Michael Jackson

Joined 1967

Dewsbury Ambulance Cadet Division, West Yorkshire

Listen to this interview:
Black and white photograph of three people stood by a gate reading a map. There are two women in uniform and on the right a man in uniform. The girls wear white dresses and black hats. The man wears a black suit and black hat. He is carrying a small white bag across his body. Behind them is the trunk of a large tree.
Two Nursing Cadets and an Ambulance Cadet put their map reading skills to the test, c.1970s Image courtesy of the Museum of the Order of St John (A5112)
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I did lots of subjects, I did twelve plus. Obviously one of the first one you had to do – First Aid didn’t count, Home Nursing was the first one that counted. But let’s see if I can reel them off. I did Home Nursing, Hygiene, Childcare, Map Reading, Animal Care, whatever we called it at the time. You had to do Knowledge of the Order, that was compulsory. Um, what have I said? I did Handicrafts. I did some sort of sports one, I can’t remember what we called it now. Yeah, the map reading, I was given a map, told where to go to the starting point. I got map references, and I had a question sheet and I had to say what was at those particular map references, or whatever, and I just followed the map references. And my assessment was I had to go that route and I had to answer the questions on the sheet, so I proved that I had been able to read the map references properly, and go to the appropriate places, because otherwise I wouldn’t know what the answers were. And I actually walked that route on my own. And it wasn’t in – it was sort of semi-rural, but there were nobody else there, I did that on my own. These days you wouldn’t be able to do that. And no mobile phone. Once I finished I had to go home from the finish point.

Actually it was really good, I enjoyed every minute of it, because you did it as a group mostly, or you did the training as a group, and I loved it. I loved the subjects that we did, I thought it was brilliant. And as I say, you were able to complete it within three years, because you did four subjects a year, and I don’t think you could do anymore. I think the ruling was you couldn’t do any more than four, four subjects in a year, which meant that you couldn’t just sort of waffle it through, you had to do it properly. And we had weeks, six weeks maybe on a course, and we had somebody come in, and I think somebody from the RSPCA came in to help with the animal care. The Scouts came in to help with the map reading, you know, and we had nurses come in and do certain of the hygiene subjects and that sort of thing.

Excerpt courtesy of Michael Jackson