Archive: “National Service”

Photos from National Service

Eddie Edwards (?) and Ken Terry Read more »

A national serviceman’s tale

At the age of eighteen I was required to endure a seemingly interminable period as a National Service soldier. This was in fact two years, but seemed like ten! I received a foretaste of the treatment I could expect at the hands of the military, when I reported for medical assessment to Blackheath Medical Centre. […]

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Basic training with the QORWK

Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

The majority of my service was with the Royal Sussex Regt. in Minden, in N.W. Germany, although I had in fact completed my basic training with the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regt. in Maidstone and it is this that I shall deal with first. The ten weeks I spent in basic training at Maidstone […]

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Life with the battalion

Although I was initially drafted into “B” Company, I was told that I would not be training with them, but would be attached to Support Company to be trained as a driver. I therefore reported to Support Company garages each morning for about one week. It was soon discovered that, although I had not passed […]

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Sod off, Boyce!

When I joined the army at Maidstone on 6th May 1954 I found myself in the company of a variety of young men, drawn from all walks of life. There were, of course, the loud brash ones as well as the quieter types who realised that they couldn’t beat the system, so they would be […]

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Holy Joe

There was in our Battalion a sergeant whose name I have long since forgotten, but who was known by all as ‘Holy Joe’ due to his religious and pious nature. He was a man of about forty and was in charge of the G1098 store wherein was kept all manner of items such as picks, […]

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Come and get the mail, boys

One of the most important events of each day, was the distribution of mail from home. Most of the chaps could expect a letter or two each week, usually from parents and other family members. The luckier ones amongst us would have had a regular girlfriend back home who would keep up a steady supply […]

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Winter training

Winter was also the time of the Saturday morning cross-country run. This was decreed to be a “scale A” parade which meant that no-one could avoid it. Even those whom the M.O. had placed on “light duties” were found some sort of job, such as acting as waymarkers along the route. They would be attired […]

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Lightning reactions

Humber 1 ton 4x4 combat truck

I shall impress you now with the professionalism of Support Company of which I was proud to be a member. This was the title given to the company in any infantry battalion which provided the “support” weapons to back up the rifle companies. Support weapons in my service days were medium machine-guns, anti-tank guns and […]

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What the . . . ?

Due, no doubt to his observation of our performance on the square, the Adjutant decided that the standard of drill of Support Company was below par. He therefore conceived the brilliant notion of holding a drill competition between the four platoons of which the company was comprised. Accordingly, over the next few weeks our Platoon […]

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