Life at the Army Apprentices School, Harrogate


September 1953 to July 1956

A very brief résumé by Trevor ‘Bill’ Powell



I left home on Thursday 10th September 1953, went to the Army Recruiting Office in Ecclesall Road, Sheffield and there I sold eleven years of my life to the Army in exchange for the Queen’s shilling. I then journeyed to the Army Apprentices School at Harrogate to spend the next three years learning to become a soldier and, above all, a land surveyor.
My ‘Intake’ was 53B. Capt. G.S.Seaton, O.C. R.E.Survey, called us ‘Les diaboliques’.


The memories are many and cover the whole psychological spectrum, from sheer desperation to euphoria, a love/hate relationship like the one I entwined with the Yorkshire moors, stretching off towards Ilkley and Skipton, areas where I learnt topographic and trigonometric surveying.


The initial survey class was composed of twelve likely lads, namely: * John Alcock * Peter Gould * Dennis ‘Jack’ Hawkins * George ‘Geordie’ McAllister * Lawrence ‘Bud’ Moon * Thomas Wesley ‘Wes’ Noble * John ‘Ozzie’ Powell * Trevor ‘Bill’ Powell (no relation to John) * Alan J. ‘Al’ Roberts *  John Turnbull * Brian O.J. ‘Boj’ Williams * Bryan Edwin ‘Woody’ Woodfield *


Unfortunately I have very few photos of those years (who could afford a camera, film, developing and printing?). Only the colour photos were taken by me (in 2003), so my thanks go to whoever supplied the black/white ones.


I have included some very humurous and poignant poems (not written by me) which I’m sure will bring back sweet and sour memories of those experiences, certainly not to be regretted.


What is important is simply that WE SURVIVED.