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.
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.
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.