Having just been formed into an armoured division entailed a lot of training for the Guards Brigade, which were of course mostly infantry. Those chosen to be equipped with tanks , departed for special training in mechanics, and gunnery. All very exciting hard work. Eventually we all jelled together, and continued training.
As an armoured Division tanks , trucks, and motor transport of every description became the norm, movement on a large scale became a priority of training, both by day and night,
On one of these night exercises the movement of the Brigade “B” echelon transport , supply wagons, rations etc., my company became leading company, the Capt. Quatermaster to guide the enormous convoy on a route, which contained Salisbury plain, a difficult task as map reading across this part of the country was well nigh impossible, the plain was used daily by almost all vehicles and was criss crossed by dozens of vehicle each forming its own track, obliterating the normal routes.
Travelling in the truck behind that of my Q.Bloke who was of course leading the convoy, I felt that all was going well, we had been travelling for about three hours without mishap so no worries. Just before dawn my leader halted the convoy, and turning to me stated that he was going down the convoy to ensure everything was correct, and that I should now follow the described route.
Panic stations, my map reading was always a dismal failure, but orders must be obeyed, so I proceeded , the track seemed fairly clear as marked on my map. Just before dawn, I caught up with a vehicle bearing our divisional sign, good my map reading was good , I had simply travelled a bit too fast and had caught up with the rear of “A” echelon, so it was just a simple O.K. Driver follow that vehicle.
Came the cold light of dawn, looking back at my convoy, to my horror it was travelling in a huge circle about two miles long.
Well how was I to know that during the early morning I had caught up with the tail of my own convoy, and just like all the good cowboy and Indian films had rounded up ready for an Indian attack.
Well alright I never said that map reading was one of my biggest assets, I wonder did that !Q” hand over with true honesty??,
( Corporal I think we are on the wrong route, Corporal I think we should turn around, Corporal turn around, Sir, yes corporal, You are driving,)