Army Days

22 years of the Army life of Richard Growden

These are the Colours of the 3rd Battalion the Light Infantry. When I joined the Army, having completed training, I joined the 3rd Battalion the Light Infantry and stayed with the Battalion until it amalgamated with the 2nd and 1st Battalions Light Infantry in 1993.

This of course was a sad time for the Battalion but it was thought necessary to reduce the recruiting and retention problems that all Infantry battalions started to face at that time. This photograph shows the Colours before they were finally laid to rest in Winchester Barracks Garrison Church in 1998.



Courses taken during my service The 22 Year Roll
1979 Basic yacht Handler Sep 78 Training Depot Shrewsbury
1979 Heavy Goods Vehicle Mar 79 United Nations Cyprus (3 LI)
1980 Free Fall Parachute Oct 79 Catterick (3 LI)
1980 Sub Aqua Jan 80 Jamiaca (3 LI)
1982 Skill At Arms Instructors Mar 80 Cyprus (3 LI)
1982 Canoeing Sea Water Mar 82 Tidworth (3 LI)
1987 Platoon Sergeant’s Battle Course May 82 Falkland Islands (3 LI)
1987 Basic Demolition Oct 82 Middletown, Northern Ireland (3 LI)
1988 Jungle Warfare Instructors Apr 83 Depot Winchester, Platoon Instructor
1988 NBC Instructors Apr 85 Omagh, Northern Ireland (3 LI)
1989 Field Firing 3-5 Qualification Nov 85 Weeton (3 LI)
1990 Unit Fire NCOs Feb 87 Brunei (3 LI)
1991 Mess Supervisors Apr 87 Kenya (3 LI)
1992 First Aid Instructors Jun 87 Germany (3 LI)
1995 Unit Search Advisor Jul 87 Cyprus (3 LI)
1999 Small Arms Training Custodian Sep 89 Falmouth (6 LI), Permanent Staff Instructor
Nov 91 Germany (2 LI)
Jun 93 Dungannen, Northern Ireland
Dec 93 Germany (2 LI)
Mar 94 Commando Training Centre (Royal
Marines), Senior Command Course Instructor
Dec 95 Colchester (1 LI)
Jun 96 Iniskillen (Northern Ireland) (1 LI)
Apr 97 Cyprus (1 LI)
Dec 98 Infantry Recruiting Team, Warminster
(HQ Infantry Team Leader)
Jul 00 Civvie Street



In the Army Recruiting Team, one event we participated in was to host under-priviledged children at Warminster Training Centre. This photograph shows myself and three young children having won “Army Be The Best” medals on a small drill competition that I arranged for them. When the children arrived they were given “Army Be The Best” bags and uniforms and then took part in many different activities throughout the day, the items in their bags being essential to complete the days activities.

While in Germany in 1992 I formed the Battalion Rugby League Team which went on to win the first ever match between two Army units for Rugby League in the Army. Since that year Rugby League has grown within the Army and is now a recognised sport.


In January 1997 the 1st Battalion the Light Infantry were put on full standby for the troubles in Bosnia and at this time I was B Coy Sgt Maj. This photograph shows the 4 Chinook helicopters air lifting the Battalion from an exercise area to Brize Norton.

In November 1998 the Battalion deployed from Cyprus to Jordan to carry out an exercise with the Jordanian Army. As a Battalion exercise all elements of the Battalion were moved to Jordan and set up camp in the middle of the desert. This photograph shows me on Remembrance Day with the tented camp in the background. I was the camp Sergeant Major.

A new team as part of the instructional team of Casino Platoon in 1986. This photograph was taken a month before I was due to leave and re-join the Battalion who at this time were serving in Omagh, Northern Ireland.



The Mess Members who became firm friends of mine and who I eventually said goodbye to in Dec 98. The front row is Gilly Gilbert, Dinger Bell, Shiner Carter, Geordie McVay, Shep Sheperd, myself and in the corner under the picture of General De La Billier Ako Atkinson who continued to make his mark all the way through our Army career.



This photo shows one of the training teams that I was a member of when I was a Training Instructor at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester. From L – R Smudge Smith, Bob Ham, Steve Wilkinson, Phillipson, Lt Tricks, R Growden, Daz Green, Ian Shaletto.



The members of the WO’s & SGT’s Mess 1LI marking the return of the Tigers Head.

This is the training platoon that I was a member of. The Light Infantry Training Barracks was at Shrewsbury, this photograph was taken on completion of those in the photograph having been awared their Beret after 12 weeks of training.

This was a photograph taken at the Platoons Pass out parade conducting the double past when leaving the parade square on pass out.

These are a collection of photographs that were taken during the reinforcement deployment exercise that the Battalion was involved in on completion of the Falklands war.

This photograph shows me at the loading and unloading weapon bay, at a vehicle checkpoint in Cyprus which our platton section manned during the United Nations Peacekeeping Tour.

This was one duty which as the peacekeeping force the Battalion had to operate during a deployment.