Acknowledgement to Gossip Cartoons (linked).

(30th January 2014) Time for page revision as we approach the month of the 60th Anniversary of the sailing of HMT Empire Clyde from Liverpool bound for the Caribbean. This month I have concentrated on a site background montage of several old ladies that transported British Troops around the globe and have added highlighted comments to attract attention for regular and new bloggers to get involved.

The recently uploaded widget panel in the right hand column of all pages now shows the most recent comment as a hotlink to that particular placing. If you wish you can then cross directly to that particular comment and Reply. This should be an important blogging activity as your reply is linked as a thread to the continuance of the topic. Note however! – pay attention to the date of an original comment – your reply might be several pages down in the ranking order of publication and could get lost to the page at view. As Editor I make an oft repeated call to pay attention to subject matter when you report incidences or events that can be separated and provided for on other relevant blog pages.

General chatter often loses the intent of a topic best reported elsewhere, e.g. the death of an Old Soldier – best logged into DCLI Memoriale as an example.


780 Responses to GENERAL CHATTERS


    With under 1 week to go to the 60th Anniversary we have received, since early January 6 weeks ago, when the reminder was posted, relevant Clyde Comments from JB, Geoff, Terry Simons and myself only. Bill has posted supportive remarks. It ain’t looking good Cheps! That’s 4 Clyde travellers out of 100s who are probably still living and obviously (by their absence) register dis-interest to the ultimate degree. I guess that the Somerset floods have had wider effect than at first realised. Now I dunno whether the Bristol Evening Post published my letter, neither do we know that the Oxfordshire News published Geoff’s request, but for sure the ‘hit’ registers show far more cyber crap and non-regular interest than Clyde DCLI’ians. Draw your own conclusion Cheps and let me know your thoughts about continuing these blogs after 19th February 2014. Our dogged perseverance over recent years has not paid off and this weblog site is now just an elaborate system for the few of us to maintain contact, when an email or two will do.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi All. The letter that I sent to the OXFORD MAIL has been published, I have not seen any comments from that. I gave Derek’s email address for contact. It will be sad day if we lose the website, but Derek puts so much work into keeping the cyber idiots out, that if we get no response, I think close it and use e-mail.

      ED: Thanks Geoff, so far no additional emails from Oxford Mail readers. Cyber crap is running at almost 100 daily and uncommented ‘hits’ lessening by the day – even as we approach “D” Day for the Clyde Anniversary. Sad but true, I shall no doubt minimise the page access for future repartee and just publish as a passive site, inviting email only contact with me for communications.

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        HI Ed, I believe that the Oxford Mail was holding off publishing until the 17th, but I badgered them so they then went to print. I was thinking that the BRISTOL EVENING POST might be doing the same, at least old mate we did our bit! I hope we get some response but then again that might be wishful thinking.

        ED: Here’s me thinking that the weeks leading up are the most important Geoff, but as stated – we’ve tried Ole Mate.

      • Bill Griffiths says:

        Hello Derek, here we are, now the 17th and still no sign of your old buddies, what’s wrong with them? I have been hoping that you would have had some response by now but it looks as though they are all lost. What ship did they come back on perhaps it sank? Sorry, being silly BUT it does make you think and makes you angry as well. But, I am feeling the same to a degree. I very seldom hear from any of my old mates now, though, saying that one guy did ring me at about 11pm the other night and didn’t stop talking for over half an hour. Don’t know if you remember the picture of me on the Aircraft Carrier going to Japan, well this was the guy with me on deck, John Byfield.

        All best wishes anyway to you, Geoff and JB and hope somebody else manages to creep out of the woodwork. I will be thinking about you all on the 19th. Bill

        ED: Thanks Bill, looking very slim that’s for sure, but we have tried our best. I well remember John Byfield on the carrier in your photos, good that someone from the past can take the time to make contact. Maybe we’ve pre-supposed that Clyde comments will appear before the 19th and overlooked the after moments. Anyway, we’ll persevere for the remainder of February and if nothing happens then I regret that ’tis all now a waste of effort and the inevitability of part closure of most pages will result. I shall however always keep open KSLI, Nancy and the Memoirs pages for repartee.

        • Geoff Cherry says:

          Hi Bill, that must have been a very pleasant surprise to get that call after so long, it just goes to show old mates are out there, if only they would press a few buttons that is all it needs. Sadly an old mate of mine from my OX/BUCKS days Cpl John Badcock was called to the big parade ground last week, but like you Bill the glass will be raised on the 19th to all our mates past and present.

        • Bill Griffiths says:

          Hello Derek YES, very disappointing, especially after you have put so much effort in to trying to bring old comrades together again, after all these years. My most sincere thanks for all you have done for me but even those people who have written in with questions about KSLI and to whom I have responded. Nothing has come of this either. What makes people tick these days, they all seem to be in a different World to us? Ah Well.

          I recently took part in writing a short essay arranged by the Korean War Veterans Enduring Legacy. There were 52 entries and I came 12th. They sent me a lovely glass paperweight with my name a a message of congratulations engraved on it and yesterday I received a book which they have had printed with all the 52 stories. I feel quite proud to have taken part and been recognised. I will send you a copy of my little story via email. Best wishes to you and to Audrey and to all bloggers. Bill

          ED: Thanks Bill, very disappointing to state the least. Some minor inquiry – off blogsite – has happened, but little to register on the expected scale of things. The lack of interest and support is indicative of a deeper malaise that affects us all, primarily the lack of ‘get up and go’, but worse, criticism of those of us who are prepared to act. My thanks to you especially and also to those other bloggers of recent times who have shown unfailing enthusiasm and support. I am preparing the windup notices for browsers to read – on the “Welcome” page – (what irony!) to advise that the site will revert mainly to a read only function. KSLI, Nancy, Memoriale, HMT and a few others will stay open. We have tried, but even as I type I can see the cyber crap rolling in and I’ve just reached the tolerance limit for stupidity. What we need these days is a mandatory 2 years National Service for all adults (?) at age 18, including refugees.

          • Geoff Cherry says:

            Hi Derek, Sorry we did not get any response, it was not for the lack of trying, a sad day now that we lose something that would keep us all together, thank you for all the hard work you have done for us, and Bill all the best mate for your trip later in the year, I wish you all the best for that.


    Regular bloggers will note that many of the former ‘busy’ pages are re-opened to “View Only” simply to encourage former contributors who no longer join in, for whatever reasons. What is interesting however is that the daily registers show many, many ‘hits’ on these older pages, particularly the HMT sub pages, which I find encouraging in this downward spiral of support during what is (I feel) an important occasion in DCLI Regimental ‘living’ history – the 60th Anniversary of the Empire Clyde sailing. Thus far no-one, beyond we regulars have surfaced, so unless the final days give evidence of interest, we can once again say goodbye to general interest from living DCLI’ians of the current era. Sad that our days are numbered, but reality is that far too much time and energy is allocated to keeping this site going. Tempus Fugit!


    A Digger Mate here in Brisbane has alerted me to a ceremony at Pearl Harbour that I’m guessing few of us knew anything about. Hotlinked titling. Such is the power of mateship in the US Navy. RIP

    • John Billett says:

      What more dedication can you give to your ex-service mates than this, to be with them in this way through eternity is a wonderful thing, RIP all that lay there.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      The power of mateship as you put it Derek, is heart rendering, and so moving. I don’t mind admitting to shedding a tear as of course I always do at any of our British ceremonies, but somehow, the Americans seem to dig down far deeper in to their hearts and souls and are without doubt genuine in their display of unfeigned comradeship. And John, you have expressed this in such a wonderful way. Bill

      ED: Bill, you echo my own thoughts admirably. The Yanks are pilloried unjustly in many respects I feel, but unquestionably their genuine and heartfelt respect for the American Way, puts most other Western nations to shame. The way that they honour their flag and National Anthem, the respectful manner in which they stand up and cross their hearts, is an example I feel for many Brits and Aussies to follow.


    3Platoon1 I’m calling on those named still alive to respond in some way to our attempt to engender some interest in the 60th Empire Clyde Anniversary, whether you sailed on February 1954 or not – as was the case with some later arrivals. If a regular is in contact with any of ’em, please seek some support and get ’em going.

    Centre from left: L/Cpl Graham Bradshaw, Cpl Don Puckey RIP, Cpl Derek Lovemore, 2 Lt Corringham, Sjnt Charlie Seaborne, Cpl Phil Taylor, Cpl Bill Edwards RIP, L/Cpl John Warrilow RIP.

    Rear from left: ?, ?, ?, Scott, Dick Hill RIP, ?, Lawrance, ?, Hutter, Willis, ?, ?, ?, Maurice White, Roy Westbrook, Sam Rosevear.

    Front from lhs: Matthews, Hocking, Harry?, Hunt, Dove, Sheldon, Terry Simons, Dave Beck.

    This photo is part of the Picasa Album Collection in my name, where many other “A” Company photos have been added to by various Old Mates over the years. Only 2 bloggers have surfaced, Terry Simons and Derek Lovemore (Editor), but we know that Bradshaw, Beck, White and Westbrook (that the Editor is aware of) are alive and well. Many, many inquiries over the past few years have gone out by direct snailmail and also direct phone calls to some 3 Platooners in Bristol have been made. The resistance to co-operate is quite perplexing, when we all shared a camaraderie that was uniquely regimental at the time. All the “A” Company Picasa Collection can be view by hotlink below.

    “A” Company 1954 – 1955

    Tempus Fugit!


    I have today written to The Bristol Evening Post requesting the publication of an appeal to all former Caribbean serving DCLI’ians who sailed on the Clyde on 19th February 1954. Many survive today and reside in and around Bristol and it would be marvellous to get a response, with some meaningful content. We can only try.

    If any of you have influence with your local press, particularly in Cornwall, the group will appreciate any support you can muster up for the 60th Anniversary.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Ed, I will write to the OXFORD MAIL for this area, as I know some DCLI veterans, live in the Oxfordshire.

      ED: Goodonyer Geoff. If you push hard enough you might even get a personal interview to state your piece. This style of personal historical interest should go over well in regional newspapers. Don’t forget to refer to the weblog site in any editorial reference and my contact email address. Cheers.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Derek, you are plodding away trying so hard to wake these old buddies up and to get them to respond and take part in what must be a fantastic time to remember and re-live, even though you are all miles apart BUT what’s wrong with these guys? All it takes is a few minutes to put pen to paper or tickle the computer keys for a few seconds. I really am baffled by what seems to be their lack of interest. But having said that, even here in Hereford our Korean veterans are getting just as lazy and I never see them out and about in Town.

      I am on countdown with you and sincerely hope you get some last minute response from some of them. I will be with you and will drink a Toast to you all and I will be thinking about all my Troopship voyages and try to imagine that I am with you and all your buddies. Best wishes to you and ALL. Bill

      ED: G’Day Bill, thanks for supportive comments – here’s hoping that the final countdown will drag a few Old Squaddies from their burrows!!

  6. Her Maj1 Widely publicised Aussie media release of Her Maj welcoming home the English Cricket Team. Personally I feel that only good will come of the whitewash and we shall see Phoenix arising from the Ashes?


    JBs Diary Our loyal blogger JB has kindly forwarded his Diary page from March 1954 for us to use to jog memories of those times so long ago. Interesting that so far ’tis the only recollection of the voyage after Bermuda. Many thanks JB, very nostalgic.


    Regular readers will note that many of the (older) archived pages have been opened for browsing – but not comment. These ‘closed’ pages were heavily subscribed to in the past and sadly many became very slow to load on older browsers, such as Windows 98. The decision to shut ’em down was – in hindsight – a mistake on my part, ‘cos many bloggers (then) didn’t see my point of view (as Editor) in maintaining orderliness over a load of written tripe (NOT military stuff), that required heavy editing. I have now opened some of ’em up again to permit historical browsing in a last ditch attempt to attract the interest of more subscribers to our fast diminishing band of brothers, on this now formidable occasion of the 60th HMT Empire Clyde Anniversary coming up soon.

    • John Billett says:

      Sorry about the bad writing, I have since given up double writing and taken to capital, sometimes that’s as bad. I have lots of other events in the Diary but not about the Empire Clyde. 60 years ago, it just seems like a distant dream, I’m glad I have a lot of photos of my experience, and also a lot of more recent photos of people who shared the experience of going to the West Indies all those years ago.

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        Hi John, Don’t worry about the writing, it is a pleasure to be able to share a memory with you. I have no photos to remember by, that is why I like browsing, jogs the gray matter a bit. I was hoping we would hear more from our dwindling band, fingers crossed it might happen, keep well old mate

  8. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek and all. I agree with your comments on Facebook. My niece tried to get me to use it and all I found was a load of absolute childish chit chat between people and also silly childish games. REALLY pathetic.

    On a much brighter note I have just booked my next Holiday to Hong Kong and this time will be staying for a complete TWO months September and October, which will enable me to go back again to the Church where we were married and this time for what would have been our sixty second anniversary AND also be there for my 84th Birthday. LOOK OUT Hong Kong, Billy Boy is on the Warpath. Wish I could meet up with you all and have a great party. Ah Well! Best wishes to all. I shall be thinking about you all in Feb on the 60th anniversary. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, began to wonder about you, glad you’re still with us and doing well. Glad to see you’ve booked your flight for you next trip to Hong Kong, two months this time, are you sure Hong Kong is ready for that, lol. More time for you to get up to all sorts of things, lots of Chinese eateries, your niece will have a whale of a time with you taking you out and about, loads of time with her favourite uncle, wedding anniversary, big birthday, lots of excuses too run riot and have a few tipples, I wish you well my friend, it’ll be here before you know it. Take care Bill and keep well.

      • Bill Griffiths says:

        Hello John and many thanks. YES really looking forward to going back again, the years are rolling by far too quickly now and this may be the last time I will be able to make it, that is why I am going for two months and as you say lots of things to get up to and I have many friends there as well as relatives, so there shouldn’t be a dull moment.

        Can’t believe that it will be sixty five years ago in September when I first arrived there by ship with my Battalion and about to meet the most wonderful woman in the World who was to become my little wife. My Nancy.

        So, all best wishes once again to you and all bloggers. I will send some pictures when I come back. Bill

  9. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi Ed. Thanks very much for putting my blog right, as you mentioned the HMT pages, for some reason the Windrush sticks in the mind. I know at sometime I sailed on her, I believe the Battalion came back on her from (Mogadishu), it called into Cyprus picking up OX/BUCKS demob personnel, that included some of my mates from my OX/Bucks days. I did not put this on the WINDRUSH blog as I was not 100% sure

  10. John Billett says:

    Hi Geoff, that was a long day out for you, hope it was all well worth it. I know full well about pressing the button and not being able to retract, I do that quite often. You want a flying jacket on when you go out on your scooter, that would keep you warm, pretend to be “Biggles” the flying Ace. Good that you can still get out and around, take care old friend.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi John. It was quite an interesting day, radioactive injection, scans took over an hour, went in and out of the machine, had it circling the body, and to cap it all, sat on it for the last scan, a new treatment fill plastic cloves with hot water and hold it on veins so blood can be taken. I think the flying jacket is a good idea, if I could get the head gear to go with, it would make a good talking point for the neighbours? and keep the ears warm. I think the next trip to hospital on Monday I will order a car. Best wishes John.


    My editorial commitment to this site starts early each day and in so doing this morning (OZ time +10 on GMT) I’ve spent a very pleasant hour wandering through the many pages of comments logged since Nov 2006. Nostalgia indeed to read the enthusiastic repartee, each building on t’other. The massive collection of photographs shown, all contributed from past memories show how infectious is the enthusiasm generated by simply taking a little time to share the moment. Many of old Google sites are now out of sync and I can do nothing about that, but the photos are there and with some effort the captioning can be connected. Just a browse of the Empire Clyde Association 1954 shows the spirit of the Mug development.

    I recommend an hour spent by every blogger this weekend to drill down through all pages, links and threads to evoke thoughts of those occasions in our early carefree times, when we had no idea that a lifetime later we would be able to flick a finger and bring it all back to life. For those malingerers who can’t be bothered to continue blogging I say – GOYA – and show some LI spirit and re-live those wonderful times.

    I’m no medical advisor, but I can assure any reader that exercising the brain is an offset to dementia and no finer way to mental health could be browsing – and contributing – to this site. Personally I can recall the precise moment that a photo was taken, I can recall the scent of the balmy sea breezes that swept across the parade square and the rough pebbly surface underfoot as we drilled endlessly. I can recall the fresh sharp tang of the Tom Collins going down at the Elbow Beach Hotel and the grit of the fine sand in my crutch as we frolicked in the waves at Horseshoe Beach. I remember too the smell of the oil in the breech of the .303 rifle as I pulled the pullthrough down the barrel and the distinct aroma of the hot spoon on the boot leather when we bulled our boots.

    Come on Cheps, make a fist of effort this February 19th on the 60th Clyde sailing Anniversary, even if only to recall the stink of the vomit on “E” deck!!

    “The years pass ever faster. There should be a pill for it” (Phillip Adams, The Australian 25/01/2014)

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Ed. A good reflection of the good old times, I wish my memory was as good, as I read I remember, but these days I forget, I have to jot everything down, thanks old mate for all you do,

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Derek, and all 60th Clyde veterans. Wish I had been with you all at this time, you are a great bunch of guys, but at that time, I was in Germany with the KSLI getting ready to receive our New Colours with Honours gained during the Korean War. The Colours were presented by Field Marshal Sir John Harding and I was a very very PROUD young sergeant at the time, the youngest Sergeant ever promoted in the KSLI at just 23 years of age (and still only five foot two) and a bit! Have a great day on the 19th Feb. I will be with you all in spirit and will drink a toast to you all. Best wishes to all of you. Bill

      ED: Thanks Bill, we reciprocate the good wishes to you and KSLI everywhere. That KSLI Colours ceremony you refer to is displayed on your website somewhere. I’ll check it out again and post the link.


  12. Geoff Cherry says:

    HELLO! HELLO! where has everyone gone, the numbers have dwindled and really I have no right to complain I went AWOL for a spell, but as the saying goes USE IT OR LOSE IT and I think that would be very sad, best wishes to all Geoff.

    • Geoff’s appeal

      Good on yer Geoff for stating what is obvious ‘Ole Mate. Sadly the cyber idiots outnumber legitimate comments by almost 100:1 and much of my time is spent on deleting crap, when I’d far sooner be reading and responding to Mates’ memories, such as we’ve just done for you. I don’t have the answer and others before you have attempted to urge and encourage Old LI mates to keep going. There is unfortunately a division in the ranks that started about 3 years ago over a misquoted mention by Swanny during an Open Day, long after this site was started with (then) about 30 contributors. Since then, many have taken their bat and ball and probably play elsewhere on a privatised site, where all comments are shielded from public view. I shall keep this site going as long as I can, but inevitably it will lose impact as Old Soldiers fade away.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Geoff, you’re quite right of course, use it or lose it, how many times have we heard that only to find out “Too late it’s gone”, this is one time I would like to turn the clock back to bring the blog to as it was but alas, for different reasons it cannot be, wishful thinking on my part, keep well old friend.

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        Hi John. Nice to hear from you again, I thought that the falling down water over the festive season was still rampart and causing problems. Turning the clock back is one of the things, it is impossible for us humans to do if we could would we change anything? I now often think of my old mates who have moved on to the next level preparing the way for us laggers to make it easy to catch up, all the best for now mate.

        • John Billett says:

          Hi Geoff, I don’t succumb to the falling down water these days, I’ve either got sensible or bloody miserable, but which ever I can handle it. For sure that is one thing we will never be able to do, turn back time that is, tho’ there would be a few things and times I would like to see and do again. I don’t mind lagging as long as it’s in comfort. You take care old friend.

