I (Chris Dunham) take no responsibility for the messages on the message forum.
As this is an automated script and at present has no validity checking, I cannot be sure what may appear on the board.
Please note the messages do not contain the views of the myself, merely the posters personal opinion.
If you notice any messages of an offensive nature please email me at
Quite a few months ago I asked if you all would be kind enough to provide me with information regarding your time with 42. this was to start special pages on my web site, well nobody replied so I didnt bother to start the pages. When I asked Jim Mcdougal if he was intending providing more stories of his time in Korea, he said maybe but then suggested I start the the My time etc. Due to that prompt I am making the request again, I have already written quite a bit about my time so I will no doubt be putting that on first and hopefully it will promt others. And mine will be included in the major update that I have done and with any luck will be by the end of this month.
Chris I wondered why this had not got off the ground. I think at the time I posted a bit so not quite sure what happened to it anyway here goes...........
THE EPILOGUE.........I spent most of my 6 years in 42 Regt. " Bull ...t" regiment as it was then,the first ALL REGULAR unit in the British army at the time. We was a showcase regiment so it was bull this and bull that and show this off to that General etc etc...this nearly drove everyone to distraction. This did not do us any harm apart from being so boring at times clean this and clean that. Quite a few of the guys went off at the deep end and finished up doing time but they got through that as well.
Lt Col B.A.B Taylor was the Commanding Officer along with RSM Frank McAdam nobody messed that guy around but he was fair. In 68bty we had Major Andrews as BC and Skin Head ( Tony Heal) BSM. This guy did not pull punches, anyone went against the grain with him knew they had done it and had to face the consequences, he didn't take prisoners lightly. The story has it with this guy is when the BC arrived in the mornings Tony Heal would have a cup of tea then tell the BC he was not needed and he the BSM would hold the fort and he used to advise the BC to get off home. Now whether this is a true account of things I don't know but there was no smoke without fire.
My belated wife had health problems while I was serving so I missed one or two schemes and one or two other things.The battery went to Germany on a 6 weeks exercise I stayed behind on rear party in Pembroke Dock. I think it was before this that the battery had to go to Cardiff to dig out the trains in heavy snow...........I missed that too due to domestic issues.Prior to this when stationed in Cyprus I was a member of the Government House Guard which was an education and I could write a book about those 3 weeks alone. One or two incidents come to mind such as Bill Billings falling asleep when wandering in the grounds at night on PROWLER GUARD in greatcoats and CWW boots and sticking his bayonet in a tree when he thought he had accosted somebody. Somebody ringing up the guardroom telling them there was a snake in the cookhouse. One of the sentries went to investigate with an NCO, thought he was brave by diving in and switching the light on stabbing his fixed bayonet into what he thought was a snake and it was a hose-pipe laying on the deck where a guy must have filled up the cold water container and dropped the pipe on the floor. Also yours truly getting his bayonet stuck in the slanting roof of the Cypher Office behind the Government House when the Governor was making his way down to the stables first thing in the morning. The drill was to come up on to the beat, present arms until he had passed by, then come back down to the order.My peak cap obviously restricted my view and it was only when coming down to the order I realised I had banged it into the sloping roof.... don't you feel a fool??? Another time nobody was allowed into the Governors office after 1800hrs not ever. Where the Cypher Office was situated it looked on to the Governors office windows. One late night a light appeared inside the office and there was movement, well the RED CAPS were situated inside the house having cushy numbers and we was outside on stag. The sentry on the Cypher rang the guardroom about this so all alerts were kicking off and we was ordered to stand outside the office windows in case whoever was in the office tried to make a dash for it. The RED CAPS went in to the office from within to hopefully flush out and deal with whoever was in there. Suddenly the curtains flew open and bearing in mind we had one up the spout and fixed bayonets anyone of us could have thrown a wobbly and either fired under orders or used the bayonet. The daft thing about all this it was a cat which had got into the office and was walking about on the Governor's desk and it switched on the reading lamp with it's paw. I am still shaking to this day......that really was a nerve tester. Good old Geordie Clough decided in Libya that he didn't like the look of an unexploded missile so he whacked it with a sledgehammer and nearly killed half of his best mates including myself. I never did find out how close it was when it whistled over our heads but it was bloody close I can tell you. This is the story so far if anymore is needed I can oblige.
Prew you are right about the BC and Heal. I remember one morning about 1030hrs hearing Tony put his head around the Bcs door and asking him was he stillthere and suggesting that he heal could manage the battery OK . He also suggested that the Bcs hair was a trifle long and that maybe he would pop in for a haircut on the way home
Hahahaha yes Lou that was a fact too, Tony Heal also nicked the white cover off the BC's Landrover because it was smarter than his,some character he was. Geordie Durkin once came a cropper by imitating Heal's marching technique and how he used to salute a bit like the old Benny Hill, it really looked comical. In this instance Tony Heal saw him and asked him what he was doing I think Durkin said something like........"oh Sir!" I was just showing one of the lads how NOT to march and salute" Tony Heal gave that threatening grin and bellowed "well get on with it then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he knew Durks was taking the --=s. Good old Larry Parkes when doing Monty's march out parade on Plymouth Hoe......In short the SLR had all the stocks loosened to make a real clatter when "presenting arms". Of course Larry had to go one better.....loosening his stock that little bit more only for his rifle to fall in bits and then he decided to grovel around in the ranks looking for the bits which had shot off. RSM Frank McAdam was like the Queen, he was not amused either,but instead of Larry just going through the motions of which not many would have been any the wiser......no old Larry decided he would retrieve the bits laying on the deck. I believe this was on Movietone News at the cinemas and that had to be erased..........I ain't surprised. I was going to mention quite a lot about Yorky Wainwright but I had better be careful here as I may get struck off the board hehehehehe.........I often wonder what happened to him, he came from Bradford I think and had been in Korea (not certain about this). He was a good Yodeller and 3am in the early hours across the square in The Citadel Plymouth old Yorkie would come in Yodelling at the top of his voice,would he keep it down? would he hell as like. In short again we all fixed the billet one night and when he staggered in the light bulbs were missing .........night-light paint was painted on the lamp shades with skull and crossbones for good measure and some cotton to each bed. Larry Parkes recorded some ghostly voice on his Grundig tape recorder which frightened the living daylights out of Yorkie.................he didn't sleep in that billet for the rest of the night. He was some character that guy all the women knew him down the Barbican in Plymouth and also in Gibralta and Malta. He was a big lad but not physical-wise if you know what I mean so the word got round and now you know why he was fashionable with the opposite sex ...........Yorkie jumped ship in either Gibralta or Malta because he was the attraction but not for his Yodelling. I think 42REGT RA must have had the most characters who stood out on their own, me having only served in that regiment apart from being on Permanent Staff at 31TRNG REGT probably would say that as I am sure there must have been characters in other regiments to outclass some of these guys. 42 REGT had some of the finest sporting guys around in that era. Crazy Davies comes to mind he was a good all-rounder, including his driving, the mad..............rd. It was everybody for himself if you had to ride in the back of his 3 tonner, that guy was fearless and I don't think he ever had an accident,well not while I was with them anyway.........To continue..........unless I am boring you.........
