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Bob Wells

Beverley Boys

Having put the kiss of death on BFN and the other radio stations I thought I might get the keyboards moving again by asking which Beverley Boys spent time at Langeleben.
I'll start the ball rolling by naming Ernie Cooper, John Rosson, Ben Perkins and your truly

Bob 1954/59
paul croxson

Sorry Bob,
I was more interested in the Beverley Sisters.
Can't contribute much to this one!
David Thomas

Hi Bob, Sorry to say Beverley was long gone, by the time I joined Denbury reigned supreme; or at least it did until the next Government “improvement” and they closed all the junior leader establishments, only retaining the apprentice colleges for a few more years. Are you aware that the Beverley Boys have a pretty active web site? Dave.
jr

Also gone well before my time. I did often drive past the old barracks in Beverley, as my sister taught in Beverley for a number of years before retirement and still lives in the area.

The barracks was demolished, there now stands a housing estate and supermarket on the site. All that remains is a part of what was the gateway (the barracks was originallly the Depot of the East Yorkshire Regiment, the 14th Foot).

Even this bit was only saved, as the unknowing -or uncaring- developer was going to bulldoze the lot and only a last-minute protest by veterans' groups and local residents alerted the authorities to the threatening loss of part of their history. So the gateway with it's inscription now forms part of the supermarket wall. Sic transit gloria mundi!
Mac Bowker

Beverley Boys

Hi Bob.
I too served at Beverley in 1952/53. 'A' Troop. It was an certainly an experience, though not exactly enjoyable I must say.
I and many others thought things couldn't get much worse for us,what with the punishments and miserly pay.Then we found out that they really could, because the next stage of our training was at Gallowgate,Catterick.
When we got off the train in Darlington we were marched there by one Corporal Stringer.I don't know how many paces per minute we did but it was a good deal faster than the usual for us 'layabout' Boy Soldiers.But as time passed things/postings got better.Loughborough,Cyprus,Bavaria,Langeleben,Berlin.So I consider myself extremely lucky to have been to these places and met some really good blokes from all walks of life, many of them really talented.And I don't just mean having the ability to drink beer from a glass boot (I know what the Germans call it but I can't spell it) without spilling any.For the most part they were very happy times and I'm glad I never missed them
Bob Wells

Hi Mac
I was in the other squadron at Beverley and I'm more than happy to avoid a trip down memory lane as far as 6BTR goes.  Like you I ended up at Gallowgate on the OWL's course.  We were told that the top three  students on our course would get the best postings.  There was Brian Angel, Pete Bannier and yours truly who although being told we were good did not find ourselves going to the Far East or the Middle East but on a train to 10WTS.  From Loughborough it was then Munster and from Muster up to 101 Wireless Troop.  As far as I was concerned Langeleben was like a dream come true.  By the way Mac seeing your name reminds me of that night we had over in Helmstedt with the Yanks.
Tom Neal

I may be wrong but I think Pete Ellis and Alan Maxwell were at Beverly.
Alan told me many times that he hated every minute of Boy's Service.
Tom
Mac Bowker

Well Bob, I remember being in Helmstedt one night,in fact the ONLY time I ever went to the place.Presumably it's an age thing but I don't remember any Yanks being present.What I do remember is teaming up with two 'chicks' who turned out to be the main attraction at this bar we went to.They were strippers.... 'Well bless my soul' said I when we found out what they were about.(At least I think that's what I said). I remember having a few 'bevvies' with yanks in Konigslutter,Rosenheim and Degerndorf/Brannenburg but not Helmstedt.

Dave Thomas mentioned that the Beverley Boys have a website, perhaps it's a case of not seeing the wood for the trees because I couldn't find it....Any clues please?
Mac
David Thomas

Hi Guys, It seems that Boys service changed dramatically between ’56 & ’60; it may have been the move from the harsh north to the soft south, or a revision of policy by those running the show. What ever it was, virtually all the lads from Denbury remember their time with fondness, and are just as pleased to reminisce over old times as we who served at Langeleben are. I’m only glad that I was at Denbury and not Beverley, later when I was instructing at Harrogate I certainly tried to bare in mind the tender age of our young charges. For Mac, I’ll get the details of the Beverley site and pass them on for you. All the best. Dave.
Mac Bowker

Muchas gracias Dave. I'm standing by with a chisel point pencil and a pad to write down the details.......those were the days eh?
Bob Wells

Yes I recall that night Mac, if I remember correctly you closed your eyes for a short period and only opened them when the young lady was almost at the end of her act.  
David Denbury doesn't  seem to have suffered from the adverse publicity that Beverley acquired.  There may never have been a move to Denbury had not one of the boys written to his mother complaining about the conditions within the camp.  His mother apparently wrote to one of the national newspapers who we were told sent a correspondent to the camp. The night before the correspondent arrived to view the camp there was a storm which caused a considerable amount of damage within the camp.  Now whether there was a letter to the press I'm not that certain, but I do recall the storm and the damage that was inflicted.  It was just after then that I departed form Beverley to Catterick.  Now that was around August 1953.
Oh and another name- Frank Limerick.

