The All Arms Junior Leaders’ Regiment was formed in 1959 and disbanded in 1966. Originally it trained boys as future senior non-commissioned officers from five arms of the army but this was later expanded to eight.
The year was split into 3 terms with a fresh intake of boys each term. The first term of each boys service was completely dedicated to turning these 15 and 16 year olds into disciplined soldiers.
From the second term the prime emphasis was on education as all senior NCO’s were required to obtain the Army Certificate of Education [Class 1].
Alternate days were spent on Military Training which included Drill, Weapons Training, Driver Training, Map Reading and casually strolling over the gently rolling Brecon Beacons in wonderful Welsh weather fully equipped in thin denims, a poncho and carrying a webbing back pack.
The boys final term included specialist training according to the arm or corps he intended to serve in as a senior soldier.
Mixed in with all this there was sport, adventure training, outward bound courses and inter company competitions including the Rhyl cup.
Every boy also took part in the ’Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’ and to this end most evenings were spent doing a large number of hobbies. The rest of the time was spent cleaning the barracks or doing your personal kit whilst huddled round a coal burning pot-bellied stove in a futile attempt to keep warm. Oh, those were the days.........