Regiment Royal Artillery consisted of 4 batteries, HQ Bty, LNery Bty, N Eagles
Bty & O The Rocket Troop Bty.
I was stationed here at Barford Camp until 1971 when the Regiment moved
to Hemer, Germany.
was a young Gunner of 17 sent here after my initial training in
Woolwich. I served with L Bty for 4
years. Being stationed for here my first
posting was an eye opener; especially during the colder months where we had to
dig our way out of the barracks as the snow piled up. As I was the latest recruit
I had the bed next
to the door which was the furthest away from the coal stove. Needless to say
I froze only having the
standard two blankets to keep warm. One
night while I was in town I came back to find a sheep tied to my bed.
The Gun Park was straight across the road that
was near a dangerous bend in the road. The
Regiment had 105mm self-propelled guns known as “Abbots”. One day
the weather was so cold the older
soldiers had a fire going in a large steel bin. They surrounded this fire seated
collection of wooden boxes. They told me
to piss off. A Sergeant, seeing
this said to me "If you cannot have the fire then sod them. Here
put these rounds in some cotton wool and
throw them in the fire”. I was stopped
short of the fire with my roll of cotton wool.
One of the seated soldiers said “Where you going, get away from the
fire”. I said “I only wanted to put
some wool on the fire". Within a
minute the fire exploded in all directions along with the seated soldiers. I
slipped away unnoticed.
weekend break from the camp it was time to get back so I set off from Kendal
with a large suitcase and walked across Shap into Barnard Castle and up on the moor to Barford
Camp. It was a long journey in the dark
and it was the only time I fell asleep walking. I was knackered when I got there
with an hour
to spare before parade.