Long service types


Deleted 11220

What's the longest a soldier( regardless of rank) has served in the British Army for?

Presumably it wasn't uncommon for fairly senior officers in WW2, to have seen action in the First World War?

Anecdotes welcome!
I don't know the answer, but I suspect that a General, Doctor or Chef holds the title.

I knew of a Chef who claimed to have re-enlisted twice with a revised age. Perhaps he was having me on, but he was drawing his old-age pension (he was TA by this time).
My grandfather served in both wars, he falsified his age and joined as a bugler at 15 in 1916. He was still serving in 1939 when he went to France with the BEF.
His son, my father, joined as a 15 year old boy soldier in the Royal Engineers. He completed his 22, and another 12 years long service, whereupon, he took a postion with the MOD until he retired at 65. He may have been out of uniform for those last 16 years, but in one form or another, he put in half a centuries service.
I thought one had to retire from the army at age 55 (certain General Officers served beyond that). In the 1960s boys could enlist at 15, 14 before WW2.

Friend of mine enlisted as a boy soldier age 15 and retired as a Lt Col 40 years later!


Book Reviewer
There was a Signals Corporal in the RSLAF (Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces) in 2001 who had served in the Kings African Rifles in WW2 and had the medals to prove it. Continuous service from then to independence, followed by continuous looting, raping, pillaging and taking part in coups from then on whilst still in uniform...

They couldn't retire him as he was the only bloke who knew how to work the old generators, and anyway they couldn't afford to pay pensions.


I enlisted as a Pte soldier in the 24th The South Wales Borderers 19th Dec 1966. (40 years tomorrow) I am still serving as FTRS Officer with hopefully another three years before I retire,not a record but a long time of which I have no regrets.

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