Bob 1954/59
GerryK

Beverley Boys

Hi all, especially Mac, the website for Beverley Ex Boys is.
http;//beba.bravenet.com  . There is a link from the RSA website under affiliated associations. Hope that is of help.
PS I believe that Pete Ellis was ex Harrogate.
Mac Bowker

Bob,Jerry & Dave
Many thanks lads for supplying details of the Beverley Boys site.What a pity that I recognised hardly anyone at all on the photos,although one or two names were familiar in the comments section. Not many entries considering the time it's been going.
However I will keep having a 'shufty'.
Has anyone on here ever been to one of their re-unions?
Tom Neal

Hello Mac,
Not an ex boy (exMN) so have not been to any of their reunions but they have an entry in The Wire magazine every edition and seem to be well organized.  You can get in touch via the Royal Signals site if you are  interested.
Tom
Mac Bowker

Well Tom
I never knew you were in the MN.
Did you join straight from school? and do your 'apprenticeship' at Hull?
How long were you in?
Where did you go?
When did you come out?
Were you at sea long enough to get your 'Sea Legs'?
Did you in fact ever go to sea?If so,were you ever sea sick?
Were you ever sick of reading crap like this?

Serious now...
There were quite a few spec ops who were ex MN.There were 3 in my lot alone (E troop) at 2 Wrls,Famagusta - Raymond Batters,Charlie Gregory & Keith Shaw.Good ops too.
Thanks for the info re: Beverley Boys.Will look into it later Tom.I notice that the standard of chat is not up to much on the thing I've been looking at. Not like wot it is on 'ere.
Tom Neal

Hello Mac,
What a lot of questions!
I did not join straight from school as the last school I went to was The British School,Suez,Egypt.
I did my training at the National Sea Training School, Gravesend and only did a couple of years before joining the army.
Did not get too far, mainly Canada including a couple of trips into the Hudson Bay and a trip to Galveston and all the main ports on the continent of Europe.
Tom
BrianK

Lads in the MN

Hello Tom and Mac,
         When we were at Garets Hey Tom, do you remember a lad called Tony Oram?  He and I were the only two in our squad/class who could read morse.  He did his at a radio school someplace and I did mine at the Fishermans Collage in Grimsby.  I went on trawlers as you know but Tony had  done 'big boating' and I believe finshed up on one of the Queens.  I seem to remember that we both made our first recieving mistake when we'd got up to about fifteen WPM and what a cheer went up in the classroom.  Teacher was a Jock who's only conversation up to that point was 'three vick eddies and read'

BrianK
Tom Neal

Hello Brian, Yes I remember Tony very well.  He had been a radio op on some of the liners but I cannot remember which ones.
His mistake which he did on purpose was to write T instead of 0 in a figure test.
Not sure where he went after training but have never seem him again.
Tom
RonB

Tom & Brian
Just an outsider sticking my oar in -
I think Len South may have been a contemporary of yours and I understand he also was in MN.  He was a great story teller and always a good entertainer during the 'quiet times'.
Ron
kerby

Len South, now there's a character, I new him at Munster. He was the only person I have ever met who would smoke a cigarette whilst having a shower. There is a photo of him on the Birgelen site. Smoking as usual.
Laughing Keith
BrianK

Len South........................

Doesn't ring any bells with me Ron but seeing Munster was mentioned in the following post could be he was a bit before Tom and I's time...................
RonB

Len was a watch corporal in Munster and in the early days at Birgelin.  I think he was made sergeant in late '55. As I mentioned, he was a good storyteller.  If I've got the story right, he only joined the Rsigs after a run of bad luck.  After leaving the MN he joined the RAF.  When his service there ended he earned his living running a mobile fish and chip shop, which unfortunately caught fire and, being uninsured, put him out of business.   His bad luck certainly enriched the lives of many NS men.
Bob Wells

Yes Len did make Sergeant. I found myself on the same watch as him during one of my short stays at the Regiment. What I remember about Len is that he was a very talented guitarist.
Of course when one thinks of Len then there is the other Sergeant who I believe arrived in Germany around the same time, that being Paddy Montomery.  Now who remembers Paddy?
BrianK

Paddy Montgomery...................

