This is an entry in a year-long project to post-blog the demobilisation experience for British servicemen at the end of the Second World War. See here for an introduction to the project and here for a brief overview of the demobilisation process.
Most serving soldiers dream about civvy street. Morningside man Alexander Harding was so unhappy with life outside the Army that he pretended to be his brother, Christopher, a deserter, and turned himself in; even a spell in the glasshouse was preferable to continued life in mufti.
This is the strange tale told by today's Daily Mail. In 1941, Harding had been discharged from the RAMC on medical grounds after two years in uniform. He was unable to find a civilian job and attempted several times to reenlist. Last January he 'surrendered' to the Glasgow police on the pretence that he was his brother, and was sentenced at a Catterick court martial to two years' hard labour. But the sentence was quashed when the truth became known. Richmond magistrates, noting that Harding had already been in military detention for three months, sentenced him to a single day in jail. Which meant that he could walk straight out ... to civvy street.