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22 Years as a private?

Does nayone know of anyone who did 22 years as a Private? Just chatted to our caretaker ( 9 years, Ex Sigs) and he knew someone who did 12 years as a signal man. We had a guy do 20 years as a trooper, then got promoted and bust after 6 months. So he left after 22 years as a trooper!

We did hear rumours that if you did 22 as private/trooper etc.. You got to walk in to any WO/NCO's mess and a few other perks, we didn't know if this was true, but seeing a guy get promoted and bust beofre his 22 did make us wonder!
I knew quite a few 22 year Cpls in RMP, which is pretty much the same thing. Most would have been 22 year Privates but transferred over from other units.
It's a great honour, they get lunch with the Queen. RSMs pension and a council house in the city of their choosing.

And they deserve it...


I met one in the seventies. My dad had a pub in Winchester. The guy was a Geordie, ex DLI, then with RGJ. His duties were apparently something akin to a janitor/general labourer in the Army (and pot man/cellar man in my dad's pub).


I can only imagine how bitter and twisted a 22 year private must be ... the only one I know was an RLC storeman in Fallingbostel who was interviewed on BFBS 4 years ago. He had no idea about his pension, gratuity or what he was going to do following his long career. He mentioned that he'd been given an opportunity to attend a cadre some years ago but couldn't be arsed.
When I joined my first gunner regt in the 80s there was a 21 year gunner seeing out his last year. Popular lad (sic) who had never wanted any promotion even though he was good at his job. I think most of any similar were swept away as "services no longer required" during Options for Change or whatever the early 90s cull was called.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
When I was a young sprog, we shared camp guard with the gunners from 4 Fd in Osnatraz.
There was a gunner called Hovis who was getting near to his 22.
Thick as a brick, but not a bad lad. Pretty sure he had never been promoted.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
There is a drummer in the HAC who joined up in the 70s.
I read in one of the Scot Guards magazines that there was a guy that served 30 odd years as a Private/Guardsman from the end of 19th century until he was killed in WW1 I will see if I can find the article. IIRC his general service medal, or whatever it was called then had 9 clasps on it
I knew a recruit Guardsman in Pirbright who was doing his utmost to be a 22 yr Recruit!!

He was in the backsquad platoon and every week when doing the PT tests to get put back into mainstream training he would purposefully fail one of the elements, one week he'd fail the run by a couple of seconds, next week he'd fail the sit ups etc etc.
I think they were trying to find some way to either force him back into training, or get rid of him but he was just doing enough to stay in but not enough to pass out


War Hero
1 R HAMPS had someone who was promoted to the rank of LCpl specifically in order to be elibigle to receive the LS&GC medal.

His main role was that of battalion gardiner, and I think he also took care of the donkey in the field opposite the guardroom in Dover.


Book Reviewer
I thought RMP full screw was like a "pat on the back lance jack for passing a course", seeing as they all have to be lance jacks anyway to harass someone?

The only career private I knew was a TA Chunky.
I knew a 22yr tom who went and joined the MPGS when he got out, so must have been a tad institutionalised.
Generally an ok bloke, but could be a grumpy old git at times. Although that might be down to working in the stores and having to get up and open the armoury at daft o'clock every day.
Never did find out why he stayed a tom though.


Its not the same i know, but there used to be a serious amount of 22+ privates in the TA in NI esp in the Inf. We have a LCpl chef at the minute who joined the militia in Omagh! Only reason he got his tape, was an out going CO just gave him it, for a particulary good beef wellington or something, in the early 70's!!!

HSPT was mad - turn up as a youngish Pl Comd and spend your evenings and weekends ordering about people who were as old as or order than your Da (Ex UDR)!! But by f*ck they could work!!
1 R HAMPS had someone who was promoted to the rank of LCpl specifically in order to be elibigle to receive the LS&GC medal.

His main role was that of battalion gardiner, and I think he also took care of the donkey in the field opposite the guardroom in Dover.

I really wanted to find something to do with donkeys beginning with "L" so his medal would be "donkey servicing & gardening composter medal, but, fuck it I gave up after finding out that a male and female Donkey are called Jack and Jenny, which does explain a lot about the state of some of the WRNS I mounted in my Jolly Jack days
22 years as a Pte in the TA = less than 3 years service if all you do is the minimum time for your bonus!

Hardly the same for that TA Chunky.

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