Current/former soldiers who were underage when they joined the army.

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Hello,

I am a freelance journalist looking to interview former or current soldiers who joined the British armed forces when they were under-age.
Below, you can find my email address. Feel free to contact me. I assure complete anonymity, in case you'd like to chat a bit about the topic.
matteo.congregalli@gmail.com

I am looking forward to hearing from you.
best,

Matteo
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I discovered last week that my (HQ, not sabre) Squadron Leader in the late 70s - early 80s had walked up the beach on D-Day as a 16 year old, having lied about his age. (I knew he'd walked up the beach, not that he was underage.)

He's dead now, so is unavailable for interview.
 

tankboy1

War Hero
I joined at 16, I've been traumatised ever since. And they only paid me £5 a week, I want compo!.
 

Houseman

Old-Salt
There was 700 16 year olds joined with me in 1974 would you like the name and addresses of all of them. The only problem is that was only just 1 cap badge.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Underage drinking, how dare they.
 
I enlisted in the last few months of my 15th year (was allowed in Scotland then, dont know about now) and got on the train to madness 9 days after my 16th birthday. Still wasn't allowed to deploy until I was 18 though.
 
Bye Matt.
 
I enlisted in the last few months of my 15th year (was allowed in Scotland then, dont know about now) and got on the train to madness 9 days after my 16th birthday. Still wasn't allowed to deploy until I was 18 though.
I was almost the same. I started juniors when I was 15 and 10 months and there were a couple of others in my platoon that were the same. None of the Kings Div lads were under 16 as apparently it was only allowed in Scotland.

Seemed like a great idea at the time until I got to the Bn and found out I couldn't go to NI, I don't remember ever being told I couldn't deploy until I was 18 during the recruiting process. Mind you looking at the things my teenagers do I was probably told and promptly forgot because I didn't like the sound of it!

Unsolicited advice for the OP; a wee bit of research into a subject before you post on here is a good way of not making a tool of yourself.
 
CQMS, you are right.
People below 18 can't be deployed operationally. Still, they can receive training.
The issue here is with whether these young lads are joining the armed forces being aware of what they are doing and the risks they could face - not only in the long run but also during training.
 

CQMS

LE
CQMS, you are right.
People below 18 can't be deployed operationally. Still, they can receive training.
The issue here is with whether these young lads are joining the armed forces being aware of what they are doing and the risks they could face - not only in the long run but also during training.
Yes they are and yes they are, the ones I knew couldn't wait until they were 18 to do it properly.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Seemed like a great idea at the time until I got to the Bn and found out I couldn't go to NI, I don't remember ever being told I couldn't deploy until I was 18 during the recruiting process.
I was (well) over 18 when I finished Basic and was one of the last reinforcements into an 18-month Omagh tour. Even as an adult recruit I was well aware that all under-18s (which after Basic basically meant Bleeders) were posted to 4/7RDG at Tidworth to await our return to the next door but one barracks at EOT.

I remember one mucker was particularly put out. He looked young (he doesn't now!) and transferred from A Squadron. During the 18 months, rotation meant that you had little time to become familiar with people from the other squadrons. Everyone in B assumed he was a bleeder and he took all the usual stick until he waved his GSM under their noses.
 
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