2007 – A New Year – A New Optimism! A review of the 2006 British Light Infantry Guestbook inquiries on that separate website, uncovers the wishes and fond hopes of family and friends to gain information about British Light Infantry Old Soldiers, as far back as the Boer War. The reality that needs to be faced is that memory and recorded memorabilia for events that occurred beyond the recall of a living person, is probably not available.
Guestbook postings, wherever lodged are reliant on a reader’s interest, and a reader’s interpretation of the (often) scant references that are given. While many living Old Soldiers are highly computer literate, there is little evidence of replies made to Guestbook postings, so a better alternative is needed.
With these observations in mind, this LI Most Wanted Blog system has been developed to provide a vehicle for visual references, sometimes with full military stories and histories attached, of the “Old LI Soldier”. A visual aid, such as a photograph of a person or an event will provide a better opportunity to trigger a memory recall and we have now provided a “Lost Names & Faces” blog page to satisfy that option. It will only work for you the Inquirer, if you make the effort to meet the minimum information profile, i.e. Full name, rank, service number, Regimental Unit and theatre of military history. DOB and DOD (where applicable) together with a facial photograph (if possible).
The function of this Blog is to encourage cross response and ‘conversations’ from others having a like minded focus, that might lead to the discovery of Old Mates who are still alive. It is not a research source tool for service histories, battle details and insignia identification. Check out a choice from the many Titles above and read the collection of comments and threads that have developed.
EDITOR – 3rd January 2008 Another reflection on a year gone and sadly many of our 1DCLI mates from Bermuda departing this life – without a message from ’em for our sites. Most of us know the pain of losing a loved one whom we’ve known for most of our adult lives, but for me there’s a subtle difference in finding out that the image of a youthful soldier (in Bermuda in my case) has gone forever. I never saw him grow old, never met his family, never had a beer with him in civvy street. Never shared the joys and remembered mischief that we got up to on the beaches and in the cafes and restaurants of Hamilton. Never again to smirk at the smartass comments made in the ranks while on parade or while some dickhead subaltern looked up our nostrils and examined our belly button for evidence of poor hygiene.
Why is it that the few always stand out from the crowd in showing willingness to ‘muck in’ and develop multiple email contacts and make phone calls and write letters – while the majority stand idly by and watch it all happen. The 1DCLI Roll Call of contributors now stands at around 34 or so and has been added to by other Light Infantry stalwarts who also do their bit. I personally am bloody glad that at least there’s a few photos of me and comments from me to be viewed on the websites. I’ve got to say this to the majority out there who despite appeals for action and sharing, despite watching your Old Mate get involved. “Are you dead now and just waiting for burial?” GOYA for your own sake, you miserable bastards and help us build 1DCLI Memorabilia beyond anything that can be accessed for this remarkable time window in Regimental History. Recall the time when you marched at 140, rifles at the trail, cussing yes, but proud to be part of a truly unique band of young men.
We live in an age of a phenomena where photos and email text can be flashed around the globe quicker than you can think and where in most cases your 4 year old grandchild can do it for you. In the past few weeks we’ve linked up to You Tube where you can even hear as well as see those tinny Old Toons that echoed around the Barracks. We’ve opened up Blog pages where you can vent your anger and/or incredulity at the stupidity of politicians and public servants; where you can wax lyrical, poetic or just plain old sarcastic at world events that defy logic. We’re on the hunt for Tommy Atkins from Merxem Belgium in 1944 and we’re even trying to repatriate with honour the remains of a KSLI Boss killed in Kenya in 1955 by his own troopers. Let’s see what we can do in 2008 cheps!
August 2009: An eventful year in many respects, but mainly highlighted by the Caribbean Re-Union in Penzance and Bodmin during the month of June. Visitors from all over the South West of England converged upon Penzance to make a real fist of our long planned soirees, dinners and the West Cornwall Branch Meeting. Events and opinions leading up the Editor’s departure from OZ to attend, in late May, can be viewed on The Caribbean Blog, and shows the depth of interest and undertaking that the various support ‘core few’ were prepared to go to.
A commemorative sweat shirt, emblazoned with all the postings throughout the West Indies was designed and produced and eventually worn with pride at many of the gatherings. The highlight of that week was the Memorial Day on 11th June at The Keep, Bodmin, where over 60 guests, including 1DCLI veterans and families, attended the inspection of the Colours at St Petroc’s and a fine carvery lunch at the Borough Arms and thereafter a wreath laying service at the Memorial.
We shall preserve the memories of this fine event for years to come and hopefully add to the (slowly) growing numbers of “Old 1DCLI Soldiers” who exchange serious and humorous view of 21st Century life, on our many Blogs.
Christmas Day 2009: Once again I air my views as Editor on the year passed by, to record my observations and thanks to you all for your co-operation during this eventful year. We saw many changes to Blog formation and development where most Contributors now, have learned to cut/paste You Tube URLs to share. So too we have seen the evolution to memoirs, and many more to come. Sadly also the changes to web protocols at Google are spelling the editorial demise of many of the former DCLI web pages, that will now be gradually switched here to WordPress that offers an improved facility for Publishers.
As we approach 2010, we are mindful of approaching older years – our ‘Autumns’ as we might kindly describe ’em – but the inevitable fact remains, some of us will not be blogging for the full year. In advance of those sad events may I just say, that memories of our past associations are as clear in my mind today, as they were all those years ago in Bodmin, Plymouth and Bermuda, renewed in Bodmin during the Caribbean Re-Union this year in June. Thank you all for your friendship and comradeship, I look forward to many years of Editorship over these pages and the many more that will unfold as time marches on.
Brisbane, 25th December 2009.
Editor Brisbane: 16th August 2010: During July and August this year, I have made the greatest changes to this entire site since its beginnings in November 2006. Some unpopular ‘archivings’ have now taken place, that effectively have removed ‘General Banter’ opportunities from the many (previous) blog pages, with the exception of ‘General Chatters’ that has been published after this leader was written. Overuse of those ‘non-military’ pages gave rise to more social style banter, than military ‘stuff’, and defeated my original purpose to encourage memoirs and recollections of military experiences. As Editor I concluded that the many public alternatives that are available, such as Twitter, Facebook, Tweet and Skype, provide far greater scope than this site, for contributors to socialise on pure civilian topics, and I saw little point in even trying to compete, not that I wanted to. The widening learned expertise of blogging and freely available servers – such as WordPress – also lent weight to enthusiasts setting up their own alternative social blog sites.
(Editor, Brisbane 23rd October 2010) Changes continue to alter the Title Bar profile of this blog site with the inclusion now of Memoirs that were previously published as Google websites (now technically defunct). Other transfers will take place in due course. The major re-publishing feat has been the amalgamation of the (old) Troopships blogsite and the Troopships Memoirs website, into HMTroopships that now appears for all to contribute. Each HMT vessel is accorded a sub page of its own to record threaded conversations as they appear. I hope that this new format will appeal and attract a wider subscriptions from many surviving travellers from those times.
Editor 5th December 2010: 2010 will be remembered on these blogs as being the most contentious in our short 4 year history. The content and calibre of the many comments, possibly reflect the tumultuous changes in global weather. As I write from ‘Sunny’ Queensland, the rain is pouring down causing floods that spoil the crops, New South Wales over the southern border is under water and we read of the snow and ice and freezing temperatures that bind the UK and Europe in a death grip.
I perceive an echo of similar extremes within the ‘blog family’ from a few (former) members who now have abandoned the scene in a participative sense, yet spy on us from afar, no doubt to make acrimonious comment in cowardly privacy, after attempting to copy and steal intellectual property. Is our tiny attempt at military camaraderie that special that others need to plagiarise it? Is the perception of offence so great that mateship is abused and abandoned, within so small a community? I would have thought not, but absentees by their disavowal of our short lived community exchanges, signify their narrow mindedness, following their destructive criticisms of our progress, having made little or none – supportive input. Deaths from natural causes among our related families, mainly ageing, are mentioned more frequently now, sadly enough, without that register being added to by miserably minded individuals who criticise from afar. Development of these blogs has been challenging enough without those negative denials. Get a life, you miserable bastards! Life’s too short!
On a positive note, the site has been re-aligned, with additions that provide wider commentary options, in the hope that military readership and participation by Old Soldiers can be widened to record worthwhile military comment of yesteryear. To all of you loyalists and legitimate browsing newcomers, I say Merry Christmas 2010 and a Happy New Year 2011. Our health and longevity in the immediate approaching years are hopefully under continual focus, with extra care needed when navigating footpaths and roads. Thank you.