Prew & Lew just what the doctor ordered, please keep it coming as I know the rest of us younger ones (Im 63) will really appreciate knowing what it was like to serve in the real mans army. LOL
Eyup Chris I am only 6 years your senior so watch it!! Lol. I just keep thinking of different events which took place while I was serving and that is why I didn't want to hog the limelight as it were. I am sure between us we can put a few TRUE facts together. As has been said 42 Regt RA was a real bull--shi-it unit and was always under scrutiny because of it being the first ALL REGULAR unit in the British army. In fact it was that bad at times one could eat off the whole camp's floor. We did an exercise on Dartmoor called EX Black Night about 1959-60 it rained for a fortnight and that was a really depressing state of affairs. The regiment was up against the SAS.....now don't laugh please this is serious stuff. It was until 3 of the SAS were captured more or less straightaway which was a black mark against them. Tony Heal I believe was in charge of any prisoners who was apprehended. There was a guy in 49 I think who was put in charge of the prisoners as escort to wherever they were being investigated. This guy Gnr Long or Lund was as thick as two planks ( he worked his ticket so the story goes and not surprising).However he was in charge and on getting the 3 prisoners into the back of a 1 tonner with barbed wire in the bottom he kindly asked one of the prisoners if he would hold his rifle while he climbed over the tail-board. Yes it happened.........Gnr Long just gets his head above the tail-board when " WHAM!!" straight in the gob lands the butt of his rifle............well you can work out the rest......what a plonker!!!!! Moving on...... we did an exercise on Brecon Beacons and managed to get the exercise cancelled as being too wet and sludgy conditions. We was advised by some Sgt. to chuck jerry-cans of water inside the tents ready for when the Brigadier came round to inspect..... IT WORKED!!!!! I know the lads did Cardiff Tattoo before going to Germany....I missed that because of domestic reasons so stayed on rear party. In Cyprus we did 68bty Birthday on a landing craft which was moored up for our use. TSM Osgathorpe got chucked in the sea and Sgt Faulds just about drank the bar dry and stacked the emtpy cans up on the bar as if they were a shop window demonstration. He was taken home to Famagusta in a Landrover with feet stuck out of the back he was that ****** and his wife made him sleep in the outhouse all night. This guy was that hairy you couldn't tell whether he had his shirt on or not. He was a reasonable hammer thrower in the sports day along with Clive Jennings SGT ( God rest his soul). I was a bit hot over short distance and I licked Digger Watson (God rest his soul too) in the 100 yards he was not amused. I then thought I was clever in running a good distance but after about half a mile I needed oxygen....well nearly but I thought I would never breathe again hahahahaha.........that was awful..mind you I smoked then. We had a guy called RIP COLLINS he was a fairly quiet character and a fearless goalkeeper. Apparently he had had Polio when he was a youngster.......don't know how he got in the army really, anyway he had one foot smaller than the other but a good footballer. I have to say here and now the guys I served with was and still are the salt of the earth as far as I am concerned because these guys know what true comradeship is all about. After all these years it is just as though we have never been apart it really is unexplainable and long may it last. ...........To be continued after a kip......Lol
Prew, dont worry about hogging the limelight, I cant stop laughing and may be it will jog others to participate. My FPO officer wasCapt Paddy troughton (RIP) and on one exercise we were just having our morning shave when we were jumped by the SAS, we were all roped to a tree and during all this paddy kept shouting i am an officer and you cant do this to me, the SAS just kept kicking his feet and told him to shut up. It took us ages to wriggle free from the ropes, I dont know if Paddy told any of his fellow officers but Nick and I did as it was no shame to be caught out by the SAS.
Chris,those SAS lads didn't mess around they get on with it such as slapping and asking questions afterwards whether peacetime or otherwise. This has probably been posted on here before by myself but anyway here goes......in a nutshell..........Libyan desert and Action! Action" Action! comes up so we are all desert formation (spread out travelling same direction of course) we then all drive like crazy to get into action first, sort of a race by converging onto the landrover where the officer is waving a yellow flag, then the guns were put on to line roughly by compass. I was "A" sub driver ...Denny Foster Sgt. my No 1 suddenly I saw in my mirror a gun wheel which was ours, now there was a crate of beer resting on who got in first. Denny sees this gun wheel and starts laughing, thinking it was another sub's gun wheel until I shouted it was ours.........I am not repeating on here what my kind No 1 said to me I think it went like this. Oh dear driver what a mess we are in now I hope everything is ok back there.........or words to that effect. If looks could kill I had been dead twice but I could not help going down a waddy and up the other side it shouldn't have been in our way Lol. They took films out to show during rest camp time and when they opened the box up there was only one film in there which was " Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" they showed this night after night after night until they flew some more out I know that flaming film backwards and have sung music from it since and my mind is never on the songs only on the thought of sitting on jerry-cans watching that film again and again and again. I had to go to the dental officer in Benghazi and to get there the medic landrover driver had to take me through a bloody sand-storm which lasted all the way there about 80miles or more only to be told when we got there that yours truly should report sick when we got back to Cyprus. The only good thing which came out of that was that both the driver and me got a proper shower which was a bonus. Just going back to Sgt Major Osgathorpe (TSM) he was a little Scouser and always reminded me of Wilfren Bramble ( Steptoe) he would pull faces just like him but not quite as bad and he had a little high pitched voice. He called the battery up to attention once and his teeth fell out well you can imagine the tittering going off in the ranks and his comments .....another character in his own rights...........POSSIBLY MORE TO FOLLOW............Out singing now...........
