Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

I've only seen the 'busload of nurses' turn up once.
In 'The Virgin Soldiers'.
Apologies for the drift but...

Waaay back when I was a young tom my Company were down in Penhale camp for a week doing infantry skills training with a view to upgrade all the toms to “soldier first class”.

On the Thursday the CSM called a muster parade and told us that there would be a disco in the NAAFI the next night and that there would be a bus load of nurses coming in from - I think - Torquay. He went on to say that they needed bodies for the camp guard on the night of the disco but if you volunteered for guard you would get the weekend off when we got back to Aldershot.

I looked at my mate and said “bus load of nurses? I’m not falling for that one” so we volunteered for guard to get a weekend on the piss in the ‘Shot.

So it came to pass that Pte Beefer had the pleasure of raising the barrier to the only bus load of nurses ever to have turned up in the history of the British Army. Oh how we laughed...
 
Sure about the date? We regularly frequented a NAAFI club in the centre of the garrison during training 75-6. I also remember doing fire picquet there in combats and with self-loading pickhelve.
My recollections are as follows:

I joined 2RRF in Jan 1975, straight from post-RMAS Xmas leave, staying overnight (2nd/3rd or3rd/4th Jan?) in Catterick, in the offrs Mess of the neighbouring Trg Regt RAC, before buggering off to W Belfast (do not attend NITAT, much less collect £500!) the following morning. It was closed then, and remained closed for the rest of our stint in Alma Bks (until the latter part of that year) when we left for BAOR.

It was still closed when we (2RRF) were posted back to Catterick (Bourlon Bks) in Spring[?] 1983, for me the beginning of a stint in the Garrison that lasted (I worked in Helles Bks/lived in Vimy lines in 1984-85) until 1986.

When next I set foot in Catterick (I'm not sure when that would have been, but it would almost certainly have been no earlier than 1990) the site had been re-developed.

Whereabouts in Catterick was it situated?
Catterick Camp Centre2018.jpg

Delete: 'Aldi' Insert: Former site of Catterick Naafi, from memory.

LINK: Google Maps

A quick blimp on Google Street View shows that Aldi has completely swallowed up what was once a short parade of small shops on that corner, as well as (IIRC) the premises that once housed the RMP offices and (mebbe a tad later) a Courts Martial Centre.
 
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It always alarms me a little that no-one ever seems to consult history for similar stuff that has been done before, everything seems to be relearned from scratch. In the 70's people were available who would have trained, enabled or actually taken part in activities where survival let alone success depended on you looking like a native in Occupied Europe. B20 is another example, did no-one think "Lets ask the old and bold what it was like in desert and see if they have any advice?" The unpalatable truth seems to be that things are done with the lack of what @jumpinjarhead would call grown-up supervision.
I bumped into an old pal when he was on a weekend leave from his Det course.

He looked fcuking ridiculous with his '70s hairstyle, sideys and porn 'tache.

He acknowledged that he looked a real twat, but the course had been told to do it, as the logic was that an inevitable early tour compromise could be softened by a radical change of appearance.

Considering this was early 2000s, I would have thought his appearance would guarantee an early compromise.

Still, only in the army, and all that.
 
It always alarms me a little that no-one ever seems to consult history for similar stuff that has been done before, everything seems to be relearned from scratch. I
It's been a feature of BritRegularArmyThink all my life ("Thank God All That Nonsense Is Behind Us - We Can Get Back To Some Proper Soldiering!") and it's arguably been a feature since at least 1918.

If there's been an exception to that rule, it would be the post-Boer War Army that recognised the need for a comprehensive training regime in musketry and all associated ancillary skills if it were to make itself felt in the event of war with Hermany.
 
It's been a feature of BritRegularArmyThink all my life ("Thank God All That Nonsense Is Behind Us - We Can Get Back To Some Proper Soldiering!") and it's arguably been a feature since at least 1918.

If there's been an exception to that rule, it would be the post-Boer War Army that recognised the need for a comprehensive training regime in musketry and all associated ancillary skills if it were to make itself felt in the event of war with Hermany.
Alas, the BEF had learned all the lessons from the Boer War while treating the much more relevant learning from the Russo-Japanese and Balkan Wars to a stiff ignoring. Nowhere near as sporting or as receptive to hunting metaphors, d'ye see?
 
