PERSONAL STORY: CONTRASTING CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES OF JOHOR BAHRU, MALAYA, AND NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, 1950S
Trish Bailey (née Boyle), whose father served in the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, has contributed some recollections of her life as an army child to TACA, and we are immensely grateful to her for the following insights into her childhood.
‘We arrived in Johor Bahru, Malaya, in 1950. I recall little of the voyage worth remembering, but my first distinct memory was after we had disembarked at Singapore. I remember standing with Mum and my brother, Stephen, outside a small shop, just off the docking area, waiting for Dad. I don’t know where he had gone – possibly to finalise some procedure or other. While we waited, a man passed, said “Hello” and went into the shop. Mum mentioned that he was the captain of the ship. When he came out, he gave Stephen a red car and handed me a small, dark-blue bottle of perfume. I have no memory of what happened to this; possibly my mother thought it an unsuitable present for a child of seven. (During the 1960s, this memory returned when a particular dark-blue bottle of “scent”, as we called it then, became the favourite of many girls, including me: it was called Evening in Paris. It may not have been the same, but the bottle certainly triggered that memory of the gift I had received all those years ago in Singapore.)
It was getting on for dusk when we arrived at our bungalow in Johor, although it was probably still evening, or maybe even late afternoon, because dusk comes early in the Far East. I remember the taxi pulling up outside and immediately our amah, the Chinese house servant that all Europeans were lucky to have, came to the door, bowing and smiling a welcome. I was transfixed by her gold teeth! There were also a couple of other Chinese women and a small child with her, also smiling. I don’t know if they were friends of hers or relatives, but they weren’t part of the set-up and left on our arrival. I don’t remember anything else about that day, but I imagine that we were pretty tired and went to bed early.
OUR IDYLLIC DAYS IN MALAYA
The following day, Stephen, ever the adventurer, went outside and quickly came running back in with an exciting tale: “Mum, there are flowers outside and when you touch them they close up!” Of course, we had to go and look! They weren’t flowers, but small weed-like plants related to mimosa that were known as “touch-me-not”. They were a constant fascination to us, for several days at least, but probably more like weeks.
What I especially loved about the Far East was having a verandah. Ours was tagged along the back of the house, and on one side stood a huge, American-style fridge, a “Frigidaire”. Just to open the door and feel, as well as smell, the comfort of freezing air hitting us was a blessing! The verandah was an oasis during the heat of the day, but by evening it became something magical. Sitting in this neither-indoor, neither-outdoor construction, under the soft, inky-dark sky dotted with its sequins of stars, with the hypnotic sound of cicadas and frogs below, and the tiny pulsating lights from fireflies twinkling in the shrubbery, was the signature of nightfall in the Far East. The verandah was often a good place to begin the day, and in the early evening we children would sit here, to collect ourselves after the day’s play outside before going to bed. Later in the evening, our parents would remain and have a glass or two. There would be the murmuring of voices and the clinking of ice in glasses, which had condensation running down the outside. The butterflies of the day would be replaced by moths, big and bold, while some, just as pretty as their daytime counterparts, fluttered around bumping into the lamps and anyone who happened to be in the way. Chit-chats, small gecko lizards, spent their time running up and down the walls, inside the house as well as outside. Poor Mum was afraid of them, but she became used to seeing them, and I think that the fact that they kept themselves above floor level, while being excellent at not falling down, allowed her to relax. We kids were fascinated by how they would let go of their tails as a means of escape if anyone held them, although in time new ones would grow. These little creatures were necessary for dealing with the flies and mosquitoes and other nasties not quick enough to be caught by their fast-flicking tongues. All life could be seen on the verandah – it was an enchanting place!
Going to bed was another pleasure as I felt cosy and protected lying under the canopy of a mosquito net, with just a cotton sheet – white army issue! – to give light cover, while the gentle whirring of the fan above sang its own melody, and the chorus outside didn’t miss a beat. Across the way, over the large monsoon drain that we kids liked to play upon by trying to run across without falling off, was the NAAFI block, and one particular song that I recall from then, which must have been the in-song of the day, was “Wheel of Fortune”, and Kay Starr’s voice appealing to fortune’s wheel would give a final blessing to the day as I drifted off to sleep. I have forgotten to mention the routine of the spray gun, or Flit pump (which sprayed dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT) that Amah would use in the bedroom to finish off any lurking baddies not dealt with by the chit-chats. Imagine using such a thing inside today!
The families lived in whitewashed semi-detached bungalows that stood in one long row - hence the name: Long Row. An aerial view must have given them a likeness to a cemetery! We lived at number 28a and were in about the middle of the row. The uncarpeted floors were tiled, and Amah used to polish them, on her hands and knees, with red Cardinal polish. She clearly did a good job because I don't recall any of the polish coming off on our clothing.
Above and right: Two pictures taken in Malaya with the Dolmans. I am sitting on the outside of the picture above and am on the left in the one on the right. I can’t understand how I look so tall as I am only 5 ft 2 in – cameras must lie after all!
SCHOOL, SHOPPING AND THE ZOO
School was attended for only half a day, Saturday included, on account of the heat (I imagine), and in order not to give us extra playtime. However, we grabbed the opportunity whenever it was handed to us and, funnily enough, didn’t suffer from sunstroke or even sunburn. Although I do remember Stephen having a bad case of prickly heat shortly after we arrived, we quickly acclimatised. Our school was a small building just a stone’s throw from home – at school I would sometimes see Amah going about her work! One memory of school must have been of the first Christmas that we were there. My class was busy gluing strips of coloured crêpe paper prior to making chains, and each desk had a glass pot of glue with a brush standing in it. Engrossed in my task, I became aware of the piano starting up and then voices from another class. I couldn’t remember hearing the carol before, and was captured by the haunting melody. “In the Bleak Midwinter” remains my favourite carol to this day. The conflicting lyrics that were being sung when we lived under a bright-blue sky didn't register with me! (Even the frequent rain didn’t cast a gloomy outlook and, unlike in northern Europe, it was soon over and the sun would be out again, leaving not a trace of damp.)
Left: I believe that this photograph was taken at a Christmas party in Malaya, although I certainly don’t look in a party mood! I remember the dress as having made in Johor Bahru. It was pale apricot. The tailor ran it up in a matter of hours.
Another memory of being out in the Far East, which was most probably an everyday occurrence (although possibly not so in today’s new world), was the shopping experience. The streets were busy with all manner of traffic: human, motorised and pedalled. Those not in motion sat at the roadside chatting and smoking, feeding children or playing mah jong. The high lilt of Chinese singing wafted from open windows or doors, and, of course, there would be a delicious smell from cooking. I recall us going into Johor town to buy a rug one day and, as we entered the small shop, we were followed by a couple of chickens! They were quickly shooed out, squawking and clucking, with a broom. The chickens could easily have been a dog or goat as such scenes were normal.
One particular memory for me is of the time that we went to the zoo in Johor. We were sitting in a cafe having ice cream – this was served in a glass dish that had a stem, and on top of the ice cream was a wafer, which I think was pretty standard in those elegant days. Anyway, Stephen and I asked if we could go downstairs to look at a young elephant that was tethered to a post by a chain around one, or possibly both, hind legs, but was otherwise encaged. Permission was given, and off we went, stopping at a stall en route to buy a bunch of bananas. The bananas, a particular variety, were very small, sort of adult-finger length, with many on a bunch. I was in charge of feeding. All went well to begin with, but, as the bunch was depleted, I found it difficult to remove the bananas, which caused the elephant to become impatient. Its trunk kept swaying towards me, and I remember feeling its breath on my arm. I became quite nervous, so handed over the rest of the bananas, complete with stalk. They were greedily grabbed and shoved into its waiting mouth, but instantly there came a piercing scream, and the bananas – still with attachment – were pulled out and thrown at me, hitting me on my upper leg. In the next moment, the trunk reached for Stephen, who was standing close by, and pulled him to the ground. He lay face down, with his head a short distance from one raised leg. A Sikh gentleman standing in the group pulled Stephen away by his legs just as Mum and Dad came running up. The rest of our visit is a blank, but I remember leaving the zoo very soon afterwards. (I would like to mention the following connection, although time has moved on some years in the meantime. I was now “wife of” and living in Germany. One very hot late-July day, my husband and I had gone to the zoo. We stood at the elephants’ enclosure eating ice cream. As I licked my cone, one of the elephants stretched out its trunk towards me and I playfully, but pointedly, pulled my arm away, telling it “No! Go and buy your own!” The animal immediately turned around and trotted off, and we continued watching the rest of the herd. Within seconds, the rejected elephant had come back again and pointed its trunk directly at me through the metal railings. It then sprayed me with muddy water! It was an unbelievably calculated act! We were both astounded that an animal could assess something in such a deliberate way.)
BACK TO BLIGHTY AND NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Sadly, our time in Malaya came to an end and we were once again driven to the Singapore docks, where we boarded the troopship the Empire Windrush, which was bound for Blighty. There was another person with us on the outward journey that hadn’t been on the inward: my one-year-old brother, Martin! He had been born in the British military hospital (BMH) in Singapore.
Every day of the journey to England was quite special. There were new playmates for one thing, and we liked running around below decks, to which, on occasion – possibly because we made enough noise – one of the crew would come down and direct us back up on deck. There used to be two sittings for mealtimes, with the children going to the dining hall first. When we left the hall after the evening meal, the signature tune of Winifred Atwell’s “Black and White Rag” always played to let the adults know that we were on our way out.
We disembarked for a short period at Port Said one evening, being taken across by small boat, leaving the Windrush in a blaze of lights to await our return. I don’t think that we spent much time in Port Said, but I do remember having a meal in a small café. One of the highlights of being on board was the slow cruise along the Suez Canal. The view from either side of the ship was fantastic, and we would run from one side of the ship to the other to see as much as we could.
Like all good things, that idyllic time quickly came to an end. We docked at Southampton on a rather cloudy day. I looked around at the other ships, some blending in with the gloom, and wished that we would turn around and head back East. We travelled to the north by train, first staying for a short time at a transit camp in Hull – Tranby Camp, I believe it was called – before going to Newcastle upon Tyne, where we occupied a quarter in Fenham Barracks. I didn’t think that I would like it there, but I was soon proved wrong. My two best friends were Pat and her sister, Sheila Colclough. Our flat was in a block that faced the parade square. This was frequently in use for “square bashing”, and I remember Martin, my little brother, standing at the fence watching the soldiers practising bayonet drill. When the command came to “Charge!” Martin turned and began to run for home, crying “Mummy!” The square was also used for the Northumberland Fusiliers’ band's more refined practice sessions. (Pat and Sheila’s father was a bandsman.) Saturdays saw us making our way to the Plaza cinema for the matinée. We mostly watched cowboys-and-Indians films and would leave for home belonging to one camp or the other.
All the other kids went to the local school, whereas I went to the Sacred Heart Convent in Fenham, getting the bus just outside the main gate. Another memory was of having a needlework lesson at the convent. Needlework was not one of my favourite pastimes, and that hasn’t changed over the years – I’d rather pay someone to sew than tackle it myself. At the time, we were making nightdresses, having progressed from aprons. The garment in question would have served young Victorian ladies to perfection, being high-necked and having sleeves reaching to our wrists, with the dress itself finishing just above the ankle. (Oh, the sauce of it showing our ankles! And if this wasn’t bad enough, the nightdresses were made from winceyette!) On this one particular day, I had already had to unpick the same seam twice as it wasn’t satisfactory. When I took it up for inspection for the third time, I was again told to redo it. Feeling pretty frustrated and upset, I returned to the sewing table amid the clattering machines and decided to rebel. I would not undo the seam again! After a suitable time had passed, I took the nightdress for its fourth inspection – it must have seemed to any onlooker that it and I were on a piece of elastic! I waited for more disapproval and was genuinely confused when I was told, “Now that is much better! Why couldn’t you have done it like that to begin with?” I never wore the nightdress!
I WOULD LIKE TO RECONNECT WITH MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
I could give more memories but feel that I have outstayed my welcome now. I would love anyone who remembers me, Patricia Boyle, as I then was, to get in touch (by e-mailing me at email@example.com), particularly Pat (née) Colclough and/or her sister, Sheila, and, not mentioned in my memories, Jennifer, Patricia and Helen Phillips. Also, Dorothy, Suzanne and Kathleen Simblet. They were not in Fenham with us, but in Catterick Camp. Their parents were friends of mine.
I do have one photo of the Colclough family (below), which was taken in their married quarter in Fenham Barracks, Newcastle upon Tyne, in around 1956 or 1957. Pat (on the far right of the photograph) and Sheila (on the far left) were the eldest of many siblings, and if it helps in my search, the others were: Malcolm, Dorothy, Lilian, Wendy, and the last was a baby, whose name I don’t recall. If memory serves, their father's name was Ron. Their mother was Ann.
I remember them as being a happy, close family, unlike mine. I often think about them, and wonder where they are and how their life panned out. One memory I have of Pat is of the two of us falling in love with Audie Murphy, after seeing him in To Hell and Back at the cinema one day. We would write letters to ourselves, pretending that Audie had sent them. One day Pat “received” a more loving letter than I did, and this caused us to fall out – but not for long! They were very innocent times!
My father was demobbed in 1958; I was fourteen. Pat was a year younger and her sister, Sheila, about two years younger. I believe that their father was posted on to Devises, in Wiltshire. We corresponded for a short while until my new life got in the way. I would love to hear from any of the family.
The photo at right, which shows me when I was nine, was taken in Johor in 1952. I was then three years younger than when I knew the Colcloughs, but might still have resembled the “Pat” that they knew. (I also wonder if my little friend and next-door neighbour, Susan Dolman, or her two brothers, David and Anthony, might recognise, if not me – they knew me as Patricia – then our address: Long Row, Majadee Barrracks, Johor.’
Trish Bailey (née Boyle, b.1943).
PERSONAL STORY: FROM ARMY CHILD TO SERVICEWOMAN TO ARMY WIFE AND MOTHER
Lynne Copping’s army childhood saw her travel with her family from Egypt, where she was born, to postings in the UK and Singapore (see below, ‘PERSONAL STORY: MY ARMY CHILDHOOD IN EGYPT, THE UK AND SINGAPORE’). By the late 1960s, she had left school and was about to begin a new phase in her life. Lynne now takes up the tale.
‘I and my brothers followed in the family tradition of joining the services. After my mother’s death, my oldest brother was still in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in Germany, and was then posted to Arborfield in Berkshire. I joined the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) in August 1969, and my younger brother went to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in September 1969. In 1972, my youngest brother went to the Army Apprentice College at Arborfield to begin his training as a helicopter engineer in the REME.
Above: Me, my father and my brothers at Arborfield in 1972.
I did my basic training at RAF Spitalgate, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire, living for six weeks in a twelve-bedded room. Trade training, to be a statistics clerk, was at RAF Credenhill, near Hereford, where we were eighteen to a room. After that, I was posted to Swanton Morley, in Norfolk. I worked in engine records for the air photography fault-reporting and analysis system, fault-reporting on aircraft cameras – this was my best job in the RAF. My social life included fancy-dress parties and club membership, such as of the Auto Sports Club (I was on the front and back cover of their magazine). My brother was still at Sandhurst at this time, and I would sometimes get an invitation to a ball from him, with the request to bring some friends as his friends were without partners.
