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samantha
post Feb 25 2004, 07:10 AM
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biggrin.gif This new section has been set up by popular request to enable all those people serving abroad to remain in touch with their friends.
I hope you have fun and take care wherever you are.
Samantha cool.gif


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Gavin
post Mar 3 2004, 03:14 PM
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rolleyes.gif Hey Sam, no-one in the forces left a message yet. I was in the Cubs and then the Boy Scouts, does that qualify me. huh.gif

Gavin
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richardandgrace
post Mar 4 2004, 01:08 AM
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I was in the forces. I left home at 17 after watching a documentary of Alan Wickers who followed 6 recruits through basic training at the Women's Royal Army Corps and the next day I went and swore my allegience to Queen and country. Two months later I met and fell in love with the love of my life, my husband who was also in the Army and here we are 30 years later and I am so pleased to say he still has the WOW factor but not the uniforms anymore wink.gif .

I think it is down to the army that we are the expats we are today and have had the opportunities to travel and work abroad.

I hope this thread gets up and running as it would be very interesting to hear what it is like as a squaddy or a matlow, not sure what they call the air force. dry.gif

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gordie
post Jul 30 2004, 10:47 AM
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I was in the army for 12 years left home when 17 , had a great time got to see the world and met my wife in malta in 63 still with her, and yes the forces do becomes expats and nomads. tongue.gif Have no regrets still think it one the best decisions of my life. Just in case anyone interested born in liverpool (Evertonian) signed up 62 did tour in Royal Signals. rolleyes.gif
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ken
post Aug 31 2004, 03:21 AM
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Being in the forces did give me the incentive to become an expat. I done 2yrs N/S.I was inthe RASC. 1957/59. 6months in Aldershot, 18 in 2 CSD Bulford, Salisbury Plain. Got out of army and could'nt settle in my job. Signed a contract with a company in Auckland NZ. Have lived here ever since. Have been back to my home town of Liverpool a few times since, still love it but couldnt live there again. I had a real love/hate relationship with the army. Looking back, it certainly changed my life. If I hadnt gone in I would have probably spent the rest of my days stuck in a factory on shift work.
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radar
post Sep 23 2004, 12:58 PM
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23755279, L/cpl J Travers (1959-61) I spent two years in the Royal Signals doing my National Service, four months in Catterick, 1 month on leave and the last 19 months in Germany. They taught my to type and hasn"t it been usefull in this day and age . Thanks for the training. 40674 Cpl Travers Royal NZ Sigs Wellington (1963/66) The windy city, 40674 Sgt Travers Royal NZ Infantry 3rd Btn (1974/1980) Enjoyed the life and lots of tales to tell.Radar
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cyclingbill
post Sep 25 2004, 10:39 AM
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Where are all the RAF chaps?
I served for 10 years 1952/62 and during that time service radio equipment on flyingboats, jet fighters and VIP aircraft. Visited parts of Africa, Pakistan,Italy etc. Spent 3 years in Germany and did a lot of cycling.
Bill
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corboy
post May 27 2005, 06:09 AM
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QUOTE(radar @ Sep 23 2004, 12:58 PM)
23755279, L/cpl J Travers (1959-61) I spent two years in the Royal Signals doing my National Service, four months in Catterick, 1 month on leave and the last 19 months in Germany. They taught my to type and hasn"t it been usefull in this day and age . Thanks for the training. 40674 Cpl Travers Royal NZ Sigs Wellington (1963/66) The windy city, 40674 Sgt Travers Royal NZ Infantry 3rd Btn (1974/1980) Enjoyed the life and lots of tales to tell.Radar
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corboy
post May 27 2005, 06:34 AM
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QUOTE(radar @ Sep 23 2004, 12:58 PM)
23755279, L/cpl J Travers (1959-61) I spent two years in the Royal Signals doing my National Service, four months in Catterick, 1 month on leave and the last 19 months in Germany. They taught my to type and hasn"t it been usefull in this day and age . Thanks for the training. 40674 Cpl Travers Royal NZ Sigs Wellington (1963/66) The windy city, 40674 Sgt Travers Royal NZ Infantry 3rd Btn (1974/1980) Enjoyed the life and lots of tales to tell.Radar
*


Hi! Radar. I was in the British army 1956/60.I was in the Royal Artillary stationed at Delmenhorst near Hanover Germany for 18 months.Migrated to Australia in 1963 spent some time in the Aussie army.Where were you stationed in Germany? I now live in Sydney Australia. Cheers! Corboy.
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post Aug 3 2005, 05:26 PM
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I served 25 years in the army and at the moment I'm writing about the times I had.

