Harry at the Factory


How Sandhurst plans to make a man out of Harry

Hunger, exhaustion and no music - fellow cadets reveal what lies in store

John Vidal
Friday November 12, 2004
The Guardian

When young officer cadet Harry Windsor reports for duty at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy clutching his suitcase and two mediocre A-levels in January, he should feel at home. There will be lots of well-spoken chaps in funny uniforms, several monstrous whitewashed buildings set in regimented lawns and a lot of large rooms smelling of beeswax and boiled cabbage, as well as fish on a Friday, chapel on a Sunday, tiger skins on the wall and statues of his great-great-grandparents.
But yesterday, fellow officer cadets at Europe's oldest officer training establishment warned the young prince of a terrifying baptism by colour sergeant major's bark. "The most important thing is to bring a good iron and a board, Harry," said Nicholas Tobin, a fellow ex-Etonian who will be leaving this year's officer training in a few weeks' time and heading to Iraq with Harry's granny's Dragoon Guards.

"Your first days go by in a daze, you're marched around at 160 paces to the minute, you're mentally and physically exhausted, you've got the Scottish and Irish colour sergeants shouting at you all the time. They will pick you up if you have so much as a crease out of place," he said.

Mr Tobin, an English graduate from Newcastle University, reckons Harry will metamorphose from being a royal to a human being and then from a civilian to an army man all within a few months. "Perhaps they used to deliberately break people in the past. It's more like indoctrination now. You're bombshelled into how the army thinks.

"The Eton thing won't matter at all. The last thing anyone thinks about is where you've been to school. It's where you'll get your next meal."

But other new recruits said yesterday that Harry's world will change on day one, when the army will begin systematically to strip away his personality and then rebuild it until, by the end of a year, he will think, feel and act like an army man.

"In the first five weeks they don't even let you wear normal clothing. You are not allowed to listen to any music, the only radio you can turn on is Radio 4, all the rooms will be identical, you're inspected all the time and you'll learn to eat very quickly," says Stephanie Green from Stafford, scoffing a giant plate of pie and spuds after a double PT lesson and rifle cleaning.

"He'll also lose weight, polish anything that is stationary and salute everything that moves," says a cadet straight off the assault course. "Some of the girls bring their cuddly toys," says Ms Green. "Some of the boys do, too," says Martin Morrissey, of Bristol.

"The girls miss out on their soaps. They get distraught," says Ms Green.

"This place is basically a fat camp," says Emily Stevens from South Wales. No one puts on weight here. You put your clothes on and they just fall off. I heard of one man who lost two stone in eight weeks."

"You don't have to be mad to come here, but a lot of my friends don't understand it all," says Ms Stevens. "They ask, why do you want to be shouted at all day?"

But Sandhurst is shouting about Harry because he will be the first senior royal in several generations to choose the army over the navy. "He will be treated just like everybody else. We are proud of our old boys like Montgomery and Churchill and of our friends and allies from abroad," says commanding officer General Andrew Ritchie. "Our mission is to develop the principles of leadership, character and intellect."

It is also keen to show how the modern army officer is not at what the Russian press once described as a "landowner with several mistresses and no morals," but more and more ordinary Joes who have been to university and uphold the best British values. However, 10% of Sandhurst's annual intake of 800 is from abroad and Harry will spend his time in the company of members of at least four other royal families.

If his time there runs to form, he will also meet at least one future tyrant and several young men who will go on to fleece billions of dollars from their countries. The academy famously trained Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Johnny Koroma of Sierra Leon, alleged Etonian mercenary Simon Mann, a clutch of crooked defence ministers from oil-rich states and most of the Ghanaian and Nigerian cabinets.

"You never know who you'll get. Prince Abdul might turn up in his Ferrari, the Jordanians and the Saudis send their lot here, but they donated a hockey pavilion," said a cadet.

Yesterday, the cadets were being put through what everybody at Sandhurst says is a terrifying fitness regime which involved platoons charging up and down hillsides with large logs, people jumping on and off walls and sergeants screaming. "Keep going. Jump, jump, jump. Don't just stand about. You can't just swing there from the waist down," bellowed one.

"Yes, the course is vigorous. They learn that they cannot survive on their own. They learn to accept help. They can pass if they put their mind, body and soul into it," said Colonel Alick Findlayson, Sandhurst's chief of staff. "Actually it's all based on sleep deprivation to see how people react and work outside their comfort zones," said a panting cadet.

