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Contributed by: Trevor STUBBERFIELD (52A)


Announcement contributed to several relevant Forums by The Editor


60 years ago, in the days surrounding the 19th and 20th of February 1952, members of Intake 52A assembled at Arborfield. Including the first contingent of the Burmese boys, we were to number less than 100 in total.

Two weeks earlier, the tragic death of King George VI meant that we would be the first Arborfield intake to sign up to serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Because of the short space of time our Attestation Forms 271A and 271B were altered by hand in pen and ink, crossing out ‘His’ and substituting ‘Her’ in front of Majesty.

So, as we celebrate the Diamond Anniversary Year of our Queen, survivors of 52A will raise a glass to her and also one to mark our own Diamond Anniversary Year.

A third glass will be raised to offer congratulations to the boys of Intake 42A who celebrate 70 Platinum years. Well done lads.


Tony Church 55A, the Poet Laureate of Arborfield, contributed the following verse.


Sixty Up.


No parking meters, yellow lines along the roads, no instant fines

To catch the driver so unwary, saluting AA men, the very

Essence of the way we were, fresh from the war and breathing air

Of a free country, dearly bought by countrymen who stood and fought

To gain this precious gift, ensuring freedom for us all, enduring.


Milkmen whistling in the dawn, clanking bottles, hooves clomp on

The quiet gas-lit cobbled streets as the old horse patrols his beat

And, pulling on the laden cart he labours on, a very part

Of life in early Fifties then, picking up the threads of peace again.

Returning once more to the days of normal life, domestic ways.


Then, on one February day, our King just quietly passed away,

Worn out leading his tired nation, overseeing our salvation,

Gaining grateful thanks deserved from those whom he most loyally served,

And passing on the monarchs role to a young girl to be the sole

Ruler in his recent stead, a heavy crown for her young head.


And at this time it so contrived that in this month there then arrived

A motley bunch of callow youths, all no doubt searching for the truth

In that old adage “Be a soldier”, and, before they were much older

Saw the error of their ways, looking at the long dark days

That stretched ahead for three long years, yes, some must have shed bitter tears.


But no! It didn’t look so bad once they’d got used to it, and had

A few months of the give and take of army life, and learned to make

The best of what they’d signed on for, and knew then, just what lay in store

For those in intake Fifty-Two A, their fate was then, from that first day

Effectively, for all time sealed, inside the gates of Arborfield.


Now, three-score years have come and gone, and that young lady soldiers on,

But then, no less, have those young lads, though now their role is of Granddads,

Who, like her Majesty, has seen it come to pass and mostly been

There, done it all, got the tee shirt, have shared the glory and the dirt

That comes to soldiers now and then, but willingly do it all again.


So raise your glasses all you jeeps, and senior divs to she who keeps

The name of Queen with dignity, and also to those lads who she

Shares with, this diamond celebration, a cause for cheer and jubilation

To be heard throughout this land. And for us lads, a rousing hand

Of loud applause to mark the day those lads were christened, Fifty-Two A !!



Copyright © Tony Church 55A

Published: 1st March 2012