THE MAKING OF A JUNIOR LEADER

THE MAKING OF A JUNIOR LEADER

RECOLLECTIONS OF A JUNIOR LEADER
By Mike Gleeson
Ex 3rd Green Jackets (The Rifle Brigade)

Ex Junior Leaders on joining the Battalion had to be prepared to be greeted with various
names of endearment ‘Khaki Kid’, ‘Boy Wonder’, ‘Junior Bleeder’ and they were the polite
ones. We were aware that we had a lot more in-depth military training than many of our
fellow Riflemen, and that there might be some resentment because of that fact. The secret
was to blend in, not show off and help as required. Not many of our fellow Riflemen were
aware of the amount of military training we, as Junior Leaders had been taught prior to
arriving at the Battalion.

Junior Leaders joined their respective unit at the ages of 15 to 16. The 15-year-olds would
complete a two-and half-year tour (8 terms) reaching the age of seventeen and half. Those
16-year-old would complete at least 4 terms. There were 3 terms a year, Spring, Summer,
and Winter. Throughout their time there they would be educated and learn the skills and
trade required for their chosen military career.

Junior Leaders units were established throughout UK.
JL Royal Engineer’s at Dover, Kent.
JL RASC at Bordon, Hampshire.
JL RAC at Bovington, Dorset.
Infantry at Oswestry, Shropshire
JL RA at Bramcote, Warwickshire
JL Royal Signals at Newton Abbot, Devon
JL Para Aldershot, Hants.
All Arms Junior Leaders at Tonfanau. N Wales.
Also, at most Infantry Depots there was a Junior Soldiers Company, not to be confused with
Junior Leaders. There were also two Army Apprenticeship Colleges, one at Chepstow and the
other at Arborfield.

The Infantry Boys Battalion was formed in April 1952 at Harrogate. It took selective boy
recruits of school leaving age with the required aptitude, attitude and potential and provided
them with a comprehensive training package that included sports, education, leadership skills
and infantry training which would prepare them for a role as future Senior NCOs and Warrant
Officers of the British Infantry. In 1954 the Battalion moved to Plymouth. In 1957 the rank
Boy was discontinued throughout the British Army and was replaced with Junior.At the same
time the Infantry Boys Battalion was renamed the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion. In 1960
The Battalion moved to Park Hall Camp at Oswestry, Shropshire. Right on the Welsh Border.
The training programme was rationalised to create a programme based on the Sandhurst
model. The first full year being dedicated to education (70% education 30% military training)
with the final year focus on military training. The Battalions final move was in 1975 to
Shorncliffe in Kent. The school leaving age had now been raised to 16. The Infantry Junior
Leaders Battalion was disbanded in 1985

I enlisted into 3rd Green Jackets (The Rifle Brigade) in December 1960 aged 15. I reported to
the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion at Park Hall Camp, Oswestry, Shropshire on 11th January 1961

All the Infantry regiments were represented there, responsible for nearly 1000 juniors.
A Company for Green Jacket, Highland, and Wessex Brigades
B Company for Light Infantry, Home Counties, Forester, and East Anglian Brigades
C Company for Lowland, Fusilier, Mercian, and Welsh Brigades
D Company for Lancastrian, Yorkshire, and North Irish Brigades
Guards Company for the Brigade of Guards

Z Company was the Recruit Training Company. For 6 weeks we were turned from civilians into
fledgling soldiers. We learnt to make bed blocks, Blanco belts and gaiters and of course bull
boots. The emphasis was on drill, turnout, fitness, and map-reading. Daily we were dressed
in denims that were far too big for us and wore Service Dress (SD) uniforms like those worn
during WW1 for parades. We did many map reading exercises and route marches over the
nearby Welsh hills, plus long strengthening physical exercises in the gym. Something that I
have never forgotten, was the sight of 15-year-olds in the washroom every morning having
to lather their faces and then shave with a Gillette safety razor. There was nothing to shave
off! All we seemed to do was cut our chins. On completion of our training, we had to
undertake a drill and turnout parade ‘Pass off the Square.’ Failure could mean getting back
squadded.

