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Minutes of the AAJLR Comrades Association
Annual General Meeting
by Jim Sherville

Held at the Min-Y-Mor Hotel, Barmouth, Wales
Saturday 1st March 2016

The meeting was opened at 1720 our Chairman Larry Smith (MBE) presiding. There were 49 members present.
Apologies for Absence:
The following tendered their apologies:-
 Ron Appleby     Peter Badrick     Diane Bailey 
 Jeff Banning   Gus Boag   Graham Bonewell 
 Paul Boundy   Ian Boyd   Tommy Brady 
 Geoffrey Boylan   Brian Burke   Jim Cairns 
 Nicholas Carling   Vince Coombs   Trevor Dack 
 Lenny Devonport   Terry Doyle   Ian Drew 
 Alan Drinkall (MBE)   Martyn Fletcher   Terry Friend 
 Glenn Keith   Tom Gracie   Terry Haffenden 
 Ken Hart   Dennis Hill   John Innes 
 John Jablonski   Peter Jennings   Eddie Jonas 
 John Larkham   Gareth MacLatchy   Harold Mc Hugh 
 Benny McSherry   Stan Moore   Alan Nelson 
 Eddie Nuttall     Malcolm Palfrey     Roger Pettit 
 Terry Philp     Stan Preece     Alan Press 
 Kelvin Raines     Roy Raleigh     Malcolm Ratcliffe 
 David Reeves     Bob Relph     Ivan Scott-Lewis 
 Tom Silverside     Stewart Smith     Mel Smith 
 Clive Stead     Rogan Taylor     Dennis Thornton 
 Lee Tilson     Phillip Turner     Dennis Ward 
 Harry Ward     Bruce Watson     Bernie Watts 
 Peter Wilkinson     Eric Wood     Ray Zala 
Opening Address
Larry Smith welcomed everyone who made it to Barmouth this year especially as it was a significant year being 50 years since the flag was lowered for the last time and Tonfanau was closed down. He especially welcomed those members who had made the journey for the first time.
Bob Martin, Bill Sherman, Victor Forsythe, Ron Newman & Robin Kemp were all accompanied by their good Ladies.
The chairman then asked members to stand to remember those comrades who have passed on to greater things since our last reunion, including:
Mick Roberts and Anthony Stormer.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting
There were no comments on the minutes.
Proposal: That the minutes be passed as read.
Proposed By: Herbie Slaughter
Seconded By: Stan King

Secretary’s Report
Jim Sherville having taken over the Stewardship as secretary of the association paid tribute to Mike Owsley (MBE) the previous secretary and hoped that he could continue Mike’s good work.
  1. He reiterated the need for members to contact him if there are any changes to their contact details he preferred the use of the E-Mail system as the simplest method as writing to people cost money to the association as he did not have access to Mike’s legitimate and limitless supply of envelopes and stamps.

  2. A number of members have been sent letters on two occasions and they have so far failed to reply they will not be contacted again as it is costly and time consuming they will be removed from the main data base however all their details will be retained should they in the future return to the fold.

  3. A list of members who wished to leave the association was read out, and they also will be removed from the Database however their details will be kept in case they feel a need to return to the fold.

  4. I was informed that a very well known and loved member of the association CAROL MOORE (Sgt’s Mess Waitress) was very ill as she was a regular attendee at Barmouth. It was decided with the agreement of the committee and all members that a card and flowers be sent to her this was arranged.
The dates for next year’s reunion are the 31st March - 1st April.

