For those visitors to this site not familiar with the organisation of the Army Apprentice School Arborfield during the period 1962 - 1965, boys aged 15 to 17½ joined the school for 3 years to train as Vehicle Mechanics and 3 Electronic Technicians trades, Telecommunications, Radar and Control Equipment Technicians. Each year was split into 3, 14 week terms, known as Divisions, and the apprentices were organised into 6 companies.
For the first 14 weeks of training apprentices were posted to “Junior Company” and divided in to A,B,C, & D Squads. Here the apprentice was allocated his bed space and locker and was issued with kit, most of which didn’t fit very well. During “Jeep Land” as it was known, the apprentices were introduced to drill, physical training, and the cleaning of everything that didn’t move and some that did. There were also numerous trips to the medical room where we received inoculations to immunise us against just about all known diseases. Pitched in amongst all the military training was a few trips to the education block for classes in maths and English etc and a few hours at “workshop practice” which introduced us to the use of hand tools.
Having had a passing out parade from Junior Company and a spot of leave, apprentices were posted to their respective companies, i.e. A,B,C,& D Company. The accommodation changed from what was then a modern brick building with modern facilities to the 6 room wooden spider blocks that had been in existence for 30/40 years. On average there were 16 apprentices to a room plus an Apprentice L/Cpl and Cpl/Sgt in charge of the room. Apprentices spent the next 2 years as a member of his Company continuing with Trade, Education and Military Training.
At the end of 7 Division Apprentices were posted to “Senior Company” where for the the final 2 terms trade training and more intensive military training continued when on completion the Apprentice had passed his Third Class trade and Military Training Certificates. At the end of the final, 9th, term there was a passing out parade where the Senior Division changed their cap badge from the school badge to the REME badge and finally marched off parade and were posted to their first regular unit.