Two years hard work, actually! It started off with six months training at Woking in Surrey, which included the normal square bashing, full infantry training and classes in military law. This was followed by eighteen months operational police duty at Aldershot, the home of the British Army.
Upon arrival at Aldershot I was immediately appointed secretary to the major in command of our provost company and, in that position, I worked in an office from 9am to 4pm every weekday. Prior to attending the office, at 8am I joined my colleagues on parade, when we personally and our barrack rooms were inspected before we were engaged in foot drill or physical exercise. Upon completion of each day’s office work I was required to clean both my office and the major’s office before parading for foot patrol in Aldershot Town, where we remained until 11pm.
Weekends were a little different, with a weekend pass granted for one weekend in four. During the other three weekends I performed foot patrols in Aldershot during the afternoons and evenings, or at any special events like the Farnborough Air Show. Stationed in and around Aldershot were various regiments, including the Paras, the Guards and the Enniskillen Fusiliers, with each body of troops believing they were the toughest in the army and keen to prove it. Consequently, when the drink was in them at the weekends, a dozen or more would frequently fight to a standstill and the streets of the town would literally run with their blood.
We military policemen patrolled in twos and there was no way that we could effectively deal with these fights when they were in full swing. When coming upon such a fight, we therefore sent for reinforcements and held back until they arrived before we moved in to arrest the offenders. An added advantage to this strategy was that by the time we did move in the participants in the fight had knocked three bells out of each other, with many of them lying unconscious in the road. This made our job of subduing the remainder and arresting them all much easier.
My Professional Career
What did your service in the Military Police entail?