MARRIAGE, 669 SQUADRON AND LEAVING THE WRAF
In April 1972, I was posted to RAF Wildenrath, in Germany, where all the buildings were camouflaged. I worked on the Harrier servicing flight and undertook defect-reporting on Harriers, all pre-computers. In the summer of that year I met my future husband, who was a REME helicopter engineer with 669 Squadron Army Aircraft Corps (AAC), and discovered that his brother was also an army helicopter apprentice at Arborfield. I wrote to my brother and asked him if he knew Roger’s brother, and although he was in the intake above him, he did. I got engaged and we married in the Church of Scotland church at RAF Wildenrath in January 1973. All our friends and relatives hired a coach and came over to Germany for the wedding. With all the drinks being duty-free, they had a wonderful time.
A few months after our wedding, I received a letter from my father telling me that he had been posted to 669 Squadron in India during World War II, after he had been at Arnhem. My parents had had a very exciting honeymoon, with my mother chasing his squadron around Essex. A week or two later he was posted to India for three years, to 669 Squadron, where the men were training to glide into Burma, to disrupt the railway, and then to find their own way home. Luckily for him, the war ended in the August of 1945, while they were still training. A week or two after I received the letter from my father, my husband came home from work and told me that the squadron had just received, from a previous officer commanding (OC), a large squadron photo dating from 1945. I went straight to the OC of the squadron and asked if I could see this photo because my father might be on it. And there he was: right in the middle of the back row, distinguished by his beret amongst all the forage caps (it was a joint RAF and army unit).
Right: An example of an NBC suit and gas mask. The dark-grey suits were coated on the inside with a charcoal-like substance. We had two sets: a practice set and a real set (stored in a sealed bag).
l left the WRAF because a civilian job became vacant in my office and I was fed up with playing war games while my husband didn’t. His was a VIP unit, and they didn't take part because they weren’t officially there, so whenever there was a taceval (tactical evaluation) and we all had to put on our NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) suits and gas masks and sometimes had to work shifts in an underground bunker, he just carried on as normal. I had great difficulty with wearing a respirator as I was very short-sighted and had to remove my glasses before wearing it, rendering me almost blind.
HOME-OWNERSHIP, MOTHERHOOD AND LIFE IN GERMANY
In October 1974, my husband was posted to Celle, a very pretty place in northern Germany. We hadn’t been there very long when he was told that he was being detached and posted, unaccompanied, to Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada, the following April, for eight months. I was five months pregnant by this time, and didn’t want to be in a strange place with new people, so we went back to the UK for a weekend’s house-hunting. We had to book international calls from a phone box in the centre of town, but in the end all was complete and my husband helped me move back to Brackley, in Northamptonshire, near his home town, to our first house. Having settled me in, he returned to Germany. I had our son, on my own, in mid-February, and my husband saw him for two weeks in April prior to leaving for Canada.
My husband returned from Canada at the end of November 1975, and we returned to Celle, this time to a house with a garden, rather than a flat, which was better for us. His brother, who had completed his apprenticeship at Arborfield, joined him there, despite having asked to be posted anywhere except with his brother. I had our daughter the following August. She arrived too quickly for me to have her at the British military hospital (BMH) in Hannover, over twenty miles away, so she was born in a local hospital, the Landesfrauenklinik (the regional women’s clinic). When she was four hours old, we were transferred by an army ambulance to the BMH. I still have the till receipt for her.
In February 1977, we moved to Detmold, which is in the middle of the Lüneburger Heide (Lüneburg Heath), into a block of flats called Hakedal. Detmold is famous for its large monument, the Hermannsdenkmal (Hermann Monument), in the Teutoburger Wald (Teutoburg Forest). The monument commemorates Hermann, the Germanic chieftain who recorded a decisive victory over three Roman legions in AD 9. The Queen’s Silver Jubilee took place in June 1977, and we had a fancy-hat parade in the sergeants’ mess. I also had the chance to go with the Wives’ Club to Berlin for the weekend, travelling along the prescribed corridor through East Germany to get there.
Below: Me, my son and daughter at the celebrations for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in Detmold in 1977.
LEAVING THE SERVICES
In the meantime, my two younger brothers had been commissioned into Scottish regiments, Stewart serving in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and Graham, in the Gordon Highlanders. When their time in the army finished, they both went to Oman, to join the Sultan of Oman’s armed forces. My older brother, Richard, ended his career as a staff sergeant in the REME.
In February 1978, my husband elected to serve his last eighteen months in the army at Middle Wallop, the headquarters of the AAC in Hampshire, as it would be easier to look for civilian work from there. We left Germany and moved back to our house in Brackley, which had been let to American service personnel, being near the large military bases of Upper Heyford and Croughton. My husband commuted weekly while he was at Middle Wallop, and when he left the army and got a job as a helicopter engineer at Dyce, we moved up to Ellon, in Aberdeenshire. Thus ended my life as a service child, service woman, and service wife.’
Lynne Copping (née Wilson, b.1950).
PERSONAL STORY: MY ARMY CHILDHOOD IN EGYPT, THE UK AND SINGAPORE
We have always enjoyed the photographs posted by Lynne Copping (née Wilson) on TACA’s Facebook page, and were delighted when Lynne agreed to tell us not only about her own life as an army child, but also about her family’s long-standing links with the British armed forces. As Lynne initially explained: ‘I come from a service family, as did my father and my grandfather. We all have an Egypt connection: I was born there (before being evacuated in 1951, with twenty-four hours’ notice); my father was there in 1935 as a small child, while his father was in the RAF; and my great-grandfather won his Egypt medal at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir while serving with the Grenadier Guards. Various aunts and uncles were in all three services; my three brothers were in the army; I was in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF), and, having married a soldier, my children were army children in Germany’. We are immensely grateful to Lynne for her willingness to share her family’s story – read on for more, and watch this space for a second instalment.
‘I come from four generations of service families, and when I first started sorting out my photographs in order to tell you about my life as a service child, I didn’t realise how significant the place of my birth, Ismailia, in Egypt, would be. My great-grandfather, Richard Wilson, was in the Grenadier Guards and fought at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir, in Ismailia, in 1882.
Right: My great-grandfather, Richard Wilson, and his family pictured in around 1906.
My grandfather, Richard Edward Wilson, joined the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to RAF Leuchars, in Scotland, where he met my grandmother, a local Burntisland girl. He was posted to Ismailia in about 1930, to Abu Sueir and Heliopolis, taking his family with him. My father, Richard George Wilson, lived in Egypt as a small child and went to school there.
Below: My father as a boy, with his older sister, Nina, and younger brother, Ken, in Heliopolis.
By 1941, my grandfather had been promoted to flight lieutenant, and my aunt had joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). My father joined the army in March 1942 as a Gordon Highlander when he was just seventeen, by giving his age as nineteen. Within a month of joining, he was informed that he and the other young soldiers were being transferred to a young soldiers’ regiment, the Highland Regiment. In November 1942, this regiment was disbanded, and, after a variety of tank-crew jobs, my father volunteered as a sergeants’-mess waiter as this meant that he would be warm and dry.
Right: My father, Dick Wilson, in 1944.
About a week after that, it was announced that volunteers were required to train as glider pilots for future invasions, and as he had always wanted to be a pilot, he volunteered and was tested for suitability. He completed his training, was awarded his wings, and was promoted from corporal to sergeant in time for the Battle of Arnhem, in the Netherlands, in September 1944. My father has written an excellent account of his experiences in Arnhem, which tell the story in detail, but briefly, while spending three days in the cellar of a house in Oosterbeek, he wrote his name and address on the cellar wall, and they are still there to this day, as reported in the Ellon Times in September 1994, the fiftieth anniversary of the battle. He escaped unscathed when he escorted eleven assorted infantrymen to the Lower Rhine, where they were evacuated by Canadian engineers. (He always said that Arnhem was a nine-day wonder, but that Borneo was scary!)
Having returned to Down Ampney, in Gloucestershire, he married my mother a few weeks later. Thereafter, he was posted to India (to 669 Squadron, Army Aircraft Corps) – by then, his father was a wing commander in the RAF, and they were able to meet up while in India – Palestine and then Egypt, which brings us back to Ismailia, in 1948. The Glider Pilot Regiment having been disbanded, I think he was in the Royal Artillery by now, but in Egypt he discovered that Military Provost Staff Corps (MPSC) personnel were entitled to married quarters, so he transferred to that and applied for my mother and older brother, Richard, to join him. They accordingly sailed out on the SS Empress of Australia in May 1949.
MY EARLY YEARS IN EGYPT, SCOTLAND AND ENGLAND
I was born in the British military hospital at Moascar in 1950, and we lived in a house with a tented roof that we shared with another couple, there being a shortage of married quarters. I was christened in St Margaret’s, the Church of Scotland church in Moascar. In February 1951, we returned to Burntisland for a few months’ holiday, sailing on the HMT Empire Trooper from Port Said to Southampton, arriving on 9 March. We returned on the SS Lancashire, leaving Liverpool on 13 June 1951.
Above: My mother was twenty-six, my brother was four-and-a-half, and I was “one-and-a-third” years old when we sailed from Liverpool on the SS Lancashire.
My father did not like the MPSC as he was a very gentle man and did not enjoy having to be stern at work. He said that seeing men on boats on the Suez Canal appealed to him, so he joined the Royal Army Service Corps’ Water Transport Division.
My brother Stewart was born in August 1951, and soon after that the trouble in Suez escalated. My older brother, aged four at the time, remembers playing near the door to our house, with two soldiers on guard duty nearby, when three terrorists jumped over the wall to attack them. The soldiers shot one of the men and then ran off after the other two, leaving the dead man on the ground – very traumatic for a young child.
Left: My mother, Rita, and brother Stewart in Moascar in 1951.
Below: The Suez evacuation, 1951.
In November 1951, my mother was given twenty-four-hours’ notice to leave Egypt, with a four-year-old, an eighteen-month-old, a nine-week-old baby and one suitcase. On leaving the house, she picked up a metal pail of nappies that were steeping as she wasn’t going to go on a four-week sea voyage with no nappies! We set sail on the SS Charlton Star, leaving my father behind. The prams were all roped together on deck, and by the time that we reached Southampton, they were a solid, rusted mass. On arrival in Southampton, we were given vouchers with which to buy some warm clothes and rail warrants to get us home to my mother’s parents in Burntisland.
We rented a house in Burntisland, and when my father returned from Egypt in July 1953, we moved to the Isle of Wight, where he had been posted to Fort Victoria and then to Fort Golden Hill, the training base for the Royal Army Service Corps’ Water Transport Division. We lived in very basic married quarters at Fort Victoria, with no plaster on the walls – just distemper over the bricks – with no bathroom and an outside toilet. (The married quarters are now exclusive cliff-top holiday homes and the fort is a country park and marine aquarium.) We then moved a few miles away to Fort Golden Hill, a unique hexagonal barracks constructed between 1863 and 1868 as one of the Palmerston forts to defend the English Channel. The married quarters here, in Monks Lane, were two terraces, with narrow front gardens and small backyards housing the outside toilet, with a tin bath hanging on the back of the door. My youngest brother Graham was born here.
Left: The houses at Fort Victoria.
Below: Fort Golden Hill.
Below left: My parents, Rita and Dick Wilson, pictured at a Christmas party at Freshwater in 1954. Below right: My brother Stewart at the back of the Monks Lane quarter in 1955.
Below: This is me pictured outside our Monks Lane quarter. I am wearing a dress that my mother made from parachute silk.
We moved to Portsmouth, Hampshire, in 1957 and stayed for a few months in Milldam Barracks, where I went to the garrison school. We then moved to Hilsea Barracks, where I went to another primary school, my third by the age of seven. The roads being named after World War I battlefields, we lived in Bapaume Road, and the road next to us was Peronne Road.
OUR POSTING TO SINGAPORE AND LIFE ON PULAU BRANI
In May 1958 we were posted to Singapore. The flight, in a Hermes from Blackbushe Airport, near Camberley, in Surrey, took three days, with an overnight stop in Karachi, Pakistan. The first stop was in Brindisi, in Italy, where we had a meal in the airport restaurant. It was a long, tiring journey with three young children. (My parents had been told, wrongly as it turned out, that the secondary schooling in Singapore was not very good, and as my older brother had just passed his Eleven Plus, he stayed with my grandmother in Burntisland and went to Kirkcaldy High School.) On arrival in Singapore, we stayed for a few weeks at a hostel while waiting for our married quarter, and I went to my fourth primary school. Our living accommodation consisted of basic, small chalets, with a little kitchen, with no fridge – just an icebox – and meals being taken in a central dining room.
We then moved to the small island of Pulau Brani, a couple of miles long, in the middle of Singapore harbour. Pulau Brani was the headquarters of the RASC’s Water Transport Division. Our first house was at the end of a terrace, up a really steep hill, with servants’ quarters behind for our amahs, who didn’t live in. (Some of the local people, including our amah, lived in kampongs – villages – on stilts over the sea.) Further away from the house, down a covered walkway, was a row of outside toilets, Elsan chemical ones, which were emptied daily by an old Chinese man who had a bicycle with panniers on the sides. Frequent visitors were my father’s brother, Ken Wilson, who was in the merchant navy, with the Ben Line, and his cousin, Harry MacIntosh. We saw more of them when we lived in Singapore than we did in the UK. The highlights of their visits were when we went to have lunch on their ships in Keppel Harbour. Our house faced the harbour, and if my uncle’s ship berthed at night, my father would send him a message in Morse code by switching our verandah light on and off. He would also speak to his friends in Morse code if he didn’t want us to understand him. My parents also spoke to one another in back slang ("pig Latin") if they didn't want us to understand them, but my brothers and I had become fluent in it by about the age of six.
When we first moved to the island, the primary school, which was run by the British Families Education Service, was on the neighbouring island of Blakang Mati (which is now the holiday island of Sentosa), and we had to travel there by ferry and then a 1-ton truck. This was my fifth school. The school then moved to Pulau Brani by taking over an officer’s house and converting it to a three-roomed school. There were about twenty-eight pupils, and army children from Blakang Mati, including the Gurkha children, then came to us by ferry. This was my sixth school.
Right: The primary school on Pulau Brani.
Below: A sports’ day at the Pulau Brani primary school.
We would go on picnics at the weekends to deserted islands, travelling by small landing crafts. Excitement came to the island when the famous underwater explorer Hans Hass, with his wife Lotte, visited on his yacht, Xarifa, and we were allowed on to it; he left Xarifa with 37 Maritime Company for a while. A Sea Scouts’ troop was formed on Pulau Brani, and boys from the mainland joined the older boys on the island. The younger ones wanted to join in, too, so a Sea Cubs’ troop was also formed.
Above: Pulau Brani’s Sea Scouts and Sea Cubs.
We then moved to a bigger house on the island, again with chemical toilets located away from the house, and with the amah’s quarters at the back. Material was cheap, and my mother kept herself busy by sewing all our clothes and fancy-dress outfits. As a navigator on the army’s landing crafts, my father was away from home a lot with the landing crafts, taking supplies upcountry to various places in Malaya [now Malaysia], such as Penang, Terendak and Malacca. The Malayan Emergency was taking place at this time, though he never spoke about it.
