Carol H. Collier
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Carol H. Collier - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1964

The Experience of a Lifetime

Course E139 at the Outward Bound Mountain School, Eskdale, Cumberland
3rd-29th February, 1964

by Carol H. Collier

The letter from the Warden, Mr T. Price, dated 14th January 1964, stated:

“I understand that you are coming to this School for the above course, and I am writing now to give you some idea of what is expected from you when you arrive. As you may have heard, Outward Bound Courses are normally run for boys of 16 to 19; this Senior Course is for men of 20 to 25 and consequently more is expected from them, especially on the planning side.”

The letter was quite explicit on the following subject matters: Joining Instructions, Reception, Accommodation and Chores, Clothing & Equipment etc., Outline of Programme, Opportunities, and “a course, not a holiday”. Under the latter it stated:

“Perhaps it is worthwhile reminding you that an Outward Bound School is no holiday centre and that you should expect a busy and exciting time here. In fact it is the point of the course that it should make great demands upon you during the four weeks you are here. One such demand is to be found in the training conditions of no smoking and no alcohol. The training conditions are not part of a campaign against these two pleasures, but an exercise in self-discipline consistent with the rest of the programme.”

The final paragraph stated:

“We are all looking forward to having you with us for this Senior Course. If in the meantime you have any questions, please write to me.”

There were two words which stood out in the last paragraph of Mr Price's letter, `looking forward' and `questions'. I certainly had reservations about going and as regard to questions, why was I being sent to Cumbria in the middle of winter when previous Holman apprentices selected went on summer courses to either Dartmoor or Wales? I think the answer was my age, for I had just turned 21 and was therefore too old for the 16 to 19 year old courses - or did Mr Oliver, the Apprentice Supervisor, think I needed toughening up?

Enclosed with Mr Price's letter was a five page Information for Student leaflet containing information on the following subjects: Clothing, Trouser Warning, Foot Care, Boots and Socks, Care of Footwear, Laundry and Haircuts. The Trouser Warning stated:

“Students who are not used to wearing strong thick trousers often have trouble with chafing of the thigh, especially in wet weather. To guard against this, students should bring knee length underpants or knee length shorts to wear under their trousers.”

Travel Arrangement stated:

“The day of arrival, for students is the first date published for each course. They should not arrive at the School before 5pm. At present suitable trains from both north and south arrive at Seascale station between 7:30pm and 8pm. There is no Public Bus Service and the School hires coaches, for which there is a charge of 7/6d, to meet these trains only. The School usually reserves seats for students on the train which leaves London shortly after 11am. In an emergency, a taxi may be hired at Ravenglass or Seascale.”

Under Medical it stated:

“A medical certificate is provided to be signed by a Doctor. It is essential that the student should arrive at the School free from all disease and also free from any disability which would make it inadvisable for him to participate in the course. His teeth should be in good order and necessary dental treatment completed before the course. A chest x ray is strongly advised unless one has recently been taken.”

The statement on my certificate: The Outward Bound Badge

“All students who complete the course satisfactory and keep to the training conditions of no smoking and no alcohol throughout the 26 days are awarded the Blue Outward Bound Badge. Outstanding efforts and performance are recognised by the additional award of the White Warden's badge; the standard required for this is very high indeed.”

Looking back it was the most physically challenging thing I have ever undertaken. My Mother helped with the selection of clothes I needed to purchase to take with me.

“Four pairs of long thick white woollen socks, one pair to wear, one pair to be kept in your rucksack and two pairs in the wash. Two pairs of ordinary socks [I took four pairs], three vests, three pairs of underpants, two or three thick shirts, two or three towels, two sweaters, two pairs of strong warm trousers (not jeans, which are not warm enough), one balaclava, a pair of woollen gloves, one wind- and waterproof three quarter length coat, and a light oilskin or plastic waterproof, which must have sleeves. A knife, spoon, and plastic or alloy mug, a strong pair of walking boots preferably with moulded rubber soles, a boot brush, two pairs of plimsolls, all necessary toiletries, pyjamas and two pairs of shorts.”

Shorts - were they mad? It was winter after all was said and done, and it was cold enough in Porthleven, let alone Cumbria! Father, being ex-army, suggested Mother and I go to the Army and Navy store in Falmouth to purchase the socks, shirts, trousers, coat, boots and balaclava, which we did.