Sennybridge 1963. We were out on the ranges in late January snow over the marquee I was sauntering down to the cook house when Digger Watson “says sleep well Wright” I was taken aback he never spoke to us young gunners only to b@@@k us. Yes sir says I, because I had in fact had a good night’s kip even though there was snow on my blankets. We had sleeping bags issued when we arrived in BAOR later in 1964. Later on they called us off the ranges because of the weather. I can visualise the scene now sleeping in a bivvy with the wind blowing through the low hedge near the gun position after doing a shift on radio stag at 2 in the morning. What is embedded in my mind about that place was how damp it was.
On a later date (September 70’s) we de bussed a 4 tonner with heavy bergens just after a thunder storm and started a patrol into the hills onto the ranges carrying mortar bombs. The first 10k was through ferns and after 10 meters we were soaked stayed wet for four days when I took my boots off there was not a lot of sock left and my feet were all wrinkly.
my feet were all wrinkly - Just like when you were born then Jack LOL. I feel another story coming on about sleeping bags but it will have to wait till later when more time, still at work having lunch.
Hey Jack you must have been in Digger's good books for him to even speak to you never mind asking if you slept well. He never used to speak to me and I was his driver/op .......not even a b.ollocking .........well I tell a lie, only when he shoved his hands round my throat when there was a radio silence on and I fluffed it hehehehehhee. I described this before about getting my own back from that episode by chucking him off the Armoured Pig in the desert. Oh my god that was a sight for sore eyes when he got up covered in egg-timer sand from head to foot. After that we got closer hahahahaha by about 10 miles. I know I am rambling on but different things keep coming to mind here ( it's all your fault Chris you started it). Going back to Plymouth 1959 the guy who was put in charge of the 3 SAS guys etc etc he used to play the piano in the NAAFI and all he could play was Humpty Dumpty and it was through this that eveyone thought he was trying to work his ticket which turned out to be successful by all accounts. Now this guy could not have been that daft because it didn't cost him owt to get out where other guys had to BUY themselves out. An old lady got mugged ( in todays terms) down in Plymouth town centre. Of course ALL the servicemen Navy Army and Airforce were under suspicion. A regimental MUSTER PARADE was the order of the day........... Tony Heal was to assist the old lady around the 68 Battery parade. This old lady was a bit like the old lady who played in a lot of Carry On films a bit fussy looking. So she is there and when SkinHead called up the Battery to attention she started walking over to the far end of the front rank to sort of inspect. SkinHead went up the wall giving the old lady an ear bashing," excuse me madam but you always inspect the ranks from your left as you look at the rank,in other words madam the right hand marker" I can remember a huge tittering going off within the ranks....he was not amused again. We had a guy called Paddy Meehan ( IRISH of course) he was a brilliant Shinty player and hockey I am almost certain he was. Then next thing he does a bunk and nobody saw him for about 5 years.....he gave himself up and came back married with about 5 kids. He buzzed off to Southern Ireland where they could not touch him there........I don't know whether this still applies,anyway he was another character.....very quiet guy too. One or two sad occasions one was Paddy..?..in Cyprus and Johnnie Turner in Germany God rest their souls. Then there was Gnr Wright driver who was very badly burned in Cyprus...... that was horrendous even though it was sort of self inflicted. I went to see him in BMH Dhekelia and he was in a cradle looking like a well done steak........he was very lucky to survive that........................Brain slowing down here now but there could be more.........
Prew ! dont you dare fall asleep on parade, I need my quota of daily laughing to keep me going. Come on lads give him support !!!!!!!!!
Nice one Chris, it is ok I can ramble on as most of you know me by now but it is with good intent. I am out dancing and singing today but will rattle on later, have a good day everyone!!!!!!!!!!
Right here goes just got back from dancing and will be out singing later. I have been scrambling the old matter in me 'ead whilst dancing and being a fella I cannot multi-task so I got some of me dancing wrong......slapped wrist.......my wife was not amused.......I was trying to think of things which happened in the regiment at the same time as doing the old dance steps correctly. One thing came to mind though when going out to Cyprus on the " advance party" we had not been there long but having done a good days work the RSM McAdam told us to take a couple of days off as we had worked well for him which was music to our ears. Yours truly along with quite a few went off over the Saltflats into the sea and having messed around for a good hour came out and me being the stupid idiot ( young and daft) fell asleep on the beach without even towelling off.......baked to a frazzle. It is a good job that we had the weekend off until the Tuesday,a lot of the guys were nurse-maid-ing me and I was laid in a bed of foot powder from the Battery Stores ( I think they ran out of that). I was in a really bad state and could have easily been Court Marshalled for self inflicted wounds but escaped. Come Tuesday morning on parade I was the only guy on parade who was wearing his shirt and got congratulated by the RSM.He said, " well done that man for using his loaf in getting used to the sun gradually oh!! hell I can't stop laughing here myself because it was just the opposite. Now little did the RSM know that I was under severe sufference with half of my skin missing as the lads just peeled a lot of the skin off which was not very nice at all. As we all know being in the army we just grim and bear it but I can tell you it was like hell. I will never ever fall asleep in the sun again in fact once bitten twice shy and I never take my shirt off now and I will leave that to the sun worshippers in future. Meanwhile back to the Libyan tour of which we did two. On one occasion the night was rather rough at sea as we went by what they called LST which transported all the vehicles and guns and were shackled down for obvious reasons. They had a guard going round making sure the shackles were secure which was quite eerie being down in the lower deck just wandering around between vehicles and guns and hearing the creaking of the ship etc etc. I had to go on top deck and I was aiming to dive across into a Landrover which was opposite the hatch where one had to stride over onto the deck. The ship was dipping it's bow into the water and it came up all over the decks forward of the bridge. Well nobody was allowed to even show a light forward of the bridge not even a lighted f.ag. I was gasping for a f.ag then and thought by diving into the Landrover after the wave had baited I could sit there comfortably having a smoke. I got into the Landrover and was just sat there happily fagging it when suddenly the door opened whoever it was( and I don't know to this day who it was) legged it down the top deck when I said in the dark to him," Eyup what's tha' want?" I must have scared the sh'it out of him because I didn't see him after that I thought he may have jumped overboard........what an experience that was.......funny yes but it could have been a tragic ending too. Meanwhile back at the ranch.......ooopppsss!!! sorry I mean the Govt. House Guard. I think it was the then Bdr Mick Blackmore who escorted the Governors flag to the flagpole when he arrived in residence and when he left the Union Jack was it's replacement along with George Mason who was also the flag bearer. They arrived at the flagpole peak caps 'n all swapped the toggles and hoisted the flag back up. Suddenly the flag got stuck at halfmast...ohhhh dear!!!! Well nothing could be done so the local fire brigade was called in ( horse and cart) with ladders and they charged 8 pounds equiv. When Ken Wilkinson Sgt. had to say his party piece on guard mounting,he had to say,"my duties are 4 by day and 4 by night (meaning sentries of course) we kept saying in the guardroom, 4 pounds up and 4 pounds down and he nearly said it the following morning on parade. The fact was the Governor and his wife always watched from his roof top balcony the changing of the guards...now that was funny. To round this off good old Yorkie Wainwright was on No1 stag outside the main door,being Yorkie he couldn't give a toss and he thought he would have a smoke. Digger Watson went round the stags to make sure they was doing their duties correctly and Yorkie is only stood in the sentry box at the easy and his f.ag stuck in the top of his rifle........now that really was taking the p.iss. Yorkie being Yorkie, he got away with it but he was some guy always doing something against what he should have been doing.
