Brothers in arms swear allegiance

TWO young Hartlepool soldiers were among a group who swore their allegiance to Queen and country in a special ceremony.

The 11 young soldiers have all passed initial Army tests to see whether they can make it as soldiers and took part in the ceremony held at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

Among the group from across Teesside were Hartlepool friends Macauley Bruce and Jamie Wright, both 16, who joined together and have both made it through initial selection.

Macauley, who plans to join the Parachute Regiment, said: “I’ve wanted to do it since I was 13.

“I’m looking forward to Army life, the fitness, the discipline and the mental toughness.”

Macauley added that listening to stories from his granddad, who served in the Royal Artillery, inspired him to join up.

Jamie, who attended High Tunstall College of Science with Macauley, said he had the full support of his family.

“My mum has been behind me.

“She’s been saying that she’s scared, but she wants me to have a career,” he said.

They are now embarking on their Army careers for real by joining their chosen regiments and going through phase one training.

To mark their achievements so far the junior entries swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen, watched by their proud families.

Captain Ted Morgan, from the Army’s North Eastern regional recruitment team, said: “We expect more from our recruits than we have ever done in the past.

“We expect them to be able to use the latest technical equipment, to be able to make decisions in the battlefield and learn the laws of armed conflict.

“They need to be intelligent and capable young men.”

Captain Morgan said only one out of 20 people who walk into army recruitment offices wanting to join up gets through the initial test stage.