Father also advised me to rub my feet with surgical spirits to harden the skin, and to start wearing my boots and thick white socks as much as possible prior to going, in order to break the boots in. What excellent advice this proved to be, for unlike many of the other students on the course, I'm pleased to say I did not suffer with blisters. In fact I started training in my boots as soon as I purchased them in January, running from my house, down through the village, across the beach to Loe Bar, and then back along the cliff path. My friend, Jack, who played football for Porthleven second team, would accompany me, but not running in boots! Running across the shingle on Porthleven beach in a pair of army boots certainly did wonders for my ankles and calf muscles. My aim was to be as fit as I could possibly be for the challenge which lay ahead.

On Sunday the 2nd of February Jack drove me from Porthleven to Redruth Station in his works van, which belonged to his boss Mr Johns, to catch the 9.25pm overnight sleeper train to Paddington, London. I had never travelled to London by train before, let along by night sleeper, so had no idea of what to expect. I got on the train a little apprehensively and waved my friend Jack goodbye. As the train pulled out of the station the sleeper attendant checked both my ticket and name and showed me to my compartment. On opening the door and switching on the light, I got the shock of my life, for there was someone lying in the bottom bunk, who greeted me with “Good evening, I hope you don't mind but I've taken the bottom bunk.” Good Lord, who was this stranger and what was he doing in my compartment? Was he going to lie there and watch me undress and get into bed? No one told me there were two bunks to a compartment and that I would be sharing with a complete stranger. My immediate thought was to get off the train when it reached Truro and get Jack to come and pick me up, but I had no means of contacting Jack, for there were no mobile phones back in the Sixties and neither of us had a telephone in our homes. I was stuck.

How anyone back then could call an overnight train a `sleeper' I'll never know, for unlike today there were no welded rails and every joint in the rail which the train went over made the wheels go `clickety click' or `tickety boo'. Needless to say I got little sleep and besides there was a stranger in the bottom bunk! According to my diary I arrived at Paddington on Monday the 3rd at 7.20am, but cannot recall what I did for breakfast. I must have gone into the Lyon's Corner House on Paddington Station, from where I made my way by tube to Euston Station. Boy, was I breaking new ground! Why was everyone in such a hurry running up and down the moving escalators, were they late for work? I had all the time in the world to get to Euston to catch the eleven o'clock train to Seascale.

On arriving at Euston Station I found the correct platform and the compartments with stickers on their windows stating `Reserved for Outward Bound Passengers' and guess what, I was the first to arrive by some two hours or more. I selected a seat by the window in one of the reserved compartments, put my case in the overhead luggage rack and settled down to await the arrival of my travelling companions. I did not have to wait long before I heard the sound of voices in the corridor of my carriage. A couple of lads appeared in the open door way of my compartment and asked if I minded if they joined me. We introduced ourselves and were soon chatting away. They seemed somewhat surprised to learn I had travelled overnight all the way from the far tip of Cornwall.

The nearer it got to departure time, the more students joined us, until there must have been twenty or more. By the time the train reached Blackpool all the outward bound compartments were full and I had travelled further than I had ever travelled before in my life. What a sheltered life I had led! We arrived at our destination of Seascale at 7.30pm, some eight hours or more after leaving Euston, and piled out of the train onto the platform in the dark with our very heavy suitcases. We were greeted by a number of the Outward Bound School instructors who ushered us onto three single-decker coaches for the final part of our journey to Eskdale.

On arrival at the school we were directed into the Assembly Hall where we were given a brief introductory welcome by Mr Tom Price, the School Warden. A Patrol name was then read out, together with the name of the instructor, followed by the names of the eight students who were to be in the patrol under his supervision for the duration of the course. I was hoping to be in a Patrol with at least one of the lads with whom I had shared the train compartment, but had no such luck. My patrol's name was Wilson and its instructor's name was Mr Vic Walsh. Wilson Patrol followed Vic in single file out of the main building, down an unlit path into what was once a stable block. The very tall lad behind me asked my name and told me his was Paul.

We were led upstairs to a first floor room which contained six double bunk beds, three on either side, the frames of which were constructed from Dexion metal with a piece of block board for the base. There were no toilet or wash facilities on the first floor, but I seem to recall we did have blankets and a pillow. We each selected a bunk, with me taking the lower bunk on the left hand side when entering the room, as far away from the door as possible to avoid any potential draught. Vic introduced himself and requested we each do the same in turn, stating our reason for being on the course and which part of the country we were from. We were eight young men from a diversity of social and educational backgrounds brought together to work as a team.

