Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Monday, 16 December 2013

Blast from the Past

I've been meaning to do this for a long time.
Getting a copy of my army records from CARO*  that is.

They make interesting reading, not because they reveal anything I didn't already know or remember, but because of the insights gained by looking at the way records were made and kept back then.

Everything was taken down in longhand. Computers weren't invented, or at least not used for the record keeping application.

They collected lots of information, although it's hard to understand why some of it is relevant.

Why did they need to know I was into photography, played the guitar and recorder, and fixed bicycles?
Given the well-know tendency of the army to post any given individual into a corps completely disconnected from civvie skills, it's more than a little mysterious.

They also got it wrong, or I told a few fibs. I did, at the time, have a couple of subjects towards a degree. I hadn't done very well, so may have been embarrassed to mention it.

I was in Cadets at boarding school, but think I made up the bit about being a signaller.

Seeing my Nationality listed as "British" is annoying, to say the least.

My medical classification of A1 is interesting, given that I'd had a mild case of Polio as a toddler, and ended up with one leg slightly shorter than the other.

The funniest bit is having my papers stamped as "Potential Officer".
In the first five minutes of my officer intake interview I told the guy with the handlebar moustache that I thought we should get out of Vietnam.

That was the end of the interview.

* Central Army Records Office

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