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Document from Philipe Avery

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Boy soldiers
Express Staff Reporter
     Half a company of boy soldiers defied an officer who commanded them to jump out of their trucks and march in a storm.
     Four of 110 youths who camped the night of February 9 on snowy Welsh hills are in sick quarters with frost-bitten feet.
     The sit-down strike flared when the 17-year-olds of the Junior Leaders Regiment, Tonfanau, Merioneth, went on a tough exercise on the 2,648ft.-high Plinlimmon Range.
     About 60 boys braved the rough weather, but the exercise was abandoned a week ago today when the other platoon refused to budge out of their three-tonners.
     Major J.A.C. Jones, adjutant, said yesterday: "One platoon had better N.C.O.s than the other.
     "If you were going to test the leadership, you must provide opportunities of putting it to the test.
     "One platoon had leaders who turned out tops because conditions were quite difficult. The others allowed the initial discomfort to overcome them.
     "Four junior N.C.O.s have lost their stripes but there will be no further action.
     "They did not pick a very good place for their platoon to camp the night and the next morning the boys were wet and did not want to get up. After they had been moved by truck they would not get out to continue the exercise."
     One boy wrote to his parents: "We slept the first night in tents and I got wet through. In the morning it was snowing and bitterly cold. We could not fold our tents because of ice so we decided to pack in."
     After being taken by lorries to the starting point inland from Aberystwyth the platoons separated and trudged two miles, calling in at officer-manned check-points.
     Then the junior N.C.O.s supervised the pitching of tents for the night and it was their responsibility to see that the job was done properly.
     The exercise should have continued until last weekend and will now be repeated.
     Said Major Jones: "I saw no point in carrying on with one platoon and the conditions were miserable."
     The other company from the camp is doing the same exercise.
     Twenty of the company reported sick after returning to camp and four were found to have frost-bite.
     The frost-bite cases were all from the platoon which was prepared to carry on trudging
     Junior Private Barry Cutting, 17, from Weathersfield, near Braintree, Essex, is likely to be in bed for up to a month.
     Three other boys were walking about the camp hospital in soft shoes and will be discharged from there this weekend.
     Captain J.F. Depasquale, the M.O. said: "All the cases are mild and would not have happened if the boys had followed instructions."
     The camp, overlooking the sea near Towyn, is where potential non-commissioned officers of the Regular Army are trained.
Winter Rebellion.

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