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 national service

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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2989
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: national service   11/9/2012, 10:01

They wash up? Laughing Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: national service   11/9/2012, 13:19

Yep....When there are no jankers wallahs.
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unclevanya
Maj
Maj
avatar

Number of posts : 226
Age : 72
Localisation : Essex UK
Cap Badge : R Sigs
Places Served : 11 Sigs Vimy 'C' Catterick Nov 1963), 224 (Radio) Sig Squadron Garrats Hey, Quorn Leics( Jan-June 1964), 16 Sigs Bradbury Barracks Krefeld July-Oct 1964), 28 (BR) Sigs St Tonis & 4 Squadron, Tongeren (Cafe Maddy) (1964-1968), HQ UNFICYP Nicosia 6 month tour (1966), HMS Jufair & Hamala Camp Bahrien, 223 Sig Sqn (Radio) Winchester, Norn Ireland, HQ Northag Kolsas Olso Norway, 11 Sigs Helles Lines Catterick, Civvy Street 1977, Retired (Grumpy Victor Meldrew 2012)
Registration date : 2012-07-15

PostSubject: Re: national service   14/9/2012, 11:06

I have recently been reading a book about the experiences of National Servicemen from 1945 to 1962. Those experiences chime very similarly for me, as a regular during the mid 1960s through the 1970s. many a National serviceman comment about being accommodated in wooden Spider Blocks with outside ablutions, cold water etc.

I can remember being accommodated in similar wooden and brick built accommodation blocks in Catterick Garrison and Bushfield Camp, Winchester in the 1970s. The state of some of these blocks were a sight to behold. leaking roofs, windows that just about didn't fall out, Plants and bushes growing through the flooring etc. Of course when complaints were made to the Unit SSM, the moans of the Lads were not often not believed.

One unit I was posted to - 223 Signal Squadron (Radio) at Bushfield Camp, outside Winchester, Hants had been condemned as 'Unfit For Human Habitation' many years before. But the MoD reused them for accommodations for the Lads. All that occurred were a lick of paint, some nails hammered in, and some roofing felt nailed on the roof.

These building were eventually demolished in the 1980s. but it is strange that the War Office, eventually MoD thought that substandard accommodation was 'Good enough for British Troops, Airmen and Naval Ratings'. It was an eye-opener when I was posted to Germany to be accommodated in old German World 2 barracks which were far more superior to British barrack accommodation back home.

One wonders if anything has changed, considering the complaints by Soldiers etc about current accommodations today in the 21st century. Does the MoD hiarachy still suffer from the same mindset that was prevalent all those years ago? Sleep affraid


Last edited by unclevanya on 14/9/2012, 23:57; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Dyslexic Keyboard, not enough coffee & being knackered)
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pinky
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 208
Localisation : Southern Alberta, Canada.
Cap Badge : 14th/20th Kings Hussars - KRH
Places Served : In BAOR : Hohne,Berlin and Munster.
Registration date : 2011-06-23

PostSubject: Re: national service   14/9/2012, 17:55

Hi there,
Some great stories on this thread.
My dad was all ready to do his bit and was off to the Royal Pioneer Corps (he must not of been to sharp)......any how he became a father (my sister was born in 1959) and his enlistment date was put back, his mates went in etc....anyhow after a 'get on the bus - get off the bus' situation he was given his rail warrant and was ready to go......only to receive a telegram 2 days before cancelling his N.S. due to it being stopped in 1960.
To this date he regrets missing out on all the fun (digging ??)
atb
pinky
HUSSAR
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gingerjim
Col
Col


Number of posts : 487
Cap Badge : raoc
Places Served : blackdown brackley , belgium . viersen
Registration date : 2011-03-21

PostSubject: Re: national service   14/9/2012, 19:18

when my son and daughter were young they bought me a bottle of sainsburys blended whisky for christmas , without doubt it has to be the most evil drink i had ever imbibed , sainsburys would have made more money relabling it as paint stripper . ginger
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unclevanya
Maj
Maj
avatar

Number of posts : 226
Age : 72
Localisation : Essex UK
Cap Badge : R Sigs
Places Served : 11 Sigs Vimy 'C' Catterick Nov 1963), 224 (Radio) Sig Squadron Garrats Hey, Quorn Leics( Jan-June 1964), 16 Sigs Bradbury Barracks Krefeld July-Oct 1964), 28 (BR) Sigs St Tonis & 4 Squadron, Tongeren (Cafe Maddy) (1964-1968), HQ UNFICYP Nicosia 6 month tour (1966), HMS Jufair & Hamala Camp Bahrien, 223 Sig Sqn (Radio) Winchester, Norn Ireland, HQ Northag Kolsas Olso Norway, 11 Sigs Helles Lines Catterick, Civvy Street 1977, Retired (Grumpy Victor Meldrew 2012)
Registration date : 2012-07-15

PostSubject: Re: national service   15/9/2012, 00:01

Do young trained (Phase One) soldiers have to make bed packs, and have all their kit squared away like it was way back in them distance days gone by? Do Squadies have to polish and bumper their barrack rooms if they still are accommodated in them? bounce
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2989
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: national service   15/9/2012, 05:35

