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Guards Infantry Training Battalion

For sixty years Caterham Barracks in Surrey was the home of No.16 Coy., the Guards training Company.
Thousands of Coldstreamers passed through the hallowed portals into an experience that has stayed with Guardsmen for life.
Many have written about this special place, but to endure and enjoy the twenty weeks of basic Guards training,
is a badge of courage that is worn for life.
It is this education that has ensured our Regiment has survived and prospered for 350 yrs.
Construction work on Caterham Barracks commenced in 1850, built to the new 'Army Living Programe',
with modern sanitation, heating and lighting, each man allocated 60 sq. ft. of living space.
The Barracks were handed over in 1877, the home to four Regiments of Foot Guards, occupied by over 12,000 men.
The standard of discipline and training established the benchmark for the Guards training Company,
which eventually took the barracks as its HQ.
The original twelve weeks basic was augmented by a further eight weeks period of 'Battle Training' in various locations,
then settled at Pirbright, with its ranges and large area's of heathland for simulated battle engagements.
The last training recruits marched out of Caterham in 1961 and the Depot finely closed in 1990,
taking with it over a hundred years of Regimental history.
By this time the whole of the training was undertaken at Pirbright in Surrey.

In 1994 The Guards Infantry Training Company, No. 14 Coy. was established at Vimy Barracks, Catterick North Yorks.
There has been Army training at Catterick since before World War One, but this was the first time in the Foot Guards history that a permanent Company had been active here.
The initial move was fraught with so many integration difficulties, plus accommodation was always a moot point.
It was with great relief when in 2003 the Guards Training Company moved to Helles Brks,
alongside the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Gurka Rifles.
This intense competition was the spur that No. 14 Coy needed to move forward.
During the last two years the standard of young guardsmen has improved along with their training.

Sgt Lee Westerman with his Plt. of young Trainee Guardsmen, during battle training

I was in my car and heading for Helles Barracks at Catterick Garrison once again,
having had a few bad months it was nice to get out in the fresh air again.
Arriving at the barracks I had a steady walk to the NAAFI for a cup of char and a chat to Ian of Victoria prints,
who as usual was selling his military wares to family of the trainee Guardsmen.
Gentlemen, Before I start my report you may find the following information something a bit more informative;


Week Activity/Lessons
Week One to Five
Issue of Kit,
Rifle Lessons.
Parents' Day
Fieldcraft Lesson
Weeks 6 to 11
Adjutant's Drill Inspection,
Long Weekend,
NuclearBiological & Chemical (NBC) Training.
First Aid, Introduction Exercises,
Map Reading and Adventure Training.

Weeks 12 to 17

Tactical Exercise1,
2 Weeks of leave,
Light Support Weapon (LSW) Lessons.
Tactical Exercise 2,
NBC, First Aid and Dril
Weeks 18 to 23
Urban Warfare Training,
Company Commanders Drill Inspection,
Long Weekend,
Machine Gun Lessons,
March and Shoot and Battlefield Tour to France.
Weeks 24 to 26

Battle Camp,
Live-Firing Exercise.
Pass-out Parade and 10 days of leave.

