As the train pulled into Dover Priory Station, a figure could be seen standing rigidly to attention on the platform, his uniform had razor sharp creases, his white blanco belt and cross shoulder strap had gleaming brasses and his boots shone like mirrors.
L/Cpl Hunnybun quickly made himself known to the fresh faced new intake of boys as they alighted the train.
On arrival at Old Park Barracks just outside Dover in the village of Whitfield, we were quickly processed and re branded from schoolboys to young soldiers. We were subject to a welcome speech from Lt Col Hart the C.O.
After this enlightening experience we were taken to our new accommodation, and then packed of to the cookhouse for a meal. During this period we were subject to the usual jeers and cat calls from the older boys.
Following the meal we were all called together in a small room, when in walked a tall man who introduced himself as Sgt Goff the Intake Troop Sergeant.
The first pay day came as quite a shock, I think the total pay was around £2 10s 0d (£2.50) but we only received 7/6d (37.5p) the rest was placed in a savings account which we were only allowed access to when going on leave. From the 7/6p we were forced to pay back for troop funds? barrack damages and other essential! items we ended up with 5s 0d (25p) to spend for the week including cleaning kit etc.
Our time at Dover was based on similar lines as school, three terms with leave in between at Easter, Summer and Christmas. Out time was split between Education and Military Training with an annual summer camp for 2 weeks which took place on Dartmoor (Near Princetown). I missed the summer camp of 1963 as I attended an outward bound course at Tywyn in North Wales that year (clambering over Snowden like a mountain goat).
There was compulsory hobbies two evenings a week (mine was Art, our instructor looked like the base guitarist in the Shadows and was Known to all as Hank Marvin). Sports were also a major part of life and filled a lot of time Afternoons, Evenings and Weekends, my chosen sport was Rugby and I became a member of the Sqn & the Regimental teams.
In July 1964 following Pass out and a short spell of leave I arrived at Cove and the Training Regiment. All in all I remember my time with the Junior leaders with fond memories and a good time with good friends