But the key, says General Ritchie, is that Harry and everyone else "will learn values and standards and hone the instinct of doing the right thing by developing moral courage. I put most emphasis on the moral aspect. It means to carry on when others would stop. An inner essence."

"It would be good to also get his elder brother," said Colonel Findlayson.
Sounds terrible and brutaly tough, no soap operas? I would imagine it is inexplicable why anyone would go... if youre a wa*ker who writes for the guardian. :D

Best of luck, I hope he get a right thrashing, will do the boy good.


Kit Reviewer
No, his uncle's firm will do some 'covert' filming......


By all accounts the New Year will start off on a sombre, serious note for Prince Harry.
From 9 January, the 20-year-old will join 269 other cadets at the prestigious military academy, Sandhurst.

For five weeks he will be woken at 0520 GMT and probably not get to bed until midnight, seven days a week.

He will be expected to keep his tiny austere room tidy, with no personal photos, mobile phone, or radio for entertainment.

Cadets who are on the verge of graduating from the one-year course say the top tip is to bring a good iron and ironing board, for getting the three sets of uniform wrinkle free.

Officer Cadet Jeremy Quarrie, 24, also said it would have helped if he had a mini vacuum cleaner when he arrived.

Mud, sweat and tears could be a common sight at Sandhurst

Now Mr Quarrie is no longer concerned by such details as he prepares to head to Bosnia for 10 days with the Grenadier Guards, before beginning a platoon commander course.

Such specialist training could be available to Harry after the 44-week commissioning course, but only if he passes the rigorous training, both physical and academic, on which the military school prides itself.


However, the public will probably not find out how he is progressing.

"I respect the privacy of every cadet here and would not dream of divulging their performance, so I don't see why I should do that for Prince Harry," said academy commandant Maj Gen Andrew Ritchie.

He emphasised that Prince Harry would be treated the same as any other cadet.

"I was asked whether we should brief the cadets on what to call him. I said bollocks [to that].

"Instructors and sergeants, drawn from the very best of the Army, are used to dealing with all shapes and of men and women, and I trust them to get it right."

Maj Gen Ritchie sidestepped all questions of security at the sprawling Surrey grounds, which looks more like a grand country estate than a military training ground, referring them to Clarence House.

The sprawling Sandhurst grounds provide some calm spots

However, he did say: "Sandhurst is a relatively secure environment, arguably more secure than St Andrew's University (where Prince William studied)."

Asked if Harry would be given any special passouts for Royal duties, he said: "I would hope he would be able to commit himself to Sandhurst in the same way as others will.

"And I have no reason to think he won't."

After the first five weeks, Harry and the other cadets will be allowed their first weekend off.

Most of them will sleep.

The officers said they were typically taking young people, 85% of whom are graduates, who have been used to working for five hours and sleeping for 20 hours - "and reversing that".

"A lot of them struggle," said Maj Gen Ritchie said.

At times he'll definitely be tired, possibly wet, but will have a good bunch of guys and girls around to support him

Officer cadet Ed Docwra

Harry has gained a reputation for enjoying parties and visiting nightclubs, but it is yet to be seen whether he will have the energy come late February.

After five weeks the cadets can have a quilt on their beds, put personal pictures on the wall, even have a radio.

To be trained "generic" soldiers, graduate cadets receive £22,000 while non-graduates get £13,000 a year, out of which weekly food and lodging of up to £200 is paid.

As well as being able to shoot straight and give commands, they are also taught such wide ranging topics as defence policy and international affairs, stress in the workplace and non-verbal communication, insurgency and "battle shock".

Prince Harry could even find himself in the middle of a mock riot, with petrol bombs being thrown around him and "aggressors" coming at him, to show the young recruits, average age 24, what genuine fear is like.

Harry meets sit-up test
In pictures: Harry's progress

Current officer cadet Ed Docwra, 24, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, said: "Harry should be prepared to work hard.

"At times he'll definitely be tired, possibly wet, but will have a good bunch of guys and girls around to support him."

Mr Docwra is expecting to be sent overseas early next year, either to Iraq or Afghanistan.

"I don't mind where I'm sent. I'm looking forward to it - it's what I've been trained for."

Other famous figures who attended Sandhurst include the Sultan of Brunei, Prince Michael of Kent and Sir Winston Churchill.

Nick Tobin, about to become a 2nd Lieutenant and be sent to Iraq, said: "So much royalty comes through here that they're used to it.

"[The sergeants] don't mind who they shout at."