          • Geoff Cherry says:

            Hi John, I would say more sensible, as the old saying is (drown your sorrows). I had a drink free Xmas, due to medication had to refrain for fourteen days, still enjoyed the festive season though. I agree there are things and times I would like to be able to do again, I think mainly to go back to places as they were, it is possible in the mind, but that is a bit foggy these days not really clear, take care John mate

      • Bill Griffiths says:

        Hello John, Geoff and of course Derek. Great to hear that you are still plodding along and you know of course I agree with you both on the subject of ‘use it or lose it’ and we owe all the support we can to Derek who has so valiantly stuck with the few of us who appreciate all the sterling hard work he has put in to keep us all together, where are all the others, what do they do these days? Probably sitting around saying ” there’s nothing to do” or sitting there glued to the Telly. What a waste of time especially as the years are rolling by and we all have so many tales to tell. I could write all night and day telling stories of what I did and went through during my Army days and what fantastic days they were and what fantastic mates I made over the years. Lets support Derek, AND each other for hopefully years to come yet, fingers crossed. Bye for now. Keep blogging. Bill.


          I dunno if this post helps or hinders, but an analysis of the last 1,000 comments indicates the ranking contributors thus:

          Bill Griffiths 230. 1KSLI
          John Billett 212. 1DCLI
          Editor 120. 1DCLI
          Swanny RIP 84. 1DCLI
          Geoff Cherry 46, 1DCLI
          Sylvia 45. Daughter of the Regt.
          Anne 45. Daughter of the Regt.

          Other subscribers don’t appear ‘cos the sampling is quantified to the most recent posts. Bear in mind also that Editor rankings are not true ‘cos I regularly add a postscript to another’s post rather than ‘Reply”. Make of this what you will, but with the ‘silent’ recognition of Barry Cornish, Terry Simons and (maybe) a few others, we are a dying breed in more ways than one. It would have been a tremendous show of support if (say) following Nov 5th (16th Intake Anniversary), 2013 Christmas & NYE, the approaching 60th Anniversary of the HMT Clyde Anniversary, we could see evidence of support? What more can be done?

          The site attracts more random subscribers, mainly on HMT Troopships than ever before, which isolates the point that maybe 1DCLI has long passed it’s zenith, with many original subscribers deserting for other media or sites. From the original group, we have lost Swanny, Joe, Jack across the River Styx. Have I left anyone out?

          We approach 240,000 ‘hits’ on the site since Nov 2006, but the reality hits home from an editorial aspect when (now) cybercrap volume is 100:1 and despite attempts to shield the site from idiocy (Akismet filters out 99%) we are exposed to cyber vandals. The relatively small effort required to post occasionally seems lost to Old Mates, whom as Bill remarks, probably sit and complain of boredom in front of the Idiot Box far too often.

          • Bill Griffiths says:

            Hello Derek, you hit the nail on the head every time and yes I can just see these absentees, sitting in front of the Telly watching such crap as – what do they call them? Soaps? – crap programmes, crap actors and the actresses? Well leaves me speechless. BUT the few of us who stick together are worth their weight in gold and sharing stories with you and them is a real tonic, better than any medicine. So keep it up chaps GREAT to be with you all. Bill

        • Geoff Cherry says:

          HI Bill. Nice to see you blogging again mate, get a bit worried these days when there is a flat spell. My old computer gave up, so I am in the middle of setting the new tower up, at present I can send no emails or receive them. I am no wizard with all this so for the next few days, I will be pressing buttons and hoping it’s the right one. All the best old mate

          • Bill Griffiths says:

            Hello Geoff and thanks, yes that’s right just keep tapping away at the keyboard. I do every day, the only trouble is I only use two fingers and they are getting shorter each day Ha! Ha! AND I have two computers on my desk, which really keeps me on my toes. Best wishes.

            • Geoff Cherry says:

              Hi Bill, I have been tapping away at the keyboard, one finger, still hits the wrong keys at times, made mistakes down loaded things, restored not stopped problems, as they say all sent to try us! and it does, lost the button to go on the net, but have short cut for this site, well mate back to the tapping, take care.

            • Bill Griffiths says:

              Hello Geoff. That’s right, just keep tapping away, bound to hit the right key sometime and what the Hell it’s better than sitting watching the telly. Here we are nearly 10 o clock and my Telly is still cold AND a nice bottle of Australian Merlot opened, very tasty.
              Weather still pretty rough here so have been confined to camp again today and tomorrow probably BUT never mind can’t keep an old soldier down. Keep taking the medicine that’s my answer. Best wishes. Bill

            • Geoff Cherry says:

              Hi Bill, you have the right approach mate for the cold weather nice bottle opened, and in the warm, doing the things you love. I had the day out today visited the hotel on my scooter a bit cold travelling, had to hold a clove filled with hot water on my arm, to warm it up to be able to take blood, and be given injection, bit of a laugh really, sounds like it will be rather nasty tomorrow, so key tapping is the order of the day, all the best for now. Geoff


    Geoff has kindly offered up his Military Memoirs, to which I have taken the liberty of including 3 photos that are in my files (2 courtesy of Fraser Pakes). Hopefully Geoff will turn out his old kitbag and forward more 1954-1957 photos to show how we Old Mates can heed the call. Hotlink sub page above in the header section.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Ed, Very sorry mate, all photos were destroyed be my ex, she loved to share, but not with me, a memory of the good old days.

  14. John J Goddard

    Seems a likely spot to start a fresh thread from previous. JJ rang me 2 days ago after some time since we spoke. He’s been busy cruising around the Pacific. JJ now lives at Labrador on Queensland’s Gold Coast, about an hour from me in Brisbane and we catch up occasionally. JJ’s Memoirs are hotlinked above and while he was KSLI originally, he was drafted to 1DCLI as a bugler in training on the Clyde. I hope that he’ll add some comments here, as he remembered the prisoners unloading gear in the Hamilton roads onto the lighter Chauncey M Depew, and rifling some of the kitbags. He didn’t march in the welcome parade, but might have some additional comments for the section of the trip down to Jamaica.

    PS: As a point of interest I recommend a browse of all the listings on the HMT site, there is now quite an accumulation of comments from passengers who were children in the ’50s on board with military fathers. The HMT comments don’t show up in the widget column – so be prepared for a lengthy read.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello John, I’m glad you’re well and back on the Blog. It’s funny you brought up about the prisoners rifling the baggage, I in fact mentioned this incident to Derek a short while ago, and asked him if his kitbag was one of the bags that was rifled, he assured me that his was not one of them, they had to stop the unloading until they some honest people to finish the job.

  15. 1DCLI 1954-1957 CARIBBEAN APPEAL

    A message to all 1DCLI Mates who served – GOYAs!!! – and circulate the fact of the approaching 60th Anniversary of the Clyde sailing from Liverpool to all redundant and non participating Mates. There must be literally 100s of Old Mates in Cornwall who attend occasional functions, swill a few grogs and spend precious moments in repartee about The Good Old Days. What about registering your Clyde Memoirs on the HMT page provided? We have available an important historical record of past Regimental history available to all on this blog site and it is now so little used by we few regulars that in all probability it will be archived in 2014. We loyal few (now about 6 only of us) regularly keep in touch, when hordes of others bypass the grand opportunity to record a memoir in perpetuity. Let’s see some action in 2014.

    • John Billett says:

      G’day Derek I love the Ship affect.

      ED: Thanks JB, I’m making the effort as early as reasonable to publicise the Clyde Sailing 60th Anniversary, to attract some additional comment. Not very many full views of Ye Olde Tubbe are available, in the black livery of the day.

      PS: The black livery shown on the Clyde images is in question. (Since scribing this I’ve researched the Pathe News clip which definitely shows the Clyde in white livery). Personally I remember a black painted vessel but elsewhere there are references to her being painted white when converted to an HMT. I’ll do more research but available records favour the white paint version. The starboard view postcard that I have is the black version (acquired on board in Feb 1954) which I used to scan the blog site imagery. Other images are lifted from the I’Net. The RAF travelled extensively on the Clyde to Cyprus in following years prior to scrapping in 1957 and are recorded quite extensively on private web sites, but those images are copyrighted.

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        Hi Derek, I am very sorry mate but I will not be able to participate as I cannot remember. The only recollections, I have try as hard as I might, is sharing a cabin with three others, standing on deck and seeing the bows dipping into the sea. I cannot remember embarking or disembarking, the next memory is being in the M>T Lines at Prospect.

        ED: No problems Geoff. The very fact that you knew you were on a boat is important. If we can muster a load of memoirs, there might be a comment that triggers your thoughts.

        • John Billett says:

          I can remember very well the bow rising and falling Geoff, frightened me to death, no wonder I was sea-sick for four days. I remember watching the Boxing Team performing, listening to the Band and Bugles marching in Bermuda, but like you Geoff I cannot for the life of me remember disembarking, I can remember the ride in the back of a lorry to the camp.

          Derek if you wish to go to my photos and use the few on the ship you’re welcome, just a thought.

          ED: Thanks JB. I’ll check again for views of the Clyde that can be used (as background images). I’m hoping that as time unravels we can direct fresh readers to the Picasa Albums, which of course show all our past photographic collections, but there must be 1000s more in attics and private albums, around the country. This Clyde Anniversary is just about the most notable event on our calendar this upcoming year for 1DCLI to GOYAs!!

          • Geoff Cherry says:

            Hi Derek, I remember my mother saying that she watched a piece on the BBC of the ship loading, and the battalion embarking. I would imagine it was the news; a point of interest? John, I was one of the lucky ones, I don’t think I was sea-sick, but then I cannot remember eating, there again I must have, funny old world.

            ED: G’Day Geoff. Pathe News produced a news-clip that showed exactly what your Mum referred to (as did mine), which I will try to access again – having once viewed it some years ago. Swanny and I opened up some discussion over this – including the disembarkation, the 140 ppm swanky march by “A” Coy through Hamilton led by the Band & Bugles and the ceremony at Prospect on arrival. The distance from the Hamilton Docks – from memory was about 4kms – and we bashed the entire route at LI pace. The clip can be viewed single shot to identify Mates, some of whom I recognise.


            • Geoff Cherry says:

              Hi Derek, very interesting, watching the video clip makes you feel very proud, to have been part of all that, brought back memories of when I was a bugler. I have two bugles here but cannot play them now, having false teeth! Thanks for digging out the clip.

            • John Billett says:

              G’Day Derek, after a long look at the clip I think the Sgt who hoisted the DCLI Standard was Johnny Alsop. Looking at the way and shape of his hat I would put my life on it. Can you remember if Johnny was in Bermuda at that time.

              ED: You are absolutely correct JB. Johnny was a significant character at Prospect and had his pals among the other Sjnts. He had a problem when under the influence, but was a very smart soldier. During late 1954 (I believe) he was posted to Jamaica.

            • John Billett says:

              Yes Derek he did come to Jamaica, for some unknown reason he and I stayed close friends. I remember I bought myself a light wind cheater and as soon as he saw it he wanted to buy it off me but I wouldn’t sell it to him, I’ll never forget him. I haven’t seen his wife and daughter for some while now.

              ED: I would assume that he wasn’t married in those days in the Caribbean, and kinda remember bumping into him and his serjeant mates in Hamilton doing the rounds of the bars. My outstanding memory of him was his bullshitting of his gunmetal fittings on his gear, which I think he got a bollocking for from the RSM. As said a very smart soldier.

            • John Billett says:

              Hi Derek, if he wasn’t married he was definitely engaged, something in the back of my mind says he was married, I think he got married just after we passed out, I know Peggy and I sent them a 50th anniversary card after meeting up with them down Bodmin, I had to get their address from someone in the office down there, Lauraine, it was awkward as they’d had a falling out over something quite silly

              I have contacted Pathe and explained they had the wrong LI, I’ve just received a reply thanking me for letting them know.

              ED: So we can now expect DCLI and not DLI after all these years! – Well done JB.

            • John Billett says:

              G’Day Derek job done, write up now about the DCLI, do I get the order of The Stick?

              ED: Mmmm JB, be careful what you pray for!!

    • Editor for Terry Simons. says:

      I remember the 19th February 1954 the Empire Clyde sailing out of Liverpool while on the quay the band played Now is the Hour and Auld Lang Syne.


    About 7 hours ago Brisbane celebrated New Year 2014 with a few $M sent up in smoke over this River City’s Fireworks display, outdone of course elsewhere by Middle East petrodollars. While I’m all for happy events, I would for a change prefer to see some moderation of wasteful spending and see these funds directed to solving critical financial woes that beset most Western economies. I guess that I’m showing my age and – some might say – a Scrooge like attitude, but can someone prove to me where the benefits lie in squandering countless billions of dollars in dangerous fireworks displays that give a viewer a few moments of orgasmic gratification? If it’s done for the younger generations – which I doubt is the only reason – then why the hell do we have abject poverty, increasing medical queues, rising fuel bills and budget spending yo-yoing out of control, being generated as a legacy of debt for those future generations?

    I predict an economic cyclic downturn globally in 2014, certainly in OZ (the Lucky Country), yet we f**k around with triviality and reckless spending, predicted Budget Deficits for years to come, unwarranted (former Labour) incompetent Government commitments to programmes that we seemed to be able to manage without back in the “Good Old Days”.

    Enoch Powell – “Rivers of Blood”, certainly had some bloody good incisive views on the future back in the ’60s – as did Harold MacMillan – “You’ve never had it so good!”

    Despite my grumpiness this morning, I wish you all a “Very Happy & Healthy New Year”. I hope that 2014 is a year of substance and definite improvement on (for me) a lousy 2013. Good Luck & Best Wishes.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Ed, you have expressed the views of many of us, we have lost the soup kitchens, but acquired the food parcels, I was thinking the same as you as I watched the display in London last night, done mainly to impress the world, while a lot of people in this country are afraid to turn on the heaters, and have to rely on the food parcels. Still, stiff upper lip, and to a very happy and rewarding NEW YEAR.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Derek. Well you’ve said it all, you know there are hundreds of thousands who agree with you and before the fireworks even died down there were countless chief executives of hundreds of Charities begging us to part with £2 here £3 there and I have even had letters asking straight out for ten or twenty pounds. Have you seen how much some of these people get? Some woman who runs a donkey sanctuary gets over 90 thousand, why don’t they send the donkeys over to the countries who are short of meat. We kill thousands of pigs, sheep, cows and nobody ever complains about this.

      It is all beyond me and some of the richest people in the World are Arabs in the countries we are being asked to support, do they ever put their hands in their pockets?

      But, Happy New Year everyone. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Derek, Geoff and Bill, we could go on for days or ever about the silly things that go on around us, is it only us that see all these misappropriations, I will quote an old saying, “There’s none so blind as those who don’t wish to see”. I don’t think a truer word has ever been spoken.

      I hope you all had a good Christmas, now we are looking forward intrepidly, to what 2014 throws at us, some good some bad but we will face it head on, like true Infantry Men, Heads up Shoulders back and By the Left Quick March, well not too quick eh. Take care Cheps.

      • Bill Griffiths says:

        Hello John. Well said and oh so true, but why is it WE can see what’s going on and those who are supposed to be running the country just walk around with Blinkers on? I’ve said this before, none of these blighters have any Military experience and all seem to live in a World of Fantasy and as long as their bank balance keeps growing, they will never care about anybody but themselves.

        Yes 2014 is here, bet my pension doesn’t rise more than a couple of bob. I think last year, it went up by a penny a day. Good job I don’t live on a credit card like the youngsters of today. Best wishes, and keep on blogging, Bill

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        Hi John. Nice to know you have beaten the fumes of the Christmas falling down stuff, I don’t think I can do much of the (Quick March) but would a shuffle do. HA! HA! ex (M.T) Best wishes

  17. John Billett says:

    Good Morning everyone, it is with great sadness that I am reporting that one of our great friends passed away Thursday the 19th. John (Jack) Madron, after a short illness lost his battle, a truly lovely man, condolences to his wife and family, John Madron RIP.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi John, I am very sad to hear this news, my condolences to his wife and family. John Madron RIP my friend.

      • John Billett says:

        Hello Geoff, nice to hear from you, hope you’re keeping well. I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

        Yes very sad that another of our comrades has passed away, our numbers are dwindling, only to be expected baring in mind ages. Take care of yourself.

        • Geoff Cherry says:

          HI John. As you say with our ages and it is a natural process, I had my last trip to hospital last week, though OK now for XMAS, tried to get out of bed this morning (giddy), could not stand, had the duty doctor out, she gave me medication, made it a bit better as long as I move steady. The worst part soft DRINKS only fourteen days, so all the raised glasses will be Ginger Beer HA! HA! Thanks for the good wishes, and you all at your end have a very happy and rewarding time, I will be thinking of you all, as you say take care,

  18. Editor, Brisbane. says:


    Four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure. Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

    When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

    Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

    Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, ‘Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?’

    And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi ED, that has truly brought a tear to the eye, brightened up the day, I must feel sorry for him then, as I always put a star on top, and may I say a very Happy Christmas and New Year. To all who read this, sorry I have been absent; does it call for a 252 Bill? Hat off, left,right, left, right! The glass is raised. Geoff

      • Well Done Geoff, good response, should give us all a larf in the midst of the mayhem and madness. Poor Ole Santa, can just imagine. Hope your family is well and little Tom growing up well. We’re in for a major family re-union this year with the Melbourne bunch flying in and big plans for fishing trips and adventures. OZ celebrates by virtually shutting down in January and flocking to the beaches having barbecues wherever you can find a bit of shade. Our weather in Queensland is usually a fine 27c, but maybe some showers during our ‘Wet’ season.

        Take Care Ole Mate and thanks for making comment. Keep in touch whenever you can. Regards to all. Derek

        • Geoff Cherry says:

          Hi Derek, Glad to hear all is shaping up well for you in OZ, this old boy is now green with envy, wish I could join you, weather here is forecast as wet and windy, no weather for the Scooter, all my best wishes to you and the family for now, Geoff

      • Bill Griffiths says:

        Hello Geoff. No need for a 252, we are all old enough and experienced enough now to get away with it, we can always come up with a decent excuse and with regard to the poor old Fairy and the Christmas tree. Hell, there are a few ‘Fairies’ around that I would love to present a Xmas tree to or preferably a great big bunch of Holly. The fairies I am referring to are mostly male and the most of them are posing as Politicians with no military background yet dictate what our Military are subjected to. Anyway again all best wishes to everyone and hope you all have a wonderful time over the Christmas, New Year AND for many more years to come. Bill

        • Geoff Cherry says:

          Hi Bill. You have my backing Mate, makes the blood boil sometimes, our brave young lads are giving their lives for this country and the badly wounded come back and mainly have to rely on charity. All politicians should be made to serve six months on the front line to get a taste of action, they might then treat our soldiers and their families better. Have a Happy Christmas Bill, I will try not to be AWOL again. Geoff

          • Bill Griffiths says:

            Hello again Geoff, keep at it old soldier, the only way old un’s can keep going is to try to keep in touch, swing the lamp a bit and by golly we have all earned right to swing the lamp with true stories of what we went through. The young ones wouldn’t like it if they had to blanco their webbing, wear their berets correctly with the badge over the left eye, bull their boots and so on and so on. Hell it was a good life and if I had my time over again I would do just the same. I bet you would as well. Every time I open this page, I am so proud to look at the pictures of all you guys SMART and PROUD and all correctly dressed in the uniforms we were all PROUD to wear. Ah Well? Time marches on!! Best Wishes. Bill

  19. John Billett says:

    Hello Terry, where have you been hiding? Glad too know that you and June are keeping well. Our cake and pudding have also turned out OK, soon be time to marzipan and ice the cake, if it tastes as good as last years I’ll make another next year, take care. Take care everyone.