The Training Companies

On completion of training, individuals were posted to their respective regimental companies,
but they would train together each term for the rest of their time at Oswestry. I was posted
to 1 Platoon in A company. Here I was to meet with other Green Jackets that were to become
lifelong friends. However, as we were only halfway through the term, we now trained
collectively in what was called X squads. Being introduced to weapon training, signals, field
craft and adventure training. We also attended the huge Royal Army Education Corps Wing,
to be assessed on our standard of education. The aim, education wise was to get as many
juniors as possible to achieve the Army Certificate of Education at Junior, Intermediate and
Senior level. By achieving this it meant that each junior could report to their battalion with
the knowledge that they had attained all the educational qualifications for reaching the rank
of Warrant Officer. Adventure Training was fantastic. Coming from Kent I had only seen
pictures of mountains. Now, within 2 months of joining the army, I was camping out in
Snowdonia. I had scaled Snowden in severe snowy conditions, crossing the infamous ‘Crib
Goch’ without the aid of a rope. Plus introduced to the art of rock climbing and abseiling. It
really was a great experience. Incidentally, one of the Adventure Training instructors was Sgt
Keith ‘Chunky’ Diggings, Rifle Brigade. Easter and it was time for my first leave. I chose to go
home in uniform. It was an amusing sight at the Gobowen Railway station that morning. On
both platforms, north and south, were amassed hundreds of juniors all looking for their
approaching train, looking to the distance for the puffing smoke. A big cheer would be
rendered from the platform by those whose train arrived first.

On the first day back from leave, we always had to undergo A FFI (Free From Infection)
medical examination. Lined up in our barrack rooms, wrapped in a towel, we waited for the
medical team to arrive, then individually we were checked. We then had to dress into our
civilian clothes and parade outside. The CSM would then inspect us to ensure that our attire
was presentable to wear out of camp. The company clerk would then list our apparel onto a
Individual ‘Walking out Dress” card which we would always have to present it to the guard
commander to check and inspect us before you would be allowed to leave camp. I was now
a first termer getting used to the routine of A company and the Battalion. All the adult military
staff were experienced soldiers, some had served in WW2, and most had been on active
service in Korea, Cyprus, Kenya, and Malaya. Our Company Commander had won the MC with
the Gloucestershire Regiment in Korea. Our Platoon Commander was Lt ‘The Right
Honourable’ Richards and the Platoon Sgt Joe Newman, both Rifle Brigade. We lived in spider
barrack blocks, each room accommodating 16 juniors cap badged, either Green Jackets,
Highland, or Wessex Brigade.

On completion of training, individuals were posted to their respective regimental companies,
but they would train together each term for the rest of their time at Oswestry. I was posted
to 1 Platoon in A company. Here I was to meet with other Green Jackets that were to become
lifelong friends. However, as we were only halfway through the term, we now trained
collectively in what was called X squads. Being introduced to weapon training, signals, field
craft and adventure training. We also attended the huge Royal Army Education Corps Wing,
to be assessed on our standard of education. The aim, education wise was to get as many
juniors as possible to achieve the Army Certificate of Education at Junior, Intermediate and
Senior level. By achieving this it meant that each junior could report to their battalion with
the knowledge that they had attained all the educational qualifications for reaching the rank
of Warrant Officer. Adventure Training was fantastic. Coming from Kent I had only seen
pictures of mountains. Now, within 2 months of joining the army, I was camping out in
Snowdonia. I had scaled Snowden in severe snowy conditions, crossing the infamous ‘Crib
Goch’ without the aid of a rope. Plus introduced to the art of rock climbing and abseiling. It
really was a great experience. Incidentally, one of the Adventure Training instructors was Sgt
Keith ‘Chunky’ Diggings, Rifle Brigade. Easter and it was time for my first leave. I chose to go
home in uniform. It was an amusing sight at the Gobowen Railway station that morning. On
both platforms, north and south, were amassed hundreds of juniors all looking for their
approaching train, looking to the distance for the puffing smoke. A big cheer would be
rendered from the platform by those whose train arrived first.
On the first day back from leave, we always had to undergo A FFI (Free From Infection)
medical examination. Lined up in our barrack rooms, wrapped in a towel, we waited for the
medical team to arrive, then individually we were checked. We then had to dress into our
civilian clothes and parade outside. The CSM would then inspect us to ensure that our attire
was presentable to wear out of camp. The company clerk would then list our apparel onto a
Individual ‘Walking out Dress” card which we would always have to present it to the guard
commander to check and inspect us before you would be allowed to leave camp. I was now
a first termer getting used to the routine of A company and the Battalion. All the adult military
staff were experienced soldiers, some had served in WW2, and most had been on active
service in Korea, Cyprus, Kenya, and Malaya. Our Company Commander had won the MC with
the Gloucestershire Regiment in Korea. Our Platoon Commander was Lt ‘The Right
Honourable’ Richards and the Platoon Sgt Joe Newman, both Rifle Brigade. We lived in spider
barrack blocks, each room accommodating 16 juniors cap badged, either Green Jackets,
Highland, or Wessex Brigade.
The routines of terms 1 to 7 were very similar. One week would be of education the next
military training. Sometimes this would alter to a week of 2 days education and 3 days military
training, or vice versa. Every Wednesday afternoon was allocated to a wide variety of sports.
Tuesday and Thursday evenings was hobbies night, which you had to participate. Saturday
mornings was RSM drill parade, where the whole battalion would form up by companies on
the vast drill square and spend the morning rehearsing for the end of term passing out parade.
Sunday was church parade, being a Catholic I went to mass at 8 o’clock and would be back in
the billet just after 9 o’clock. At 10 o’clock the remainder of the Battalion had to form up by
companies and march behind the ‘Corp of Drums’ to the camp’s main church.

