When you are a new recruit in the Forces, undergoing basic training, prior to trade training is the mainstay of being a soldier first, even when you are in the Royal Air Force.
After weeks and weeks of “beastings”, a final phase of in-the-field testing comes into play.
Myself and the band of other recruits in my intake were whisked off to some remote location in Scotland where the “war games” commenced.
Oh, how I laughed when, whilst being strapped to a medical stretcher and being “evacuated” from the war zone, I was dropped head-first into a water-filled ditch.
Getting my own back on the clumsy stretcher-bearers came the very next day, when they were tasked with taking the biggest, ugliest, oldest, recruit down in hand-to-hand combat…yup the latter was me.
At one point I had 6 other recruits hanging off me trying to take me down and the Directing Staff eventually called them off due to their lack of progress.
These types of antics went on for days and returning to our concrete block barrack block gave us no comfort, but then you wouldn’t expect it would you?
So, the barrack block: on arrival bunks were allocated and the previous course of recruits overlapped by a week, so at least you had the chance to get the low down on what might be expected.
Now, the outgoing crew mentioned that our barrack block was haunted and the ghost was an old airman. Of course we laughed and took this as being something to get the new intake on edge, and left it at that.
We had a brief discussion about ghosts with the majority saying it was nonsense, particularly one guy, who we shall call Peter in order to protect his identity.
Anyway, the days rolled on but part way through the course we were given the evening off and yes there was a bar nearby.
I had been designated as Deputy Senior Man on the course and myself and the Senior Man had a…