Earliest Military recollection

#1
I thought it may be interesting to see what people remember as being their earliest memory of the Army, to start off I'll give mine!
According to my mother, I wanted to be a soldier from the age of around three...my memory of that age is somewhat dodgy.....I can however, say that as long as I can remember I wanted to join the army! Apparently the revelation happened during a Mothers Union visit to London where I saw the changing of the guard at Buck House. One day, at the age of 11, (1969/70) on the village green of our hamlet in Devon on the Southern edge of Dartmoor, I found an army landrover with a bunch of chaps huddled round a radio. I asked for a capbadge as a souvenir and a guy duly handed one over. I still have it somewhere today.....................the RAC badge. At 16 I went to JLR RAC and, discovered the guys I met were JLR and, where I'd thought them sweats were, in fact lads of my current age on, what turned out to be the long range comms part of the old phase two sigs course!!
I duly joined Devon ACF in 1970 and was introduced to my first 'real' gun the Lee Enfield M10, No4, Mk IV - a beast of a gun with a kick like a polish prostitute!! I was sold and, 1975 saw the start of the best 15 years of my life!!!!
 
#2
The Late Jlcpl Peter Fox at Wool Station 10 01 1967
 
#3
Getting of the train At Brookwood in 1971 and being shouted at by a Scots Gds Sgt to get on the bus you 'orrible shower ! scared the flippin life out of me ! And made me think have i done the right thing here !

But 39 yrs later wishing i was doing it all again ! :D
 
#4
I always wanted to be a soldier as far as I can remember, which was surprising as the only military comnnection was my fathers REME national service. My brother and I were military mad, had all the books, made all the models (Helped conviniently by a Tamiya shop being in our town and stocked the whole range) but my earliest that I recall when I was about 5 there was a summer fayre somewhere up in Cambridgeshire (St Neots I think (?)) and a recruiting team was there from some Inf Regt. However, they had a SF mounted GPMG and we were allowed to cock it (With help) and then 'fire' it. My parent still have the photo somewhere.

I also did a School Geography field trip to Swanage and on the way to Lulworth Cove we passed on the road a Cheiftain and some CVR(T)'s and I remember naming them. the characteristics, the whole caboodle. Half the coach though I was really cool, the other, a geeky nerd. Four years later I was starting at JLR RAC.
 
#5
its all i ever wanted and have known...

i remember watching "paras" when i was about 8 or 9 and laying my room out for an inspection...

joined the cadets at 12; still remember the musty smell of the cadet stores and the fella that ran the cadets..

joined the TA for a while in 1991, fondly recall during a sigs lesson on the 349 being told "don't worry lads, we're getting BOWMAN soon!!!!"
 
#6
Went to Kinmel Park with cadets, late fifties,had a ride on back decks of Cent.Thought 'this is OK'.About a year later aroused from slumber by someone throwing empty fire bucket into billet,Tonfanau camp,AAJLR on first day in Army.Never stopped running for a year.Thankfully joined 11H then.
 
#7
It just goes to show that, there was a time when people thought soldiering was something you were almost born for and not just a 'job opportunity'? That, incidently is not in any way an insult to the fine young men and women serving today!!!!
 
#8
Dragged around the world as R.A.F. brats, last station for the old man was Henlow in Bedfordshire my first encounter with the "army" was at the old airfield, some lunatics were parachute jumping from a tethered balloon, anyway got talking, and turned up at their drill hall every session until i was old enough to join up, the old man disinherited me for not going to junior entrant engineering R.A.F.

The lunatics were T.A The Artists Rifles ( "them") although at the time i had no knowledge of their role, just a great bunch of guys who put me on the road to 22.5 years having the time of my life.
 
#9
revmodes said:
Dragged around the world as R.A.F. brats, last station for the old man was Henlow in Herts, my first encounter with the "army" was at the old airfield, some lunatics were parachute jumping from a tethered balloon, anyway got talking, and turned up at their drill hall every session until i was old enough to join up, the old man disinherited me for not going to junior entrant engineering R.A.F.
the old C Sqn...know it well...now long gone

although its Beds, not Herts!!!
 
#10
Arthur3bums said:
It just goes to show that, there was a time when people thought soldiering was something you were almost born for and not just a 'job opportunity'? That, incidently is not in any way an insult to the fine young men and women serving today!!!!
You're absolutley right. I never imagined doing anything else. It was always a question of what rather than if or when. I initally had my mind set on joining the REME like my father and had the the glossy pamphlets about the PMC at Aborfield but that all got kicked into touch when my brother enlisted (He was 3 yrs older than I but joined as an adult entrance whereas I was a junior, our joining dates were only 9 months apart) into the RAC. Although not from either area, he was offered the QOH or 1RTR. The latter being scousers was discounted, therefore. the Brummies it was.

Wearing green and marching around felt the most natural thing in the world, even though I had never been a cadet.
 
