Merchant Navy First Trip aged 16 years (circa 1943/44)44)
Chapter 1: The End of School Days School days,
So they tell us, are the happiest days of our lives. In my case, certainly not so! However, my school days taught me a few tricks that were to stand me in good stead for later in life, and most certainly the old saying ‘you set one to catch one’ stood me in very good stead when I later became a School Boardman, or in modern parlance, an ‘Education Welfare and Attendance Officer.’
But judge for yourself and read on…
According to ‘the book’ in my day, children left school at the age of 14 years. Not so in my case for on or around 31 July when I left school for the last time, I was still only 13 years old, my birthday being 5 days later.
I don’t think there was anything special about my being allowed to leave a little earlier than I should have, although even I recognised that throughout my years spent in senior school I could quite easily have been described as ‘brain dead’ by the long-suffering staff who tried so hard to put knowledge into my thick skull. What a sigh of relief must have gone up when they saw the back of me after so many seemingly wasted years.