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Drill instructors at Hereford 1954-56

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    Anyone with memories of DI Sergeant Joe Salter Hereford 1954-56 ? What a character he was. A very refined drill instructer with squeeky boots who frequently advised me ” James you will never make the grade” how right he was !!


    Charles (jim) James 22nd/24th

    Alan Bell

    Uncle Joe Salter, remember him well Jimmy. Favourite expression was ‘bloody ‘ell’ and he had a host of well rehearsed bits of what  now would be great situation comedy. Once caught me skiving of PT and I remember he said to me, ‘Ain’t you supposed to be on PT?’ Without a good enough excuse he then said ‘ Do you know anything about cooking’? I made the mistake of saying no our course and was promptly dispatched to the cookhouse where I could ‘start learning by washing up a few pots and pans’!

    A master of the rhetorical question eg ‘You will never come to anything you won’t – what will you come to’? Nearly always started his rants by saying ‘Wot’s your name boy’!

    Everyone had a bit of a soft spot for old Joe and at reunions we always talk about what may have happened to him after Hereford.



    Thank you for your reply ref the famous “Bloody Hell” Joe Salter. Many memories of the man. ” Demonstration by corporal Drinkwater how to slope arms pay attention boy”

    always concerned about perfection on “passout day” with his comments ; “On the day they will all be there. The OC , the AOC, The AOCin C, they will all be there on the day.” He could turn a bit nasty on  occasions and belt you with his pacestick I seem to remember. We had one boy in the 22nd who was an Irishman called “Laverty” Joe always called him “Lavatory”. Good old days that really shaped us to a certain extent but must admit I hated it for the first few months at Credenhill.

    Best wishes to you in France Alan. I envy your style of living if only I was twenty years younger. Apart from the petty annoyances a wonderful place to live.


    Best wishes Charles (jimmy) James


    Alan Bell

    Yes Jimmy I forgot the ‘On the day they will all be there’ bit. I certainly remember him saying that as will I am sure, a large number of my own entry! We had a guy called Bill Laverick and one day on the parade square Joe was wanting to demonstrate some rifle drill movement. He called to Laverick ‘throw me your rifle boy’. Laverick did so throwing it hard and  horizontaly at Joe, catching him square in his ample stomach area. Poor old Joe nearly collapsed completely winded, much to the amusement of the assembled herd. Cannot honestly remember what happened next but it was a long time ago.

    On another occasion he was doing bedcheck and noticed my yellow luminous socks hanging to dry over the stove. He picked them up on the end of his pacestick as if they were diseased. Waving them around he shouted ‘who owns these abortions’? Me Sarge said I meekly. ‘You ain’t nothing but a Teddy Boy what are you’? ‘A Teddy Boy Sarge’ I said. At that Joe dropped them in the fire. Bloody hell, they cost me 2/6 a fair amount at the time!

    Have lived in France for 16 years now Jimmy. Although the cost of living has practically doubled in that time, it is still a wonderful country to be in with so much space. Would not swop it now for anywhere else. Would be interested to hear from any other ex-admin apprentices who have settled here.Talmont SW France

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