When Richard was living in Australia during 1997, he sent the following as an audio tape to his Grandson Jay back in Cornwall England. Jay had asked what was it like to fight in a war?
"IT'S A MUGS GAME"
Wars all have to be fought because of aggressors in the world. Like the war I fought in. I believe we fought on the right side fortunately, but at seventeen years of age when I joined the Army, I would hardly have known whether I was on the right side or the wrong side. As I say the way things turned out I'm certain we were on the right side and the war was worth fighting, but even at that we were mugs, because you'll find most fellas who were doing the fighting were the fellas who had nothing in civilian life. You'll be fighting with labourers, clerks, road menders, all sorts of people at the bottom of the scale. You won't even be fighting with people like plumbers and bricklayers and the trades men in general, because they will be in a different branch of the services. You see, they weed them out, you'll be fighting with all the mugs. When you look around and you get into battle, you begin to realise you've been taken for a mug, and you're fighting as well bear in mind for politicians, crafty devils who cause the wars in the main. You'll be fighting for big business men who are making a packet out of the war. They're making millions. They're Lords and Sirs and God knows what. In my opinion they're nothing but crooks. So I'll just put you straight from the start.
All I'm saying to you is, "Don't join," and even to say okay, it depends what you join. Like some people have said to me, "I would like to join for the foreign experience to travel abroad," so they join such as the pay corps, but in wartime, when men are scarce, and they do get scarce, when the wars been going on for a long time. A hell of a lot of them get killed, maimed or wounded and one legged and one armed. They the authorities, look around for anybody, and they start drafting men from such as the pay corps, or the catering corps, anywhere they can get them.
Towards the end of the 2nd World War we were taking drafts, (that is reinforcements) to make up our numbers from the Navy and the Air force. So what I'm saying to you is this. Once you've signed that paper, that contract to join the services you're never safe wherever you are. Whatever branch of the service you're in, you're never safe because they can, once you've signed that contract, and the contract is an agreement between you and the Government in this case, they can do what the hell they like with you. You're not allowed to disobey orders because that is a criminal offence. They can give you an order that is nine tenths certain to take your life and you've got to obey the order, see what I mean. (Fools in high places. - i.e. Singapore.)
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