Here we go again, on Friday 3rd August 2012, I decided to attend the Passing-out-Parade of No 25 Platoon at the Guards ITC, Helles Barracks. Catterick Garrison.
It was a pleasant day with the sun occasionally breaking through as a drove along the country lanes; I find it a quieter drive going this way.
On arriving at the barrack gates I opened my passenger side window to ask for a programme only to be informed by the Corporal that it would cost me £1.00,
I knew he cut backs were bad but this took the biscuit. I called in the NAFFI for a cuppa and spoke to Ian of Victoria Prints who I have known for some years now,
I then spotted an old friend and former Company Sergeant Major here at Catterick John Hardy who welcomed me warmly;
he is now running a very successful photography business and selling framed photographs of servicemen who pass-out.
Time to head for the parade ground; it was to be a very busy day, what with the Para's already passed -out, to be followed by the Guards and then the Line Regiments later in the afternoon.
The stands started to fill up and right on time WOII Company Sergeant Major, Pete Downes, Grenadier Guards marched smartly on parade.
Addressing the seated audience he informed the families and friends of the Trainee Guardsmen what the parade would consist of and what not to do and what to do and when to do it.
He then Marched off to bring the Platoon on parade.
The band of the Royal Engineers provided the music today as they led No 25 Platoon on parade, to the music of 'Guards Armoured'
thank god they had a bass drummer who knew how to keep the beat.
CSM. Downes halted the Platoon in the centre of the parade ground and having given them their dressing, marched forward to hand the Platoon over to the Commander Captain Brown.
Twenty Eight Trainee Guardsmen on parade which consisted of 5 Grenadier Guards, 3 Scots Guards, 8 Welsh Guards, 4 Irish Guards and 8 Coldstream Guards.
The two stick orderlies in Inspection party were Coldstreamers, unfortunately I did not know the name or Regiment of the Inspecting officer,
except that he was the Commanding Officer of the ITC Catterick.

I must congratulate the band of the Royal Engineers for the music played during the inspection,
March Millitaire, The Great Escape, Lord of the Dance, Fame and Glory, Abba on Broadway and Gladiator a pleasure to listen to.
The parade was exceptional, the arms and foot drill and the dressing on the march of these young men was of great credit to their instructors,
a message also echoed by the Commanding Officer in his speech.


Platoon Sergeant:
Sgt Canavan Welsh Guards.

Section Commanders:
L/Sgt Jones.
L/Sgt Mc Curry.
L/Sgt Munro.
L/Sgt Hunt.

Prize Winners:

Best Endeavour: T/Gdsn Biddulph. Grenadier Guards.
Best Shot: T/Gdsn Lang. Scots Guards.
Best at Physical Training: T/ Gdsn Stanton. Coldstream Guards.
Best at Drill and Turnout: T/ Gdsn Banks. Irish Guards.
Soldiers Medal: T/Gdsn Clancy. Irish Guards.
For the first time ever, the prize for Best Recruit was shared between
T/Gdsn Nelson. Grenadier Guards and T/Gdsn Clancy. Irish Guards.

In closing the Commanding Officer paid tribute to the members of the Platoon,
their Instructors for a very fine parade and wished the Guardsmen well in their respective Battalions.
He also thanked the families and friends for the support and attendance and to finish the Padre passed on his congratulations and closed with Prayers.
The Platoon Commander dressed the Platoon in three ranks and approached the Commanding officer to seek his permission to march the Guardsmen off parade and to their Battalion,
which of course was granted.
And so these young men marched smartly off parade to the music of 'Hielan Laddie' and 'St Patrick's Day',
but as they came past their families and friends the din caused by the applause, screams and shouts caused the lads to lose step but II am glad to say soon regained their composure.
I t was a satisfied veteran who left Catterick highly please at what he had seen.

Mannie Cook Hon Secretary


Friday 13th (who's superstitious) and Bill Spence and myself set off from Middlesbrough, bound for Helles Barracks Catterick Garrison
to witness yet again another Passing-out-Parade.
The weather was fine but chilly as we reached Catterick, there had been a Passing-out-Parade for the Para's so the NAFFI was rather full.
After a quick cuppa we both went to visit the Company Office where we were met by the Inspecting Officer Major Baker,
Regimental Adjutant of the Grenadier Guards and WOII CSM P Downes Scots Guards and both welcomed us warmly.
We then headed towards the parade ground as the families and friends started to converge on the same place, taking their seats in the stands.
WOII CSM Downes then strode smartly onto the parade ground, standing in front of the stands informed the visitors on what was to happen, and when and where to applaud. Before striding off to meet the platoon, as he did, I clapped him, he turned on his heel and glared at me, but he knew it was a wind up.