  20. Terry Simons says:

    2nd go on the blog June and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy and prosperous new year. John and Peg the cakes and puds turned out great. All the best to everyone and god bless. Terry and June.

  21. Anne Knight says:

    Hello to you all, sorry I haven’t been in touch but my computer has been playing up. Hope you are all fit and well sorry about your birthdays being missed. Keep in touch. Best wishes from Anne.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      WOW! Hello Anne. GREAT to hear from you. Yes we all know how these pesky computers have little fits and starts to test our ability, but keep at it. I have two on my desk and one in my bedroom, so if one plays up I just shut it down and give it a rest, seems to work for me.
      Never mind about the birthdays, we have all had far too many anyway, we ought to start going backwards these days. As I have already said. great to hear from you. Keep it up. Best wishes. Bill

  22. John Billett says:

    Good morning all, I can only hope everyone are keeping well, Peggy & I are as well as can be expected considering we are in the Autumn of our lives. So far we have had a good year, two holidays in Cornwall and a long weekend in Scotland, we feel we are truly blessed to think we can still get around and enjoy what we see and do. With 2013 quickly drawing to a close we can only wonder what 2014 will bring. We have heard that some people will be glad to see the back of 2013 because of the wretched year they’ve had, we hope with all our heart 2014 will be a much happier year for them, which of course we extend to you all. Take care everyone and keep warm, in Derek’s case Keep cool.

    ED: Too bloody right JB, 28c here today, plus 2 hailstorms, 120kms per hour winds and the Pommmies lost the Test Match, Howzat?

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Derek, welcome to a touch of English Weather, 4 Seasons within a short space of time. As Regards the cricket the Aussies got lucky, lol, it can only get better. We are having frosts over night and cold sunny days, very seasonal.

      ED: Thanks JB. Some controversy over the sledging by Clarke yesterday, kinda takes away from the classy performance of several players, but as we all know the ‘gentleman’s game’ is full of surprises. Time will tell, but I’m pleased to see some resurgence of focus in the Aussie Team.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello John and Peggy, great to hear from you and that you are both well and still getting around enjoying yourselves. I am still plodding on, don’t like the cold weather, especially after my warm spell in Hong Kong. Have the car locked up in the garage and staying indoors as much as I can, cooking, washing, ironing etc and still getting about when I can get a lift to Masonic meetings and of course still singing with the choir. In fact we are singing a concert tomorrow lunchtime at a ladies lunch party in Hereford and will end up with our first set of Christmas Carols, when it will be great to ask the ladies to join in.

      I haven’t any plans for Christmas, but will no doubt stuff myself with plenty to eat and a couple of Christmas puddings soaked in brandy of course, or should I just eat the pudding and wash it down with the brandy? Sounds like a good idea. Anyway once again, great to hear from you, all best wishes to you both and hope you all have a great time over the Xmas period. Bill

      • John Billett says:

        Hello Bill, we get about as much as we can, but this time of year holds you back a bit. You’re right the cold and damp air isn’t very kind to us is it, trouble is the more clothes you put on it restricts your mobility. Driving around isn’t very good these days, a lot of the problem is that the younger drivers got to be there yesterday so they drive too fast for us guys, hence many accidents happen because of this.

        You’re quite the little domestic aren’t you, I suppose our army life made us a little independent which was a good thing in some respects. Good to hear you are still getting on with your social life, don’t bear thinking what it would be like for you without it.

        We don’t make hard and fast plans for Christmas, as we all know, they could change at a drop of a hat, we take it as it comes then no one gets upset. We’ll do our utmost to enjoy the Festive Season, and we hope you and the rest of our Bloggers also enjoy it. until next time Bill take care.

  23. Terry Simons says:

    i haven’t been on the computer for ages but i hope everyone is OK. My best to everyone Terry Simons

    • John Billett says:

      Lovely to see you back on the blog Terry, hope you and June are well.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Terry. Welcome back and keep writing, it only takes a few minutes to keep in touch and just by switching on your computer, it keeps your mind active. I always switch mine on every morning even before I switch the kettle on. All best wishes. Bill

  24. Derek Lovemore says:


    I seem to recall that over 80 young rookies arrived in Bodmin on 5th November 1953 to undergo 10 weeks of LI training. The Regiment then was in Germany but rumours of an exotic foreign posting soon spread through the chilly November mornings. 60 years ago and not a single mention from anyone in the 16th – bloody shame on you lot. Terry Simons made contact by email, but other than that nary a whisper. We approach the 60th Anniversary of the Clyde sailing next year (February 19th) – remarkable history when you cast back all those years ago. GOYAs Cheps, you can’t all be 6′ under.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Derek. It is a sad state when old buddies stop taking an interest in what happened years ago and forget the comradeship that we as young soldiers loved and respected. What has happened to them? Beats me. As you say, they can’t all be 6′ under but from what appears to be their way of life THESE days, they might just as well be. I am with you, even though I was in a different Regiment BUT still a Light Infantry man and PROUD to be a friend of yours and hope to remain so for a few more years yet. Bill

      • Hear! Hear! Bill and many thanks too for your comradeship over the years. You joined me on these blogs very soon after the Nov 2006 inception and look at the lengthy print since, miles and miles of ’em. You are a valued friend indeed and the former member of an historic Regiment. I trust that we can long continue this LI blogsite tradition despite many dragging their heels.

        As you know I’m deeply involved in the Men’s Shed movement in Brisbane (see hotlink to my name in bold blue), that echoes the spirit of camaraderie and mateship of the Military. I get comments unsurprisingly from many different blokes who proclaim salvation of spirit, mentally and physically from joining our little group. We still like a beer and wine at weekly barbecues, and get involved with projects and book/film discussion, reminiscing old times, banter and bull. Many of us, myself included have minor and major health issues, but we regularly support each other with mirth and chatter at our local Rugby Leagues club. We hold Shed Dinners and take fishing trips and photography outings to commercial venues. All this in parallel to wood and metal working, arts and crafts, gardening and loads of general handyman stuff in the community.

        I’m disappointed – to not put too harsh a word on the matter – that the sheer opportunity to remember the 1DCLI historic past is ignored, particularly as INet connectivity is far wider than ever before and some Regimental Branch activity must still continue, at least in our home county of Cornwall. In June 2009, we managed nearly 100 for our Re-Union lunch in Bodmin, including wives and partners of course, but where’s the pride and the passion these days? Have they all succumbed to apathy and indifference? I’ll bet that they’ve all got IPods, mobiles phones and the like – maybe even Twitter accounts.

        I’m about to fly to Norfolk Island – 2+ hours out into the Pacific where now the Fletcher Christian of the Bounty families survive, paying great homage to their mark in history. The Colonial Cemetery is pristine and proud and marks the Regimental history of the First Fleet and the 13 or 14 or so British Regiments of Foot that accompanied the ships in those times and later manned the Penal Colonies. The place bubbles with visitors and local historians, the churches are filled with glorious hymns rising to the rafters and echoing down the valleys. Norfolk is an Australian Protectorate and the twice weekly planes from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are usually filled with passengers.

        Its about bloody time that the 100s of 1DCLI squaddies in Cornwall GOTAs and expressed some interest – even a little memoir now and then. Thankfully JB, Barry and a few others keep the spirit alive. God Bless Bill, Yum Seng!!

        • Bill Griffiths says:

          Hello Derek. YES. WE will keep in touch and feel proud of the way we were taught as young soldiers, the camaraderie we – well you and I enjoy is something never to be forgotten. Have a great time on your current little trip, I will be thinking of you and will drink a toast to your health, and the success of your current Shed programme. Best wishes to all. Bill

        • Bill Griffiths says:

          Hello Derek, hope you have had a good break..on Norfolk Island. I have been a bit quiet myself.just for a few days, not feeling on top form coming back to cold Old Blighty after the hot sunshine in Hong Kong BUT have to get used to it. Cos’ it ain’t going to get any better. I suppose SNOW will be next. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, don’t like the thought of that.

          Anyway, as I say, hope you had a great time. I expect you were fishing, dancing, having a slurp or two and generally resting until you get back to your shed. Take it easy Derek, look forward to hearing from you, everyone else seems to have gone AWOL?

          I have been busy with a few Masons meetings and singing with the choir, we sang for a Breast Cancer Charity concert last week and they raised a fantastic £1,600 and that was after expenses. We are singing again next week for a ladies luncheon party in Hereford and this time it will be a bit Christmassy’.Noel’. We three kings, Wish you a Merry Christmas etc. etc.

          So, not going out to the Pub, staying in with a bottle of nice red wine. Cheers and all best wishes. Bill

          • Hello Bill. Off to Norfolk on Sat 30th for 7 days, but thanks for your suggestions too, we shall make the most of all that the locals have to offer including we hope a “Progressive Dinner” to meet up with many of the residents, some of whom hail from Fletcher Christian times. I’ll put up a Picasa Album of our visit in due course.

            Talking of weather we’ve just had horrendous storms sweeping through the SE of the State – the onset of our “Wet”, but in between the most beautiful sunsets imaginable and brilliant blue skies. Today is a big event for us, we have a team of arborists in the backyard removing 2 huge ancient jacaranda trees that are threatening the property with extending branches and have destroyed the lawn with acidic debris. A 3 day event to climb, cut and munch the timber and then chunder out the boles and roots. I had it done with 8 pine trees on another property some years ago, so we know what to expect.

            Am under the magnifying glass at the moment healthwise, with some marginal issues under review, so have a busy schedule over December/January with bits being extracted and tucked away!! Will let you know more in due course. Nothing out of the ordinary thank Heaven, but just a tad invasive. 2013 has been quite eventful and I shall be glad to see 2014 (I hope).

            Hope you are managing your inclement weather and your red remedies – what about Mole, has he hibernated? Regards from Brisbane

            • Bill Griffiths says:

              Hello again Derek, great to hear from you, but sorry to hear you have niggling health problems BUT. I know the feeling, these little things get to you as you get older. When we were young lads we moved around so fast these things didn’t have time to catch us up. Ha! Ha!.

              I can’t see signs of the mole as the grass is far too long and I am frightened to go out there in case I get lost! I am still shut up in the house because of the weather, car locked in the garage, but I will have to get out soon, rations are running a bit low and I can’t survive on Red Wine alone. Have a great time in Norfolk and hope the tree felling operation goes well. Love to Audrey and the family and you of course. Bill

              PS just checked the wine rack, only 34 bottles left, better get the car out quickly?

            • ARBOR OPERATIONS

              G’Day Bill

              All yesterday the Arbor boys downed a 60m jacaranda and are to return to clean up.

    • Barry Cornish says:


      The West Cornwall Light Infantry Association held a very successful dinner at the Lugger Hotel, Penzance to commemorate Lucknow Day, which thirty-nine of us attended, last evening. The Lucknow call was competently blown by our bugler Graham Martin and we were also entertained by a selection of bugle calls by the Rifles’ Cadets. Our guests included Major Hugo White, from The Keep Bodmin and Sir John Nott, who was the Secretary of Defence throughout the Falklands War. Sir John entertained us with a very interesting and witty speech.

      Those of us who served with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in Bermuda in the 1950’s were well represented by Nobby Clark, Major Peter Michell, Freddie Phillips, Peter Rule, Terry Simons, Trevor Webb and myself, as well as Swanny’s widow Doris and their elder daughter Moira. It was lovely to have the company of Sylvia, Harold Royffe’s daughter, who travelled down from London for the occasion and I was delighted to have my elder daughter Michele with me. Everyone enjoyed the excellent meal, and the lively and convivial atmosphere.

      • G’Day Barry. Thank you for the Association update. Good to hear that activity continues among the Old Mates. The Bermuda contingent appears well represented and long may that prevail. Regards to all when you next meet.

        I’m in contact with a lady who lives on our Gold Coast, who has Bermuda connection as a youngster at Prospect Garrison through an RSC Sergeant Nicholls, who was Clerk to the Brigadier. Sgt Nicholls no doubt known to most of us. Helga will provide more photo memorabilia in due course in early 2014, when we can scan the old 35mm slides.

      • John Billett says:

        Hello Barry, I’m pleased to hear Lucknow Dinner & Evening went off OK. Seems you had a good attendance, which is good considering the time that’s passed and numbers dwindling. I’m glad to hear that Sylvia made it. That was nice Doris attended as well, and your daughter Michele keeping you company made for a brilliant evening all round. Take care of yourself.

    • Dick Burwood says:

      I remember well leaving Liverpool West Indies bound on Empire Clyde. Maj. Salsbury Trelawney saluting at the end of pier. Band playing “Now is the Hour” .As a Londoner, I am always proud to say I served with the DCLI. 22246490 D.Burwood

  25. NOVEMBER 5TH 1953

    60 years anniversary of the 16th Intake at Bodmin Barracks coming up Cheps. All those years ago and it really seems like yesterday, when we civilians kissed farewell to our civvy clobber packed off home in brown paper parcels tied with string. The dawn of a new era for all us with Sjnt George Cook and Cpl Budge to change us from callow youths into LI soldiers. Remember the recitations of Eskimo Nell delivered by me after Lights Out? Remember wearing those long johns to keep out the chill on Bodmin Moor? – and those genuine pasties that the Cornish lads brought in? I recall the evening trips to the NAAFI and the JSSL snobs barely giving us the time of day. Old Soldier Swanny helped us along and showed the way to bull, spit and polish. Happy Days so long ago and now only a few to share the memories.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Derek, then you all had to go off to get your knees brown. Happy Distant Days, lot of water gone under the bridge since then, take care.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Derek and all 16th Intake. SO, November the 5th was nothing to do with Guy Fawkes after all? It was you and YOUR Merry men and what a great bunch of Merry men you all turned out to be. As I have often said before it would be great to meet you all, those of you that are left that is. Sixty YEARS WOW! what a wonderful celebration is called for. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then BUT what a great bunch of guys you must have been AND still are, those of you who are left and God Bless those who have already been. Posted up above. God Bless them all. I will make a point of celebrating with you all and drinking to your health and praying that you will be able to celebrate many more anniversaries yet. All best wishes to ALL OF YOU. AND Happy anniversary. Bill.

  26. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek and all. Here I am still in Hong Kong but sadly rapidly coming to time to return to UK. I have told you already that I was having a great time with family and being made a fuss of at quite a few Masonic meetings where I was treated with great respect and a genuine friendship. As a visitor, and because of the rank I have attained I was toasted at dinner and asked to reply as a visitor which I was proud to do. There are about 39 lodges all together out here so it is possible to visit almost any night. I have one more visit to make on Friday night to a Lodge that was originally founded in FOOCHOW up in China way back in the 18 Hundreds and is actually called The Foochow Lodge. Then at midnight on Saturday I fly back to UK. Hope my wings don’t get tired.

    So all best wishes to you Derek and all Bloggers out there wherever you are. Hong Kong Bill

    ED: Hello Bill, still enjoying the hospitality, difficult to keep a good man down and you are a fine example to all the Regiments and indeed as the fine Old Soldier you are. Well Done Sjnt Mjr, return home safely.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, pleased that you’re still enjoying your holiday in Hong Kong, by the sound of things you’ll need a holiday to get over the one you’re on. You’ve certainly packed a lot into this one what with visiting family, lodges, and dining out eating lovely Chinese meals, you’ll miss all that once you get back home, never mind all your church and other friends will be waiting to welcome you back home and listen to all your experiences. Safe journey home, until then keep safe.

      • Bill Griffiths says:

        Hello again John. Yes as you say, packed a lot in to four weeks but enjoyed every minute of it.
        Best wishes. Soon back to UK Bill.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Thanks Derek, you are a STAR all this would not be possible without you.
      Best wishes to you all, will write again when I get home. Bill

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Derek and many thanks for your kind words.

      WELL folks, here I am back home again after a fantastic four weeks in Hong Kong with my family. Had a great time with many parties, three visits back to the Church where Nancy and I were married 61 years ago and was made very welcome by the Vicar and all the congregation. The church was packed each time and on the first visit the Vicar introduced me to everyone who then stood up and clapped. On the last visit he did much the same, this time telling everyone I was leaving and again they all turned round and gave me some lovely smiles.

      Had a tiring journey back, starting out an hour late and a delay right at the last minute when we had to circle round for about an hour before we could land, think it was bad weather and whilst we were doing this there was a loud BANG, the lights went off then came back on again, with the pilot telling us that we had just experienced being hit by lightening. Pretty scary but no damage apparently. Anyway here I am, home and already thinking about planning another trip whilst I am young enough to take the strain of travelling.

      So best wishes to you all. Bill

      • Welcome Home Sjnt Major.

        Lightning never strikes twice, so its said. So full planning for 2014 Bill, you are still ever the adventurer. Well Done. Derek

      • John Billett says:

        Welcome home Bill, glad you made it safely, back to the real world, lots of memories to cherish and dwell on, keep safe and take care.

        • Bill Griffiths says:

          Hell Derek and John, many thanks, yes back to old Blighty. Been raining like mad here in Hereford and have already made Masonic visits, one to Bristol the other to Knighton in Shropshire also been to Choir Practice in Hereford. I have a few concerts coming up so have to get ‘me’ tonsils flushed out with a few beers. Yes, lots of memories of times with my Chinese Family who were wonderful and made such a fuss of me. Can’t wait to visit again, have to start making plans for next year maybe stop for two months next time. All best wishes to you all. Bill

          • John Billett says:

            Hello Bill, good to hear from you. Seems we have to batten down the hatches tonight, the storm they say is on the way sounds pretty bad, I hope they’re wrong but they seem pretty adamant, good job it’s overnight, don’t want to lose to much sleep though.

            You haven’t wasted any time getting back into routine, it’s good you keep yourself busy. I like the idea of flushing your tonsils ready for the singing concerts, beer is just the job for that, or a glass of Ruby Red. Keep safe.

  27. Barry Cornish says:

    Hello All. On Tuesday, we had a very convivial meeting of the West Cornwall Light Infantry Association, which was attended by thirteen of us. We learned about The Lucknow Dinner which is planned for Friday 15 November at The Lugger Hotel Penzance. Our guest speaker will be Sir John Nott, who was Foreign Secretary at the time of the Falklands War, as well as our local MP at the time. Major Hugo White, from The Keep, Bodmin, will also be a guest and we are hoping too that Harold Royffe’s daughter Sylvia will be with us. It promises to be a good occasion.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Barry, hope you’re keeping well. Sorry I missed your Birthday, I can only hope you had a good day. Thank you for the update of your Association evening. The 15th of November will be here before you know it, sounds like it’s going to be a high flying do with all those important people attending. I received an email from Sylvia last week, she is fine by all accounts and is looking forward to joining you all on the evening you’ve mentioned, I will be thinking of you.

  28. John Billett says:

    Hello everyone, firstly I would like to wish you all well. Then I would like to say how good it was to see the Truro contingent that made their way to my home town of Taunton to watch the Rifles Band and Bugles blowing Retreat on Saturday evening. It was good to see Terry Joll being able to put his physical problems to one side and still get out and about, as you all did of course. What I am wondering is what you all found to do from 1-30 until 7-00 before the parade began. Glad you all had a safe trip and that you all got home safely, heaven only knows what time you eventually arrived home. Well done and good luck to you all.

  29. Bill Griffiths says:

    The Reference to blog beast is a new blog page that you have to pay for not to be confused with this BRILLIANT blog set up for us by our own Editor Derek Lovemore and he doesn’t charge us a penny. So stick with us here on LI most wanted. OK? Bill

    ED: Thanks Bill – some cyberkrap that sneaked through – now killed off!!

  30. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. Here I am now counting off the hours till lift off, four days from now I will be at Heathrow just waiting to get on the plane and up up and away. Hong Kong here I come and I hope that my little niece will have a computer to lend me so that I can keep in touch with you and let you all know what I am up to AND I hope hear from YOU and what you are all doing.