His advice to Harry, apart from the ironing board tip, was "to be open-minded and be prepared for any situation."

Officer Cadet Ashley Edwards said: "Work on the press-ups."
I was asked whether we should brief the cadets on what to call him. I said bollocks [to that].
Hurrah :D
This from the Daily Torygraph:

Behave or you're out, Sandhurst tells Mr Wales
By Oliver Poole
(Filed: 12/11/2004)

Prince Harry was warned yesterday that he could be thrown out of the Army if he misbehaves during his officer training course.

The Commandant of Sandhurst, Major-General Andrew Ritchie, said: "I view very dimly misbehaving over a weekend.

"I have removed certain cadets from Sandhurst as their behaviour is not up to the standards of an officer and I would do so again.

"He is the same as everyone else. That is what he would expect and so would everyone else."

The prince made headlines last month after he was involved in a scuffle with photographers waiting for him outside a London nightclub. It was alleged that he and a group of friends had spent the evening drinking tequila, beer and vodka.

In 2001 he was banned from the Rattlebone Inn, near Highgrove, due to his reckless behaviour and a year earlier he admitted having smoked cannabis.

Gen Ritchie made clear that such behaviour would not be tolerated once the 20-year-old, who will be known as Mr Wales or Officer Cadet Wales, starts his officer training on Jan 9. "The ethos of Sandhurst is that every single cadet that comes here is treated the same. You will meet some fierce sergeants who will maintain that philosophy. Everyone will have to prove themselves here.

"We get used to people here who have worked four hours and slept 20. Here we reverse that. Some find it a struggle."

On the 44-week course, cadets take turns cleaning lavatories and are woken before dawn. There is a weekday curfew at midnight and for the first five weeks no one is allowed off site. All mobile phones are confiscated and there are random drug tests.
I wonder if he'll find time to join ARRSE? A Royal Warrant would look well on the home page.


Poor bugger. I genuinely feel sorry for him. Whenever he fecks up, you can guarantee that 50% of the course will be on the phone to the tabloids. There is very little honour amongst the maggots who go through Sandhurst.

Watch that tabloid space...
The officers said they were typically taking young people, 85% of whom are graduates, who have been used to working for five hours and sleeping for 20 hours - "and reversing that"
So the BBC is of the view that there are 25 hours in a day, eh? Accurate as ever... :roll: (granted, it might feel as though there are 25 hours to the Sandhurst day, but still...)
Cliche mode; At the end of the day, the reputation of the Officer Corps will outlive anyone from a certain background. After all the Army has been around for a bit longer than the House of Windsor/Hannover and Im sure the boss of RMASC has large dangly bits to advise Harry where the main gate is in the event of high spirits! There will always be a need for an army. Life goes on regardless of whoever occupies the big house, SW1 A1.

Welcome aboard Harry. If you ever decide to go flying, Im the large obnoxious t wat who will make your head catch fire on a single engine run on and call your mum a slapper!
I'm glad no one will know who "Mr Wales" really is :lol:
On the subject of Harry being thrown out, at BRNC Dartmouth there is a punishment for YOs called "Charlies" for minor to medium sized misdemeanours. This involves room inspections, having to report in different uniforms at stand easy and the like, perennial rounds, and is a general pain *********** taking away much of your spare time.

The story for its inception is thus:

At Dartmouth, the main corridor is a good 100m or so long, running from the chapel to the SGR, with a polished wooden floor, and races are traditionally held up and down it. The legend is that Sub-Lieutenant Wales completed the course on a motorbike, and since the Commodore couldn't rightly kick him out, they simply instituted Charlies instead as a special punishment.
chickenpunk said:
There is very little honour amongst the maggots who go through Sandhurst.

Watch that tabloid space...
Oh ? have you been then? Apart from to sweep up leaves, I mean.


Ethel_the_Aardvark said:
chickenpunk said:
There is very little honour amongst the maggots who go through Sandhurst.

Watch that tabloid space...
Oh ? have you been then? Apart from to sweep up leaves, I mean.
Yes, have you?
I hope chickenpunk is wrong. Indeed, I suspect he is. Whilst it's true that there are a good number of officer cadets who fight their way through RMAS without having a gramme of integrity, most put their baser instincts on hold until they get that precious commission.

I knew a good many stories going around RMAS whilst I was there that would have made fine print, but there was definitely a code of omerta about it all. The biggest danger will be people who join up specifically to get the dirt on Harry before PVR'ing and running to the tabloids. One hopes that the RMAS routine will soon drive them away.

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