I know I have rambled and roamed somewhat in my length of service with 42 Regt RA instead of trying to put it in numerical order of years I just wrote it as it came into my head. I joined 42 Regt in Plymouth in 1959 from being on permanent staff with 31 Trng Regt in Rhyl. The first time out down town we went into a pub which was under a sort of bridge if my memory serves me right,anyway Lou will know the name of that.......the bogs were across the road. I know we had been told that new personel were not allowed to have pints of Scrumpy (from the wood) served to them,only the locals could have that honour. The ruling was only half pints at a time so yours truly being a clever dick asks for about 24 halves of Scrumpy. The barman obliged he had muscles like knots in cotton when he had done pulling that lot hehehehehe. The night got undeway and I must have consumed around 7 or 8 glasses of this stuff. Denny Foster ( then Bdr) was Guard Commander and my No 1 he ordered me to take him a bottle of beer back for his midnight tipple (oopppsss chargeable offence already). I must have got his bottle of beer guarding it with my life and set off back to camp. This is what I was told the next day by those who knew what they were doing. Apparently I was stood right in the middle of a wide junction with traffic lights all over the place doing police point duty directing traffic..........oh dear! oh dear! oh dear! wasn't Prew a silly billy? Anyway en-route to camp and reaching the camp gates which from the outside looked like the gates of Wormwood Scrubs and it was of course after 1800hrs when the main gates are closed for the night and the small wicket gate within the main gate was used only. Somebody must have banged on the gate and it was opened for us and I put one foot over the threshold only to drag my other foot and went flying chucking the beer bottle on the deck smashing it to bits. Denny Foster did not get his drink that night and I had a very rough day the next day both by the hangover and Denny giving me some grief being my No 1 and him not getting his tipple.........oh bloodY hell what a day that was...........but I am still here to tell the tale. We all took the rough with the smooth and had our ups and downs but those memories are treasured to this day and I thank all the guys for their comradeship both then and now ...............believe me IT IS PRICELESS!!!!!!
I think I have nearly done bashing my brains on this one Chris............my short term memory is absolutely garbage......long term no problem. When in Plymouth at the Royal Citadel when a guy is posted to another regiment he more often than not has to see the CO. On this occasion I think I was Battery Runner at the time and was outside the Regimental Office where a certain Derek Towers had joined us. Now Derek was stood outside the RSM'S office waiting to be inspected by RSM McAdam. I was stood on one side like you do and waited while the RSM had inspected Derek. The RSM came out of his office with pace stick under his arm and bellowed out the name Towers . Derek bangs his foot in smartly to attention then the RSM screamed out," what the ...k is this?" He grabbed Derek's hair from the back as it was a thick square neck showing well below his beret. Suddenly Derek steps forward and leaves a wig and his beret in the RSM's hand. I have never in my life seen a higher rank apologise to a lower rank so much. After he apologised Derek told him he had been in the Paras and fell in some stagnant water, his hair had fallen out and there was no cure for it so he needed to wear the wig and carried a letter to confirm this, he was as bald as a billiard ball. This was so funny really and yet it wasn't, suddenly RSM McAdam b.ollocks Derek for not telling him about this at first...........Derek's reply was," you never asked me Sir!" hehehehehe. Derek played centreforward for the regiment and was a good'n I think I am right in saying he used to wear his wig when playing, when he had scored he would run back up the pitch waving his wig................not certain about this but I think it was true. Well that's all folks hope this is of good use Chris and the best of luck with your project.
Prew you are right Derek Towers did play football with us i.e--Davy Jimmy Reid-myself-( will have to look back to see who else and any photos i can come up with--and to see where he was with us-will keep you informed on what i come up with--Cheers Nobby
What can I saw Prew, harldy anything seeing as I have a stitch in my side with laughing --- good on you mate none of my stories will be as funny.
Ok Chris and thanks for your thoughts but I just told it as it was and like I said I ramble on as the guys know...( no comments please!!!!!!!) I must admit I can't believe I have written all that hahahaha. Yes Nobby I thought you would cast some light on the footie saga.........What about Spud Taylor, the other Nobby Clarke, Geordie Swann, (God rest his soul) Rip Collins played for a while too I think. Anyway no doubt you will pick up the threads on this one Nobby.
Chris I said I had finished, well nearly this has just come to mind about this guy Rip Collins. He once told us and I still don't know whether it is true or not, anyway here goes. He met this bird in Manchester once, she was very well to do and he had been more or less dragged up as he put it. At the end of the evening she invited him home for supper...he tried to get out of it but she insisted so off he went. When they arrived at her house he thought to himself I can't go in there I will show myself up. His girl insisted and in he went. After meeting the girl's parents they sat down for supper and Rip felt totally out of his depth,he told his girl this and she said," don't worry just follow my mother what she does so he did. Every time her mother picked up a certain eating iron ( as we call it) he followed suit. This went on and he was playing a blinder,until the cup of tea was served. When the mother had poured her tea being last she sat down next to Rip and poured her tea into her saucer, good old Rip felt at home now so he poured his tea into his saucer and drank his,the girl's mother put her's down for the cat. Now whether this is true or not I don't know but that was a cracker,
Nobby, you seem to remember things that prew has mentioned so hows about a little bit more mate!