ATTENDING PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN PORTSMOUTH
In December 1960, we returned to the UK, staying in Burntisland for a few weeks while we waited for our married quarter in Portsmouth to become available. While we were there, I went to Burntisland Junior School. This was my seventh primary school. We then moved to Burnaby Road in Portsmouth, opposite Milldam Barracks, where we had lived before. Here, I went to St George’s Junior School. This was my eighth and last primary school. I had been at the school for two months when we sat the Eleven Plus, and I passed it, along with one other girl – not bad in view of my disrupted education. My next school – my ninth – was consequently the local grammar school in Portsmouth.
My father worked at St George’s Barracks in Gosport, which he would travel to by ferry, the landing crafts being berthed at HMS Vernon, a short walk from our house. Once again, we didn’t see much of my father, who was away with the landing crafts, going to Fremington, in Devon, and making many trips to Benbecula and St Kilda, in the Outer Hebrides, taking ammunition and stores there. In 1962, Hammond Innes wrote his novel Atlantic Fury, and was allowed to accompany my father to St Kilda to gather information for it.
RETURNING TO SINGAPORE
We were posted back to Singapore in November 1963, again without my older brother, who was starting a three-year apprenticeship to be a telecommunications technician in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) at the Army Apprentice College at Arborfield, in Berkshire. After a short stay at the Savoy Hostel again, we moved back to the island of Pulau Brani – to the same house, with the same amah. It was as if we had never been away, except that the houses had since been modernised and we now had indoor flushing toilets and windows with glass (instead of chicken wire and wooden shutters).
I now attended my second secondary school, Alexandra Grammar School, which was again run by the British Families Education Service. This school was accessed by a flight of many stairs, which must have kept us very fit. School was mornings only, from Monday to Saturday, with extra activities in the afternoons if required. Everyone over the age of twelve had to carry an identity card with them at all times in Singapore, so I kept mine in my school pencil case. In September 1964, the school system changed, becoming comprehensive, and so we moved into the brand-new buildings of St John’s Comprehensive. (The school is now the United World College of South East Asia, and some of the original school buildings still exist, especially the iconic hall, with its many-pointed roof, which is now a listed building.)
THE INDONESIAN CONFRONTATION AND CIVIL UNREST
Confrontation between Indonesia and Singapore took place between 1962 and 1966. My father was involved in this effectively undeclared war, navigating his landing craft up and down the coast of Malaya and Borneo, offloading ammunition and supplies. I think that it was during the Easter holidays of 1965 that a curfew was declared. We were not allowed to leave the island at all, and were not permitted to be outside our houses between 6 pm and 6 am. My brother had been on the neighbouring island of Blakang Mati, visiting a school friend, and an army duty boat had to be sent across to bring him back. Groceries were delivered to us by scooter from the NAAFI shop, and fresh bread was supplied to us by the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. We could go outside during the day, but were not allowed to leave the vicinity of the married quarters, even to visit friends who lived in a different part of the island. My brothers and I played endless games of badminton and hopscotch outside the house, and board games inside. We had a television, but programmes didn’t start until the evening, and the English programmes were few and far between. What really annoyed me was that we got to have a week or so off school, but then we would have been on holiday anyway. Why couldn’t this have happened in term time?
Those of my friends who lived on the mainland had different experiences of this crisis, as they were closer to the terrorist attacks that were taking place. There was also civil unrest going on at the same time. One friend’s mother was rushed to BMH Singapore after suffering a haemorrhage shortly after the birth of my friend’s baby sister. She had to be escorted in an ambulance under armed guard due to civil riots in Singapore between the National Chinese and the Red Chinese in July 1964. My friend had to go to collect her baby sister as she was not allowed to be readmitted. Whilst on the way, under armed escort in a Land Rover, she witnessed a lot of burning cars and sensed a feeling of grave unrest. It was exciting, but quite frightening. The British military hospital was open only for emergencies and for deliveries of clean linen.
One sad consequence of the confrontation was that one of the former Gurkha schoolboys from the grammar school was killed in Indonesia. Lachhin Gurung, who had joined the 6th Gurkha Rifles in 1963, was involved in the Indonesian Confrontation as a rifleman. When the enemy was sighted in his area, he was sent on a patrol with his section. Unfortunately, his section was ambushed. His patrol commander (a sergeant) and he were killed in the crossfire that ensued. When the Indonesian patrol left, Lachhin and his patrol commander were beheaded. The sergeant and Lachhin’s bodies were brought to Singapore to be buried with full military honours. All the Gurkha boys from Alexandra Grammar School attended the funeral.
EVERYDAY LIFE IN SINGAPORE
Otherwise, life carried on as normal for us. We teenagers mostly ignored those affairs of global importance that were going on around us and concentrated instead on schoolwork, fashions and pop stars. The Rolling Stones came to Singapore in February 1965, and I was one of the ardent fans that went to see them. My brother and I then went to the hotel where they were staying and got their autographs. My mother did a little shopping on the island, but a large shop meant going to Singapore by ferry and then taking a taxi to the market and larger shops. If she missed the ferry on the return journey, she would get in a little sampan to cross the harbour and then beg a lift from the duty driver to take her and her shopping home. We never had that luxury on the return from school, having to walk, which was hot and humid if it was dry, and hot, humid and wet if it was the monsoon season.
Quite a few of my friends would travel upcountry in Malaya during the holidays, to places like the Cameron Highlands or the waterfalls at Kota Tinggi, but we didn’t. My father was away such a lot that when he did get leave, he had probably just returned from Penang, Malacca and such places, and just wanted a rest at home. The landing crafts had Malay and British crews, with the Malays wearing the traditional songkok instead of a beret. These men were trained on Pulau Brani. In 1965, the RASC amalgamated with other corps to become the Royal Corps of Transport, and a large parade was held in Singapore, at Gillman Barracks.
The social life in the army was excellent, and the parties and dances continued. My mother again had plenty of time for sewing. But in June 1966, she became seriously ill and was admitted to BMH Alexandra, the military hospital. Even so, she still managed to hold her coffee mornings, with her friends bringing flasks to her bedside. But then she had to be "casevaced" back to the UK, and although it was only a couple of weeks before I was due to sit my O’ levels, we packed up our quarter and flew back to England.
BACK TO THE UK AND THE END OF CHILDHOOD
On our return to the UK, my mother was admitted to the Louise Margaret Hospital in Aldershot, Hampshire, and we moved into a temporary married quarter at Fort Widley, just outside Portsmouth. I returned again to the Southern Grammar, only to be told that I could not sit my O’ levels as I had been following the University of London syllabus and the school in Portsmouth used a different one. After the summer holidays, we moved back to Milldam Barracks – to a different block this time – and I dropped down a year at school so that I could sit my O’ levels the following year. By the Christmas, though, my mother was getting worse, so I left school to stay at home and be with her. By this time, my older brother was in the army in Germany, and my younger brothers were at boarding school. My father was still away a lot with the landing crafts (he transported many different items, delivering a generator, for example to the Channel Islands in 1968), so we didn’t want my mother to be alone, even though she spent half of each month in hospital in London.
Left: Me in March 1968, outside the married quarters at Milldam Barracks. Note the balconies outside the kitchens; the outside toilet was accessed via the balcony – not many high-rise flats have outside toilets!
Although I had no O’ levels, in about March 1967, my mother said that I should think about getting a job. I had wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in primary school, but was soon disillusioned by the old-fashioned and rude attitudes of the teaching staff at the school in Portsmouth. My mother suggested that I become a bank clerk, so I promptly made an appointment to see my local bank manager and told him that although I had no qualifications, I was fairly bright and would like to work for him. He was a bit taken aback as I think he had thought that I had come to open an account. His response was that although he had no openings just then, he would think about it, and a few weeks later I received a letter saying that I could start at a small sub-branch in Portsmouth.
My mother died in the May of 1967, which was devastating to the family. My youngest brother was only ten at the time.’
Lynne Copping (née Wilson, b.1950).
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PICTURE: WELLINGTON BARRACKS, BURY, LANCASHIRE
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PICTURE: CHURCH PARADE, WELLINGTON AVENUE, ALDERSHOT, HAMPSHIRE
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BEING RESEARCHED: A NEW BOOK EXPLORING THE INTERACTIONS OF BRITISH SOLDIERS AND CHILDREN BETWEEN 1756 AND 1815
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TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BRITISH ARMY BIRTH, MARRIAGE AND BURIAL RECORDS IN BERMUDA
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For George Lothian Hall’s illustration of Casemate Barracks of 1843, as well as a colour postcard of the barracks, click here.
PICTURE: PLÖN AM SEE, GERMANY
Click here for a multiview postcard of Plön am See, Germany, the location of King Alfred School (KAS) between 1948 and 1959.
PICTURE: VARIOUS VIEWS OF ALDERSHOT, HAMPSHIRE, 1950S
To see a multiview postcard of Aldershot dating from the 1950s, click here.
THE MCAVOYS: A NORTHERN IRISH FIRST WORLD WAR ARMY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHED IN BELFAST
For Denise Beggs’ First World photograph and story of the McAvoy family, click here.
PICTURE: CATTERICK CAMP, NORTH YORKSHIRE, C.1917
Click here for a World War I-era ‘sepiatone’ postcard of Catterick Camp.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEARCHING FOR AN ARMY CHILD’S DEATH CERTIFICATE, CEYLON, 1911
Gavin Grant is looking for his uncle’s death certificate. Click here for further details.
PICTURE: THE FAMILY OF SERGEANT LEWIS, STAFFORDSHIRE, 1920S
For Kathleen Squires’ photograph of her grandparents and their children and her uncle’s certificate of baptism, click here.
PICTURE: ‘DADDY MARCHING WITH HIS SOLDIERS’
To see a photograph of a British soldier marching with Indian troops, with a message written on the back to his child, click here.
PICTURE: SHORNCLIFFE BARRACKS AND INSTITUTE, KENT, C.1905
Click here for a postcard posted in 1905 showing the barracks and institute at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone, in Kent.
PICTURE: BIELEFELD, (WEST) GERMANY
To see a multiview postcard of Bielefeld, Germany, from the 1950s or 1960s, click here.
PICTURE: AN ARMY SCHOOLMASTER AND ARMY SCHOOLMISTRESSES, DEEPCUT BARRACKS, SURREY, C.1910
For a photograph described as showing ‘Wives/Instructors Deepcut Barracks c.1910’, click here.
PICTURE: TIDWORTH BARRACKS, WILTSHIRE, C.1913
To view a postcard showing Tidworth Barracks, Wiltshire, around a century ago, click here.
PICTURE: THE SOUTH AFRICA MEMORIAL ARCH, ROYAL ENGINEERS’ BARRACKS, GILLINGHAM, KENT
Click here to see a postcard showing the South Africa Memorial Arch at Brompton Barracks, Gillingham (or Chatham), Kent.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A BETWEEN-THE-WARS ARMY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHED IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT
For a photograph of an army family taken at a studio in Alexandria, Egypt, after World War I, click here.
PICTURE: ALDERSHOT, HAMPSHIRE, C.1915
To view a multiview postcard of Aldershot, Hampshire, posted in 1915, click here.
PICTURES: THE MEMORIAL WELL, CAWNPORE, INDIA
Click here to see postcards of the Memorial Well at Cawnpore, India, where the bodies of murdered army wives and children were dumped in 1857.
PICTURE: THE YMCA, RHEINDAHLEN, (WEST) GERMANY
For a postcard showing the YMCA in Rheindahlen, Germany, during the 1970s, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN ARMY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHED IN NORTHAMPTON, 1890S
To view a photograph of a late-nineteenth-century sergeant’s family produced by a Northampton photographer, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘IT IS ETCHED ON MY MEMORY, THE DEVASTATION’, HAMBURG, (WEST) GERMANY, 1948
Click here for Brian Spurway’s photographs and recollections of postwar Hamburg, Norderney and Bad Harzburg, (West) Germany.
PICTURE: SHORNCLIFFE HOSPITAL, KENT
For a postcard showing Shorncliffe Hospital, or the Royal Military Hospital, in Kent, and information about it around a century ago, click here.
‘DREAMING OF DADDY’, 1915: THE SAD STORY BEHIND A THREE-YEAR-OLD’S POSTCARD
Click here to read the tragic story behind Gary Blakeley’s family-heirloom postcard, the double of one in our ‘The Army Children of the First World War: a Sentimental View’ gallery.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE ENLISTMENT OF A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD DRUMMER BOY IN CEYLON, 1807
To read about William Sugden, who enlisted in the 19th Foot in Colombo, Ceylon, in 1807, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN ARMY FAMILY SNAPPED DURING THE 1920S
To see a photograph of an army family dating from the 1920s, click here.
PICTURE: THE WESLEYAN CHURCH, QUETTA CANTONMENT, INDIA
Click here to view a pre-1947 postcard of Quetta Cantonment’s Wesleyan Church.
JAYNE SHRIMPTON’S ARMY FAMILY OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
For family photographs and background information about dress historian Jayne Shrimpton’s army family of the First World War, click here.
PICTURE: ROYAL ENGINEERS’ MARRIED QUARTERS, LONGMOOR CAMP, HAMPSHIRE
For a postcard showing a row of Royal Engineers’ married quarters at Longmoor Camp, Hampshire, click here.
‘THE ARMY CHILDREN OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR’ PROJECT
Click here for details of TACA’s ‘The Army Children of the First World War’ project.
PICTURES: GAME CARDS DEPICTING A WORLD WAR I-ERA ARMY FAMILY
To view four illustrations, part of a card game dating from the last years of World War I, of a stereotypical army family of the time, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: A NOMADIC ARMY CHILDHOOD SPENT IN ENGLAND, WALES, JAMAICA AND SCOTLAND
For Graham Alcock’s recollections and reflections on growing up as an army child from the 1940s to the 1960s, click here.
CHRISTMAS CARDS: MILITARY HOSPITALS AT BRUNSWICK/BRAUNSCHWEIG, (WEST) GERMANY, AND LENDORF, AUSTRIA, 1947
Click here to see two Christmas cards sent in 1947 from 121 (Brunswick) British Military Hospital (BMH), Germany, and 31 (British) General Hospital, Lendorf, Austria.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN ARMY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHED IN BURTON ON TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE, IN 1920
To view an army family of three photographed at a studio in Burton on Trent in 1920, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, TIDWORTH, WILTSHIRE, 1937
For a postcard first published by Raphael Tuck & Sons in 1937 showing married quarters in Tidworth, Wiltshire, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: SCHOOL TRANSPORT IN NAIROBI, KENYA, C.1960
For Robert Taylor’s recollections of travelling between home and school in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1959 to 1961, click here.
‘DADDY’S JOINED THE ARMY’: A POSTCARD IN REMEMBRANCE
Click here to see a postcard dating from World War I whose words were purportedly written by a patriotic British army child.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN EDWARDIAN ARMY FAMILY POSED AGAINST A ROMANTIC BACKDROP
To see a photograph of a smartly dressed army family of three against a romantic backdrop, click here.
PICTURE: INFANTRY MARRIED QUARTERS, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
For an old coloured postcard showing infantry married quarters in Bordon, Hampshire, click here.