    One thing is for certain that is, loads of parties especially on the 5th October my Birthday and I will definitely drink a toast to everyone’s health and hope that you will all keep blogging. Things seem to be very quiet here these days. So I have started packing a few pairs of socks, drawers cellular (remember those?) housewife, (still got the one I was issued with in 1946) WOW! pull through, button Stick.

    I bet today’s Squaddies don’t have a clue what a Button Stick is or what it is used for all their Badges are ‘anodised’ or is it ‘paralysed’?

    Ah well! Bye for now, got try to find my ‘spare pair of boot laces’ and my Blanco brush. Best wishes to all of you. Blogger Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, we wish you well in your packing your kitbag ready for the off, hasn’t it come around quick. Looks like you’ve got your birthday celebrations sorted and it seems the whole of your holiday, lets hope everything goes too plan. I bet that young niece of yours is as excited as you are, waiting for you to arrive. Don’t knock the Drawers Cellular, they covered our embarrassment whilst we were in Germany, in the river swimming whilst the local people were taking their Sunday stroll along the river bank. You have a wonderful holiday, don’t forget your Travel Warrant.

    • Barry Cornish says:

      It is quite a momentous day today! Not only is Bill off on his travels, but it is Derek’s birthday, as it is already the 21st September in Australia. I am sure that all of our bloggers will be wishing you well on your trip, Bill and also wishing you a very Happy Birthday, with Many Happy Returns of the Day, Derek.

      I would like to add my appreciation of all that you do to maintain the website for us and say how much I appreciate your recent innovations on it.

  31. Anne Knight says:

    Hello to you all. Hope you are all well and in good health. John was right about not much happening with the messages we send. Lets keep in touch much more before we lose touch altogether, it would be a shame. Will write to you all soon, keep smiling be happy. Best wishes from Anne.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello Anne, great to hear from you. I wondered where you had got to and a big Hello to all Bloggers. Yes, we must all try hard to keep together, the years are flying by far too quickly I can hardly believe that it is only sixteen days now till I fly off to Hong Kong again to be with my Chinese family for a whole month this time and I will be there for what would have been our 61st Wedding anniversary and I will be visiting the actual Church where we were married on that day.

      Then on the 5th October I will also celebrate my birthday and I know that the Chinese family are laying on several parties for me, it’s a tough life ain’t it? So, all best wishes to you all. Bill

      • Barry Cornish says:

        Dear All. It is good to hear from you Anne and John and to keep up to date with your news Bill – only just over a week until you are off on your travels. I do hope that you have a good trip and a Happy Birthday, whilst you are away.

        I have been away in Sevenoaks with my younger daughter and her family. Whilst I was there we visited The Shard and enjoyed the superb views over London from it, the highest building in Western Europe. We also took a trip across the Thames on the new ‘Emirates’ cable car system, another memorable experience.

        I returned in time to take Trevor Webb to the annual DCLI Re-Union and Memorial Service at Bodmin. Although there were fewer people there this year, it was still a happy occasion. Our speaker was General Sir Jack Deverell, who gave us a very interesting address. It was interesting to hear from him that our front-line services are now comprised of 30% reservists. As he said, it is one thing when an Eddie Stobbart’s driver in civilian life is called upon to drive a vehicle, but quite different when a supermarket worker is called upon to man a modern weapon on the front line!

        I met Gerry Hunkin there, whom I have not seen since we were corporals together in Bermuda. He is looking fine and has fond memories of his time in Bermuda with us, including Geoff Cherry and you, Derek.

        • Bill Griffiths says:

          Hello Barry, great to hear from you, and your update on your gadding around the country. Yes, a week today at this time, I will already be in Hong Kong with my loving family over there and yes, I am bound to have a great time, because I have so many friends to see, and so much to do.

          Your Re-Union sounded great, and as with all our Re-Unions. YES sadly the numbers are dwindling, at my last one in June, I only met up with about four or five from my time, but there were hundreds of young guys from the Rifles, 99 per cent of those ‘well oiled’ in the Beer Tent.

          So, best wishes to you, and all our faithful bloggers

        • John Billett says:

          Hello Barry, sorry I didn’t see you this time around, I was in Cornwall on holiday down in Illugon, we only had the week there so we made the most of it. I’m glad you had a good day and that you enjoyed it. Nice to see you had some quality time with your daughter and her family in Sevenoaks, and still being adventurous at the same time. Isn’t it great when you meet someone you were in the mob with after so long, lots to catch up on. Take care Barry. Best regards.

  32. John Billett says:

    Good morning everyone, I hope you are all OK. Sorry I haven’t been on just lately but I felt I had nothing constructive to add. Thank you Barry for your update on your meeting, sad to hear of another loss from the ranks, I’m afraid that is the sign of the times considering our age group.

    Hello Bill, glad to hear you’re still getting out and about, as regards to your comments about the dress sense at your ceremonial service I don’t know why they have to wear anything but Smart Uniforms, as you rightly said the old RSMs would have a field day. Keep well everyone and take care.

    • Bill Griffiths says:

      Hello John, wonderful to hear from you and glad that you are OK. Yes as you say, regarding departing old soldiers it is a sign of the times and sometimes difficult to understand how time flies by so quickly. I also had news a few days ago, of another of my poor old mates from the KSLI passing away last week. He joined the KSLI about a month before I did, and was a great pal. RIP Ken (Konk) Williams.

      Ah Well, we better keep going as long as we can. Only 33 days now till I pop off to Hong Kong and I will make the most of my holiday this year don’t know if I will be able to make it again next year. So, all best wishes to you and everyone. Bill

  33. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Barry. GREAT to hear from you, and oh boy !..I feel tired just reading about what you have been up to in your garden. I am afraid that I am sadly past gardening now even though I am only little and closer to the ground than most I still find it impossible now even to do the weeding. As a consequence of this, my little garden outside the house on the roadside, where I have installed a bench in Nancy’s memory is a complete mess, there are flowers there but there are more weeds. I wish I could encourage my Mole to come out front and help with the digging there instead of at the back on my nice lawn. Ah Well ! dream on! I have a well in my back garden which is always full and I have an electric pump fitted to it so that I have plenty of water at any given time adly Mr Mole avoids it otherwise the little blighter would drown.

    Once again great to hear from you…all best wishes to you and to everyone of course. Yes holiday time looming 35 days to go. Whoopeeeeeeee! Bill

  34. Editor says:


    Have you worked it all out yet? The “Recent Comments” listing on the right hand side of the Widget panel shows the latest Comment that you can click and immediately respond to. Bill is valiantly encouraging you all to communicate and upholds his end of the site. Give it a go Cheps!

    • Barry Cornish says:

      We had our regular meeting of the West Cornwall Light Infantry Association on Tuesday evening, which 14 of us attended. Sadly our numbers were depleted by the death of Cyril Pryor (whose family had requested that we did not attend his funeral, as they wished it to be a strictly family affair) and the illness of several regular members.

      Our Secretary/Treasurer Frank Baxter attended, even though he now has extreme difficulty in walking, owing to osteoarthritis. This incapacity did not prevent him for carrying out his duties in his usual admirable fashion, though.

      Time marches on, and it was noticeable that we we all experiencing some difficulty in walking, as went up to collect our prizes in the raffle that Mary Clark had organised. Owing to the generosity of the members present in supplying these, we each had a prize!

      As usual, it was a very convivial evening and we are now looking forward to attending the Annual Reunion at The Keep at Bodmin on Sunday 8th September, at which General Jack Deverell will be present.

  35. Bill Griffiths says:

    WELL, I guess from the lack of chat here that everyone must be on holiday? or laying out in the sun getting a tropical tan. Me, I am still here, plodding on washing, cooking, cleaning, singing with my choir, helping our local Landlord to make his fortune, slowly of course. My beer intake is nothing like it used to be when I was a young soldier, mind you I can shift a few glasses of wine these days at home of course can’t afford Pub prices. Derek just about to open a bottle of South Australian vintage Shiraz 14% by volume, hould help me sleep do you think?

    Come on guys and gals let’s hear from you, tell us what has been going on. God Bless you all. Bill

    • Barry Cornish says:

      Dear Bill, It is always good to hear your news. I have been very busy recently in adapting the house and the garden to being more ‘easy-care’ now that I am living on my own. In the garden, I plan to plant colourful, but low maintenance shrubs in place of the four thousand annual bedding plants that were Nora’s pride and joy.

      Because of this, I have been able to install a water meter and bought a water butt to keep the bills down. For the first three and a half weeks after I installed the water butt it remained dry. Then an Easterly gale sprung up overnight and I found the water butt and associated pipework at the bottom of the garden. However, as soon as I re-fitted it a very heavy shower completely filled its fifty gallon capacity!

      I am also looking after my elder daughter’s lively West Highland Terrier whilst she is away on holiday, so I am getting plenty of exercise. I am sure that he would love to come and sniff out your mole, Bill!

      It won’t be long before your eagerly anticipated holiday in Hong Kong, Bill. I do wish you a happy holiday out there.

  36. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again folks, here I am as promised. The Church service went well yesterday, had a pretty good attendance with a few of our poor old guys now in wheelchairs very sad to see. I didn’t count how many there were, but I would say about fifteen and one of the first I spoke to was General Sir Pater De La Billiere who joined the KSLI as a Private soldier in 1952 and went to Korea to join us, but we were already on our way back so not sure who he served in Korea with, but he was later commissioned in the DLI before he started his career with the SAS etc. He is now 79 years old.

    There were lots of civvy top brass there including Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire The countess of Darnley and The Earl of Darnley. The Countess actually spoke to me and was very charming. A local Brewery, don’t laugh ‘The Mulberry Duck Brewing Company’ (honestly not kidding) brewed a special brew of ale for us ‘Hereford Branch 60th anniversary signature Ale’ which we were able to drink there and we also had a bottle to bring home with us. I don’t think I will open mine just keep it as a keepsake. We were also treated to tea and sandwiches etc and it was a good afternoon.

    Today, it has ‘peed’ down with rain ALL DAY so I have stayed in the house, prepared myself some nice Chinese Noodles and generally taken things easy. Hope everyone is well and in good spirits look forward to hearing from you all. Take it easy. Bill

    • KISS

      Remember the old acronym? To reply to a Comment simply click the “Reply” icon at the bottom of each logged comment. This saves having to travel to endpage to log in a fresh Comment. Tempus Fugit Cheps! A simple weekly supportive reply or new tack is always greatly appreciated. Alternatively click on the “Recent Comment” rhs widget. Our numbers are dwindling and Father Time spares no one.

      Thanks Bill for your persistence, you and Blasted Mole both – ever present – popping up here, there, everywhere. Gotta Larf!!

  37. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Folks, me again and thanks Derek for your kind words. Will be off to Hereford shortly for the Korean Veterans service but typical weather blasted raining and has been all day so far better not get too wet, I might shrink a bit more. And the blasted Mole is really enjoying this and turning my lawn into what looks like a battlefield again. But the coward won’t show when I am out there.

    I will write again and let you know how things turn out. I have lots of old buddies to say prayers for and I will include of course all those of you I know and those who I have never met but think of regularly. Best wishes to you all. Bill

  38. Editor says:


    On the right hand side of the page – in what is known as “Widgets” you’ll note “Recent Comments”. This is designed by WordPress to show the latest comment in chronological order. Should you wish to respond to (say) Bill’s Comment, simply click and you will travel to that logged Comment on whichever page it is made. You can then start a thread to the topic.

    Bill Griffiths is trying real hard to keep interest afloat and as you all can read, is very active around the Hereford domain with his Masonic, Choir and Korean Vets interests. Bill is also counting down the days to Hong Kong, where he will attempt to drink the island dry and gourmandise all the Chinese food available. He deserves our support.

  39. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello folks, still having great weather although we had a real tropical Storm last night, thankfully only lasted about ten minutes but by golly it was quite fierce. Still counting down to ‘lift off’ 48 days now not long and guess what it will be lovely and warm out there in HK and the FOOD, well I will really enjoy that as I always do.

    We have a special service at a church in Hereford tomorrow afternoon in memory of the end of the Korean War and the Local Council have invited us Korean Veterans especially, but sadly there are only a few of us left now probably eight or ten, we shall see and afterwards they have invited us to tea (no beer) at their local Hall. It will be interesting to see what sort of reception we get? Hope you are all OK a bit quiet on the blog site? Bye for now, hope to hear from some of you. Bill

  40. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again folks, still nice and warm but had a few little rain storms, nothing to worry about and doubt if it has been enough to do the gardens any good. Just come back home from a ‘Hog Roast’ round in the next village, very tasty had a drop of red wine to wash it down. Not doing anything else for the rest of the day, just lazing about, too early for bed so just feet up. Hope you are all OK Thinking about you all.

    Derek like the little changes at the top of the page including the little picture show, great idea.

    ED: Thanks Bill, just a few new ideas flowing in from WordPress to brighten up our pages.

  41. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Folks, still enjoying the tropical weather and it is helping me to get ready for my holiday where the weather will be just like this 56 days and counting.

    I had quite a thrill last Wednesday, when I was invited to a concert at Kneller Hall (The Royal Military School of Music) where I did a course way back in 1947 Wow? I went as a guest of an ex Director of Music there who was in turn a guest of the Lt Colonel and current senior Director of Music in the British Army, who was absolutely stunned when I was introduced to him and he was told that I was there sixty six years ago and to think, he wasn’t even born then and this applied of course to quite a few other senior officers there. BUT I had a fabulous time and it brought back many memories. The concert was great and we had a cocktail party followed by dinner with loads of wine etc, WONDERFUL. I stayed overnight in Teddington, was driven there by a friend so I relaxed for the whole of the time. Hell I feel tired now, will write again soon. Bill

    PS. One of my Chinese nephews is calling round later (all the way from Manchester) so I will be taking him down to the Pub for dinner and a few ales.

  42. UPDATE

    You’ll notice a few additions to the Widgets (rhs). Let me know what you think

  43. Anne Knight says:

    Hi gang. I hope this finds you all well and enjoying this lovely weather we are having. I wish I was still in Cornwall, that would be the icing on the cake. Every time I go I leave a bit of me there. Will speak with you all soon. Best wishes Anne.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Anne, glad you’re enjoying the lovely hot weather, just like you I would love to be in Cornwall, I know it’s absolutely beautiful down there, is there a likelihood that there is more of you down there than what there is where you are, just a thought, take care,

  44. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello JB. GREAT to hear from you and that you are enjoying the summer at last, but you seem to be busy with the garden and plants etc and of course that red water. I too can take quite a bit of that to quench my thirst. Cheers.

    Hope everyone else is keeping well, things seem to have been a bit quiet on these blog pages. I am really in to ‘count down’ mode for my vacation now 74 days to lift off. whoopeeeeeee! I think the weather must be a bit too hot for my MOLE he hasn’t shown up for a couple of days, I suppose there are no worms in the hot ground? Ah well, bye for now, best wishes to all of you. Bill

  45. John Billett says:

    Good morning all bloggers, I hope you are all keeping well. At last some of that Jamaican sunshine we’ve all been praying for, it will do everyone a power of good. More work in the garden keeping all the flowers and other plants well watered, then dashing in doors to water myself. I keep my water in a wine bottle, it amazes me because it comes out Red. It’s weather like this makes me wish I lived in Cornwall in any one of the seaside resorts, I’ll get my photo albums out and make believe I’m there. I wish you all well, take great care.

  46. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Barry. Thank you for your kind words to me and John & Jenny Griffin. It was great to meet up with you and our other DCLI friends, we really had a lovely evening, but it all ends so quickly. Please thank John Billet for his kind words. We will be back next June the will see you all again. Keep in touch, take care of yourselves God bless. Best wishes from Anne.

  47. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again Derek. Blasted Mole NO he is a real coward only comes out to play when I have my back turned honestly, there were three mole hills I found late this evening AFTER I had cut the grass but no sign of him moving. Wonder if I get a bugler to play reveille would he pop his head up? Ah Well Bill.

  48. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again everyone. Thanks Derek for including the photos and thanks John for your compliments, we have to try to keep up the standards set for us years ago and I do try. Yes I get around a bit and in addition to the invites I have already mentioned I have also been invited to a concert and party at Kneller Hall where I did a course as a young soldier way back in 1947. I have been invited by a guy who was the senior director of Music in the British Army (he is now our Masonic Choir Master),should be a great time, I will be staying down there for the night.

    Weather has been reasonable today, managed to get out the mower and chop the grass about a bit. Now just sitting here relaxing with a bottle of wine ‘Californian Turner Road Reserve’. Very nice I will do my best to empty it before bed. Whoopee! Bye for now. Bill

    ED: What about Mole, Bill have you shot him yet?

  49. Bill Griffiths says:

    Bill Jack Fred Copthorne2013) Copthorne2013 (12) Hello folks once again and Derek, must have been as you say a little blip somewhere. It wasn’t sun that is for sure although I did see it yesterday for couple of hours, today is all muggy and wet again. Anyway, I was writing to let you know that we sadly lost another of our Korean Vets on Tuesday but we laid on a guard of honour together with our Branch Standard and also had two buglers from the Rifles to play Last Post and Reveille so we gave him a good send off. Not many of us left now.

    I have been invited as a guest to a special Parade in ‘Ross On Wye’ where the Rifles are being honoured with the Freedom of the Town, this takes place next month and the Hereford Town Council are holding a special service at a church in Hereford in August to celebrate the end of the war in Korea sixty years ago and I was just twenty one when I left there way back in 1952 WOW! seems like a lifetime? Well I suppose it is and I was only little then! Anyway hope everyone is OK I think about you all each day and wish all of you the best of health and look forward to hearing from you all. Bye for now. Bill

    ED: Bill has kindly sent me 2 pics of the Re-Union this month that he attended in Hereford. Bill pictured with 1946 mates from Copthorne Barracks when he joined the KSLI as a little chap. Fred and Jack the vicar. Fred and Bill meet regularly in Hereford, no doubt to check out the beer!

    PS: Do I espy a visitor from Taunton hovering in the background? Looks like JB, but clearly not. You must have a double JB!

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill & Ed, Bill you certainly keep yourself busy with all the functions that happen in your neck of the woods. How wonderful that you have been invited as a guest to the Special Parade, bull up your toe-caps and an extra polish to your cap-badge, if there is a Stick on offer you’ll get it. 1952 is a long way back and as you said another life-time. The pictures you sent in are brilliant, you still look as dapper as ever. Good to hear from you, take care.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Ed, two of me? never, after he made me he said “enough of you” and broke the mould.

  50. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hey Derek, whats gone wrong. I just tried sending a message and it all screwed up told me the page was not available?

    • Hello Bill, all’s well on the site Sjnt Major, no changes for several weeks now so must be a glitch at your computer. Your last message arrived too as you can see. Sometimes atmospherics can interrupt the transmission, was the sun shining when you typed? Gotta Larf!


    Blighty Ahoy! Mid Winter here today and we’re feeling chilled at 16C – wet and miserable too. How you manage your mid winters (so long ago now for me) I’ll never know. Happens also to be my daughter Sarah’s birthday too (now 45) – where have the years gone? she was born the year following our arrival in OZ from Singapore.

    In contrast I hope that your mid summer is balmy, boozy and beautiful.

    Blog traffic is definitely improving with many ‘hits’ raising the bar from previous months when privatised – now as high as 90 (on May 27th) and 78 today with low cyber krap. Interesting too are the variety of pages scanned and Google searches. Pity the ‘hits’ don’t turn into comments – let’s keep hoping.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      HI Ed, yes mate the longest day today, dull this morning brightening this afternoon, the summer is late on parade this year, hope it warms up for you over there, by the way very best wishes for your daughter for her birthday, like the summer wishes a bit late on parade, but better late than never, best wishes to all at your end, Geoff

      • G’Day Geoff. Many thanks will pass on your regards to Sarah. Her mother and she went out to lunch yesterday and would you believe – froze – in a bloody restaurant in Brisbane? What next? Saturday morning now and a beautiful day in the offing. We’re out for lunch – hot chowder at our favourite cafe nearby, then dancing tonight with friends at a Sports Club.

