did the same thing in 1972You expect me to remember something that happened 54 years ago when I can't recall last nights tea? Harrumph!
Anyhoo, I arrived at Gobowen Station, near Oswestry bound for IJLB. This bunch of boys getting off the train were met by a huge man in No2s with a beret and budgie on it! Sgt Jackson, Welsh Fusiliers. He was very nice and gently got us on to the transport and into camp where we were dropped off at Z Company lines in Park Hall Camp, shown our beds and told to settle in. We did nothing that first day other than eat, meet and sleep as people were arriving all through out the day.
The nice Sgt Jackson the next day showed his real self.............. Thus started off my time in green on 10 May 1966.
55 years past September for me and I was B Sqn.First day in the Army 50 years ago today. Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Engineers, Old Park Barracks, Dover. Now an housing estate.
Par Avion senior drove me down there so I arrived early. Ended up in C Squadron in the big end room. Full of Jocks who had travelled down overnight. I couldn't understand a word that they were saying. My bedspace was next to a bloke called Angus from Aberdeen who invariably gained the nickname 'Aberdeen Angus.' The other other Jocks who were from the Lowlands couldn't understand him either. He was a great bloke and we became good friends and eventually I could pick out about one word in three that he said until he became excited and then nobody could understand him.
Two of the Jocks were from a sub tribes called Celtic and Rangers whose tribal area I believe is mainly in Glasgow. These two were great friends but were always fighting and arguing. I could never really understand what it was about as they spoke a strange sub dialect of Jockenese called 'Glasweigian' and it was to do with something called 'Protestants' and 'Catholics.' One of them bought himself out and the other was kicked out.
Another of the lads who I became friends with was from Stirling and his name was 'Shug.' He was eventually kicked out not long before passing out after being found guilty of GBH on a trainee at a Boys sea training school at crown court in Dover. Apparently he could barely see out of the Defendents box in the crown court as he was about 5 feet nothing.
Luckily a couple of English lads arrived who was I could understand. One of them was from Lancashire which was great as I spoke Northern having lived in Stoke-On Trent. The other was a southern pooftah from Portsmouth called Pompey.
Later I came across two lads in another room who did not speak any form of English that I had ever come across so I assumed that they were Scottish. "What is he saying Jock" I looked to one of my new Scottish chums for a translation. "He isnna one of ours" said Jock. I then found that the lads were actually from a tribe called 'Geordies' who reside in the North of England and nobody outside that area really understands what they are saying. Our room JNCO's (boy soldiers) were a Geordie Cpl who was a great bloke and a Scottish/Polish Cpl whose name I found out many years later was the Polish for Devil. He was also a great bloke.
We spent all evening moving metal lockers around and bumping the stone corridors. When of the JNCOs had a record player and was obviously a fan of the beach boys as he had one of their LP's and played the same track over and over again. It was on 'On the Sloop John B.'It was played at maximun volume. Great I thought, I love the Beach Boys, especially this song. It was only many many years later that the words of the song registered. "I feel so broke up, I want to go home." The utter utter b*stard!
Here is a picture of the lads I found on the net in a Dover gazette article on JLRRE. How they picked our photo out of the many intakes I don't know. We had about six weeks in at the time it was taken.
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And here I am now, a scouser living in West Cumbria.My abiding memory of day 1 at the Army Apprentices College, Harrogate was being placed in our 8 man room and being introduced to my fellow recruit troop colleagues and our room NCO, an AT who was in 4th or 5th term. I was a West Cumbrian lad with an incomprehensible accent, there were 5 lads from Liverpool (4 red, 1 blue) a lad from Huddersfield and the room NCO (SSgt Kev Froggett, subsequently murdered in NI by the IRA - RIP) was a Derby lad I believe. Us recruits spent quite a bit of time that day taking the piss out of our accents - I got a lot of stick from the Scousers!
My other memories of that day include being amazed by the quality and quantity of food in the cookhouse and quietly crying myself to sleep that night.
Many, many wonderful memories and a number of regrets since that day back in September 1971.
I was at RMP Catterick in 1990.they know anyway. 1990 i transferred to the R Signals (my brother was in them). Got to Catterick & was cushy as Feck. was on a basic Radio ops course. Had to march the sprogs around. It was around this time they started to bring women into the "mens" trades. course next to me, Radio Relay there was an RMP female full screw as course leader. This was when the R Sigs were at Catterick. 11 Sigs (basic training/ 8 Sigs trade training. I pumped the RMP