Following is the start of the book and I'm about halfway through it. I hope this small part brings back some good memories. biggrin.gif



“You two! Fall in three ranks”
Or
“Who! Me Sir, No Sir, Not I Sir!”

Anecdotes for posterity of

It should never happen to a soldier.

From the official ‘John Alfred Silkstone’ collection

On condition that:

1. It is understood that the 30 year limit on the Official Secrets Act, though now expired won’t prevent me having a fair trial in the Tower of London, and that I will be granted legal aid.

Ranby Psychiatric Hospital for the criminally insane will attribute the cause of my mental condition to time served in the Military Forces.

The Tabloids won’t be leaking advanced copies sold to them by a clerk at Depot Headquarters.

A well known author will write a best seller out of my experiences and we will share the profits of book and film rights.

5. That my mates are only jesting when they say, “You’ll hear from my solicitors first thing in the morning.”

In telling, many details are left out or taken for granted. The tales themselves are honed on the storytellers’ stone to suit the audience.

Items or events are deleted or added to enhance the tale in its best light. In reality, after many recitations by others and myself, the truth is often a million miles away from the actual facts.



LIST OF MILITARY RANKS

GENERAL Leaps over skyscrapers in a single bound. More powerful than an express train. Faster than a speeding bullet. Walks on water. Gives counsel to God.

COLONEL Leaps lesser buildings in a single bound. More powerful than a shunting engine. As fast as a speeding bullet. Sometimes walk on water. Talks to God.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL Leaps lesser buildings, given a good run up and a favourable wind. Has the same pushing power as a shunting engine. Can fire a gun, but not necessarily hit the target. Totters on water and talks to God occasionally.

MAJOR Barely clears the height of a bivvy tent. Is often run over by a shunting engine. Can handle a gun and hit the target, but only at the edges. Swims well. Sometimes pleases God.

QUARTERMASTER Provides the bricks for buildings. Places demands for various trains. Supplies both guns and bullets. Can do the dog paddle. Will supply God with crystal balls if necessary.

CAPTAIN Collapses on bivvy tent when attempting to jump it. Recognises trains. Is never issued with live ammunition. Can float in a life jacket. Talks to brick walls.

LIEUTENANT Runs into brick walls. Can use a train set. Owns his own cap gun. Sinks without swimming. Mutters to himself

2nd LIEUTENANT Falls over doorstep when entering building. Says “Oooh, look at the choo choo.” Wets himself while playing with his water pistol. Can stand in the shallow end. Talks to plants.

REGIMENTAL SERGEANT MAJOR Lift’s multi-story buildings and walks under them. Kicks all types of engines of their tracks. Catches bullets in his teeth. Freezes water at a single glance. Talks to no one. HE IS GOD!

ANON


MY TIME IN THE ARMY

Endorsement has not been received or sought from the people mentioned in these anecdotes. I enjoyed my time in the army, which lasted from 1956 to 1981.

There were bad times and good times. I’m glad to say that the good outweighed the bad. The good times stay with you and thankfully, the bad fade into antiquity.

I have met many brave and outstanding people in my time, who performed their duty for Queen and Country in true military fashion. The surprising thing was; these outstanding men were the bane of the depot drill sergeant’s life. They had two left feet , couldn’t swing their arms and once dressed in uniform, they resembled a sack of potatoes tied around the middle with string.
One soon learnt that the old saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ couldn’t be better adapted.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

Alexander the Great was only 16 when in 340BC, he joined the Army and became ruler of Macedonia. He liquidated all his rivals, consolidated his political power in Greece, he then set out raping, plundering, and pillaging until he had conquered the whole of Asia Minor. He then put down a major riot in Egypt and returned home at the head of an Army of over two and a half million, just in time to celebrate his 20th birthday.