        Hope all is well with you and the grand kids too. Best Regards Derek

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Derek, you may be in mid winter over there but your temperatures is still higher than ours, you wouldn’t think it was mid summer here. I’ve managed to get my hanging baskets and pot plants out but the cold wind is holding them back, warm sunshine is badly needed.

      As Geoff said, belated ”Happy Birthday wishes” to your daughter Sarah, we hope she had a brilliant day. Where does the time fly to, we will be old before we know it. We hope the rest of your family are well. Take care.

  52. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello there everyone. Yes it was lovely to see the sun over the last weekend but had plenty of rain again since. Yes Geoff and John riding around on my mower makes the neighbours envious but my patch is a lot bigger than theirs and I am still being attacked by my MOLE and his family but never when I am out there, he hides away then, otherwise I would put my mower in top gear and give him a close haircut honestly he is making a real mess out there.

    Two more of my old Korean Veteran mates in Hereford have died in the last two weeks. Not many of us left now I am sad to say. Even at our Re-Union in Shrewsbury last weekend, there were only a few that I knew and of course they are all now in their eighties. Still those of us that are left are still going strong. I have to keep fit ready for my holiday in September. Four weeks in Hong Kong and I will be there for what would have been our 61st wedding anniversary and also for my 83rd birthday so I will have one sad celebration but watch this space for stories of my birthday parties. YES I am going to have more than one party for that. Whoopee.

    Bye for now keep up the good work with your gardening. Bill

  53. Barry Cornish says:

    Hello All, I expect that your ears have been burning tonight. Trevor Webb and I have just returned from the meeting of The West Cornwall Light Infantry Association at Heamoor. As usual it was a really enjoyable get-together with a good turnout of our usual regular members, and the added pleasure of having Anne Knight and Johnny and Jennie Griffin, who are all staying in Cornwall on holiday, with us. The formal proceedings were soon over, so we had a good opportunity for reminiscing as well as a general chat, in which all of your names were mentioned.

    • Good News Barry, thanks for the update. Good to be able to stretch out the long arm of DCLI camaraderie on every occasion. Ever hopeful that a few more might get active on the blog.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Barry, good to hear from you. I’m pleased the evening went well for you all. As regards the talking about us all, I wondered why I had to keep picking my ear up off the ground, lol. To have the company of Anne, Jennie & Johnnie Griffin made it more interesting, hope they enjoy their holiday in Cornwall, as I said good to hear from you. Take care.

  54. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi folks, great to read that you are all out in the garden, lapping up the sun, downing the odd glass or two, great stuff. Sadly, I am not a gardener I have a massive lawn Check, Field to cut and this I do with a nice ride on mower I sit there like ‘Lord Muck.’ and get on with it. Yes I do have a few potted plants on the patio and also have a little orchard area with four apple trees, two pear trees, a nice big cherry tree that bears lots of fruit if I can get to it before the birds and a very old greengage tree which gives off loads of lovely greengages, the envy of the village ‘cos nobody else has got one.

    I was singing with our Masonic choir on Friday night at Hampton Court Castle near Hereford, we sang about twenty numbers and were very well received and I am really enjoying it. Also went to a Light Infantry Re-Union in Shrewsbury on Saturday, a great day. Went on parade and marched past the saluting base at about 130 to the minute with the Rifles Band playing. Brought back so many fond memories and met up with just a few old boys but most of them were young ex Rifles lads. Anyway great to hear from you all, keep it up. All best wishes. Bill.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Bill, sometimes I wish I had a large lawn and a ride on mower, it would make life a lot easier and you can still end up gazing at your work with a tot of what takes your fancy. I am glad you feed the birds even if it is not intended but you don’t have a choice they are faster than us, you are quite a busy chap these days and really enjoying it. My marching pace is about 20 now slowed down slightly, faster these days on the scooter, and a lot easier. Best wishes enjoy it Bill. Geoff

      • John Billett says:

        Hello Geoff, you too could have a ride on mower, you have the main part, your Scooter. How about fixing a blade to it, hey presto up up and away perhaps you and Bill could arrange a mowing competition, get some one to video it and put it on for us all to see. All joking aside it is a lovely time of year and it’s good you can get out and about. Warmest regards to you and every one else who reads this.

        • Geoff Cherry says:

          HI John. Not a bad idea mate I might then be able to get a contract with the local council to cut the road verges, keep me out of mischief. I could fly the flag at the same time, best wishes to all. Geoff

    • John Billett says:

      Good morning Bill and all bloggers. Bill the only thing I envy is your greengage tree. When we were kids going down the fields to play there was a greengage tree in the area and as you can guess, we were awful and raided the tree, whoever owned the tree didn’t get many I can assure you and as you say they are a lovely tasting fruit. We’ve had a drop of rain this morning but it’s passed over and we have lovely sunshine again.

      I’m glad to see you can still manage 130 to the minute, was that before you had a tipple or after LOL, after I’ve had a tipple or two I can go quite fast but I don’t think the RSM would like me to be on his Parade Ground, tangle foot would get me on a fizzer. Keep enjoying life.

  55. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi one and all, what a change sun blazing, shirt off, what a sight to behold, but now once again sun blessed, like the BERMUDA days old body brown, got stuck in cut the lawns and gave the hedge its first cut, with stops to raise the sugar level back up, then the pleasure to sit back a pint of the falling down water and review my handiwork, I hope you are all having a good time. All my best wishes. Geoff

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Geoff, yes surprising what you can get up to with a bit of sun on your back. Grass cutting, hedge trimming, watering the plants, my grass is going yellow already, I would love to put the sprinkler on it but someone may have something to say about it. My hanging baskets are shaping up nicely, I have to get some plant feed to keep them going. The pleasure of sitting back after with a lovely drink in your hand admiring your handy work makes it all worth while, keep up the good work. Take care.

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        Hi John, listening to the weather forecast mate you will have no need for the sprinkler, it is nice to see plants progressing now, but everything is developing a bit late this year, I noticed today a lot of small bumble bees, I think that’s a good sign. Best wishes. Geoff.

  56. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Folks. Hope everyone is OK. We had a day of sunshine yesterday. Not sure whether it was our summer or not? Quite a bit cooler today but still quite pleasant. I am off to choir practice tonight as we have a concert to sing at on Friday at the Hampton Court Castle near Hereford and we have two sessions to sing, ten numbers in each session so quite a concert really.

    The choir is made up of members of our Herefordshire Freemasons and we only formed about eighteen months ago and entered a competition last October at out local theatre against some long established choirs and we came second. Great Stuff and we sing a wide variety of numbers including some from well known musicals. I although being just a little chap sing baritone and have to concentrate hard on singing the harmony parts but very enjoyable and helps keep me out of mischief. Best wishes to you all, keep smiling and hope to hear from you soon. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, we are fine here thank you, the weather has been beautiful just what everyone needed and apparently is going to get hotter. Have a good evening with your choir practice tonight, can I detect a drink after to wet your whistle and cool down the vocal chords. Take care.

  57. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Geoff. In answer to your message dated 25th May. I couldn’t agree with you more, anything would be too good for those who killed that young soldier. How could one human being do what they did to another human being, it beggars belief. When his funeral is announced I will wear my poppy in respect for him. Best wishes from Anne.

    • Hello Anne & ALL Bloggers.

      Just a little tip to assist the flow of comments. Each original comment placed on a page, has a “Reply” icon at the left hand lower corner. This is designed to create a “thread” on any particular topic and makes for a tidier page, rather than a reader having to dodge up and down a page to find discussion, which naturally gets quite tiresome when trying to connect all the conversations. I’ve set up the pages so that threads can build to 10 Replies deep which enables a sensible flow in chronological order.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Anne, sorry I have not responded sooner but had I said what was on my mind then I think I would have been banned. Those people should never be allowed to remain in this country.

      How are you keeping these days, in the best of health I hope, a few years back when I was still driving I used to visit Banbury but in those days I was not in contact with anyone. Best wishes for now. Geoff

  58. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello once again Derek and thanks again for everything. Yes it would be great meeting a few more old LI old soldiers but even chatting to them via this blogsite, I feel I know some of them quite well after all, with our military training we soon get to know people and what makes them tick or otherwise?

    The sun is shining, not too bright at the moment, a few clouds spoiling it but never mind. Love to Audrey and the family, Bill AND all best wishes to all bloggers.

    • Hello Bill, just returned from dropping off young Katie now 13, back to her mother’s place after she spent a sleepover with us. We visited a southern suburbs flea market this morning, where Katie had hand raised baby parakeets nibbling along her coat sleeves – amazing sight. This market is a little like Petticoat Lane in the East End of London, where you can buy back your shirt at t’other end!!

      Your point thought about incisiveness and knowing what makes people tick. ‘Tis true that one can quickly interpret actions and re-actions by behaviour much easier with a military background, I use it to good stead most of the time. A lesson delivered to Katie this morning in fact after she realised that Grandad could still point out a thing or two. Mind you there WAS a time when she thought I knew everything!!

      On another note, another Aussie Mate sent me a message today informing me that The Archbishop of Canterbury has cancelled all comments about “English Weather”, evidently it’s now “Muslim Weather” – “Sometimes Sunni, but mostly Shi’ite”

      Take Care Bill, get that bloody mole Mate!

      • John Billett says:

        I like the end bit of your letter, but it’s not Shi’ite enough to make them go back to their country.

        • Too right JB, we’ve the same problem here, trouble is the Pollies fail the general populace in refusal to take the hard stance against the illegals and OZ spend $billions to support ’em. I like the comment in our Press today which quotes an African Australian (!!) illegal immigrant having a birthdate of “01-01-??” ‘cos the buggers have tossed away their papers in Indonesia, having flown from bloody Africa. Now they suck down on the generosity of Aussie taxpayers, clog our public hospitals and swarm the streets bringing disrepute to otherwise quiet neighbourhoods. Beam me up Enoch!!

          • Geoff Cherry says:

            ED, I would say that is a mirror image of Blighty and they cannot be sent back to their own country, as the Court of Human Rights has stressed, as they will face the death penalty!

            • John Billett says:

              Seems to me they are the only ones with human rights, it makes you wonder who the individual governments work for, it certainly isn’t you or me. every one pooh poohed Enoch, how right he was.

  59. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek and all the faithful Bloggers. Derek, you are a Star, thank you Sir for all your kind words and your memories of those wonderful days you spent here in Eardisley with me and at that time for joining me when we visited my darling Nancy in the Nursing Home. That visit will remain highlighted in my memory till my dying day Which I hope is a long way off yet!

    Yes, we had great fun touring the many Pubs around here which I have got to know quite well since arriving here on my forced retirement following a heart attack way back in 1987. YES it seems a long time ago but I was spared at that time and thank God for this.

    Oh how I wish I could wave a magic wand and have all the faithful Bloggers appear here right now, what a wonderful occasion that would be WOW! Light Infantry ‘PARADE’ we would have a Re-Union to top every Re-Union ever held. God Bless you Derek and Audrey and of course all our FAITHFUL Bloggers who I feel I know so well, even though we have never met.

    I shall be attending the Re-Union at Shrewsbury next Saturday (8th June) which I believe may be the last one to be held at Copthorne because the powers that be (!) are talking of selling the Barracks, such a shame BUT I will March with pride and I will be thinking about you all and remembering the days when we all marched with PRIDE wearing our berets CORRECTLY with badge above our left eye. Beret pulled first to the right then to the rear NOT pulled down over our eyes and balanced on our heads like a pea on a drum. The GOOD OLD DAYS. Bye for now Derek and ALL my new made friends. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. Stand at Ease. Stand Easy. Bill.

    • Indeed Bill, ‘Ole Mate – happy days and just about the 4th Anniversary of our 1st Meeting while I was en route from Aberdeen to Bristol. I well remember the glorious weather and the hospitality. The good old days. I hope that some arrangements can be made with all the British Bloggers. Take Care Sjnt Major.



    P1110488 - Copy Eardisley village, home to Bill Griffiths our resident Old Blogger Sjnt Major 1KSLI, is a haven of Old Britain, a picturesque village of rustic charm and photographic opportunity, surrounded by wonderful lanes and byways and close proximity to the River Wye.

    Impossible for me I regret – in Australia – to make another trip soon, but an arranged “Re-Union 2013” by most British bloggers to Bill’s place would fulfill an ambition for Bill for him to join with you all on a surreal English dusk and down a few pints at the Tram pub. In 2009 my sister and I stayed at a local B&B (next to the Tram) and spent a most nostalgic walk through time in Bill’s company. He makes a fine host and is well known and well travelled around the area, including nearby Hereford.

    The hotlinked titling shows photos of the 16th century homestead where we stayed for several nights and to where I returned later during my visit. Herefordshire offers all the charm and beauty of Cornwall and more. Why not make a dream come true for Bill?

    PS: There are plenty of local pubs, brimming with fine ales and wine – and Bill knows each one!! See the Picasa Album above, attributed to him during my June 2009 trip.


    Since opening the site to public view a few weeks ago the numbers of ‘views’ are climbing to a count of 90 daily (best over 2 weeks) with interestingly the Picasa Album page taking the most. Of course the cyber nitwits are still prevalent, but there appears mainly to be genuine activity. I detect that the Picasa sub pages are telling me that some former subscribers are active. Let’s hope so, they are welcome.

  62. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Folks, hope you are all plodding along nicely? It is heaving down with rain here and blooming cold as well, I have even had to turn the heating on and I also put on some slightly heavier bed covers, wish I was somewhere nice and warm.

    My garden looks more like a battlefield each day, as my pesky mole continues his battle training. it looks as though mortars have been dropping for weeks AND he hasn’t got the guts to poke his head up when I am out there, if he did, I might just get one of my shotguns out and return fire. So folks fingers crossed for a change in weather. I would just like to sit out on the patio with a glass of beer or cider and all you guys and gals to join me and just watch the clouds blowing over nice and quiet and reflect on all the good years that are now the past. Ah Well!! Bye for now look forward to hearing from you. Bill

  63. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi again everyone. PS to previous blog it is 66 years since I joined up NOT 67 sorry about that should have used my calculator instead of my brain. Who said “WOT BRAIN”? Sorry chaps, Bill

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi Bill, that was an interesting year, I joined up in March and did my basic training 28th training battalion in Northern Ireland, I had enlisted in the OXF/BUCKS and served with them in Germany, until returning to Blighty in 1949, after an operation. I was transferred to the Duke Of Cornwall’s in Mogadishu, I was a bugler at that time, Happy Times Geoff

  64. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again from Bill in Hereford. I notice a few comments about memories of joining up. TODAY is the 27th May the day I joined the army at Copthorne Barracks Shrewsbury and wait for it, SIXTY SEVEN YEARS ago and I remember it so clearly. As I have written before when the squaddie on duty on the gate told me to “P*..S* off” You’re TOO Small” and I am still only ‘little’. Wow those were the days and I will be back on that very Parade ground again in just thirteen days time, when I attend the Light Infantry Re-Union, possibly the last to be held at Copthorne because they are talking about selling the old Barracks. Such a shame BUT they can’t take away the wonderful memories I have of that place, the great Guys that I met, the introduction to a family that I can still enjoy especially here amongst you all.

    One of those, a ‘Geoff Collins’ the first guy who ever tried to put one on me and I knocked hell out of him, which resulted in him becoming my best mate for all the years we served together, sadly died last week RIP Geoff Old Mate. But time rolls on and I hope to get a few more years service in before I leave. Best wishes to ALL of you. Bill

  65. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi Sylvia, I did not get back to Jamaica, until the end of our time in the West Indies, and have no memory of you girls. I got on well with your father, he pulled me into line a few times. He was strict but I found a very fair man and if I remember quite a good tattoo on his chest, could make it roll with the waves. Have a nice day. Geoff

  66. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi Derek. It is a wonder this script is not a dark green with envy reading your last posting, I am pleased to hear you are having such a wonderful time, wish I could join you old mate. It was very sad to get the news of one of our brave young lads, meeting his end in such a cowardly way, and in this country and by men so called British, the death penalty is too good for them. Best wishes for now mate. Geoff


    Since opening the site (again) to public view, we’ve not received a single contribution from anyone – other than ourselves as ‘regulars’. An indication of interest for matters military, for the use of?

    Note however that if you wish to make a contribution, you need to scroll to endpage (a somewhat daunting task on this page ‘cos of the large number of entries). Just hold your finger on the “Page Down” button on your keyboard. At that point click the WordPress Icon and your machine will autolog you in as a contributor – then press “Post Comment”

    Some time ago I reversed the order of Comments to most recent appearing at the top of the page at view. This was done to make scanning easier. Remember ancient times when the order was t’other way around and a reader needed to scan the whole content to read the latest?

    Other than that, life – and death – continue, in some cases tragically with the murder in Woolwich of an Army Mate from the 2nd Fusiliers cowardly attacked by home grown fanatical extremists. What a shame that the death penalty no longer prevails, I’m confident however that rough justice will eventuate. Do you recall Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech?


      wpe3d9f7f2_0f Just to let you know (brag, brag) that last Friday I spent 5 glorious hours under a clear blue sky in 24C fishing on a beautiful beach in Sunny Queensland. The SW breezes favoured the tight lines, with dolphins broaching the waves (and scaring off the fish). We sighted a magnificent sea eagle with a huge tailor (fish) suspended from its talons while cartwheeling overhead to avoid the seagull pirates. Our location is within about 60 minutes from home base, through pristine bush from the car park where gumtrees and kangaroos are plentiful. A short dawdle down 300m of bush track reaches Skirmish Point (click hotlink at title) on Moreton Bay facing our large sand islands on the eastern ocean side. Ho Hum – tough life.

  68. John Billett says:

    Good morning everyone, haven’t been on here lately but I do read comments and reflect quietly on everything that is said. I’m very pleased to be able to keep in touch with you all thanks to Derek’s diligence and patience. It is 60 years I was at Bodmin doing my 10 weeks basic training preparing to join the Battalion in Germany, every time I visit Bodmin it all comes flooding back it’s still hard to believe that 60 years has elapsed. Every time I do answer individual comments it’s like I’m back in the mob, even tho’ I never met you then, it feels as tho’ we are beside each other back in time. I like thousands of others did not want to join the Forces, but on reflection it did me good and I would not change a thing. Long may these blogs last so that we can contact each other, take great care everyone.

    • Geoff Cherry says:

      Hi John, I do the same a lot of the time, I nip in and and just read, I used the Birthday blog, I thought that a good way to get close.

      I joined up as a regular, I enjoyed my service, and the mates I had the pleasure of meeting, to me the good old days. Best wishes all. Geoff

  69. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi All, I must admit I have not been a very good blogger, but I still find it quite sad that we are slowly losing the opportunity to keep in contact, Derek you have done a fantastic job for us all, I thank you for that, best wishes to all, Geoff

    • Hello Geoff. I guess that I would echo the thoughts of many from “A” Company that to have ‘found’ you again after so many years has been our great pleasure and gain. The very fact that you make a contribution is sufficient. Consider that IF – IF – every surviving DCLI’ian of the ‘5os made only 1 comment annually, how much more history would have survived. I noticed during 2009 at the Re-Union how Old Mates reacted on meeting Bermuda serving mates after 54 years and the enthusiasm that flowed from gasbagging about ‘the good old days’. Swanny wouldn’t stop talking and for years after blogged daily with opinion and bull.

