By Charles Train An Army Apprentice at this place between 1956 to 1959
And, soon being put through their paces on the Assault course.
Colonel James Power Carne V.C D.S.O. (1906–1986), OF THE GLORIOUS GLOSTERS In Korea, on the night of the 22 - 23 April, 1951 and throughout the three following days, Lieutenant Colonel Carne's Battalion was attacked incessantly by vastly superior enemy numbers and was completely cut off. throughout the entire engagement Lieutenant Colonel Carne showed complete disregard for his own safety. On two occasions, armed with a rifle and grenades, he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy. He gave an example of courage and coolness, and showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of the Army. He inspired his officers and men to fight beyond the limits of human endurance, in spite of overwhelming odds and ever increasing casualties, shortage of ammunition and of water The Gloucestershire Regiment were an infantry regiment of the British Army. In modern times many county regiments have amalgamated and the Glosters in 1994 joined with the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment to form the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire & Wiltshire Regiment'. (RGBW) In 2006 they were absorbed into becoming a Battalion of the modern British Armys Light infantry. Nicknamed "The Glorious Glosters", the regiment carried more battle honours on their colours than any other British Army line regiment. The Regiment played a key part in the Korean War Battle of Imjin River, between 22-25 April 1951. The regiment of about 700 men held off the Chinese 63rd Division of 10,000 men for three days during the Battle of Imjin River at Seolma-ri in Jeokseong-myon some 30 miles north of Seoul in the Imjin valley. By the morning of 25 April 1951 only 67 soldiers were able to escape the Chinese encirclement. The remaining soldiers were either killed or captured by the Chinese. Their heroic defence of the valley prevented the UN forces who were withdrawing south towards Seoul through the Uijongbu corridor from being outflanked by the Chinese division.
Andrew Croft had a diverse and distinguished career as Arctic explorer. In 1933 he joined the Trans-Greenland Expedition and his fascination with polar exploration really began. The expedition was to gain him an entry into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest self-supporting dog sledge journey. He subsequently took part in expeditions to North East Land, Swedish Lapland and the Canadian Arctic He joined the British Army when World War II began. His military career was equally remarkable, serving in the Russo-Finnish War and in and went on to be an intelligence officer in Norway and a military attaché in Sweden. He also helped gather data about floating ice to provide to Allied convoys bound for the Soviet Union. He led covert operations from Corsica to Italy and France working with Resistance groups behind enemy lines as a SOE agent. He remained in uniform after the war and put his expertise at the disposal of the United States Army as a liaison officer in Washington in the early 1950's. In the later 50s he was the reforming Commandant both of the Plymouth- based Infantry Boys Battalion and thereafter the Army Apprentices School at Harrogate. Whilst Commandant at the Army Apprentices School, Harrogate, he encouraged young men to take an active interest in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, The Scouts and Outward Bound as a way of developing their leadership skills. He actively supported all the schools sports activities and in general had many of the school's facilities improved. Queen Elizabeth appointed Croft an Officer of the British Empire in 1970 for his work with young soldiers. In 1991, he wrote an autobiography, "A Talent for Adventure." Andrew Croft used his own "talent for adventure" to the full and typified the traditional hero that is every schoolboy's inspiration. Arctic explorer, soldier, pioneer, world record holder, medal winner, yet he remained a gentle, kind and thoughtful man with the time to listen and care about other people. He always had a keen interest in giving young people the opportunity to develop their skills of leadership. Croft was awarded the DSO for his achievements in North Africa, Corsica and France during 1943-44 and was appointed OBE in 1970. His participation in the Oxford University Arctic Expedition of 1935-36 earned him the Polar medal. Fittingly, his tombstone carries the inscription : Explorer, soldier and leader of men. Colonel (Noel) Andrew Croft, DSO, OBE ( 1906 – 1998 ) Every young man has hidden reserves and something to give: it is usually a case of finding out what this something happens to be and to ensure that he has the facilities, guidance and encouragement to pursue it Andrew Croft With a real life V.C being a hard act to follow in terms of the hero worship afforded to his predecessor, Andrew Croft seemed to us young lads to be more the School Headmaster than Soldier Hero! …Oh so Little did we know of this quiet gallant gentleman at that time in our lives.
