HMT Empire Fowey to Kure and War
After reporting back to Woolwich I boarded HMT Empire Fowey at Southampton Docks and embarked for Korea under Draft DBDFA on 8th July 1952 for the most momentous period of my service. Our on-board accommodation was below decks and very basic, although fixed bunks were preferable to the hammocks on some troopships. One was very aware of a “them and us” situation, with restrictions as to where other ranks could go. Things improved when we passed Gibraltar and into warmer climes, when sleeping on deck was possible.
A fellow surveyor RA and I were allocated to the ship’s quartermaster (P&O) with responsibility to hand out stores in the morning and book them back in during the afternoon. As the majority were infantry, this mostly consisted of .303 Enfield rifles, with ammunition, and Bren guns. The former were used to fire at targets from the stern of the ship, while the Bren’s seemed to be continually stripped and reassembled!