      The most important aspect of blogging is to make a contribution of sorts and naturally, keyboard skills and internet familiarity play a large part in gaining comfort and frequency. Dear Old Swanny could hardly type when he started, but sadly now so few will try or share their memories with us. Notably we have our Senior Blogger – Sjnt Mjr Bill Griffiths who has put many to shame with the prolific flow from his fingers and by his own admission the connectivity of the blog site is what keeps him going. His world has expanded immeasurably since 2006 via the blogs.

      So, keep up your contribution whenever possible ‘Ole Mate. I’m very happy that you’re aboard.

      • Geoff Cherry says:

        Thanks for that Derek. I sometimes wish my memory was not failing, I’m sure that I could have added quite a lot of interesting stories, but that now is just wishful thinking. All the best for now mate. Geoff.

    • Sylvia says:

      Like you Geoff I’m not a regular blogger, sometimes I can be quite prolific and then life gets in the way. I also can’t relate stories of my days in Jamaica because I was a child, and the main things in my life where school, swimming pool and Dad taking us to the beach on Sundays. But by coming on here I feel a part of those days are still here, and you guys knew my Dad and that’s very important to me. At the moment I am making a patchwork quilt cover, all by hand to go into a competition. I know I won’t win, but we must have dreams, and it stops me getting in to mischief. Have a good day everyone. Sylvia

  70. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again Derek and a very big thank you for your kind words. The only real SAD thing is that I don’t live close enough to any of you to really get to know you all. Yes, Derek, YOU and I have met and that meeting was one of the best things that happened to me for many years and I had the pleasure of meeting dear old Swanny at a Re-Union in Shrewsbury, another great experience.

    JB, Anne, Sylvia, Barry Cornish I have only met via this Blogsite and I consider them friends indeed, just wish I could wave a magic wand and bring us all together for a great big party. Wave my wand. Hey Presto? No, didn’t work. This year I will go to the Re-Union in Shrewsbury but sadly I think this may be the last one, some petty Politicians think it best that the Barracks are SOLD, probably to make more money to spend on themselves forgetting all the old soldiers who have made their future possible. Best wishes to all. Bill

  71. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek, and everyone that is left on this wonderful Blog site. Yes, I am afraid I have to agree that the Birthday Blog, once enjoyed by quite a few has gone down hill and those that used to contribute have left us in the lurch so to speak Sadly!! So I agree that we can still contact each other either by Email or through this blog page as long as our dear Derek considers it worth his time and effort. There are only a few of us left, again SADLY who show this appreciation by using it. The Others? well it is THEIR LOSS not ours.

    Today is a very sad day for me on another subject.. Two years ago today was the LAST day I ever saw my Darling Nancy in a condition where we could talk to each other, as two years ago tonight she had a massive heart attack and spent the next 14 days in a coma unable to speak or hear or see me when I sat by her side day and night until she sadly died 0n the 24th. The saddest day in my whole life. I miss her, I still love her, she meant the whole World to me and the sweet memories I now cherish can never be equalled.

    I hope that those of us who are left will Support Derek for all the hard work he has done on our behalf. Well Done Derek. You are a SUPERSTAR. Best wishes to everyone. Bill

    • Hi Bill, Thank you for your support and timely comments, especially at this sad memorial time for you personally. You most of all our Old Mates have demonstrated the mateship and friendship of a band of brothers uniquely formed in a very special time and circumstance. The surprising failure and lack of interest by some in the autumn of our collective years, after the grand opening in 2006 of this Regimental Blog, speaks to us in loud volume of the apathy and self interest that pervades modern life. Those who complain the loudest of the shortfalls of modern youth need to look inwards and realise that they themselves by their non participation are the greatest offenders.

  72. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Bill and Derek. Yes I agree with what you say the world has gone mad, some people don’t know the meaning of the word friendship and the word respect because friendship is a wonderful thing, it cannot be bought, it grows with respect. I value the friendship of you all. I’ve known you all since the Re-Union 2009 when myself and my late husband Cpl Joe Knight 1DCLI came down, he was over the moon to have met you all after 53-54 years. I’m looking forward to coming down to Cornwall on June 8th where I will meet up with my friends John & Jenny Griffin. Hope to meet you all. Looking forward to a wonderful week. Take care of yourselves. From Anne.

  73. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Ed and John. Yes it’s a funny old world and I suppose has not changed really very much for many many years, the greedy get more greedy, the stupid get more stupid. The world has gone mad and what can we do?

    At least we can share our memories of the good times we have had and the great friends we have made over the years, especially during our years in the army. If I had my time over again I wouldn’t change a thing. Best wishes to all of you. Keep smiling, Bill

    • Thanks Bill, the military system of life’s management is definitely the backbone of an ordered society and agreed, those friendships made during service have a quality that is unequalled. I think too that such quality reflects on most other issues, such as courtesy, respect, responsibility and actions. A good 2 year dose of National Service would straighten out many of the wankers around here for sure – both genders.

  74. ANZAC DAY 25th April 2013

    I’ve just attended our local Anzac Dawn Parade, where the sun rose over the gum trees in our local park, at the Memorial Gates to Diggers Drive. Hundreds attended, increasingly more than previous years and many many school children parading, laying wreaths and participating in reading The Ode.

    I perceive the accelerating growth of a nation in defiance of violence, war, terrorism and a dis-satisfaction with those elements in our global society who would bring harm, injury and death to innocents everywhere. 39 Diggers have died in Afghanistan following hundreds and thousands of Allied troops in earlier wars, all revered and remembered for their sacrifices – yet still the idiots in society continue to threaten the peace.

    Will it ever end?

    Lest we forget

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Ed, good on you, enjoy the day, and to reply to your comments I quote from the Bible, ”Father forgive them for they know what what they do”, there will always be idiots Ed, unfortunately.

  75. Barry Cornish says:

    DEAR ALL. Nora’s funeral service proved to be a great celebration of her life. Ninety six people from our family and friends attended. I particularly appreciated the support that I received from members of the West Cornwall Light Infantry Association, which included Major Peter Michell, Michael (Nobby) Clark and Peter Rule, who were in A Company of the DCLI with me in Bermuda back in the early 1950’s.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Barry, what a lovely lot of support you had for Nora’s celebration in her memory. Nora will never ever be far from you, little things will come to mind or places you go you’ll see and think of her, happy memories. Take care Barry.

  76. Barry Cornish says:

    Dear All,

    Thank you all for your kind words and support, which I greatly appreciate. Nora and I had been married for 52 happy years, but sadly for the last 38 of these she suffered from ill health. She has always borne this bravely, but at last is out of her pain and at peace. Her funeral has been arranged at 2 pm on Friday, 12 April at Treswithian Crematorium, Camborne, Cornwall. I am fortunate in having the support of our two lovely daughters, my son-in-law and three grandsons, who are all staying with me at present.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Barry, you are more than welcome to our support for you and your family at this sad time, I think I speak for everyone when I say we only wish there was more we could do to help you, god be with you.

  77. Bill Griffiths says:

    Barry. So very sorry to hear the sad news, my deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. God Bless you all. Bill Griffiths

  78. Anne Knight says:

    Barry. So sorry to hear of the sad loss of your dear wife Nora, my heart goes out to you and your family. My condolences to you. Anne.

  79. SAD NEWS

    I advise sadly that Nora Cornish has passed away over Easter and Barry has reported that her long battle with illness is finally over with Family at her side when she left this life. Funeral arrangements will be advised in due course. Our condolences to Barry & Family during this time.

    • Sylvia says:

      Sad news indeed, Barry my heart goes out to you and your family. Condolences from the Royffe family.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Ed, Peggy and I are very very sorry to hear of Barry’s sad news. We didn’t know Nora but Barry is such a lovely man, we are pleased that his family were with him when she eventually passed away. Our deepest sympathy and our condolences go out to Barry and all his family.

  80. John Billett says:

    Good afternoon everyone. We would like to wish everyone a ‘Happy Easter’, it’s quite nice here at the moment, the sun has been shining all morning, if it wasn’t for a nip in the wind I would say it’s summer. I think we have to wait a little longer for that to be confirmed. Hope you’re all keeping well, take care everyone.

  81. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Folks, sorry I have been quiet for a few days, blasted snow and ice which I hate and has kept me indoors and as a result, not been feeling so good BUT picking up now and went out last night (somebody else was driving) had a dinner in Hereford at a big party We sang afterwards to entertain them, sang about ten numbers and it went down very well and the crowd really enjoyed it.

    Tonight I have been doing a bit of cooking pork spare ribs chicken wings in soy sauce and Chinese spices and a whole chicken to last a few meals over the next few days. Most of the snow has gone but it is still freezing, hasn’t risen above zero all day, luckily I have plenty of heating oil in the tank but it is quite expensive now. Hope everyone is OK, I think about you all a lot. Bye for now

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, yes this winter is hanging about too long, hopefuly it will go away pretty soon now.

      Every time you tell us what you’re going to cook makes my mouth water, you make it very inviting to eat. Take care of yourself and keep cooking.

  82. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. Way back on 4th February I wrote and mentioned that the snow had gone and we were looking forward to spring. This morning we had MORE snow and bitter cold rain AND we have been warned that there is more snow to come during the weekend and next week. What the heck is happening in this country, we can’t blame the Koreans or the Afghans or the Russians not even the Yanks and their space program, so perhaps we should all go and join Derek out in OZ. Ah well keep blogging Chaps and Chapesses. All best wishes to you all. Hope the sun soon shines nice and warm., or have I got to wait until September when I arrive in Hong Kong? Bill

  83. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi ED. Thanks for all you do for us, sorry you have to read all the crap the morons try to publish.


    Kindly browse Privatisation for latest update on cyber crap.

    • Sylvia says:

      I am sorry that you have to put up with all the rubbish, and thank you for dealing with this on our behalf.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Ed, I can understand your frustration with the idiots and the rubbish that comes on blog, a lot of them are mindless morons.

  85. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, great to hear from you also YES getting excited now, actually booked my flights today and am in the process of booking the apartment BOY am I going to live it up this time. Just wish you could all be with me especially to celebrate my birthday.

    It is my YOUNG brothers birthday in nine days time YOUNG brother? and he will be EIGHTY (and he is bigger than me). Well so is EVERYBODY even the Grand children!

    With regard to Sylvia’s vegetables if she put a plastic bag in with the seeds they would come up up already packaged for sale. Go on Sylvia try it.

    Seriously Folks, great to hear from you, keep it up the years are passing by far too quickly. wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all meet up somewhere sometime. I feel as though I know you all but have only met Derek and dear old Swanny. God Bless his soul.Those meetings were two of the best things that have ever happened to me. I mean it and I would dearly love to meet more of you. Best wishes to all of you. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      I was just thinking about those frozen veggies Bill and John, I already have a song to use as a slogan ‘Sylvia, Your Tiny Hand is Frozen’ You could sing it Bill, you could hum it John and Anne could play the spoons. What a team!

      Joking aside, it would be nice if we could meet you Bill, but Herefordshire, I think that is the county you live in, there and back in the same day, is quite a journey. If I have it wrong and you live somewhere else let me know. Don’t put too many details on the blog though, Derek has said he gets a lot of rubbish on here. I’m pleased you’ve booked your holiday to Hong Kong and hope you really enjoy yourself with your family.

      I like the Padstow area of Cornwall, John, and I’m sure you and Peggy will enjoy yourselves, especially as you have a friend that you haven’t seen for ages. Don’t eat in Rick Steins restaurant though I’ve heard it’s expensive and you don’t get enough food to keep a sparrow alive, but I have never been myself, I’m only quoting rumours.

      I’ve just had a lovely chat on the phone to Anne.

      God bless you all xxxx

  86. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello all. I like all of you am waiting for summer, it looks as though we might miss spring, still freezing outside not very nice at all. Silvia you might make a name for yourself, and be the first person to grow FROZEN VEGETABLES! I am just in the process of booking my accommodation and flight for HK hope to go on 20th Sept come back about 20th Oct and will be staying in a serviced apartment with bed, a little rest area and a small kitchenette. All this at half the price of the average hotel and in a nice area in Happy Valley right near the racecourse should all be fixed in a few days time. Whoopee!

    Hong Kong here I come and I will be there for what would have been our 61st wedding anniversary and my 83rd birthday, which we will celebrate in some style.Hope all is well with everyone. Best wishes to you all

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, good to hear from you, I bet you can’t wait to board that plane to HK, I sincerely hope nothing gets in the way of you going. Sounds like you’ll have a nice little place to stay, no wonder it’s called ‘Happy Valley’ , and with the racecourse on hand what more could you want, Nancy to be right by your side of course, that would be the icing on the cake.

      I can imagine Sylvias ‘Frozen Veg’, you’d want to be wearing gloves to harvest it, I admire her getting things going tho’ time is slipping by and the quicker she starts them off the better, just want the warm weather to help them on. Take care Bill.

  87. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Sylvia. Haven’t heard from you for a while, hope you are well. Laura told me that you have been busy.
    Hope to see you in June. Best wishes from Anne.

  88. Sylvia says:

    Hi gang, Well, spring is supposed to be on it’s way here in dear old Blighty. It’s taking it’s time I’m afraid, we’ve had some really bad frosts this week. The veggie patch is dug over and the veggie seeds planted and in the greenhouse, but we can’t heat our greenhouse so I don’t think we’ll get much. I was looking forward to a nice home grown salad in a couple of weeks. Have you got your tomatoes in yet John?

    Bill are you any nearer booking you holiday in Hong Kong?

    • John Billett says:

      Hello everyone, hope you’re all keeping well.

      Hi Sylvia, no I haven’t put my seeds in yet, still a little early for a minute, we have booked our holiday a little bit earlier this year so I’ll be starting things a bit later, I don’t want things coming through then have to go away and leave them, that means hanging baskets will have to wait as well. It’ll all come on ok. Going to Cornwall, I’m going to try and see John England this year, haven’t seen him for two years. A nice little trip to Padstow.

  89. John Billett says:

    Hello and good evening to everyone, just an update on Mervyn Chandler. I have just spoken on the phone to his wife who tells me that he is settled down at home, they are still trying to get his medication right but as I said he is fine.

    Hello Bill glad to see you are doing fine, keep working on those lines of going back to Hong Kong, we know it’s a while away but work at it.

    I hope everyone else are fine, we will be glad when the warmer weather arrives, take care everyone.

  90. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. Thanks John and Sylvia. Yes almost over the bruises but still not 100% but then, I don’t suppose I ever was. Always something missing but never mind, the sun is bound to shine soon? If it doesn’t then I will definitely be off to Hong Kong again which I hope to anyway a bit later in the year ‘fingers crossed’. I plan to go for a month or six weeks this next time, as this may be the last time I will have a chance to go. The years are creeping by and it is a long way to travel and very expensive, so I will have to rely on good old memories of the years gone by and I have so very many of these. Best wishes to you all. Bill

  91. Ray Grubb says:

    Some old photos I found.

    10 Platoon. D Company, Newcastle Hill Station Jamaica 1954 ED: Thank you Ray. All the photos have been doctored in Photo Shop (some were reversed and a bit tattered) and compiled into a Picasa Album under the general alphabetical collection. Click to the Picasa Album (Military) page to view and add additional comment.

    PS: Your welcome comment is passed into a ‘holding tray’ pending editorial approval whenever you include URLs. Also, just a reminder that the site is at public view currently, but all intending subscribers need to apply for a WordPress Password/ID to access the site when privatised in the future.

    In 6 years we have had only a few D Company photos. John Goddard, bugler has in the past made a contribution, on his dedicated page. If however you have a substantial collection and would wish to have ’em published, I’d be happy to set up a special D Company page. You’ll need to liaise with me directly by sending emailed .jpegs (not comment attachments) with captioning and I’ll Photo Shop ’em all. If you have a large collection of photos, its probably better that I guide you through a Picasa Album compilation yourself, and I will simply link the URL to our Picasa Albums (Military) page. Please let me know.

    Further, our little band of blogging heroes records Birthdays and residential locations, so if you wish to join in, let me have a recent portrait shot, dob and location in the UK.

    • John Billett says:

      Good morning all, would just like to say what brilliant photos that’s been added to the Picasa Album. Thanks to Ray for sending them and our Ed for posting them; considering the age of them I think they are great. I have had a long hard look but cannot say I recognise anyone for sure, if I do it’s just faces and no names.


        JB’s comment carries considerable weight in that the more recent times appear very light in terms of Old Memorabilia being sent in. Swanny of course was a constant supply, but even he had exhausted his personal stock. How many more Old Squaddies out there with with priceless photos of our time in the Caribbean?

        The quality of the old lenses leaves much to be desired but scratched, tatty and torn B/W can be worked in Photo Shop – so clean out yer kitbags Maties and let’s add to our collections.

  92. Sylvia says:

    59 years ago today some of us were spending our first night aboard the Empire Clyde on our way to Jamaica and Bermuda. There was a terrific storm, not many in the dining room that evening.

    ED: Remember the lights of Liverpool slipping quietly away in the dusk and the strains of “will ye no come back again”. Then the bows of the tub headed into the Irish Sea at its roughest then for 11 years. Duty free fags followed duty free beer over the side as the squaddies chundered their way across the briny. First time for many. Didn’t take the RSM very long to get us up and taking the fresh air though!

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Sylvia, please excuse me while I go and be sea sick, see you in four days time, lol.

  93. John Billett says:

    Hello again everyone, good news, I have not long ago spoke to Mervyn Chandler’s wife, I called to ask how he was and she told me that they brought Mervyn home from hospital today. He has developed a cough but apart from that he is doing very well. I passed on all your good wishes for his speedy recovery and now he is home that should help him no end, we’ll just keep praying for him. take care everyone.

  94. Sylvia says:

    Hi gang, I’m really pleased to hear that you are on the mend Bill and as you say, the sun makes us feel better any way. It has been out for 3 days now, I’ve managed to get washing on the line and I’m so pleased it’s getting some fresh air, well! as fresh as it gets when you live almost on top the Dartford River Crossing like I do.

    I hope they sort Nora’s meds out soon Barry, it must be awful for her, and the rest of your lovely family, to keep going in and out of hospital.

    That Chinese meal sounds mouthwatering JB, and the pudding mmmmmmmm!!! I’m going to Cornwall for a long weekend in April as there is a school reunion on 12th April, I won’t be able to stay long as I have to be back here for 14th. I’ll be staying with Gloria, I think I should take her husband some ear muff’s so he won’t have to listen to our continual chatting.

    I’m off now to go to my Women’s Shed Derek, officially it’s called the dinning room but it is jam packed with all my sewing stuff and the sewing machine lives on the table.

    Love to you all Sylvia

    • John Billett says:

      Good Morning everyone, hope you’re all keeping well. Sylvia, the meal was very nice, and Peggy’s Bread pudding is to die for. The time is shooting on again so it won’t be long before you are down Cornwall with your old school friends again.

      Derek, we hope you and Audrey are well. Listening to our local radio last evening they were talking about people with their own workshops in their sheds and garages, it reminded me of your and workshops, it’s good that they keep themselves and their minds occupied.

      Haven’t heard a word from Barry since Christmas, just hoping everything is ok there.

      Bill, your bruises must be gone by now, we keep thinking of you, I dare say you are able to get to your local for the company you so like.

      Well everyone take care and keep warm, or cool in your case Derek.

  95. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Folks. I am still here, although the last couple of weeks have been a bit uncomfortable after my fall in the snow which caused bruised ribs for a couple of weeks followed by a week with really terrible gout BUT all seems to be improving, and the weather is a little better as well, not up to Hong Kong standard which I prefer, but improving and the wine is tasting good again.

    Here we are almost at the end of February. Chinese New Year been and gone! Soon be seeing Easter eggs in the shops I suppose and nothing more exciting than that!

