Ministry Of Defense Citation


When you tell anyone that you were in the British Army at the age of just over 14 years old, they look in disbelief.  Even when I visited the British War Museum in the early 1970’s in Chelsea, the Sgt at Arms had never heard of the Boy’s Service. There was no mention in the entire war museum of Boy Entrants or the Boy Sailors of HMS Vanguard; and even the RAF had a Boy Entrance program.

So what was it like in the British Army at age 14. I was from the Island of Guernsey and joined in 1952. Sgt Major Strutt, was the Recruitment Officer in Guernsey. We obtained our parents’ permission, we had a medical exam, and went to Jersey to sign on and receive the Queens Shilling. On a bright day in MAy 1952, the boat and train took three of us to Beverley in Yorkshire. Clive Lambotte, Arthur Mead and myself. Clive was later killed in West Germany on a military EXCERCISE. We spent three years of square bashing, education on alternative days and firing the Lee Enfield 303, which nearly broke our shoulders.




Johnny Prescott, former Boy Soldier 6 Boys Training Regt.

Boxer Johnny Prescott to be laid to rest to his favourite song

As many as 300 mourners could be present at next Thursday’s service at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Sutton Coldfield, his family told the Birmingham Mail.


Johnny Prescott in his heyday

BIRMINGHAM boxing legend Johnny Prescott will be laid to rest to the strains of his favourite song – ‘Money’ by Barrett Strong. And as many as 300 mourners could be present at next Thursday’s service at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Sutton Coldfield, his family told the Birmingham Mail. Johnny, who fought the country’s best heavyweights in the 60s and 70s, died on Sunday at Good Hope Hospital. At the age of 74, he had fought dementia for six years. The degenerative illness was one of the few opponents to get the better of the crowd pleaser. Four times divorced, the fighter had three children - Jay, Lee and Diane, who lives in Florida.

Jay, who followed his father into the steel business, said Johnny’s ring nickname of ‘Playboy’ was well earned.

Johnny Prescott fights Billy Walker in 1970   Johnny’s exploits with drinking companion – and Wolves legend – Derek Dougan became as much a part of city folklore as his ring wars. He was also big buddies with fellow Wolves favourite Bobby Thomson. Jay, aged 37, said: “If he was fighting today he would have earned a lot more money – but he would’ve spent that, too. “His best friend told me how he had to drag him out of bed each morning kicking and screaming to go running.” Despite being less than diligent in training, Johnny, then based in Nechells, shone against the very best domestic heavyweights. His two bouts with Billy Walker are considered among the greatest battles between big men seen in this country. Johnny, who won 34 of 49 contests, was stopped in ten rounds by Henry Cooper in a British and Commonwealth title bid. He hung-up his gloves after being out pointed by Joe Bugner in 1970. In retirement, he dabbled as a bookmaker and boxing promoter before turning to the steel business. Son Jay said his father never boasted about his ring achievements. “He never discussed it, really. He was proud of it and would talk about it if you asked him.

“He was actually a quite quiet man in himself, not loud or brash.” Johnny made no funeral plans, added Jay. “We’re at a bit of a loss, really. We read an article by (ELO drummer) Bev Bevan that said he would always request ‘Money’, which was later covered by the Beatles. There could be 50 people present (at the funeral), there could be 300 – we really don’t know.”  Dementia first took a hold six years ago. “It really escalated in the last six to eight weeks,” added Jay. “It took him quite quickly.” The service takes place at noon, followed by interment at New Hall Cemetery.



7th Signal Regiment BAOR, 1 (BR) Corp. Herford West Germany 1956. Motor Cycle Escort to The Princess Royal.
Bottom Right, Active Duty in Kenya.
Sheikh Othmam, Southern Arabian Peninsular 1959

On the Beach in Mombassa circa 1959, working with HMS Bulwark Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier. 

Kahawa 1960 24th Flying Brigade African Signals
History Of The Boys Regiment


Get Social.

Connect with us on Facebook & Twitter to learn about upcoming projects and volunteer opportunities.