“A lost young boy found happiness, a job that he was born to do…”
AAC Harrogate Graduation – Me, Mum & Sister Gill.
AT RSM Board, AAC Harrogate -My name is on the RHS 7th from top.
Me on shift in Comms Ops during Gulf War 1.
Me and Sue on our Wedding Day – 1st Aug 1981.
WO & Sgts Mess Hohne – My LSGC presentation with Sue and Mark by my side.
Moving up the ranks
My Army Training
The Army Apprentice College Harrogate was one of the finest training establishments of the modern era. It trained junior soldiers, or Apprentice Tradesmen (A/T), in a wide and varied range of technical trades in telecommunications world over a period of 51 years (1947-1998). On graduation from the college, having completed their training, the soldiers would join the R Signals and take up their first posting. The military environment within the establishment was a “mirrored” version of the Regular Army, and the boys were promoted on merit throughout their time there; the rank structure covered all ranks from Private soldier, known as A/T, through to Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) RSM, with the exception of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) which was not utilised.
The training curriculum included both technical and military training, to a very high standard; indeed, the graduates left the college as fully qualified adult soldiers and Class 3 Tradesmen. Normally, this would be in the rank of Private, or Signaller as they were know in R Signals, although the Technician trades graduated as regular Lance Corporals (L/Cpl) in order to ensure their pay banding was correct.
MY UNITS – R SIGNALS
My postings throughout my career are reflected by the unit shields shown below…
Army Apprentice College Harrogate
249 Sig Sqn AMF(L)
3 Armd Div HQ & Sig Regt
School of Signals
7th Sig Regt
14 Sig Regt (EW)
1 Armd Div HQ & Sig Regt
201 (22 Armd Bde) HQ & Sig Sqn
Saudi Arabia – Iraq – Kuwait
11 (ARRC) Sig Bde
3 (UK) Armd Div HQ & Sig Regt
A Long Military Career
Having achieved the rank of A/T RSM, and commanded my Graduation Parade in summer 1977, I was then posted to my first working unit, 249 Sig Sqn (AMF(L)).
I had a long military career but wasn’t that keen on taking photos, which is a real shame as they help maintain your memories. The older you get the more important these memories become, as your friends and old comrades start to die off.
R Signals SSgt’s course (RSSSC) 1985. I am 1st on R, centre
Defensive EW team 1988. A fantastic group of lads!
Yeoman’s course refresher 1995
Port Stanley, Falkland Islands – Heroes Remembered
Me with Mum in Corsham 1999
Born in Scotland, Found in the Royal Signals
As an author I have long wanted to produce a memoir that relates my career in the R Signals. This work is now complete and making its way through the production cycle with a launch date set for 26th July 2022. Entitled “Born in Scotland, Found in the R Signals – Untapped Potential” it is an honest account of my service, written against a backdrop of the times. It celebrates my gratitude at being part of something very special that changed my life, offers my heartfelt thanks for the many outstanding friends and colleagues with whom I shared my journey, and is dedicated to some of the finest men I have ever met and who made the ultimate sacrifice.
I have very deliberately tried to reflect the special humour that exists within our armed forces, which sets them apart from other walks of life. Most of all, I wanted to record “my story”, how a lost young boy found happiness, a job that he was born to do, and just how much that can change a person. I owe everything good in my life to my Corps and it, in turn, allowed me to be the best I could be. I hope you enjoy my story; it made me laugh, cry, and feel so very grateful that I was lucky enough to serve in the finest Army in the world.
Take a closer look inside Born in Scotland, Found in the R Signals – Untapped Potential HERE