National Service Stories

Alexander Milne’s National Service as a Prison Guard at Spandau Prison

Rudolf Hess Source: Wikipedia on a Wikicommons licenseAlexander was called up in 1948. He spent his time in Germany on guard duties at Spandau Prison. He spent three days on guard duty, 3 days at a barracks in Berlin where he worked at the GOC offices and then three days off. During guard duty he was paired with someone else. At any one time there were three people on duty and three people off duty. The shifts went as follows for three days:-

Each shift lasted 2 hours.
2 hours on duty
2 hours off duty either eating sleeping or talking
then 2 hours on duty again for three days………………………………..

When not duty there were chairs to sit or sleep in within a barrack room. No beds.
Most of the guard duty was spent at the main gate and not with the prisoner. Rudolf Hess was a most-well-known prisoner and he spent his time in prison by himself.
There was a kitchen staff of 2 and 1 person in charge and that was it for the whole prison. . From 1966 until his death in the prison in 1987 he was the only prisoner.

Read the rest of his working life memory and related links >>>>

Ernest McIntosh’s work as a Rocket Scientist

Ernest MacIntosh being interviewed at Aberlour Highland Games 2012 for the Memory projectErnest McIntosh graduated from Heriott Watt University in Edinburgh with a BSc in Chemistry. He was 22 and it was 1958. He was due to go into National Service or he could work for the government researching rocket fuels. In National Service he would have earned 27 /- 6d (£ 2  37 1/2p) a week and as a rocket scientist 10 guineas ( £10.50) per week. He chose the latter and went to work at the Royal Naval Scientific Service at Carwent nr. Newport and Chepstow. Ernest was interested in rockets due to Von Braun‘s research.

Black Knight Rocket on display in Edinburgh Source Permission (Reusing this file) Released into the public domain (by the author).

His main work involved looking into the storage of rocket fuel. Over time the fuel becomes unstable and increasingly dangerous to store. He used inch-cubes of the fuel and artificially aged them in a bunker by subjecting them to temper and humidity. Then the breakdown products could be identified.Rocket fuel was only used by Black Knight and Blue Streak at that time. He was going to submit his research on the shelf life of rocket fuel for an MSc but he left the Naval work in 1960 to move to Newcastle. He wanted to be nearer his fiance who lived in Scotland. He couldn’t find a job using his skills in Scotland at the time.

read the rest of Ernest’s story and related links >>>>>


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