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Maybe, but then the erratic sleeping habits begin. Hinch puts himself to bed after lunch and wakes up at supper time demanding breakfast. He refuses to go to bed at bedtime, when everyone is exhausted. He wakes up at 4. They install a gate but he climbs over. It's January and a fountain-like noise is coming from the attic of Mapperton House pictured , the Tudor pile in Dorset. John barely conceals the feeling — which may have crossed the minds of those living with an Alzheimer's sufferer — that it would be better for Hinch if it was all over.
But he carries on. Amid this anguish there are moving moments, such as when Hinch, hardly able to recognise his children, is taken to church and remembers the liturgy. Or when John looks down the garden at the autumnal beauty and contemplates that 'it's all because one retired and sulky ex-MP planted an orchard which he's now too old to see'. Get him to a nursing home, I found myself pleading, when the morale of the whole household is turned upside down.
They do get him to a nursing home — a heartbreaking journey, as they tell him he's just going for a visit, he doesn't know where he is, and no one has any idea that he will, in fact, be there for four years until his death aged 88 in Since , John and his wife have managed to rescue Mapperton and keep it going. In his welcome video on the website, the earl admits he doesn't actually make the sandwiches in the cafe. Having read this affecting chronicle, I'm planning to go there.
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I had made it. Later that evening, Marines and Corpsmen settled into their sleeping bags for the night, two men per pup tent.
The next day would be the long march back off that mountain to the staging area where they would board buses. Two guards were posted outside the tents for camp security. Every two hours, the guards were relieved by two more men, and so on through the night. But he was tired, and dropped off to sleep again. Later he awoke and noticed that the roof of the tent was slowly caving in from the snow and wind. Again, all Fly wanted to do was go back to sleep. The other corpsman woke up to find the tent almost caved in and a blizzard outside.
Not being able to stand being in a closed-in area, the other corpsman began to panic. He started to tear his way out of the near collapsed tent still wearing his skivvies. I did the same. As we stood, we could hardly see anything more than twenty feet away. The teamwork so necessary in getting the backpack contents rolled and balanced on the back came into play at this time.
Fly helped his buddy roll his shelter half and sleeping bag and assemble his gear into a neat backpack. I thought my partner would now help me, but he took off hurriedly to catch the end of the column, and they were soon out of sight. I began shivering. I just had a field jacket and high top shoes and the snow was already getting knee deep.
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I hastily did the best I could assembling my gear. My pack was in terrible shape, but I struggled until I had it on my back. It hurt so much; my shoulders were aching. Next I grabbed my rifle and unit one. I found my way back following a familiar creek. My family had been worried, but not my grandfather," said Fly. He said that he picked what he thought was a westerly direction where he knew the buses would be waiting.
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He recalled, "I marched on—and on, and on for an hour thinking that I had picked the wrong direction and was hopelessly lost. But I started seeing things lying in the snow. I saw pieces of gear.
Marines were dropping parts of their packs along the way to make their packs easier to carry. This gave me a trail to follow like when I was a kid in the Ozarks following a creek. I started moving quickly, and finally I saw a shadow ahead of me.
I had caught up with the end of the column. At the bottom where the buses were to arrive, a big fire was blazing away, and hot coffee and food were awaiting the cold, hungry Marines and corpsmen. Marines and corpsmen coming down from the mountain slowly made it in to this location. They were coming in 20 to 30 minute intervals all day long. As I looked around, I saw this Marine bleeding from his neck, a paper wad from a blank cartridge sticking out of his neck.
Luckily, the wound was not serious. I bandaged his neck. As to the fellow corpsman that left him to fend for himself in the Pickle Meadows blizzard, he was not reprimanded. Fly did not turn him in. The cold weather training was the last of his eight-week training period with the Marine Corps. During that time frame, he had had extensive training in weapons, marching drills, rifle inspections, and forced marching with heavy packs.
Eight weeks of Marine boot camp training coupled with field medicine training the practical applications of what he had learned in Hospital Corps School and cold weather training, twelve weeks of Navy boot camp, and twenty weeks of medical training at Hospital Corp School were behind Ralph Fly. The US government had now deemed him ready for overseas duty in a combat unit. Before leaving the country, Fly and one of his Marine friends left on a two-day liberty in California, where they spent most of Saturday at a Hollywood Canteen dancing with a number of girls.
Reflecting on his weeks and months of training stateside, Fly said, "What was stressed to us is that the most important skill that a corpsman must develop is the ability to improvise. For example, you always run out of medical supplies—so you make do with a piece of clothing for a bandage.
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There was not much room at all. In fact, "I believe almost everyone was sea sick," he said. He and other personnel on board mostly whiled their time by standing in extremely long chow lines three times a day. Also, he said, "You could admire the ocean from the deck. In November of —just before Thanksgiving—Ralph Fly arrived in Korea sometime during the night at the port of Inchon.
It was very cold and our feet were very cold standing in one place so long. They were then issued cold weather clothing in the form of a warm parka, a warm sleeping bag filled with down, thermo boots, thermo underwear, and mittens with a special finger glove for pulling a trigger. Fly said that the down in the sleeping bag could keep a man sleeping comfortably in weather that was twenty below, and the boots could keep his feet from freezing in the below zero temperatures. When he first arrived, Fly saw no combat action.
The fighting was going on about fifty miles to the north. In fact, he was not even assigned to a regiment or company until about a week or two after he arrived in Korea. He spent his first night in Korea in a large tent that slept as many as eight persons. The next morning they boarded a train heading north. Off the train, we loaded onto trucks called six-bys. He said this indoctrination area was about a mile behind the lines.
Carbines were turned in. Marines were issued M1s and Corpsmen kept their carbines and also were issued a 45 pistol.