Wilson Patrol consisted of two Peters, one from Guildford, Surrey, the other from South Norwood, London, Frank from Liverpool, Ray from Lytham St Annes, Ian from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paul from Birmingham, Ash from Ladbroke Grove, London, and of course me from Porthleven, Cornwall.

Tuesday 4th February

We were woken at 6.15am by Vic, who ordered us out of bed and to follow him starkers down the stairs to the shower room with nothing more than a towel. There were more than enough of the overhead rose-type watering-can showerheads to go round, each with its own pull cord. Vic instructed us to each stand under a shower head and on the count of one by him, to each pull the shower cord and hold it until he reached a counted of ten. Anyone letting go of the cord before the count of ten was reached would be identified and the process commenced all over again. Despite being hit with freezing cold water from above, I am pleased to say not one in Wilson Patrol let go of their shower pull cord. Our very first act performing together as a team had been a success!

After drying, dressing and unpacking it was over to the main building at eight o'clock for a breakfast of porridge and a mug of hot tea. The tea had a strange taste to most of the students, which according to a student from the Army was due to the bromide that had been put in it! Breakfast was followed by morning prayers in the Assembly Hall. Next it was on with our shorts, socks, plimsolls and a vest and over to the new building terrace for outdoor circuit training. This consisted of jump & heave, dumbbell squat, jump & press, bench step-up, barbell curl and squat thrust, followed by another cold shower. This circuit training was undertaken each morning we were in residence at the school. Then it was over to the main building for a medical. My weight at the start of the course was recorded as 9st 1¾lb and at the end of the course 8st 13½lb, a loss of 2¼lb or 1kg in today's units. My height was 5ft 6½. After lunch we were subjected to an IQ Test and then issued with all the additional equipment required for the course. Each student was issued with a mess tin, mug, ice-axe, rucksack, sleeping bag, pair of yellow leggings and a wind and waterproof yellow anorak complete with hood. Wilson Patrol was also provided with four Primus stoves and four two-man tents for future use. Vic then gave us a run through on the ropes and agility exercise course. The final exercise of the day was a run round the one-mile steeplechase course which circled the tarn in front of the school. The worst part was running out on to a plank of wood and jumping off the end into waist deep cold water and trying to run through the water to the bank opposite and then onto the finish. On some days the water of the tarn would be frozen which meant the first person to arrive on the plank had to jump through the ice and break their way through it to the bank. On completion of the steeplechase we were allowed to go to the main building and take a warm shower. Three showers in one day - I had never been so clean or so tired! All members of Wilson Patrol agreed that we had never been put through such a physically demanding training session before in our lives, and this was just the first day.

Vic informed us we were in an inter-patrol competition with the nine other patrols and he expected each of us to perform to our full potential in order to ensure Wilson Patrol won. Marks would be deducted for lateness, an untidy or dusty dormitory, failure to achieve the required standard on each of the set tasks or on timed elements of the course when completing against the other patrols.

Each student had his own `one inch' Ordnance Survey Map of the Lake District, which in 1964 cost seven shillings. I recorded every route (journey) I undertook throughout the course and have passed the map on to my son. Map reading was new to many of the students on the course but being an ex-scout I had some experience of the subject. We were taught how to give a correct grid reference for a given point on the map, horizontal followed by vertical - -or, simpler to remember, “along the corridor and up the stairs”. We also had to remember how to transfer a compass bearing to the map and a map bearing to a compass bearing. The ditty to remember how to do this was “too many apples make Tommy sick”, which transposed into “true to magnet you add and magnet to true you subtract”. The difference between true North and magnetic North in 1963 was about 9° West, decreasing by about ½° in six years. We were instructed to add or subtract 10°, which would be accurate enough for our purposes.

The first week of the course was spent on basic training not only to improve our stamina and fitness, but also our map reading, first aid, knot tying, rescue, and rock climbing skills. It's one thing running in boots on Porthleven beach, but quite another walking and climbing the fells. Every day that we were in the school we started with a freezing cold shower regardless of the weather, followed by a stint on the terrace outdoor exercise area, then a session on the ropes and agility course at the rear of the school. To say it was tough going would be an understatement; the instructors pushed each student to his limit. Needless to say those who had not done any preparation prior to commencing the course suffered more than those who had. Without exception we all suffered from aches and pains from parts of our bodies which we never knew existed!

