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Major W.A.( Bill ) Durham (Retd)


Having enlisted in the 1st/8th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in early 1939,Bill embarked for France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force.When the retreat to Dunkirk was ordered,Bill spent the 30/31st May waiting to be evacuated,eventually making his escape on the Destroyer HMS Vimy.

After the Battalion was reformed in Bradford,Bill spent the remainder of 1940 & 1941 serving in England.

until being shipped to India in 1942.

As part of the 14th Army,Bill served in Arakan before the Battalion engaged the Japanese at the famed battle of Kohima.Bill suffered a bullet wound to the hand during the fighting.

At the end of 1944 the Battalion left Assam,their destination being the Pegu oilfields near Rangoon.As an assault was planned on Rangoon,the Battalion flew back to India in order to refit.The mission never came to fruition however,as news of the Japanese surrender was announced.

After being demobbed in 1945,Bill spent only a couple of years in Civvy Street before re-enlisting with the LF’s & being posted to the Army Apprentices College,Chepstow.

In 1950 a posting to the Lancastrian Brigade Training Centre at Satan Camp,Chester followed,Bill being a Sergeant Instructor to National Servicemen.The following year Bill was posted to the Lancashire Fusiliers Depot,Bury,

eventually gaining promotion to WO2(CSM).Bill was then seconded to the Malay Regt. Military College serving for four years before returning to the UK

In 1957 Bill was posted to 1LF during the Cyprus Emergency.

After two years abroad,Bill was posted back to the UK on promotion to WO1(RSM) to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers(TA) in Newcastle,subsequently,serving as RSM of 1LF in Osnabruck.

Another stint as RSM followed,this time to the Royal Fusiliers(City of London Regt.)TA based in London.

In 1965 Bill was commissioned Lt(QM) with 1 Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers based in Minden.
After promotion to Captain,Bill was posted to the Fusilier Brigade Depot at Sutton Coldfield.

Vesting Day at the Sutton Coldfield Depot 1968
Colonel of the Regiment Gen Darling inspects the Guard made up of an NCO from each of the old four Regiments Bill was OC HQ Company and the CO was Lt Col C A Major

Shortly before the disbandment of the Brigade Depots, Bill was posted to the new about to be opened Queen’s Division Depot at Bassingbourn as acting Major(QM).Bill’s final posting was to 2RRF at Catterick before retiring from the Army in 1973 at the rank of Major. Now a civilian,Bill subsequently worked as a senior Admin Officer for British Aerospace in Saudi Arabia leaving the company after six years employment. In 1979 Bill ended his long & varied career as Services Manager for Mobil Oil(Indonesia) before finally retiring two years later.