- Contributed by
- People in story:
- John Beal
- Location of story:
- Nostell Priory Yorkshire
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 February 2004
Discipline For The Young Soldier.
It was when I was nearing the end of my wireless operators training in Yorkshire at the 39th Training Regiment Royal Artillery. The army had taken over the lovely country house, Nostell Priory near Wakefield,and before that at another country house near Bretton near Barnsley. We were allocated the stables for our billet and the part of the house was allocated to the officers.
My mates and I were enjoying a well earned day out in Wakefield after training on the Yorkshire moors for a few weeks. The time had come for us to return to our billets. We were waiting for transport near the Bull Ring. I had not noticed that a Regimental Policeman from the training regiment was nearby. Unfortunately for me I was not wearing my beret at the time. He spotted me, and gave me a good dressing down and also put me on report.
In due course I was called before the Commanding Officer to face the music. I was double marched into his room, and the charge read out. I was really shaking in my shoes because it was made to feel a very serious offence. Just leaving my hat off, well I thought a severe reprimand would be forthcoming. That was not to be, after a good dressing down I was given seven days confined to barracks. Fair enough,I thought I was not going out that week anyway there was little left of my fourteen shillings pay,I only had twentyone shillings in first place the other seven shillings was sent home for my parents. Seven days easy days so I thought, but what a shock I had coming to me.
This is how my following seven days were spent. Up before reveille, and report to the guardroom at the end of the drive,at 0630hrs in FSMO in other words full kit. Boots and brasses highly polished,big pack,small pack,ammunition pouches
and nearly everything I possessed. The guard commander was a member of the permanent staff, not a very friendly chap you might say. It did not matter how well represented you were, your rifle was not up to standard,your brasses needed a better polish and generally he thought you were in a proper mess. "Next time you come to the guard room like that, you will get another seven days jankers".
This was only the start of it. After the inspection by the guard commander it was back to the billet a quick change into denims, lay my kit on the bed for Orderly Officers routine billet and kit check. Then it was time for roll call, just quick parade to make sure everyone was present. In other words making sure nobody was away AWOL. Then to snatch a breakfast before parading in our working gear at 0800hrs for our daily training. We carried on with this until 1700hrs. For the rest of the squad they had finished for the day, unless they were on guard duty, or fire piquet duty. The defaulter, that was myself,had to hurry and get my equipment ready for inspection behind the guard at 1800hrs. After this change into denims again and report to the cookhouse to do fatigues, peeling spuds , washing pans and anything else that was needed. By this time I was well and truly Kn-----d!. Still I was not yet finished. Full kit again and then report to the guard room and the usual remarks from the guard commander. Hurriedly back to the billet and a sleep until starting the daily routine all over again.
This lasted for the whole week and I can honestly say that I did not ever break the rules again. In fact it set me up to get the best out of the army. After passing out as a driver wireless operator, was finally posted to the 10th. Field Regiment Royal Artillery The Second Indian Division (The Crossed Keys) in India.I did eventually get promoted to sergeant in the Royal Signals. Hopefully I will recall some of my experiences during the independence years 1945-48.later in the year.
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