Eyup Chris nice one..........I think Nobby has slowed down since he was on the football field and running the line out on Sigs. lol lol. Right now where's me coat?
Eyup everybody yes I am back having thought of one may be two items of dis-interest hehehehehe. I have been singing in a concert and when I have done that I cannot sleep at night straightaway I think the adrenalin is still kicking in. Here goes until I fall asleep after singing the Jewish National Anthem.............fabulous piece of music...........anyway where was I? oh yes. " The Prologue" old Geordie MacMahon he was a character in his own right too. I think he had been out on the hiss the night before and wasn't feeling too well the next morning he wagged parade by volunteering to stand in on duty driver.....a very crafty move. Somehow he swapped back and was up on the square doing vehicle first parade,the next thing he is underneath the truck with his wrist strapped to the propshaft and he is snoring like a good'n and nobody seemed to notice so we just left him there. I thought afterwards it was a good job nobody was sent to take his vehicle for servicing or whatever I can imagine old Geordie being dragged around the square like a rag doll. I was sent on a Cadre course and Mad Major Smith who was completely gone in the upper chambers of his cranum took us out in the Troodos mountains in Cyprus. The idea was there was two groups and Smithy (Major) was in charge of our group and I forget who led the other one. We had to race over the Troodos mountains up one side and down the other on to the beach where the hot meal guys were waiting and first down got the best meal apparently. Well we set off in baking sun of course we got to the top which was great and fairly easy going. Suddenly Major Smith orders to "Go! "Go!"Go!" and off we went well the ferns were above head high and nobody knew where they were putting their feet we literally fell down that mountain. We all thought to ourselves that he knew the terrain....... and did he?...... did he buggery!!! So we could have killed ourselves or broken every bone in our little bodies ahhhhh diddums!!!!! That guy was cracked I am sure of it I think he was ex-Para as I seem to think he had his wings. In PD (Pembroke Dock) Gnr Marsden otherwise known as Kenneth...........he was the type like Happy of the Seven Dwarfs only he was bigger of course but he always had that smiley face about him. Now this guy was nearly always s.hit order and try as he must he could not get anyway near the guys with his turn-out. Skin Head Heal (BSM) used to target him and he used to just about lose his rag with Kenneth. One morning on parade Skin Head is inspecting the Battery before hand-over when he confronts dear young Kenneth. It went a bit like this............"Oh f.....g hell Marsden!!!!!!!!! how many more times do I have to pick you up on parade for the least thing, you are s.hit order AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! aren't you Marsden?" Kenny just stood there with a real grin on his face and sort of giggled down his nose. Well that was like red rag to a bull, " You are s'hit order and useless Marsden and in fact you are a f.....g idiot, now say I am a f.....g idiot Marsden"............A bit more sn.iggering down Kenny's nose and he blurts out," sn.igger sn'gger you are a f......g idiot Sir!" Well the whole Battery just about collapsed but of course we daren't bat an eyelid. "Right!" fall in two men .............left right,left right, glasshouse here we come. Now that script could never be written it was really hillarious, dear Kenneth never altered after that he was still the same bless his cotton socks. Now mentioning socks I am taking mine off now as I am off to kip..... there may be more.........who knows?? watch this space.
Prew the Galloping Major was BC when we were in Germany the only one I knew who was Para was Maj later Col Lothian. When I joined the Regt in P/dock Gordon Smith was 2 I/C.
Talking of Marsden I remmber him joining some religious sect just before we were due to go to Libya on exercise. It seemed this sect did not believe in having jabs. I had to march Marsden in befoe Heal who pointed out to Marsden that he would not be able to land in Libya if he did not have a jab. Marsden grinned happily. Heal told me to march him out and bring him back tomorow whilst he thought about it. The next day in he went. Heal then explained yet again that without jabs he could not land in Libya however it woild not stop him boarding the Empire Galahad and of course when he got to libya he would not be allowed ashore. he then explained to Marsden that when Galahad got back to Cyprus without his jab he would not be allowed ashore and he reckoned Marsden would spend the rest of his life on Galahad going back and forth to libya, Marsden decided he no longer wanted to ne in the sect and off he went happily on exercisewith the rest of us
Siegfried Sassoon, the WWI Poet later wrote "Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man".
Prew, perhaps you should consider having your reminiscenses published under the slightly plagiarised title "Memoirs of an Impoverished Artilleryman"??
(I'd buy a copy if it was 'signed).
Eric,now that is a brilliant title are you any good at publishing? let's say 25% commision or even 50% if you do the selling too hehehehe. Now I don't want my head to be as large as Humpty Dumpty's and don't forget he fell off the wall.......I have enough with my football team falling by the wayside. I am only doing what has been asked of the guys to get the old grey matter working so here we are trying ones best.
Lou that sounds just about right for Kenny Marsden his smiley face like " Happy in the Seven Dwarfs" nothing seemed to phase him. There is no wonder at all that Tony Heal had no hair after dealing with him hahahahaha.
Jack I thought Smithy had his wings up and I know Major Lothian had his wings he used to remind me of Gregory Peck in a way. I reckon we had it hard and tough going in 68bty but the guys were second to none.
Let's not forget dear young Johnnie Turner (God rest his soul) on a more serious note. I can remember the feeling within the battery that first weekend and afterwards the whole place was like a morgue. He was the spitting image of a young Charlie Drake in my opinion anyway and he was always laughing and joking. I must admit it was a real tragedy when he fell over the balcony in Germany 1964-65 and he wasn't drunk by all accounts. He was shouting good night for about half an hour like you do after a night out with the guys and leaning over just fell and this guy will never be forgotten. Then there was Wrighty the driver but that was more or less self inflicted, let's face it if you pour petrol into the carburretor then consequences can arise but this was not ALL his own fault. I went to see him in BMH Dhekelia and talk about well done steaks that was the sight that greeted me on arrival.........he was placed in a sort of sling because 95% burns is no joke. How he managed to survive that only God knows and we could not believe he walked out of that hospital alive. I often wonder if he is still with us and how he is going on.
