Whither Sandhurst?

#2
Just read it, agree a good article.

Less we forget under Forces 2020 the place is set to be swarming with TA cadets (theoretically).
 
#3
Less we forget under Forces 2020 the place is set to be swarming with TA cadets (theoretically).
Ha, ha, ha, ha,ha! No it won't... Very good thread on LinkedIn about the collapse of DE TA Officer recruiting in my Corps... I would imagine that, perhaps, with the exception of the TA Infantry battalions that TA DE Officer recruiting is far from bouyant.
 
#5
Interesting article. I was surprised at the low number of 2 Lts too.

As for the future - we all know that the accountants will go for a single military academy as a cost cutter. Sandhurst is the most likely to disappear as the place is in the highest value area, compared to Lincolnshire or Devon.

Call me a harbinger of doom if you will but I am confident, with regret, that this will occur before too long.
 
#7
Good article. I was surprised that it now produces only ~500 2Lts a year now.

I'm sure it used to be more, or is my memory playing tricks on me?
How many do you think we need? I think we probably need more than 500 but we only need 0.5 per platoon/troop/YO appointment per year.
 
#8
Don't see that happening, and I disagree with your assumption that it would be cheaper to amalgamate.
It happened with Staff College up the road, and I am sure Chelsea Barracks thought it was safe as well along with the old NDC at Latimer. The RMAS grounds and grade 1 properties would make outstanding des res homes for the well heeled, and a gated safe community!
500 Officer cadets per year and an Army thats getting smaller doesn't justify keeping it when the Gov is desperate to asset strip the Defence property portfolio, Sadly I see amalgamation to a cheaper venue as a very realistic prospect.
 
#9
How many do you think we need? I think we probably need more than 500 but we only need 0.5 per platoon/troop/YO appointment per year.
When I was DS I think it was 270-300 (ish) in September - 3 full Coys. Less in Jan and less still in Apr - but if memory serves still 2 x Coy, so circa 180+? Which meant about the 650 annual throughput. Not including RowCo (before its unfortunate demise), Lucknow and the short courses (Dettingen).

But that was some time ago now.

I particularly liked Time Evans' steely 1000yard stare in the article - what a top bloke he is.
 
#10
When I was DS I think it was 270-300 (ish) in September - 3 full Coys. Less in Jan and less still in Apr - but if memory serves still 2 x Coy, so circa 180+? Which meant about the 650 annual throughput. Not including RowCo (before its unfortunate demise), Lucknow and the short courses (Dettingen).

But that was some time ago now.
That was my recollection of it too. I wonder if the quoted figure includes TA officers?
 
#11
Having left Sandhurst in ’65 after what was then a 2 year course, and I left the Army in ’75, I am well out of date but I find it hard to believe Mercer’s and Hennessy’s comments reported in the article.

Can it really be true that Mercer was not taught how to use a bayonet or a grenade, or how to zero a rifle?

Hennessy is correct that the training at Sandhurst was generic - although skewed towards the infantry (the Guards for drill) - but given that it was catering for every Arm in the Service it could only be generic. As for special to Arm training, he says it never happened. Surely that is not so.
 
#13
I suspect he's forgotten what he did in the 70s. I reckon he did RMAS after school (OCdt to 2Lt on 8 Mar 75 at 18 years old), then an in-service degree.

No servants in Victory College either in 1978.

Special to arm training followed after RMAS, as usual. Warminster, Larkhill, Bovington etc depending on Arm.
 
#14
The 1975 Panorama focused on the course that the regulars used to do after SMC (can't remember what it was called). There was certainly no bayonet fighting on that course but presumably Mercer had already done SMC, or was he a graduate? All the Victory College courses were very much watered down versions of SMC.

Totally irrelevant but OCdt Bucknall's uncle was my Plt Comd in Alamein Company in 1982.
 
#15
It happened with Staff College up the road, and I am sure Chelsea Barracks thought it was safe as well along with the old NDC at Latimer. The RMAS grounds and grade 1 properties would make outstanding des res homes for the well heeled, and a gated safe community!
500 Officer cadets per year and an Army thats getting smaller doesn't justify keeping it when the Gov is desperate to asset strip the Defence property portfolio, Sadly I see amalgamation to a cheaper venue as a very realistic prospect.
I think there is a world of difference between amalgamating/reducing duplication in staff colleges and amalgamating Phase 1 entry. One can see the logic on bringing staff colleges together as, by that stage of their careers, the attendees need to grip jointery, that is absolutely not the case with ab initio training. Regardless of that, none of the 3 colleges have the facilities to take on a tri-service intake. As long as we have 3 services we will have 3 gates to entry.

In a similar vein, combining ITC, CTCRM and RAF Regt Depot has been examined at least 2 times in the last 8 years that I am aware of, and has been dismissed on both single-service and cost grounds both times.
 
#16
I think there is a world of difference between amalgamating/reducing duplication in staff colleges and amalgamating Phase 1 entry. One can see the logic on bringing staff colleges together as, by that stage of their careers, the attendees need to grip jointery, that is absolutely not the case with ab initio training. Regardless of that, none of the 3 colleges have the facilities to take on a tri-service intake. As long as we have 3 services we will have 3 gates to entry.

In a similar vein, combining ITC, CTCRM and RAF Regt Depot has been examined at least 2 times in the last 8 years that I am aware of, and has been dismissed on both single-service and cost grounds both times.
I will be very happen to be wrong and I am playing devils advocate here. But, with the shortage of dosh in the HMG coffers don't be surprised by the logic that comes from our political masters. Totally agree with the staff course argument, but we are looking at a very significant chunk of prime real estate in Surrey with a very recent relaxation in planning laws so think of the housing you could splash over the ranges and training area.
At long last the Frimley skirmishers have met their match!
 
#17
....we are looking at a very significant chunk of prime real estate in Surrey with a very recent relaxation in planning laws so think of the housing you could splash over the ranges and training area.
At long last the Frimley skirmishers have met their match!
I don't disagree with that, and whilst I don't think Sandhurst will cease to exist, I imagine there will be pressure to free-up real estate by using alternative facilities; of which we naturally have plenty!!
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
If the Pongoes come to Dartmouth they might have the decency to give up that silly stamping.

Personally I think the whole commonality thing is false-equivalence balls dreamed up by civilians with no idea what they are talking about.
 
#19
Having left Sandhurst in ’65 after what was then a 2 year course, and I left the Army in ’75, I am well out of date but I find it hard to believe Mercer’s and Hennessy’s comments reported in the article.

Can it really be true that Mercer was not taught how to use a bayonet or a grenade, or how to zero a rifle?

Hennessy is correct that the training at Sandhurst was generic - although skewed towards the infantry (the Guards for drill) - but given that it was catering for every Arm in the Service it could only be generic. As for special to Arm training, he says it never happened. Surely that is not so.
Patrick (aka Pat in those days) Mercers' memory is poor - I was in the same Pl as "Cdt Cpl" Mercer on SMC 7. We were indeed taught to zero rifles etc. Also how to blow blinds etc. He/we were never in Victory College. IIRC, whilst on Guard duty he managed to drop the barrier on (then) Princess Anne's Scimitar (the car type)...
 
#20
Cunning plan:

There’s this place called St Athan in Wales.
MoD already owns the real estate.
If we go for a PFI partnership we should be able to build a Tri Service College...

And we can save money by making the bleeders tab to Brecon and back!
 

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