Fred Bowden interview: After the war

By this time I was a sergeant and so Palestine was quite nice. We kept patrols, night patrols in the hills. The Jews were the troublemakers in those days. Considered to be. But that wasn’t our problem. We just went out and finally I was demobbed by Tiberius on Lake Galilee. I was demobbed from there after 12 months. I came home by sea. It was very pleasant. Came back via the south of France. Took a train across France to Calais. Calais to Dover, Dover to a demob place. I think it was near Woking. Picked up my cardboard box full of civvy clothes and came to Wimbledon. And that was me out of the army.

I spent six years from 20 and when I came out I was 26. I’d been married aged 22, I had a responsible job, I’d grown mentally as well as in age and it was a different world. I thought that life would go back to what it was before the war and I didn’t know what to do. I had no job. Well I finished up as a postman. I finished up as a City…the Labour Exchange sent me…as a postman in the City of London. Oddly enough I enjoyed that job. I really enjoyed it. And I got to know the City itself. The old City. I was there for seven years and then I took an exam as a postal and telegraph officer which is another word for a counter clerk and after various offices I was five years in Wimbledon Post Office where I just had to pop home. Rather nice. From there I was promoted to what was known as…what was it called...a PEC, Postal Executive Officer Class. I was a PEC Postal Executive which I held from 1970 until I retired at the age of 60 in 1980. By this time I was up in London, round Victoria and I enjoyed myself.