And there wisnae even a war on

My Uncle Bill (William Robinson), my Mums brother, joined the Army in November 1946. He was 19, and the war was over, but he was joining up as a regular soldier, signing up for 5 years, plus 7 years in the reserve. He enjoyed the life of a soldier, as obviously the family trade of shoemaker didnae appeal, and was a boxer and played for the Army football team. In fact, he was so good at football, that Blackburn Rovers asked him to leave the Army and become a professional footballer in England. But he refused.  Eejit.

He left after his 5 years were up, came back to Edinburgh and became a driver for the Chairman of Brown Brothers.  So it must have been a helluva shock, when 5 years after he left the army, they called him back up and parachuted him right into Egypt to fight during the Suez Crisis! He survived, but said he never forgot how the Egyptians knew they were coming, and were shooting his comrades as they floated alongside him. Here’s a couple of pages from his Army book.

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The War may have been over, but rationing went on until 1954. Here’s a couple of scans from what must have been his last ration book, which may be why the Co-op still owe him some eggs.

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William (Bill) Robinson

William (Bill) Robinson

William (Bill) Robinson, twin of Alice, was closest to my Mum, and she looked after him after he had a stroke. A confirmed bachelor, he had a few stints in the Army, even being called up when a reservist to be parachuted into Aden. A quality footballer, he was offered professional terms by Blackburn, but wanted to stay in the Army.

And here is my Uncle Bill, in his army days, with bunnet at a ludicrously jaunty angle. As it should be.