RAPC Technical Training Company Worthy Down
TECHNICAL TRAINING COMPANY (TTC) - RAPC TRAINING CENTRE
I joined TTC sometime in late ’78 / early ’79.
As far as I can recall TTC was split into 2 sections – Pay and Allowances and Service Funds. I was employed within Pay and Allowances section.
The Section was responsible for the following:
Paymasters Courses – Pay and Allowances
Commissioning Courses – Pay and Allowances
Transfer in Soldiers Courses – Pay and Allowances
Refresher training for RAPC B1 Trade Test examination.
Imprest Holders Courses
What made Paymasters Courses so interesting was the mix of attendees You would have a mixture of Officers wishing to transfer to the Corps, some RAPC subalterns direct from Sandhurst and others from Overseas.
One of particular interest formed up in late 1980. I had just returned from being the 1st RAPC Instructor at BMATT Zimbabwe and was wondering why I seemed to be short - toured by a month.
I was given the list for the next Paymasters Course and reading down it I saw Officers from Jamaica, Uganda, Malaya, Zambia and someone from Zwaziland whose status we were not sure of. It transpired that he was a relative of the then King of Zwaziland, had been working in a bank in the Capital of the country, had been told he was to be the Paymaster of the Army and to get his body to Worthy Down! I was wondering whether or not I was having any from UK when I learned that I would be receiving 3 from Sandhurst namely Lts A Fairclough, M Lodge and J Wolsey.
On the day we started the Zambian Officer had not appeared. The next morning there was a knock on the classroom door which I went to answer. Filling the space was a very large man in a blue uniform. I asked him who he was and he replied that he was Capt. Bluesky N’Gombe of the Zambian Army. I asked him why he was late in arriving for the course and he replied that he had been taking part in the Zambian Wrestling Championships and that he was the new Heavyweight Champion. I showed him to a desk and told him the RAPC Officers would look after him!
I was only involved with one and you can imagine the worry of what these guys were going to get up to. At the start of that particular course a certain young Officer said to me that there was no point in attending as he was going straight back to the “box” on posting. I said to him that I didn’t have a problem with that and I would put his comments on his report, which the Chief Instructor would obviously see. Not surprisingly he stayed, which was just as well as a few weeks later he went on an emergency posting as Paymaster of a Line Regiment.
TRANSFER-IN SOLDIERS COURSE:
I really enjoyed doing those but as with any other course they did have their moments. I was lecturing on one when the windows at the back of the classroom looked to me to be moving. Thinking something was obviously wrong with me I dismissed the class for the day. I went home and became violently ill. I had an ear infection which caused dis-orientation. Transport was sent to my MQ to take me to the MRS. When you suffer from this you sway around lie a drunk out of control so you can imagine my thoughts when I arrived at the MRS to find many of my course there for innoculations. – “look at “Q” must have been on a right bender last night!”.
I had the father of one soldier telephone me a couple of times to find out how his son was doing. You have to be polite and choose your words carefully when that happens. In the end he told me exactly what I was thinking!
On another occasion, when doing extra exam prep in the evening with some WRAC girls I had to tell one of them to go back to the WRAC Block and return when she was more suitably attired. There was only one occasion where I had to warn off a TIS soldier about his attitude to women.
As for end of course parties I always had extra fun the following morning. The noise of metal bins falling on wooden floors did absolutely nothing for those suffering from hangovers!
REFRESHER TRAINING FOR RAPC B1 TRADE TEST EXAM:
In early ’81 I was sent over to CPO BAOR Training Centre to take one of these courses as the BAOR Instructor had fallen ill. Only 36 students attending so Bob Coombs, having just returned from Zimbabwe, was sent across to assist. All went well until we opened the Examination Papers and passed them out to the students. Within a few minutes of the exam starting some students were complaining that there were more than 1 answer to a couple of the Questions – something that should never have happened. Being one hour ahead of UK I reported this back to Worthy Down so that they were aware of the problem.
IMPREST HOLDERS COURSE:
An Imprest Holders Course had already been compiled and was running successfully for UK Imprest Account Holders. It was decided that we should compile one for BAOR Imprest Holders and I was tasked to produce, test and run the first course.
A Grenadier Guards Battalion had just arrived back at Pirbright from Germany so I asked their Div 2, Lionel Cooke, if I could visit and update myself on anything new as regards BAOR Imprest. This proved to be a very helpful visit and the Course was well received when presented to students in BAOR.
In closing I would just like to mention 1 story that I know about the Service Funds Section. Not long after VAT was introduced there was a request from NI for assistance to be given at a “Char Waller” to complete his VAT Return. One of the guys went over to NI, did the business and left a very happy “Char Waller” waiting for his VAT refund. I just wish I could remember who it was that went over.
Two manuals many of us were introduced to in our technical training were the Manual of Army Pay Duties and The Pay Warrant 1964.
For nostalgia purposes here is a copy of
the Pay Warrant (amended up to and including the last ever amendment) immediately prior to being superseded by the introduction of the tri Service Pay, Allowances and Charges Warrant, in 2008, which gave legal effect to JSPs 752 and 754 – Tri Service Regulations on allowances, pay and charges for all members of the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force and the Reserve Forces. The Pay Warrant ceased to be the statutory instrument for Army pay on the date that the Tri Service Warrant took effect.