|After handing over the
command of the Battalion to Major GIBSON, Col BOSHELL said 'This was the
first Battalion exercise they had been able to undertake for nine months
and was the first in which some of the younger soldiers had taken part,
One naturally expected a number of mistakes, and of course there were, but
there was nothing very ghastly, They were the sort of mistakes which had
we been in Libya for two months would have been eliminated.
Two aspects that please are :-
1. It confirmed what I already knew that the
Battalion is extremely fit, and
2. Because of the high spirit among all ranks, I deliberately
made the exercises severe, however good one may seem in training, tactics
and general if one is not fit and determined in war the position becomes
"Besides if you are going to walk dressed up like a
Christmas tree carrying heavy loads and trudging 15 or even 20 miles
across rough country, undertake flanking movements, put in attacks and
still come up smiling when told to do another 15 miles, it requires guts
and confidence. From every point of view I have no worry. I think the
soldiers did extremely well."
In conclusion Col BOSHELL paid this tribute to his
officers and men :-
"If we had to go
into action tomorrow, I would not mind leading this Battalion"
Praise indeed from an officer who whilst serving as a
Company Commander with the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment in the
Burma Campaign during the Second World War, was awarded a Distinguished
Service Order whilst relieving the garrison at KOHIMA, wounded during the
same campaign and Mentioned in dispatches twice.