#11
Fat_Cav said:
Arthur3bums said:
It just goes to show that, there was a time when people thought soldiering was something you were almost born for and not just a 'job opportunity'? That, incidently is not in any way an insult to the fine young men and women serving today!!!!
You're absolutley right. I never imagined doing anything else. It was always a question of what rather than if or when. I initally had my mind set on joining the REME like my father and had the the glossy pamphlets about the PMC at Aborfield but that all got kicked into touch when my brother enlisted (He was 3 yrs older than I but joined as an adult entrance whereas I was a junior, our joining dates were only 9 months apart) into the RAC. Although not from either area, he was offered the QOH or 1RTR. The latter being scousers was discounted, therefore. the Brummies it was.

Wearing green and marching around felt the most natural thing in the world, even though I had never been a cadet.
Excellent recollection mate.........had a few pals go from JLR to the QOH............mainly because they became good friends at JLR.
Mark 'Thirsty' Thurston, Fred Symmonds, 'Sincy' Sinclair (RIP), Bob Bath, Steve Plumridge et al. Good mob but, a bit of a shambles prior to amalgamation I hear through a multitude of different vehicles like CR1 nd Chieftain mix and god knows what still, not to matter mate, it's the men not the machines that make a regiment!!!!!
 
#12
Earliest Military memory was watching my old man fire his lee enfield up the chimney to "sweep" it after my mother complained. Civil servant REMF who lived next door complained and he had to be stopped from leaping over the fence to terminate him with extreme prejudice in the modern parlance. After 5 years of war he was not physically or mentally well and this tempered his views to the extent that when I tried to join the Army at 15 he would not let me but let me join the RN. After training and then whoring my way around the world on the grey funnel line for 4 years I spent the next 22 with Army units anyway.

edited to add he was RTR.
 
#13
Matters not whether RN or RTR..............close ties from long ago...........actually, seeing as Cav types forever jape about the RTR/RN ties...........wouldn't that actually make the RTR - Senior service within the Army!!!!
 
#14
Danny_Dravot said:
revmodes said:
Dragged around the world as R.A.F. brats, last station for the old man was Henlow in Herts, my first encounter with the "army" was at the old airfield, some lunatics were parachute jumping from a tethered balloon, anyway got talking, and turned up at their drill hall every session until i was old enough to join up, the old man disinherited me for not going to junior entrant engineering R.A.F.
the old C Sqn...know it well...now long gone

although its Beds, not Herts!!!
Yep quite right, we lived for a time in Hitchin(herts), before moving to qtrs in henlow (beds) my bad. :oops:
Yes long gone but fondly remembered, had it not been for a couple of those guys, i would probably been a guest of her majesty in a different format !! it would have been 1964-66 :D
 
#15
revmodes said:
although its Beds, not Herts!!!
Yep quite right, we lived for a time in Hitchin(herts), before moving to qtrs in henlow (beds) my bad. :oops:
Yes long gone but fondly remembered, had it not been for a couple of those guys, i would probably been a guest of her majesty in a different format !! it would have been 1964-66 :D[/quote]


wow....you reallyare a SWEAT...big uprespect!!!

the drill hall has now lon gone...a small cadet det and the artists rifles war memorial remains...

the latter being non-descriptand incredibly innocuous and not betraying the true identity of those that worked within the small compound behind it...an enduring theme in that part of the world
 
#16
Danny_Dravot said:
revmodes said:
although its Beds, not Herts!!!
Yep quite right, we lived for a time in Hitchin(herts), before moving to qtrs in henlow (beds) my bad. :oops:
Yes long gone but fondly remembered, had it not been for a couple of those guys, i would probably been a guest of her majesty in a different format !! it would have been 1964-66 :D

wow....you reallyare a SWEAT...big uprespect!!!

the drill hall has now lon gone...a small cadet det and the artists rifles war memorial remains...

the latter being non-descriptand incredibly innocuous and not betraying the true identity of those that worked within the small compound behind it...an enduring theme in that part of the world[/quote] :D Yep long in the tooth,just hit the big 60, i will make the effort to go back their before pegging it, thanks for the info, used to be a boozer on the x roads, which the guys drank in, think it was "The bird in hand"? they got me "illegally" hammered on cider a few times, also frequented the mess at Chicksands undercover/age of course :D
 
#18
revmodes said:
:D Yep long in the tooth,just hit the big 60, i will make the effort to go back their before pegging it, thanks for the info, used to be a boozer on the x roads, which the guys drank in, think it was "The bird in hand"? they got me "illegally" hammered on cider a few times, also frequented the mess at Chicksands undercover/age of course :D
the pub opposite the TAC is the Angel's reply, althoughit may have changedover the years...

the war memorial needs a bit of love. last time i drove past it when at ChicX on a course i stopped and cleared it of weeds and litter...dunno who's responsible for it???
 
#19
Said I wanted to be a soldier at about age 8, them someone told me that I had to sign up for like a minimum for 5 years and I couldn't get out before that! As an 8 year old, 5 years was almost a lifetime, so I thought bugger that!

I guess I forgot about that.
 
#20
Getting off the train at Wool station and getting screamed at by green clad little nazis(JLR RAC,juniour NCO`S)that was an eye opener,but i must admit they did look the part.At that time thinking oh dear what have i done now?Looking back nearly 30 years later and not regretting it at all :D
 

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