Rodger Bourne joined IJLB in Oswestry in April 1963.
Here he recollects a story about the “infamous Jan Hooper” who was first Drill Sergeant WO2 and then returned to IJLB as RSM.
Whilst at B Coy summer camp near Barmouth in North Wales, a ‘friendly fight’ occurred between two platoons in a large marquis tent. Kit bags and suitcase were used as a barricade, as missiles were being thrown on both sides. As I went over the top in a forlorn charge, I was felled by a flying tent peg. I had a large cut over my right eye which bled profusely.
Sgt Gig Young, appeared threw me in a Land rover and drove me to Barmouth hospital for stitches. I was given a chit to whom it may concern, stating I was “excused headdress”.
Fast forward a few days, back at Parkhall camp for a drill session with Drill Sgt Jan Hooper. I was in the second rank, minus my beret. When JH got to me the conversation went exactly like this:
JH “Where’s your F****** hat c**t
Me” Excused headdress sir I have a chit from the doctor”
JH “ You f****** wet fart! During the war men got bullets in their heads, and still wore their steel helmets! GO AND GET YOUR HAT ON!”
Me ,Smart right turn doubled off square rifle at high port. Returns shortly after with beret band across stitches, hoping it wouldn’t pull them out.
The Joys of Being a Junior Leader.