Treasurer's Report
See addendum 1

Any Other Business
Richard Abraham raised the point that we should consider electing a Vice President of the association who would provide continuity in the absence for whatever reason of the current president, and Mike was more than happy to take up the post.
Proposed by:-  Richard Abraham
Seconded by:-  Jim Sherville
Richard then spoke on our commitment to use the bulk of our money to provide for a selected charity as we have done over the past number of years. The charities were read out and any propositions from the members were then taken. Two charities were highlighted:
SSAFA and Combat Stress after a show of hands Combat stress was selected again as this year’s charity.
Proposed by:- Stan King
Seconded by:- Geoff Brown
Brian Marjoram then spoke on shifting the date of the Reunion from March/April to a more weather friendly time of June or even September. Richard pointed out that the current dates had been fixed for some considerable time to fit in with the deal that we get from the Min y Mor Hotel and accommodating the large numbers using the Hotel. It was then put to the vote.
Proposed by:- Brian Majoram
Seconded by:- David Scott
Not Carried
The design of the tie was briefly discussed but was thrown into the long grass as members were quite happy to retain the current design as one member put it you certainly know we are the AAJLR. A number of members wished to purchase a tie which are currently out of stock. The matter will be looked into.
Rene Dee has written and had published a very good article in the Friends of the Intelligence Corp magazine Sub Rosa Winter issue 2015 P4 he spoke at our meeting but rather than try and transcribe the article from memory I have attached his full article at addendum 2. It makes very good reading also attached is the short reply to the article from Brig (Retd) Parritt.
Bob Martin Spoke on member’s access to Tonfanau camp, and is as follows, the camp and land is now privately owned, but all members can access it by contacting.
Mr Sean Clarke on 07813 983187 or E-Mail seanppclarke@hotmail.com and he will be only too happy to open up and close up after you have finished wandering around but he does need advance warning.
John Burns must be thanked for lending his fine voice to the evening’s proceedings a fixture I think for future years and also a big thanks to the ladies who organised the Raffle with their usual arm twisting.
We must also mention those intrepid mountaineers Rene Dee, Brian Marjoram, David Hughes and his sister Angela, who once more ascended Cader Idris in horrendous conditions and they must be congratulated on their dogged determination to keep up what has now become an annual pilgrimage.  Johnny Thompson had intended to make the climb until he found out that high winds on the mountain would have played havoc with his hairstyle.

There being no more business to discuss the meeting closed at 1822 hrs.

The next Annual General Meeting will be held on 31st March 2017
J H Sherville
Honorary Secretary
AAJLR  Association
--- Minutes End Here ---

Addendum 1
13th AGM of the AAJLR Association
2 April 2016
Treasurers Report
Richard Abraham
With the cheques received so far this trip we currently have £220.54 in our account.  If previous years are a guide this weekend will add to that figure.
Monies are held in a simple Nationwide Treasurers Book account which produces about a couple of pence a year interest; details are recorded on an Excel spreadsheet as circulated. There is no legal requirement for audit. Usually I distribute copies at this meeting but to date virtually no-one has required one so this time I have saved the cost of printing but I will send a copy to any member requesting one at any time throughout the year – just e-mail me. Also, after this weekend I will send one to Ken for adding to the website.
‘Shop’ items (Association tie, plaque and lapel pin badges) are available from Jim. For those who are unaware we buy the badges for £2 each and sell them for £5; the surplus going to our chosen charity.
We have circulated envelopes and if you are paying your annual subscription, buying shop items or making a donation would you please use those envelopes, marking it clearly with your name and for what the money is intended. This cuts down the likelihood of money going astray, or of my not being able to work out from whom it derived.
The cost of accommodation and for the buffet – separately for those staying elsewhere to this hotel – must be paid direct to the Min-Y-Mor.
Charities – since 2007 we have supported a number of military charities, donations going to Help for Heroes, the Army Benevolent Fund, St Dunstan’s, SSAFA Forces Help plus three donations to Outward Bound Wales Mountain Rescue, one of £25.00 voted for at last year's meeting. However to date our main charity has been Combat Stress to which we have sent a total of £4,192.87. Aside from charitable giving the only other costs since our last AGM were flowers for Trish Owsley, plus £160.00 for the excellent Disco; a figure incidentally which has never increased in the seven years that Rick & Ruth have been providing our entertainment.
My suggestion would be to continue to support Combat Stress however it is for this meeting to decide what is to be our designated charity for the coming year. If anyone has an alternative proposal now is the time, and that will be decided by a simple show of hands.
Any Other Business
As many of you know we hold other gatherings throughout the year – to date most have been held in London. The annual St Fagg’s Day Luncheon this year is on St George's Day, Tuesday 26 April, in the Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard. The Joint AAJLR/ICCY Luncheon will most likely be in November. Both of these excellent occasions are arranged by John Sabini and if anyone would like to be kept informed about either event please let John have your e-mail address and/or contact numbers.
Richard J Abraham
Honorary Treasurer & Joint Vice Chairman
2 April 2016

