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What Happened To:
Ray Derrick
After graduating from Tonfanau as a J/Sgt I eventually arrived at the RMP Depot in Woking with all the other potential RMP's. Unfortunately for me amongst our crowd was the 'weasel' Scrivens (ex-J/RSM). Full of his own importance and not wanting anyone to forget he was the J/RSM, we had a bit of bother whilst waiting for our medicals to go to Aden. Having punched him on the nose I then found myself with 28 days 'nick' and a 'services no longer required' ticket home. Three bloody wasted years! (I see from this site that he eventually retired as a full Colonel.)
What to do next? I joined the Army! This time it was the Royal Artillery (it was either the R.A. or Infantry) and I trained as a surveyor at 22 Loc Battery at Larkhill. I stupidly got married and then my problems really began! I served in 22 Battery, then the Trials Establishment RA on Ty-Crois in Anglesey, and then on to Sennelager in Germany to join 39 Regiment 'Z' Survey Troop. By 21 I had three children and a hateful wife who slept with anyone that asked! That resulted in another fracas where I was court marshalled but escaped with a severe reprimand, a promotion to sergeant and an uncontested divorce. What I didn't know is that on my record sheet were the dreaded words – 'not to be promoted above the rank of sergeant' (I found this out many years later from a friend in R.A. records after being turned down for WOII eight times in a row).
I remarried after being posted to Woolwich and realising I had no future in the army I took my new wife to Zambia and completed a 2 year contract as a surveyor on the copper mines. From there I joined an oil exploration company as a 'seismic' surveyor, and my new career eventually took me all over North Africa and the Middle East. My wife tagged along whenever she could get a visa. After 9 years I had a vasectomy and my wife immediately fell pregnant during the 'testing' stage. At least my son looks like me!
We bought a house in the UK and I continued to work in the seismic industry. In 2000 we moved to Mazarron in Spain where we still live.
I am writing this letter from North Sudan just south of the Libyan border. It's the 2nd. Jan 2010. I arrived on 7th. December and go home on 3rd. Feb for 2 months leave. The nearest town is 600 kilometres from this Chinese crew base camp. This is the remotest place I have ever been to since I have been a consultant HSE supervisor in the oil & gas exploration industry. I love working in the desert and hope I get a few more years of active service in before hanging up my boots.
I suppose my one claim to fame during my undistinguished career was having my story about serving in Northern Ireland during 'The Troubles' published in 2002. If you are interested it is titled 'We Came In The Morning'. You can 'Google' the first chapter for free! So that's it! After a long and poor start I eventually have everything that most people hope for.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Webmaster or the AAJLR Association.

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