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Letter To Parents
A Letter Sent To All Parents - January 1963.
FROM: Colonel T. Lash, OBE Commandant,
All Arms Junior Leaders' Regiment,
Tonfanau Camp, TOWYN,
Merionethshire, North Wales.
Tele: Towyn 376. Ext. 1.
Ref: 1304
Date: 10 Jan 63.

Dear Mrs Parent,

        As the Commanding Officer of your son/ward (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.

        Tonfanau Camp lies on the coast of Cardigan Bay in West Wales, between Aberdovey and Barmouth. The Camp lies at the foot of the lovely Welsh hills and its own beach is within walking distance. Cader Idris is about 14 miles to the East and Snowdon lies to the North.

        Your son will at 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 required to enable him to reach the rank of a senior non-commissioned officer or warrant officer of the Regular Army. A great deal of this training will be educational. He will be taught and coached by fully qualified instructors so that during his stay here he has the chance to pass examinations necessary for his future promotion. A report on your boy's progress will be forwarded to you at the end of each term in order that you may encourage and support his efforts.

        He will also get a thorough grounding in military subjects which include drill and weapon training. Leadership qualities will be developed by walks and minor expeditions in the surrounding hills.

        In addition to his work, he will be encouraged to take part in sporting activities in which he will again be coached by experts. The Camp has two gymnasia, many sports fields and a large amount of sports equipment.

        I am sure you will be interested in your boy's pay. On joining he gets a gross pay of 47/2d a week. Out of this is deducted 3/-d a month for hair cutting, 5/3d a week National Health Insurance and after his recruit training 1/-d a week is charged as a sport subscription. He will get as a recruit 15/-d paid to him in cash each week. I open a Post Office Savings Account for each boy and he saves 7/0d a week in this account. He is only allowed to withdraw money with my permission. The intention of this is to teach a boy to save and to build up a Savings Account for him before he leaves my Regiment. When he has completed his recruit training he will receive £1 a week. Further pay rises are given for qualifying at various subjects, for length of service and for promotion when he reaches NCO rank. Each pay rise earned gives an increase in the amount of money actually paid to him in cash. All other pay goes to his credit from which payment is made for loss of kit etc. The balance is paid to him when he goes on leave, together with his Ration Allowance and normal leave pay.

- 2 -

        There are three aspects of his life in which you may have a particular interest. These are:-

        Firstly, smoking. Providing he is over sixteen, he will be allowed to smoke outside working hours. However, every opportunity will be taken to bring home to him the dangers of cigarette smoking and the benefits, medical and otherwise, of being a non smoker. Your support in the discouragement of smoking would be much appreciated.

        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 and short illnesses will be treated here whilst cases of more serious illnesses will generally be transferred to the RAF Hospital Cosford, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. Should he be admitted to the Camp or other Hospital you will be informed immediately by post.

        I know you will agree that it is to his advantage to be immunised against a number of diseases. This is usually carried out in the first two terms at the Regiment, and in the case of poliomyelitis, tuberculosis and diptheria, immunisation will only be offered to those boys who are found to be in need of it.

        Thirdly, motor vehicles. No Junior Leader is allowed to have or to ride any motor vehicle (e.g. motor bike, motor scooter etc) whilst he is with this Regiment and therefore, if he owns a vehicle, I must request that he keeps it at home with you. He may, during his last term, be given driving instruction in WD vehicles, but I cannot allow him to have a private motor vehicle in this Camp or surrounding areas during term.

        You are welcome to visit the Regiment at any time to see him, 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 him and all activities of the Regiment. I do not advise you 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 date, when we have our Passing Out Parade and Parents Days, that you will be able to visit the Regiment.

        He is in 'R' Company and his Company Commander is Major J.A.R. TAYLOR, RHF.

        If there are any other details you would like to have, please do not hesitate to write at any time to your boy's Company Commander who is personally responsible for his welfare, and who will be only too willing to answer any questions you may have.

Yours faithfully,

                           T. Lash

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