Jack died in December 1994.
He was a good friend of mine in the Regiment. Young Brindley joined us in Abbassia Barracks, Egypt, in 1938. We called him ‘young Brindley’ as he always looked young even when I saw him for the last time at an Old Comrades’ Reunion a few years ago.
What did surprise me, when I first met him, was his height. I had known men join up under age but never under height, but Jack was such a good-humoured chap he did not mind men ribbing him about his height.
As the 7th Hussars did not make the same demands as the Royal Artillery, he was sent to us. For tanks, his build was a great advantage. He was able to jump in and out of them with great alacrity. The advantage of this was shown when we went into action in the desert. When his tank was hit by shell fire he was out of it before it could ‘brew up.’
He went to Burma with the Regiment but as the tanks were moving about in the jungle most of the time, I did not see him very often.
When we came out of Burma we had a three-week journey by train across India, to Dhond, but Jack had been taken off the train at Ranchi with all the others the sick, the lame and the halt. We carried on to Dhond, a place near Poonah, and Jack rejoined us there when he came out of the hospital.
We met again on the ship sailing to the Persian Gulf, where we disembarked in Iraq. It was the Regiment’s duty in Iraq to meet the Germans if the Russians did not hold Stalingrad. They intended to cross the Caucasus Mountains and capture the oil fields of Mosul in Northern Iraq. The Russians held Stalingrad, so we were able to relax. Jack went into hospital again about this time, so I did not see him again until the last reunion he attended.
He told me he had retired to Middlesbrough, my old home town.
I am sorry that I never had the opportunity to visit. I could have shown him where the iron and steel works were and the shipyard I used to work in.
To me, Middlesbrough was very drab, but he loved it! It was men like Jack who made life in the Regiment more pleasant. He will be missed by all his old comrades. God bless him.