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The Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry
6 October 1959 - 10 July 1968

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SCLI Memoir by - Trevor Nottingham - SCLI

Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry


by Trevor Nottingham

I joined the Bn A Coy in Berlin in 1964 along with Alan Burt ,George Rains, and under the Cmd of LCpl Morris paid a visit to East Germany to see the sights . After doing the Spandau Guards,Teirgarten Guards, BIB Guards and ,Train Guards, under the watchfull eye of Cpl Charlie Eagle and all those exercises in the Grunnewald, I transferred to the Bugle Plt. The smartness bearing and drill were second to none, lead by (Bugle- Major Gerry Hill). Although it would be a year before I did duty bugler as I couldn’t play the bloody thing.

The Berlin Tattoo came along ,which I mimed all the actions the buglers did .The spectactcular of the tattoo was forming the Queens crown and holding up in each hand coloured lights. The tattoo over it was back to normal life Skiving a trip to the Hoffenblute or a visit to Lolitas or Stafanies (There were a lot of Helgas in Stefanies.) Saturday nights was a trip on the tram down the Heerstrasse to the Naffi. Now is the hour for me to say I hated that song it was back to bks for a bag of chips at the cookhouse or a trip to the Kurferstadame.Or if you were really lucky a trip on the (Rocking Horse).Also the band had a cool rock group led by Dave Marshall guitar bass player,which always played to packed houses.

Berlin Tattoo Olympic Stadium 1964 -SCLI Band & Bugles with Massed Bands

Berlin over we looked forward to our new posting at Gravesend.

Gravesend lived up to its name a shabby WW2 bks and what about those coke fatigues. And lucky you if got pass the Prov Sgt (Nobby Farley ) at the main gate without a tie on . The skive of the day was to go dental sick which was at Gillingham. With a stop off on the way back at Chatham and the pubs. So Cpl Pete Polver and I went dental sick .

To cheer everyone up the Band & Bugles for about a week at 0600hrs would march around the barracks playing all your favourite marches. After a period of canoe training on the river Thames Bdsm Wiscombe, myself Bgr Hocking Lt Holt . Lt Fox (Foxes Marines) and the (late) Peter Rabey, set off from Ramsgate to canoe to Paris, which at the time (Had never been done). Halfway across the channel we met the turn off the tide, we were going nowhere. So we boarded are RN escort vessel and made for Calais.and set off to Paris. We got as far as Bordeaux where one of the team became sick. We were then unable to continue to Paris, so we made are way back to Calais for a few days awaiting are RN escort vessel to take us back across the channel.

Canada & Wainwright came upon us .We soon learnt are winter warfare skills and put it into practice in the Kananaska mountains. Albeit the drive up the mountain was a bit precarious to say the least.R& R was spent at either Calgary - Bannf. I do believe that Pte Snowball got into a bit of a fracas when asked his name by the RCMP they quickly whisked him away.

SCLI Buglers Norway 1967
Right to left
Foxy Fowler Pete Polver (no snow suit) Mick Clarke
Nigel Pender (deceased) Lester Hocking Jim Rickard

We left Canada minus Bgr Holmes (Sherlock) who settled down with the Sioux Indians.We flew onto Norway but did not have the luxury of the clothing to protect us as we did in Canada and the Buddy- Buddy system was well or over used !!!.and where did all the ration packs go. A few got there ski-ing badges, but Gus Rashleigh was disqualified doing the the ski jump. A lot of 2nd world war German kit was found whilst digging in .and one would be worn much later by Lt.Col. R E .WAIGHT with the words ( Oberts Lieutenant) on it. R&R was spent at Tromso, the Buglers also played fanfares at a Norwegien officers mess.

Norway over it was Back to Gravesend & prepare for (Aden).

One in Sandboots (Capt. Oliver Reynolds), one Excused Boots(Trevor Nottingham), Radfan Camp 1966 - (John Pover)

Training for Aden started in earnest learning how to set up VCPs. Learning the skills of unarmed combat and stuff like that .Our departure soon arrived and so we flew from RAF Lyneham in a VC 10, we arrived at our tented village at Radfan Camp with a bit of apprehension to be greeted by The words (EGG TEA BANJO) .We soon got down to the task of patrolling Sheik- 0thman. The buglers got there fair share of action with casualties, .I think Syd Vigus had a lucky escape, also Jazz Davis (Turn Right here Jazz) spent time in hospital although I don’t think he knew he was wounded until somebody informed him.

The Bugle Major (Gerry Hill) and Cpl Bill Carter came out unscaved from a gunfight in Sheik Othman. and Winker Watson had a grenade hit his boot resting on the tow bar but failed to go off. Jim Rickard was not so lucky he got hit by two exploding grenades in mid air as he jumped off the back of a patrol ferret.We also flew in a Beverly upto Makarias and spent a few weeks patrolling in the mountains .We returned to Radfan for some RR a trip to Khormasksa.

Later I visited my brother Ron Nottingham at the BMH who with others got blown up in a 3 tonner by a land mine on the scrubber line. Some in the Bn GO-GO had a few scuffles with the Cameronions. Indeed near the end of the tour I was on a 3 tnr with some Paras, the Cameronions were on guard at the main gate as we drove out I shouted Days to do you Scotch B# #s . when someone held me by the throat and said ( I'll have you know there's Scotsman in the Paras as well )
Sadly we lost Cpl Roy Collings & Pte Oakley. The Royal Anglians soon arrived and we looked forward to going back to UK.on leave.

We arrived back at Gravesend after an extended leave looking like we had just returned from Glastonbury. Further trips to Norway & Canada followed. Although I missed my chalk for Canada and was promptly put in the guardroom , I must say they did run a good bookie.

Bgr. Trevor Nottingham Wembley Stadium May 1968 England v Sweden 3-1

On the 10th July 1968 the Ist Bn Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry with the Band & Bugles lead a faultless parade.with the salute taken by Field Marshal The Lord Harding Of Petherton GCB, CBE, DSO, MC., after which The Band & Bugles proceeded to Cornwall to lay up the Colours at Truro Cathedral. Ending an era of Tradition & Family Spirit of both counties of Somerset & Cornwall .

1st Bn Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry
Bugle Platoon Laying up of the Colours
Truro Cathedral July 1968

And another chapter began.
The 1st Bn The Light Infantry The Light Division was born .

Trevor J Nottingham.
Bugler SCLI

Copyright Text and Image: Trevor Nottingham

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