The following is a rough outline of the 2015/2016 financial statement.
Brought forward    £183.55    
Interest    £000.43    
Membership Contributions    £390.00    
Charity Contributions    £140.00    
Merchandise Sales    £037.00    
Raffle    £269.00    
Postage       £020.00
Double R Retro Disco       £160.00
Totals   £1019.98   £180.00
Carried Forward    £839.98    
A complete financial statement can be obtained from the treasurer.

Addendum 2
Reflections of an I Corps Boy Soldier.
By Rene Dee. 2015
It was May 1962 when this young teenager found himself at Tonfanau halt in what was then called Merionethshire. Scores of boys my aged between 15 and 17 disgorged from the train onto a platform that was singularly bare and inviting. At the end stood an equally uninviting sergeant major who looked at his motley and long-haired new intake with as much scorn and disbelief as he could muster.
Welcome to the All Arms Junior leaders Regiment’ (AAJLR). Where 800 boys at a time spent 18 months learning to become a soldier before entering ‘man’s service’, in the corps or regiments that they have chosen to serve. I had joined the Intelligence Corps on 17th April 1962 in Northampton with thoughts of cloak and dagger training and James bond tactics (the mind is pretty fertile at that age) but limited intelligence training, instruction or introduction was given during the entire I spent at AAJLR. The primary emphasis was on soldiering and turning you into a disciplined one who could deal with charging the enemy (in the form of a bale of hay) screaming at the top of your voice with rifle and fixed bayonet. As important were enduring cold showers at 6 am. (Reveille); learning to clean and iron your kit: drill, drill and more drill, Sport, adventure, driver training and further education. It didn’t matter whether you were in the Intelligence corps, The Durham Light Infantry, The Black watch, The 17/21st Lancers, REME, or the Royal Artillery, you all went through the same routine. Boy soldiers were also incentivised during by being promoted from junior Lance Corporal to junior RSM, and learnt to manage their troops as those in man’s service did. Some of the junior RSM’s were far more scary than the real thing! This gave rise to healthy competition, and development of young men seeking to show what they could achieve. The MOD’s stated purpose in junior leaders’ regiments throughout the UK at the time was that these boys would be trained to become the future NCOs of the British Army’, regardless of their cap badge. The AAJLR was formed in 1959 and disbanded in 1966. Remarkably the MOD gave no proper recognition to the 18 months (or longer) period of service that boys carried out before the 12 years regular army service that started at the age of 18. Along with all the boys who joined boy’s service at the tender age of 15 or 16, we were all forced to sign up to a legally binding 12 year contract with the British Army at that age, but which did not start until you reached the age of 18 after boy’s service. Because the money was better, most of us signed up for nine years as regulars and three years in the reserves, rather than six as regulars and six as reserves. The army got a good deal and got away with it until parliament voted to change this. Boys of 15 and 16 should not have been made to sign a legally binding contract that forced them to stay in the military for 18 months, plus 12 years.
It was a tough training ground, especially if you were in the Intelligence corps among those die-hard kids from all parts of the British Isles who had signed up in a renowned and classic infantry regiment laden with historically rich and proud battle campaigns pinned to their colours. As a ‘soft’ kid from a middle-class background with a funny sounding name, the first problem I came across was trying to understand my fellow soldiers. Here I encountered broad and rasping Scottish accents from the Glasgow Gorbals and Western Highlands, lilting Geordie from Tyneside and rural Northumberland , singing Scousers from Liverpool, and Ulster Irish from the wilds of Donegal and Londonderry, as well as the striking accents of Belfast, among many others Not all Intelligence Corps boys were from Surrey or Kent without specific accents, or from middle-class backgrounds, but were all seen as namby –pamby, soft-bellied and wholly misunderstood. The drill instructors had a field day with us! This made many of us fight even harder to show what we were worth. Achieving my DofE Gold Award proved to