I was one year older than Alexander when I began my Army Career in the Royal Artillery. I transferred to the Medical Corps in 1962. The Royal Army Medical Corps is the butt of most jokes in the forces. Especially from the Regiments who think that to be a medic is to be a sissy.

In battle situations when a man is injured, his voice will carry high above the noise of shot and shell. The word he shouts is, “MEDIC!” It is then realised that the medic is not such a sissy after all. To all medics, I say: “Keep your head down, look after yourself, and keep making those house calls on the field of battle.”

THE FIRST DAY.

I had to report to the Royal Artillery Basic Training Camp on the 5th day of November 1956. Like Superman, I was going to fight for Justice, Truth and Humanity. On arrival at Oswestry, this delusion was to be quickly dispelled.

My father being dead, my mother waved me off at Bolton railway station. Like all good mothers she’d packed a Thermos Flask of tea and enough jam butties to feed the Army. As I boarded the train she stuffed into my pocket a 10 bob note (50p). Which I knew she could ill afford.
“That’s to buy writing paper and envelopes,” she told me “don’t forget to write and let me know that you have arrived safe and sound.”

Arriving at Oswestry railway station, I was met by a man displaying a single white stripe on the sleeve of his uniform, and holding a clipboard.
“Name?” he said.
“John Alfred Silkstone.” I replied.
“Dear Mister Silkstone,” he said in a quiet and pleasant voice while he ticked off my name on a list, “when you address me, or anyone else, please call them by their rank.” He pointed to the chevron on his sleeve, “One chevron stands for lance bombardier, two for bombardier, and three for sergeant. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” I said.
“Yes what?” he inquired.
“Yes lance bombardier.”
“Right then, collect your baggage and board that three ton lorry over there.” He pointed with his pen to a vehicle in the station car park

At seventeen this was my first time away from home and I was very excited. In the vehicle sat a number of men, and following me were still more. I clambered into the back of the truck and I introduced myself to a chap who already sat on the bench. He informed me that his name was Bob Gooch. On the drive to camp we talked about how nice and friendly the lance bombardier was.

JECKYLL AND HYDE.

On arrival at camp we stopped outside the guardroom. Jumping out of the vehicle we milled around its rear end. The lance bombardier from the station rounded the back of the three-ton vehicle, and in a voice that could shatter windowpanes at 50 paces; he terrified us into three ranks. He introduced himself as lance bombardier Jeckyll, and began once more to read out our names from the clipboard, ticking each one as we answered back. “Here lance bombardier.”

Finishing the roll call he asked, “Any questions?”
Before anyone could open his mouth, he answered
“No! Good. I like intelligent people.”

Performing a smart about turn he marched to the bottom of the guardroom steps and spoke to a bombardier who stood on the veranda. The bombardier looked down on us and in an even louder voice, shouted.
“Right then you horrible specimens of manhood, you’re in the army now. You’ve met Mr. Jeckyll; now meet Mr. Hyde, whom you will call bombardier, for that is the rank I hold. Right?”
A cacophony of murmurs came from our ranks.

Straight away the joining of the two NCOs for the reception committee of the new arrivals indicated the Army sense of humour to me.

Bombardier Hyde shouted, “What’s that you said? When you speak to me, raise your voice so that the people at the other side of the camp can hear you. Do… you… understand?”
“Yes bombardier.” We shouted in unison.

Walking down the guardroom steps he selected a man in the front rank. He stood in front of him and in a voice that I swear was now ten octaves higher; he gave the man a load of verbal abuse. Eventually we were marched off to a twenty-man billet, if marching was what it could be called.


THE BILLET.

The billet was one of eight dormitories that formed part of a building called a spider. The ablution block occupying the central body. Lance Bombardier Jeckyll informed us that when he shouted ‘go’, he wanted us to move off at the double. Find a bed, drop your bag on it, and then fall in again outside…Go!

