|Sergeant Cliff Martin
Why did you choose the Regiment?
Well I'll tell you the story. I joined in 1937 in the height of the depression. I had been out of work for over six months and I was going round Whitehall and there was a place there called the Central London Recruiting Office, and I was standing outside looking at all the pictures of various regiments and a Guard Sergeant came up with his hat pulled down and said, "Would you like to join the Army, son?". I was only 17 but I said "Yes". So he took me in, I passed all the various tests, I went in front of the Colonel that said, "Well, you've passed all your tests and that", he said, "Which Regiment would you like to join?" I said, "I'd like to join the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders", and he just laughed at me and said, "It'll take you two years to understand what they're talking about, join an old cockney mob". I said, "I'll join the Royal Fusiliers", he said, "Sorry, but we've just finished a squad of those, but what we are recruiting for are the East Surreys". It was the first time' I must say' I'd ever heard of the East Surrey Regiment. That's how I came to join the East Surrey Regiment. When I went to Kingston it was the first time I'd ever been to Surrey. I lived in Stepney in London, I used to go the other side, Essex side, Southend, for my days out and that sort of thing, or for holidays and things, never had a holiday anyway, but that's how I came to join the Regiment.