Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Soldier's Farewell to the TA ... Almost

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Soldier's Farewell to the TA ... Almost

Article excerpt

Byline: By Rhodri Phillips

After a 50-year Territorial Army career during which he helped sign up thousands of recruits, Fred Calvert has retired. Rhodri Phillips reports on five decades with the TA.

Fred Calvert grew up in khaki.

One of his earliest memories is of his mother making soup for the Home Guard in Northumberland during the Second World War.

By the time he was 13 in 1949, he had joined the cadets, was calling his father and older brother, who also served in his unit, "Sir", and a lifelong passion for the Army had begun.

Two years of National Service followed when he was 19 and on the day he left the Regular Army in 1956, he signed up to join the TA in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Fifty years later and he can look back on a TA career which has taken him to the battlefields of the Falkland Islands and to Buckingham Palace to pick up an MBE.

His last assignment for the TA was a recruitment fair on Teesside last Wednesday. [May 10]

Fred, 70, of Warkworth, Northumberland, a married father-of-two, said: "The Army is in my blood. The Army teaches you skills and gives you opportunities and I have enjoyed being part of the regimental family.

"My father was in the First World War ( he lied about his age so he could join up ( and it was assumed that as soon as I was old enough I would join the cadets. From then on I have been hooked."

From 1954 until 1975, Fred served as a volunteer in the TA, while working in the family drapery business.

By the late 1960s he had become the commander of the 7th Battalion of The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and attained the rank of Major.

And in 1975 when a new battalion ( the 6th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers ( was formed Fred was offered a permanent job as the regimental administrative officer.

He served in this role until 1999 and for the last seven years has been working from home as a publicity and recruitment consultant for the TA in the North-East. …

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