Title: From Boy to Soldier – A View of the Army Apprentice Scheme 1948 to 1998
Author: Cheeseman, S H
Condition: Near Mint
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2003
Cover: Hard Cover without Dust Jacket (Laminated Boards) – 178 pages
Comments: The detailed history of the Australian Army Apprentice Scheme.
The scheme had its roots at Balcombe Barracks on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, in about 1948, but eventually moved to Latchford Barracks, Bonegilla, in northern Victoria. The apprentice scheme gave birth to a number of unofficial customs, such as Crab Night, and had a language of its own – odd, or even intakes and sproggs (a first-year Apprentice) to name but a few. The apprentice scheme has also seen many of its former members rise to prominence across all ranks and corps of the Australian Army.
For many serving within the ranks of the Army, the term Army Apprentice, or ex Appy, is something they are not likely to understand.
The Army, for many years, enlisted and trained its own tradesmen direct from the high schools and the youth of Australia.
Many teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 years enlisted as Army Apprentices to undertake a four-year apprenticeship in a wide variety of technical and clerical trades, and as musicians. The initial engagement period was for 9 years.
The Australian Army Apprentice scheme was successful in a number of areas but was phased-out by the Army in the mid-1990s.