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Sandbag Reminiscences of Ernie Reid Sandbag
Hadrian's Camp, Carlisle
I joined the A.A.J.L.R. in 1959, prior to that time I was an army apprentice at Arbourfield but I just couldn't settle so I was transferred to the Leaders at Tonfanau.
Our officer was a Lt. Pickles of the Intelligence Corps, Sgt. Wilson (Third Tanks) was one of our instructors as was Sgt. Bilby (R.A.). L/Cpl Fagg was an R.P. and I will always remember C.S.M. Avis but as for the rest their names elude me now.
We started out in 'R' Company and progressed to 'C' Company, which I may add it did not have a great reputation, but we loved it.
When we came back from our second last leave we were sent to Hadrian's Camp Carlisle where we finished our training and were eventually sent to Catterick for posting. Sadly I was injured and hospitalised for 24 weeks and when I reported back to Catterick all the guys I'd come with had been posted to Germany, Falingbostel I think and I never ran across any of them again.
I can assure you we did start out from Carlisle and I have photos to prove my claim.
We had 17/21 Lancers, Signals, R.A.C. Pioneers, Artillery, Int. Corps, and we were definitely A.A.J.L.R. members. I still have my original stable belt and beret and badge, the old wanker spanner.
I did revisit the site were the camp use to be in 1997 and all that was left was Hadrian's Wall the rest was housing estate. Sad, but the same in Tonfanau. If Jim Head is still with us or David Sharpe, I'm sure they would verify that which I have just written about.
As of now I am the commanding officer of the Royal Armoured Corps of Cadets with the rank of Major. I might also add that we did have a liaison with the British cadets but the distances and logistics made it just about impossible to do anything as a Group so we severed our ties and flew solo and have done for the last 11 years, quite frankly they never really did anything for us and they did treat us disgustingly when we attended their annual camp at the Solent, but what can you expect from weekend warriors and school teachers, anyway that's past history and our independent unit has gone from strength to strength. We even were selected to be the Prince Edwards guard of honour out of all the cadet units in Australia for which a medal was struck for our members, and would you believe I use the standing orders for the A.A.J.L.R.
Not bad for a buckshee from the A.A.J.L.R.
You may like to look at our Website which is; www.raccadets.com.au.
23733662 Trp. E. Reid 5th R.T.R.

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