Saturday, June 06, 2020

By Steve Brockway, Harry’s son, and Les (Chang) Cable 45B.

Harry, as he was known sadly passed away on Good Friday (18/04/2014) after a long illness. Harry joined the Army as a boy soldier and trained at Aborfield Army Tech School (Boys).
He served in The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and following tours of duty in Colchester, Blandford, Egypt, Blandford again, Bordon, Malaya, Scotland (Clackmannan) Bulford and finally Blandford for a third time. He demobbed having risen to WOII. He served the Army for 22 years and then the RN for a further 9 years as a First Tier Manager. He was engaged in Logistical Support for The Fleet (RNSTS) based at Portsmouth Naval Base prior to his retirement back home in North Dorset (Shaftesbury & Gillingham) with his wife Hazel.

Steve Brockway.

photos to follow


Richard (Dick) Brockway 45B

Dick Brockway was a mate of mine from September 1945, in B Coy, Room C4. Unusually, we were given a long weekend pass in November 1947. It being too far for me to travel to my home in Devon and Dick being a good lad he invited me to spend the time with him in Shaftesbury, Dorset. During that weekend and after a few beers we were involved in an ‘altercation’ with a couple of ‘Chunkies’. At the local police station afterwards we had to make a statement, it took some explaining as to why we were wearing REME badges etc, when our Army address was A T S (Boys). The local ‘Bobby’ said that he found it confusing, so wrote it down as we told him. The incident was not reported to Arborfield, thank goodness.

On passing out in 1948 our paths went different ways, and we lost contact. Fast forward 50 years and by now I was living in Weymouth. Our daughter ran a business in Gillingham, North Dorset. One afternoon in 1989 she asked me to pay some money into the bank in Shaftesbury, my first visit since 1947. Returning to the car park I saw three men in conversation, speaking in the local dialect.

I looked at one of them and I thought he looked like Dick Brockway. Then told myself not to be so stupid – I was seeing what I wanted to see. Anyway, having got into my car I got out again and asked the man if his name was Brockway. He looked at me warily and said Yes. ‘Good God’ I said you and I were in Boys service together.

‘Oh No, that was my brother he said – are you Chang Cable? It was my turn to be surprised, - it seems I was part of their family folklore!

Anyway it turned out that Dick was living only half a mile from my daughter, so from then on I was able to visit him and his wife, and we kept in contact.

Sadly, for the past four years he suffered from bad health, but always put on a cheerful face when we did get together.

I was fortunate in being able to attend the funeral with his family. There were two of us wearing REME ties that day.

Les (Chang) Cable 45B B Coy.

Notifying Deaths of Ex Arborfield Boys and requests for an AOBA Remembrance Scroll

Reporting Deaths

In the event of an ex Arborfield Old Boys death it would be most helpful if members could report as much of the following information to the Bereavement Officer or to any AOBA Committee member: The full name of the deceased, his intake number and date of death. Also the full name and address of the next of kin (n-o-k) of the deceased. Normally who ever reports the death is a friend or is known to the family and it is better that they negotiate on our behalf, with the n-o-k or family, not myself or committee members to obtain all the necessary information.

Note: After some drumhead services a few members mentioned that some deaths were not read out and no crosses were planted for them. Majority of the names mentioned were found to be from the previous year and were recorded, a small number were not. The reason why we miss some is because we have not been informed or we have insufficient information to record the death. Members are reminded to report deaths as and when they are aware of them. If you know of an ex Arborfield boy who has passed away and is not listed in the AOBA Roll of Honour (Can be seen on the AOBA Website) then please let me have their details.

A request for an AOBA Remembrance Scroll

I would like to remind members that I do not automatically send out a Remembrance Scroll when I’m notified of a death.  I only send them when requested by whoever has made contact with the family of the deceased and only then when the n-o-k has confirmed that they would like to receive one.  Remembrance Scrolls can be requested in the memory of the deceased for both AOBA members and non members. The minimum information required, before a scroll is sent, is listed in sub paragraphs a. & b. below:

a. Full name of the deceased, his intake number and date of death.

b. The n-o-k or family member’s full name, ensuring that we have their first name, and the address to where the scroll should be sent.

c. If a member of the AOBA his membership number, if available.

When it has been confirmed that the n-o-k of the deceased has requested a Remembrance Scroll, I will only send one if I have all the detail as listed in sub paragraphs a. & b. above. I will not send a scroll until I’m in receipt of all this detail. As you can imagine, if we get any of this detail wrong, it could cause extra grief to the bereaved.

You can contact me through the completion of the short webform found here