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Pull Up A Sandbag
Sandbag Reminiscences of Russell Young Sandbag
I Remember It All
I joined 'R' Company in May 1961 at age 15. Platoon Commander Lt Neill (QOH) - Platoon Sergeant's were 'Squeaky' Edwards (RASC) and Bob Hope (R.Sigs). The CSM was Clough (DERR).Sergeant's 'Tanky' Wilson (RTR) and Williams (RMP) used to march 'R' Company to meals at No 1 cookhouse opposite NAAFI and delighted at screaming at us. I have a photo of myself outside 'R' Company wearing my just issued SD. We wore a diamond shaped flash on the right arm coloured yellow, red, blue and green which represented the company colours. We also wore a stable belt with yellow, red, blue and green stripes. Also have a photo of my platoon passing out of 'R' Company and undergoing inspection. I remember we spent one lunch time at 'R' Company on the beach cooking dried rations for lunch supervised by Staff Sergeant Raynes (ACC). I know his name as I was in the cookery hobby. He now owns a cafe in Towyn called Raynesbow.
After 'R' Company I went to 'A' Company, Balaclava Platoon. Also in 'A' Company were Imphal, Falaise and Knightsbridge. The Balaclava Platoon Commander was Lt Peplow (D&D) and later it was Lt Clubbe (G.Howards). The Platoon Sergeants were Short (SWB), Lowrey (S&C LI), Emsworth (Ennis.Fus). 'A' Company wore yellow shoulder flashes. I also remember being issued with two pairs of yellow football socks and a pair of football boots.
During my time at Tonfanau I trained for the DofE Award. I still have my record book and junior, intermediate and senior education certificates signed by Major Playfoot (RAEC). We also took part in the Rhyl cup each term. I have photos of when we were issued with a BD in the senior term ready for graduation parade. Graduation Company wore BD and the remainder wore SD until the issue of No.2 dress in 1962.
Some of us went to the AOBS Towyn. When I went I was in Lowe Patrol, there was also Hillary, Mallory and Shipley patrols.
In the summer you could go to the regimental beach opposite the Bailey bridge. Passing the guardroom L/Cpl Fagg (RGJ) would always be lurking ready to pounce. His favourite hobby was to patrol the accommodation on a Sunday morning to see who was not at church as this was compulsory.
We went to Menai Bridge camp each term for a weekend. The regular RSM's were Chandler and Slater (SWB). SAA Wing CSM was Cronin (RWF) who once threatened to put me on the Cambrian Coast Express, which passed London bound at 1010hours each morning, if I didn't pay attention.
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