FROM the time he joined the army at the age of 16, soldier Gary Kent kept a diary.
In it he wrote about everything from the minutiae of daily army life to his first impressions of the people he met and the places he went in his 24 years with the Blues and Royals regiment.
Now, fourteen years after leaving the regiment, the 54-year-old is sharing the details of his army career in his autobiography- which he has compiled from all those detailed diary entries.
Gary, of Horbling Lane, Stickney, said: “When I first joined the army I was 16, and one particular day I thought I would put my experiences into words. After that I always kept a daily diary.
“It will be great to see it on the shelves. It’s been a long time coming.”
My 24 Year Colour Service 1973-1997 tells of Gary’s experiences between the ages of 16 and 40, when he left the army.
He was based in Germany for much of his time with the regiment, but travelled all around the world during his service. He said one of his most memorable experiences came from an exchange trip to Jamaica in 1975.
Gary, who reached the position of Corporal of Horse, said: “It brought back a lot of memories for me.
“I hope it will give an insight into what the army was like. It was very different. If you stepped out of line you got a good slapping.
“You didn’t have a bank account. You used to go and salute and then you got your pay in a brown envelope.”
Gary has had several roles since leaving the army, now works at RAF Cranwell.
The book went on sale in Waterstones on Wednesday.