Don't know about Bedpacks but, Contract Cleaners are employed in the Barrack Blocks, UV.
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PostSubject: Re: national service   15/9/2012, 07:12

How do you make a bedpack with a duvet?
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unclevanya
Maj
Maj
avatar

Number of posts : 226
Age : 72
Localisation : Essex UK
Cap Badge : R Sigs
Places Served : 11 Sigs Vimy 'C' Catterick Nov 1963), 224 (Radio) Sig Squadron Garrats Hey, Quorn Leics( Jan-June 1964), 16 Sigs Bradbury Barracks Krefeld July-Oct 1964), 28 (BR) Sigs St Tonis & 4 Squadron, Tongeren (Cafe Maddy) (1964-1968), HQ UNFICYP Nicosia 6 month tour (1966), HMS Jufair & Hamala Camp Bahrien, 223 Sig Sqn (Radio) Winchester, Norn Ireland, HQ Northag Kolsas Olso Norway, 11 Sigs Helles Lines Catterick, Civvy Street 1977, Retired (Grumpy Victor Meldrew 2012)
Registration date : 2012-07-15

PostSubject: Re: national service   15/9/2012, 16:20

when I was posted to HQ Northag, Kolsas, Olso Norway, we lived in blocks that used to be Norwegian army barracks. All very posh and comfortable. The block cleaner who did general cleaning was very attractive middle aged lady who appeared to be completely unfazed by 'bollock' naked squaddies, airmen and sailors wandering around first thing in the morning going to the ablutions.....

Anyhoo... I never heard her complaining about what she saw each morning..... which at times could be quite bad especially if the said squaddie, sailor or airman had been badly bhrams & lizt the previous night...... drunken Suspect


Last edited by unclevanya on 15/9/2012, 16:21; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Dyslexic Keyboard, not enough coffee & being knackered)
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pinky
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 208
Localisation : Southern Alberta, Canada.
Cap Badge : 14th/20th Kings Hussars - KRH
Places Served : In BAOR : Hohne,Berlin and Munster.
Registration date : 2011-06-23

PostSubject: Re: national service   18/9/2012, 14:50

Hi there,
Each generation that does basic training has it easier than the one before !! Or so we believe, bed packs or not...........todays soldiers are doing us proud - so something about todays basic training is right !
atb
pinky
HUSSAR
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nails
Sgt
Sgt


Number of posts : 31
Registration date : 2012-11-23

PostSubject: Re: national service   26/7/2013, 23:24

I did'nt like it at the time, but looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wish that I would have signed on, but, being the impatient youth that I was, I thought that I knew best, Well. We all knew that, whether we like to admit it or not.....................I KNOW. !!!!!!!!!!!!
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ronnie french
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 56
Age : 80
Cap Badge : royal artillery
Places Served : rhyl. herford
Registration date : 2009-05-01

PostSubject: Re: national service   27/7/2013, 11:31

NAILS,i agree with you about n/s looking back at my time I enjoyed it and like you I regret not signing on,once you got over oswestry,it got better at your training regt at rhyl,then on to your service regt,if you played f/ball like I did you had it made,its a pity they stopped it,it would have made a difference of the youth of today,2 weeks at oswestry with the sgts and bdrs we had in 55,they had all the hard lads crying,and that was just getting there hair cut lol
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: national service   27/7/2013, 22:18

A mate of mine joined the Army to avoid working in the,. (Nottinghamshire), pits.
Typical of him, he ENJOYED Oswestry training so much that he extended his service from 6, to 9 years !
(My time at Rhyl involved training during the winter, with a Geordie sergeant instructor. I couldn't wait to get away).

Over !
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ronnie french
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 56
Age : 80
Cap Badge : royal artillery
Places Served : rhyl. herford
Registration date : 2009-05-01

PostSubject: Re: national service   28/7/2013, 15:53

there was only one place worse than oswestry and that was Woolwich,washing and shaving in cold water every morning,double bunk iron beds,lockers fixed to the stone walls,and paying 3p aweek for b/k room damage,you had to wash in stone troughs,and keep your things in your kitbag,the best thing about Woolwich was leaving for Liverpool str station to Harwich for the sailing to the hook
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
avatar

Number of posts : 956
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: national service   28/7/2013, 18:30

Should have tried Somme Lines, Catterick (Regular Basic Training) ... now that was a dream posting .. sorry for dream insert nightmare .. 'hey maw I wanna come home'

Len (Ciphers)
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ronnie french
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 56
Age : 80
Cap Badge : royal artillery
Places Served : rhyl. herford
Registration date : 2009-05-01

PostSubject: Re: national service   28/7/2013, 20:13

ciphers,what bks were you at in herford,there was a sigs bks near the globe cinema,i was at the other end of herford harwood bks
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
avatar

Number of posts : 956
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: national service   28/7/2013, 20:36

We (6 Armd Div Sigs) were 'temporary guests' of 11 Armd Div Sigs in Wentworh Barracks .. we were housed there from end of 1951 through about April/May 1952 while we built up unit strength and our new home Birdwood Barracks, Bunde was being built. Can't recall much of Herford apart that we had to have meals at a mess hall away from the barracks and had to pass a large girls school to get to it and pass a gauntlet of all things nasty thrown at us by the school girls. Unlike 11 Armd Div boys for some reason the Mailed Fist of 6 Armd was not universally liked in Herford and we were refused service in a lot of the pubs, not downright refused, but you could sit at a table or stand at the bar and be totally ignored, As I have said before in many posts, soldiering in Germany in the early 50's was not the cosy cakewalk many of the sites contributors experienced.

