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What Happened To:
Richard Abraham
Left Sexeys Grammar School, Blackford, Somerset in the summer of 1963, spent a few months working as a milkman before joining the All Arms Junior Leaders Regiment, Tonfanau Camp, Towyn, Merioneth, North Wales on 14 January 1964. At that time I was badged in the Royal Military Police.
Not fancying a move to the Royal Military Police Depot, I transferred whilst at Tonfanau into the Intelligence Corps, arriving there in April 1965. In that, there were those who said it was a strange move for one of my uninspiring educational record! They were proved right when, after six months at the then Intelligence Corps Depot in Maresfield, Sussex, I failed one part of my ten part A2 trade test. I managed to get though Operational Intelligence, Driving, Fitness (that surprised me - it must have been due to those strolls up Cader Idris!), Unarmed Combat etc., but fluffed my Counter Intelligence. Those running the show were very nice about it and said that I would certainly pass all next time, and invited me to go through the whole rigmarole again, and thence take the entire course for another six months.
That didn't appeal but in the interim someone had mentioned the Royal Army Pay Corps, and more importantly the fact that if that trade test could be conquered then one was promoted to full Corporal just a year after entering the Depot at Worthy Down, Winchester. Thus it was that I went off to become a Pay Clerk and, better still, spend three months in a camp where there were lady soldiers! The upshot being, that in January 1966 I was off to 7 Signal Regiment, Herford, West Germany, BFPO 15, and in September of that year got my two stripes. As you will probably recall the benefits were a decent increase in pay, and a marginally more comfortable life. I quite enjoyed that for a time - drinking my way around Westphalia - though was homesick for England - and this is where the lack of 'sterner stuff' comes in - left the Army on payment of 200 quid in October 1968. That ended my short and non-illustrious military career!
From there I spent a year in a sales office in my native Somerset, and then went into farming (as an employee) up on the Mendip Hills above Cheddar Gorge. Three years later, married to my first wife and with a baby daughter, I couldn't make ends meet on basic agricultural wages, so joined the then Somerset and Bath Constabulary. In March 1974 - just before the boundary commission created new counties and new Police forces - I transferred to the Hertfordshire Constabulary from which I retired in April 2002 - the day before my 56th birthday. In 1976 I had ended my first disastrous marriage from which I have two children, the baby of farming days now aged 33, and a son of 30. My 'new' wife and I met in January 1978 - and have now been together nearly 28 years - marrying in August 1980. We have three children; Jon at 18 has just started at Oxford Brookes University reading Sport Coaching and Development. Caroline who is 15 is an amateur actor of some note and will likely make her way in the world in that forum. Eight year old Daniel attends the village school next door to our house, and is as bright as any button ever has been - our 'late entry'. You can see that I have kept 'busy'! Home is the former village Police House (now Peel House) to which I moved as a community policeman three months after we married, and which we bought five years ago, and have just extended by 59% - and it wasn't too small in the beginning! The village is Little Gaddesden, on the edge of the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire, and is set against 5000 acres of the National Trust Ashridge Estate. It is an idyllic place to live and to bring up a family.
Community work still has a place in that I am Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, and wife June has been a School Governor for thirteen years, and on another committee for twenty three! My 'day job' is that of a Fraud Team Investigation Officer (Civilian Investigator) with Surrey Police in Woking, for whom I work 36 hours a week. That involves leaving home at 5.00am Tuesday morning (it's 50 miles away and takes me by way of the dreaded M25), staying down there for two nights, and then arriving back into the village pub' (very good with the real ale which is my favourite tipple) mid evening Thursday. It gives me a four day weekend to pursue the delights of family, game/rough shooting (when I get the time), village matters, and real ale.

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