The Wire Article From March to April 1969  






Under New Management

This is hardly the way to refer to the change of command that took place at the end of January. It is not so out of place if you know that the Commanding officer’s office is of such a size, and is so furnished as to be referred by the less reverent as ‘the board room.’ Our photograph shows Lieutenant-Colonel F. D. Williams, M.B.E., making sure that his successor Lieutenant- Colonel J.A. Baker signs in the right place. With the number of stations to be visited, the hand-over was a very mobile affair, but the two Colonels were wined and dined at a variety of unit functions before Lieutenant-Colonel Williams was finally dined out of the Officers’ Mess and subsequently despatched in a very odd vehicle (now returned to NAAF I) to the School of Signals, where we wish him and his family a happy tour. At the same time we welcome Lieutenant-Colonel Baker and his family to Worcester - and a breath of the country life after the diesel-laden atmosphere of Oxford Street.

Signs of the times

One of the by-products of our being able to settle down and knowing we are staying put in Norton Barracks for a while at least, is the rash of new signs all over. No longer is the bewildered visitor told “HQ. Squadron? Oh, they’re over there where it says Support Company.” MPBW tell us (and they make them, so they should know) there is a sign for two out of every three soldiers in the place. Asked to comment on this, an R.H.Q. spokesman declined and politely, but firmly, closed his door . . . neatly marked ‘DOOR.’




Writing these notes at the time of the Wales v. Ireland punch-up and the tactical withdrawal of the M.C.C. from the Pakistani fracas, it is perhaps as well that after weeks of unplayable pitches, the only sport on which we can comment is that essentially no-contact game, basketball. Once again our ‘Oldies’ have shown what can be done with meagre facilities, but a lot of enthusiasm. Led by Q.M.S.I. Underwood (now literally on his home ground, for he has lived in Worcester for a while now) and Y. of S. Dixon, our team very satisfactorily brought home the Western Command championship cup, and at the later zone stage were within four baskets in two matches of going through to the Army Championships.

For a team that for a variety of reasons was never complete in numbers, this was a very fine effort.


A Potted History of 635 & 636 Signal Troops
By Sergeants West and Dutton

“We were little people waiting for great things.”

The Troops started with the arrival of Corporals Dutton and Stokes (now Sergeants) in February, 1967. They were despatched three days later on a two-month course to. R.A.F. Tangmere on the TGRI(AT) 26023/1, or E 21, as it is often called. The speedy departure was because the equipment was due to arrive before " the end of -the' course, and someone had to know how to unpack it. Meanwhile, at Robinswood Barracks, the Troop doubled in strength with the arrival of Corporal Street and Corporal (now Sergeant) Scott, who followed hard on the heels of the first of the intrepid pioneers.

At this point, all hell broke loose, and the Troop strength increased rapidly. Unfortunately, the delivery date of the equipment came and went with no sign of it, and the Troop had nothing to do but wait for the arrival of its O.C., Lieutenant (now Captain) Brock, later in the year. Nothing else of importance happened for some time, until the arrival, the following spring, of W.0.1 (F. of S.) Moore, who took over the technical side of finding men for the Q.M.’s fatigues.


The equipment delivery date had now been definitely fixed for July, 1968, so some of the Troop(s) were sent out on loan to the R.A.F., 645 Troop and 259 Squadrons, for employment on exercises on Ascension Island, Cyprus, Singapore, Australia, Libya and Keevil (one of the remoter parts of the Wiltshire badlands). The great day arrived - and passed - and still we had no equipment. So they gave us a D13 to play with, but even that was pinched from 645 Troop.‘ .

Then in October, 1968, quite suddenly, it happened. The transmitter cabin arrived, followed by three more cabins, seven platforms, and just to endorse the frailty of human nature, two Meadows generators . . . ours had not been built yet. “Now for it,” we thought, “exercises galore.” But alas, the kit cannot be moved, for we have not yet received our mobilisers - or wheels, as they are often called. We have now borrowed some for training, and soon we hope to be able to exercise abroad. But even if we" don’t actually go anywhere; you can see that if you want promotion, then “Come alive with 635!”

“Now we are big people waiting for little things”

 We are also advised that this Troop, while waiting for its equipment, invented and became undisputed Champions of five- a-side tennis. This piece, while written for the February/March edition, is no less topical in April/May