Having served his first year of National Service in the ranks, David North was granted a commission on 9 March 1948.
He joined the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars at Colchester when the Regiment was in a state of flux. At the end of 1947, it had returned to the Cavalry Barracks in Colchester after war service overseas.
By February 1948, it had moved across the Abbey Fields to Sobraon Barracks, where it was rapidly expanding from cadre strength to full peacetime Regimental establishment, in order to join the British Army garrison in Malaya.
The plan was to go out by troopship in May, together with families, to modern barracks in Johore Bahru, just over the causeway from Singapore. Hardly had young North unpacked his bags than the disappointing news was received that the Malayan posting was cancelled, due to growing civil disorder in the country. Ct North was not greatly perturbed, particularly as the orders were countermanded yet again in July.
Revised plans were for 4H to be rushed out in August; but this time on a full war footing, without families, to join in the rapidly developing Malayan Emergency Campaign.
Then came the blow which really did dismay David North, When Lt Col George Kidston told him that he would not be going with the Regiment, firstly, that his remaining period of National Service was too short; and secondly, that he was held not to be 100 per cent fit, following a ‘slight’ injury at OCTU.
The disappointment at being left behind in the UK was compensated, at least to some extent, by being attached to 8 RTR until he completed his ‘time’ on 3 April 1949.
After his return to civilian life, David North became a dedicated Old Comrade whose greatest pride was to have had the honour to serve, for however brief a period, with the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.
His cheerful presence will be much missed at Regimental dinners and reunions.