There are many notable dates reminding us of the changes brought about by the development of the establishment, the academic changes, the military challenges and the changes in recruiting. The dates below give a chronology of the most noteworthy.
1923 The formation of Group 1, these Boys enlisted into the Army Technical School, part of The General Service Corps to become tradesmen and were stationed at Buller Barracks, Aldershot under the Command of Lt Col VTR Ford, DSO, The York and Lancaster Regiment.
1924 The formation of Group 2, who joined No1 Group in preparation for the impending move to Beachley and still under the command of Lt Col VTR Ford, DSO, who was to remain at Beachley until 1927 when he was succeeded by Lt Col GF Kennedy, Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
1929 Two years after his arrival the name of the School changed and it became The Army Technical School (Boys) throughout this period young men continued to join the ATS (Boys) and came directly to Beachley. Various other Officers commanded the School until 1943.
1943 This year saw the arrival of another Commandant, Col PB Cuddon CBE, MC, late The Loyal Regiment, who was destined to remain at Beachley for 5 1/2 years, he was and still remains the longest serving Commandant. He was a forward-thinking leader who valued the training and the result of such effort by the boys that he, assisted by the Commandant of a similar establishment at Arborfield approached the W.O. to have such effort rewarded. He believed that as part of the General Service Corps these young men were not being recognised as the future of the British Army. As such he submitted several designs for a New Cap Badge that portrayed the skills being gained. His preferred design had a meaning, A wheel with The Cross that formed the spokes and representing the Christian virtues and the development of character, The Torch of learning defining the desire to continue to learn, The Crossed Swords denoting the qualities of courage, discipline and the importance of physical fitness. The Wheel representing the trade and technical training undertaken and finally The Crown which expresses the loyalty to our Sovereign King or Queen and devotion to duty. As a result of his efforts and on 1st February the Army Apprentices School became recognised in its own right as a New Establishment. The School remained as such until;
1966 In September this year the School was to gain another accolade when by the Grace of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth11 the School became The Army Apprentices College, denoting once again the high quality and abilities of those selected to become Army Apprentices.
1994 The Final Chapter, as a result of HM Government decisions the AAC closed its gates for the last time and subsequently became home to Infantry Soldiers.
Here is a video of the last weekend in 1994: