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first rude awakening

On arrival at your camp what was your first shock?
In my case it wasn't the shouty Staff the food or accomodation...I sort of expected that,
No it was the contingent of highland jock lads that turned up, Dear dear me they were short curly headed pugnacious little ******* and argumentitive as ****.
Now this was in 1965 and I had arrived from the valleys so I wouldn't have described myself as some sort of Bertie Wooster, But by **** those lads were rough.the regional differences were very marked in those days.
I really was very thankful that there was no drink in the bleeders, because there would have been carnage with those lads.

They probably all ended up as RP staff, because every Guardroom I ever saw had one of that description.


Got off the train in Sydney got chucked in the back of a Unimog arrived at Ingleburn. Greeted with " get out of the ******* truck you *****". Set the tone for the rest of the day. :)
Came back from breakfast the morning after arriving late the night before - no ****** had made my bed! *****! It wasn't clear who I should report it to, and I didn't really want to get anyone into trouble, so I made it myself. After a fashion. It went downhill from there.
Going out for a loaf of bread then suddenly finding myself in Arborfield, coming from Scunthorpe I think the biggest shock was electricity and inside toilets....................to be honest had it hard as a kid so found Basic quite relaxing.
I must agree with ordinaryforces about the rough boys, although in my case they were Liverpudlians and Geordies. As a seven stone weakling (really!) I'd always avoided trouble - usually by running away - but six months later I was 11st 7lbs of muscle and gave better than I got!
The first shock however was, I suppose, the fact that I was expected to stand in line on a large, exposed area of tarmac in a howling gale with horizontal rain coming down in sheets. But then, I'd never been to Wales before...
the Sergeant at recruiting was so nice and polite to us all, till about 10seconds after we were sworn in, then he told us to get in the back of the truck, which was loaded with shovels and grass rakes, and we spent 10 hours a day for two days raking leaves till he put us on a train to travel for three days to start recruit training. I bumped into him a 11 years later when I was a WO2 and he was still a Sgt, and reminded him of that, but he said he was used to hearing stories like that about how he had been a fierce Barsteward to people who now outranked him.
The first shock to the system was (having arrived at the Depot late afternoon) being marched straight to the cookhouse for tea. Not only was the food hot, but it was pretty good and there was plenty of it. We even got a brew and a choice of pudding with the meal.

I must have eaten at least 3 mouthfulls before we were bellowed at to stand up and get fell in outside.
1979 Arriving in Bordon After 12 weeks basic in Arborfield. We had been told it was a shithole but this was a gross underestatement. I volled for the first detachemnt to get me out of there before my course started , 4 weeks at the Royal tournament in Earls Court. Posing in No2s all day.
Standing in the pissing rain in the middle of Brecon, being asked by an evil bastard:
"See that big hill?"
"Good, coz' we're going up it."
"Really! Why?"
"Coz' the weather will be worse! Now move it you idle shites!"
First early PT session, one early January morning in Catterick. Ran for a few miles and finished at the gym. Thought to myself, "that wasn't so bad". Wrong. Two hours later while doubling back to the block, trying to suck air through my arse was the first I thought, "what the **** have I signed up to?!"
The realisation that you weren't allowed to take cover from whatever the weather was chucking at you, regardless that common sense was screaming in despair.

And that waterproofs needed to be kept dry at all costs or the sky would fall in. Apparently.

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