Bramwell H. Withers OBE
Most likely it was the Saturday morning following our first meeting with Major Withers that Richard and I first called at his house. He greeted us warmly and invited us in, straightaway asking if we had come to help with the trophies. There were all manner of things from his military past, regimental photos and regalia, swords, Kukris and African shields and spears to name but a few. We spent a couple of hours placing some of these things for display in the hallway before going to the kitchen for some tea and biscuits. Here the Major asked if we would like to come on a regular basis and do some odd jobs for him and perhaps pursue whatever hobbies we might have. He had a large workshop that was at our disposal and we were welcome to bring along any other boys from the village who might be interested. Thus started a long and happy association with the Major. I think Mum and Dad were happy too as it gave us somewhere to go as there was nothing else locally to entertain us.
Some weeks later I went for the medical examination and then it was a case of waiting for the results of both tests. One morning a letter came for me and I excitedly opened it only to read that I had to have another medical, this time in London. Dad couldn't get time off work and Mum did not fancy the trip so they asked the Major if he would accompany me. Fortunately the date would coincided with a business trip he had planned so he was happy to oblige. It turned out that when, at the first medical, being asked about any serious illness I had had as child I, being in a rather nervous and confused state at the time, had replied “Asthma!” A serious error as that would, if true have ruled out any hope of joining up. What I had been trying to remember was Eczema as I had been seriously afflicted with that as a baby. Anyway after a thorough chest examination it was back to the waiting game.