Although this photograph is not one taken of Harrogate Apprentices, many of us will recognise the 16 man to a spider barrack room accommodation that we lived in for at least three of our youthful years. The highly polished centre floor was sacred, no one was allowed to walk on it in shoes let alone the metal studded boots the army wore in that era. Stark in contrast to the modern day barrack rooms of what now at Harrogate is the Army Foundation College, The barrack rooms of our era were totally devoid of affording individual soldiers any privacy. However one might be given to thinking that they more closely bonded together the young men living in them. Our barrack room Christmas outing Outing to the pub at Wetherby. >
While the other Scottish Gordon flounders in the wet mud and cold, on the Dales at Kettlewell. Above: Sandy And Dave Mathie Below: Gordon & Bill Worsley. Cap Badges of the various arms of the British Army that the Apprentice Schools at Chepstow, Arbourfield, Harrogate and Carlisle provided with tradesmen Cap Badge upon becoming a College In 1966 Gordon Dallas Of Isle of Bute fame.
Families and friends attend the 56B passing out Parade A/T RSM IAN ROTHWELL (TITCH) With their three years of training in Soldiering, Education and Apprenticeship complete the 56B Intake parade together with the whole of the schools junior Intakes for the last time.
A/T RSM Ian Rothwell presenting the parade to the Reviewing Officer. Escort to the reviewing officer A/T SGT. Brian Maltby is pictured in the foreground The School Corps of Drums. The whole school of some 600 young men on Parade with the Senior Term ( INTAKE OF 56B ) in front standing at ease awaiting the arrival of the Reviewing Officer on the saluting base. ONCE THE DIGNITARIES ARE GATHERED ON THE SALUTING BASE THE PARADE IS BROUGHT TO ATTENTION. A GENERAL SALUTE IS CALLED AND ARMS ARE PRESENTED.
The Reviewing Officer: Jersey Man General Sir Hugh Charles Stockwell GCB, KBE, DSO & BAR Adjutant General to the Forces Inspects the Corps of Drums and speaks to A/T Bunger Young of 56B who was also Passing out that day.. Colonel Andrew Croft DSO together with A/T RSM Rothwell present the A/T CSMs to the Reviewing General.
Accompanied by the School Commandant and the A/T RSM the Reviewing officer inspects the Senior Term. Colonel Croft DSO and A/T RSM Rothwell with the Reviewing General as he speaks to members of the Senior term who will shortly leave to begin their army careers having completed their apprenticeships. The A/T Company Sergeant Major (CSM) standing to attention in front of the senior term is Ging Stewert
Having completed a march past in quick time with the rest of the school the Senior term march past in slow time in review order to the Grenadier Guards slow March Scipio Perfectly lined as they march past the saluting base. Even the Foot Guards could not do this better. Not surprising as these lads are trained by C.S.M.s from The Guards from the early age of 15 until early manhood at 18. How strange it might seem now but back then, soldiers of this age could fight and die for their country but could not vote until they were 21.
The 56B intake slow march off the Uniake Barrack Square for the last time. And so another intake of approximately Company strength march off to the tune of Auld Langs Syne. 83 Young men who are well trained to form the core of the future British Army. A/T RSM Ian Rothwell and the five other 56B intake lads who had been A/T CSMs of the Schools five Companies pictured here under the placards representing the various Corps that members of the 56B intake would be joining after passing out today.
Little Red Book Afforded us Free Life membership of the Schools Association. This went for a Burton when the school was disbanded in 1996. The modern day A.O.H.A. is annual subscription based presently at £6 a year but its always nice to belong and to something that is part of our own history AOHA Lapel Badge General Sir Hugh Charles Stockwell GCB, KBE, DSO & BAR Adjutant General to the Forces presenting the Army Commanders Award to A/T RSM Ian Rothwell 29 July 1959
Thanks to Ian Rothwell who supplied many of the Photographs. Charles Train A THOUGHT EVEN FOR TODAY Every young man has hidden reserves and something to give: it is usually a case of finding out what this something happens to be and to ensure that he has the facilities, guidance and encouragement to pursue it. Andrew Croft
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