So the parade began with No 21 & 16 Platoons marching on parade as one platoon with the music Guards Armoured played by the Band of the Kings.
There were a total of Forty One trainee Guardsmen passing out, fourteen from the Army Training College at Harrogate and twenty seven from Catterick.
Seven Grenadiers, ten Scots, five Irish, eight Welsh and eleven were Coldstream in all.

I am not going into details about the parade format,
enough to say it was not up to the usual standard.
Maybe because they decided to put both platoons together,
but the CQMS Scots Guards was not very pleased with the standard.
Both Stick orderlies messed up as they halted at the saluting dais,
one about turning about before the other in front of the stands,
arms flapping about while marching, heads flinging back as the came to mark time,
losing step not a pretty sight, enough said. (Well it was Friday 13th)

Platoons: On Parade

No 16 Platoon.
Platoon Commander..... Capt Morley (Not on Parade)
Platoon Sergeant:........... Sgt Lloyd. Grenadier Guards.

Section Commanders:

L/Sgt Botes Scots Guards.
L/Sgt Moore Irish Guards.
L/Sgt Heath Coldstream Guards
L/Sgt Jones Welsh Guards.

No 21 Platoon:
Platoon Commander: ....Captain Campbell, Irish Guards.
Platoon Sergeant:.. Sgt Swain, Irish Guards.

Section Commanders:

L/Sgt Barnes, Grenadier Guards.
L/Sgt Davies Coldstream Guards.
L/Sgt Hall Irish Guards.
L/Sgt Blackstock, Scots Guards
L/Cpl Harkin, Irish Guards

No 21 Platoon Prize Winners:

Best Endeavour: T/Gdsn Swinford Grenadier Guards.
Best Shot T/Gdsn Ryan, Coldstream Guards.
Best at Physical Training: T/Gdsn McLean, Coldstream Guards.
Best Drill and Turnout: T/Gdsn Christie, Coldstream Guards.
Best Recruit: T/Gdsn Campbell, Coldstream Guards.
Soldiers Medal: T/Gdsn Slater, Grenadier Guards.
I can tell you every time the CSM called out Coldstream Guards he looked over at where we stood and grimaced.

No 21 Platoon Major Generals Section.
Platoon Commander L/Sgt Davies, Coldstream Guards
T/Gdsn, Campbell, Grenadier Guards.
T/Gdsn Cannon, Coldstream Guards.
T/Gdsn Hinton, Coldstream Guards.
TGdsn McClean, Welsh Guards.
T/Gdsn McRoberts, Welsh Guards.
T/Gdsn Millerchip Coldstream Guards.
T/Gdsn Parry S Scots Guards
T/Gdsn Ryan, Coldstream Guards

All in all a good day for the Coldstream Guards much to the dismay of CSM Downes, knowing we were in attendance.
The boys marched off, now Guardsmen, to rapturous applause from the stands.
Before leaving the parade ground CSM Downes informed the parents to make sure the lads returned sound on Monday,
but while on leave he asked the mothers to put the laundry basket in the bedroom of their sons on the Sunday morning and went on to say the Grenadier Guard would rise and do the ironing and ask if there was any more to be done, then to the Scots then the Welsh, followed by the Irish
until he came to the Coldstream Guard who he said would look at it turn over and go back to sleep.
At which point we booed him. All in good fun.
What a day. Mannie Cook


