It was with real regret that the unit left without the CO,
Lt-Col, W.C. Thackeray, who was forced, owing to ill health, to remain in CANADA.
It was largely owing to his untiring efforts that the Regiment had progressed
so far in becoming a fighting unit in such a short time and was already respected as
a well-disciplined and well-trained body of men.
The Regiment sailed on the 13 November in a convoy of 9 transports with an all
American escort of 3 cruisers and 7 destroyers.
Except for being cold and rough the crossing was uneventful.
The food and feeding arrangements were poor and combined with the high seas made
the trip far from pleasure cruise.
Movies were available on board but entertainment of the men was very difficult owing
to the cramped quarters and lack of space.
On the 18 November a British escort of 6 destroyers took over and the convoy
docked on the 22nd and the Regiment disembarked on the 23rd at LIVERPOOL.
A “tiny” English train took the unit to ALDERSHOT and from a coal yard siding the
advance party took them to their first English “home”, which they were long to
remember, WATERLOO WEST BARRACKS.
ALDERSHOT - NOVEMBER 1941.
There the Regiment was initiated to hitherto unknown phases of British
Army life; spring beds that left 6 inch bruises on gunners hides for weeks, nail holes at a
shilling each for barrack damages,
Brussels sprouts and NAAFI
sausage ten times a week, heating (?) by means of fire places and that
wonder of wonders the English plumbing.
However there was a brighter side to life.
Pubs were something new and wonderful even if the beer was not.
The variety theatres entertained all for as long as the Regiment was in
Aldershot and few will forget Phyllis Dixie in her “art” numbers.
One of the most popular in ovations
was the NAAFI Canteen.
It was soon discovered that for the price of tea and cakes
twice a day it was possible to get out of practically a whole day's work.