Private Eric Reeves recalls how he came to join the Queen's as a Territorial before World War II despite falling short of the height qualification.
Eric Reeves
Private Eric Reeves

Noel and myself at the time were both working at a local brewery and our director owner’s son was an officer in the TA. One of the guys I worked with he was a Sergeant Ralph Ellis. He said to me one day "Why don’t you join the Territorial Army?" I said "I’m not old enough". He said "Yes, but you could get in as a boy". Oh, what I did not know was that then everybody that was recruited, the bloke who introduced him got a shilling. Now a shilling was a lot of money then. It is only 5p now but it was a lot of money then and so he said "Come with me". He took me up there and the permanent staff instructor was an old First World War Sergeant Major Hoppy Hopkins. Company Sergeant Major Hopkins, the bloke had the Mons Star and all this. "Come in my boy. Right take your shoes off. Now stand against that wall. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Put your shoes back on. Oh dear, oh dear. Take them off again. Put these ammo boots on". And they had heels on them and all the studs and that. He said "you have just qualified for a minimum height for an infantry man 5 ft 2½ inches". So I was eventually sworn in and given a shilling, yes, got the shilling back. Well I didn’t have to pay the shilling in the first place and so now I was in the infantry and absolutely dead keen and we had the First World War service dress then, with the cheese cutter [hat] and I was dead keen, got right into it.