There should have been a Passing-out-Parade on Friday 18th November 2011 but it was delayed until Friday 25th November 2011.
I was determined to attend this one as I had been missing from Catterick for most of the year due to ill health.
As I left Middlesbrough with my travelling companions Billy Spence and Colin Westerman, it was a chilly but fine day,
but as we approached towards Catterick the sky was getting darker and darker until the heavens opened.
I had my doubts about any parade, but it eased off slowly.
We entered the barracks and as we passed the parade ground I noticed the families already in their seats in the stands,
obviously the Parade time had been brought forward.
We parked up and headed straight for the Parade ground and as we did one platoon was already forming up.
Luckily I noticed something blowing in front of me and picking it up found it to be a programme of the day..
There were to be three Platoons Passing-out, No 17,19 and 26,
No 17 Platoon from the Army Foundation College at Harrogate.
Plus No's 19 and 26 from the Guards ITC, the total number of trainee Guardsmen passing out were approx 96 with eleven of them being Coldstreamers.
The Company Sergeant Major of the Guards ITC
is now WOII CSM Pete Downes, Grenadier Guards
He was just finishing his welcoming speech to the families as we took up our place at the end of the main stand.
The three platoons marched smartly on parade being led by The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band playing the 'Guards Armoured.
'CSM' Downes took up his position in the centre of the square and halted the platoons, advanced and gave them their dressing,
before marching over to the senior Platoon Officer and handing over the Parade.
He then made his way over to the the corner of the square to meet the Inspection party.
The two accompaning Stick Orderlies were from the Grenadier Guards because the Inspecting Officer was to be,
The General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division,
Major General G P R Norton CBE late Grenadier Guards.

The parade then got underway as per the usual procedure and then the wind got became a !hurricane! and the rain poured down,
people were covering themselves with the blankets and brolly's were being blown inside out,
I thought at one time Colin Westy who had my brolly had joined the Guards Para, but these lads braved it out.! Well Done!.
As the platoons started to march past in Slow and Quick time we decided enough was enough and retired to the NAAFI.
Unfortunately I have little information on the Platoons except for,

No 17 Platoon.

Platoon Commander
Captain Leonard, Irish Guards.

Platoon Sergeant:..
Sgt Paxton, Scots Guards.

Section Commanders:
L/Sgt Perry: Grenadier Guards.
L/Sgt Clough: Grenadier Guards.
L/Sgt Mann: Coldstream Guards.
L/Sgt Quimuri: Welsh Guards.

Best Endeavour:   T/Gdsn Parry.
Best Shot:   T/Gdsn King.
Best at PT:   T/Gdsn Whiteside.
Best at Drill & Turnout:   T/Gdsn Hanes.
Best Recruit:   T/Gdsn Butterworth.
Soldier's Medal:   T/Gdsn Hurst.

Major Generals Section
Section Commander: L/Sgt Perry

T/Gdsn Doyle.   T/Gdsn Skellern.
T/Gdsn Frank.   T/Gdsn Ramsbottom.
T/Gdsn Peters.   T/Gdsn King.
T/Gdsn Hurst.   T/Gdsn Whiteside
T/Gdsn Shingler.   T/Gdsn Thornicroft.

My Thanks to Billy Spence for the photo's

Manny Cook.

Number 20 Platoon

Now they are Guardsmen!, well they will be after this Parade I am about to witness.
CSM John Hardy, Scots Guards, marched on parade and gave his usual forthright speech to the families and friends of the trainee guardsmen.
Mobile phones switched off, no smoking, when to applaud and when not to, and to stand when the inspecting Officer party marched on parade.
He then marched off to bring the platoon on parade.
Today it was the turn of No 20 Platoon who marchedon, led by The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band.
To the music of Guards armoured.
23 Trainee Guardsmen, 8 Coldstream, 8 Scots, 5 Welsh and 1 Irish.
The two Stick orderlies came from the Coldstream Guards but the inspecting officer was a Grenadier, unfortunately not named in the programme.

The Platoon Commander; Lt Cowdry, Scots Guards.
Platoon Sergeant
Sgt Dowling,... Irish Guards.


Section Commanders.

L/Sgt Talbot,........ Irish Guards.
L/Sgt Jones,.. Grenadier Guards
L/Sgt Little,........... Scots Guard,

I have to admit that this was a very good parade; the platoon performed the ultimate in Foot and Arms drill,
and thanks to a base drummer who has finally learned how to keep the right beat
In his closing speech the inspecting officer paid tribute to the platoon and the training staff for a job well done.
He he also thanked the families' ands friends for their support.

