The army decided to "weed out" those who were tax dodgers, wife deserters and criminals before they spent money on soldiers going to Japan to train for Korea.
We were taken to the front of a large barrack and told to come in when called, one at a time, after they finished with us we were to go out the door at the other end and not to talk to the men ready to be interviewed.
It came my turn and I walked in. A couple of Officers were standing on the sides and two plain clothes police detectives were sitting at the table with piles of paper in front of them. One of the detectives said to me, "Private Holden, you have been in trouble with the law, haven't you?"
I quickly answered "Yes."
I saw the officers stiffen, the detectives looked at a piece of paper (I realised later it was probably blank) and said "Tell us about this trouble".
I replied, "I got on a train without a ticket and was fined 2 pound."
The officers looked as if they were going to collapse with amusement, the detective paused and said "Private Holden, you may go."
A few days later one of the soldiers who had gone through all the training with us and had been in the occupation forces in Japan earlier, was seen packing his gear, we said "where are you going?"
"I've been kicked out of the army." Daryl replied.
I thought later, maybe he had got on a train in Japan without a ticket and been caught!!
Fred Speed remembers this parade, and in January, 1994 he retold his brief moments with the officers, for me.
When the officers said to him "you have been in trouble with the law, haven't you?" He replied back to the detectives "You are as mad as two bob watches".
They said, "are you sure you have never been in trouble?"
Fred said "Only once I got full and fell arse over head - a policemen I knew well picked me up and said go on get on your way.
"Which I did, in an intoxicated fashion."
Ernie R. Holden.
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