Chapter 20: Bombers Retirement
Soon after returning victoriously from active service in the Falklands war Bomber received his South Atlantic General Service Medal, along with his ( LS GCM.) Long Service Good Conduct Medal from the Provost Marshal, Brigadier F. Thomas CBE.
The Aldershot Military Garrison covered some 500 hectares of land with a garrison population of approximately 10,500 personal, and as the RSM for 160 Provost Company Bomber’s Military Police officers were responsible for policing the whole of the Aldershot military area, along with some 2,700 hectares of adjacent open military training area land which completely surrounded the Aldershot area.
This was a major responsibility for RSM William ( Bomber ) Hill, and RMP patrols had to be sent out every day to patrol these military areas. The units SIB Branch (Services Investigation Branch) detectives, who were also based in their own office department at 160 Provost Company, dealt with all aspects of serious crime within the Garrison, but general policing along with local traffic and speeding enforcement patrols were Bomber’s uniformed police officers responsibility.
Six Military Police Vauxhall traffic patrol cars, had been put at RSM Hills disposal , and these vehicles were now installed with the latest stolen vehicle and radio equipment and permanently based at the Aldershot RMP unit.
Bomber loved his challenging job at 160 Provost Company Aldershot, and was respected by his Officer Commanding and all the NCO policemen under his command, although things could be rather hectic when the Aldershot Tattoo was staged on the open Aldershot Queens park showground once every year.
The signing of all routes entering and leaving the showground were the units responsibility, Bomber had to make sure that his officers controlled the flow of traffic in and around the arena politely but firmly.
Bomber still kept in touch with his old Red Troop pals, and Corporal (Tiny) Lanham had now been promoted to Staff Sergeant and was serving with his RMP unit based on Hong Kong island, when Bomber received the sad news that Tiny whilst on border patrols in the New Territories out in the Provence’s, had tragically been killed when the army Land Rover he was travelling in left the road and crashed down a tropical ravine.
Bomber and the rest of his surviving pals in Red Troop were devastated, and it was only one year later that Corporal ( Sick Leave ) Silver, recently promoted to Sergeant, and now stationed at RMP 2 Division in Germany BAOR, collapses and died after having a heart attack on his way to work.
Bomber recalled how after returning from Oman (Sick Leave ) had taken up running to keep in the peak of fitness, and had recently got married to a girl from his hometown, apparently he ran the six miles to work every morning and also ran back to his married quarter at the end of his working day. The strain eventually took its toll on Sick Leave’s heart, and he unfortunately collapsed and died only half a mile from his unit.
John Torchy Barnett had also left the RMP and ‘Red Troop’ at the end of his active service tour just after the Oman Dhofar Mirbat War in 1972. On returning to Bahrain he had been offered a position as Chief Security Officer to the Amir /King of Bahrain Sheikh Issa Bin Sulman Al Kalifa, and jumped at the chance to further his career, and Barry Woody Harper had retired at the end of 1981 to start his own carpentry business and was now doing exceptionally well.
Corporals Roger Rasher Bacon, Billy Bing Crosby, and Robert The Dog Lang, had remained with Red Troop, but had now been posted to the troubled Northern Ireland.
Although Bomber felt no remorse for taking the lives of Fletcher and his young wife 10 years previously, he often thought about how things would have turned out if his marriage had succeeded with Julie. His wife Angela unfortunately couldn’t bare him any children, after losing their first born to a miscarriage, but he had been blessed with a good life with her so far and they shared so many happy times together.
By the summer of 1988 after 22 years loyal service with the RMP Corps RSM ( Bomber) Hill was due to retire from the army, but he requested a further years service with the 160 Provost Company he loved and this was granted.
He had purchased a small two bed roomed thatched cottage with the money he’d saved during his 23 years service in the army which had a number of out buildings, and four acres of land that his wife Angela loved. The cottage stood next to its own small lake and was situated in the surrounding countryside just outside Winchester.
Bomber planed to renovate the out buildings and turn them into holiday accommodation lets, stocking his lake with fish to attract the holidaymakers and the local fishing fraternity, which would give the couple an extra income all year round.
On the 26th September 1989 at the age of 41 and after 23 year service with the colours, RSM ( Bomber ) Hill cleared his office desk in 160 Provost Unit Aldershot, and finally retired. He never forgot his old pals in the RMP and kept in regular contact with them meeting up once a year at the RMP Reunions, which always took place in his old RMP unit at 160 Provost Company RMP Aldershot.
As the years rolled by and Bomber grew older, due to his retirement he had more time to think about his passed life, and he began to recall the two murders he’d carried out which now started to haunt him constantly day and night.
It was on Bomber’s 60th birthday that he unfortunately suffered a mini stroke which caused damage to his left eye and left him with double vision. He was then required to go for tests to his local hospital, the Winchester District Memorial Hospital. The hospital was situated in the Winchester city centre, and had been opened since February 1999.
Shortly after Bomber had taken these tests, he was required to attend an interview with his local doctor, Doctor R Patel, who had recently immigrated from Pakistan and was now serving his medical career with the Winchester NHS.
The doctor informed Bomber that his eyesight would eventually correct itself but as a result of the tests he had just under taken they sadly confirmed that he had now contracted a very aggressive brain tumour which unfortunately could not be medically treated and would inevitably lead to his death. Bomber was devastated and enquired as to how long he was expected to live, but the doctor informed him sympathetically that he should put all his affairs in order as he had very little time left, and would die within the next few weeks. His wife Angela was grief stricken but had to carry on, vowing to help her husband through his ordeal the best way she could.
It was then that Bomber finally decided to put pen to paper and clear his conscience, giving graphic details of the two murders he’d committed years before of Fletcher and his wife to the local Winchester police department.
After sitting for hours in his armchair by the fireside, thinking about his passed life and now experiencing a feeling of great relief due to revealing his terrible deeds to the local constabulary in the form of a letter, he put on his hat and coat, walked the mile to the local village, and reluctantly dropped the letter into the post box.
Just as Bomber arrived home ,and whilst hanging up his hat and coat on the hall coat stand, his wife came running excitedly down the hallway, flinging her arms wildly around her husband waist hugging him, and shouting out at the top of her voice.
“DARLING, OH DARLING! EVERTHINGS FINE NOW, DOCTOR PATEL RANG FROM THE HOSPITAL WHILST YOU WERE OUT, THERE’S BEEN A MIX UP WITH THIER FILES AND SOME HOW THEY MANAGED TO GET THE WRONG PATIENT,WHICH MEANS YOU DONT HAVE A BRAIN TUMOUR, YOUR NOT GOING TO DIE, ISN’T IT WONDERFUL NEWS DARLING!”.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, John BarnettWrite a Review