The Manchester Regiment Forum

World War 2 => 1939 - 1945 => Topic started by: Robert Bonner on January 15, 2010, 04:29:20 PM

Title: Canadians in Regiment
Post by: Robert Bonner on January 15, 2010, 04:29:20 PM
Not to be confused with our discussions on the Halifax Hundred but I came across this interesting extract from a letter to his father from Noble G Sproul.  Noble went on to have an exciting life as a commando.  This extract is taken from the website of the Black Hackles

"First saw Blighty (England) at Liverpool, sailed up the Manchester Ship Canal to Solford docks where the recruiting sergeant was waiting to take us to Manchester. As I was too young to join, they let me stay at Ladysmith Barracks, Ashton (Manchester Regiment) for some time. Here I finally joined. Real old time ‘Square Bashing’ – 6 months of intensive hell. The squad sergeant was ex-Boer war and WW1 with a saber-slashed face and the heart of a killer.

From there we passed out (graduated), sent to 2nd Battalion at Aldershot and was put on as ‘B’ Company runner. War broke out (sent to action) in ’39 and I pleaded to go with the boys. No dice. Got a job as officers’ batman so could manage to wangle across to France and being the dope, got posted back to Lancashire, to Mossley. Then sent down to Nether Avon in southern England near Salisbury to the famous machine gun school where we set an unbroken British Army record with the machine gun for a machine gun platoon getting into action and marksmanship. I was no. 1 on the no. 1 gun. Made a few machine gun training films. Came on leave Dec. ’39.

Dunkirk came along and when I saw the wrecks that came back, bomb-happy, seared fellows, no clothes, no arms, no hope even, thought I would like to move, so volunteered for the first of the Commandos. Got sent off to Scotland. Cold, wet and terrible. Training always at the double, up and down snow-capped mountains."