They did not return until about midday. This meant that us Catholics were first in the queue for lunch and
invariably got the best choices.

Every summer A Company went for its annual camp on the Isle Anglesey. Here for two weeks,
we slept in bivouacs, got introduced to deep drop latrines and open-air washstands. Plus, all
the cooking was done on field cookers and served out of Hay Boxes. It was an eye opener for
us, especially, each morning, having to run down the beach, immerse yourself in the cold sea
and then run back to get dressed ready for breakfast. It certainly toughened us up. At my first
camp, the Junior Green Jackets were taken to the Depot at Winchester for a few days. There
we were briefed on regimental history, visited the museum, and were instructed in Green
Jacket drill for the very first time. We would not do this drill again until we had left the Junior
Leaders and reported to the Depot, as at Oswestry the only drill permitted was The Brigade
of Guard’s foot drill. At half term in the winter months, each platoon went for a long weekend
at various training camps. In my first year our platoon went to Brecon in Wales and second
year to Leek in the Peak District.

As each term progressed, so the training intensified. There were lots of shooting on the
ranges. The weapon and tactics training became more detailed, as did navigation lessons.
Signal training introduced us to the various radios and voice procedures we would be using
once we had joined our battalion. Physical fitness and endurance training were paramount.
At the same time individuals were preparing for and sitting the Army Education Certificates.
We were also now having to prepare and teach lessons on certain weapon, signal, and field
craft subjects. Also, the adventure training syllabus changed each term enabling us to
progress in potholing, caving, canoeing, advanced climbing, and abseiling skills. These were
undertaken in Snowdonia, the Peak District, River Severn, Derbyshire, and old local slate
mines. Some juniors also went parachute training and others skiing in Norway. Plus, certain
individuals (myself Included) attended a 3-week course at the Army Outward Bound School
in Towyn in N Wales.

It was not all work at Oswestry. For recreation we had a Naffi, cinema and a huge social club
on camp. Each night during the week ‘Lights Out’ was at 2130. On Saturday afternoons we
could book out of camp until 2230 hrs and go into Oswestry, for shopping, cinema or sneaking
into the pubs (Always with an eye out for the Regimental Police on Town Patrol). Saturday
night was also dance night at the Plaza dancehall. This was where you got a chance to chat
and dance with girls who came in from all the local rural villages. It was probably the highlight
of the week. It was pointless going into Oswestry on a Sunday because in those days being so
close to the Welsh border, no shops or pubs were allowed to open, only churches.

THE FINAL TERM

The final term (Passing Out Term) was the most arduous of all. We were now being treated
as adult soldiers both mentally and physically. We were the first Juniors to undertake the
adult 9-mile march with full kit and weapons. We spent 2 weeks under canvas on Sennybridge
ranges. Here we carried out individual, section, and platoon live field firing. We had been
warned not to shoot the sheep, unfortunately quite a few were killed. The penalty was, we
now were made to eat them. Mutton seemed to be served up at each meal, even in the
haversack sandwiches. I can honestly say not another sheep was shot after that and I have
always had an aversion to mutton since. We were shown how to ‘Dhobi’ our clothes in the
streams and how to live hygienically in a camp site. The signal exercises were spread over 3
days with half sections moving up through the hills and mountains around Brecon, tasked
with using various radio equipment and using relaying methods and dipoles to establish and
maintain communications with base. On return from Sennybridge, we undertook various
tests on all the subjects we had been taught to attain our final grading for our leaving report.
Plus, we would be preparing for our long awaited Passing out Parade and to undertake
‘Exercise Pipeline’.
The scenario for ‘Exercise Pipeline’ was escape and evasion from Oswestry across country
through Snowdonia National Park to the coast at Harlech Bay. We were the escapees and
members of the permanent staff were the friendly agents. The exercise was initiated when
we paraded one evening in a hut, dressed in denims, and carrying a groundsheet folded over
our shoulder, bandolier style and secured with string. We then underwent a thorough strip
search, to ensure we were not carrying any money, food, torches, or maps. We were then
blindfolded and led to a 4-ton truck and transported to a barbed wire enclosure somewhere
in the local hills. At various times during the night an agent would crawl into the compound
and lead an individual out through the wire. He would then release the blindfold. You
suddenly realised you were in an old slate quarry facing the mine entrance. In front of you
laid out along the ground was a line of mine tape to follow. The tape led you into a single
candle lit chamber where a rope hung down through a hole in the floor. You clambered down
the rope into a lower chamber of the mine, again, dimly lit by a candle. Following the tape,
you eventually came to the exit of the mine. Here another agent briefed you to cross the fields
to a disused railway track, where you had to turn left and follow the old line for about ten
miles until you reached a bridge.
At the bridge you left the embankment and entered a tiny village and made your way to the
church yard. Here an agent met you and gave you food. I will always remember it, an oatmeal
block, and a cup of mock turtle soup. From here in twos, we made our way across country to
the edge of Lake Bala where another agent led us to a hideout. That night those juniors’ that
were weak or non-swimmers had to make their way cross country to the far end of the lake.
The rest of us were led to the waterside where we got into canoes and paddled behind an
agent who had a low-lit torch on the back of his canoe. We proceeded to canoe the length of
Lake Bala. On arrival at the far end, in pairs we hid in the forest, where we lay on one ground
sheet and used the other to cover ourselves. Although it was summer it was still very wet and
cold on the ground. Anyhow we were so exhausted we slept like logs.
At daybreak, the next stage began, in groups of four we set off following a route cross country
towards the Welsh coast. We had been instructed to meet an agent at a telephone kiosk in a
small hamlet. The agent would visit the phone Kiosk every hour from 4 o’clock onwards. Now
it was typical Welsh weather pouring with rain. Throughout the day we trudged over fields
and forests to the village. On arrival we were soaked. A very kind old lady saw us crouched
under a tree, she beckoned us into her cottage. There was a fire blazing, the heat hit us
immediately. This kind lady let us dry ourselves, while she kept the kettle boiling and
produced endless cups of tea. We were so grateful. From her cottage we could see the phone
box and observed the agent arriving, one of us went and got the instructions for the next leg
of the journey. At the same time, he received a rollocking for being in a cottage and not out
in the wilds.

The next stage for our group, was a night march, again along a disused railway track,
eventually leading us to a river. There was a rope ‘Burma’ bridge over the river which we had
to use to get to a barn the other side. Here we were given a hot drink, some food and told to
get some rest. Being wet, we just cuddled up together and slept. The next morning
individually, we were directed to cross over a mountain ridge. On the way an agent was below
a cliff face, here you had to climb the rockface using the climbing and roping techniques you
had been taught. Just over the mountain ridge was a farm which overlooked Harlech Bay.
There you were allowed to get a drink and rest before being sent down to the bay. You had
to make your way down the mountain side to the seashore and hide in the sand dunes,
waiting to be met by an agent. My agent turned out to be Sgt Keith Diggins. In the evening,
as more individuals arrived, we were led to the shore. An RAF Air Sea Rescue launch appeared
out in the bay and in groups we were rowed out to it and scrambled aboard. The launch then
took us across the bay to Pwllheli. On landing there we were informed that we had completed
the exercise. We all felt chuffed and very relieved, we clambered onto 4-ton trucks and set
off back to barracks. On arrival we were taken to the cookhouse and given one of the best
meals ever served there. We were ravenous and thoroughly enjoyed the feast. Then it was
off for showers and bed. We were allowed to sleep in the following morning, then paraded at
the medical centre for a check up to ensure we had no ailments or injuries (especially foot
blisters).
‘Exercise Pipeline’ was to me, one of the most exhilarating and physically testing exercises I
have ever done during my time in the army. It was carried out in an era, long before ‘Health
and Safety’ regulations and other restrictive training practises were implemented. Sadly a few
years later, during the exercise, 2 juniors were tragically killed by a milk lorry and the exercise
was discontinued.


A ‘Passing Out Parade’ (POP) was the final event of all the training a Junior Leader had
undergone over the previous 8 terms, it was a day long a-waited for. These parades were
carried out at the end of each term. Prior to the event to ensure our drill and turnout was up
to scratch, a ‘Drill and Turnout’ competition was held. Each platoon had to undergo an
inspection and drill routine, judged by the Drill Sergeants specially brought in from the
Guard’s depot in Caterham. Invariably Guard’s Company took the top three places, but one
term, 4 Platoon A Company actually split them up, quite a shock to the Guard’s but in A
Company, we were ‘Cock A Hoop’. Because of the better weather the biggest spectacle was
invariably the Summer POP. The whole Battalion would be on parade with the ‘Passing Out
Platoon’ out in front. Also on parade would be a regular army infantry band. There would be
hundreds of families seated, excitedly watching the parade. An extremely high-ranking officer
or a member of nobility would carry out the role of Inspecting Officer. The first POP I was on,
the inspecting officer was ‘Monty’. The format of the parade was similar to ‘Trooping the
Colour’ but minus the Colour. After the march past in slow and quick time, the final part of
the parade unfolded. To the tune of ’Auld Lang Syne’ the ‘Passing out Platoon’ slow marched
off the square, whilst the remainder of the Battalion ‘Presented Arms’. Once off parade those
passing out, would render a loud ‘Hurrah’ and throw their caps in the air. It was all over, we
had finished.

That evening, the pubs in Oswestry would be filled with ex -Juniors. All now proudly attired
in their adult Battle Dress (BD) uniforms. Blatantly extoling the fact that they were now adults
and could legally drink in a pub, without the fear of being chased out by the town patrol.
There would be some sore heads the next morning. I remember my next morning, proudly
donning my Green Jacket BD with RB titles in the epaulettes, renovated belt and green beret.
Hoisting my kit bag on my shoulder, picking up my suitcase, bidding farewell to old room
mates and heading off to catch the train home for leave and after leave reporting to the Rifle
Depot prior to joining the Battalion in Cyprus. On the train home I felt exhilarated that I had
finished as a Junior Leader and at the same time apprehensive of what the future held for me.

What I did not realise then, was that by being a Junior Leader, I had made friends from
different infantry regiments for life. As my army career progressed, so did theirs. We
invariably met up on the various career courses we had to attend, and we were networking
long before it became the in thing. When we attained the rank of Warrant Officer, RQMS,
MTO and QM these contacts became invaluable in assistance with obtaining equipment,
handover/takeovers and solving problems for the benefit of each other’s units.

JUNIOR LEADERS REMEMBRANCE SERVICE AND BLESSING OF ASSOCIATION COLOURS FROM THE 2023 REUNION OSWESTRY
I

REUNION BOAT TRIP

REUNION BOAT TRIP

REUNION BOAT TRIP

On Saturday 7th September Pete Curtis has organised a boat trip for up to 40 members along the beautiful Llangollen Canal.

Starting from Trevor Basin where the boat is based members will be able to enjoy comradeship and banter with friends and new colleagues alike, Muster parade is at 1130 hrs at Trevor Basin (Location details will be supplied) with the IJLB boat casting off at 1200hrs sharp. Ample Car Parking facilities including disabled parking is available at Trevor Basin.

In order to reserve your place (places are limited) please book and pay for your “cruise ticket” via the PRI shop or via the link below.

