John and Selina Hotston

Destined To Go Into The Forces

By Gina Da Cunha

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'John and Selina Hotston' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'John and Selina Hotston' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'John and Selina Hotston' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'John and Selina Hotston' page
John Hotson
Frederick John William Thomas Hotson

The Royal Sussex Regiment
3rd, 2nd Battalion The Queen's Regiment
attached to 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment


July 1963 to December 1976.

Aden, Northern Ireland.

I come from a military family which covers all branches of the british armed forces: Army, Navy, Royal Airforce.

I was born on the 22nd December 1945, four months after the end of World War II.

My grandfather on my father's side was a RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) of the Royal Marines and he led the relief of Peking in 1900, which quelled the Boxer Revolution.

My father was born in 1922, in Kingley Vale near Funtington in West Sussex. My father joined the Royal Navy in 1939.
He saw action in most theatres if war, as I can tell from his collection od medals

(picture of mum and dad)

My mother was born in 1923, in County Durham, Ireland. My mother joined the Royal Airforce in 1940. She was a sergeant and served with the Barrage Balloon Squadron on the north east coast until moved to Dover.

My parents met while holding up a wooden building in hell fire corner in 1944, when the guns on the British side fired over the channel. They married in March 1945.

I came along in December 1945. I was destined to go into the forces, but against all expectations I went and joined the Army. I remember that it was a Thursday, I was wearing a pair of trousers and jacket with tie, to look smart and I was at the Brighton recruiting office with a small suitcase in hand, raring to go, but the office opened late. Upon entering I was shown into an officers office, where I was immediately sworn in to the army, and took my oath of allegiance - of which I still stand by today. That was 18th July 1963 and this changed my outlook on life in a big way, as I was unable to return to life in a small village.

I was given a week's wages and a railway warrant and sent to Canterbury for training. A Rolls Royce taxi turned up to ferry me to Wymes Barracks, what a surprise! The last luxury I was to see for a while. Then onto drill, weapons training, kit maintenance, guard duties, fire-fighting and physical: the standard twelve-weeks training of Quebec platoon.


A week's leave, back to barracks and waiting to go into the Royal Sussex Regiment.

(john 06 for sussex by the sea)



and against

Selina Hotston

Mothwa member

What did the sessions mean to you?

"It was very good - for every bit of information the story comes to life. It's good to know what happened during the war, as I was just a little girl at the time." Selina.

This page was added by Gina Da Cunha on 27/03/2008.

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