Category Archives: national service

Guided Tour part 4 – My Dad’s Life

This section of the site is a bit more personal, but will still have something to interest people. While not everyone will necessarily be that interested in student life at Imperial College in the mid 1950s, or the productions of the Imperial College Drama Society, I have found them fascinating to see how differently people lived and even looked back then.

Look at the parties, and how everyone seemed to sit on the floor.
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The “Early Life” section even has some colour photos from the 1930s – look at the swimming trunks my dad is wearing in this one!
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The “National Service” section has some great shots of his time in the Army – he was in REME and I believe he ended up lecturing about radar for a time.
Some of it just shows the sheer mundanity of service life!
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New Content – National Service

I’ve added a new series of photos to the main site – all of my dad’s National Service-related photos. As well as photos of basic training and life around the camp, we also have a production of Bonaventure and quite a bit of socialising with some Wrens.

I have two clear favourite images from this collection. This one just makes me laugh every time I see it.
BW_A034_22And this one isn’t just my dad with a gun, it’s my dad with two guns!

BW_B002_23With a bit of luck, I’ll be posting some more sets to the site over the holiday period.

"A" Company Sports Day

These shots are from the 16th May 1958, at the “A” Company sports day at Arborfield.

The mandatory Tug O War, 5 Platoon.

Quartermaster Wells in the long jump.

“Keith” in the high jump. Is it just me, or is he going to have to be very careful about his landing in order to avoid it being really painful/dangerous? I’ve never seen anyone doing the high jump with a head-first dive before…

Sgts Williams and Clarke, at what is presumably the refreshment area. More of that infernal Watneys!

"Pubs with the Wrens"

They certainly knew how to make their own entertainment in those days!

This shot, from April 1958, is on a film titled “Pubs with the Wrens”. Two of them appear to have been known as “Thing” and “It”…

One thing to note is that my dad was just short of 26 when this was taken, and he has a noticeably, ahem, “high forehead”. Fortunately I have not been blessed with quite such active genes in that department.

"The Spread"

December 1957 at Arborfield, and what is presumably the Barracks’ formal Christmas dinner – is Barracks the right term? It looks quite an interesting spread, although there’s always you don’t know how much of it is something you might associate with 1950’s military cuisine shaped and dressed up as something nice…

National Service

And now we get to one bit that I was quite looking forward to seeing – photos from my dad’s time in National Service. This is early 1957, so probably early on in basic training.
Not really too much that I can say about these, not knowing anything about it, but I think they are really interesting pictures – it’s very obvious that it’s not modern.
This one is captioned “Murray, extinguished”


This is from a bit later, and is simply titled “Ron reading comic”. I’m sure a military expert out there would be able to identify the beret badge.

There are more photos from National Service, and there is one film labelled “Pubs with the Wrens”, which sounds mildly interesting!