Michael Lambell

Joined 1958

Torquay Ambulance Cadet Division, Devon

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An early colour photograph showing two Cadets with a large dog between them
Ambulance Cadet Michael Lambell (right) and fellow Cadet Chris at Babbacombe Downs, Torquay, 1958 Image courtesy of Michael Lambell
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The uniform for the Ambulance Cadets was grey trousers, long trousers. Well, they were just going over a period from short trousers for boys to long trousers, but predominantly, it was long trousers. There was a uniform grey shirt, which could have your badges on, whether it’s your proficiency, your subjects and other badges and awards. It was a long-sleeved grey shirt. It had a tie. So it was a collared shirt with a tie. The tie had black and white stripes across it. And when you were making it, if you were wearing it correctly, it had to have three stripes down in the centre there on the top bit, and three stripes across. And when we were inspected, that was one of the points they’d pull you up on if it wasn’t and it was the right length together, so there was a tie. We didn’t have – we did, we had hats, berets as the headgear. A beret, like the French ones and that was – and we had a belt, and we had a white haversack. And also, some Cadets had white lanyards when they were in certain positions, certain roles.

That was the uniform. Can I say, today, where you’ve got all the jumpers and the fleeces and the special duty uniform, if you want me to go on, when we used to go out on duty that’s all we had, whether it was summer, autumn or winter. And I remember going on a lot of duties down there, because we’ve got a football club in Torquay, Torquay United. And I used to go along there as a Cadet on duty. But we had no jackets and I used to freeze at times and putting on jumpers underneath because that was it. So it wasn’t the most practical of uniforms for public duties.

Excerpt courtesy of Michael Lambell