(Bob Evered has written this up for Tyrrel Francis as unfortunately he
is not well but the SCLI website is very grateful for this contribution).
I arrived along with many others at a snow covered Victoria Barracks Bodmin to join the 48th Intake of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
on the 23rd January 1958 my conscripted had been deferred until I was 22 years of age, allowing me to complete my apprenticeship with Rolls Royce.
Consequently I was about two or three years or so older than most of my new comrades.
As I recall we had a long barrack room on the first floor with beds on each side with a central column of lockers facing outwards.
We were at the head of the room, so we were the first to be aware of impending danger from approaching NCO's.
On one side of me was Ray Beeks and on the other was Gerry 'Blackie' Blackwell opposite on the other the room was Bob Evered
(23446278) only two numbers away from mine, we all soon became the best of friends.
At the end of three months training along with Bob Evered
and a couple of others I signed on for 22 years with a 3year option.
Cpl's Bob Evered and Joe Rowe. - 1959
We were posted to 'D' (Training) Company for yet more training, this lasted for about a month after that we were all posted to our respective companies.
In my case and that of my friends we ended up in 'B' Company, which in fact was just next door to 'D' Coy block!
The lay out of all the blocks were made up of barrack rooms or billets, each housing between four and twelve soldiers according to size.
I was allocated one of the smaller ones along with Ray Beeks and Bob Evered
, later we were joined by a real 'old soldier' (Late thirties?) Pte George Boulton.
I left Mercer Barracks Osnabruck Germany for the last time with Bob Evered
and a handful of others on 28th February 1961 and left the Colours for the Reserve on the 3rd April 1961.
Following the above I joined 'A' Company of the 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry TA (Territorial Army)
After a while I was promoted to Sjt.