(6th January 2012) The New Year is upon us with a major site access changes proposed by month’s end in that a User ID/Password will be required for site access, due to excessive invasions by Spammers from all quarters of the planet. Unfortunately the ratio exceeds 14:1 – that is Spam to Genuine Comment and is an indication I feel of the mindless creeps that invade our privacy with little regard for topical interest and delicacy. Maybe the little extra effort required from Bloggers, to login etc will accelerate the general appreciation of what we have achieved. Encouragingly, there are multiple applications for Passwords and 2012 will show one way or another how proficient we are in our recall of 1DCLI events past and present.
(11th April 2012) Requests for updated information on Privatisation are being received, as clearly nothing is happening. The site/s are still at public view and I’m having to consider the downside effect of a Password requirement – which I had not bargained for – for random visitors who stray by default into our blogs. I refer mainly to HMT subscribers who register comment on what would otherwise be denied to them. So bear with me, a real problem exists in that (now) some 40 over Spam Messages are flooding in daily from world wide wankers with wishful wants (wwwwww). I really don’t want to shut out the odd genuine comment, but inevitably it will happen. In the meantime carry on soldier!
(31st December 2012) We approach 2013 with (again) fresh optimism for better blogging and more genuine subscribers. As practice has now shown, there’s a simple process to gain access to the site, and gradually more applications are filtering through. With luck we shall restore the balance with incoming new bloggers against the unfortunate demise of others. This year we sadly said farewell to Swanny, one of our original blogger mates and we shall miss his supportive banter and bull. Thanks to those who supported the site in 2012 throughout many challenges to keep afloat, when bombarded with cyber crap and mischief.
(4th January 2014): Another year has passed forever taking with it many lives, hopes, dreams and health of Old Mates & Family members. The approaching ‘winters of our lives’ bring greater focus on health and well being for us all and the focus on the management of the quality of our daily endeavours. Personally I am glad to see the back of 2013 and face the New Year with optimism and expectation of better things to come. The site is incessantly bombarded with cyber crap from idiots with nothing better to do than to interfere with the editorial progress of other’s interests. All I can say to them is “Fuck Off” and try playing at being an adult for a change and peddle your goddam garbage on other social media where copy idiots can despoil the beautiful English language and sensible behaviour of an ordered society. Nulle Illigitimo Carborundum.
(20th February 2014) Today marks another milestone in the 7 year history of this weblog site whereby as Editor I have decided that enough cyber crap is enough and with the garbage ratio at over 100:1 there seems little point in combat any longer. Also yesterday marked the 60th Anniversary of the Regiment sailing to the Caribbean which gave rise to the opportunity to dedicate the site (for a while) to HMT Memoirs, banter and bull. When so few Old DCLI’ians found insufficient interest in our regimental past to get involved, that fact also spells the demise of the site. So, many pages are closed to comments, with just a few Personal Memoirs remaining open out of respect for their specific content. I shall be glad to remain in email communication with any reader in future to discuss variations if deemed suitable. Thanks to those who have remained loyal through the years.
(8th May 2015) Somehow despite falling numbers and lessening interest, the site trundles on with several unexpected Comments logged in from non DCLI squaddies, particularly HMT interests. I remain in direct contact with a few stalwarts and note that as we octogenarians soldier on, our ranks are thinning somewhat. 6 years ago we were in the midst of the Re-Union planning – how time has flown – and I cast my mind back to that event reminding myself how timely it all was and the infectious enthusiasm that embraced us all. Halcyon days!! Health issues pre-dominate us all unfortunately, reminding us of our mortality and I register my happy thoughts and memories of better days and fleeting youth. Good Luck and the best of health to you all.
(15th October 2015) Surprise, surprise! the site remains operational despite the earlier forebodings of closure, due mainly to just a few stalwarts who pop in now and then and HMT ‘families’ who find us through Google. In recognition of enthusiasm a few Old Mates from “A” Company moved a proposal to re-ignite civilian banter and bull; “Geezers R US” is the result and is accessible for all to see and hopefully participate in, on a regular basis. This is an open invitation to ALL former participants to join us again. Welcome.
14th November 2016 Amendments to earlier editorial diarised comments have been made to clarify our position as of even date. The site has closed for all ‘general’ comment relating to the published hotlinked pages shown at the header. All are available for browsing and the Editor undertakes to temporarily open any specific page for an updated Comment – on request. The only pages/sub-pages open as usual are the HMTroopships section where we continue to receive input from around the planet from Old Soldiers most now in their 90’s and Families who were children during those times of British Army transit on troopship transport.