Photo gallery: New army recruits are sworn in at Norwich City Hall

Army recruits pose by the war memorial after the swearing-in at City Hall in Norwich.  Photo: Bill Smith Army recruits pose by the war memorial after the swearing-in at City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Friday, September 7, 2012
5:00 PM

Proud family and friends packed into Norwich City Hall this afternoon to celebrate Norfolk’s latest British Army recruits being officially sworn in.

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Army recruits pose with the Lord Mayor after the swearing-in at City Hall in Norwich. Becky Roberts, 17, from Hunstanton.  Photo: Bill SmithArmy recruits pose with the Lord Mayor after the swearing-in at City Hall in Norwich. Becky Roberts, 17, from Hunstanton. Photo: Bill Smith

There were 17 new recruits sworn in, including two women, ahead of beginning their careers.

Sgt Major John Richmond explained that most of the recruits were fresh out of high school and that most will now be heading to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The recruits were all presented with a signed certificate, to declare their allegiance to the Queen and the army, by Lord Mayor of Norwich Ralph Gayton.

Mr Gayton, who served in the RAF, told the recruits: “This will be a great learning experience and can also be very fun, so make the most of it in all shapes and sizes that you can.

New army recruit Thomas Hall, 24, of Banningham, at the swearing-in at City Hall in Norwich.  Photo: Bill SmithNew army recruit Thomas Hall, 24, of Banningham, at the swearing-in at City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

“You will make good friends and see places that you would never have expected to see. I wish you all the best of luck.”

One of the recruits who was eagerly waiting to begin his training was 24-year-old Thomas Hall, the oldest recruit at the ceremony.

Mr Hall, from Banningham, near Aylsham, said: “I worked for Sainsbury’s for five years and then reached a bit of a turning point. I didn’t go to university, which seems to be the only way to get anywhere nowadays.

“My dad is a builder and I want to follow that sort of path so this just kind of made sense.”

The former Aylsham High School pupil added: “I was quite excited about today because a couple of the lads I joined up with didn’t get to have this ceremony, so I’ve really enjoyed it.”

One of just two women amongst the recruits was 17-year-old Becky Roberts, from Hunstanton.

She said: “I went to an air base when I was at school in Bassingbourn (in Cambridgeshire) and got talking to them and it seemed like something I was interested in. I want to be an RLC (Royal Logistics Corps) driver.”

The former Smithdon High School pupil added of yesterday’s ceremony: “It turned out better than I thought it would be, but it was quite scary!”

- To see more photos from the ceremony, view the gallery at the top-right of this page.

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