Victoriana

In the beginning

The life and History of Dutch senior
Born 5th September 1940 Edmonton London Eldest of a Twin.

Evacuated to Wales during the War, hence my accent and intimate knowledge of Welsh History (i.e. Battle of Hasting, Bannockburn etc). Left School (approved), And Home at 14 years of age, survived by living rough in derelict buildings, and Joined the post office in St Paul 's London as a telegram boy in 1955. Joined the Army Cadets Force, Royal Engineers, part of the Post Office infrastructure, passed part 1 and 2 and made Sgt at the tender age of 16 All packed into a frame of 4 foot 11 inches. Moved into the stock Exchange and became gilt edged with a renewed value of a couple of pounds extra in weight. Always wanted to join the Royal Marines, and at 17 went along to the recruiting office at Wanstead. There I had the medical and was told that I was to short by half and told to come back in twenty Years, or 6 inches later. With all my persuasive powers of literate experience (Basically Bullshit) I convinced the Massive 8 foot Hulk of a Drill instructor that he was missing a fantastic opportunity to employ a useful Member into the Corp. I couldn't believe it when he agreed with me, That was it, I was on my way to a part of my Life that made me the person I am today. "For good or Bad" 10 years I served the Corp and enjoyed every moment and every Port, the men and women I served with and the jobs we done, the places we went, Malta Nth Africa, Sicily, Cyprus, Aden, Singapore, Borneo, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The people I met, and the experiences we enjoyed. What a superb Life on the Ocean Waves.
My First Taste of the culinary arts was when I was in 40 Commando stationed in Malta, and I opened up in the evenings with a fellow soul mate Jan Luscombe selling egg banjo's from the mortar store, and breakfast in bed on Sunday morning. Later on my section in Borneo , designed a field oven whilst at Kalabakan, and how true it is, speak to QMS Oliver, is now accepted throughout the British Army. My only other claim to Fame was that as a mobile Fire Controller was the first to employ the 81 mm Mortar in action, when on a raid under the Command of Lt Ram Seager. I was demobbed on August the 4th 1966 as a Sgt HW1 and got married on the same day.

I got started in the Business prior to coming out of the services.
Bought myself a little Van and converted it for selling Hotdogs etc. I concentrated solely on the Military barracks in Plymouth My schedule for every evening having finished work would be:-
Leave Home at 18.30 and go to Wrens Barracks in Plymouth stay till 2000 hrs and then go out to Roborough Barracks the Royal Corps of Transport, Stay until 2330 hrs and then wander down to Bickleigh and wait for the lads to come off shore, I eventually got heaved out of Bickleigh by the reigning RSM because he thought it was detrimental for a serving Senior NCO to be serving Hot Dogs to the troops, Ha!

Needless to say I then picked the trade up from Seaton Barracks and the Argyle and Southern highlanders who had just returned from Aden with the reputation that there Commanding Office "Mad Mitch" had acquired for them. It was whilst serving the Argyle's that I Became a Golden Gloves Champion and received 2nd Dan in "you Know What", My Dogs Mobile Van was equipped to except incoming Bricks and Bottles at 50 yds and over head fire via the occasional milk crate slung off the roof at a height of 100 Feet, it was at this stage of my life that I discovered grey in my hair. Also it was total secret that I was a serving member within the Royal Marines, (Can you imagine the Flack) and as the story goes some fool let the cat out of the bag. The Argyle's always liked a punch up, even if it was 8 against one, and that I can forgive, because at that time of night they were so inebriated that they could not count the fingers on there toes. The challenge was thrown down and I stated that I would take three of them down the Gym and would take all three on singular, at whatever they wished to do. The time and date was given and I duly rolled up, to find that a SJT PTI was organizing it, which suited me, the challenge was put to me with the other three contenders listening that we were all to complete three circuits of the circuit course laid out in the Gymnasium, the other three agreed to this, I disagreed and said that it was to lame, asked what my ideas were, I said you run until you drop and the last one standing is the winner, If you are a Royal Marine Reading this, you would have been right proud, I completed 7 circuits having out run the last Argyle on the Sixth, and on completing the Seventh running past the Sarge, sticking my thumb up and saying "Bit more training and they will be as good as our Wrens". From that moment on I had no more trouble from the Lads and I loved them. Great to have on our side.
(What they didn't know was that when I run back to my car, I went into some sort of muscular shock and it took me Three hours to come out of it a Gibbering Heap).
It was in 1966 that I applied for the license at Lympstone, and luckily got it, I started off outside the gate, and then moved inside the gate opposite the old guardroom, and it was whilst I was there my Trailer caught light, through a leaky gas connector. The duty fireman was Danny Mudge who I had served with years before, I still have this vision as this apparition, done out in full regalia, asbestos suit, Goggles, Helmet and gloves etc pushed me aside, and grapping the gas bottle by it's scrawny throat threw it down the road out of harms way, needlessly the trailer was burnt out.
I was back in the Camp within the week with a new trailer, and better insurance.
Over the next 22 years many changes took place within the Camp, the Camp itself became modernized and training was changed in many ways. But for all the changes the Lads were always the same, there Humor and attitude never alter it just gets better, and the characters just get bigger, The Corp has lost many on the way but they will never be forgotten. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Royal Marines from roots up for providing me with the ingredients for giving me a life I have enjoyed, just for the association alone, not including all the Memories. "Meet the Marines," To many times to count. Royal Tournament "Top Field". Bar-B-Q for the officers Mess. Serving the on the common, not forgetting renewing old acquaintances and new ones and so it goes on but not by me but by Jim my Eldest Son, and long may he be successful and get from it the satisfaction, Fun and enjoyment it has given me.

Jim Holland

Jim there might be some items you might want to leave out

Jim Jnr "NOT A BLOODY CHANCE!"



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