethorpes. Harold was granted 14 days privilege leave on 14th Jan 1941, just before the Battalion moved on to the Lincolnshire Marshes, based at North Somercoates and including RAF Manby in its defence area. The Battalion then moved inland for Company and Battalion training at Louth and Market Rasen, a welcome relief after the endless guard duties and the physical labours of laying mines, and erecting miles of barbed wire on desolate beaches. Here as well as company and Formal training, the Battalion spirit was implanted, with successful athletic, boxing and rugby teams formed, as well as a Battalion concert party.

    After a short demoralising return to the empty beaches, the Battalion were billeted in Grimsby, with one company given responsibility for guarding Immingham Docks. Defence of the Tees followed, with the battalion billeted at Redcar before a further intense period of training in and around the North Yorkshire villages of Eaglescliffe, Kirklevington and Yarm, followed by two months commando training on the moors around Tow law, culminating in a 45 mile route march in 24 hours carrying full kit.

    Through this first 18 months of Battalion life, officers and men changed - those who could not respond to the ideas of the Commanding Officer were posted away, others were promoted and moved to other Battalions and specialist weapons trainers etc. joined the Battalion.

    Several more periods of leave were granted including 11 days (pre) embarkation leave on 20th June 1942, (when the Battalion was mobilised at one days notice and on return from leave the Battalion were issued with tropical kit), and a final 48 hour privilege leave on 7th September before embarkation on Sept. 29th 1942.


    It was in Middlesborough, on Monday September 28th, that the Battalion would spent their last full day on British soil for three and a half years, for the next day they departed by train to Liverpool via Leeds and Manchester arriving in the early afternoon.

    Embarking on the SS Capetown Castle that afternoon were units from The Sherwood Foresters, The Royal Artillery as well the Leicesters.

    At 7 p.m. that evening, watched by large crowds, the SS Capetown Castle pulled away from the dock to anchor further out in the river Mersey where she spent the night.


    "A" Company 7th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment , July 1942

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    7th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment