Alan Wheeler - 1990
Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry
Bodmin, Gib, Morocco, Norway, Canada and much more..
by Alan Wheeler.
I did my training at Bodmin, starting February 1961 and joined the SCLI at Plymouth where we were the main fatigue party when the battalion returned from Osnabruck. One weekend we were given the option to either go home or work, so obviously chose the first option, however we found we didn't have enough money so went on the piss in Plymouth instead.
We fell asleep on the Hoe but got moved on by the Police who tried to direct us to a B & B but that was to dear, we decided to put a penny in a Public Toilet cubicle and we all fell asleep on a pan each, only to give in and walked back to camp next morning.
Officers waiting staff Gibraltar
I joined B company in Gib and then went to Tobruk in 1962 and back to Gib after 3 months, at the end of 62 I moved to HQ Coy Officers Mess Barman ( a good fiddle). In mid 1963 I became batman to Major Salasbury-Trelawney (nice man) but when he left the battalion I went to the signals platoon until demob in 1970.
I think it was 1962 when I went to Morroco as one of ten, on two Land Rovers on loan from the Nuffield Trust, we travelled down one side of the Atlas Mountains and crossed over near Marrakesh where we met up with the other half of our party, they had decided to hike over the top. We then drove back on the other side of the Atlas to Fez, a very enjoyable ten days.
Front: Colin Aplin,Unknown, Sgt Ray Hall,
Rear: John Haycock, Bill Carter,Medic MI Room,
AW, Capt. Rudd-Clarke on top.
While in Berlin with the Sigs Pltn, I volunteered to go to South Norway on a 3 month winter warfare training exercise as one of a platoon of SCLI who joined a wide assortment of British troops, this put us up to company strength along with Yanks, Italians and others from Nato. We tried winter clothing and weapons, all on trial to find suitable equipment for the British Army, so I feel I possibly played an important roll in finding the winter kit for the troops, which went into use in the 1960's.
In 1965 we settled into Gravesend with postings to Aden, Norway and Canada. Whilst in Aden I was attached to B Coy and got blown up outside of Sheik Othman on a 3ton Bedford while on our way to a checkpoint. Owing to injuries of perforated eardrums, I flew as part of a small party to Bahrain, from there we were going to drive back to the UK overland, but with the Middle East troubles brewing in 1966 we could not get the required visas for Saudi Arabia so we flew back low level.
Another puncture, result of Land mine Aden 1966
1967 brought me to Norway plus Canada. 1968 Canada again and amalgamation while we were in Northern Ireland as 1LI. I was then demobbed in 1970 and on arrival in Bath, my home town, I was approached by WO1 Frost who was RSM of 6LI(V), who asked me to use my experience and run the signals. This I did until 1985 when I finished as Sigs Colour Sgt. having also done 3 years as Con Rate PSI MT Clr Sgt.
Copyright Text and pictures: Alan Wheeler
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