22771474 WO1(Cdr) RT Watson RAOC

My Father was in the RAOC for 22 years, his name was Reginald Thomas Watson.

He was ‘Called Up’ to the Army on 20th Aug 1942 and after an initial spell in the Royal Armoured Corps, joining the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in April 1943. He was part of the 50th Northumbrian Infantry Division during the D-Day campaign and spent the remainder of the war in various Ordnance Depots in France, Holland and Germany including the 79th Armoured Division with their special tanks for crossing small rivers and large ditches.

He left the army in early 1947 as a Staff-Sergeant. The economy was struggling in those days so work in his hometown of Plymouth was hard to come by, with little security for his young family. He re-enlisted in the Army (RAOC) in 1951 on the understanding he would have his previous rank restored, but sadly this was not the case and he commenced service as a Private soldier. He quickly moved through the ranks again and had postings in Egypt, Malta, Aldershot (Blackdown), Singapore (RAOC School FARELF); 1960-63, Donnington (Shropshire), Cyprus (Dhekalia) 1966-69 and finally Berlin in 1969 before the “Wall” came down.

He retired from the Army in 1970 and sadly passed away in 1989 in Southampton (Hampshire). I accompanied him as a child to Singapore, Cyprus and Berlin and attended British Army Schools in those locations.

The most memorable recollection was the time when Her Majesty The Queen, as Colonel in Chief of the Corps, met him and my mother at his Army house in Ceylon Terrace, Aldershot in April 1958.

Cdr Watson in 1968, with Inspector of Ordnance Brigadier Muggeridge. I also have a photo of him when the Director of Ordnance (Major General Young) visited Cyprus in 1968.

Keith Watson, Reginald’s Son
June 2020

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