Print

Fred Bowden interview: Training in Wimbledon



As fair as I remember we used to come down this way through Tooting and Balham, up as far as Victoria Park in the East End of London and back, carrying all our kit. And that was done at approximately three and a half miles an hour with a stop every hour. And the alternate weeks we did a 10 mile forced march, as far as we could, 10 miles down a shorter route, always from - starting at Wimbledon Common coming back. We trained on the Common, we dug trenches, slit trenches for training purposes. We did army training on the Common and that was it really. In the garden of the house we did weapon training, Bren guns, mortars, did all the training in and around Wimbledon Common etc.  Now we were there and we moved away, I think in spring or early summer and went to a place called Midsomer Norton in Somerset which incidentally was where my mother was born. And from there on we travelled round the country in various camps and that was the next three years.