Pathe Film of the IJLB in 1950s


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The link is a short clip about IJLB in 1959 when they were based at Plymouth, so was taken about 7 years before I joined them at Oswestry.

I swithered which Forum to put this into, Infantry or Military History but felt that Old 'n Bold would be good as many posters are of that era.


Interesting to note the boys in the opening part of the film are wearing the old button up to the neck BD type uniform yet have SLRs.

The quality is not too bad. Have a watch and any Junior Bleeders out there, have a bit of nostalgia.

Interesting, thanks

The lads are actually wearing SDs but it's very unusual to see a formation sign (in this case, War Office Controlled Unit) worn on SDs

Wonder what the squad was?, given the number of boy sgts and wos in the ranks wearing the infantry sgt's sash, it doesn't look like your typical platoon.


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At a guess I would expect them to be the senior term and therefore have all the NCO ranks, except CSgt which was not used in IJLB.

I also posted this on the IJLB website and one of the respondees was there at the time the film was made. Good point about the formation sign on their sleeves. I don't remember having any formation sign when I was at Oswestry, but of course we had moved on to No2 dress by then and no formation signs were worn on 2 dress. And anyway my memory is nowhere near as good as it used to be :(
1959 would have been the year of the big infantry amalgamations-kitting these lads out for man's service must have been a bit of a chore for the QM, there would have been ten Jock regiments alone, before almalgamations.

Were the guys all mixed up, parent regiment wise, or was there some sort of arranging their platoons by regiment or recruiting area, apart from the aforementioned Senior Term? Presumably the guys destined for LI and rifle regiments had to comply with Guards drill and get a conversion course!
The Pathe site is top notch stuff and for the nostalgic I recommend the following:

Drink of Choice.


Pick a topic out of the air

Type it in and enjoy.

You'd be surprised what topics are on there and how far back they go.


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IJLB was set up as a 'normal' infantry Battalion with A-D Companies and Guards Company. The Companies were split into Divisional groupings. Obviously all woodentops went to Guards Company :D I was in A Company and when I was there is was Lowland Brigade, Wessex Brigade and Light Infantry/Green Jackets. Other Companies were built along similar lines i.e. Highland Brigade were in C Company and Anglians were in D Company etc . I was at IJLB 1966-68.

The platoons in the Company were not split into groupings are we were all mixed together. We paraded as a Company but each Term went and did their training separately during the day. There were 3 intakes a year and these intakes were the 'Terms'. Apart from the first term when recruits were all grouped together in Z Company - after the first term we moved up to the main companies.

There is a large and flourishing site for IJLB for all Boys who were at Plymouth, Oswestry or Shorncliffe (It moved about over the decades).

Have a look and you will be able to pick up a lot of stuff if you are interested in soldiering as a very young man. IJLB
Thanks for that, interesting link - I even saw the name of a guy that I served with later on, who I knew had been at IJLB

Interesting story in their forum about the finding of the cache of Lee Metfords in the Plymouth barracks (of course it may have been a military myth but sounds if it might well be true)

It seems it wasn't the W.O. Controlled formation sign the guys had on their sleeves, as I first thought. Same red/blue background but with what looks like a bayonet instead of Lion on Crown. Maybe unique to them or shared with the School of Infantry.

If I remember rightly, the RAC JLs over at Bovingdon used to wear a different type of Service Dress, same button up to the neck closed with two hooks and eyes, but with a straight up collar, and no lapel.

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