The course in the main was constructed around four schemes, a three-day Mountain Scheme, Operation Pariah, a Mounting Climbing Scheme and the final scheme, ‘The Three Thousanders’.

Wednesday 5th February

After being put through the early morning circuit training routine, followed by map reading sessions 1 & 2, we set out from the school at 11.00hrs, with compass and maps in hand, on a gentle nine-mile walk to Woodend Height, a mere 1597 ft. in height, via Forge Ho Kennels where we had lunch. It was then on to Field Head, Hare Grill and The Seat which gave us quite a climb, down past Devoke Water, up Woodend and onto Woodend Height and Yoadcastle , then back to Eskdale via White Pike, and down and across the valley passing Raven Crag to Knott End and the road which runs alongside the river Esk. We reached Eskdale at 17.44hrs, just in time for a shower before dinner. We were instructed to carry our rucksacks and to part fill them with approximately 20lb in weight of clothing and camping equipment, half the weight we would carry on our final expedition. Needless to say we all slept well that night.

We were accompanied on the first part of the walk by a Mr J. A. Ingram, an author who had written a book and required some photographs for illustration. The book is called `Fellcraft' and was published in 1964. I am the fifth person (right to left) in the line of walkers on the bottom photograph of the first page of photographs in the book. The order (R to L) is Ian, Ray, Peter, Frank, Carol, Paul, Ash and Vic our instructor. That evening in the Assembly Hall we received a mountain rescue talk given by Geoff Evans, the instructor for Scott Patrol (named after Scott of the Antarctic), in which he somewhat put Ray and the rest of the students off mountain climbing, for he told how they once found the body of a climber, three weeks after the person was reported missing, by its smell!

Thursday 6th February

Up at 06.30, cold shower as usual. We were duty patrol, so our dormitory, shower and drying rooms had to be cleaned twice as quick so that we could go from the stable block over to the main building and prepare breakfast by 8am for ninety students plus instructors. I note in my diary the breakfast dishes took the eight members of Wilson Patrol three-quarters of an hour to wash and dry - -it was just as well that we were not on the roster for training for the first period, 09.00-09.45. Breakfast was followed as usual by morning prayers in the Assembly Hall.

For the second period, 09.45-10.30, Wilson were on the roster for a camping lesson which required the erection of a two-man tent. We worked in pairs with each pair having to put up their own tent. Once again my scouting knowledge was invaluable and my partner and I had our tent up in no time at all. The instructor Ben Lyon, overseeing this exercise, having observed the part I played in the erection of the tent instructed us to take the tent down and for my partner to re-erect the tent with minimum assistance from myself. Being duty patrol we then ran back to the dining hall to prepare and serve the morning tea for all the students and instructors, which resulted in more dishes!

For the third period, 11.00-11.40, Wilson Patrol had rescue training 1 under the instruction of Ben Lyon. This was followed by period four `circuit maxima' from 11.50-12.15, when the total number of jumps & heaves, dumbbell squats, jump & press, step ups, barbell curls and squat thrusts achieved by each student were recorded as their maxima at the start of the course. A similar set of results were recorded at the end of the course for the end of course maxima. Being fit at the commencement of the course, I achieved only a modest improvement between my start and end of course maxima. Lunch was from 12.15-14.00 in the dining room and as Wilson Patrol was duty Patrol we also had to help to serve lunch and wash the dishes during this period.

For period 5, 14.00-14.40, Wilson Patrol had knot training 1 with Ben Lyon; period 6, 14.45-15.25, map training 3; and period 7, 15.30 - 16.10, map training 4. Period 8, the last period of the day, 16.15-17.00, was rescue training 2, followed at 17.10 with a film on artificial respiration for all students in the Assembly hall. Periods 6, 7 and 8 were supervised by Vic. After the film it was back to the main building for Wilson Patrol to light the fire in the common room and to serve supper in the dining room at 6pm followed by yet more dishes. I note from my diary that on completion of the dishes I stayed in the common room until 20.00. It was then back to the dormitory for a rest after another hard day, returning to the main building at 21.30 for the evening drink followed by yet more dishes before lights out at 22.30. I also note in my diary “I have never in all my life washed so many dishes in one day!”

