94/95 for me. I was very proud of that little badge, it took some earning for someone not married to a German bird.
On posting to UK, I thought nothing of it, it had been there a few years by then. SSM insisted I took it off. While it may not have had much relevance in Blandford, it was at least something my trainees could aspire to on posting to Germany. R SIGNALS SSM being a cōck. How unusual
Very true for most SSM's although there were a couple of legendary lads whose quality shone through, especially in Singapore and 22 Sigs of the early 70s. Naming a couple, Tony Pfeiffer and Fred McMillan, both unfortunately have now passed.
As for Yeomen, most of them were steady guys, but for some reason around the end of the 70s and beyond they became obnoxious creatures. Why, no idea.
Before I joined the grown ups, i spent my cadet years in the ATC. We had a summer camp ( a week FFS) over at RAF Waddington. Back then it was a Vulcan base so very active & very noisy. We had a cadet drill comp there toward the end of the week - against 3 other squadrons of similar shambolic belming cadet types.
Some bright spark in the station adj office it would be a hoot for us wee mongs to be given a bit part in some crab parade thing they had on that week. Fcuk me it was embarrassing....................the crab equivalent of the razman was apoplectic with all these spotty cadets doing some vague impression of drill..........& making his own minions look very amateur by comparison!
If I remember correct, drill is about getting a soldier or a group of soldiers between A&B in a smart, soldier-like and uniform manner.
That's a relatively simple task, that's been over-complicated and massively over-styled by some bozo with too much time on his hands, probably with it's routes during the Napoleonic wars.
My mob isn't immune to tradition. For instance, as skirmishers, we don't do a great deal of shouting, wearing shiny stuff is a bit of a no-no, on the rare occasion when we do drill, we only raise our foot to ankle height, we only swing our arms so that the hand is level with the waist belt, we trail arms as we step off, we stand at ease without being told to, we're given a single series of commands and off we go, quickly, and my favourite is that we never march off of the square, we double off of it. There's more. It just seems like a much more soldier-like way to soldier.
Incidentally, despite the somewhat irregular appearance and attitudes witnessed with most Rifleman, discipline is absolute. We have a much more relaxed attitude, but with that comes an understanding that no one takes the pish. Those that do, are dealt with swiftly and very fookin boldly..
In "The Regiment", the BBC's look at 1 RGJ in the 70s, the CO says exactly this - there may appear to be a relaxation of discipline but in fact all riflemen are trusted to perform their duties to a high standard & woe betide them if not...
Northern Rhodesia? A favorite aunt of mine did a stint as a nurse in Mufulira in the 1950s.
In the '50s we had family members in the Gold Coast, Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, and Kenya - wonderful times visiting each other.
When 22nd signal regiment was reinstated at Stafford, the music struck up, and the regiment marched on to the " March of the gladiators" more than a few ignoramus in the civvie audience started to laugh.
(It was used as the play out music, in the goon shows of the 50's, on the old steam powered wireless.)