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It was usual in the army to be posted after a three-year tour, so he applied for a posting, a request that the army turned down.He decided that the only way to get out of Trieste was to leave the army, and when his five-year contract ended shortly afterwards, he refused to sign on again.After rejoining the army in 1954, his father was posted to Korea, while his family remained behind in Perham Down, in Wiltshire.The two years that followed would encompass some traumatic events for the Rutledge family, as Leslie relates.'After living in Trieste for more than three years, Dad was getting a bit restless.And, as Leslie notes, it was due to his father's military career that five of the eight Rutledge children who were born between 19 were born abroad, and that Leslie himself went to some ten different schools within a six-year period.The first part of Leslie's long and detailed story, which covers the years 1948 to 1953, follows.In January 1950, Dad was informed of his first overseas posting: he would be serving with BETFOR (British Element Trieste Forces) in the Free Territory of Trieste, Trieste [which is today in north-eastern Italy] being a piece of territory whose ownership had been contested between Italy and Yugoslavia since the latter's independence after World War I.In 1947, the United Nations had decided that the territory should be declared an independent state, which was then split into Zone A (Italy) and Zone B (Yugoslavia).
And in August 1952, after having been married for almost four years, Dad and Mum were finally given a quarter in a block of flats in an area called Gretta, which was about 2 miles outside the town to the north-west.
He therefore arranged for a spot of home leave as quickly as possible, and in September 1951 they both travelled to Wales to bring Vicky back with them to Trieste.
Because my Mum and Dad were living in private accommodation amongst Italians, they quickly picked up the language, and later on in life would always speak Italian to each other if they didn't want us kids to know what they were talking about.
When he was home on leave over the Christmas period in 1948, Dad and Mum were married at the registry office in Pembroke.
Dad then went to Malvern Wells [in Worcestershire] to continue his training, and Mum stayed with her mother at Number 8 Kings Street, Pembroke Dock, as it was not usual for lower ranks to receive a quarter in those times.