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Letter To Parents
A Letter Sent To All Parents - September 1959.
FROM: Colonel J.F. LAKE, MC All Arms Junior Leaders' Regiment,
Tonfanau Camp, Towyn,
Merionethshire, North Wales.
Tele: Towyn 376. Ext. 1.
Ref: A/97 8th. September, 1959.

Dear Mr. Parent,

        As the Commanding Officer of your boy (NAME). I welcome this opportunity of writing to you and giving you some general information on how he will spend his time now that he has arrived safely in my Regiment.

        The Camp lies on the coast of Cardigan Bay in West Wales, between Aberdovey and Barmouth. It is in excellent surrounds, having its own beach, with the lovely Welsh hills behind it. Cader Idris is about 14 miles to the East and Snowdon lies to the North.

        Your boy will first undergo a special programme of training designed to make it easy for him to settle down in his new surroundings and in the Army way of life.

        Thereafter his training in designed to develop the mental and physical qualities to enable him to reach the rank of a senior non commissioned officer or warrant officer of the Regular Army. A great part of this training will be educational, and he will be taught and coached by fully qualified instructors to pass during his stay here the examinations necessary for his future promotion. A report on your boys progress will be forwarded to you at the end of each term, in order that you may encourage and support his efforts.

        Apart from education he will get a thorough grounding in military subjects which include drill and weapon training and the development of leadership qualities by minor expeditions, walks and climbs in the surrounding hills.

        In addition to his work, he will be encouraged to take part in all sports and sporting activities and here again he will be coached by experts. The Camp has two gymnasia, many sports fields and I know that he will not lack any facility he may need.

        Hobbies play their part in his training and almost all activities from stamp collecting to boat building are catered for.

        You will no doubt be interested to know the details of his pay. Initially he will be entitled to 38/6d a week, but this will increase with length of service, promotion and when he passes examinations. From this he will save 7/0d weekly by payment into a P.O. Savings Bank Account which I will open for him. He will not be allowed to withdraw from this account (except in an emergency) whilst he is in my Regiment. This will mean that he starts his regular man's service with a small bank balance and will encourage him to go on saving.

        A further 2/6d is deducted to pay for such things as haircuts and sports kit. In return he will be given a pair of soccer boots, two pairs of stockings and a Regimental Belt which are his own property. All other sports kit that he will need is issued from a sports store as required.


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        He will be given 17/6d a week to spend which will leave 11/-d to his credit. This credit will accumulate and will be given to him when he goes on leave, together with an advance of his pay and ration allowance for the leave period.

        He will be given ten weeks leave a year, four weeks in August, three weeks at Christmas and three weeks at Easter, together with free travel warrant to and from his home. Weekend leave is not permissible except on compassionate grounds, and I would ask you not to apply for it unless it is absolutely necessary, as it will only unsettle your boy.

        There are two aspects of his life on which I would be grateful for your opinion.

        Firstly smoking. During the first half term your boy is here, he will not be allowed to smoke at all, and every opportunity will be taken of bringing home to him the dangers of cigarette smoking and the benefits, medical and otherwise, of being a non-smoker. After this, however, if he is over sixteen and you give your permission, he will be allowed to smoke outside working hours.

        Secondly, medical services. The Regiment has a good hospital on the Camp, staffed by a resident doctor, a fully trained matron, nursing orderlies and a dental surgeon.

        Minor ailments will be treated here and more serious illnesses will be treated in the local civilian hospital.

        I know you will agree that it is to your boy's advantage to be immunised against smallpox, polio and other diseases. However, I need your permission before such inoculations can take place.

        Also, it may be necessary in unforseen circumstances for your boy to undergo an operation. If this should become necessary (and I sincerely hope it won't) and time allows, I shall write to you and get your consent, which by law I must have. However, a real case of urgency may arise when an operation is necessary and time is vital. I would like in such a case to have your permission in advance. I will of course notify you instantly if such an emergency should ever arise.

        I enclose a form covering the points I have mentioned for you to complete by crossing out and signing where necessary, together with a pre-paid envelope.

        If I do not hear from you within 14 days, I shall take it that you have agreed that your boy may smoke and that he may be inoculated, but I must emphasise that without your written consent I can do nothing about an emergency operation should this ever be necessary.

        You are welcome to visit the Regiment at any time to see your boy but due to the location of the Camp and the fact that he may be out on training, I suggest you let me know in advance when you intend coming. In this way I can ensure that you will see your boy and all the activities of the Regiment. I do advise you not to visit him during his first six weeks of training, as he is not allowed out of camp, and I have found from experience that such early visits tend to unsettle not only your boy but also those whose parents are unable to get here. I hope at a later day when we have our passing out parades and Parents Days you will be able to visit the Regiment.


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