I was visiting my mum a couple of days ago when my brother had brought over a load of stuff that was still over at the house she used to live in. Amongst all of the nick-knacks, books and other bits were some old photos.
They were taken back in 1984 when I joined the Army just after my 18th birthday. Most of them were of my passing out parade.
How the hell I ever learned to march in time is beyond me as my co-ordination is pretty rubbish. Mind you I had my fair share of tellings of by the NCOs and found myself doing extra duties when I cocked up, or turning up to ‘show parade’ when I had ‘failed to turn my iron on’ (in other words I had a miniscule crease across the back of my skirt, which the sergeant had noticed)!
Still, I made it. I got through the basic training, I managed to pass the fitness test (which I hated) and I could invite 2 people to my passing out parade. Now was you may know, I come from a large family; Mum and Dad had divorced and re-married, and I have 5 siblings. As you can see from the pic, both parents and spouses came, 2 or my 3 brother and my older sister and her daughter, How they all got in I don’t know especially as my eldest brother was on crutches after breaking something!
Still it was a magical moment for me when I marched past and saw them all there, as I didn’t know they were all coming.