13 December 2004 | Bmused55
Recollecting the "Soldier Soldier" years
Soldier Soldier was truly an excellent drama series for its time. It is a pretty accurate portrayal of Army life. I can say this from certain as I have 13 years of personal experience. At the time Soldier Soldier began showing on ITV and the BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service), my Dad was in the British Army and we were living on camp with him in Germany.
The series really hit home for us as our family was precisely like the families you see in the series. Wifes and Children following the Soldier from posting to posting, sometimes separated for long periods due to exercises or overseas action.
The community spirit and the bonding together to help that the series depicts between the soldiers wife's and offspring is true to life.
The depiction of British life in Germany was spot on. Again, from direct personal experience, I can tell you there was and still is a microcosm of British culture in Germany around Military installations and their surrounding towns. Its different to Mainland UK life, yet recognisable. A new Army wife was able to quickly fit in and I guess its still the same today. Soldier Soldier brought this culture to the TV screen.
Dad would often tell me that every regiment and squadron had characters like Tucker and Garvy. General jokers and mischief makers. There was also always an officer that was a hard ass and thought he knew it all. Then you had the compassionate and the down to earth types. And of course, the people you'd rightly give your right arm for to help them. Soldier Soldier successfully depicted the whole spectrum of these kinds of characters, the bonding that occurs between Soldiers and the way that Squaddie mates will do just about anything to help one of their own. Likewise the families attached to them.
As with any program, there were a few moments where there were differences between reality and what was on the show, but one has to allow for some artistic and dramatic licence, or else you might as well call it a documentary.
I miss Soldier Soldier, above all, I miss the life it depicts, for despite the downs, the ups were far more numerous and the life was good.