No. 1 Commandant General's Squad
see Terry's notes below the image

I`ve been wondering for 70 years why I had never seen a pic of the very first squad. You see, when we first got to Deal and the training system was completely turned round from what it had been at Burford, - viz. Three months basic training of drill & PT was to come at the end of your Boys time (and was very much resented by those of us affected) - the idea apparently was each set of boys would form a “Draft Squad”, pass out in their last term and on their 18th birthday move to North Barrack & M Company, ready for drafting to sea. It seems No1 squad - being passed out by the then CG himself - were given the grander title of CG squad to reflect the bootneck King`s squad title of the recruits in North. In our day at Burford, each squad had joined each term and spent that much time on basics at the beginning of our service, so we did not relish having to do it all again!

Most of these boys are dead-certainly I know of none still alive. I was in Glory for 2½ years with Forsdick, Williams and Riley and the first two I know are dead.

Major Pound died a couple of years ago aged 98.

You`ll notice that the adult Bandies all wear lyre collardogs as it predates the amalgamation with the Ports and Ply bands on 1 Sept 1950, the Chatham band and barracks closing on that date.

As the senior DofM K A McLean was still a Lieut the date must be prior to 14 April 1950 as on that date he was promoted to Captain (the only one we had in those days), and the date of this photo must have been shortly before that. Easter was on 9 April that year, so it was probably taken late March. Terry Freestone.

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