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

  • 60874 RON cOOKE X 1
  • 60875 GRAHAM LACEY X 1
  • 60877 DAVE BIRD X2
  • 60878 PETE CURTIS X4
    • VAL
    • DAVEBIRD 2
  • 6087 9 BOB TOWNS X 2
  • 60880 LES CRISP X2
  • 60881 ROBIN MADDISON X2
  • 60882 JOHN FITZ DOMENEY X2
  • 60883 TREVOR JACOBX X3
    • KEN JACOBS
    • MARTIN ORCHARD
  • 60884 MIKE SMITH X4
    • LINDA SMITH
    • ANDY LIDDELL
    • ILENE PALGRAVE
  • 60898 BILL CLOUGH X2
  • 60899 PAUL WALLACE X 2
  • 60922 BARRY THORNE X 2
  • 60951 GRAHAM FOWLER X 2
2024 ANNUAL REUNION 7th SEPTEMBER

2024 ANNUAL REUNION 7th SEPTEMBER

The 2024 Annual Reunion will be held at The Lion Quays Resort Weston Rhyn Oswestry on the weekend 6th to 8th September 2024.

The Golf and Port Society will hold their golf competition at Oswestry Golf Club on Friday 6th September First Tee 1300hrs. GOLF VOUCHER IN PRI SHOP.

Saturday 7th will see our AGM in the Lion Quays assemble at 1000hrs for a 1015 start. After which The Class of 64 through Pete Curtis are organisiing a boat trip for all members that are interested.

Saturday Night we assemble at1900hrs for a 1930hrs dinner call.

Sunday 8th September members are requested to assemble at The IJLB Memorial in Cae Glass Park for a short Memorial service at 1100hrs.

The following are the menu choices for the Reunion Dinner.

Reunion Dinner Menu

Starters

Pressing of Ham Hock, Piccalilli, toasted Brioche

or

Chicken Liver Pate, Red Onion Marmalade, Melba Toast

or

Roasted Plum Tomato Soup, Basil Pestp (V)

Main Course

Slow cooked Shin of Beef , Creamed Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, Red Wine Jus

or

Grilled Salmon Fillet,Lemon Crushed Potatoes, Peas, Fine Beans &Hollandaise Sauce

or

Three Cheese Potato Gnocchi,White Truffle, Rocket Salad

Desserts

Raspberry Cheesecake

or

Cinnamon Pear & Almond Tart with Vanilla Sauce

or

Mixed Berry Crumble , Raspberry Sauce (gf, df, vegan)

Those with special dietary requiremennts can also contact the Events Team for further information.

Menu Choices should be emailed to mckerrwilliam@gmail.com once resrevations have been paid for via the PRI shop or the link posted below.

  • ORDER NUMBER NAME NUMBER FOR DINNER GOLF COMMENTS
  • 60737 RODGER BOURNE 2
  • 60738 JOHN MEIKLE 1
  • 60741 MICK WRENN 1
  • 60742 BILL CLOUGH 2
  • 60744 RON COOKE 1 1 BUGGY
  • 60744 MICK JONES 1 1
  • 60745 GRAHAM FOWLER 2 NO
  • 60746 JOHN ARUNDLE 1
  • 60747 GRAHAM LACEY 1
  • 60748 IAN LINDEN 1 1 CLUB HIRE?
  • 60749 LES CRISP 2
  • 60750 BILL MCHUGH 2
  • 60751 ARTHUR ANDERSON 1
  • 60752 PAUL WALLACE 2
  • 60753 JOHN GRAHAM 1
  • 60754 BILL MCKENNA 2 1
  • 60740 BOB TOWNS 2 1
  • 60739 WILLIE MCKERR 1
  • 60761 PETE CURTIS 2 1
  • 60762 RAMSAY MCDONALD 1
  • 60766 TREVOR JACOBS 1
  • 60766 MARTIN ORCHARD 1
  • 60766 KEN JACOBS 1
  • 60767 JOHN FITZ DOMENEY 2
  • 60768 DAVE BIRD 2
  • 60771 DANNY PARSONAGE 2
  • 60775 MIKE SMITH 3
  • 60787 KEITH CRAWFORD 1
  • 60788 JOHN FOLEY 2
  • 60800 DAVE HARDS 1
  • 60801 BARRY THORNE 2
  • 60807 ALAN GRIFFITH 1 1
  • 60807 RAY PAINTING 1 1
  • 60815 MICHAEL O’BRIEN 1
  • 60827 BOB APPLEBY 2
  • 60836 RONNIE PATERSON 2
  • 60838 ROBIN MADDISON 2
  • 60839 NIGEL FRAZER EVANS 2
  • 60842 MICK JARRETT 2
  • 60845 PETER CAREW 2
  • 60857 IAN CARTWRIGHT 3
  • 60893 TERRY MACQUEEN 1
  • 60895 ANDY LIDDELL 1
  • 60912 IAN HARVIE 2
  • 60918 GEOFF CAMM 2
  • 60928 HUGH RILEY X 1 1GOLF
  • 60952 RONNIE WILKIE X 2
  • 60954 DAVE FRASER X 2
OCTOBER 2023 ASSOCIATION NEWS