Having given an hour by hour account for Thursday 6th February 1964, it is not my intention to do the same for the remainder of the course, but merely to cover the main activities undertaken by Wilson Patrol each day as recorded in my diary.

Friday 7th February

Rise, cold shower, cleaned dormitory, breakfast followed by rescue training, which consisted of abseiling down a 30ft (10m) drop and the various ways of carrying someone. This was followed by circuit training which consisted of doing half maxima for each discipline three times, followed by a shower and then lunch. After lunch the patrol undertook the following seven initiative tests, on which we were given marks out of ten.

1) Put up a tent blindfolded. 2) Carry a bucket of water across part of the rope course. 3) Undertake part of the steeplechase course, for which I noted we had full marks. 4) Carry a dead body across a river by means of a pole. Needless to say, being the lightest in the patrol by far, I was selected to be the dead body. 5) Get over water to an island by means of two poles and some rope. The tarn in front of the school with its small island was used for this test. My diary records we did quite well. 6) Get all eight members of the patrol on to a tree stump. This we failed to achieve. 7) Bury a pole in the ground and try to pull it out by means of a rope attached to one end. I record we did okay.

We then had map reading 5 followed by training on the wall and beam. I say training as we received no help from Vic and it was left to us to figure out how to get all eight members of the patrol over the beam and then over the wall. Once we figured out a way of achieving each of these tasks, we could then train to improve not only our technique but also the time to complete each task. I regret to say we never managed to get all eight members of Wilson Patrol over the wall in training, but were fortunate enough on the competition day not to be drawn first to tackle the wall and hence we were able to observe how some of the other patrols got all eight members of their team over and hastily formulate our plan of action. It ended with Paul standing on my back, reaching up and hanging by his hands from the top of the wall, legs apart supported by other team members on top of the wall, with me reaching up grabbing hold of one of his legs with both hands and then swinging my feet up and wrapping them around his other leg. From this position I pulled/crawled with my hands up the side of Paul while maintaining the grip with my feet until I managed to reach up and grab one of the hands of the team reaching down. I was then pulled up and over the wall, followed by Paul. I cannot recall where Wilson finished in this particular competition, but we certainly were not last and Vic seemed pleased we achieved what we failed to do in practice.

Saturday 8th February

Rise, cold shower, cleaned dormitory, breakfast followed by rescue training, which consisted of lowering a Tomas stretcher down Stretcher Crag. I had a go as the barrow boy and the casualty in the stretcher, which I note from my diary I found most enjoyable. This was followed by circuit training, a cold shower and lunch. Lunch was followed by training in various ways of treating a casualty after an accident, another training session on the rope course and a session on practising first aid dressings on each other. After dinner we attended a most interesting talk and slide show, given by the Bishop of Norwich, on Graham Land, which he visited after the Second World War.

Sunday 9th February

Our day of rest. Rose at 07.30, no cold shower, breakfast followed by duty instructor's inspection. All beds made, lay out of all mess tins, mugs, knife, forks, spoons and Primus stoves, with all students standing by their beds. No marks to be awarded today, though marks deducted for poor and untidy work. After the inspection we checked our tents to ensure they were in good order for the three-day scheme starting in the morning. At 11.00 we played volleyball at the North Front for an hour. After lunch I wrote some letters and at 4 o'clock we went up on to the wall and beam with Vic to practise. I twisted my right ankle and had to have it strapped by the school nurse. Our time for the beam was 27 seconds, our best to date.

From 17.00 to 17.30 I took a hot shower, the best I'd had since being at the school. After dinner at 19.00hrs our Quarter Master collected the rations for our first three day scheme, and I attended church at 20.00hrs for half an hour. I then went to the common room at 20.30 to take part in a discussion with the Bishop of Norwich on religious topics. I see from my memo book I had two questions to ask: 1) Do you think the joining together of the Methodist and Anglican Church is a good thing? 2) What is your opinion on the communion as regard to being confirmed? I cannot remember whether I asked these questions or not. After our evening drink at 21.30 I returned to our dormitory and prepared my rucksack for the morning. Lights out at 22.30.