Bob, I remember Paddy Montgomery very well.  One night in Upstairs Shumans we had a rare visit from a bunch of Yanks from Helmstedt.  We got along very well during the evening but all of a sudden Paddy decided that he didn't like the American Top/Sgt.  Within seconds all hell broke loose and it finished up with the Yanks dragging their Sgt down the stairs vowing to return with the whole of their unit.  Got to the ears of our CO at the time (Capt. Welton?) and he went across to Helmstedt and arranged that they would stay in Helmstedt and we would't go visit there.  Don't remember going over there myself anyway.  Don't recall ever seeing our 'cousins' ever again in 'slutter.  Also seem to remember that him and Bill Bowles used to have a bit of a 'hate him love him' relationship going on.  Sure of this one as Bill was my A Watch Cpl. and every time we went down town we had to keep an eye on him!  Happy days.......................

BrianK  1 Wrls '56   RAF Handorf D/F '56   Langeleben D/F '56-'58
Bob Wells

Brian, I never did know why we were invited over to Helmstedt but I was amongst the  few of us who went over there a number of occasions and to be honest I found the Yanks to be wonderful hosts.  I'll never forget my first visit because that was the first time I'd encountered a T Bone steak.  When the first steak arrived on the table I thought it was to be shared by all those sitting at the table.  It came as a bit of a surprise to be told, "Hey that's yours" Certainly made a change from ACC pie.
BrianK

ACC Pie....................

Now there's a rave from the grave, ACC Pie known throughout the length and breadth of the British Empire!!  Always remember at Langeleben going into the cookhouse to collect my supper after a five to mid, (or was it a four to mid?) at Rabke, and crunching across a carpet of cockroaches!!  Supper always left wrapped in greasproof paper so a quick
shake of the parcel and off to the billet with a mug of lukewarm tea!........

BrianK
David Thomas

You’ll all be pleased to know that the Langeleben cookhouse cockroaches were just as happy in their brand new accommodation. We got quite used to the annual fumigation, the line of anti roach paint round the wall shaking every bit of food before eating it. I do remember that all hell let loose when the NAAFI ladies moved into the building, they were horrified to be sharing bedspace with so many neighbours. Joe Johnson used to sleep in the cookhouse on a camp bed but armed himself with Gala bottles for self defence. We also adopted a kitten for a few days, but it couldn’t stand the competition, so went home with one of the Pad’s. All the best. Dave.
paul croxson

It's sad, Bob, to read Sprog Thomas's winges about cockroaches!
We really "Old Langeleben" chaps can recall the time when conditions in the cookhouse were so bad that the cockroaches went AWOL. At least we didn't have to share the bacon sarnies with them. I still have the same love of them and one day I'll find someone who can make a 'Jam Butty Fritter' that can compare to those in my memory that Scouse used to produce.
I still tell the story of Scouse serving rice pudding in that shack and my complimenting him on having taken the trouble to put some nutmeg on the top. "That's not fookin nutmeg, that's fookin rust,you Git" replied an almost hysterical Scouse with that appalling toothless grin that he had. I wonder if he is still poisoning everyone or whether he has gone to the great Cookhouse in the Sky. I am finding in my advanced yeas that I think like that more and more. I went to a school re-union, meeting chaps whom I had been with in 1946 (yes, Dave, I am that old). All of those wonderful sportsmen we, in the 2nd form used to worship, now on wlaking sticks, Zimmer frames and wheelchairs.
Sic transit something or other Gordon. (Are you still with us????)
Gordon

... gloria mundi.  Paul
paul croxson

Gordon,
I knew Gloria well, rather fancied her Mother too. Glad to have seen signs of life!!
David Thomas

I also knew a Gloria, sad to say (although not surprising) she didn't want to know me! Paul since you were at school on '46 are you sure it was Gloria's mother? I believe grandmothers also had their attractions!
All the best.
Dave
paul croxson

That was my 'Big' school, Dave. School started for me in 1940 and Bloody Government immediately decide that all schools in London should be shut 'for the duration'. My Father then decided that this was not good enough and we all moved to leafy (?) Surrey only to be immediately bombed out by a well-aimed land mine! Off to rural Suffolk and finally skool.
Gloria was a forward young lady by the way, in every  respect.

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