Farnborough - Cove - Southwood

1. 54A. No 4 Section, 9 Ex Boys Party, 9 Trg Regt RE. Farnborough, Feb 1957.
Top standing. L to R: -     - - - 5, Spr Bob Merser (Brick Layer). 6, Spr Philips (Brick Layer)
Center L to R:          - 3, Spr Pink,( BL) 4, Spr Robinson, 5, Spr Mick Price, (Carp & Jion) 6, Spr Colin Price. Front L to R: 1, Sr Sparky Watts.(C&J) 2, Spr Clive Oborne. 3, Spr Parkinson.
4, Cpl Coope - Nat Svc Section Trg NCO,                        (5,6,7, Names not known, all Non Svy.)

2. 54A. No9 Ex Boys Party, 9 Trg Regt, Farnborough, Feb 1957. (All are Sappers)
NS = Non Svy
Top standing L to R: 1, Mick Price. NS 9,John Walton. 10,Colin Price.11,John Smith. 12,Colin Phipps, ----- .
Row 2, standing.
1, Mick Roach, NS. ------ 8, Barry Cannon. 16, Bomber Clarke, Brick Layer & Boxer. - - 19, Henry Parslow,
Row 3, standing.
- - 3, Sparky Watts, NS. - 5, Parkinson, NS. - 7, Robinson, NS. - - - - 12, Bob Merser. - -15, Gimpy Height, Intake 53B. - -
18, Pink, NS. - 20 end, (Lofty) Dave Hair, QSA, NS.
Row 4, standing.
- - - - 5, Nally ? NS - 7, John Lewis.- - - - 12, Ross Hebes.
Front sitting. - - 3, Mick Barnette. 4, Dave Allengame. 5, Clive Obrne, - - - 9, Cpl Jack Savage Sect NCO, - - - -
14, Cpl Coope No 4 Sect NCO. - - - 18, Denis Evans. - - -
4. My party at 9 TRRE, Southwood Camp, Cove, Farnborougfh, Hants
This was my second Training unit, the first being 1 TRRE, Norton Barracks, Malvern, Worcs. where we were supposedly the first all regular intake. We were only there for 2 weeks before moving to Cove where we split into separate parties. Two other s destined for Survey along with myself were Dennis Sutherland and Eric Goff. I am sorry that in those days certain trades, including Survey, were classified as "M" tradesmen and did not continue training as Field (now Combat) Engineers. In consequence my stay at 9TRRE was only of four weeks duration of which over a week was spent on Ash ranges where "M" tradesmen provided the rear party as well. We did not even do any arms drill and on arrival with Eric Goff & Dennis Sutherland at SMS Buller Kent dealt with that omission, In retrospect I wish that I had completed Field Engineering.
In our Party we had a real mixture one of whom had been given the choice of the Army or Borstal by the Magistrates, Eric Furnell was a fairground boxer destined for Railways before the RCT stole them from the Sappers. Courtesy Albie Field
5. Albie Field

8. Surveyors at 1 TRRE Cove.

Back row: R Jones, ????, ????, D Jones, JJ Gould
Middle row: B Houldershaw, N Geeson, ????, ????, RA Pomroy
Front row: K Sampson, DG Nunley, AA Claxton, ????, C Greensitt, ????, ????.

Courtesy Roger Jones


Cove 1956

6. This was taken late 1956 at Cove, Farnborough, on the same Field Engineering Course shown on Trevor Powell's Memories, but shows a different troop.
Cpl Savage appears in both photos as he was standing in for this troop's Cpl who was not present on that day.
There are only three surveyors here. Myself, Bud Moon (Middle Row Left), Peter Gould (Middle Row Right) and Brian (BOJ) Williams (Front Row, 3rd from left).
7. This photo was taken around Oct/Nov 1956, on a night out in Aldershot when we attending the above Field Engineering Course.
Left to Right. Wes Noble, Dennis 'Jack' Hawkins, George 'Geordie' McAllister, and myself. I seem to remember it was at a dance where a good jazz band was playing.
Love Geordie's socks in uniform.
Courtesy Bud Moon

Cove - Trevor "Bill" Powell


Royal Engineers Field Engineering Course , Cove, Farnborough - September to November 1956

All Sappers (the name for soldiers who serve in the Royal Engineers and which derives from the word “sap” meaning a trench, in other words “the trench diggers”) must undergo a Field Engineering Course which covers bridge-building, including their construction on floating pontoons, laying mines and their detection and removal, explosives for blowing up buildings, railway lines and so on, booby traps, trench-digging and revetment (strengthening and protecting the trench walls) and a host of techniques and apparatus to enable tasks to be performed often using locally-obtainable materials such as trees when standard materials and equipment are not readily available. Of course this helped develop one’s initiative which has personally stood me in good stead many times during my life. There were about ninety of us on the course, mostly ex Apprentices, and we were divided into five(?) platoons, each with a corporal instructor in charge. I was in the platoon led by Cpl. Jack Savage who had the reputation of being a hard one, and he certainly lived up to it. Savage by name and savage by nature! (He was just doing his job, I suppose). He was responsible for drill, weapon training, discipline and so on as well as some of the field techniques and made us sweat blood on all counts.


1. The “SAVAGE” platoon

Apart from that aspect though and the fact that we were physically exhausted every evening, the course had some very interesting sides to it. I enjoyed particularly bridge-building (even if it was very tiring work carrying Bailey Bridge panels) and explosives. The latter gave rise to occasional thoughts of trying out my newly-acquired skills on Cpl. Savage’s bunk (the room where he slept). However, he survived the nine-week course without suffering damage and, perhaps more miraculously, so did I. Thus I became a grade III (the lowest level) Combat Engineer. I had no desire to pursue this road further but am glad I had the experience.

2. Passing Out Parade - November 1956
3. 4.