PICTURE: THE CANTONMENT MARKET, QUETTA, INDIA
Click here for a postcard showing the entrance to the cantonment market at Quetta, when it was part of India.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A SNUGLY DRESSED 1920S’ ARMY CHILD AND HER FAMILY
To view a back-garden snapshot of an army family photographed during the 1920s, click here.
PICTURE: THE CRIMEA-WAR MEMORIAL ARCH, BROMPTON BARRACKS, CHATHAM, KENT
For a postcard showing the Crimea War Memorial Arch at the Royal Engineers’ barracks in Chatham, Kent, click here.
PICTURE: QUETTA CANTONMENT, INDIA
Click here for a summer-time view of Quetta Cantonment while it was still part of India.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A TOY GUN FOR AN ARTILLERY SERGEANT’S SON, WOOLWICH, LONDON, 1880S
Click here to see a cabinet portrait of an 1880s’ army child, his parents and grandfather, all photographed in Woolwich.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: CAN YOU HELP LOCATE A POST-WAR ARMY CHILD’S GRAVE IN SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN, GERMANY?
Richard Kirkman is looking for his brother’s grave in Germany; for more, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: TRYING TO TRACE AN ARMY CHILD BORN IN EGYPT IN 1946
Sue Attridge (née Rounsley) is searching for Reginald Rounsley, an Egyptian-born army child, and his mother; click here for further details.
PICTURE: ST GEORGE’S CHURCH, BULFORD BARRACKS, WILTSHIRE
To view a postcard of the interior of St George’s Church, Bulford Barracks, Wiltshire, click here.
PICTURE: THE CANTONMENT GARDENS, JUBBULPORE, INDIA
For a century-old black-and-white view of the cantonment gardens of Jubbulpore, (Jabalpur), India, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: THREE ARMY FAMILIES PHOTOGRAPHED SHORTLY BEFORE WORLD WAR I
Click here to view a photograph dating from the early 1910s of three soldiers, their wives, their sons and daughters and a dog.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: TRYING TO PINPOINT A PENINSULAR-WAR BIRTH
Alyson McGarrigle is seeking information about an army child who seems to have been born on campaign in Spain in 1810. Click here for further details.
PICTURE: VIEWS OF DEEPCUT CAMP, SURREY, 1906
Click here to see a multiview postcard of Deepcut Camp, Surrey, dating from around 1906.
PICTURE: QUEEN VICTORIA WITH ARMY WIVES AND CHILDREN, 1899
For an illustration, by S Begg, showing Queen Victoria speaking ‘some words of good cheer’ to the wives and children of soldiers who had just left for South Africa in November 1899, click here.
PICTURE: MHOW CANTONMENT, INDIA
To see a postcard showing the Indian cantonment of Mhow in around 1880, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN ARMY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHED WITH EXOTIC PROPS, 1900S
Click here to see a photograph of an army family of three posed in an outdoor setting.
BOOK REVIEW: THE AFTERMATH
For a book review of The Aftermath, by Rhidian Brook, which is set in Hamburg, (West) Germany in 1946, and features an army child, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INFORMATION WELCOMED REGARDING AN EARLY-TWENTIETH-CENTURY ‘DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT’
Lloyd Harris would like help with his research into the Ryland family, and in particular with locating the grave of army child Jessie Ellen Ryland (1904–5); click here for more.
PICTURE: JUTOGH CANTONMENT, INDIA
Click here for a view of Jutogh Cantonment, India.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: HELP REQUESTED IN RESEARCHING THE DEATH AND BURIAL PLACES OF THREE ARMY CHILDREN
Barbara Murphy-Bridge would welcome help with some family-history research, including locating graves in Malta for two army children. To learn more, click here.
PICTURE: VIEWS OF WOOLWICH, LONDON, 1915
For a multiview postcard of Woolwich, London, posted in 1915, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A TUG-OF-WAR TEAM, DEEPCUT, SURREY, 1909
Click here to see a photograph of a boys’ tug-of-war team captured on film at Deepcut, Surrey, in May 1909.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS AT ROORKEE CANTONMENT, INDIA
To view a photograph of married quarters for British non-commissioned officers (BNCOs) at Roorkee Cantonment, in Uttarakhand, northern India, click here.
PICTURE: THE GARRISON CHILDREN’S SCHOOL, RIEHL, GERMANY, 1920s
For two photographs of classes of army children and their teachers at the Garrison Children’s School, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), Riehl Area, Germany, during the 1920s, click here.
PICTURE: KREFELD, NORTH-RHINE WESTPHALIA, GERMANY
Click here to see a multiview postcard dating from the 1970s focusing on the western German city of Krefeld, in North-Rhine Westphalia, a postwar British Army base until 2002.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A FANCILY-DRESSED ARMY FAMILY OF FOUR, MID-1920S
For a photograph of an army family of four dating from the mid-1920s, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, BORDON CAMP, HAMPSHIRE
Click here to see a colour postcard of married quarters at Bordon Camp, Hampshire, which was posted in 1911.
PICTURE: THE GARRISON CHILDREN’S SCHOOL, RIEHL, GERMANY, 1920s
To see a photograph dating from the 1920s of a class at the Garrison Children’s School, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), Riehl Area, Germany, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: HELP SOUGHT IN RESEARCHING THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF A BABY AT BMH BENGHAZI, LIBYA, IN 1952
A TACA correspondent has requested help in researching the birth and death of a twin sibling in Benghazi in 1952. Click here for further details.
CHILDREN’S BOOK: WHY DO WE HAVE TO MOVE?
Click here for details of a book by Joy O’Neill and Lisa Southard written to provide support for younger children worried about moving home.
BRITISH ARMY OF THE RHINE NBC GUIDE, OCTOBER 1981
To view extracts from a booklet dated October 1981 giving instructions for procedures to be followed in the event of a nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) attack on BAOR, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: VISITING AN ARMY CAMP BETWEEN THE BOER WAR AND WORLD WAR I
For a photograph of an army family snapped at an army camp at the start of the twentieth century, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, STATION ROAD, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
Click here to view a World War I-era photograph of married quarters in Bordon’s Station Road.
BOOK: HEART OF THE HERO
For details of Heart of the Hero: The Remarkable Women who Inspired the Great Polar Explorers, a book by Kari Herbert, daughter of the polar explorer and one-time army child Sir Wally Herbert, click here.
PICTURE: ARMY CHILD DEBORAH DODDS MEETS PRINCESS MARGARET AT THE LOUISE MARGARET MATERNITY HOSPITAL, ALDERSHOT, IN 1960
For a photograph of Princess Margaret meeting newborn Deborah Dodds at the Louise Margaret Maternity Hospital in Aldershot, Hampshire, in 1960, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A VICTORIAN ARMY FAMILY WITH AN ARRAY OF HEADGEAR
To view a photograph of an army family photographed during the 1880s, click here.
PICTURE: THE CANTONMENT GARDEN, BELGAUM, INDIA
Click here for an old postcard of the cantonment garden in Belgaum, south-western India.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, INFANTRY BARRACKS, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
For a postcard showing married quarters attached to the infantry barracks in Bordon, Hampshire, in 1907, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A 1930s’ ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY
Click here to view a black-and-white image of a Royal Artillery soldier and his family photographed during the 1930s.
CHRISTMAS RECIPES FOR THE FAMILY 1950
To see the sorts of dishes that the Army Catering Corps advocated that army families living in BAOR cook for Christmas in 1950, click here.
PICTURE: THE STATION HOSPITAL, TRIMULGHERRY, INDIA
For a picture of the station hospital at Trimulgherry, India, in around 1910, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: THE FRILLED AND BERIBBONED SERGEANT’S GIRLS
To see an early twentieth-century photograph of a sergeant who served in South Africa and his wife and daughters, click here.
PICTURE: ‘THE DEPARTURE FROM BRIGHTON’, 1796
Click here to see a print dating from 1796 showing an army unit and female camp followers, including a child, preparing to decamp from Brighton.
PERSONAL STORY: PICTURES FROM A 1940S’ ARMY CHILDHOOD IN THE BRITISH MANDATE OF PALESTINE, EGYPT AND SOUTH AFRICA
For David Clafton’s photographs of his early childhood in Jerusalem, Egypt and South Africa during the 1940s, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A WORLD WAR I ‘TEMPORARY’ ARMY FAMILY
To view a photograph of the family of a World War I volunteer, click here.
HMS HEROES: YOUNG ADVOCATES FOR SERVICE FAMILIES AND FRIENDS TO EACH OTHER
Click here to read about HMS Heroes, a ‘pupil-voice group’ that supports service children and young people.
PICTURE: A CARRIAGE RIDE IN BELLARY, INDIA, 1905
To see a postcard loaned by the Families in British India Society (FIBIS) showing a group of British army families sitting in a carriage in Bellary, India, in 1905, click here.
PICTURE: BELLARY CANTONMENT, INDIA, 1909
Click here to view a postcard, mailed in 1909, showing a fort tank at Bellary Cantonment, India.
FORGOTTEN FACES: THE CONFIDENT CORPORAL’S FAMILY, C.1900
For a photograph of an army family photographed in around 1900 in a studio in Manchester, click here.
PICTURE: THE SOLDIERS’ DAUGHTERS’ HOME, HAMPSTEAD, 1858
To see a print commemorating the opening of the Soldiers’ Daughters’ Home in Hampstead in 1858, and an extract from the accompanying report in The Illustrated London News, click here.
PICTURE: THE HUGH ROSE BARRACKS, JUBBULPORE, INDIA
Click here to view an old postcard showing the Hugh Rose Barracks in Jubbulpore, India.
IN THE NEWS: THE BIRTH OF ‘BABY BASTION’, A UNIQUE ARMY CHILD, SEPTEMBER 2012
September 2012 saw the birth, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, of a baby to a British army soldier, the first army child to be born to a female soldier on active service. For more, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A SUNNY DAY AT WHITTING BARRACKS, LICHFIELD, STAFFORDSHIRE, C.1900-10
To see a postcard showing a sergeant posing with his wife and son on Whittington Heath, Lichfield, Staffordshire, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: RONALD ARTHUR LIMBURN (1953–65), AN ARMY CHILD WHO DIED IN SINGAPORE AND NOW LIES IN HAMPSHIRE
Click here to see the graves, in Singapore and in Hampshire, of Ronald Arthur Limburn, an army child who died in Singapore in 1965, and to learn a little of his life.
GUIDE TO FAMILIES PROCEEDING TO B.A.O.R., AUGUST 1946: EDUCATION
To view a form relating to children’s education that army families posted to BAOR were required to complete in 1946, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN INFORMAL SNAPSHOT OF AN EARLY-TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARMY FAMILY
Click here to see a relaxed-looking army family of six photographed in the early years of the twentieth century.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: IDENTIFYING AN ARMY RESIDENTIAL CO-EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL, 1930S
Carole Temple is trying to identify the army school that her grandfather’s children attended during the 1930s. Click here for more.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: CAN YOU HELP SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF WHAT HAPPENED TO AN ARMY WIFE AND HER DAUGHTER?
Catherine Capp would be grateful for help in discovering what happened to Cecilia and Doris Thomas following Doris’ birth in India in 1908. For further details, click here.
PICTURE: MILITARY FAMILIES ARRIVING IN RIEHL, GERMANY, 1922
For a black-and-white postcard showing the arrival by military ambulance of military families in Riehl, Germany, on 26 March 1922, click here.
PICTURE: JOINT HEADQUARTERS, RHEINDAHLEN, GERMANY
Click here to see a postcard showing the ‘Big House’ of the Joint Headquarters (JHQ), Rheindahlen, Germany, dating from the 1980s.
FORGOTTEN FACES: THE FAMILY OF A BOER WAR VETERAN, 1900S
To view a photograph of the family of a bemedalled soldier serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) dating from around between 1900 and 1910, click here.
CONTRIBUTION: AN ARMY-SCHOOL COPYBOOK, 1914
Click here to view pages from eight-year-old Harry Jones’ army-school copybook, which he completed in Gibraltar in 1914, and which was contributed to TACA by Brian Gillard.
PICTURE: THE CAMP SCHOOL, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
For an old picture of the Camp School in Bordon, Hampshire, which taught army children from 1906, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS WITH A MOUNTAIN VIEW, LOCATION UNKNOWN
Click here to see a postcard labelled ‘Snows & married quarters’, showing a location possibly in northern India.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A ROYAL ARTILLERY FAMILY OF THE 1930S
To view a photograph of an army family of four dating from the 1930s, click here.
NEW RESEARCH: ‘UNSUNG HEROES: DEVELOPING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT NEEDS OF SERVICE FAMILIES’
Click here for details of the Centre for Mental Health’s report, ‘Unsung Heroes: Developing a Better Understanding of the Emotional Support Needs of Service Families’, by Matt Fossey, published in May 2012.
GUIDE TO FAMILIES PROCEEDING TO B.A.O.R., AUGUST 1946: TRAVEL
To read the official guidance given in August 1946 to army families travelling to the British Army on the Rhine on accompanied postings, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, PORT ROYAL, JAMAICA
Click here to see a postcard showing ‘a row of the married quarters, Port Royal, Jamaica’.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A SUNNY DAY ON A FOREIGN BEACH A CENTURY AGO
For a photograph showing a group of army children and adults enjoying a carefree day by the sea at the start of the twentieth century, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE DISCOVERED IN ARMY CHILDHOOD
To read about the astounding family-related discovery made by TACA contributor Doreen McKeown (née Routledge) on leafing through Army Childhood, click here.
BOOK: ARMY CHILDHOOD: BRITISH ARMY CHILDREN’S LIVES AND TIMES
Click here for details of Army Childhood: British Army Children’s Lives and Times, a book by Clare Gibson, The Army Children Archive’s founder, published in May 2012 by Shire Publications.
BOOK REVIEW: FOR ALL THOSE LEFT BEHIND
Click here to read a review of one-time army-child John Andrews’ book For All Those Left Behind.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘MY MISSION TO ERECT A HEADSTONE ON MY BROTHER’S GRAVE’
For Leslie Rutledge’s account of how he finally managed to erect a memorial stone on the grave of his brother Stephen, who was buried at Tidworth Military Cemetery, Wiltshire, in 1955, click here.
THREE POEMS BY ‘A DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT’
To read ‘Roots’, ‘In the Beginning’ and ‘Letter to an Indian Woman’, three poems by Jenny Argante, click here.
PICTURES: SNAPSHOTS OF DHEKELIA, CYPRUS, 1968–72
Click here to view Peter Goble’s photographs of Cyprus between 1968 and 1972.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INFORMATION SOUGHT ABOUT THE BRITISH ARMY CHILDREN’S SCHOOL, MINGALADON, BURMA
Christopher Taylor is seeking photographs or information about a school for army children at Mingaladon, Burma [now Myanmar] that he attended in 1947. Click here to learn more.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: CAN YOU HELP LOCATE TWO BABIES’ GRAVES IN INDIA?
Diana M de Marco is trying to locate the graves of two babies who died during the 1920s in Trimulgherry or Secunderabad, India. For further details, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MEMORIES OF AN ARMY CHILDHOOD
To read Roger Hall’s account of living in Woolwich during the 1940s, and Hong Kong, England and (West) Germany during the 1950s, click here.