I don't know who it was but picture this.........outside duties.... the entrance to the block had two swing doors in wood of course with long glass panels. One of the doors had glass missing out of it for ages....whether they could not get glass for it I don't know. The guy on outside duties used to pick up the large rubber ringed mat which sets down in the doorway and on rolling it up he'd chuck it out through the door frame where the glass was missing. Now you are ahead of me here, yes exactly you've guessed it one morning the rubber ringed mat is rolled up and as usual chucked through the door frame and crash a huge amount of glass goes flying. Whoever put that glass in that door frame did a superb job because whoever threw it must not have seen the glass which had been replaced. I think that happened at least twice while I was there and again you can't write scripts like this hahahahahaha. Things keep coming back guys so there may be more............Happy Days.................
Oh dear the old matter is ticking again,can anyone remember the guy called Colin ????? in either 49 or 94 battery? The story has it he was involved in his gun crew being blown up in Korea, of which he was a survivor, and this turned him to drink. It was also rumoured he could not " lay" a gun unless he had a couple of crates of ale at the side of him.It was also said that Colin ?? was the regiment's fastest and most accurate " gun-layer" this is what I believe was said at the time. I know he used to amble around the camp like a rag doll, he either had his beret shoved through his lapel or just looked a bit out of sorts to put it mildly. All the officers etc knew him and what he was about and it was just ignored I think, it was a real shame as he was such a great guy.
We had the old " Chaa Walla's" in Cyprus and many book debts were made through having bread-rolls and tea/coffee on the slate. They used to come and wake us up before reveille in a morning they spoiled us really,also the Dhobi Walla's looked after us too, now they could iron KD's. I bought a suit from the tailor's shop and he only put a tape measure to me once and I could not wear that suit out it was amazing,it was when the old 3 to 4 inch waistbands were in fashion.The only reason I stopped wearing that suit was because I grew out of it otherwise I would probably be still wearing it. I am not tight it is just that I won't breathe out or I would not give a door a bang ..........Lol lOL.....
Another thing comes to mind good old Yorkie Wainwright he once was on his way back from the NAAFI after having his usual skin full of KEO or rum/cokes. He used to yodel and sing his head off which I mentioned earlier,apparently he tried to jump the monsoon ditch and missed and there was no water in it so he slept there all night.It does not bear thinking about if we had had the rains...........This may continue...........
this guy colin. we used to have a guy come into the kitchens to do his own toast and he used to do it black. i seem to recall something to do with korea and a gun crew and wrong grid references i wonder if it was him
I don't know Alan it could have been, having said that this guy may have got demobbed well before that time,he seemed an old man when we was serving hehehehehe. What I remember of him he was only a shortish guy with a sort of swagger when he walked and probably he had had a few jars inside of him too. I have seen him walking through camp with his beret shoved in one lapel and his belt through the other it looked daringly comical,but the powers that be used to leave him to his own devices I think.
the Guywho was the fantastic Layer was colin Huber he was one of the old sweats who we all new along with Dennis Portman.
Hi Derek, brilliant, yes that's his name I would never have guessed his name in a month of Sundays and you know what? they called my father Hubert and I always thought that was Colin's surname even then the old grey matter didn't register mind you two heads are always better than one. Many thanks for jogging the old...sorry young memory. Colin was and hope he still is a nice bloke always cheery and smiley and nobody knew what went on in the background I guess. I can still see his "rag doll" walk.
check out the gallery page - 94 bty - battery club
you will come to a photo with a group of guys and ladies with a reference about spud taylors socks. Colin Huber is the third from the right, actually the only one in uniform.
Ok Chris cheers hope you are coping I am waiting for one or two more to put in their penn'rth, it could get interesting. Come on lads don't be shy it is good to go back over old times and the things guys got up to,some innocently and some not innocently I might add.
Prew, judging by the number of inebriated gunners walking around Churchill Barracks, there must have been an awful lot of "gun crews blown up" . Here goes with my bit;
Arriving at Lippstadt in Jan 1965 after a three week embarkation leave, I was sent to Bodenfeld to join 94 Bty, skiing! As I was originally going to Malaya to join 12 LAD Regt and had been issued with tropical KD's, you can imagine how thrilled I was at this turn of events? I was left to scrounge all sorts of bits of kit from the lads in an effort to stay warm.
The main ski area was in a field just to the rear of the Sportshalle where we were staying and there was a continuous rope ski lift contraption, that you hooked a bit of wood, with a notch cut into it, that pulled you up to the top of the field. Never having even seen a pair of skis in my life before, it was a very good day when I managed to get all the way up without falling, over at least, twenty times! This one particular day, true to form, I was making a right pigs ear of it.
After about ten falls in ten yards - with the consequent bringing down of the two or three people behind you - a very refined English voice exclaimed; "For gods sake man! Can't you keep on your feet for two minutes?" To which I replied in my best squaddie/brummy accent; "F**ks sake! give us a chance. I've never been on f***ing skis before." Nothing more was said, though I did come a cropper at least ten more times on the way up.
Some 6 weeks later and I had returned to Lippy to join my proper Bty (49). Being new to the regiment I had to attend a CO's interview. Marching smartly into his office and throwing up a good one, imagine my shock/horror when the man sitting at the desk was the same man who I had upended so many times on the ski-lift, Lt Col Ohlenschlager. "Don't I know you man?" he enquired and quick as a flash I answered; "No Sir! I've only just arrived in the regiment." Outside the office, RSM Martin asked me exactly when I had arrived and when I told him, he "Had his bloody eye on you, me lad!" So began my illustrious career with 42 Med Regt.
Prior to this CO's interview, I obviously needed a proper haircut. All the lads had told me that, if I slipped the German barber a few extra Dmarks, he would cut my hair to any style that I wanted! So, sitting in the chair, I proceeded to explain how I wanted a bit off here, a bit here and, maybe, a bit here and a square neck...bitter! All accompanied with the customary; "jah, jah." Firing up the clippers he then started at the back of my neck and went straight over the top to my eyebrows! "Gut?" he asked. There's me with a sort of reversed Mohawk. "Cnut", thinks I and nodded my head and he carried on relieving me of all my hair to give me the highest whitewall I have ever had in all my service life. Still! May have just been my lifesaver with the RSM later that day?
