Served as R.S.M. at Harrogate A.A.S. from March 1948 to September 1955
Regimental Sergeant Major Stanley Lonsborough of the Coldstream Guards, known as ‘Tara’ (from the Yorkshire way of saying T’RSM), merits a particular mention. A class 1 Warrant Officer, he inspired awe, nay, downright fear just by his presence in the vicinity, in all who had the misfortune to come across him. Even officers would change direction to avoid him if they could as they were just as likely to receive a reprimand for their dress or behaviour as were the Apprentices. The only difference being that the bitter pill would be slightly sweetened for the officers by being addressed as “Sir” instead of “Lad”.
The tales told of legendary Stan would fill a book and make very entertaining reading. On parade he would stand behind a trembling apprentice and ask in his deep voice “Am I hurting you, lad?”. The bewildered lad would reply “No Sir!”. The question would then be repeated and receive the same worried reply. At which Stan would bark out “Well I should be, I’m standing on your hair. Get it cut! Take his name, Sergeant Bowsley!”. The poor culprit was now doomed to an even shorter back and sides to the one he already had, as well as a couple of hours on fatigues, perhaps painting the stones white which lined the roads or scrubbing the cookhouse floor.
One of his favourite expressions when drilling apprentices was “Bring your foot up underneath yer KNEE, NOT underneath yer BOTTOM!” In actual fact, Stan was probably a very fair person despite his insistance on military perfection and discipline, and my Army friends and I still talk about him over fifty years later with affection (perhaps still tainted with awe), when the passage of time has mellowed our memories and we can laugh about those happenings which struck the fear of God (Tara) into us so many years ago.
Stan’s daughter Anita, by the way, won a gold medal for Britain in the breast stroke at the Rome Olympics in 1960. Perhaps she was ordered to win and dare not disobey.
From the AOHA website
With thanks to Trevor "Bill" Powell for this contribution