MY DADDY IS A SOLDIER ADVENTURES: A CHARITABLE INITIATIVE FOR THE ‘LITTLE TROOPERS AT HOME’
Click here for information about My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures, a charitable initiative for British army children founded in 2011.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SINGAPORE, 1958 TO 1961
Sue Swallow (née Perry) is seeking help in discovering more about Singapore between 1958 and 1961. Click here for further details.
GUIDE TO FAMILIES PROCEEDING TO B.A.O.R., AUGUST 1946: MEDICAL MATTERS
To read War Office instructions detailing the medical procedures that army families were required to undergo before travelling to postings in (West) Germany in 1946, click here.
PICTURE: TIDWORTH GARRISON MARKET, WILTSHIRE, C.1920
For a black-and-white postcard showing army children among the shoppers at the garrison market in Lucknow Barracks, Tidworth, Wiltshire, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A LANCE CORPORAL’S FAMILY
To view a photograph, dating from around the 1890s, of a bemedalled lance corporal and his family, click here.
PICTURE: THE ARMY SCHOOL, PORTSMOUTH, HAMPSHIRE
Click here to see a photograph of a class of between-the-wars pupils at the Army School in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
PICTURE: RHEINDAHLEN DISTRICT SCOUT BADGE
To see a twentieth-century Scout district badge associated with the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) and Rheindahlen, (West) Germany, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: SUITED AND BOOTED
Click here to view a photograph dating from around a century ago of a quartermaster sergeant’s family.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: ‘I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT THE PRIMARY SCHOOL AND THE HOUSE WHERE WE LIVED IN BRUNSWICK, (WEST) GERMANY’
Bruce Ford is seeking help in locating the primary school that he attended and the house that he lived in in Brunswick (Braunschweig), (West) Germany, during the 1950s. For further information, click here.
PICTURE: INFANTRY MARRIED QUARTERS, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
Click here to see a postcard posted in 1930 showing the infantry married quarters in Bordon, Hampshire.
A 1960S’ PRODUCTION OF CINDERELLA AT BICESTER, OXFORDSHIRE, AND OTHER CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES AND TRADITIONS
To view pages from Donald Bridge’s programme for Cinderella, a pantomime performed by the Bicester Garrison Theatre Group during the late 1960s, click here.
COMBAT KIDZ: A WEBSITE FOR THE CHILDREN OF ARMED FORCES SERVICE PERSONNEL
Click here to read about Combat Kidz, a website established to entertain and support young children with service-personnel parents or family members.
FAMILY-HISTORY RESEARCH: A JAMAICAN TRAGEDY, 1907
To read Paul Levitt’s account of the tragedy that befell an army family when an earthquake struck Kingston, Jamaica, in 1907, click here.
FROM THE NAVAL AND MILITARY FAMILIES CARD GAME: EIGHT ARMY CHILDREN DEPICTED ACCORDING TO EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY STEREOTYPES
Click here to see the army children depicted in the Naval and Military Families card game, which dates from the early twentieth century.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A MID-TWENTIETH-CENTURY LANCASHIRE FUSILIER FAMILY
To view a photograph of a baby photographed in Manchester during the 1930s or 1940s with its Lancashire Fusilier father and mother, click here.
PICTURE: THE MARRIED QUARTERS, WARLEY BARRACKS, ESSEX
Click here to view a black-and-white photograph of army children playing outside the married quarters at Warley Barracks, Essex, in around 1910.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: WHAT HAPPENED TO A NINETEENTH-CENTURY ARMY CHILD BETWEEN HER BIRTH IN BARBADOS AND MARRIAGE IN SCOTLAND?
Susan Brouwer would like some help in researching an army child who was born in Barbados between 1834 and 1840. Click here for more information.
PICTURE: A CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR ARMY CHILDREN AT THE CAMBRIDGE MILITARY HOSPITAL, ALDERSHOT, IN 1967
For a photograph dating from 1967 of a children’s Christmas party in full swing at the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot, Hampshire, click here.
PICTURE: THE GARRISON SCHOOL, ABBASSIA, CAIRO, EGYPT, IN 1928
Click here to view a black-and-white photograph of the pupils and staff of the British garrison school in Abbassia, Cairo, in 1928.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: QUERY REGARDING MARRIED-QUARTER HOUSE-NUMBERING IN TIDWORTH, WILTSHIRE
Malcolm Tozer would like help with pinpointing the location of some married quarters in Tidworth, Wiltshire. Click here for further information.
WORLD WAR I PICTURES AND RESEARCH: ‘WHEN DUTY CALLS’ AND THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM’S ‘FACES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR’ PROJECT
To see a sentimental postcard illustrating a family’s farewell, along with a family photograph from World War I, and to read about the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Faces of the First World War’ project, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: REMINISCENCES OF AN ARMY BRAT, 1946-65
Click here to read Tim Roberts’ recollections of where his family was posted while he was growing up; of their accommodation, transportation and domestic help; of his education and extracurricular activities; of aspects of ‘mess life’ like children’s Christmas parties; and his reflections on how his army childhood has affected him.
PICTURE: WOOLWICH, SOUTH-EAST LONDON
To see a century-old multiview postcard of Woolwich, in south-east London, and for information about St George’s Chapel, then and now, click here.
REVIEW: LAY GENTLY ON THE COALS
For a review of Art Cockerill’s novel, Lay Gently on the Coals, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: POSING FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER IN ROCHESTER, KENT
Click here to view a photograph dating from the 1890s of an engineer sergeant and his wife and child photographed in Rochester, Kent.
PERSONAL STORY: MALTA, 1961-63; FILLING THE EDUCATIONAL GAPS; THE ROYAL NAVAL SCHOOL TAL-HANDAQ
To read Barbara Steels’ recollections of living in Malta, filling the gaps in her education as an adult, and reconnecting with former friends at the Royal Naval School Tal-Handaq, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEEKING PUPILS AT THE LAWRENCE MILITARY SCHOOL, MOUNT ABU, INDIA, 1940S
Richard Cordeux would like to make contact with old ALS (Abu Lawrence School) Mount Abu-ites; for further details, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: PRINCE RUPERT SCHOOL, WILHELMSHAVEN, (WEST) GERMANY, 1958 THROUGH TO EARLY 1961, AND TWA TODAY
Click here to read Barbara Steels’ recollections of Prince Rupert School (PRS), Wilhelmshaven, (West) Germany, from the late 1950s to the early 1960s, as well as her description of The Wilhelmshaven Association (TWA) and the archival work that she has undertaken on its behalf.
PERSONAL STORY: PRINCE RUPERT SCHOOL, WILHELMSHAVEN, (WEST) GERMANY; THE AUTUMN TERM OF 1957
For Barbara Steels’ memories of her first term at Prince Rupert School (PRS), Wilhelmshaven, (West) Germany, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE IN LÜNEBURG, (WEST) GERMANY, 1955–58
To read Barbara Steels’ account of living in the (West) German town of Lüneburg between 1955 and 1958, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘WE VISITED THE SUEZ CANAL FREQUENTLY; I COLLECTED THE NAMES OF SHIPS IN A LITTLE NOTEBOOK’, FAYID, EGYPT, 1954–55
Click here for Barbara Steels’ memories of living in Fayid, Egypt, between 1954 and 1955, when it was part of the Suez Canal Zone.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BORN UNDER A CANNON?
Can you help Fiona C M confirm that her ancestor was born under a cannon at the Battle of Waterloo? Click here to read more.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘MY EXPERIENCES WERE RATHER UNIQUE FOR A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD’, MOASCAR, EGYPT, 1953–54
To read Barbara Steels’ memories of living in Moascar, Egypt – then part of the Suez Canal Zone – from 1953 to 1954, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE ARMY PATCH IN BUSHEY, HERTFORDSHIRE
Do you remember a patch of army married quarters in Bushey, Hertfordshire? If so, John Andrews would like to hear from you. Click here for further details.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTER IN DHEKELIA, CYPRUS, 1969
Click here for a photograph of Peter Goble’s son outside a married quarter in Dhekelia, Cyprus, in 1969.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘MY SCHOOLING AT ARMY SCHOOLS WAS ON A PAR WITH, IF NOT BETTER THAN, AT THOSE NON-ARMY SCHOOLS THAT I ATTENDED’
To read one-time army-child Donald Bridge’s recollections of, and reflections on, his education and training for a life at sea from the 1940s to the 1960s, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘THERE WERE NONE OF THOSE RAINY, FOGGY DAYS OF THE UK. GOOD TIMES’
Donald Bridge describes his life as an army child in England, India, (West) Germany, the [Suez] Canal Zone and Cyprus from the 1940s to the 1960s as a ‘travelogue’. Click here to read more.
NEW BOOK: A NEW HISTORY OF THE ROYAL HIBERNIAN MILITARY SCHOOL
Click here for details of a recently published book entitled A New History of the Royal Hibernian Military School, by Howard R Clarke.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: A SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER, BAD OEYNHAUSEN, (WEST) GERMANY, 1950
To view Donald Bridge’s photograph of Miss Olive Courtney Jones, a chaplain’s assistant and Sunday-school teacher pictured at Bad Oeynhausen in 1950, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: COMMEMORATING A CHRISTENING
Click here to see a photograph of a World War I-era army family, whose youngest member is wearing a christening gown.
A CATCHPENNY VERSE TO HELP THE HOMES THAT TOMMY LEFT BEHIND
For some lines relating to army children from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The Absent-minded Beggar’ (1899), and a link to the entire poem, click here.
PICTURES: CHURCH PARADES
Click here to view postcards showing church parades, including at Shorncliffe, Kent.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, CROWNHILL, PLYMOUTH, DEVON
For a postcard showing the married quarters in Crownhill (or Crown Hill) Barracks, Plymouth, Devon, at the start of the twentieth century, click here.
A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES IN GERMANY, MAY 1954: TRAVEL
Details of travel-related advice issued to army families posted to (West) Germany in 1954 can be read by clicking here.
PICTURE: ‘GOODBYE, DADDY! GOD BLESS!’
Click here to see a postcard from World War II showing a soldier father and his child exchanging a farewell kiss.
FORGOTTEN FACES: SUMMERTIME SMILES
To view a portrait of an army family photographed during a World War I summer, click here.
PICTURE: MILITARY HOSPITAL, CURRAGH CAMP, IRELAND
Click here to view a colour postcard showing the military hospital at Curragh Camp, in County Kildare, Ireland.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A WEDDING IN GIBRALTAR, 1926
To see a photograph of an army wedding that took place at South Barracks Church, Gibraltar, in 1926, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT A ROYAL ENGINEERS OFFICER AND IMAGES OF RANIKHET, INDIA
Jon Alexander would welcome information and images relating to wartime India, and specifically to his father and Ranikhet; click here for further details.
PICTURES: MARRIED QUARTERS, LYDD, KENT
Click here to see two postcards of married quarters allocated to the Royal Tank Corps in Lydd, Kent, during the 1920s and 1930s.
THE CALEY: THE ROYAL CALEDONIAN SCHOOLS AND THE ROYAL CALEDONIAN SCHOOLS TRUST
To read about the history and work of the Royal Caledonian Schools Trust (the Caley), click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: CAN YOU RECALL TRIESTE OR KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, DURING THE 1950S?
Michael Barnacoat is seeking information about Trieste and Klagenfurt, Austria. Click here for further details.
NEW RESEARCH: ‘IT’S HARD FOR ME, I MOVE A LOT.’ A PILOT PROJECT TO SUPPORT SERVICE CHILDREN AT HALTON SCHOOL DURING PERIODS OF MOBILITY AND PARENTAL DEPLOYMENT
Click here to read about the research that led Joy O’Neill to implement a pilot project designed to support the needs of primary-school-aged service children at Halton School during periods of mobility and parental deployment.
PICTURES: CHILDREN’S PARTY ABOARD THE HMT LANCASHIRE, 1948
Click here to see Tim Roberts’ menu for a children’s party held aboard the HMT Lancashire in 1948, and to discover the names of Tim’s fellow small guests.
NEW RESEARCH: ARMY CHILDHOODS FROM THE 1980S ONWARDS; PARTICIPANTS WELCOME
Dr Grace Clifton, of the Centre for Childhood, Development and Learning at the Open University, is researching army childhoods. Click here for more information.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INFORMATION REQUESTED REGARDING THE FREE TERRITORY OF TRIESTE, 1954
Sylvia French is seeking information about her family’s posting to Trieste during the early 1950s, and about her evacuation from there. Click here for more.
REVIEW: DON’T SAY GOODBYE: OUR HEROES AND THE FAMILIES THEY LEAVE BEHIND
Click here to read a review of Don’t Say Goodbye: Our Heroes and the Families They Leave Behind, Fiona Stanford’s book about the families of the Welsh Guards and their experience of army life.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INFORMATION SOUGHT REGARDING AN EVACUATION FROM CAIRO, EGYPT, TO HAIFA, PALESTINE, 1941
Anne Keville is seeking information about the German hospice on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Palestine, during World War II. Click here to learn more.
PICTURE: MILITARY HOSPITAL, COLCHESTER, ESSEX
To see a postcard of the military hospital that treated army families in Colchester, Essex, from 1896 to 1977, click here.
REVIEW: RED ONE: A BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT ON THE FRONT LINE
Click here to read a review of Red One: A Bomb Disposal Expert on the Front Line, a book by Kevin Ivison, the son of an infantryman who became a bomb-disposal expert.
PICTURE: BRITISH MILITARY HOSPITAL (BMH) BOWEN ROAD, HONG KONG
To view a colour postcard of the old British Military Hospital (BMH) Bowen Road, Hong Kong, click here.
‘WIVES AND SWEETHEARTS’ SPECIAL DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM, AND TWO IMAGES FROM TACA’S ARCHIVE
Click here for information on the ‘Wives and Sweethearts’ exhibition at the National Army Museum, as well as on the accompanying online exhibition, and to see some related TACA images.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEEKING INFORMATION ON THE BFES PRIMARY SCHOOL IN DELMENHORST, (WEST) GERMANY
Phil Craig would welcome information about the BFES primary school in Delmenhorst, (West) Germany. For further details, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, DAGSHAI, INDIA
For a black-and-white postcard captioned ‘Married Quarters Dagshai’, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: ‘NOW I WAS LIVING IN A CASTLE: STIRLING CASTLE’, 1934
Click here to read the final part of Mairi Paterson’s account of her army childhood, in which she recalls living in Stirling Castle and reflects on having been an army child during the 1920s and 1930s.
PERSONAL STORY: MY SCHOOLING IN THE UK AND SINGAPORE
For Frances Pountney’s outline of the schools that she attended as an army child during the 1950s and 1960s click here.
ARMY SCHOOLMISTRESSES IN THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES
To read Howard R Clarke’s outline of the history of the army schoolmistresses who once taught soldiers’ children all over the world, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: THE ARMY LIFE
Click here for Winifred Hamilton’s memories of living in Scotland, Egypt and Malaya (Malaysia) during the 1940s and 1950s.
PERSONAL STORY: SAILING FROM HONG KONG HOME TO SCOTLAND, 1934
To read Mairi Paterson’s account of sailing from Hong Kong to Scotland via Singapore, Colombo, Port Said, Malta and Gibraltar in 1934, click here.
FROM THE HOME FRONT: THE NEWSLETTER OF THE 12TH ROYAL LANCERS FAMILIES’ ASSOCIATION, DECEMBER 1942
For highlights from the fourth newsletter of the 12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) Regiment (now the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) Regiment), dated December 1942, click here.
CHRISTMAS IN BAOR
Click here for a post-World War II NAAFI poster advertising Christmas toys, as well as links to three British Pathé video newsreels filmed in (West) Germany showing British army children in the Rhineland in 1929, and in Hamburg and Hanover/Hannover in 1953.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A DRUM MAJOR’S FAMILY
To view an early twentieth-century studio portrait of the family of a drum major photographed in Kent, click here.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: A SINGULAR AND MOST UNUSUAL SUB-POST OFFICE
Until recently, the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover, Kent, had its own sub-post office. Click here to learn more about it.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, DEEPCUT CAMP, SURREY
Click here for a coloured postcard showing children outside married quarters at Deepcut Camp in 1906.
REMEMBRANCE PICTURES: THE WARTIME SEPARATION OF ARMY FAMILIES
To see a pair of images dating from World War I emphasising the cost to families when a soldier parent goes away to war, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE 43RD REGIMENT OF FOOT AND A MISSING BIRTH RECORD, c.1811
Judith Curtis has reached a dead end in researching her soldier ancestor; if you think that you could help her, click here to read more.
RAF HOSPITAL WEGBERG, (WEST) GERMANY, 1953–2010
Click here to read about RAF Hospital Wegberg, (West) Germany, which treated British service personnel, their dependants and associated civilians from 1953 to 2010.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INVESTIGATING AN ARMY CHILD’S IRISH-BORN SOLDIER FATHER
Gill Bassett is trying to discover more about the parents of her ancestor John McKee, a soldier’s son who was born in Spain in 1814; to learn more, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE BRITISH SCHOOL HAMBURG, (WEST) GERMANY
To see a photograph of the British School Hamburg, (West) Germany, and to read Jeanne Dawson's memories of the school during the late 1940s, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: GOING TO SCHOOL BY RICKSHAW AND KEEPING A LOW PROFILE IN HONG KONG, 1932–34
Click here to read of Mairi Paterson's experiences while living in Hong Kong between 1932 and 1934.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEEKING IMAGES AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUEZ CANAL ZONE
Can anyone help Peter Howell with information about and photographs of the Suez Canal Zone? Click here for further details.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A PIONEER SERGEANT'S FAMILY
To view a studio portrait of an army family attached to the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster), and to read an assessment of the photograph by the regimental museum's curator, click here.
NEW BOOK: THE LITTLE BOOK OF HEROES
For information about The Little Book of Heroes, a book published in 2010 to which British forces children and teenagers have contributed, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: WERE TRADES TAUGHT TO ARMY CHILDREN IN THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY?
Click here to read Gay Fielding's request for information regarding how army children might have learned trades during the early nineteenth century.
SCOTTY'S LITTLE SOLDIERS: THE CHARITY FOR CHILDREN OF THE FALLEN
To read about Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity that has recently been established to support children who have lost a parent serving in the armed forces, click here.
SUPPORTING MILITARY CHILDREN AND FAMILIES: THE SCE DEPLOYMENT RESOURCES WEBSITE
For information about the Service Children's Education (SCE) Deployment Resources Site, which provides materials aimed at helping current British military children affected by deployment, click here.
PICTURE: ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY MARRIED QUARTERS, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
To view a postcard showing Royal Field Artillery married quarters in Bordon, Hampshire, which was posted in 1915, click here.
PICTURE: MILITARY HOSPITAL, ROBERTS HEIGHTS, PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
For a picture-postcard view of the British military hospital at Roberts Heights (today, Thaba Tshwane), Pretoria, South Africa, during the early years of the twentieth century, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: 'CAN YOU HELP ME FIND MY BROTHER'S GRAVE?'
Click here to read about Shelagh Jones' quest to locate the grave of her brother, Graham, who died in (West) Germany aged five, and about the information supplied by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWCG).
FORGOTTEN FACES: A PRE-1918 VISIT TO AN ARMY CAMP
To see a photographic postcard dating from before 1918 showing some young visitors to a temporary army camp, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'I AM GLAD THAT I CAN REMEMBER WEIHAI AS IT WAS EIGHTY YEARS AGO'
To read Mairi Paterson's memories of Wei-Hai-Hei (Weihai), north-eastern China, where she lived between 1930 and 1932, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: CROSSING THE PACIFIC, 1930
Click here to read Mairi Paterson's account of crossing the Pacific in 1930, aboard a troopship travelling from Jamaica to Wei-Hai-Wei (Weihai), north-eastern China.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SCHOOLS IN CYPRUS AND SINGAPORE, 1950S
For details of Dr Alastair MacKenzie's call for information about the school that he attended in Cyprus during the early 1950s, and his junior school in Singapore, click here.
'WE TRAVELLED AROUND A FAIR BIT, BECAUSE DAD WAS IN THE ARMY': AN INTERVIEW WITH DAME ELISABETH FRINK
To read extracts relating to her army childhood taken from an interview with Dame Elisabeth Frink in the British Library's National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives, click here.
TACA BLOG: 'TACA DRUM'
TACA now has a blog, 'TACA drum', which can be read (as well as followed and commented on) at: http://tacadrum.blogspot.com.
A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES IN GERMANY, MAY 1954: THE NAAFI
To read the official advice given in 1954 to service families concerning what they could buy at NAAFI shops in (West) Germany, and their locations, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS AT LARKHILL, WILTSHIRE
For a postcard showing married quarters at Larkhill, Wiltshire, dating from at least the 1950s, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'IT WAS A MAGICAL PLACE, WITH PALM TREES AND COFFEE PLANTATIONS', JAMAICA, 1928–30
Click here to read Mairi Paterson's evocative memories of living in Jamaica as an army child between the wars.
FORGOTTEN FACES: A PRE-WORLD WAR I ARMY FAMILY OF SEVEN
To see an approximately hundred-year-old postcard of an army family of seven, in which hair bows, the Prince of Wales' feathers and gleaming metalware feature prominently, click here.
SHOWING SUPPORT FOR THE ARMED FORCES, THEN AND NOW: ARMED FORCES DAY
For a pre-1918 fundraising photograph of children supporting the armed forces of their day, as well as links to the Armed Forces Day website and to those of some armed-forces-related charities, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: HELP SOUGHT REGARDING SEK KONG ARMY QUARTERS AND JUNIOR SCHOOL, HONG KONG
Click here to read William Ritson's message requesting information relating to Sek Kong (now Shek Kong), Hong Kong, during the 1950s.
PICTURE: THE ROYAL SOLDIERS' DAUGHTERS' HOME, HAMPSTEAD
For some background information on the Royal Soldiers' Daughters' Home in Hampstead, London, which was established in 1855, as well as an image, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTER, KENNEDY ROAD, HONG KONG
To view an old postcard of a married quarter in Kennedy Road, Hong Kong, click here.
FORGOTTEN FACES: AN ARMY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHED AT SOUTHSEA, PORTSMOUTH, HAMPSHIRE
To see a photograph of three army children with their parents, photographed at Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, click here.
PICTURE: THE RHEINDAHLEN MILITARY COMPLEX, (WEST) GERMANY
Click here to see a multi-view postcard of Rheindahlen, Mönchengladbach, (West) Germany, in the days when it was the headquarters of BAOR.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS AT BULFORD CAMP, WILTSHIRE
For a postcard captioned 'Salisbury Plain. Bulford Camp. Married Quarters', click here.
PICTURES: CONDITIONS FOR NINETEENTH-CENTURY ARMY FAMILIES ABOARD TROOPSHIPS ("TOMMY ATKINS" MARRIED – PAST AND PRESENT, 1884)
To see a trio of images from the composite print "Tommy Atkins" Married – Past and Present (1884), illustrating conditions aboard troopships for army families during the nineteenth century, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: MEMORIAL AT ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, HUTTON, BRENTWOOD, ESSEX
Click here to read Judy Warner's query regarding the memorial at All Saints' Church, Hutton, Brentwood, Essex, to former pupils of the Duke of York's Royal Military School, and Art Cockerill's reply.
PICTURE: 'ALL THROUGH WALKING WITH A SOLDIER'
For a comic postcard illustrating the belief that army families are large families, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: MEMORIES OF BOURNE SCHOOL, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYA
Click here to read Richard Mellish's message concerning Bourne School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (now Malaysia).
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS IN RANIKHET, INDIA
To see an old black-and-white postcard captioned 'Married Quarters & Half noon Barracks in snow, Ranikhet', click here.
PICTURE: THE CAMBRIDGE MILITARY HOSPITAL, ALDERSHOT, HAMPSHIRE
Click here for an image of the Cambridge Military Hospital (CMH) in Aldershot, Hampshire, and a brief history of the CMH and the Louise Margaret Maternity Hospital.
PICTURE: THE MV FREE ENTERPRISE VIII
For a picture of the MV Free Enterprise VIII, a Townsend Thoreson ferry that carried passengers across the Strait of Dover during the 1970s and 1980s, click here.
PICTURES: THE CONTRASTING FORTUNES OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY ARMY FAMILIES PRIOR TO OVERSEAS POSTINGS ("TOMMY ATKINS" MARRIED – PAST AND PRESENT, 1884)
To view two images from "Tommy Atkins" Married – Past and Present (1884) illustrating the contrasting fates of nineteenth-century army families when married soldiers were posted abroad, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'IT SURPRISES LISTENERS WHEN I SAY THAT I WAS AN ARMY BRAT'
Click here to read Chris Crowcroft's outline of his life as an army child during the 1950s and 1960s, and also of his musician father's army career.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: POPPIES FROM THE HEART OF STRATHSPEY, BY PETER ANDERSON
For details of former army child Peter Anderson's book, Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE NAME OF THE BLUE HOUSE AT THE SCHOOL IN PASIR PANJANG WAS . . .
Click here to read the names of the houses at the BFES junior school in Pasir Panjang, Singapore, supplied by Paul Loy.
NEW RESEARCH PROJECT: GREEN LIGHT FOR STUDY ON CHILDREN WITH FATHERS IN THE UK ARMED FORCES
For further details of a three-year study by the King's Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) into the health and well-being of forces children, click here.
PICTURES: MARRIED QUARTERS IN BORDON, HAMPSHIRE
To see a pair of postcards showing Royal Artillery married quarters in Bordon, Hampshire, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE HAVEL SCHOOL, BERLIN, (WEST) GERMANY
Click here to learn what happened to the premises of the former Havel School in Berlin, (West) Germany, which educated army children during the Cold War era.
A STANDING INVITATION TO ALL FORMER AND CURRENT ARMY CHILDREN
If you were, or are, an army child, how about contributing your story to TACA? Click here for more details, including how to get in touch.
PICTURES: NINETEENTH-CENTURY SERVICE FAMILY ACCOMMODATION ("TOMMY ATKINS" MARRIED – PAST AND PRESENT, 1884)
Click here for scenes from "Tommy Atkins" Married – Past and Present (1884) showing army families in camp at Cove Common, Aldershot, as well as at home in the corner of a barrack room and in modern married quarters ('modern' by the standards of 1884, at least).
PICTURE: A SOLDIER’S FAMILY GRIEVES BY HIS GRAVE ("TOMMY ATKINS" MARRIED – PAST AND PRESENT, 1884)
For a sad scene entitled 'A Soldier's Funeral', dating from 1884, click here.
ADVICE FOR FORMER BRITISH ARMY CHILDREN WHO WERE BORN ABROAD ON HOW TO APPLY FOR THEIR BIRTH CERTIFICATES
Click here for some pointers on how to apply for the birth certificates of army children who were born abroad during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
PICTURES: ARMY WIVES AND CHILDREN ON THE MARCH ("TOMMY ATKINS" MARRIED – PAST AND PRESENT, 1884)
For an idea of how army families were transported from posting to posting on land during the nineteenth century – that is, before railways became prevalent – click here.
PICTURE: "TOMMY ATKINS" MARRIED – PAST AND PRESENT, 1884
Click here to see "Tommy Atkins" Married – Past and Present, a composite print first published in 1884 in The Graphic depicting details of Victorian army families’ lives.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: WHERE ARE THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS OF RNS VERDALA, MALTA, ARCHIVED?
David Woolfenden would like to discover the whereabouts of the administrative records of the Royal Naval School (RNS) Verdala, in Malta, which closed in 1976. For more, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, JULLUNDUR, INDIA
Click here to view a postcard captioned 'Parade Ground, Showing Married quarters – Jullundur'.
A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES IN GERMANY, MAY 1954: ENTERTAINMENT
To read some extracts from a booklet published in 1954 outlining the types of entertainment available to British service personnel and their families in (West) Germany, click here.
CHILDREN'S BOOK: MY DADDY'S GOING AWAY . . .
For information on My Daddy's Going Away . . ., an illustrated storybook for young children by serving army officer and father of two Major Christopher MacGregor, and its associated website, click here.
PICTURE: GARRISON SCHOOL, VERDALA, MALTA, 1921
To view a photograph, dated 1921, showing staff and pupils at the Garrison School, Verdala, Malta, click here.
PICTURES: MISS AND MASTER TOMMY ATKINS, c.1910
Click here for two playing cards showing 'Miss Tommy Atkins the Soldier's Daughter' and 'Master Tommy Atkins the Soldier's Son' from a set called 'Funny Families', c.1910.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEEKING INFORMATION ON A BIRTH DURING THE RETREAT TO CORUNNA
Liz Brown is researching the birth of an army child to the wife of a private in the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot during the retreat to Corunna (1808–9); click here for further details.
PICTURES: BMH/RNH GIBRALTAR
For a pair of postcards of BMH Gibraltar, click here.
PICTURE: 'THE CAMP AT ALDERSHOT – ON DUTY', MARRIED QUARTERS IN 1871
Click here for an illustration of a Victorian army family in front of their married-quarter hut in Aldershot, Hampshire, which was published in The Graphic in 1871.
SOME CHRISTMAS RECIPES FOR THE FAMILY: CHRISTMAS FARE 1949
To read extracts from Some Christmas Recipes for the Family: Christmas Fare 1949, a booklet produced by the Army Catering Corps for 'married families' stationed in West Germany at the start of the Cold War, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BOY SOLDIERS AND EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY REGIMENTAL MUSTER ROLLS
Click here for Art Cockerill's advice to Janet Adams regarding discovering more about her great-great-grandfather, an army child born in Gibraltar in 1781.
PICTURES: ASSAYE BARRACKS AND MARRIED QUARTERS, TIDWORTH, WILTSHIRE
To view an old postcard of Assaye Barracks, Tidworth, Wiltshire, click here; and to see another, showing a row of terraced married quarters, captioned 'Assaye, M.Q., Tidworth', click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEEKING OLD FRIENDS, HONG KONG, 1956–58
David Rumford would like to hear from anyone who knew him between 1956 and 1958, when he and his family lived in Hong Kong. Click here for further details.
PERSONAL STORY: 'THE HUMDRUM LIFE OF AN ARMY BRAT'?
Click here to read John Legg's account of his army childhood, including his experiences in Malta, Libya, Wiltshire, Cheshire and Malaya/Malaysia during the 1950s and early 1960s.
ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECT: THE 'FAMILY LIFE AND THE ARMED FORCES STUDY'
Katherine Shelton, of Cardiff University's School of Psychology, is looking for forces families to participate in a research study on family life and the armed forces. Click here for further details.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, FLORIANA, MALTA
For a view of some married quarters in Floriana, Malta, as they appeared around a century ago, click here.
NEW RESEARCH: THE ORIGINS OF THE TERM 'BRAT'
Dr Grace Clifton, working with the US Army, has investigated why military children are often familiarly termed 'brats'; click here to read their conclusions.
NEW RESEARCH: 'THE OVERLOOKED CASUALTIES OF CONFLICT'
Click here for information on a report published on 5 November 2009 by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund detailing the challenges faced by children with a parent in the armed forces.
REMEMBRANCE POEM: 'TO TONY – AGED 3 (IN MEMORY: T. P. C. W.)'
For Marjorie Wilson's memorial poem, written for the child of a soldier who was killed in action in France in 1918, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MY ARMY LIFE, AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF MY PERIPATETIC UPBRINGING
Click here to read Julie Hewitt's account of growing as an army child in the UK and Cyprus between 1953 and 1965, and her thoughts on the damaging consequences of 'going to too many schools and living in too many houses'.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: 'I WONDER IF I'LL EVER FIND OUT WHICH HOUSE WAS BLUE IN PASIR PANJANG'
To view some photographs of Bourne School, Singapore, dating from the 1960s, contributed by former pupil Leslie Rutledge (who also attended junior school in Pasir Panjang), click here.
'WHERE THERE ARE FIVE CHILDREN, THE REGULATION PROVIDES FOR FOUR ROOMS AND A SCULLERY': CHILDREN OF THE REGIMENT IN 1896
For a description of the married quarters that were being built to accommodate soldiers' families in the UK by the end of the nineteenth century, click here.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: 'ARMY LIFE CERTAINLY FORMS PART OF A PERSON'S CHARACTER'
Click here to read Leslie Rutledge's thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of being brought up as an army child (and here for the Rutledge family's story).
THE SERVING SOLDIER: NEW HISTORICAL WEBSITE
For details of The Serving Soldier website, which provides online access to original material held by King's College London's Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: AN ARMY SCHOOL TEACHER IN NEPAL, 1976–78
Angela (Vikki) Richardson was a teacher with the Service Children's Education Authority (SCEA); click here for her recollections of SCS Dharan, Nepal, where she taught primary-school-aged army children.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART XI
To read Leslie Rutledge's account of his army family's last posting, to Malvern Wells in Worcestershire, click here.
PERSONAL PICTURES AND PAGES FROM PUBLICATIONS: MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE, THEN AND NOW, PART V
Click here to see images contributed by Jeff Harrison of St John's School and Bourne School, Singapore.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: WILLIAM ISLEY AND THE 52ND (OXFORDSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY) REGIMENT OF FOOT
Read CC's reference to a nineteenth-century soldier and erstwhile army child by clicking here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART X
For Part X of Leslie Rutledge's army-child story, in which he tells of life in Willich, (West) Germany, during the mid-1960s, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: GREAT DAYS IN SEREMBAN, MALAYA
Click here for Stuart Lloyd's memories of Christmas 1968, which he spent in Seremban, Malaya/Malaysia.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BOURNE SCHOOL, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, AND GROUP WEBSITES
To read Colin McCormac's report on how Bourne School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (now Malaysia) appeared on a return visit in 2006, and for information on Yahoo! and Facebook groups dedicated to former British forces' schools in the Far East, click here.
PERSONAL PICTURES AND PAGES FROM PUBLICATIONS: MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE, THEN AND NOW, PART IV
For a selection of images from a pamphlet marking the closure of Bourne School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (now Malaysia), in 1965, as well as some of Jeff Harrison's photographs showing how the school's former premises appear today, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART IX
Click here to read Part IX of Leslie Rutledge's story, in which he describes living in temporary accommodation in Blackpool before moving to Willich, (West) Germany, and attending Kent School, at Waldniel Hostert.
PERSONAL STORY: 'A COUPLE OF YEARS AFTER THE CLASS PHOTO WAS TAKEN, WE WERE ON A SIX-WEEK VOYAGE TO JAMAICA'
Army-child Barbara Rayner lived in (West) Germany and Jamaica during the late 1950s and early 1960s; click here for her photographs of a Sennelager primary-school class in 1958 and the troopship MS Dunera.
PERSONAL PICTURES AND PAGES FROM PUBLICATIONS: MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE, THEN AND NOW, PART III
To view Jeff Harrison's photographs of Arakan House, Bourne School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (Malaysia), then and now, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART VIII
For Part VIII of Leslie Rutledge's story, which includes his recollections of Bourne School, Singapore, in 1964, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'I LOVE MY PARENTS AND THE ARMY FOR "DRAGGING" ME AROUND THE WORLD WITH THEM'
Click here to read Kerry Millward's account of an army childhood spent in Hanover (Hannover), Wickrath and Rheindahlen, in (West) Germany, as well as in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Gibraltar and England.
PERSONAL PICTURES AND PAGES FROM PUBLICATIONS: MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE, THEN AND NOW, PART II
For some photographs from Jeff Harrison's copy of the 1964 issue of the magazine published by Bourne School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART VII
To read Part VII of Leslie Rutledge's story, in which he tells of his family's posting to Singapore between 1962 and 1964, click here.
'EVEN THE WEEK-OLD INFANT IS SUPPLIED WITH A GOVERNMENT RATION': CHILDREN OF THE REGIMENT IN 1896
For an indication of how army children were fed in 1896, click here.
PERSONAL PICTURES AND PAGES FROM PUBLICATIONS: MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE, THEN AND NOW, PART I
Jeff Harrison attended Bourne School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (now Malaysia), as a boarder between 1963 and 1965. Click here to view some photographs of Jeff's then home in Seremban, also in Malaya; of Arakan House's open day at Bourne School in 1964; and of Prince Philip’s visit to the school in 1963 or 1964.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART VI
Between May and September 1962, the Rutledge family lived in Hong Kong, in both Kowloon and Sek Kong, where they were exposed to the full force of Typhoon Wanda. Click here to read the sixth instalment of Leslie Rutledge's story.
'CONFLICTS OF INTEREST': A NEW EXHIBITION AT THE NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM
For information on the 'Conflicts of Interest' exhibition that opened at the National Army Museum in London on 12 September 2009, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART V
In Part V of his account of life as an army child, Leslie Rutledge recalls moving to Sennelager, (West) Germany, and gaining three more sisters there, before briefly living in a hostel in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. Click here to read it.
PRINCE RUPERT SCHOOL (PRS), WILHELMSHAVEN, GERMANY: A VIDEO CLIP OF THE LAST DAY
Click here, and then navigate down to 'PRINCE RUPERT SCHOOL (PRS), WILHELMSHAVEN, GERMANY: THEN AND NOW', for the link that activates a video clip of the last day, in June 1972, of PRS at Wilhelmshaven.
REVIEW: SMALL WARS
Click here to read a review of Sadie Jones’ novel, Small Wars (2009).
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART IV
For Part IV of Leslie Rutledge's recollections of life as an army child, in which he describes sailing from Hong Kong to Liverpool on HMT Oxfordshire and his family's subsequent posting to Paderborn, (West) Germany, click here.
'A CONCERT BY SOLDIERS' CHILDREN IS FREQUENTLY A TREAT': CHILDREN OF THE REGIMENT IN 1896
Click here for a brief description of army children's education circa 1896, and of their apparent talent for making music.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART III
To read Part III of Leslie Rutledge's story, in which he describes sailing to Hong Kong by troopship in 1956 and family life in Kowloon and the New Territories, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: MYSTERY BIRTH IN 'ISLEY BLOU'
For more information on the puzzle that Anne Hitchen has been trying to solve for years – the mystery birth of Eliza Isley Kelly in 'Isley Blou, Spain', in around 1812 – click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART II
Click here for Part II of Leslie Rutledge's story, in which he tells of his father briefly returning to civvy street in Wales before rejoining the Royal Engineers in 1954 and then being posted to Korea, leaving his growing family behind in Perham Down, Wiltshire.
'CLEAN, STURDY, HEALTHY LITTLE URCHINS': CHILDREN OF THE REGIMENT IN 1896
Click here for a description, dating from 1896, of the 'children of the regiment', and of how the birthday of the 'daughter of the regiment' was customarily celebrated at that time.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD, 1950–70, PART I
To read the first part of Leslie Rutledge's story, which spans the years 1948 to 1953 and features the birth of two of Leslie's seven siblings and his family’s posting to Trieste, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, SHORNCLIFFE, KENT
For an early twentieth-century view of married quarters at Shorncliffe, Kent, click here.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: BMH RINTELN, (WEST) GERMANY
Click here for a little background information on BMH Rinteln and the (West) German town of Rinteln, in Lower Saxony, where this British military hospital (BMH) was situated before its closure in 1996.
TACA-RELATED ARTICLE IN FAMILY HISTORY MONTHLY MAGAZINE'S SEPTEMBER 2009 ISSUE
Family History Monthly magazine's September 2009 issue featured 'Following the Drum', an article by Clare Gibson on tracking down army children of the past, and also on TACA. For further information, click here.
OPEN LETTER: WHEN THE WORST HAPPENS
For a link to Alexandra Blair's 'Open letter to Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Thorneloe's daughters, from the daughter of a murdered officer', which was published in The Times newspaper on 9 July 2009, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS IN PESHAWAR, INDIA
For a glimpse of what soldiers' married quarters in Peshawar (then part of British India, and today of Pakistan) looked like in around 1910, click here.
IN THE NEWS: THE ELIZABETH CROSS
For information on the Elizabeth Cross, which will be awarded from 1 August 2009 to the next of kin of UK armed forces personnel who have died on operations or as a result of terrorism from 1948 to date, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'I HAVE CHANGED COMPLETELY'
For Taima McDonald-Pizey's summary of her army childhood, including her experience of attending school in Münster, (West) Germany, between 1979 and 1980, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: AN EAST AFRICAN ADVENTURE
Click here to read Penelope Ann Perry's account of travelling from England to Kenya in 1949, and of living near Nakuru, and later in Jinja, Uganda, during the 1950s and 1960s.
A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES IN GERMANY, MAY 1954: MEDICAL SERVICES
For an idea of the medical care available to army families stationed in (West) Germany in 1954, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, HOUNSLOW BARRACKS, MIDDLESEX
Click here for a sepia-toned view of married quarters at Hounslow Barracks, in Middlesex.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: ENLISTMENT AS A DRUMMER, AGED FIVE
Janet Adams is keen to learn more about the life of John Murray, who was born to a British soldier serving at Gibraltar in 1781 and enlisted in the British Army as a drummer at five years of age. To learn more, click here.
IN THE NEWS: JOANNA LUMLEY
To see why actress and former army child Joanna Lumley hit the headlines on 21 May 2009, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INFORMATION SOUGHT ON BEECH-HANGER COURT, CATERHAM, SURREY
Jane O'Connor is seeking information on Beech-hanger Court, Caterham, Surrey, in around 1945. For further details, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE IN MARRIED QUARTERS IN EARLY POST-WAR BRITAIN
Click here to read about Peter Crump's disrupted early years and to learn what it was like to be a young army child in Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, Wales, during the early 1950s.
A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES IN GERMANY, MAY 1954: FOOD
For an insight into the advice given to army families moving to (West) Germany in 1954 on family food rations, where to buy food and what to avoid, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, WOOLWICH, LONDON
Click here for a postcard of married quarters in Woolwich, south-east London, dating from around World War I.
PICTURES: WEST RIDING BARRACKS, DORTMUND, (WEST) GERMANY, 1954–56
To see some photographs that Alan Robson took between 1954 and 1956, featuring army children at West Riding Barracks, Dortmund, in (West) Germany, click here.
CHILDREN'S BOOK: SOLDIER OLI
For details of Soldier Oli, a rhyming picture book for pre-school children, written by Kirsty Marvell to help army children understand and cope if someone in their family has to go away on tour, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: SEEKING A SCHOOLFRIEND, (WEST) GERMANY, 1978–81
Linda McIver is trying to trace a friend from her schooldays in Sennelager and Gütersloh, in (West) Germany. For further information, click here.
PICTURE: CATTERICK CAMP, NORTH YORKSHIRE
To see a postcard of Catterick Camp, North Yorkshire, with details of Sandes Soldiers Home; the post office; the garrison theatre; and Boulogne Lines, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'MÜNSTER – I CAN'T FAULT THE PLACE'
For Gerald Lipton's memories of attending Swinton Primary School in Senden, (West) Germany, and then Edinburgh School in Münster, and of the shock of moving from Germany to Scotland in the early 1980s, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: DO YOU RECOGNISE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
If you were an army child living in Katapahar, Darjeeling, Bengal, India, in 1935, Michael Few wonders whether you'll recognise yourself in the photograph that you'll see if you click here.
CHILDREN'S BOOKS: MY DADDY IS A SOLDIER AND MY MUMMY IS A SOLDIER
For details of My Daddy Is A Soldier and My Mummy Is A Soldier, by Gerry Waters, both books that were written to help today's small army children cope with their fathers' or mothers' absence when they are deployed on operations, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'I'M JUST SO GLAD I WAS AN ARMY KID'
Joan McCartney (née O'Brien) and her twin sister were born in BMH Wuppertal, in what was then West Germany. Click here for her memories of her army childhood, which encompass living in Germany, England, Cyprus and Hong Kong.
PERSONAL STORY: MY LIFE AS AN ARMY CHILD
Sheila Danks (née Wayman) spent the first years of her life as an army child in (West) Germany, Cyprus, England, Hong Kong, North Wales and Scotland. To read more, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MY EDUCATION AS A MARRIED-QUARTERS' CHILD
To read Chris Fussell's outline of his education as an army child, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, BULFORD CAMP
To view a postcard showing red-brick, terraced married quarters at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: LOOKING FOR OLD FRIENDS
Helen Posaner (née James) is looking for friends from her childhood days in Fallingbostel, (West) Germany, and Colchester; for further details, click here.
NEW RESEARCH: THE EDUCATION OF ARMED FORCES CHILDREN IN STATE SCHOOLS
For Aggie Robertson's conclusions following her research into the education of armed forces children in British state schools, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MY TIME AT ALEXANDRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL, SINGAPORE, 1959–62
Click here for Roger White's memories of attending Alexander Grammar School, in Singapore, during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
PERSONAL STORY: A WARTIME CHILDHOOD SPENT IN MALTA, 1938–46
To read Doreen McKeown's memories of being bombed – and more – while living in Malta during World War II, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: RATINGEN JUNIOR SCHOOL, GERMANY, 1956–59
Stephanie Strawbridge (née Hollier) would like to hear from anyone who went to Ratingen Junior School, in (West) Germany, between 1956 and 1959. For further details, click here.
FAMILY-HISTORY RESEARCH: ROBERT AND SYDNEY COCKMAN, GORDON HIGHLANDERS (AND AN ARMY SCHOOLMASTER) DURING THE BOER WAR
For Virginia Silvester's article outlining the story of the Cockman brothers' army careers, and of the impact that the military way of life had on their families, click here.
