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Banburyshire Family History

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Len Denham

I know I said I would stop but I cannot resist offering this little camping snippet!

My brother Les was already a member of the St John Ambulance Brigade Cadets and my pal Ron M and I joined around 1947. We had a lot of pleasure there under the supervision of Captain 'Tubby' Tungate, his Number Two George Bolton and Ted Ruffell. Alas it was to end when we went away to summer camp in 1948 and found ourselves located next to a band of Surrey girl guides.

Despite being forbidden to talk to these girls Ron and I managed to arrange a secret midnight walk to the beach at Pagham with June K and Sheila R. On the way back from this perfectly harmless activity the local policeman saw fit to intercept and interrogate us. The subsequent report to the Girl Guides' Commander created a crisis of untold proportions. The camp ran for two weeks with Captain Tungate and/or George Bolton coming at weekends and Ted Ruffell in charge during the week. As I remember Ted was not unduly fazed but was obliged under pressure from the Guides to report the incident to his superior officer. At the weekend Ron and I were arraigned before the equivalent of a Court Martial and asked to assure Captain Tungate that there had been no 'hanky-panky' and that the girls had not been improperly treated. Having been reassured that nothing untoward had occurred, our explanation was accepted and an apology issued to the Girl Guides Commander. This should have been an end to the matter but upon returning home we found that another inquest was opened at our first cadet meeting at which George Bolton, our very good friend, demanded that we should be dismissed from the cadets or he would resign. So we presented ourselves to the senior (adult) branch of the Brigade at Hendon where we were welcomed with open arms!

(So if any of you girls need a spot of first aid or fancy a midnight stroll to the beach ...)

Written by Len Denham