Winchester: 9th October 2014.
There’s an old saying ‘The Navy/Army/Air Force (delete as applicable) isn’t the same as it used to be … and it never was!’ We’d gone to the Sir John Moore Barracks, near Winchester to see grandson Jack receive his cap badge after six weeks basic training in the Army.
I noticed a difference to ‘the bad old days’ right away. Everyone was so nice! But, it was a ‘Family Day’ … I thought back to many years ago, at a similar event, when I heard ‘Corporal MacNasty’ telling my mother: ‘He’s a good lad! One of the best in my section!’ Which was exactly the opposite of what he’d called me not 24 hours before.
However, I did make a supreme effort not to start any sentence with ‘In my day … ‘ and I suspect I wasn’t the only one present who did the same
This isn’t about me, though, it’s about Jack. And I don’t think I was the only one who had difficulty recognising the smart, handsome young soldier who came to meet us after the parade. He hasn’t finished yet. There’s more to do at Winchester before he passes out and goes on to trade training as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers.
Best of luck, Jack … and, if they have photographers in the RE, you’ve got it made!