Sunday, September 22, 2019

When the wooden billets (Spiders as they were known) were demolished some years ago, at what was once the Arborfield Army Apprentice School/College, our archaeological team unearthed a series of notes scribbled on Izal shiny toilet paper. Further investigation reveals they may have also been written by the same AT Stan Franks whose Diary was discovered when a building, said to be Jeepland, was more recently demolished.
Following the scandal surrounding Konrad Hujau who forged the Hitler Diaries in the 1980s, we are somewhat concerned about the authenticity of the following. As this web site has some of the best informed people in the country regarding life as a boy soldier, we at the Imperial War museum ask if you would kindly evaluate the following.

 

April 1st
Moved into the Spiders. Don’t have to make a bed pack every day - Grovel. We are no longer at the bottom of the sh*t heap. I can’t wait to jip my first Jeep.
Bumped the centre deck - some things clearly don’t change.

April 2nd.
There are sixteen of us in J3, including the room corporal who has his own bunk. He leaves his boots outside the door for some other poor twat to clean.
Atkinson grabbed the best bed space just inside the door because his name begins with A…… and he’s quite hard.

April 3rd
We have fire doors at the end of the room. Considering the entire building is made of wood and some blokes smoke in bed, they’re probably a good idea. Anyway they open onto the square so we can abuse passing Jeeps.

You often see the red glow of fag-ends after lights out. I don’t think any of us will survive past 40. We’ll all die of lung cancer. Bartlett reckons that one day they will ban smoking in barrack rooms. Everyone laughed - las if that will ever happen!

April 5th
Lunchtime. Moved to jip my first Jeep. Actually he is was bigger than me so I waited for a smaller one to turn up.

April 7th
The CSM carried out a room inspection. A lot of kit became airborne. McGuiness was the only one not to have his Top Kit toppled. He’s an arse-licker but has an older brother in 7 Div so we can’t kick the shit out of him.

April 8th
Allowed out of camp almost every weekend now but you have to walk past the Guardroom. That’s where the MPs hang out. At night they return to their coffins.

April 11th
Fred Mulley, Harold Wilson’s Minister of Defence, is visiting the School of Electronics just up the road. He’s famous for falling asleep at the Queen’s Jubilee Review …..and for being a prick. Harold is famous for his raincoats and pipe….. and for being a prick. He is scrapping TSR2 whatever that is.
In case Mr Mulley chooses to drop by, we were detailed to paint the concrete blocks down by the main gate. The smell of wet paint is everywhere …. as are the drips.

April 12th
Fred Mulley didn’t turn up. Must have fallen asleep.

April 19th
Got a sore arse. I’d like to know which complete prat at Izal decided toilet paper should be shiny on one side? My mum tears the Daily Sketch in squares and hangs them from a hook in the bog - loads better.

April 20th
Detailed for Fire Picket. I hoped to ride on a Green Goddess. No such luck. Instead our fire tender turned out to be two cart wheels with a fire hose wrapped around the axle. There was what looked like an old ammo box on top which contained the brass nozzles.
The first thing we learn is that brass nozzles work better when brasso-ed.
Later we unwrapped the hose and connected it to a hydrant by the Gym. Someone shouted ‘water on’ and Bartlett went skywards. Someone shouted ‘water off'’ and Bartlett returned to earth. Bartlett’s back in MRS.

April 21st
Watched a Science documentary in the TV room.
Some bloke called Raymond Baxter said engineers were developing a device to remotely switch TV channels. It’ll never catch on. Who in the whole f*cking world is too idle to walk the three steps required to change a TV channel - there are only two for Christ sake.

April 24th
2 Div camp. We travel to Wales by train. We pinch the tea-pots from the Buffet car.
Robbo thinks they may come in handy. Never know when we might need a brew.

April 25th
Not sure precisely where we are in Wales but there are a lot of sheep. Taff Evans is in his element. It was said a ewe was seen slipping into his tent after dark.
A six-seater thunder box turned up on a 3 tonner. We had to dig a bloody big hole. I’m not comfortable about crapping in front of mates. I went in the bushes.

