After my tour in Belize, I returned to Ripon in Yorkshire which was my home base but as usual I did not stay there too long! After a couple of months, I was sent back to the Royal School of Military Engineering in Brompton Barracks Chatham, Kent where I was to join my A1 Water Well Driller Course! I was very happy with this as it was the top course of my trade training but it also had a pay rise which was very acceptable to me
I was doing very well on my course when one day I was called into the office of the Regimental Sargent Major (RSM) for what reason I did not know! As I entered, the RSM had his strict face on and very surprisingly he told me to sit down which was unheard of in his office! He then went on to ask me why I was wandering around the barracks improperly dressed! I was quite amazed at this as I was correctly dressed as far as I knew and I explained that to him to which he replied, if you wish you can stay dressed like that or you can report to me correctly dressed wearing 2 stripes on your right arm and with this statement he started laughing which was unusual for him but this was his way of telling me that I had been promoted from Lance Corporal to full Corporal RE which was very acceptable to me especially as again, a pay rise went along with the promotion! Maybe the RSM had a sense of humor after all!
Having been promoted, I was now qualified to conduct the role of Barracks Guard Commander every couple of weeks and other unwanted duties also came along with the promotion but I could manage them so no problems!
Once I finished my Water Well Drilling Course I was given a new job of Assistant Instructor in the Water Supply Department, wow, I was now starting to go places in the Army but It looked now as I would be stuck in England but far from my home town and my parents!
Once I got to grips with my new job and got all the inventory updated and ready for the next course I found out that the 521 STRE (Drilling Troop) were going on a short tour to Cyprus to install boreholes for water supply in the Ziggy BBC World Service Transmitting Station and I made a request to go with them as all was ready here for the next course and I would be back before it started! My request was granted so in early August 1977 to late October 1977 I was back to the Sun Shine once again! The Job itself was interesting as we were set up in between the transmitting towers so every now and then we would have static electricity flashes on the drilling rigs but they were well grounded so no danger there so we were told! We were not allowed to take pictures as the site was classified as a restricted area!
One day, as we were driving to work, on the radio it was announced that the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley had died! I was quite shocked by this as I was a fan and he was not even old! A sad Day!
Half way through the tour we were joined by the Reserve Drilling department of the Territorial Army! These were a good group of men as some were ex regular soldiers, Others were skilled tradesmen such mechanics, electricians, plumbers and drivers so these men now made our lives a lot easily! They were with us for 3 weeks and we really had fun with them as they all could drink like fish and knew how to party just as we did!
This tour seemed to pass very quickly as we completed our project in good time so we had time to take in the sights of Ancient Cyprus which has a very rich heritage and it is well worth a visit. we spent several days of our down time looking around at the ancient ruins, its quite amazing to see how cleaver the ancient artisans were to create such treasures. After our tourist stuff we were sent back to UK where I resumed my position in the Training School waiting for the new course to begin but then, things started to go down hill for me, not in my military life but my personal life which did make me think on my future in a different way!