Memories of The Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers WWII, Sylvester Till

Memories of The Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers WWII, Sylvester Till

Personal Account 1939 to Demob August 1946

As a skilled craftsman Sylvester Till served with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, one of the many military organisations that were an essential part of the British Army during the Second World War. He spent most of his service career in Iraq, arriving after the military crisis there was over, and remaining almost until the end of the war, so he didn't see a great deal of the action.

Odd though it may seem, this gives this book much of its value. Rather than provide us with yet another account of familiar events, Till concentrates on the day to day aspects of Army life. Despite being a skilled tradesman with pre-war training, he was not called up April 1941, so for the first year and a half of the war he was in limbo, after his pre-war employer was shut down. We then follow him through his training and on his long sea journey which took him to Iraq around the southern tip of Africa. During most of this journey Till and his comrades had no idea where they were heading.

The answer was Iraq, where Till spent the next two years, despite an Army rule that stated that nobody should serve for more than 18 months in the country (due to the heat). Although much of the book concentrates on life within the army, we do see how the British soldiers felt about the Iraqis, and get some idea of how they behaved.

This a short but interesting book that provides an interesting look at daily life in the British Army during the Second World War, well worth reading.

Author: Sylvester Till
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 119
Publisher: Stamford House
Year: 2007 edition

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