David that is just brilliant and I imagined before I got to the end that the CO had crossed your path before.....sorry I meant you crossed the CO's path before. These are the things which always stand out in the memory and are so funny after the event.............I just love 'em. Really thinking about it there is no need to swing the lead or light because reality is still funny. You joined the Regt. just as I left Lippy in '65.........I remember they was just drawing up the secondary glazed windows ready for the winter on-slaught. Keep 'em coming they are always worth a read I thought I was on my own at first but it seems the snowball is beginning to roll on this one. Come in Nobby stop skiving you did enough of that playing for the regiment.
Not long after I joined 49 Bty, one day I was amazed to see my new Troop Commander arriving in the Bty. It was none other than Capt Molesworth, who had also been my TC in Milne Troop at Junior Leaders. Hoping that he would recognise me - as I had him - I threw up the smartest salute I could muster and wished him a loud; "Good Morning Sir!" waving his hand somewhere in the vicinity of his head in the return that officers seemed to think passed as a salute, he mumbled; "morning" and carried on towards his office. Well! I'm not having that.
So I took off at a sprint round the block, to come at him from the other end of the long corridor leading to his office. Again, throwing up a royal salute, I said loudly; "Good Morning Sir!" Again the airy wave but this time he looked up and said; "Morning. Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" Elation cursed through me at being recognised at last but, before I could say anything else, he carried on; "That's right, down the other end of the corridor!" Shook his head in bewilderment, and proceeded into his office and shut the door leaving me gutted!
Revenge was so sweet a few days later but that's another story, involving his lovely old Springer Spaniel and some, potent, emergency ration chocolate, need I say more?...
Eyup David do you mean to tell me the dog didn't give a sh.it either? These stories stand out like a sore thumb and the memories of them cannot be taken away from us at any price this is my theory. I know this was not in the 42nd but in the training regt at Kimnel Park the Troop Sgt told me to paint the fire point bright red. I was painting away minding my own business when out of the corner of my eye I saw this peak-cap. Swinging round banging the foot in as smart as a pin I saluted with an absolute superb salute which I learnt on the square.I suddenly realised that saluting with paint brush in hand, covered in bright red paint, was not the done thing. So I had bright red paint all over my beret,down the side of my face and on my denim lapel..........and to cap it all it was the RSM and NOT an officer. I consequently got a huge ball and king off the RSM for saluting him and was given a 10 minute lecture on who to salute and who not to salute and that saluting with implements in hand was a no no. Happy days or what????
Now this next story requires a bit of background so please indulge me a little. Because I was under 21, I wasn't entitled to a Married Quarter so I had to live in Private Accommodation to enable my wife to join me in Germany. I lived in a little village; Bad Westernkotten, going out of Lippy towards Erwitte. My Farmer/Landlord was one Herr Shroer, an ex-SS Captain and his, one and only farm hand, was his ex-batman, Gusthav. Gusthav was bayoneted through the neck and left for dead on the Eastern front during the retreat from Stalingrad but Herr Shroer saved him and, though now mute, Gusthav became his willing slave. Herr Shroer had a very fetching daughter of 17 named Beata and I cycled the 5 miles from and back home. OK! Now on with the story;
One fine Summer evening, as I rode into the farmyard from work, I was accosted by a very excited Beata who tried to drag me off into the barn! Now don't get me wrong, I was a young man of 19, a squaddie and as randy as the next bugger BUT, you don't sh1t on your own doorstep - or so I was taught - so I'm struggling with this lovely young lady, all the while casting anxious glances up to the windows of my flat, hoping my wife isn't looking out. Eventually, Beata manages to get me into the barn where I am greeted with the sight of Herr Shroer and his Frau, trying to get a pair of clean trousers onto an obviously in pain Gushav. At a glance I see that poor old Gusthav has broken his femur and is in agony as Frau Shroer pulls and pushes at him in an attempt to get these trousers on him.
Seeing as I had been on just about every First Aid course that the British Army had ever convened, training kicked in and I took charge of the situation. 'Shooing' Frau Shroer away to call for an ambulance, I quickly got Gusthav splinted up and eased his pain. The ambulance arrived and some comments passed - in German obviously - about the good job that I had done! All this unknown to me at the time. Herr Shroer shook my hand and nothing more was said. A few nights later, in the wee small hours, I am awakened by a frantic knocking on my door and there's Beata, again, pleading with me to go to the barn! "Here we go again" thought I and off we went.
This time I have immediately thrust into my hands, a piece of rope and exhorted to PULL! The other end of this rope disappears into the **** of a huge cow! Being a city boy born and bred, I have no idea what's going on. Amidst much swearing from Herr Shroer and wailing from Beata and blood and god knows what from the cow, eventually this calf pops out and flops, lifelessly, onto the ground. Herr shroer grabs hold of the back legs of this calf and throws it up against a low wall. Motioning for me to grab hold of it's legs and hold it up against this wall, which I quickly do, Herr Shroer starts to massage this calfs chest in an attempt to get it breathing. After, what seemed like two hours but was probably only about 5 minutes, the calf kicked and struggled to be let go which I did and it's mother immediately started the process of licking it clean and whatever else a cow does to it's new born.
Well! Herr Shroer and his daughter are absolutely ecstatic! Apparently, this is their first real, hands on, experience of calving, because Gusthav took care of all this normally. But with him being laid up in hospital and the cow being somewhat premature, this could have been a very expensive disaster for Herr Shroer. Instead, we all trooped off to the farmhouse to get cleaned up. Before I knew what was happening, half the bloody village turned up, bringing bottles of schnapps, hams and other goodies for breakfast. My wife was dragged down from our flat and I was honoured as some sort of hero for my help with Gusthav and the cow!
None of this, of course, was any help to me when, at around 0930hrs - long after first parade - I arrived in camp, half cut and completely knackered from having no sleep all night. Lucky for me, Ray Covell who was my Troop Sergeant, managed to get the story but it still cost me a couple of extra guards...
Remember the days of the old "Pay Parade"? Well this happened in Junior Leaders but you will recognise the scenario. These was the days when we would line up in alphabetical order, march smartly to the pay table - as your name was called - and slamming your ammo booted feet into the deck, salute smartly, reel off your name rank and number and hand over your paybook. Upon receipt of your pay, you would check the entry in the paybook and report; "Pay and paybook correct Sir!" and briskly march away - straight to the NAAFI.
