The Day I Joined The British Forces

Duration: 2:05 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.544
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This story describes the day that Stephen joined the British Forces.

By Stephen Scullion

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I left home to join the British Forces when I was 16 years old. I was taken to Newcastle Central Station to be put on a train. I was quite a shy lad. I always walked with my head down and only looked up every now and again to see where I was going or hear if someone was talking to me. I arrived at Ipswich Station to join a shore establishment called H.M.S. Ganges where I would be trained to be in the Royal Navy. When I got off the train I saw some men in uniform. I asked them what I needed to do and where to go. I was told to get on the bus outside the station, which is what I did. While I was leaving the station I looked up and saw a familiar figure standing outside looking rather resplendent in a smart suit. He was looking at his watch I remember. I realised that it was Sir Alf Ramsey, the manager of the 1966 England World Cup winning team. So I continued to look at him whilst boarding the bus. It seemed to be quite new. It had toilet facilities and air conditioning, which was quite unusual for that time. When I got on the bus I sat at the back, being quite a shy lad. After a short while others started to board the bus too. Those that were also getting on the bus seemed, for some reason, quite familiar to me but I couldn’t figure out where I knew them from. After a while they started to point and talk about me. One of them came up to me and asked who I was and where I was going. I explained that I was joining the British Forces that day. I was then told that I was on the wrong bus, this was the bus for Ipswich Town Football club players and staff! Mine was on the other side of the road. I wanted to die with embarrassment. All the other lads that were joining with me were on the other bus, one that didn’t look so new and seemed to be quite a sorry state. And to conclude my story, the day that I joined up was April 1st 1975.

somethings never change Stephen. all te best Mike Posted on 18/08/2011 at 19:53:12

hi this is j.m.e.m stevenson . I remember your green dr martin boots. i joined ganges same day as you. then on to sultan after 6 weeks.Posted on 16/07/2013 at 16:48:03

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If anyone would like to contact me, I'm on Facebook: Stephen Gerard Scullion or Twitter: @stevescullion it would be great to hear from any of my ex forces pals or indeed anyone that knew me 'back in the day!'Posted on 31/07/2016 at 15:44:36

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