Following further excavations of the building thought to be Jeepland, located within the remains of the Army Apprentice School/College Arborfield late last year, plus the excellent response from members of this site in deciphering some of the more obscure phrases, our experts at the Imperial War Museum have been able to piece together further fragments of Stan Frank’s diaries.
Discovered Reveille wasn’t a magazine.
Issued with our kit at the QMs The room corporal said I looked like a bag of shit. Those of us who weren’t ‘bags of shit’ were ‘Schmos‘. I asked the bloke next to me ‘What’s a Schmo?’ He reckoned it was someone who tucked his shirt into his shreddies.
Made to form up outside Jeepland in our new SDs. Wheeler had his anklets on the wrong feet. Wheeler is a Schmo.
Discovered the art of Jipping. Or to be more precise, the art of being jipped. Jeeplanders are the lowest form of life. It seems that anyone, even a stray cat can push in front of us at the cookhouse. Any form of protest results in a fat lip .....or a nasty scratch.
New arrivals are known as Jeeps. Actually we are all ‘f*cking Jeepland Jeeps‘. Nothing to do with motor vehicles or fornication. You can always spot a fellow Jeep - it looks as though he’s smuggling a dinner-plate under his beret.
Gym today. We were introduced to the PTIs. They all looked like brick shit-houses with legs. I asked Digger Diamond why we had to blacken our brown plimsolls. He made me hang from the wall bars.
First day of serious square bashing. There was a lot of shouting and stamping of feet. It seems we have to do everything by numbers. Fortunately you only need to be able to count to three. There was a lot of …one… two… three… one…. two.. Three… one-ing. We were informed that for the first three months of our army career we have to ‘one… two…three…one’ more or less everything. Unless you are a Junior Leader, they’ve yet to find one who can count.
Marched to the camp barber for a bonehead. I asked the butcher/barber if he wouldn’t mind leaving my side-burns intact. He said he did mind. I found out later that you could go to Shag Twining and pay a shilling for a decent trim in the Spiders. It would be a foolish Jeeplander who ventured into the Spiders.
Introduced to beezing - the general idea is to turn your toe-caps into convex shaving mirrors.
Got bollocked for having a Windsor Knot in my tie. I thought what’s good enough for the Duke of Windsor is good enough for me. Sgt. Pittendreigh thought otherwise. In Jeepland the drill sergeants out-rank Dukes.
Geordie Robson won the farting competition after lights out.
It was Bartlett’s birthday so the whole squad gave him the bumps. Unfortunately they tossed him too high, failed to catch him and he ended up in the MRS.
Note to self. Never disclose your D.0.B to anyone.
Bumpered the floor. Still haven’t been given a gun.
Spotted on the wall of the ablutions 76D2EL
Wrote to all my relatives to tell them never to send birthday cards or gifts - it’s a long walk to the MRS.
Scorched my SD trousers. Rubbed the offending area with a half crown - panic over.
At present the Russians are pissing off the Americans over Cuba. We all had to go to the air-raid shelters. It was dark and smelled of urine. We were asked by the CSM what precautions we should take in the event of a four minute warning.
McGuiness recommended wearing ear plugs combined with dark glasses to avoid the glare. He also suggested drinking milk to ameliorate the effects of radiation. He’s a f*cking Bomhead sweating on Best AT.
A voice in the darkness suggested shagging the WVS lady. The brave lad who uttered the remark forgot that CSMs can see in the dark. Rodeo beckons.
Caught walking to the NAAFI whilst not swinging my arms. Had to clean the ablutions with my toothbrush. All Jeeps have to swing their arms shoulder high wherever they go, or expect to buy a new toothbrush. The higher you are up the food chain - the less you have to swing your arms.
No weapons issued yet. I do have some ammo pouches, some ammo boots, but no ammo. Apparently ammo pouches work better when they’re blanco-ed…… as do web belts.
