Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 18:19 UK

Army twins retire after 100 years

Jimmie (left) and Ron (right) after the pair signed up aged 15
The brothers were 15 when they joined the Royal Armoured Corps

Identical twins from Aberdeenshire are retiring from the Army after notching up a century of service between them - in nearly identical careers.

Majors Jimmie and Ron James, 65, both joined the Army on the same day in 1959 and were promoted on the same day for almost every rank in their careers.

It culminated in the Buchan brothers serving as Regimental Sergeants Major and being commissioned as officers.

The pair are due to retire on Thursday, after serving 50 years each.

The brothers, from New Pitsligo, were 15 when they joined the Army at the same time, after seeing an advert.

"We saw an advert in a comic, asking if we'd like to learn a trade in the Army," Jimmie said.

"We're from a little village in the north east and we thought there's nothing here to do so we sent off the paperwork."

Jimmie (left) and Ron (right)
The pair will retire on Thursday, after a century of service between them

They chose to join the Royal Armoured Corps, working with tanks and armoured vehicles.

Jimmie said: "We were both promoted on the same day, five months after joining the 10th Royal Hussars, in Paderborn in Germany.

"After that, we were promoted to the same rank on the same day for every rank in our career, except Warrant Officer Class 1, but not too far apart."

Ron said the pair had a gentle rivalry.

"We're pretty similar," he said.

"We've always got on fairly well, and got on even better together when I became Warrant Officer Class 1 and Regimental Sergeant Major before him because he did what he was told."

The brothers were commissioned as officers just months apart in 1986, with Jimmie going into the Royal Army Medical Corps, and Ron into the Army Air Corps.

Even the twins' private lives ran along parallel lines, with the pair marrying within one month of each other.



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