Back to England for a while…

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Headquarters RE.


Royal Engineers Museum!

Survival Cebuano

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


Main Gate!

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!


Replica Greek Trading Ship!


Ancient Mosaic.

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!


Ancient Aqua-duct!


Ancient Mosaic.

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!


Ancient Amphitheater.

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!


Fragmented Mosaic.

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!




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GenSan Chris

Chris Dearne, aka "GenSan Chris" is a long term resident of the Philippines. Chris has been living in General Santos City since 1992! Chris owned a hotel in General Santos called Cambridge Farm Hotel, and now also Agatha's Dive Center, formerly Tuna City Scuba Center. Chris' interests include Scuba Diving, Instructing, and Formula 1 Racing.

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Chris DearneRonald RegnierGary DaddsStephen M Gray Recent comment authors
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Stephen M Gray

Great… now waiting for more of the story… haha

Gary Dadds
Gary Dadds

Could do with someone in our area that knows about drilling wells. All the locals around us are a bunch of clowns and still haven’t got it right on the third attempt.

Chris Dearne

Hi Gary,
I have watched the locals sink wells and am quite amazed how they are actually successful at times!

Chris Dearne

Hi Stephen,
I will try to keep them coming for you!

Ronald Regnier
Ronald Regnier

Hi Chris, stopped by LIP in case I saw a promising way to ask about gensan, and in barely 20 seconds I saw your nickname!! and article….. Simple inquiry: I have only ever been to Luzon, but in the next 4-8 months good chance I will visit gensan. A Filipino family will host me. You have been there a long time so I guess risk from radicals may not be very high, in any case that is my line of questioning: can you spell that out for me a little please? What I read puts risk a bit high it… Read more »

Chris Dearne

Hi Ron,
I have been down here for 25 years and in that time there have been a few bombs and shootings but nothing to really worry about! The same rules apply as in any big Cities, do not walk down dark allies in the dark, do not accept drinks from strangers and do not argue with the locals when booze is present!
Really, Gen San is a very safe place to be!


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