My Cyprus journey with the Redcaps
By Roy Oswick
Former : Military Policeman, Prison Officer/(Governor Grade)
Centre Manager Immigration Detention Centre,
Private Car Hire Operator
I just wanted to introduce myself to the cyprusscene.com readers. I have constructed a couple of pieces for publication which I hope may be of interest or at least be seen as amusing, from my early days in the Army.
My association with the island of Cyprus began way back in 1958 when as a young National Serviceman I was posted to the Island. My home town in the UK was a small market town called Wisbech, which over the years had come to regard itself, and proudly boasted of being, the Capital of the Fens.
The town was far from being any form of Capital and had only a moderate population which during the Harvest season almost doubled with the influx of travellers who descended upon the town to work in the fields and orchards. They also caused the local constabulary many headaches as they were prone to enjoy themselves and since the town was a Market Town under Charter the pubs were open all day on Saturdays which were also market days. The town then had some 365 pubs in and around the area and they always became very lively at weekends and during the evenings of the harvest season.
So coming from such an environment, being posted overseas was for me and many others not only the first time that we had been overseas but probably the first time we had been so far away from home. My draft of conscripts consisted of a whole mix of servicemen from many arms of the services which gave me and a few other newly appointed Military Policemen an opportunity to practice our new found skills.
In those days most troop transporting was carried out on Troopships run by the Royal Fleet Auxillary, and we sailed from Southampton to Cyprus on the troopship Devonshire. My time in Cyprus is the subject of a couple of articles that may be published so I will simply say that I went on to serve for 23 years in the army and saw service in every theatre. I had good times and a few bad times and all in all enjoyed my career. Following my demob from the Army in 1981 I joined the prison service and worked as an officer in many of the various categories and after a series of promotions decided to leave in 1987 with the grade of Governor.
I had been invited to apply for a job with the Immigration Service running a Detention Centre in Oxfordshire for Failed Asylum Seekers which I did for the next 5 years. I then worked for myself for a further 4 years and my wife and I decided to seek a life in the sun and we ended up in North Cyprus. The manner in which that happened is a story in itself and all that I will say at the present is that the decision was made with friends following some very good food, and LARGE quantities of Californian red wine.!!!!!!
We are now fully retired and as so many have said before us, I have no idea how I found the time to go to work. I hope that you will enjoy my contributions to cyprusscene.com and hope that someday we may even have the opportunity to meet.
My best regards to you all and I hope you like my future articles.
Editors note: we would like to welcome Roy Oswick to cyprusscene.com and can promise our readers some fascinating, very funny and informative articles that Roy is preparing for your enjoyment so do continue to watch these pages.