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  • Writer's pictureHCF

London at War (part six)..... September 2021

It is generally recognised that men returning home from military action were reluctant to talk about the more harrowing of their experiences. I had two relatives in the army; my Brother-in Law Wally and my eldest Brother Syd. Wally was fighting the Japanese in Burma, (sometimes now referred to as “the forgotten army”) and Syd was riding a motor bike as a dispatch rider in Europe. I am sorry to say that my Brother-in- law was a self-confessed atheist but I am so grateful that Syd was a strong, active Christian who had a significant input in my own conversion. Wally was moving forward in an attack against the enemy and he and a mate were crossing a field. The mate saw a large hole in the ground and went over to investigate! BANG! A Japanese soldier was hiding down the hole and, to use Wally's words “it blew his mate's head off”. Later on Wally was captured as a prisoner of war and one day he was commanded to water the garden! After working for several hours in the heat a monsoon arrived causing all workers to run for shelter. Guess what? When the rain stopped the prisoners were ordered to carry on what they were doing! - Did the garden really need more rain?? Now to three short stories from Syd, 1) Remember, as a dispatch rider he was entrusted to take secret documents from his own Commanding Officer to the C.O of another division. One day Syd had to go along a road through a heavily wooded area. Suddenly he was aware of bullets flying all around him from German snipers hiding among the trees. Self preservation kicked in – he opened the throttle swerving down the road from side to side with one hand controlling the motor-bike while firing his own gun blindly into the trees. 2) On a different “expedition” Syd was in a completely unfamiliar area when he came to a road junction. He realized that if he took the wrong road he could end up in the German line and he would be killed. Also, of course it would mean that his secret document would get into German hands. A quick prayer for guidance and Syd told us that he literally heard a voice saying “this is the way, walk ye in it” (reader: check out Isaiah 30 verse 21) What a blessing for a lost, lone dispatch rider to have the Holy Spirit riding pillion behind you!! 3) Another adventure was on a very, very cold day, Syd was soooooo cold that as he approached his base camp he lost consciousness & fell off his bike. As he came round he saw some British soldiers digging a hole in the ground. “What are you doing?” Syd asked. “we thought you were dead so we thought we should bury you”!! Shouldn't we all be so grateful for Divine PROTECTION; PROVISION and PEACE in Jesus' Name? Amen! It is a real cause of rejoicing that Syd wasn't buried because he returned home and became a deacon, church organist and led the Sunday School for many years in our church in Dalling Road, driving from his home in Ruislip at least three times a week. “Well done good and faithful servant” - (Matthew 25,verses 21&23)

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