Prize winners:

Best Endeavour;............................................. T/Gdsm Tierney, Coldstream Guards.
Best Shot and the Soldiers Medal;......................... T/Gdsm Nunn, Grenadier Guards.
Best at Physical Training;.............................................. T/Gdsm Owili, Scots Guards.
Best at Drill and Turnout and Best Recruit;...... T/Gdsm Walkden, Coldstream Guards.

Major Generals Section:
Section Commander L/Sgt Jones Grenadier Guards

T/Gdsm Beech CG T/Gdsm Gumede SG, T/Gdsm Nunn GG,
T/Gdsm Owili SG, T/Gdsm Roberts SG, T Gdsm Stewart SG,
T/Gsdm Tosh SG, T/Gdsm Walkden CG T/Gdsm Woodcock SG.

The formalities over it was once again time for the now Guardsmen to stretch their legs and March off the parade ground
with the music of "Hielan Laddie and St Patricks Day"
they marched smartly past their families and friends to rapturous applause and the stamping of feet.
Finally CSM John Hardy in his closing speech reminded the families to make sure their sons returned to camp in good time
and anyone feeing a bit sick to get back and he would cure them,
before releasing them to return to the NAAFI to await their Guardsmen sons.
My thanks to WOII CSM John Hardy for allowing me to permission to use his photographs in this report.

Manny Cook
Get on Parade.




No. 26 Platoon

Click to enlarge Pics.
Roll Curser over Pics for Text

A New Year A New Start

No. 26 Platoon
Due to the Government cut backs, training at the Guards Infantry Company was held back during the previous year.
So on Friday 18th March 2011,the first Platoon to pass out this year was to be No 26 Platoon.

Once again I made my way once again to Helles Barracks in Catterick Garrison to witness the parade,
only this time I was being chauffeured by my Branch Vice President Malcolm Finkill.
We arrived at the Barracks which was bathed in glorious sunshine and walked down to the NAFFI for a cup of char
and to pay a visit to Ian Sixsmith and his business partner Graham Prince MBE of Victoria Prints,
who were displaying their goods of Military collectables.
We then made our way to the Parade Ground to enjoy a bit of fresh air and sunshine prior to the parade starting.
The families and friends of the trainee soldiers started arriving and took their seats.

Onto the parade ground marched WOII (CSM) John Hardy, (Scots Guards) and facing the stands instructed the audience
on what and what not to do during the parade, before marching off to bring the Platoon on parade.
With the band of the Heavy Cavalry & Cumbrai Band leading, the Platoon marched smartly on to the Parade Ground
to the traditional music of ‘Guards Armoured’
They then took up their position in the centre of the parade ground, the CSM gave them their dressing,
handing them over to the Platoon Commander, Captain Campbell (Irish Guards).
He then marched away to meet the Inspecting Officer who had arrived escorted by  the two Stick orderlies,
who were both Coldstream Trainees, which was to be expected because the Inspecting Officer was,
Lieutenant Colonel  R C N Sergeant,
Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.

During this time the Band were carrying out a slow and quick Troop.
Also on parade was the imaculate Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards WO1 A Stokes.
With the Inspecting Officer in position the parade got underway with the General Salute to the music of ‘Scipio’,
 followed by the Inspection.