This one Thursday afternoon, having only just mastered memorising my army number, I marched out to the pay table, slammed my boots into the deck and promptly skidded straight onto my arse. There I was, sitting in front of the pay table, legs under the desk and my eyes just about level with the top of the table. Sitting rigidly to attention, I reeled off my name, rank and number, received my pay and reported, "Pay and paybook correct Sir!" and nobody batted an eyelid! Scrambling to my feet, I saluted, did a right turn and marched away waiting for the screams...Nobody ever said anything about it...
That billet at Bad Westernkotten wasn't my first foray into Private accommodation. About 6 months previous to that we had a room at the Gasthof Wolf in Lippstadt proper. We had a couple of rooms in the very top of the building, right in the roof space. Living room on the right off a tiny landing and the bedroom on the left. You had to come out onto the landing to go from room to room! Because it was in the roof, the rooms were about ten feet wide. At it's highest point it was about 9 feet but the roof sloped down to the outside wall to about 3 feet. It was like being in one half of a tent, with the other half being the bedroom. We hated it but it was all we could get at that time and we had only been married for a few weeks.
One Sunday morning, Norma and I awoke to find two old ladies sitting by our bedside! They didn't say a word, just sat there staring at us and we lay there with the bedclothes pulled up to our necks, staring at them. I should add a little bit of too much info here for you. Remember I said we had only been married for a few weeks? Well we slept in the buff. So there we are, staring each other out. I tried to ask them what they wanted but my German was none existent and they gave no indication that they understood English. I lost my rag and was yelling at them to "F*** Off" but they still wouldn't move.
In the end I lost it big time and jumped out of bed - stark naked - and they finally got the message. So there's this shrieking pair of old harridans, scrambling to get out of the room and down the stairs chased by a mad, cursing lunatic with his wedding tackle flapping all over the place. We were asked to leave! Luckily, we were going home on leave a few days after so it was no big deal. Took me quite a while to persuade Norma to give Germany another go though!
Oh god! How one story triggers another memory! Last one for tonight;
When Norma came over to Germany for the first time, I had to pay all her fares so she flew into Dusseldorf instead of Gutersloh, which left me with a problem of how to get her from the airport to Lippstadt? I don't remember how he became involved but the CO's driver was - I think - Charlie Hawkins and he had access to a big old Ford staff car that, again I'm not too sure about this, that was shared by the DRA. The long and the short of it was that we had transport .
When we arrived at Dusseldorf we found out that the car parking was miles from the terminal so Charlie uncovers the 2 stars badge on the front and puts up a 2 star pennant and we drove right up to the main terminal front doors. While Charlie stayed with the car, I hurried inside and collected Norma and told her to just act normal and get into the back of the car asap, which we did, right under the watchful eyes of two politzi. Thinking we had got away with it, we proceeded to the main airport entrance only to be met by two police motorcycle outriders!!!
Taking up station they escorted us all the way to the autobahn but then, to our horror, joined us on the autobahn. We were sweating bricks trying to come up with a story to cover our backsides back at camp. Lady luck was with us that day though because as Charlie indicated to leave the autobahn to come to Lippy, the escort pulled alongside us, saluted and sped off into the distance. Phew! We very quickly stripped the 2 star trappings off and, serenely finished our journey to camp. Norma, to this day, has no idea she could have been spending her first 14 days in Germany...ALONE!
Good stories David I like the last one I reckon it takes some guts to keep one's face straight in situations like that,it proves it can be done.
Talking about pay parades...........Geordie MacHahon was a real comic on pay parade. He would march out very smartly and he had a long body and short legs which really made this look comical. Arriving at the pay table he would halt then bang it in,sling the Paying Officer a good one up then come out with a really squeaky " Pay and book correct Sir!" The paying officer used to look up and strangely enough Mac used to get away with it for some reason. I think they knew it was coming or he paid them a back-hander. Yes I have seen that done too where somebody has gone up to the pay table all smart and gone slap bang on their arse,it adds fun to the occasion says me.
Prew, I'm finding it difficult to believe that you and I are the only two literates in 42 . What about the Bty Clerks and all those stuck up surveyors . Or were we the only two to serve in the Regt .
David I am amazed how far my memory goes back really. I have already stated about my short term memory which is absolutely ZILCH!! I can assure you this is no good for my singing as I have to learn the lyrics of course.The only way I can learn them is to constantly keep on typing them out and the words come to me very quickly,so it works. However what happened years ago and the way we explain these incidents feel as though it was only took place yesterday.
I think Nobby Clarke will be making an appearance shortly I keep digging him as he will have stories to tell about the signal side of things and the regimental football team. Crazy ought to be giving us some insight into his activities that would take about a year to produce now there's a character if ever there was one. Brian's memory is first class when we meet up it is like a competition to see who can remember the most, he is winning by the way.
War and peace is going to having on this lot, I can see I will have a lot of cutting and pasting to do and thats not accounting for the deletion of some of the risky language LOL
keep it up lads
Yes Chris there is plenty for you to have a go at here,the language was tamed very well I think. I know it is not nice at times but sometimes industrial/army language can make the a story even funnier, if you get my meaning. By the way we are looking forward to reading your escapades with 42 Regt. we are relying on you not to be shy hahahahaha. Come on lads get your thinking caps on as David said there was not only him/Chris and me who served in 42 Regt. RA.
If anyone has any stories and can send them in an email to me I will gladly type them up and post them on here on your behalf..........no problemo!!!
What's the matter with the language . Have you never heard of the phrase; "swear like a trooper?" It's one of the habits I picked up as a squaddie and it's stayed with me throughout my life. Many times I have been told that "swearing is the sign of a bad vocabulary." Well there's nothing wrong with my vocabulary thanks! Swearing is a way of expressing oneself without any pretences. Basic and down to earth. How else can you tell someone to "go away!" as with the same direct and unambiguous "F*** Off!"
Like everything else in life it must be tempered in certain company and circumstances and not be gratuitous but don't be ashamed to swear when the need arises. It adds colour to most lamp and sandbag sessions
I did put an LOL - dont worry Lads it will be pasted just as it stands.