Home Page | A.A.J.L.R. Forum | Contact The Webmaster

What Happened To:
Larry Smith
I joined AAJLR in September 1963 along with Sandy Smith, John Smith, Mick Lewis, Joe Castle, Barry Mallet and Trevor Leggett who were all from the same school in Harwich, Essex. Sandy and I were J/CSM half company commanders on the Dec 65 Graduation Parade. I am still in contact with them all. On 8 January 1966 , I was posted to 14 Fd Regt RA in Dortmund , West Germany . I was employed as a Driver Operator in the Regimental Command Post and represented the Regiment at Football. I attended the All Arms Outward Bound School in Kristiandsand , Norway and attained a pass (Bloody Freezing). I passed a JNCO’s Cadre Course and gained promotion to Lance Bombardier in May 1967. I moved with 14 Lt Regt RA to Weeton Camp, Blackpool in May 1967 (Great Posting). In March 1968 I was promoted to Bombardier (favourite rank) at the age of 19 and was sent on the regimental advance party to Malaya to attend a Jungle Warfare Course at Kota Tingi, Johore Bahru. Whilst in the Far East I was a regular representative of the 28 th Commonwealth Brigade Football Team. I was one of two overseas players, during 68/69 that played football for Malacca State in the Malayan Premier Football League. (Bloody good skive) – The other chap was Sgt Bob Smith (2LI).
I returned with 14 Lt Regt RA to Weeton Camp, Blackpool in October 1969. My first tour of Northern Ireland was March 1970 in Belfast with 5 Bty, 14 Lt Regt. A spell in Canada followed on Exercise Pond Jump West. It was during 1970 that I captained the Royal Artillery Football Team. I married Barbara on 23 January 1971 in Blackpool . 14 Lt Regt RA disbanded in June 1971 and he was posted to 28 (ANZUK) Fd Regt RA, serving with 1 st Bty in Nee Soon Barracks, Singapore . My son Carl was born in June and accompanied the family to the Far East . I was promoted to Sergeant in December 1972 and was posted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an al Instructor in September 1973. My daughter Tracy was born in June 1974.
I moved in September 1975 to 16 Lt AD Regt in Soest , West Germany as a Bty AI Sigs of a Bofors 40/70 battery. In 1976, during one of the hottest summers on record I deployed with 30 Bty to the Bogside area of Londonderry in Northern Ireland . I was involved with source handling during the tour and this lead to recovery of weapons from the PIRA. In October 1977 I returned to UK with 16 Regt, occupying Rapier Barracks, Kirton-In-Lindsey, Lincolnshire . The tour in UK included Fire fighting in Sheffield , conversion to the Rapier air defence system and a tour in Armagh , Northern Ireland as TSM of the Close Observation Troop.
A move to Dortmund then followed as BSM 30 Bty. The tour in Dortmund included an operational deployment to the Falklands Islands with 30 Bty equipped with the Rapier AD system. I was awarded a GOC BFFI’s Commendation for outstanding service on my return to BAOR. Promotion to Warrant Officer Class 1 then followed with a move to Lippstadt as RSM 27 Regt RA in August 1983. During his time in Lippstadt I managed the BAOR RA Football team and guided the team to successfully winning the BAOR Championship on two occasions. I moved to Topcliffe, North Yorkshire in March 1986. I was commissioned in August 1986 and joined 94 Regt RA, in Larkhill, as Battery Captain, 5 AMF (L) Bty RA. Exercises in Norway , Denmark , Turkey and Belgium followed and after the trip to Belgium we managed to deploy the guns and fire a salute in France in the village that the Bty fought so bravely exactly 70 years before.
In May 1989 I moved to Sennelager , Germany taking up the appointment of QM (T) 39 Regt RA. I deployed with the regiment to the Middle East and fought in the Gulf War. My son Carl also fought in the Gulf war as a member of artillery FOO party with the Royal Scots Battle Group. I was awarded the Commander Artillery’s Commendation for outstanding service in the Gulf war. In 1992 I moved across to take over as QM, promoted to Major and was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List. I ran a very successful Anglo German Paderborn United Football Team. The team hold the German Cup goal scoring record of 32-0. I was posted to 5 Regt RA in June 1993 and moved back to Catterick in North Yorkshire and over a 3 year period was responsible for the conversion of RAF Catterick into an Army barracks for two regiments (5 RA and 8 Regt RLC).
I was posted to HQ Land Command as SO3 Arty Log in April 1996. I was a member of the implementation team that was responsible for the reformation of two artillery brigades. In April 1997 I was appointed SO3 G4 in 7 AD Bde and was double hatted for the remainder of my tour. I was promoted to Lt Col in January 1999 and assumed the appointment of SO1 Relocation at DPA Abbey Wood from February to June 1999. A move to Northwood Headquarters followed and for my last three years in the forces I was employed in the Joint Support Unit as Resources Manager, SO1 Contingency Planning, CO Army Personnel (Discipline), SO1 Business Continuity and Families Officer. In November 2002 I was awarded the RA Medal, the Gunners top honour, for outstanding contribution to the Royal Artillery over the years. I now live in Sutton-In-Craven, near Skipton. We tried Spain and it wasn’t our cup of tea – too many Brits! I spend time looking after the interests of veterans through old comrades associations and the odd game of golf and travel. In summary after failing my 11 plus and not destined for a managerial career I believe Tonfanau was the making of me, I was lucky to have had the chance to go to Tonfanau. I put my successful career down to having a supportive wife and when ‘wheeling and dealing’ not getting caught!! Retirement is bliss!!

 Return To The Whatever Page 


Why not tell us what happened to you:

 Email the Webmaster