Army

Former soldier-now-reporter makes emotional Harrogate return after nearly 20 years

The passing-out parade for the British Army's newest and youngest professional soldiers is a proud day for the men and women marching off the square.

Former soldier, now reporter, James Wharton knows this feeling personally, as almost 20 years ago he passed off the square at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

As 500 new Junior Soldiers graduated, he was able to revisit his old platoon lines and even spend some time in his old bed space.

Despite two decades of wear and tear, James fondly remembered his locker being "trashed" during inspections when it fell below standards expected, adding "this was where I spent a year, learning how to be a soldier".

Walking through the corridors where he once stood, waiting for corporals to begin shouting, he looked back on his experience and how it prepared him for life ahead.

Meeting others who have just finished their Basic Training, James spoke to the families and heard of similar experiences of maturity.