Issued with our compo rations. Nobody wanted the tinned processed cheese. I thought the sausage and beans was essence. There again my mother wasn’t the world’s best cook. Even Uncle Ron complained.
Wagstaffe took over cooking duties. Waggers may be a Bomhead but he can’t f*cking cook. Washed our mess tins in the river Usk.

April 26th
We have to climb something called Pen y Fan. It sounded innocuous enough but turned out to be a f*cking big hill.
Issued with a prismatic compass. We are reliably informed by McGuiness that it’s filled with Isopropyl Alcohol. Nobody gives a shit.
We are taught Magnetic Deviation. Taff Evans thinks deviation has other connotations where he comes from. My group intend to deviate to the nearest boozer if we get the chance.
Wheeler got lost when the mist closed in. Unfortunately not lost enough.

April 27th
We were split into groups for Orienteering. Spent most of the day wandering around a very wet Wales dis-orienteering.
6 am Had to carry out ablutions in river water. Robbo got shat on for not shaving. I didn’t shave either but my bum fluff doesn’t show.

April 29th
Back to Camp routine. Parade. Drill. Education. NAAFI break. Trade training.
Lunch.
Watched Bootsie and Snudge.

April 30th
Hitch hiked to London with Robbo. Hitching is a piece of piss if you wear your SDs. Found a boozer in Knights Bridge that would actually serve us. Got talking to a one-legged Chelsea Pensioner. He’d been wounded at Gallipoli. Me and Robbo didn’t know where Gallipoli was. I’m not sure the Pensioner did either.

May 2nd
Told we have to sit the Senior Test. We are given past papers to revise.
They appear to be intended for morons. I guess the average Junior Leader might struggle - bloody knuckle draggers.

May 3rd
Letter from home. Uncle Ron has moved out. I told Mum not to worry coz he was a prick.

May 4th
Post arrived. Uncle Ron has moved back in. Apparently he wants a word with me.

May 5th 59D2SL
The evenings are getting lighter. Boggy (8 Div) organised a mass game of footy on the square. It ended up about 150 either side. There were no rules except - make your own way to the MRS.
Footy in C Coy is dominated by the Geordies. If you are from anywhere else you’ve no chance. I tried faking a Geordie accent but still wasn’t selected. I guess it helps if you can play.

Kit inspection 2000 hrs. The bullshit never ends.

May 6th
Double Maths Education Block 1400 hrs.
Not quite sure when, if ever, I’ll have to factorise a Quadratic Equation again, but who am I to question the powers that be.

July 1st
Bartlett’s just gone on to Man’s pay. He’s older than the rest of us. He’s now on over seven f*cking quid a week. Bastard! So far he hasn’t had the opportunity to spend his ill-gotten gains as he’s spent most of this term in MRS.

(Researcher’s note. We think at this point Stan Frank is talking in some kind of code, or has been drinking, since the following makes little or no sense whatsoeve)r.

Made a Bi-stable Multi-vibrator flip flop (thought by our researcher to be perhaps some kind of sex aid) in Workshop Practice. We had to use two triodes, a couple of capacitors and some resisters. I connected 240V to the Grid as well as the Anode. The result was spectacular.
Longstaffe turned out to be colour blind and couldn’t tell the difference between a 220 Meg Ohm and a 22 Ohm resister. His caught fire too.

July 3rd
Divisional Cadre. Rumour has it McGuiness is up for Lance Jack.

TV room was packed for a program called Six Five Special. There was a group on called 'The Beatles' ..... a one hit wonder if ever there was one. They interviewed a band member called John Lennon. He was far too full of his own piss and importance …. People like that should be shot.

Later we watched Tomorrow’s World. Raymond Baxter reckons that by the turn of the century we would all be buzzing around with Jet Packs. I hope he’s right. It will make a change from buzzing around with small packs.

The Featured Bards