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Today is the 55th anniversary of my first accepting the Queen's Shilling (in those days you actually got, and signed for, the Shilling).
This is, of course, of absolutely no interest to anybody except those who are still around from the other 300+ who crowded into the same gymnasium!
Many of those were, like me, "warned as to their future conduct" when we were asked, during a service history examination, "Of what significance is the date September 15th in the History of the Royal Air Force"
What else could you answer but "It's the day I signed on"!
And no, it doesn't seem like yesterday, it seems an awful long time ago!
Well done that man - has that stuff they put in your tea started to work yet ;o))
But I do remember that when I joined the RAF 46 years ago that I quite often wondered my uniform seemed very slightly different to others in my flight - but I couldn't quite work out why (apart from the fact that I was built like a pipe cleaner and it took a while to find bits to fit my shape). It wasn't until a couple of years later that it was pointed out that my brass buttons and cap badge bore the 'king's crown' instead of the 'queen's crown'.
Unwittingly, through time, I lost the buttons; but I did keep the cap badge. One or two hairy old NCOs used to tell me that I should be wearing the 'queen's crown'; but I maintained that I was wearing the cap badge that had been issued to me and would continue to do so unless it could be proven that I was incorrectly dressed.
As time passed, and hairy old NCOs passed on to graceful retirement, less and less people recognised the incorrect badge (the difference is not immediately different) and I wore it all through my service career. And I still keep it in my little treasure chest of meaningful (to me) items.
I couldn't quite beat one guy though. He wore an RFC cap badge for years without being noticed.
I joined up in May, 1947 as a seventeen year old, I still have my original first day's pay and here's a picture to prove it. God only knows how I managed with out it because it was a lot of money at that time. Oh yes I still have the bonus awarded to me for completing my first twelve years too. That was £100.00 But I can't show you a picture of that because it is in the bank.
Beat you by six months! I joined from Manchester in November 1946 and, like you, was handed four bob (20p) before leaving for Pompey.
I thought this was a generous gesture made by My Lords Commissioners so that I could buy myself a meal on the way down, and was very disillusioned to discover that it was my first day's pay.
Whatever they put in the tea was super-delayed- action stuff. It never started to work on me until 60-odd years later...
Since I only retired 15 years ago I'm glad to say it's just beginning to wear off!
Wasn't it reputed to be "Bromide", It never worked on me or perhaps I never drank enough tea anyway.
Whatever it was they certainly didn't put it in the beer.
I endured two different types of it! When I joined the Merch. it was concealed in a mug of something masquerading as cocoa which we obviously referred to as anti-w**k - I never liked cocoa then and have never liked it since!
I then joined the Army and, lo and behold the cunning little blighters tried a different tactic and tried to disguise it in the tea!
I have to say neither recipe worked thankfully!
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