The idea of recording my own Wartime adventures and experiences germinated during an Overseas Tour in 1984. Enid and I were accompanied by Joyce Cohen, a school friend of Enid’s. We visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the Norwegian Resistance museum in Oslo. During these visits I, nostalgically, recalled some of my own experiences and Joyce insisted that I should “write them all down”. On returning home I received tremendous encouragement from my family and, thus, at Christmas 1984 I was supplied with the necessary materials and told to start writing “Lest we Forget”. Fortunately, I had many photographs to jog my memory and also diaries and notes which I had written during my incarceration as a Prisoner of War in Italy and Germany. Now, at last, the end is in sight and I am confident that, with patience, I shall finally complete the tale of my travels through Africa, Italy, Germany and Russia.

The story actually begins at the end of 1935 when I completed my school days at Wynberg Boys’ High School. It serves to recall events and incidents during those “Golden pre-war years” and the gathering War clouds. In the final chapter I have, in the end, continued into those post-war years of the “Cold War” and recalled our many Ack-Ack re-unions and anniversaries up to the 50th on the 17th June 1990 and the 50th Red Cross POW gathering at the Ack-Ack base at Young’s Field.

HJB 1992

A collections of tour poems and verses and office Christmas party doggerel written by Howard J. Bates