I was scared stiff when a land mind dropped down. It hung up in the tree and it had to be got down.
Well, our governor, the Revd. McDonald, he got the Bomb Disposal Unit in and they were a couple
of naval chappies - one was an officer
and the other a rating and I always remember the officer went with the governor to lunch and the
rating sat with me at the table having lunch. He was talking about his risky job and he said, "Well,
you see, it's not a job you worry about, a pal of mine about six weeks ago was defusing this bomb
and it went off and they didn't find a button." And that was his attitude, not to worry. Then I
remember the two of them walking across the field to take the fuse out of this bomb and them coming
back afterward and asking us to go over because they'd done their job and I remember them packing
up the silk parachute. And he showed me the detonator that came out of the bomb, the fuse, and he
said, "Now I've got to get on with the next job, I want you to stand here and guard over this 'til the
Home Guard come." By golly, had I got the wind up! And he said, "Whatever you do, don't touch a
thing because sometimes they booby-trap these things"
He told me of an incident where they took the detonator out of a bomb and the bomb disposal squad
decided to drop into a cafe for a cup of tea. Some people saw this bomb or land-mine on the back of
the trailer and thought they'd have something off it and the whole thing blew up. But when I saw the
Home Guard coming across the field I ran to greet them because I was scared stiff! This was on a
Saturday afternoon because we'd sent all the [Barnardo] boys away from Goldings - they were clear
Of anything that happened. I'd been in the dug-out with the headmaster and his wife and on the
Monday they came to take this land mine away, and they put it on the back of this truck, a kind of
Land Rover, and there was a chappie sitting astride this land mine, holding a board saying
'Danger! Unexploded mine!'

Reg Purkis

An instructor at the William Baker Technical School.
He became a member of the permanent staff 4th November
1936 until Goldings closed in 1967 in the Printing department.
He then continued at the Barnardos School of Printing for the
rest of his working life, Reg retired at the age of 65.

Goldings 16th October 1940:

Page Compiled June 2006

All images and text copyright to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

R. H. Purkis

Reg lived in Bengeo, and frequented the small pub along Port Vale ( The Old Mill Stream.) He was such
a good customer that the landlord approached Mc Mullens Brewery, and they awarded him a pint of beer
for the rest of his life.