    John, I obviously don’t know Merve Chandler personally, but please give him my best regards when you speak to him next and tell him we old LI blokes have to soldier on and think of each other. Tell him also that I retired as a result of a heart attack TWENTY SIX years ago, so keep taking the medicine, they can’t get rid of old soldiers that easily. Remember ‘One and All’ and from my Regiment the KSLI ‘Aucto Slendore Resurgo’ (I rise again with increased splendour). All best wishes to everyone. Bill

  96. John Billett says:

    Hello Bloggers, just to pass on a bit of news I received yesterday. Mervyn Chandler’s wife Pam phoned to inform me that Mervyn is in Exeter Hospital recovering from a minor heart attack, it is with great pleasure I can tell you that he is indeed out of Intensive Care and back in the ward. He asked his wife to tell me that he won’t be organising this years E Coy Annual Lunch, how’s that for dedication. I have sent a get well card and told him to forget the lunch and get himself well and get home post-haste. Take care everyone.

    ED: Thanks JB. Given the opportunity would you kindly communicate our best wishes to Merve and hope that he recovers quickly. It’ll be interesting to see if another picks up the E Coy lunch arrangements.

  97. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again folks. Still in a considerable amount of pain with the GOUT, but not quite as bad as yesterday. The Doc has put me on another course of Steroids and given me some pretty good ‘Pain Killers’, they have helped I am glad to say although I am still housebound of course. Lots of rain is forecast SO I will be cooking a nice Oriental supper tonight, how about this? .’Fried rice’, ‘smoked oysters in Oyster sauce’ and ‘chicken wings and pork spare ribs’ cooked in ‘soy sauce’ and aniseed with a dish of pickled ginger and a small plate of stir fried vegetables. Anybody care to come and join me ?

    PS: I have plenty of wine as well. All best wishes. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, it takes longer to shake off aches and pains as you get older, good job the tablets help or we would be in trouble. Bill I would have loved to join you to taste your Oriental meal, I bet it was absolutely gorgeous. We had some of the family around home yesterday for lunch. We had Duck wraps, Chicken thighs coated in an Oriental seasoning, plus Ribs in very tasty sauce, then we had a home made Chocolate Orange sponge with home made Bread cake made by Peggy, I think everybody went home very satisfied with the spread. We had a glass of wine before they arrived, they don’t drink wine.

      It’s turned very wet here again, just as everything was drying out down it came again, but I must say it’s better than snow. We have seen photos of the snow in Canada where my sister and her family live, we close down after a few inches, god knows what would happen if we had snow like they have it.

      Keep warm and take care, that goes for all bloggers.

  98. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Sylvia John, Derek, great to hear from you all. Still suffering a little from my fall but last night I had a very nasty return of GOUT, about 8pm. It was really very painful, still is and I didn’t get a wink of sleep. I am waiting here for a home visit from the Doctor, but there is not much they can do only more blasted tablets and I am already on a special drug which is supposed to stop it flaring up. I obviously can’t go out or drive the car (can’t operate the foot pedals) so here I am. Luckily have plenty of supplies in the cupboard and fridge (and the wine rack), so just keep plodding on. Once again great to hear from you. All best wishes, roll on summer. Bill

  99. Sylvia says:

    Hi guys. So sorry to neglect you all but I’ve been up to my neck in making curtains and cushion covers for a paying client!

    How are you now Bill, are you recovered from your fall or are you still stiff, those sort of injuries take a time to go away.

    Barry, I hope by now Nora is out of hospital and back in the loving arms of your family.

    John I hope Taunton has dried out by now, or have you any more rain?

    Are you getting loads of stupidity to deal wit Derek, you’d think these morons would find a better way to spend their time wouldn’t you?

    I hope you are all OK Sylvia

    • Hello Sylvia, welcome back. Usual cyber junk I regret, but tolerable thus far. As shown however there is no additional activity from other DCLIians who had shown interest. I shall be broadcasting an email to ’em all soon, but I fear the novelty of the blog has long worn off. I continue to attract ‘foreigners’ with genuine interest in military transport and even earlier deaths in First Fleet militia on Norfolk Island. Not so much interest in the living. Ho Hum!! back to my Men’s Shed.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Sylvia, Taunton was almost dried out but it has just started raining again, now this evening on the weather forecast they say we could get more snow soon, roll on summer and hope it’s better than last year. We hope everyone else are keeping well.

    • Barry Cornish says:

      Hi All! Thank you for your enquiry about Nora, Sylvia. Nora did come home from hospital, but unfortunately has had to return twice since then, when her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she is still in there. The hospital are doing their utmost to adjust the medications that she is on so that they cause the minimum ill effects and this is proving to be a very difficult balancing act.

      This evening, I was able to attend the WCLIA meeting at Heamoor, where Terry Joll told me that he has been unable to access General Chatters, since his computer was repaired. I have forwarded this page to him in the hope that he will soon be able to join us on here again.

  100. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. I was right about the floods I wrote about last night, apparently the road to Hereford from here is flooded about two miles away and last night the Fire Brigade had to be called out to rescue nine people from four cars which had got stuck and having to smash the car windows to get them out. Pretty scary I know, because I was caught out there and got stuck in very deep water a few years ago at midnight and had to be rescued. Fortunately by a guy who came through with a big truck, he managed to tow me out, wrote the car off and scared me especially as it was midnight. I was on my own and didn’t have a mobile phone. Ah well lesson learned and won’t attempt it again. Hope you are all OK. Bill

  101. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Everyone. Hope all is well with you all. All the snow has gone from here. I suppose the next thing is rain and floods. Ah well I suppose we really can’t grumble. Well we can but nobody takes any notice.

    I had my niece Betty from Hong Kong here at the beginning of the week with her husband, we had a great time together despite the snow and ice, managed a Chinese dinner on Monday at home, I was the Chef and they thought it was very good. Then on Tuesday night we went to my Local and had a really nice evening with good food and wine and the place was packed, so a wonderful evening.

    Derek, hope you are coping, thinking about you Audrey and the family. Best wishes to all the regular bloggers and hope you also are keeping in trim and facing the New year with enthusiasm. I have quite a few Masonic meetings coming up and also Choir practice to keep me busy, also starting to make plans for my next visit to Hong Kong and although not until late in the year, I am thinking of staying for about six weeks this time. I have lots to do and see. So, look forward to hearing from you all. Bye for now. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, yes we are safe and well down here, glad to hear you’re keeping fine.

      You must be proud doing a Chinese dish for your niece and her husband and they approved of it, does this mean we are going to see another Chinese Take Away on the High Street at sometime soon, lol, if so I will order one, just let me know the numbers of the meals. All joking aside keep well and warm.

  102. John Billett says:

    G’day Derek, just coming in to hope you and Audrey are weathering the storm that is battering you bit of the country at the moment, my niece is telling us just how rough and unnerving it is, keeping our fingers crossed that it goes on its way soon.

    ED: Thanks JB. We are relatively snug, tucked away from the major buffeting winds, although the rain has soaked all in sight. Quite a lot of debris scattered about and a 60′ tree in the backyard is stripped bare. Flooding locally with roads under of course and some numbnuts attempting the crossing putting themselves and rescuers at risk.


    In the spirit of goodwill for Australia Day, I am (temporarily) lifting the privacy curtain. Until further notice the blog site is open to all comers (unfortunately that includes cyber dick heads who spread idiocy & crap). Despite several invitations to other ‘non regulars’ it is apparently too arduous a process to follow the Word Press prompts when received.

    Without wishing to appear narky, the few recent comments of goodwill shared among we regulars hardly justifies the time input for the site generally. Direct email might be an alternative -?

    Let’s see what happens over the forthcoming months/s. Those regulars with Password/ID access will need to retain the detail, as Privacy might apply without notice at any time.

    PS: Wouldn’t you guess? – Already 2 cyber spam dickheads within an hour!!

  104. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone, hope all is well with you all. I am still plodding on and still not over my fall, still painful at times but drop of wine and a painkiller before bed helps. Thanks Anne for your kind words but as I say, improving bit by bit.

    Most of the snow has cleared away here but still very cold, and it is forecast to be very cold tonight, minus 6 or 7 Brr, don’t like it so staying in the warm.

    I had my niece from Hong Kong here on Monday and Tuesday with her husband. We had a great time and I will soon be making plans for my next trip to Hong Kong and this time I plan to stay for maybe a month or six weeks. The years are rolling by quickly now and I don’t know how many more years I can make it. Keep on blogging folks, great to hear from you all. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, glad to see you’re OK, what does you more good the wine or the painkillers? Lol.

      Yes the snow is clearing from around here now they worry that with the thaw and the rain that’s here it’s going to flood, can’t win can we. I hear that out where Derek is they’re having some rain and it’s cooled off a bit, that will stop them sweating.

      How did your niece and her husband like our weather Bill, hope it wasn’t too nasty for them. Planning your next trip is good news, and you intend staying longer next time, good on you, better start saving your spending money. Take care, keep taking the medicine.

  105. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Bill. I’m sorry to read that you had a fall. i hope you’re not in to much pain and that you will soon feel better.Sorry I’ve not been on the blogs for a while as I have had a nasty chest infection but glad to say it is fine now, so now I can keep in touch with my friends on the blogs. You take care of yourself Bill, speak to you soon. All the best from Anne.

    PS: I don’t like this weather Bill, keep warm.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Anne, sorry to hear you haven’t been too well, but glad you’re improving, like Bill keep taking the medicine and keep warm, best regards to you.

  106. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again all, thanks Derek for your advice and I am taking it, staying in the warm and being moderate with the falling over water.

    John, I thought about your advice with the bubble wrap, but being so small someone would probably think I was a parcel that somebody had dropped and pop me in the post box! I was telling a pal of mine about the other night when I fell over outside the house and whilst I was on the ground two cars passed by without stopping to see if I was OK. He said that they probably thought I was just a Garden Gnome fallen over in the garden. Cheeky blighter!

    Ah well, soldier on as best we can and for as long as we can. I haven’t been out for the last two days, too darned cold and icy and don’t want to fall over again. So bye for now, keep your chins up, chests out etc. Bill

  107. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello folks. Hope you are all OK and avoiding or at least putting up with this awful weather. I am OK here, car is in the garage and that is where it is staying, had enough snow here to convince me that even going to the Pub is out of the question but I have a few bottles of cider and plenty of wine and plenty of food stashed away. So I am hibernating in comfort.

    We had to cancel the dinner party for the Widows, a sensible move because a lot of them would not have been able to get there anyway and most of them are elderly so would have found it difficult, so I am singing to myself here at home. Sounds alright to me, but no applause! Bye for now folks. Take care Bill

    • G’Day Sjnt Major. Can just imagine you in your conservatory – red wine & cider at the ready – on watch for the moles in your garden. Tough news about your UK weather, but you are definitely in the right place – at home in the warm. JB forwarded pictures of his snow, I can just imagine Eardisley and the view of the paddocks over your back fence. Take care with the ‘falling down water’ though – no breaks wanted on this voyage – you might need a set of crampons on your boots!

      Bush Fires 2013

      bushfires2 Bush Fires 2013

      No break in the bush fires here – right across the vast country with temperatures over 40C. Even Sydney had 46C yesterday. We in Brisbane are very fortunate with temps around 34C and balmy breezes. We dined alongside the river last evening, soft lights and good food. Strange old world ennit? You blokes in the top half getting frozen and Dahn Undah blazing hot from coast to coast.

      Pictures left are taken in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley area, but indicative of bush fires everywhere.


      • John Billett says:

        Hello Chaps, yes it is a strange world we live in. glad you’re away from fires Derek, very sad for those it is affecting especially those losing their homes. Bill if you do decide to go out I suggest you wrap up in Bubble-Wrap, it’ll take the brunt of the fall but better than that do as your doing and stay indoors with a couple bottles and cans.

        Derek we heard from Peggys niece in Brisbane telling us about the temperatures there, Steve sent her photos of the snow over here, she said she wouldn’t mind some of it to cool off a little bit, I don’t think she would want it for long. Derek keep cool and Bill keep warm.

  108. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello folks. Many thanks John and Sylvia for your concern over my ‘toppling over’ even before I had a ‘Tipple’, crazy ain’t it? But I am OK, still a bit painful, but I will have a drop more medicine tonight and help to kill the pain.

    I got through Choir practice ok last night and whole choir sounded quite good, so weather permitting,the concert should go down well. One of our numbers is a bit of a comedy number ‘Widdecombe Fair’and I am the comedy bit playing the part of Harry Hawk which comes over as ‘Arry Awk’. We did this number during our recent competition at the Theatre and we had the audience cheering and clapping and stamping their feet quite a bit of fun.

    We have all had the warning of bad weather and deep snow, let’s hope they have got it wrong, but if they get it right there ain’t anything we can do about it, just wait for the spring then summer and in the meantime keep taking the medicine. Bye for now, all best wishes and keep blogging. Bill

  109. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. Brrr. cold weather DON’T like it and last night I went out and slipped down and fell outside my house on the icy moss covered ground on my way to the Pub. Nasty bruised hands where I tried to save myself and knee and backside (bruised bum). Ouch and hurt my back as well. Had a sleepless night as a result, so not feeling too good today. Luckily I am only small, so I don’t have far to fall but it is still pretty painful and I have to go in to Hereford tonight for Choir practice because we are giving a concert on Saturday lunchtime, after a lunch party laid on for the Hereford Masonic Widows, a very nice gesture and we cater for about eighty widows.

    BUT heavy snow is forecast so we will have to wait and see. Hope you are all OK, thinking about you all and wishing you well. Roll on summer. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      Sorry to hear about your fall Bill, I hope you recover quickly. Did you have an x’ray to make sure you have no cracked bones? We have been forecast snow from Friday, I for one won’t be driving, I have a bus pass but the bus stop is down a steep hill so I may not be venturing out of the house.

      We’ve already had some ‘white stuff’ John but it didn’t settle, I think the ground is too damp from all the rain we’ve had. The temperatures are supposed to drop tonight so lets hope it stops snowing now.

      I’m pleased you are no where near the fires Derek, but it is disgusting that the fires were caused by irresponsible people. How is Audrey now?

    • John Billett says:

      Sorry to hear of your fall Bill, I bet you were quite shaken up, hope you feel better soon, you’re supposed to fall down after you’ve been to the pub not on the way there. I admire you being in a choir, and good to hear you’re helping all those widows.

      We are hoping to go out Saturday to celebrate Peggy’s birthday but the snow may cancel that out, depends how much pitches, better get some wine in to cover all events. Get those bruises gone and take care.

  110. John Billett says:

    Good morning all bloggers, hope you are all well. Longjohns and thermal underwear are the order of the day, winter is here, I don’t mind the frosts but we don’t want the White stuff. It doesn’t affect our friends in Australia but listening to the weather forcast over there they might like a taste of it. We hope they are safely away from the fires that are raging over there. Keep warm everyone and stay safe.

    ED: Thanks for your concerns JB. We are indeed well away from the bush fires, although the smoke has invaded the city. So many homes lost from some deliberately started fires would you believe?

    • Sylvia says:

      Don’t forget the liberty bodice John……….

      • John Billett says:

        I’ve outgrown it Sylvia lol, the rubber buttons were broken anyway so got me some handsome thermal vests, only trouble is Peggy tries to wear them, only joking, roll on holiday down Cornwall, should be warmer by then.

    • John Billett says:

      Derek, last week I went to get in our car only to see it covered in ash from a fire. I said to Peggy ‘I haven’t smelled a garden fire have you’ she answered ‘No’. Later on on the radio it said it affected quite a bit of the area and that the ash came from the fires over Australia, now that takes some believing.

  111. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. YES Christmas is over, can’t believe we are already ten days in to the New Year. Hope you are all well and as Sylvia says “you can now come out from hiding” and Sylvia, you ask what we guys do. Well I spend a lot of time at the computer trying to improve my skills, finding out what makes certain things tick. I also do all my own housework, cooking and trying to look after the garden which is too big for me now and I never liked gardening anyway. I have a blasted MOLE who digs it for me! and I can’t catch the little blighter, looks like bombs have been dropped all over the place.

    Last Choir Standing competition last October

    Last Choir Standing competition last October

    I also sing with a Masonic Choir which we formed just a year ago and we entertain mainly after dinner parties. We practice weekly and individually at home and we entered a competition in October called “The last Choir Standing” AND we came SECOND beating the local Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society. How about that?

    So wishing you all well and looking forward to lots on interesting stories from you all. Pavoroti Bill.

    • Sylvia says:

      Goodness Bill, you certainly keep yourself busy and what an accomplishment to beat the Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society in the Choir competition. As to the mole, I’m afraid I have a bit of a warped sense of humour and I can see you sitting out in the garden with a 303 rifle waiting to shoot the blighter! I always liked gardening but aches and pains take over don’t they? My son has re-vamped the garden to low maintenance, I still grow a few veggies and I have a rockery. I have received your email and am amazed how big the shopping mall is.

      Derek I looked at your motor bike renovation site, and although I can’t pretend to understand what all the bits are for, it was certainly interesting and I shall look in on occasions to see how you are all getting on. I wish I could return the compliment and show you how all us ladies make up quilts to send to various charities, including Help the Heros, but we don’t have a web site. We prefer to sit and chat and sew and keep as many people as warm as possible.

  112. Sylvia says:

    It is safe for you all to come out of hiding now, the festivies are over. It was getting a bit cramped in the cupboard under the stairs. I hope you all had a good time with your families. Now it’s time for normality to reign, back to my Embroidery class and the Craft Group, without which I would go insane.

    How do you guys fill your time?

    • Greetings Sylvia.

      Good to see you’re back on board with no ill effects of the Seasonal stupidity. Where’s the simplicity and sincerity of the traditional issues gone, these days? Multiple deaths caused by speed and drinking over here, with overspending and retail sales madness thrown in – (grump! grump!) – ’tis getting out of control, especially with spiked drinks, drugs and road rage. At least we have the cricket to keep up with tradition and the idiots can vent their spleen/s at the umpires. Ho Hum – another year ahead.

      We’ve been very busy with gardening and taking our daughter’s doggie for walks while she’s absent interstate. We’ve had a dance and dinner or two with friends and I saw the Jack Reacher movie. Fishing and woodwork planned for the forthcoming weeks, then back to my kayak and motor cycle restoration with luck

      I forwarded your email address to Bill as requested.

      Happy 2013 to you and Family

      • Sylvia says:

        Thank you for giving my email address to Bill, I look forward to seeing his holiday pictures.

        How is Audrey now, was it something she drank or has she a food allergy? I suffer with a lactose intolerance, but I can cope with ingesting a little now and then with the aid of an anti-histamine. I can assure you that black tea is disgusting.

        Did you always do carpentry or is it something you learnt in your retirement? I learnt embroidery at school but it’s only in the last few years I’ve joined a group, it was also a reason to get out of the house and meet new people with similar interests.

        I wish you luck with your motor bike restoration, that sound complicated.

        • Hello Sylvia.
          I too look forward to seeing some of Bill’s photos, he has such a great supportive family in HK and it’ll be great to share with him. Audrey is barely recovered from her maladies – brought on no doubt from anxieties while being away from home base – and different food preparation. We have become ultra fussy over the years, with a high fruit and veggie diet , plus the change of accommodation never helps. My son also has 3 cats (beautiful creatures) but high maintenance with fur and microbes ever present. We’ve never had a cat in our homes ever.

          My carpentry pursuits have developed in retirement, but I’ve always been handy with woodwork, modelling and renovations etc. Carpentry was a boys’ subject at school in Bristol. Motor Bikes have been a passion since the 50’s, but I no longer ride ’em. Interesting that my daughter has just acquired a Harley -!! – to her mother’s disgust.

