I was stationed at Bovington 1957/59 as a National Serviceman, the posting was a happy one.
My job was looking after the demo: Saladin (the 6 wheel Sarecen APC Chassis but with a small gun instead of the seats ie. A Commander and a Driver plus a radio/gunner), a recon vehicle for the tanks. I have a photo with my sarecen with L plates! Driving was at Clouds Hill demo course.
Saladin/ Sarecen were built by Alvis with a Rolls Royce engine and pre-select gearbox great to drive, not like the Centurion tank with the double de-clutch gear change and crash gearbox (if you missed a gear and were stuck in neutral, the tank went straight on - quite an experience on the public roads!) even at 25 MPH but weighing 50 tons.
Bovington Camp was mostly a male environment until in 1958 the top floor of the accommodation block was filled with WRACS! happily for us guys.
We had to do our guard duty on a bike because of the large area covered.
Happy days. 2 a week wages, but a pint of draft cider was only the old ten pence.
Posted by Ex-Trooper Bill Smith 2896. From Liverpool.
Justwilliams@talktalk.net. - email me for a chat
A memory shared byon May 15th, 2010.
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