PRINCE RUPERT SCHOOL (PRS), WILHELMSHAVEN, GERMANY: THEN AND NOW
For a selection of links to some video clips taken from a DVD about PRS Wilhelmshaven that can now be watched on YouTube, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: BULLFROGS, CICADAS AND MACHINE-GUN FIRE IN EGYPT, 1951
For Chris Fussell's recollection of the jitteriness that pervaded his army-child's world in the aftermath of rioting in Ismailia, Egypt, in 1951, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIVING AND LEARNING IN AUSTRIA, 1953 TO 1955
John Leggett lived in Vienna, Graz and Klagenfurt as an army child. Click here to discover more about his time in Austria.
DEATH ON THE MARCH: FALLING BY THE WAYSIDE ON THE RETREAT TO CORUNNA, 1808–9
To read Rifleman Benjamin Harris' haunting description of the suffering that army children experienced on the retreat to Corunna, during the Peninsular War, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: A MARRIED-QUARTER CRISIS IN EGYPT
For Chris Fussell's account of a family crisis in Egypt, click here.
PICTURE: CHRISTMAS DINNER ON A TROOPSHIP, 1889
To view a sketch of Victorian-era army children enjoying Christmas dinner on a troopship, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MAGICAL CHRISTMASES IN GERMANY
To read Terry Friend's memories of Christmases in Hohne, (West) Germany, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: INFORMATION SOUGHT ON ARMY SCHOOLS IN AUSTRIA
Do you know anything about the BFES schools that educated army children in Austria after World War II? If so, William Dickins (and TACA) would like to hear from you. Click here to read more.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: EDWARD JAMES BIRCH, BORN 1881, BERMUDA
For details of Jack O'Brien's quest to discover more about the Bermudan-born army child Edward James Birch, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: REGARDING 'DID YOU GO TO A STATE SCHOOL IN THE UK?'
To read a message from Aggie Robertson to those who contributed to her research, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, CATTERICK CAMP, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Click here to see a postcard captioned 'Warrant officers' married quarters, Royal Signals, Catterick Camp'.
PICTURE: 'LIFE ON BOARD A TROOP-SHIP: "COMMENCE FIRING"'
For an illustration showing the presence of army children when permission was given for pipes to be lit on the Himalaya troopship's upper deck in 1873, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MAYHEM IN A MALTESE MARRIED QUARTER
To read Chris Fussell's account of the night that his family's dogs ran amok on Malta, click here.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: GIBRALTAR
For details of the Discover Gibraltar website, visit the 'LINKS' section of TACA'S 'POSTINGS' page.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE KING'S GERMAN LEGION AND NINETEENTH-CENTURY ARMY SCHOOLS
For details of Peter Cole's request for information about the King's German Legion in Bexhill, East Sussex, and particularly about the regimental school there, as well as about the 8th Acting Army Schoolmasters' Course, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: THE PROS AND CONS OF AN ARMY CHILDHOOD
For Anne Miller's views on the benefits and disadvantages of an army childhood, click here.
PICTURE: 'THE CHILD HE WILL NEVER SEE!'
Click here to see a tear-jerking World War I-era postcard.
PERSONAL STORY: REFLECTIONS ON REMEMBRANCE DAY
To read Terry Friend's reflections on past and present Remembrance Days, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: EXPERT FIRST AID IN MALTA
Click here for Chris Fussell's tale of being tended to by some expert first-aiders while living in Malta.
PERSONAL STORY: LEISURE TIME IN LIBYA
For Mick Kiernan's recollections of how he and his army-children friends spent their free time while living in Benghazi, Libya, during the early 1950s, click here.
PERSONAL OBSERVATION: 'I HAVE NO MEMORIES'
Click here for more on how the army-child experience has affected Marie O'Brien.
PERSONAL STORY: THE HUNGARIAN UPRISING, OCTOBER TO NOVEMBER 1956
For Terry Friend's recollections of the knock-on effects of the Hungarian uprising on Bonfire Night in Hohne, (West) Germany, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BFES PRIMARY SCHOOL AT STADE, (WEST) GERMANY
For Elaine Hart's reflections on her BFES primary school at Stade, (West) Germany, and her quest to discover the name of her inspirational teacher there, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BFPO, BTA AND MELF NUMBERS
Lists of British Forces Post Office (BFPO), BTA (British Troops Austria) and MELF (Middle East Land Forces) numbers are being compiled by Peter Watson. If you think that you can add to them, click here for further information.
PERSONAL STORY: SCHOOLDAYS IN BENGHAZI, LIBYA
To read Mick Kiernan's memories of the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation School, in Benghazi, Libya, and a camping trip to Ras el Hilal, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: SOME SNAPSHOTS OF GROWING UP IN POST-WAR AUSTRIA AND BERLIN
For Lorina Lumsden's recollections of her family's postings to Austria and Berlin, (West) Germany, click here.
HIDDEN LIVES REVEALED: THE VIRTUAL ARCHIVE OF THE WAIFS AND STRAYS' SOCIETY
For information on a virtual archive that focuses on the stories of children, some of them army children, in the care of the Waifs and Strays' Society between 1881 and 1918, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BAOR POSTCODES
Click here for Peter Watson's list of British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) postcodes.
PERSONAL STORY: SCHOOLDAYS AT HOHNE AND PRINCE RUPERT SCHOOL, WILHELMSHAVEN, GERMANY
For Terry Friend's recollections of life at primary school in Hohne, (West) Germany, and at Prince Rupert School (PRS), a secondary (boarding) school in Wilhelmshaven, (West) Germany, click here.
FAMILY-HISTORY RESEARCH: RICHARD FORD (1807–84), ARMOURER SERGEANT, ROYAL IRISH REGIMENT/18TH REGIMENT OF FOOT, AND HIS FAMILY
Chris Merry's research into the lives and times of his soldier great-great-grandfather and family can be read in the January 2009 issue (issue 73) of Your Family Tree magazine.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BRITISH MILITARY HOSPITALS IN GERMANY
For information provided by Peter Watson on British military hospitals (BMHs) in Germany, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'MALTA SEEMED VERY EXOTIC TO ME'
For Mick Kiernan's account of a memorable stopover on Malta in 1951, en route from England to Benghazi, Libya, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: THE ARMY CHILD WHO GREW UP TO BECOME AN ASTRONAUT
US astronaut Piers Sellars was a bona fide British army child. To learn more, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: THE CAMP AT HOHNE, GERMANY
To read Terry Friend's recollections of the camp at Hohne, in (West) Germany, between 1951 and 1961, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS, HOUNSLOW
To see how some married quarters in barracks in Hounslow, Middlesex, looked at the start of the twentieth century, click here.
REVIEW: CURRIES & BUGLES: A MEMOIR & COOKBOOK OF THE BRITISH RAJ
For a review of Jennifer Brennan's evocative, India-focused memoir-cum-cookbook, click here.
PICTURES: KING ALFRED SCHOOL (KAS) TRAINS
To see some photographs of the trains that transported pupils to and from King Alfred School, Plön, in Germany, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MARRIED QUARTERS IN HOHNE, GERMANY
For Terry Friend's description of the married quarters in which his family lived in Hohne, Germany, from 1951 to 1961, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: 'EVER HEARD A SHOT FIRED IN ANGER?'
Chris Fussell has. To read more about his exciting experience in Ismailia, Egypt, in 1950, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: EDINBURGH SCHOOL, MÜNSTER, GERMANY
For a few facts on Edinburgh School's beginning and end, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: HAPPY DAYS IN HONG KONG, 1953
To read about Richard Hall's voyage east on the Empire Orwell and year in Hong Kong, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: WARTIME IN THE UK; PEACETIME IN MALTA, EGYPT AND OXFORDSHIRE
For Chris Fussell's recollections of growing up in Northern Ireland and Aldershot during World War II, and then Malta and Egypt, as well as Oxfordshire, after the war, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MEMORIES OF MÜNSTER, 1958–60
To read Richard Hall's memories of living in Münster, (West) Germany, during the late 1950s, click here.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: PLÖN AM SEE
For a view of Plön, in northern Germany, where the BFES' King Alfred School (KAS) was located between 1948 and 1959, as well as some useful related links, click here.
FROM KASHMIR TO KENT: JOANNA LUMLEY'S ARMY-CHILD CREDENTIALS
For details of Joanna Lumley's links with India, and the Gurkhas, click here.
PICTURE: A REGIMENTAL SCHOOL IN INDIA
To see an image of the regimental school of the 1st Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment (previously the 48th Foot) in India, in around 1889–90, click here.
TACA CORRESPONDENCE: LOOKING FOR LOST FRIENDS
Nathan Williams (b.1985) is looking for lost friends from his army childhood in Germany, Hong Kong and Britain. For further details, click here.
PERSONAL OBSERVATION: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF A FORCES' CHILDHOOD
For a TACA correspondent's suggested negative consequence of growing up as an army child, click here.
RECENT RESEARCH: 'BORN ABROAD' STATISTICS
For some information on the findings of analysis of the 2001 census of Britain relating to the birthplaces of army children, click here.
PICTURE: THE SS NEVASA
To see a photograph of the SS Nevasa, click here.
QUESTION: 'WHERE IS MY HOME?'
For more on the perennial army-child question, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: BERLIN, 1948 TO 1951
To read Tim Sanders' account of travelling from England to West Germany as young army child in 1948, and then of living in West Berlin from 1948 to 1951, click here.
'YOU'RE SELF-RELIANT': JENNY AGUTTER'S REFLECTIONS ON ARMY-CHILD TRAITS
For actress Jenny Agutter's thoughts on the character-forming effects of growing up as an army child, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: A GERMAN-BORN ARMY CHILD'S EXPERIENCES IN WEST GERMANY, MALTA AND ENGLAND
To read Hans-Jürgen Kariger's story of his 'odyssey' as an army child between 1954 and 1966, which encompassed periods living in Hameln, Helmstedt, Berlin and Krefeld in [West] Germany; Birkikara and Hamrun in Malta; and Catterick Camp in England; as well as his memories of Kent School, Hostert, and Hipswell County Modern, Catterick, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MEMORIES OF POST-WAR BERLIN
Elizabeth Robertson's father was the commandant of Berlin's British Sector between 1949 and 1951. To read her recollections of Berlin at this time, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: EXPERIENCING TERROR AND THRILLS AT CATTERICK CAMP AND WAR'S OUTBREAK AT ALDERSHOT
To read JRG's memories of Catterick and Aldershot during the 1930s and early 1940s, click here.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: THE BRITISH FORCES POST OFFICE (BFPO) AND BFPO NUMBERS
For an overview of the history and function of the British Forces Post Office (BFPO), and a selection of BFPO numbers current in 2008, click here.
TACA NEWS: MAGAZINE MENTIONS
For details of the magazines that have featured TACA to date, click here.
PICTURE: 'LIFE ON BOARD A TROOP-SHIP: DINNER-TIME'
For an illustration depicting army wives and children aboard the Himalaya troopship at dinnertime in 1873, click here.
REVIEW: MALTA, 1937-1942: SOME CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
To read a review of a booklet recalling Michael Longyear's experiences as an army child in peace- and wartime Malta, click here.
PICTURES: BULFORD CAMP, SALISBURY PLAIN, WILTSHIRE
For an early bird's-eye view of Bulford Camp, click here; and for an early picture of the 'C' lines married quarters at Bulford Camp, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LIFE IN THE BARRACKS, DORCHESTER, DORSET, 1925-35
For Bob Manning's memories of growing up in the Dorsetshire Regiment's Depot Barracks, in Dorchester, Dorset, between 1925 and 1935, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MARY SEACOLE
For Mary Seacole's explanation of her army-child credentials, click here.
PICTURE: NEWCASTLE MILITARY CANTONMENT, JAMAICA
For an image of Newcastle Military Cantonment, Jamaica, and Mary Seacole's observation regarding English people's vulnerability to yellow fever in Jamaica, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS IN TRIMULGHERRY, INDIA
To view a snapshot of the married quarters in Laswarrie Road, Trimulgherry, India, taken before World War II, click here.
QUESTION: AN INFLUENTIAL START IN LIFE?
To consider this question further, click here.
NEW RESEARCH: THE EXPERIENCE OF EDUCATION OF THE ARMY CHILD
For the main conclusions of Dr Grace Clifton's research into the educational experience of twenty-first-century army children attending secondary schools in the UK, click here; and for more details of her research and findings, click here.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: BAOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND SPECIAL TRAINS
For Peter Watson's summary of the establishment of BAOR secondary schools in (West) Germany in the aftermath of World War II, and of the special trains that served them, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: WARTIME IN EGYPT AND SOUTH AFRICA, PEACETIME IN ENGLAND AND SINGAPORE
For Daisy Caroline Blythe's outline of a peripatetic childhood, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: LADY ELSPETH CAMPBELL
To read about Lady Elspeth Campbell's experiences as an army child, click here.
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS IN DEVIZES
For a World War I-era postcard showing the married quarters at Devizes Barracks, Wiltshire, click here.
QUESTION: BARRACK RATS AND ARMY BRATS
For Alan Greveson's suggestion regarding the question posed on the 'Memories & miscellanea' page, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: RECOLLECTIONS OF A 'DAUGHTER OF THE GUARDS'
For Ada Evelyn Tapner's recollections of life at the Guards Depot, Upper Caterham, Surrey, during World War I, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: BROTHERS IN ARMS
For a summary of the places in which Daniel Phoenix lived as an army child during the 1980s and 1990s, and the Phoenix brothers' career choices, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: MEMORIES OF WOOLWICH, BY AN RAF OFFICER
For Squadron Leader Trevor Peacock's memories of Woolwich between the wars, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: GOING TO SCHOOL ON BOARD A TROOPSHIP, AS WELL AS IN GERMANY, HONG KONG, WALES, PLYMOUTH, SINGAPORE, SOUTHAMPTON AND CYPRUS
For Thelma Jean Marshall's memories of the places where she went to school as an army child, click here.
PICTURE: 'PERFECT LITTLE DEVILS'
For an illustration, dating from 1887, of a children's tug-of-war game aboard a troopship, click here.
PICTURES: QUARTERS IN TIDWORTH
For pictures of married quarters in Tidworth, Wiltshire, around a century ago, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: A CHILDHOOD SPENT IN INDIA, ENGLAND AND ITALY
For Maggie Johns' memories of spending her early years in India during the 1930s, the World War II years in England and the immediate post-war years in Italy, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: FROM BRITAIN TO GERMANY, VIA KENYA
For Margaret Cleeve's tale of travelling on the troopship Nevasa to Kenya, and of going to school in Gilgil and Eldoret, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: BARRACK RATS OF THE PAST & PERSONAL STORY: KILLED IN ACTION
Dan Kirwan's father was killed in 1915, at the second battle of Ypres. To read Dan's story and Art Cockerill's account of the Kirwan family's plight, click here.
PICTURE: BMH ISERLOHN, GERMANY
For an aerial postcard of BMH Iserlohn, Germany, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: BOARDING IN BROADSTAIRS
For KW's memories of Hildersham House, Broadstairs, Kent, click here.
PERSONAL STORY: HOLIDAYS IN GIBRALTAR
For SW's memories of holidays in Gibraltar, click here.