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RMA Sandhurst 1975 - Panorama Documentary

#2
Watched it this morning, pretty good documentary. Just watched another one about training QARANCs. Couldn't see the fleet of buses to whisk them off to NAAFI discos in the background though!!
 
#3
Thanks for this, cc. Flashback time, though I didn't arrive till '78 when graduates were still rare beasts and confined to the far banks of the Wish Stream.
 
#4
I was interested by a couple of things, even apart from the fact that Mercer turned up on day one with a chauffeur carrying his baggage!

Firstly that the narrator mentioned that the state / public school intake in 1975 was 40:60 - I doubt that this ratio is much different today.

Secondly, that it was so alarmist - giving a good 10 minutes to one weekend's worth of internal security training and ending on the note that the Army may be drawn into countering some form of political insurrection.

Thankfully its not just fashions and haircuts which have changed over time - although, pleasingly, the attitudes of the CSgts are evidently timeless!
 
#7
I was interested by a couple of things, even apart from the fact that Mercer turned up on day one with a chauffeur carrying his baggage!

Firstly that the narrator mentioned that the state / public school intake in 1975 was 40:60 - I doubt that this ratio is much different today.

Secondly, that it was so alarmist - giving a good 10 minutes to one weekend's worth of internal security training and ending on the note that the Army may be drawn into countering some form of political insurrection.

Thankfully its not just fashions and haircuts which have changed over time - although, pleasingly, the attitudes of the CSgts are evidently timeless!
My take on your points is this, cc:

The '70s saw a major influx of state-educated officer cadets (for the first time since conscription), the decade also saw the Army's first major drive to attract graduates. I don't know today's figures but imagine the state sector is probably somewhat larger now. Today 85% are graduates and much older. Then Pl/Tp Comds generally joined their units aged about 19 to 21, these days most are aged about 25.

The alarmism isn't over-worked. The mid 70s were a time of serious economic and political strain (in my view, worse than where we are now). Inflation at 25% pa, interest rates at 11%, mass strikes, 3 day week, power cuts on alternate days. That anxiety of total collapse plus the daily reports of death in NI (and perhaps the US failure in Vietnam) coloured everyone's lives.

As for the haircuts, NI saw us wearing longer hair, not wearing uniform in the town and very big fences being built around barracks that had been open access for decades.
 

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