Len (Ciphers) .... don't let the avtar fool you, Canadian by choice, but born and bred in 'ampshire
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Dulaigh
WOI
WOI


Number of posts : 126
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick Newark Aldershot 201Shorncliffe WinterbourneGunner TOS SHARJAH Bunde 249 Singapore NE Thailand Aldershot Catterick
Registration date : 2012-03-19

PostSubject: Re: national service   28/7/2013, 21:34

Ampshire born
Ampshire bred
Strong in dhe arm
Thik in dhe ead.Very Happy 
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
avatar

Number of posts : 956
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: national service   28/7/2013, 22:31

'ere wotch it Mush .. I still have pull among the 'travellers' of the New Forest.

Len (Ciphers)
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: national service   29/7/2013, 11:22

brum wrote:
(My time at Rhyl involved training during the winter, with a Geordie sergeant instructor. I couldn't wait to get away).

Over !

Drivers & sigs U/T I came across loved Rhyl, all those lasses  on hols etc.
Tonfanau though, that was the pits.  Miles from anywhere, on the Welsh coast. A single strand of wire marked the perimeter as there was nowhere to go if you broke out and nobody would want to get in.  Before, at Oswestry, hard case gunners were reduced to gibbering wrecks when told their behaviour warranted a posting to Tonfanau.........    One, it is said, hiked back to Oswestry from Tonfanau, banged on the guardroom door and pleaded to be taken back.  It's true, it's true ! It was recorded on the back of a latrine door.

In truth, in summer, it could have been worse. A single, two room hut, 16 in each room in double tier bunks and ablutions a hike away across a grass patch.  Wash in cold water from a tin trough,  winter must have been murder, but the constant firing at sleeves towed behind Mosquitoes made it feel like soldering.  NS Bombardier we had was a swine........ after some veiled encouragement from our drill sgt. he finished in the ditch on the assault course when kitted out in best BD for the end of trg photo.  Yeah, some things we enjoyed !
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ronnie french
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 56
Age : 80
Cap Badge : royal artillery
Places Served : rhyl. herford
Registration date : 2009-05-01

PostSubject: Re: national service   29/7/2013, 14:30

CARTAV,never had the pleasure of tonfanau,but some of the lads got posted there from oswestry and they were issued with whellies for sheep sh-----g lol.it could not be any worse than Woolwich,you should know you were there befor me.as you said we enjoyed some of them training days and laugh about them now I only regret not staying in the regt I got posted to the 12th l.a.a.
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: national service   29/7/2013, 18:40

ronnie french wrote:
CARTAV,never had the pleasure of tonfanau,but some of the lads got posted there from oswestry and they were issued with whellies

I think the wellie issue was a cruel trick............ the sheep were pretty nifty on their hooves and you'd more chance of getting a young one if you stuck to those brown PT shoes. Anyway, nice to see another LAA gunner on net. I was in 16 LAA at Osnabruck, one more from 6 Armd Div like Ciphers. Can't remember much about Woolwich, though. 2 weeks embarkation leave as soon as we got there, then a few days in Draft Pool knocking down Connaught Bks before I was shipped out to take the place of one who didn't bother to come back from leave. Vividly remember a mate I'd lent ten bob to the day before. He stood grinning by the guardroom as we marched out. Never saw him again, but remember his name to this day....... Gnr Luker, " Filthy" to everyone else.
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: national service   29/7/2013, 21:46

Woolwich still had the Victorian buildings when we were there on transit, in '59. Dismal hole of a place.
There's a film, still doing the rounds, called "Carrington VC". Filmed in Woolwich barracks, the old buildings can still be seen in background shots.
Funny thing though. The new style Buffet Catering was first trialled while we were there, a variety of food all beautifully laid out and we could make a selection from it. Not like the usual, "'old yer plate out !" - splat !
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2989
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: national service   30/7/2013, 11:10

ronnie french wrote:
CARTAV,never had the pleasure of tonfanau,but some of the lads got posted there from oswestry and they were issued with whellies for sheep sh-----g lol.


Reminds me of the old Scottish joke:-


Man to Shepherd "Are you shearing"?


Shepherd to man. "Naw, get yer ain".
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ronnie french
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 56
Age : 80
Cap Badge : royal artillery
Places Served : rhyl. herford
Registration date : 2009-05-01

PostSubject: Re: national service   30/7/2013, 16:17

the film Carrington vc at Woolwich,on of my mates at our service regt was in it they got paid a fiver for each man in the troop for rattling there knifes and forks in there tea mugs,he was a Scotsman I bet he has it lol,did any of you were shown what was behind the curtain in the m.i. room at Woolwich,i think it was to put you off going with women,
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