Boys to Men

Formatted for eBook and Paperback

Author: Steven J Burt
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The mid nineteen fifties saw the introduction of Junior Regiments within the British Army. Boys as young as fifteen could make a life changing decision, and with their parents’ consent, undertake theoretical and practical tests to leave home and become a Junior Soldier.

Almost every Regiment in the Army had a Junior Regiment attached to them, the Marines at Deal in Kent; the Junior Infantry at Shorncliffe, also in Kent, the Para’s, the Royal Signals, the Gunners and so on and so on…

In the winter of 1970 I was approaching school leaving age with no idea what to do with my future, until I stopped briefly to talk to a boy in a uniform on an Army recruiting stand, and I went home hooked. At the age of fifteen and five months I left home to become a Junior Leader for two years in the Royal Engineers (The Sappers) at Old Park Barracks, Dover, Kent. I passed out from Dover to adult service in August 1973 to join a Royal Engineers Field Squadron in Germany (BAOR - The British Army of the Rhine) and on that day I felt ten feet tall.

This book is dedicated to all kids of all Junior Regiments who took that gigantic step and won through. It wasn’t easy, in fact at times it was damn hard going, I’m sure more than a few kids, at times would have broken down in tears, especially through the first thirteen weeks. But your room mates were in the same boat so you worked together and you got through all the crap. These Junior Regiments no longer exist in the form they did in the fifties, sixties, seventies or eighties. They have been replaced by the AFC (The Army Foundation Collage) an amalgamation of Regiments and Corps, training together. No doubt the style and method of training has also changed; this may in some case be not such a bad thing. However this book takes us back to the early seventies and my personnel story as a Junior Soldier a Junior Sapper.