OCTOBER 2023 ASSOCIATION NEWS

INTRODUCTION

2023 IBB & IJLB Reunion Weekend

Oswestry Friday 15th – Sunday 17th September

Dave Hards, Geoff Camm, Ronnie Paterson and Reverand Colin Paterson at 2023 IJLB Reunion

Friday saw the Annual Golf Competition take place at Oswestry Golf Club with competitors and wives assembling at the cub at mid-day. Coffee, Tea and Bacon Butties were provided. At 12.45 pm the Golf Society Assembled on the first tee and glasses of port were served. Pete Curtis then made the toast to our golf buddies who have passed away since 2022.

A super afternoon of golf ensued in fine weather conditions. After a severe contest of nip and tuck ala the Ryder Cup, the eventual Champion for 2023 was Ron Cooke.

RON COOKE RECEIVES THE WINNERS TROPHY FROM COLONEL TIM COLLINS

Saturday Morning IBB & IJLB Annual General Meeting was held in the Conference Room, Lion Quays Hotel, and commenced at 10.30 am.

The Meeting was brought to Order by the Treasurer, Geoff Camm. The members present were 31 and 33 apologies

On completion of the meeting, the Treasurer declared the AGM closed and would reconvene at the same venue on Saturday 7th September 2024.

SATURDAY REUNION DINNER

Saturday Evening IBB & IJLB Annual Reunion Dinner held in the Conservatory Suite Lion Quays, Oswestry assembled for pre-dinner refreshments at 7 for 7.30 pm in a convivial atmosphere.

Our Trumpeter, Kath Gavan,  sounded the Dinner Call, and the assembled company took their positions at the 7 tables. The Reverand Colin Paterson delivered Grace and folk took their seats.

As is our custom, Geoff Camm requested all to stand while we paid our Fallen Comrades respected condolences of those members who had passed away since our last dinner at The Wynnstay Hotel in 2022. Ronnie Paterson read out the following names:

ALEX GRANT Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, KEN NICOL Gordon Highlanders, JOHN SUTHERLAND MBE Queens Own Highlanders, BRIAN EAGER Irish Guards, ROY BAlLLIE Royal Green Jackets, BERT SCORGIE Gordon Highlanders, PHILIP HALL Gloucestershire Regiment.

The Last Post was sounded.

Two minutes silence was observed then Revillie was sounded.

Following this, a dinner was served and enjoyed with much banter of the year just past.

MEMBERS ENJOYING CATCHING UP DURING DINNER

Following the dinner the Members and Guests were brought to order by Geoff Camm, and the Loyal Toast to His Majesty, King Charles was duly proposed and received with much applause.

RONNIE PATERSON INTRODUCES COLONEL TIM COLLINS

Our Guest of Honour was introduced by Ronnie Paterson, Col Tim Collins OBE and former Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rangers and Colonel 22 Special Air Service Regiment.

He delivered his speech in his customary jocular manner and made comments to highlight the state of Britain Today with the need for leadership. He suggested that Voluntary National Service was being looked at as a way of “getting back to basics” and related this to how Junior Soldiers developed during training.

RONNIE PRESENTS COLONEL COLINS WITH SAS WHISKY

Ronnie Paterson then presented our GOH with a B Squadron 22 SAS bottle of Malt Whisky, which was gratefully received. Our GOH then presented Floral Bouquets to Mrs Christine Camm, Mrs Gillian Paterson and Ms Val Doogan for their dedication and assistance to the association.

Finally, our GOH presented a suitably inscribed Cut Glass Gift to Mr Barry Thorne, one of the first-ever junior soldiers at Tuxford. This was to commemorate his dedicated service to the association.

And, not unexpectedly, After Dinner Banter took place until the wee small hours.