  Prize Winners,  
Major Generals Section
Five Trainee Coldstream, FiveWelsh, FiveScots, Two Irish and Two Grenadier's

Prize Winners
Major Generals Section
Prize Winners
Gdsn. Adams. C.G.
Gdsn. Irvine. CG.
Gdsn. Brown.CG
Gdsn. Condron. CG.
Gdsn. Rodgers.SG.
Gdsn. Priestley. CG.
Gdsn. McCann. SG.
Platoon Sergeant:
Sgt. Amis Coldstream Guards
Section Commanders:
  L/Sgt Oddy. Irish Guards.
  L/Sgt Stott Grenadier Guards
L/Sgt Rowlands. Irish Guards
Gdsn. Brown. CG.
Gdsn. Hawker. WG.
Gdsn.Harris. WG.
Gdsn. McCann. SG.
Gdsn. Adams. CG.
Gdsn. Garratt. GG.
Major Generals Section


          The Inspection over, it was then time for the March Past in Slow and Quick Time and I must congratulate the base drummer
who has finally mastered the beat, which made for excellent Marching and Drill by these young men
The Platoon then advanced in review order in preparation for the awards ceremony.


Best Endevour T/Gdsn Brown. Coldstream Guards.
Best Shot:     
T/Gdsn Hawker. Welsh Guards.
Best at Physical Training: 
T/Gdsn Harris. Welsh Guards.
Best at Drill and Turnout:  
T/Gdsn. McCann. Scots Guards.
Best Recruit;          
T/Gdsn Adams. Coldstream Guards.
Soldiers Medal:     
T/Gsdn Garratt. Grenadier Guards.

    The newly passed out  Guardsmen,  then received the Blessing  from the Battalion Padre.
Followed by the Address from the Inspecting Officer,  Lt. Colonel Sergeant

In his Address he  once again thanked the families and friends for their support and help during the six months training, he congratulated the instructors for a job well done and finally to the new Guardsmen for an excellent parade which for him was a privilege to witness and wished them all good luck in their respective Battalions/Incremental companies.
Finally came the March Off and as they marched past the stands there was a crescendo of applause and stamping feet.

The Sgt. Major then invited Mac and myself back to Company Office for a cuppa and sandwich and to meet Lt Colonel Sergeant and his guests.
It became more of a Coldstream day as we were also joined by Captain Paul Downes and later as we left to return home met Captain Neil Sprot
who is now with the 1st Royal Welch.

This had been an excellent day in very good company.
I have to make sure that the the Lt Colonel’s photo is on this report so he can show his sons. 

Mannie Cook
With Thanks to CSM Hardy
for the Squad Pics.

No. 24 Platoon

Citation (Abridged) for award of the Meritorious Service Medal
to Captain J.S. Beattie Coldstream Guards
Presented by the Major General Commanding the Household Division

Captain Beatty joined the Army on the 8th Dec.1980 and following his 6 mths training at the Depot he passed out in April 1981
He quickly demonstrated outstanding potential, gaining promotion and a posting back to the Guards Depot, as a recruit instructor in 1987.
Following 3 yrs as a Plt. Sgt.he was posted to the RMAS as Colour Sgt. Instructor in 1992 and then returned to the 1st Bt. as CQMS.
In Nov.1996, he returned to RMAS as a CSM and then took up the appointment of Drill Sgt. with his Battalion.
He was responsible for the training of the Bt. for the Queens Birthday Parade twice.
Freedom of the City Parades for London and Berwick, and the Presentation of New Colours to his Regiment.
He was responsible for the Bearer Party for Lt. Gen. Sir William Rous funeral,
where he handled the intricate funeral arrangements with immense tact and diplomacy.
He has twice organised the Annual Inspection of the Scouts Association by Her Majesty the Queen, gaining high praise from the Association for the immpeccable support.
In April 2001 he was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One.
For two yrs. that followed he was the Regimental Sergeant of Old College RMAS, where he was an inspiration to all.
His ability, dedication and further potential were recognised and he was selected for Commission in the Coldstream Guards in April 2003.

Captain Beatty has provided almost 22 yrs of faithful and meritorious service to the Colours.
His Commanding Officer at the Royal Military Academy descibes him as
'one of the most outstanding soldiers he has commanded in 30 yrs Service'.
He has provided an impressive mix of unwavering support to his family in difficult circumstances.
At the same time, total dedication, loyalty and allegiance to the Colours that is recognised today by the award of the Meritorious Service Medal.

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