Study for a painting of the old drill hall Stow Hill Newport.

Drill Hall

Drill Hall Stow hill. This was the old Territorial Army drill hall. Many young men joined up for the forces here and trained in the art of using the Lee Enfield 303 rifle. Then marched away to fight in the Great War and never to return home again. Blown to bits and their body bits lost in the sea of mud of the Fields of France. The Mons Regiment Being one of the Local Regiments to train and meet here. The Author had in 1939 in his teenage years. A passing chance to run errands for some of these local men.

Based at the then ash tip over the old iron bridge to the old Road at Maesglas.These Soldiers defending with a trench all sand-bagged in nice new straw coloured sacking cloth. Contained within a central position the ever familiar Lewis gun pointing to the skies. All in anticipation of an impending attack by the German paratroops forces. Mog would run down the Avenue to the Maesglas shops. Spending the soldiers money at the general store of Jones’s shop spend on several packets of five woodbine fags and two penny bar’s of Cadbury’s chocolate. In return for a few pennies reward for his errand. Also sometime free bar would come his way from Mister Jones all in appreciation of the extra trade. Much later on in time during the war Mog became a soldier himself and when on leave would go to the dance as many Newport young folk went on the weekend.

Dance to the band and hunt for a partner from the many beautiful girls. Dressed in their pretty frocks. The fragrant scent smell of California poppy from the lovely the beautiful young girls in dresses that would do credit to their young figures with their high-heeled shoes. Brown Tanned silk stockings straight at the back of leg the seam and held up by the suspenders. Being the standard turn on rigging worn by the females of that generation. Dance around this hall of memories. On the elevated stage the band of Billy Rabbit played. Bill being another Maesglas Lad. At the central stage a stand up mike.

The one and only Harry Polloway Master of ceremonies Harry was distinctive in his Tartan Jacket and he still has the Jacket in his Personal possession to this day. Harry could with his memoirs. Surely fill a book.If Harry put pen to paper.Or had a ghost writer write up for himself. Please see warmap air crash Harry’s early war time experience. Amid the dancing crowd the home on leave soldier’s Along with thoughts in his mind a soldiers dream of just a pretty girl in his arms. All like a fairy tale. It always seemed to end and ones leave had gone by in a flash. And on the cold windy Newport station. In company of a girl of ones dreams a freshness of ones young innocent first love feeling in ones body the rush of butterflies to one’s stomach. Experienced only by the young blood in one’s youth. A moment of closeness of bodies the finale embraces of two young lovers now to become torn apart. A soldier, his duty calls him back to unit. Now aboard the darken train towed carriage peers from window all in vain. Timetable of departure so quickly arrives as Train slowly tows its many carriage’s speeds away and steam puffed smoke and sounds leave a bleak wind swept station. The gentle draught blowing youthful fresh locks of hair of a lone girlfriend in sweet scented aroma of just a memory. Finally Departed from ones girl friend smiling and remains soft warm tear a wave good bye–e.

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