Profile – Malcolm Smith

790 Squad. 1960-62 – Berlin and Wuppertal

Malcolm SMITH  –  by Malcolm

Having passed A1 at my medical (despite me informing them on all my disabilities)  I went before a Major from the Royal Tank Corp, “ah!” he said “A fine young chap like you would do well in the RAC” now I thought he meant the RASC, ” yes ” I said I wouldn’t mind learning to drive a lorry.  Not the b- – – – -y  ‘Jam stealers’  he said the Royal Armoured Corp, you get to drive tanks and armoured cars, and also get to wear the w- – – – g spanner, cuts a lot of flash with the “gels” you know. No I said I wouldn’t like that. At the time I was working for Cadbury’s and a lot of Cadbury lads went into the Catering Corps, so I said I wouldn’t mind the ACC. “What!” he said “the excused boots and odds and sods,  was your father in the forces, and if so what was he in?” the MP’s I said,  I wouldn’t mind joining them, well that was worse than saying the ACC. Look he said we will put you down for your first choice the RAC, then the ACC and for your third choice the RMP, and of course two weeks later I was sent to the Royal Artillery at Oswestry (change at Gobowen). After ten days square bashing! I was transferred to the RMP at Inkerman. I passed out on the 29th September 1960 and after a month in Holding Company; was posted to 4 Gds Brigade at Hubbelrath, Germany (BAOR) and about two weeks after that was posted to No:2 section at Wuppertal doing general RMP duties.   Then in August 1961, I was seconded to 247 Provost Company,  Berlin. What had happened was that refugees were flooding out of East Germany to West Berlin and it was decided to bring the Berlin Garrison up to full strength. As far as the RMP were concerned a junior NCO was taken from every duty room in BAOR and sent to 247! I was there for about four months doing security duties, border patrols etc. I returned to 4 Gds;  Wuppertal to finish my service.

On returning to ‘Civvy Street’ I went back to Cadbury’s and obtained a position with them as a territory salesman working in Scotland then with a bit of promotion I was transferred to York, then to Leicester. I resigned from Cabury’s and took a position as an area sales rep’ for Yardley cosmetics and after five years decided to try my hand as a car sales man at Meteor Ford in Moseley, Birmingham. I was not cut out to be a car salesman. I left after 15 months and took a position as Area Sales Manager for Lancome Cosmetics. I was with them for ten years and left in 1988 and did a series of salesmans jobs until I retired in 2002.

I have been a member of the Birmingham Central Branch of the RMPA since 1995.