YouTube: British Pathé - Duke Of Edinburgh Visits Fleet Air Arm - Yeovilton


I was a member of the Royal Guard for Prince Philip at Yeovilton in 1964 ! A bunch of us were sent down from HMS Ariel ( as Lee-on-Solent was then named ) to join MASSES of other ratings from all the other Air Stations, including Singapore and Malta , and all the Carriers. We were billeted in Speckington Camp ,a decrepit former WW2 Air Diection School accomodation base. We soon got it "shipshape " however,as it had to be our "home" for several weeks.On our first morning,we fell in on the perimeter track near 09, wearing No3 dress with khaki webbing and .303 Lee-Enfields (but no bayonets ) and were then marched all the way to breakfast in the main dining hall via the Control Tower and "X" Hard standing,then down past the GDA, Vixen MU , SE Section etc ; it was a LONG WAY !! We were very depressed at the thought of 6 or 7 weeks of this , BUT ; it was a "wind up" !! --after that ,there was an almost continuous bus-service via the old A303 !! We had drill after drill all day and every day ( I am still good at "Fix Bayonets " !!) at VL but also at nearby Houndstone WRAC training camp ( Huge parade ground and huge lady truck-drivers --wow ! ) until the "Big Day" .Meanwhile, all ratings with beards were told to "shave off " or leave the Guard,so we ended up with a huge support (webbing-blanco-ing ) Support Party of hirsute matelots ; I was too young ( 16 and a half ) of course .Finally , the BIG DAY ; I watched HRH nearly fall from the back of his pusser's landrover ; Apparently ,he was wearing the WRONG UNIFORM (according to next day's press) ,but overall it was a FANTASTIC day, and the Blue Angels from the US were AMAZING . It was one of those experiences you never forget.

Roger Mills ( Heron Flight , 766 NAS , and Tower Radar , Yeovilton 1964-66)

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