Soldiers reunited 50 years after service

Six  former National servicemen meet up for a reunion at Wetherspoons in Bury.''Left to right - Ron Webb, Terry Williams, Peter Lyus, Kenneth Mainstone, Dick Scott and John Mills.
Six former National servicemen meet up for a reunion at Wetherspoons in Bury.''Left to right - Ron Webb, Terry Williams, Peter Lyus, Kenneth Mainstone, Dick Scott and John Mills.
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Six former soldiers, drafted to Bury St Edmunds for their national service training were reunited on Tuesday.

Six former soldiers, drafted to Bury St Edmunds for their national service training were reunited yesterday (24).

The members of B company with the 1st East Anglian Regiment met for a pub lunch to reminisce.

Called up in 1959 they all served in West Berlin after six weeks training at Britannia Barracks.

Former lance corporeal, Ken Mainstone said: “Several of us have been meeting up since that time. We came out of service in 1961 just before the wall went up and we have been meeting on a fairly regular basis.”

While in Berlin their platoon won a skills competition against other regiments stationed alongside them.

They were selected for the Berlin Battle Test despite having had their talents questioned during training.

After a week that tested tactics, stamina, marching, shooting, and general soldiering they walked away with victory.

However the promised prize of a skiing trip and walk on parts in The Longest Day never transpired.

The snow had melted and an order that allowed only regular soldiers to star as extras prevented most of the platoon from taking their moment in the spotlight.

Yesterday was the largest reunion of the former soldiers and Ken said he hoped their numbers would continue to grow.

If you served alongside them contact Ken on ukenmainstone@hotmail.com