Ernie Reading was born in Gibraltar 1929; He recalls childhood in Gibraltar before WWII; The Spanish Civil War; evacuation to Madeira during WWII. His father was a founder member of St Jo’s Ambulance Brigade in Gibraltar and stayed during the war working for the Public Health Department.
Ernie Reading didn’t return to school after the war but worked in the dockyard and then as an apprentice printer for The Gibraltar Chronicle; In 1947 he was called up for military service with the Gibraltar Defence Force.
He was onboard the Bedenham when it exploded and recalls effects of the explosion in the dockyard; he was manager of the ammunition store in the tunnels and recalls the very risky job of disposing of the faulty ammunition out at sea; He was in the Gibraltar Police for 14 years and came over to work in the UK in 1979. He retired in 2013 and returned to Gibraltar.