Pay parade. Got ten shillings and sixpence. The rest goes into credits (whatever they are). Sheet exchange. Remember to pick up my Dobie.
Took turns today in drilling the squad. Wheeler marched us down the cookhouse steps. I lost count performing Right Marker.
Assault course 1000hrs. The water jump was iced over. Bartlett slipped on his arse.
Was sent to the NAAFI by some 7 Div lance jack for a ‘long weight. (Wait?).
The pipes are frozen in the spiders - some of the lucky bastards may be sent home. Jeepland pipes are not affected - Bugger.
Started training for the Inter-Squad Drill Competition. I don’t reckon on our chances. We have Wheeler in our squad who doesn’t know his arse from his anklets.
Gym 0900 hrs. The PTIs organised a game of murder ball - it couldn’t be more aptly named. The general idea is to arrange extra work for the M.O.
Church parade. Note to self. Don’t stand next to McGuiness he’s still sweating on Best AT.
Watched 9 Div doing rifle drill. Looked cool. Wish we had guns.
Church was boring. We sang Onward Christian Soldiers - what else?
The Padre gave a sermon on the subject ‘Love thy neighbour’ . He should be more neighbourly and not hold so many f*cking Church services. Also, he’s never encountered one of Geordie Robson’s farts.
Major Dundee was tonight’s film at the cinema. Got caught sneaking out before the National Anthem. Made to sweep up the fag butts and put away the chairs.
Wrote home to say I was broke.
Mum sent me a 7/6 Postal Order. Went to the NAAFI and pigged out on Flings, Nelson squares and a packet of Park Drive. She asked if I’d grown much since I arrived. I’m not sure what she expected as I’ve only been here 5 weeks - it just feels like 5 months. She said that my uncle Bert shot up when he joined the army. Anyway, he’s not my real uncle.
First time we were allowed out of camp. Walked up to the Brams to get the bus to Wokingham. Had to pass the REME Depot which houses the Junior Leaders. You could spot a JL a mile off - their knuckles drag on the ground.
No one woke in Wokingham. It should be called Sleepingham. Couldn’t get served in the pubs. Even the Publicans don’t like Jeeps.
Stopped at Smokey Joe’s on the way back for a bacon banjo and a game of pinball.
Double map treading today. We were all given Ordinance Survey maps of the Brecon Beacons. Taff Evans wondered why he’d never seen a contour line, even though he’d lived in Wales all his life. I think Taff is retarded.
My sister wrote to ask if I had shot any Russians yet.
Had the inter-room (bullshit) competition. We worked in shifts all night bumping the floor. We slept under our beds so as to not disturb our kit layouts. Came third.
Had a letter from home. Mum says she is marrying Uncle Ron.
Doug Dawsom bought himself out. I would too but don’t have twenty quid. Sgt. Pittendreigh told us we could have walked out for free in the first three days. NOW he tells us!
Had to go to the BMH because of my astigmatism. BMH stands for British Military Hospital. I still don’t know what MRS stands for. Or what astigmatisms is.
D Squad raided us last night. We repelled them with fire buckets and stirrup pumps. Sgt. Pittendreigh gated us for the entire weekend,.
Came last in the Drill competition. Wheeler went left when the rest of us wheeled right. I think his brain went AWOL.
26th of Feb
We were told we were to make something pointed and sharp in Workshop Practice. I hoped it would be a bayonet but it turned out to be a Schriber - f*ck knows how you spell it, or what it’s for.
72 hour pass. Went to visit my aunty Doreen who is the only relative that lives anywhere near the place. She said I’d grown since joining up - maybe that’s because she hadn’t seen me since I was four. I didn’t mention uncle Bert - she's still married to him.
McGuiness didn’t get Best AT. There is a god after all.
Last day of term. Clutching our rail warrants, wallets full of cash (So THAT’S WHAT CREDITS WERE FOR!) and our green canvas suitcases, we head for the rows of buses lined up to take us to our respective destinations. Farewell Jeepland hello 2 Div.