Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas 1974

Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England

Basic training
This picture that was taken in Neulette, France, in 1917 reminds me of my basic training in the Royal Air Force.

Christmas 1974
As part of our training, we had to do a week's survival course in Sherwood Forest. 

The weather was so cold; the water was freezing, and I couldn't shave. I was willing to go on a charge for not shaving. The time I tried to shave, I carved my face up badly. 

I was in charge of the heating lamps, and although I was shaking so much, I was pouring fuel on my hands and I couldn't feel a thing. That week, I almost committed assault on one of my friends. 

He was in the sergeant's tent and came out saying all he'd had was some soup for dinner. I'd been trying to unfreeze some butter and only managed to tear my bread to pieces. 

In the middle of our camp was a stockpile of tins. None of the tins had labels remaining after the freezing rains, and the officers told us to take what we wanted. 

The weather was so bad - one of the worst winters in decades, we were brought back on the third day. The officers told us that we could have a hot meal in their mess if we wanted. Some of the lads did take the offer up; others made for a warm bath for the first time in a week - I made for my bed.

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