SUNDAY MEMORIAL SERVICE CAE GLAS PARK

Those attending the Memorial Service, conducted by The Reverand Harvey Gibbons assembled in front of the IBB and IJLB Memorial.There was a tremendous turnout of over 50 members and their wives. The IBB & IJLB Standard was then brought on parade by Bill Mckenna in a most exemplary manner. The Standard was Blessed by the Rev Gibbons.

THE IJB STANDARD WAS BLESSED BY THE REVERAND HARVEY GIBBONS

Harvey Gibbons then conducted the service in fine form with great voice and deliverance.

Bob Towns, MBE then recited The Gospel according to St John Chapter 15 verses 9-13. He concluded Greater Love has no one than to lay down his life for one’s friends.

Bob Appleby read the introduction which included a reference to the IBB & IJLB history from, Tuxford, Harrogate, Plymouth, Oswestry, and Shorncliffe until 1985. He then read out the names of those who had passed since our last Memorial Service. They were:

ALEX GRANT Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, KEN NICOL Gordon Highlanders, JOHN SUTHERLAND MBE Queens Own Highlanders, BRIAN EAGER Irish Guards, ROY BAlLLIE Royal Green Jackets, BERT SCORGIE Gordon Highlanders, PHILIP HALL Gloucestershire Regiment.

Bob Appleby then recited that long-respected address:

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

The Last Post was sounded, and two minutes of silence took place. Following this tribute to our Fallen Comrades listed above.

Pete Curtis then stepped forward and laid the IBB & IJLB Poppy Wreath at the base of our Memorial Stone.

Reville was then Sounded. Several members went forward to the Memorial Stone to lay named personal Remembrance Crosses at the foot of the Memorial.

At mid-day, the IBB & IJLB Standard was with due ceremony placed in St Oswald’s Church, Oswestry, attended by several Members, and wives, the Reverand Havey Gibbons duly officiated.

SUMMARY OF 2023 REUNION

In conclusion, the Association had another outstanding Reunion Weekend from the golf on Friday at Oswestry Golf Club who looked after our golfers and their wives so very well. The course was set up beautifully and Ian Woosnam would be so pleased with how his boyhood club has continued the progress of young males and females. The late Friday Afternoon is dedicated to them.

The Lion Quays Hotel was our first event there and yes there were a few issues with arrival procedures and room charges. This has now been sorted for next year. The Friday evening dining was a bit slapdash, and we need the Committee to sort this out for next year. Our PREZZO and SIMLA had to be cancelled due to the lack of support. Some members and wives ate in the main restaurant and others used the Indian Restaurant located within the Lion Quays resort above the Spa. The meal was commented to be very good but service a bit slow.

As previously mentioned, the hotel has been reserved for our 2024 Reunion from Friday 7th   to Sunday, 9th September 2024.

MESSAGE FROM RONNIE PATERSON OUTGOING SECRETARY

I would like to thank all members for their support over my 5 years of tenure as Secretary of our wonderful IBB & IJLB Association. In particular to Geoff Camm our Treasurer whom without his support I may have erred. The Dementia which I have had for over 3 years now is affecting my short-term memory quite a lot now. But you all know me well. I will keep going as long as I can and continue to support the association. I wish Willie McKerr the new Secretary every success in running the duties of our fine association. It would be remiss not to also welcome John Foley the new Treasurer similar success in handling the monetary accounts.

MESSAGE FROM GEOFF CAMM JP OUTGOING TREASURER

It has been an absolute pleasure to serve the Association as Treasurer for the last 8 years,

We have moved steadily forward moving the accounting systems and banking into the ‘Electronic Age’ Our website has been modernised, and communications to members updated to include regular email info. Our PRI shop has been developed on line and and on Facebook and the IJLB Facebook page now has over 1,400 registered users.

It is essential as we move forward that membership recruitment is continualy reviewed if The Association is to continue to Flourish.

I hand over to the New Treasurer with the Association in good financial health thanks to the continued support of its members.

I wish John, Willie, Graham Fowler and Graham Lacey along with Darren West my best wishes as they develop a stratedgy for the future.

Needless to say that Ronnie and I have enjoyed working as a team to further the objectives of The IBB & IJLB Association. His tireless work and committment to the cause has been outstanding. We will continue to support from the ‘back benches’ and are sure the future is in good hands.