Having received some tips from my brother James, who had done his National Service. “Inspections,” he informed me “start from the left and work round the room clockwise. The first three or four beds always receive a rollicking. The middle beds tend to be let off and the last three or four get a real rollicking, no matter how good their kit is.” Taking his advice I selected a bed in the middle of the left-hand row of beds.
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radar
post Aug 17 2005, 05:02 AM
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QUOTE(corboy @ May 27 2005, 06:09 AM)

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Well sorry I didnt get back sooner I just havent looked at this for ages, Too busy working, (# Day week) playing golf (2 Days)and looking after two grandchildren. I spent my time in Germany at Hohne with 4 RHA and 25 Medium Regt. I was in 207 Sig Sqn. I spent a few weekends in Hamburg, (Reeperbahn) and a couple of weekends in Amsterdam (Canal Strasse) purely as an innocent squaddie.passing through. I was in Verden first with 1 Div Sigs then got posted to Hohne (Bergen-Belsen) I enjoyed the time in Germany. I got out after National Service and came to NZ in Auckland I spent three years in the NZ Sigs and 5 years in the Infantry as Sigs Ptn Sgt. Nice to hear from you. Rgds Radar
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FlyingDavey
post Dec 8 2005, 06:49 AM
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Hello Everyone.

Durham City lad here, currently living in Germany. Im in my third army now, after serving for the British Forces, I went to OZ and spent a year training their Infantry, went back to 'Blighty' then emigrated to California. 9/11 hit and I joined the US Army. Flying around on helicopters now, a much easier life than being down in the mud.

The hardest thing about the US Army is recognising the fact that they do things, (how can you say it politely?), ass backwards!;) I was in Iraq last year for 15 months, that was an interesting experience, but I still yearn for the days of company formations in the Kings Arms down by the river in York!

Its amazing how much of a profound effect the British Army can have on your life, reading the posts here I think Im not the only one who has been influenced by the "shock and awe" of basic training.
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post Dec 28 2005, 08:15 AM
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QUOTE(FlyingDavey @ Dec 8 2005, 06:49 AM)
Hello Everyone.

Durham City lad here, currently living in Germany.  Im in my third army now, after serving for the British Forces, I went to OZ and spent a year training their Infantry, went back to 'Blighty' then emigrated to California.  9/11 hit and I joined the US Army.  Flying around on helicopters now, a much easier life than being down in the mud.

The hardest thing about the US Army is recognising the fact that they do things, (how can you say it politely?), ass backwards!;)  I was in Iraq last year for 15 months, that was an interesting experience, but I still yearn for the days of company formations in the Kings Arms down by the river in York! 

Its amazing how much of a profound effect the British Army can have on your life, reading the posts here I think Im not the only one who has been influenced by the "shock and awe" of basic training.
*



Hi Flying Davey,

The aim of basic training in the British forces is to knock
the stuffing out of you. Once the stuffing is removed, the
clay is remoulded and fired once more in the oven, the end
product is a man.

Here is another piece from the book I’m writing in which I
explain discipline.

DISCIPLINE.

Discipline is the screw, the nail, the cement, the glue,
the nut, the bolt and the rivet that holds everything
together. The Prussians have it. The Arabs don’t.
In between is the Englishman. He accepts it,
and adjusts it to his national character. The result is
a disciplinarian of ferocity, patience, and infinite humour,
who will go to hell and back, provided that the
QM’s Department provide the tea and bacon butties.
The principle is simple; Lay it on thick, fast, and often,
with firmness, fairness, and consistency. The end
result is, THE BRITISH SOLDIER.


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jockgabb
post Jan 29 2006, 06:40 AM
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QUOTE(silky @ Dec 28 2005, 08:15 AM)
Hi Flying Davey,

The aim of basic training in the British forces is to knock
the stuffing out of you. Once the stuffing is removed, the
clay is remoulded and fired once more in the oven, the end
product is a man.

Here is another piece from the book I’m writing in which I
explain discipline.

DISCIPLINE.

Discipline is the screw, the nail, the cement, the glue,
the nut, the bolt and the rivet that holds everything
together. The Prussians have it. The Arabs don’t.
In between is the Englishman. He accepts it,
and adjusts it to his national character. The result is
a disciplinarian of ferocity, patience, and infinite humour,
who will go to hell and back, provided that the
QM’s Department provide the tea and bacon butties.
The principle is simple; Lay it on thick, fast, and often,
with firmness, fairness, and consistency. The end
result is, THE BRITISH SOLDIER.
*


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Hannah
post May 30 2006, 09:31 PM
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I am married to a x R.A.F.chap had some great times in the raf. I worked at Wegberg Hospital (maternity)1968-1971
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