"I'll take you as far as Windsor."

'Why, that was a canny way up the road. I got in.'

How were you doing for money then?

'Oh, we had a bob or two.'

But your back pay was spent?

'Oh, aye, near enough. There wasn't much left! But I had a few quid in my pocket and you used to get paid every week in the Army. Used to parade.'

And that was money in your hand?

'Umm. Pay book. Officer sitting at the table with the money and the pay book.'

Have you still got your pay book?

'Lost the bugger. I don't think there was a photograph in. Could have been. But all your records were in it. If you'd been promoted, if you'd passed exams for this and that. It was all in your pay book. Don't know where the Hell mine went.'

You still had it when you were demobbed?

'Oh, I must have had. Oh, you had to have your pay book. You had to carry that with you all the time.'

Even as a POW?

'No, they took the bugger off us, or we might have had to hand them in before we went up the hill.' [at Sedjenane in February 1943]

Did you know anybody else from the North East at Pipers' Wood?

'Aye. Tunney from Shotton [no relation]. I passed a signals exam for him! This Sergeant comes into the hut, he says, "Private Tunney?" I says, "Sarnt!"

"You've got to go down to the Signals Office and sit this test."

"Signals?" I says, "Why, I've never been in the Signals?"

"It's down here. Private Tunney, DLI. Better get down there."

'So I went down and they put these earphones on you and they had, like a record going and it was going "Ta taa ta ta ta taa taa ta." And you had to put whether they were the same or whether they were different and all I did was put it into music: semi-quavers and quavers and I got every one right!

'The Sergeant says, "There's only three or four blokes ever come in here and got everyone one right--and you're one of them."

'I says, "I've never been in the Signals in my life!"

"Well how the hell did you do that?"

'And I told him: 'You have four semi-quavers which is, "burr burr burr burr"

"Burr burr burr." Which is a quaver in the middle of them. Burr burr. Two quavers.