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wanted old forces suitcase

David Ives

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Ah, OK we belive you.:-D Se you at MM, (God and Weather permitting) Unfortunatley landed a late shift!:argh: 00:20 finish so will take 101 to work, keeping it well out of the way of the shunters, and drive down after. Fortunatley I can kip in the back.

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I have one of them but you are not getting it. There is an awful lot of stuff stored in it. Besides you'd have to change your name to ADAMSON 850 cos that's what it says on the front. This was normal practice. I remember Florry, bless him. He spent ages drawing his name and number on in soldier pen only to find that when he stood the case up (per the picture) it read ENITNEROLF 118.


Useless fact. A DCI (Defence Council Instruction) was issued in the mid-80s advising that the suitcase was no longer going to be issued because the corner strengtheners were made of whale skin and the MOD had to been seen to be helping save the whale.


The old cases were never withdrawn (the whales were already dead) but sometime about then, new recruits started being issued hold-alls instead.

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Does that mean we'll have Greenpeace camping outside the club house:???


The best one I knew at MOD was agressive pullovers. The MOD Police and Gaurding 'Agency' decided that we should get brand new smooth V necked jumpers. When asked 'Why?' as we were all happily attached to our ribbed Jersey Heavy, the reply was 'The current model looks to aggresive' So what effect did the Flack jacket, SA80, Baton, and Browning on the hip do then?:???:???:???

(Favourite remark from visitors 'Is that gun loaded? Favourite answer' Be pointless if it wasn't.)

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Until the IRA murdered a Colonel in Bielefeld in March 1980 (I was away from Paderborn sailing the Army's entry in the Tall Ships Race, the 55' Camper & Nicholson yawl Sabre), most prowler and gate guards only ever got a self-loading pick-helve for personal protection.


Thereafter, the alert state immediately went through the roof and the prowler and gate guards took personal weapons (invariably small metal guns, though the TFE HQ & Sigs Troop sharing the barracks brought SLRs). For the first week, nobody gave them ammuntion though.


Then somebody realised that a weapon without ammo was worse than having a pick-helve cos anyone mounting an attack would feel the need to shoot the guards to prevent them firing back. I came back from Gibraltar after handing Sabre over to the next crew and was plunged straight into a full daytime gate guard routine which heretofore had been mounted by the Regimental Provost. We were issued five rounds at the start of our stag (two hour tour of duty) which we loaded into a mag before applying a strip of Army masking tape (which is really black duct tape, but always has been and always will be referred to as masking tape) and we were expressly ordered not to remove the tape unless we were about to open fire in accordance with the Orders for the Use of Firearms in BAOR (there was a set of orders for opening fire in every theatre, tailored according to the security state, and to be carried by any serviceman in a situation where the use of firearms might be necessary. They were called Green Cards because at one time the orders issued in Northern Ireland were green, thoughI never saw a green card which actually was green).


By checking the rounds out and back in every two hours, it was difficult for even the most incompetent soldier to lose a round irretrievably and incur a General Court Martial, but it would have been a nightmare had we had to open fire.


I was informed halfway through my week on daytime gate guard that the latest promotions were to be published on Friday and I had better get half my kit into the tailor's for Lance Corporal tapes. Late Friday afternoon it came to pass that my name was listed on Regimental Part One Orders as promoted to Lance Corporal. I slipped away between stags and changed combat jackets. On my return, having read Orders, they all tried to accuse me of being improperly dressed and I owed them a pint but I had beaten them to the drop. I had stagged on for the last time. Except that the following week I found myself NCO I/C Marching Reliefs (the Guard Commander's 2I/C) and issuing the flaming rounds to the gate and prowler guards, a system that was still in need of fine tuning. Grrr.

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