Monday 10th February

Up at 06.45, had a cold shower, and as I was rostered to read the news and to give the weather forecast at the morning's assembly I went over to the main building to listen to and make brief notes on both the seven o'clock news and weather forecast on the radio. The news for the day was as follows:

A rescue team are trying to reach a potholer who had been trapped underground near Swansea for over thirteen hours. Mr Macmillan announced he is not to stand for Parliament again and is going to retire after forty years of service, as he feels he can only work five hours a day instead of fifteen. The Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Home, has arrived in Ottawa, and three Greek suspects arrested in Cyprus have been released. On the third day of the fifth test between South Africa and Australia, South Africa are 253 for 5.

The weather forecast was:

Rain in North-West England will soon die out, cloudy all day with sun, temperature same as yesterday, outlook for tomorrow dry and bright.

Breakfast and assembly was followed by morning prayers and we departed from the school on our first scheme at 09.30, heading for Brown Rigg. On the way we passed Forge Ho Kennels and Hare Gill. From Brown Rigg we made for Great Worm Crag at 1400ft and then across to Wallowborrow Heald and Stonythwaite. From Stepping Stones we went along the road to Long Ho and turned right up Walna and Brown Pike at 2237ft. We then dropped down from Brown Pike to Blind Tarn where we camped for the night. The weather throughout the day consisted of fog and mist with some rain.

Tuesday 11th February

Up at 06.00 in the mist. After breakfast we broke camp and left Blind Tarn at 08.15 and went down and around to the right of Goat's Water, then up to Seathwaithe Tarn and on up to Grey Friar at 2536ft. From here we followed a path to Great Carrs and Little Carrs at 2250ft and then down West Side Edge to Wrynose Pass at 1281ft. From Three Shire Stone we went up to Red Tarn where we had lunch and on up Cold Pike at 2254ft and then by path to Crinkle Crags at 2733ft and 2816ft respectively, past Three Tarns and on to Bow Fell at 2960ft. Finally down and up through Ore Gap at 2250ft and down once more to Angle Tarn where we camped for the night. I note in my diary that I was worn out and felt a little sick after a hard day's walking carrying my rucksack, so ate no supper but had two cups of hot tea. We heard the bang at 20.00hrs and Vic and Peter went up to put off the flares. Regrettably I did not record in my diary what the purpose of the bang was. I think it must have been a maroon being fired as part of an exercise to which we had to respond with a flare.

Wednesday 12th February

We left Angle Tarn at 08.15 and went over Tangue Head, past Allen Crags, over Esk House, past Broad Crag and on up to Scafell Pike at 3210ft, the highest mountain in England. We then descended by scree running or riding on the seat of our pants to Mickledore Mountain Rescue Post. From there we went down through Hollow Stones, past Lingmell Gill and Wasdale Head Hall Farm with Wast Water Lake, which I believe is the deepest lake in England, on our right. We then made our way up to 977ft, passing Burnmoor Tarn on our left, crossing Tongue Moor and dropping down to 311ft where we walked alongside the River Mite past Low Holme on our way back to Eskdale and the school, thank heavens. I note in my diary that I felt all-in, fagged out and had never been so sore in all my life! The joy of taking off my rucksack and boots was heaven. Spent the evening cleaning my kit and then early to bed.

Thursday 13th February

Up at 06.45, cold shower as usual. At 07.15 the QMs took one sheet and pillowcase from each bed and exchanged them for clean linen in the Map Room. Breakfast and assembly was followed by kit inspection at 08.40. We then had rock climbing under the supervision of Jim and Vic, which was not so bad. This was followed by circuit training, then lunch. After lunch we had a talk with Vic on the course to date, and prepared for the evening's speaking competition in the common room. Wilson Patrol arrived late for the competition so were told we would be the first patrol to speak. As I had been elected to be the first in our patrol to speak it meant I would be the first speaker of the evening. There were eight topics to be covered, one for each member of the patrol. I cannot recall any of the topics, but the talk I gave was on badger hunting, hence the topic may have been hunting or country life or something similar. My talk was well received and I was asked if I would give it again at the end of the course at the farmers' party. We were marked individually and overall I thought that Wilson Patrol had done very well.

Friday 14th February

The longest day. Up as usual and after a cold shower, breakfast and assembly Wilson Patrol had ropes circuit training 2, then map reading 6. We then had the one-mile steeplechase; my time was 6 minutes 43 second, a time on which I hoped to improve on my next run. We were then excused circuit training and played volleyball against another patrol, losing two games to one. After lunch we spent the rest of the day preparing for Operation Pariah, the aims of which were as follows:

“1) To prove a solo exercise demanding initiative, stamina, and map reading ability. 2