Archive | September, 2013

Sgt Jim Harris A.P.T.C

21 Sep

Hello Alan,
It is possible our paths might have crossed
On reading your Blog brought so many happy memories flooding back to me of my National Service years.
“I went in as a boy and come out as a man.”
I was educated at Johnston Grammar School Durham City. Not long after completing my education I was called up for National Service. About three weeks after having my medical. I received a letter that I had been called up to serve in the Durham Light Infantry. I had to report to the D.L.I. training depot at Brancepath Camp on the 7th July 1955to begin my training (square bashing)
The camp at Brancepath was not far from Durham City so I didn’t have far to go. From now on until demob my Army number was 23152900. A few lads like me were 18 years of age, but always to the fore in sport, I was in a fit condition. Being in this condition no doubt benefited me throughout the hard training; everything is at a quick pace in the Light infantry as you know.
On completing my basic training, I was promoted to L/Corporal and sent on an AC/I course at Bernicle Barracks in Scarborough. Three weeks later I was promoted to Sergeant and sent to the Physical Training Corps in Aldershot.
I was quite pleased in myself being only 18 years old and also being the first National Serviceman to be enrolled in the A.P.T.C.
Four months later I was posted to the Infantry Boys Battalion, Plummer Barracks, Plymouth. This is where I served for the duration of my National Service, being demobbed on 3rd July 1957. Incidentally my CSM was Alec Forbes
After demob I enrolled and studied for 2 years a Bede College Durham, (Malcolm Fox was in my Year group,) I then did an Honours year at Loughborough. Then finally MSc course in exercise physiology at Leeds University. I ended up as Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
Incidentally the old Durham light Infantry Training Camp was turned into an open cast coal mine in the early 1960’s. Once the coal was finally extracted, the land was levelled, grassed over and turned into its original state of farm land.
Best wishes to all my friends and fellow ex-servicemen.

Yours Aye

One Time Sgt Jim Harris APTC

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