myself and others that we also had spunk! Then once I got to Maresfield in January 1964, I very soon realised that the 18 months of training and achievement in boy’s service were virtually dismissed. This was a shock. We were certainly not recognised as future NCOs with a head start, and we were viewed by the drill and other instructors as either upstarts or above our station. It has also to be remembered that at that time the policy at the MOD and in Maresfield itself was still to train their new intakes as soldiers first, and I Corps second. As a result there was a considerable amount of discontent among I Corps recruits, me included, who felt that that the emphasis of soldiering versus key I Corps training was the wrong way round. The understanding was that the Corps required personnel academically superior to other soldiers so that they could perform the necessary intelligence roles and duties. However boredom set in when doing fatigues which often seemed more important than Corps training. Another boy Dave and I decided that we would get the ‘Bond’ excitement we had joined up for by doing a Royal Marine Commando course in Lympstone to wear the coveted Green Beret was a high point, and we both got posted to the newly formed 3 Cdo Bde in Singapore. Now all I Corps personnel wear the Green Beret, without having to do a night assault from the sea on an enemy position up a cliff face on the Dorset coast and return intact! I can tell you can sense my indignation at this.
Another aspect of these times was the calibre of young officers in the Corps, some of whom were still operating on the basis of class and deference. I felt my time in Singapore in 3 Cdo Bde HQ Int Pl was marred by aspects of this, and contributed to my exit from the I Corps and the army. It was a very hard time for me, and the decision to leave was one of the most difficult I have ever had to make. The truth was I was desperately bored and frustrated with my I corps experience but eager but eager to discover more of the new and exciting world I had found in Singapore and Malaysia. I had decided that I wanted to travel, but on my terms and in my way. Bob Dylan was ringing in my ears and the music of the 60s encouraged me to, ‘Hit the Road Jack’, which I did after leaving the army in 1966 and never looked back, spending the next 46 years in the adventure travel, and leisure and hospitality sector. (By the way my mate Dave went to a long and successful Corps career, retiring as a major)
Arguably, it took some time before a more meritocratic and professional basis for the serving personnel of the Intelligence Corps was reached, and boy’s service disappeared. Nevertheless, I have consistently felt that my time as a boy soldier in the Corps were hugely important to me and provided solid foundations upon which I have relied ever since. The starting point of strict discipline, precise rules and unforgiving regimes in a controlled military environment could have easily have been rejected or discarded (and sometimes they have been) in the new and wholly self governing environment I found myself in at the adult age of 21where self responsibility was the new order. The question of whether a boy’s (and/or girl’s) service should be reintroduced is clearly controversial and we live in very different times now where attitudes, UK and EU legislation have changed, leaving aside the needs of the army. An organisation that continues to offer young people a similar opportunity of self-fulfilment and achievement outside a military environment remains the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Surprisingly rather having reduced in appeal it continues to grow in appreciation of what it achieves and is validated by the numbers of young people who collect their Gold Awards each year at St James’s Palace, the Palace of Holyrood House, and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. I was privileged to be asked to represent the decade of the 1960s  at a special 500th D of E Gold Award presentations event at St James’s Palace on 10th October 2013 attended by the Duke own Edinburgh who had awarded my own Gold award in Buckingham Palace in 1963.
I particularly enjoyed the piece by Rene Dee, as I always feel guilty that the Corp did not recognise these boy soldiers or the great contribution they subsequently made in man’s service. They made a significant contribution to the acceptance of the Corp by the rest of the Army.
Brian Parritt
Jan 2016


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