In re Camp Centre NAAFIs at Catterick, are we conflating this with the Sandes Soldiers' Home, which, as I recall, was up the hill a touch on the road leading back to the A1?
 
It's been a feature of BritRegularArmyThink all my life ("Thank God All That Nonsense Is Behind Us - We Can Get Back To Some Proper Soldiering!") and it's arguably been a feature since at least 1918.

If there's been an exception to that rule, it would be the post-Boer War Army that recognised the need for a comprehensive training regime in musketry and all associated ancillary skills if it were to make itself felt in the event of war with Hermany.
I vaguely recall a comment on ARRSE from the dim and distant past about the Guards approach to bullshit in the field.

Momentarily interrupted by Op CORPORATE, where SG binned all the cack from their webbing and carried only that which was necessary to live and fight, then promptly ignored that combat experience and returned with relish to the bullshit factor of carrying all manner of boll0cks, because that's what 'proper soldiering' is all about.
 
In re Camp Centre NAAFIs at Catterick, are we conflating this with the Sandes Soldiers' Home, which, as I recall, was up the hill a touch on the road leading back to the A1?
I'm certainly not. First time I ever heard of Sandes' Homes was in Holywood (1979, for me). There was a Red Shield just up the way from Almna Bks in Catterick.

It sticks in my mind for the fact that Popeye (a mere 20-odd yrs time in, and already a Fusilier) was jailed, while he was on Rear Party and we in W Belfast, for leaving leaving his pet dog on barrier duty while he nipped up there for a brew.
 
I'm certainly not. First time I ever heard of Sandes' Homes was in Holywood (1979, for me). There was a Red Shield just up the way from Almna Bks in Catterick.

It sticks in my mind for the fact that Popeye (a mere 20-odd yrs time in, and already a Fusilier) was jailed, while he was on Rear Party and we in W Belfast, for leaving leaving his pet dog on barrier duty while he nipped up there for a brew.
Sounds like a strong argument that the barrier was in better hands while he was enjoying his char and a wad.
The place I have in mind was - in my memory at least - huge, with a bar, snooker room, cafeteria and, of all things, a library. I seem to recall it was red brick, on the left hand side of the road halfway up the hill on the road towards the Walkerville.
 
Sounds like a strong argument that the barrier was in better hands while he was enjoying his char and a wad.
The place I have in mind was - in my memory at least - huge, with a bar, snooker room, cafeteria and, of all things, a library. I seem to recall it was red brick, on the left hand side of the road halfway up the hill on the road towards the Walkerville Golden Gloves.
. . as it was better known.

On the Sandes Home, sounds about right, but I don't believe I ever visited the place.

It's conceivable that it was indeed a NAAFI premises in the days of National Service.
 
I vaguely recall a comment on ARRSE from the dim and distant past about the Guards approach to bullshit in the field.

Momentarily interrupted by Op CORPORATE, where SG binned all the cack from their webbing and carried only that which was necessary to live and fight, then promptly ignored that combat experience and returned with relish to the bullshit factor of carrying all manner of boll0cks, because that's what 'proper soldiering' is all about.
Because you can't possibly go to war without a full tin of polish...
 
. . . with the imprint of your cap bage pressed into the otherwise unblemished surface of the untouched contents (2 R Irish, Berlin Mil Skills Comp, Day 1 kit inspection May 1982, IIRC)
Jesus H Tapdancing Christ, they didn't, did they?
 
Frith is a copyright breacheing barsteward, according to the elderly owner of our local photography business (who has hundreds, possibly thoussands of of glass negatives from the 1900s, probably priceless, if only he - or his sons, more likely - could figure out how to monetise them hence he won't let even specialist from the British Museum get sight of them! :) )

I'm not sure but I think that old Sandes home is now a Bde/BG Trainer wot I attended in 1996 (an experience from which I have a little Footguards-bollox related dit :-D )
 
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