          Do you remember the old Austin ‘shooting brakes’ with wooden door panels. Quite a few car manufacturers in GB and the US produced a wide range in the 50s. Well my bike project involves the styling of a wooden fairing at the front and a seat cowling of western red cedar strips, creating a novel balance of wood and metal – should be unusual to say the least. This is a technique used in my ocean kayak building.

          CAFE RACERS

  113. Anne Knight says:

    Hi all. I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy new year. All the best for 2013 from Anne.

  114. John Billett says:

    G/day Derek, would like to remark on the backdrop to all the Pages, now that is taking us back a few years ago, keeps our minds refreshed.

    ED: Thanks JB, I’m forever tinkering with new WordPress applications to gauge the effect.

  115. Barry Cornish says:

    Here is wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. I am pleased to hear that Audrey was well enough to be able to join you for your New Year celebration, Derek.

    Alas, Nora became increasingly ill over Christmas, although she refused to allow me to get the doctor to see her until Boxing Day was over. She then had to be taken into hospital again, as an emergency admission. She is still very poorly, but receiving first-class treatment there. Fortunately, everyone ‘mucked in’ over Christmas, with the girls doing the shopping and trying to give the house some semblance of tidiness. Our grandsons did the washing up and my son-in-law and I cooked the roast turkey Christmas dinner, with all of the trimmings, whilst three-year old Joe kept us all entertained with his version of Power Rangers- Pow! Pow!

    I am pleased to hear that two new bloggers will be joining us soon, Derek. With Best Wishes, from Barry.

    • G’Day Barry

      Sad to hear the worrisome news of Nora, she’s doubtless in the best place to manage sudden illnesses as we have found, even relatively simple stuff like dehydration that often happens. I hope that Nora improves rapidly Barry.

      Audrey still under the weather but improving.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Barry, so sorry to hear Nora is still unwell, I’m sure she is getting the best nursing and attention there is. Pleased the family rallied round and done KP, it’s times like these that they show their metal. Hope Nora gets well soon and enjoys the New Year with you and the Family, take care.

  116. Geoff Cherry says:


  117. John Billett says:

    Thank you Sylvia, and thank you Derek and Audrey, and I would like to extend our New Year wishes to you. We hope you and Audrey don’t end up with hangovers after your evening out. Best of luck everyone.

  118. Sylvia says:

    Happy New Year to all the bloggers. I hope we all have good health and happiness in 2013. I’d hope for wealth as well, but I personally have lived this long without it and had a happy life.

    How is Audrey now Derek?

    • Happy New Year Sylvia – and all blogger mates. We’ve just returned from a NYE Dinner Dance to celebrate 2013. Audrey survived the jollity and the food so far – so good. We’ll find out later today, thank for asking. Take Care, Derek

  119. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek. Great to see you had a good time with family and I know exactly how you feel standing alongside the growing youngsters. I am sure it will not be long before my Great Grandchildren look down on me.

    I hope all our bloggers have had a great Christmas and I wish everyone a Happy New Year. I have to say the years are flying by a bit too quickly any ideas on how to slow them down? Anyway, great to hear from you. Love to Audrey and all the family. Best wishes to all. Bill

    • G’Day Bill, A Happy New Year to you also and to all blogger mates. I’ve had 2 new applications for Passwords, so maybe we’ll sight more comments in due course.

      We’re home safe and sound after a final day drama with Audrey suffering a reaction to some Christmas Pud and flying back home under duress, She is recovering slowly – hopefully in time for NYE festivities at the Italian Club.

      I hope that your youngsters will soon test your memories and listen to your happy stories. Good Health for 2013 Sjnt Major.


    P1180844 Just uploaded all my photos taken 21st – 27th December while we were spending Christmas with family in Melbourne. On Boxing Day I took my grandsons on a fishing foray to places that I’ve known for 40 years. Surprising how they grow and we shrink with time. Must remember to take my pills!!

    • John Billett says:

      G/day ED, we are glad you were able to make it this year, it’s good you enjoyed your stay with the family. Looking at the photo you’ve displayed it won’t be long before they’re calling you Shorty. We get the same feeling when we stand beside our grandchildren, then they get sassy with it, they reckon I got ducks disease, every time I step off the pavement my ass smacks the kerb. Take care, won’t be long now before we’re in the New Year.

  121. Barry Cornish says:

    Thank you all for your good wishes for Nora and me. I am pleased to say that I brought her home from hospital yesterday, with instructions for her to have complete rest for the next three weeks at least, as well a change in her medication. All the family are now here, so I am lucky to have a lot of help with everything that has to be done over Christmas. Our three-year old grandson, Joe, can hardly contain his excitement, which is really infectious.

    Fortunately, Sylvia, we live up a hill, about half a mile away from the area which has been severely flooded and my route to the hospital was passable, with care, although often a couple of inches deep in water in places.

  122. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Barry. All best wishes to you and extra special wishes for Nora and I pray that she will soon be well and back home with you. Thinking about you all and hope you can make the most of the christmas period

  123. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Sylvia. No you would not recognise anything in HK now it has changed dramatically. Five tunnels going under the harbour for trains and traffic, takes just a short time to come up on the other side BUT it is nice to travel on the old Star Ferry, just like old times. And to go up in to the territories you now travel on six lane highways cutting through the mountains instead of going round them and massive skyscrapers wherever you look

    If you let me have your Email address I will send you some pictures ou will be amazed. Mrry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and to all Bloggers. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      Wow, when I was there we only had Star Ferry. Six lane motor ways to the New Territories, goodness me! Dad used to drive us to Artillery Beach on Sundays, he’d drive up the Twist (I think that is what the road was called) and we’d pass loads of little villages and some walled ones, I expect they’ve been knocked down.

      Derek when we’ve finished celebrating Christmas and New Year I’d be grateful if you would give Bill my email address please.

  124. Sylvia says:

    I’ve just been listening to the news, Barry, I sincerely hope you are no where near the flooding in Helston and it’s not preventing you from getting to the Hospital to see Nora.

  125. Barry Cornish says:

    Hello Everyone! I have been ‘out of the loop’ for the past few days, because Nora is in hospital in Truro and I have been travelling up to see her and spending as long as possible with her. All being well, she should be allowed home for Christmas, when all of our family will be here.

    Welcome back home from your recent memorable trip, Bill. I am pleased to hear that you had such a good time. With Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all of you Bloggers, from, Barry.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Barry (Helstonian), good to see you are well, I hope that Nora is not suriously unwell and that you will have her at home with you for the Christmas period and that you both can celebrate it together with your family. Wishing you The seasons greetings, take care.

    • G’Day Barry. Our best wishes to you and Nora and Family, We hope to hear only good news of Nora, please keep us informed. Regards Derek

    • Sylvia says:

      Hi Barry, sorry to hear that Nora is in hospital once more. I do hope she will be home for Christmas, I will keep my fingers crossed for you all.

  126. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Anne. Many thanks for your kind message. YES I had a fabulous time with my relatives over in HK .I didn’t want to come home and the time just flew by so quickly. I hope to go over again next year sometime, but I think I will try to go for a month instead of just two weeks, there is so much to do, so much to see and so much to enjoy SO Fingers crossed that my health will hold out and and that things will work out well for me.

    Once again, thanks for your greetings and hope you have a great time over the Christmas and New Year festivities. Bill

  127. Sylvia says:

    Hi Derek and Audrey, safe journey for the 21st and I hope you both have a lovely Christmas with your family. I hope the only time you get wet is from the inside by a drop of your favourite tipple. Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy 2013.

  128. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Bill. I’m glad you had a lovely holiday in Hong Kong and arrived back home safely. All the best from Anne.

  129. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your best wishes and Bon Voyage messages. See Well Wishers page for my update. Had a great time., nice to be back and ready to plan my next visit. Hell it’s a TOUGH life. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      Welcome back Bill, I’m pleased you’ve had a lovely time. It would be nice to see photos of the Church where you and Nancy were married, or any other photos you have of your holiday. Hong Kong has changed so much since I was there I bet I wouldn’t recognise much.

  130. John Billett says:

    Good Morning everyone, after the recent sad time we’ve had I would like to think we can lift our heads and get on with our lives in the way Swanny would want us to. Get ourselves in the mood for the next big occasion that is fastly approaching us, namely Christmas. We will think of times gone bye with deep emotions, especially about when we were in the mob, but even more about the lives we’ve forged and lived since we left the mob, our families that we’ve made and have around us, time to celebrate and count our blessings. But one thing for sure we will not forget any of family or friends that we have lost over the years.

    • Barry Cornish says:

      Dear J B and Sylvia, Thank you both for your messages. I do agree with what you both have to say with one notable exception. JB, the next big occasion is not Christmas, but your Birthday! With best wishes, from Barry.

    • Sylvia says:

      Well said JB, our Regimental Family will never be far from our thoughts.

      I think you’ll find that your birthday pressie this year may be covered in snow, we’ve already had a garden full of the damn stuff.

  131. Sylvia says:

    It is difficult to keep General Chattering with Swanny’s passing still on our minds. I just want you to know that I am thinking of you all.

    Sorry to see you are still having problems Derek.


    Since Privatisation – a few months ago – I’ve dispatched many “Invitations to Blog” via the WordPress portal on the blog site. Receipt of an invitation requires you to follow the prompts – including – the nomination of a suitable Password/ID – all simple stuff and quite similar to many other electronic access platforms. When you activate this invitation – I as Editor and site owner – receive a verifying email that unlocks the permission process – voila – it has worked in most cases.

    What I don’t expect is that “someone” would select a sensitive Password prefaced with “limostwanted” which is clearly the proper titling of the blog and if approved would create the very cyber chaos that is the reason why this site is privatised. So, if you are mates with, or know of some ‘Charlie’ who is hoping to make a connection back onto the blogs, will you kindly let him/her know to use some commonbloodysense and use a Password that will not raise the hairs on the back of my neck (the few that are left). Thank You.

  133. John Billett says:

    Hello Bill. Bon Voyage to you, enjoy your trip to Hong Kong.

  134. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone. As you will appreciate it will not be possible for me to attend dear Swanny’s funeral but I will be there in spirit even though I will be thousands of miles away in Hong Kong visiting what is left of my darling Nancy’s family. There are not many of them now I am sad to say.

    Please know that if it were possible I would be there, and I would appreciate it if someone could say a few words to Doris and family to add to what I have said and sent to them by post. I may be absent from here for two weeks unless one of my family can lend me a computer during the two weeks that I will in Hong Kong. Bye for now. Bill

    ED: Bon Voyage Bill, safe trip out and back Sjnt Major. Our thoughts and best wishes at all times.

  135. Barry Cornish says:

    Dear All,

    I have just received details of our dear old mate, Swanny’s, funeral. Barry.

    ED: Thank you Barry. the funeral details are posted to DCLI Memoriale page header, which is our customary procedure.

  136. Anne Knight says:

    Dear Doris and family. what sad news to hear of Swanny’s passing, he was a much loved man, loved by all who knew him, he will be sorely missed. My heartfelt condolences to all of his family at this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love to you all from Anne and family.

    R.I.P.dear Swanny.

  137. Geoff Cherry says:

    It was with great sadness I heard of Swanny leaving us, he was a mate we all admired, rest in peace old mate. My condolences to Doris And family. Geoff

  138. Bill Griffiths says:

    Rest in Peace dear old Swanny. We will miss you old soldier and you will be a hard act to follow. Bill

  139. John Billett says:

    Thank you Barry, I think it was just a matter of time, he did suffer but now is at peace.Peggy & I would like very much to join you and everyone else in sending condolences to Doris and Family.

    RIP Swanny.

  140. Barry Cornish says:

    Dear All,
    It is with great sadness that I am passing on the news that I have just received, that our old mate and wonderful old soldier, Swanny, has lost his latest battle with cancer and passed away last night. At present, I do not know what the arrangements will be for his funeral, but I will post these as soon as I hear. I am sure that you would all like to join me in passing on our sincere condolences to Doris, who has looked after him so well throughout his illness, and to all of his family.


    • Sylvia says:

      Please pass the condolences of the Royffe family to Doris and her family. God rest your soul Swanny, you have fought your longest battle it’s now time to rest. RIP Sylvia

  141. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Sylvia, thanks for your lovely comment, yes it will great seeing her trophies on display in public, It will be a proud moment for me. The Maritime Museum was in Stanley, but has just moved in to Central Hong Kong right in the Ferry Pier area. It is all being refurbished and updated and in fact at the moment closed for this and is re-opening on 13th February, but I have been offered VIP treatment and a special personal conducted tour on my own whilst I am there One of the top guys there is an ex Marine and was also a top notch sharpshooter and we are in regular contact via email. I will try to take some photos if I am allowed.
    Trouble is, it will all pass by so very quickly. Ah well, just have to go again next year. Bill

  142. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, thanks for your comments. YES time is rolling by and we have to make the most of it but what a pity we are so spread about around the country, I would love to meet you all and we could really swing the lamp and tell a few stories. I still have twinges of the gout but it is not going to stop my trip. I fly a week tomorrow and I am taking all Nancy’s shooting trophies to present to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum where they can be on show back in Hong Kong where she won them all those years ago and they can be admired for many years to come instead of being stuck on a shelf here in my bungalow.

    It is absolutely hissing down with rain here and it is completely dark at four o clock, what has happened to our weather? who can we blame? Anyway I am in the warm, plenty to eat, a good stack of red wine, lots of photos of my darling Nancy to look at, what more do I want? All the best for now to everyone, keep blogging. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      What a wonderful tribute to Nancy’s shooting abilities. I’m trying to place the Maritime Museum, but I can’t, it was 47 years ago I was there. Enjoy your stay in Hong Kong and I hope your gout continues to improve.

  143. John Billett says:

    Hello every one, wonderful to welcome Barry back into our midst. I was very pleased that we got together and had a chat down at Bodmin in September. Sylvia is a lovely Lady and a pleasure to talk too at any time. I’m glad that the ‘Lucknow Dinner’ went off well and that every one enjoyed it. Bill you also are a great guy, I love your enthusiasm to keep in contact with as many as possible, as you are the elder soldier I admire you intensely. As Derek has taken on the role as Editor and set up these web pages we do also admire him and will do our utmost to feed information and banter to ensure we keep it alive.

    Bill is your gout cleared up yet ready for your forth coming trip?

    • Sylvia says:

      Thank you for your comments John, and rest assured that flattery will get you everywhere! I didn’t have time to go to the restaurant on the Lizard, during my short stay, but I’m sure it will still be there next year.

  144. Bill Griffiths says:

    A special message for our Editor.

    Hello Derek. So pleased to see another Old soldier back on the blog. Great Stuff and I speak on behalf of all of us. Thank you for your grit and determination in keeping us going and pray that we will be able to keep going with all your invaluable determination for many years to come.

    Everyone agree ? OF COURSE YOU DO. Lets hear you say it, come on. All together now. Well done Derek.


    • Barry Cornish says:

      Hi, Bill, JB and Sylvia,

      Thank you all for your welcome back. Bill, I would like to second your vote of thanks to Derek for all the work that he has put into instituting and controlling these web sites. I see that there are now twenty-seven under his control – that’s some feat! I do hope that you have a good trip to Hong Kong.

      • BLOG PAGES

        Thanks Barry, I appreciate your remarks and the fact that you are with us again. Trevor too has been invited via WordPress. For those Contributors unaware of the ID process, you can programme your browser to “remember” your Password/ID which, after a while simply requires you to enter at the dropped menu option.

        Update: There are in fact 50 Pages in the Light Infantry Most Wanted repertoire, 24 of which have been closed to view, leaving the 26 operational for comment. In our heyday we were taking 20 and 30 comments daily, but much of the banter was unacceptable. I feel that we have a nice balance now and would like to see the return of Swanny, and a few other former regulars, but I fear that the additional manoever that requires a login, is too much for many.

  145. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Barry, great to hear from you and welcome back. I know your return will be welcomed by all those of us still here. I know the feeling with ancient computers, I have been through this several times, trouble is they keep updating too quickly and you have to be about five or six years old to understand what is happening BUT we old ‘uns can show them a thing or two in many other ways. Right Guys?

    Let us know how things are with you and keep us up to date with any major changes. Once again welcome back.

  146. Barry Cornish says:

    HELLO ALL! Having experienced difficulties with my ancient computer, I have updated to an Apple MacBook Pro laptop and I am delighted that I am now able to access your excellent websites again, Derek.

    It is good to see that you, Bill, Geoff, JB, Anne and Sylvia are all here on this section, with your contributions. It was good to meet you again at the Lucknow Dinner last Friday, Sylvia. It was a really good occasion, wasn’t it? I think that everyone who was there missed Swanny and Doris and I have no doubt that they are both in all of our prayers.

    With best wishes to you all, from, Barry Cornish.

    • Sylvia says:

      Hello Barry, yes it was lovely to meet you at the Lucknow Dinner, I was also pleased to see how well attended it was. I believe there was 51 members and guests, and those Buglers were wonderful, they played at the Royal Albert Hall for the Remembrance Service on 10th Nov. The Manager of the Lugger Hotel was over attentive I thought, but apparently there was a problem with the service last year. I didn’t know as I didn’t get there last year, that was the day I had a burst tyre and wrote my car off, luckily with no injury to myself. I look forward to seeing your comments Barry.

  147. Sylvia says:

    Hi all, I spoke to Frank Baxter on Friday night (Lucknow Dinner), who said he is in daily contact with Doris and speaks to Swanny if possible. Apparently he is on a water/blow up bed, I’m not sure which, but he is drifting in and out of sleep and not really eating anything now. Not good news is it, he is in my prayers.

  148. John Billett says:

    Hello Bill, even though it is not good news thank you for relaying it to us. I know we all feel for Swanny and very sad as it is, it is Doris and all his family we must pray for now. As he was eating and feeling better I was hoping Swanny was going to pull through and get stronger. We will keep praying.

  149. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again everyone, in addition to my last blog. I have now also been in touch with the British Legion in Heamore who tell me that they have been visiting or asking about Swanny, despite the fact that HE told me they had shown little interest, but they say it is probably his short term memory that has been the problem and that he just did not remember being visited or contacted.

    So, there is not a lot they can do now anyway but they have promised me that they will try to speak to Doris tomorrow and see what the situation is. At least we know now that all that has been possible has been done, all we have to now is pray for the old soldier. God Bless him and look after him. Bill

  150. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everybody, I have just been chatting to Swanny’s wife Doris and his daughter who is with them at the moment and sad to say that Swanny has gone down hill quite a bit. He seems to have lost the will to carry on and has been very poorly recently, even poor Doris does not think he will pull through this time. I couldn’t speak to him because he was in bed sleeping and that seems to be all he is capable of at the moment. I have told Doris to let him know that we are still all rooting for him and want him back on parade again BUT things don’t look very good I am sad to report. Please everybody, pray for him, pray for his recovery, pray for Doris and the family. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings.

    Best wishes to you all Bill.

    PS: if you know of any of his old mates and how to contact them, please let them know especially if they are living close by where they could visit…

  151. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John. Re the photos of the Korean Veterans memorial. In 2000 when I was still Chairman and Treasurer of our Branch in Hereford, we decided to put Memorial Plaques in the six Market Towns of Herefordshire to commemorate the start of the Korean War and, as a founder member of the Branch I was also allowed to have one here in my little Village of Eardisley. Each year in the week before Remembrance Sunday, members of our branch parade and hold a short service of remembrance at each of the sites, whilst I try to keep my site tidy throughout the year.

    As you can see from the pictures we had a good turn out, 10 of us. Considering our numbers are very much depleted now and the youngest has to be at least 79 and I think I am the eldest at 82. I was just twenty when I was sent to Korea. I only hope I will be spared for many more years to keep up this little tradition. Bill

  152. John Billett says:

    Hi Bill, I like the photos you sent Derek to put on blog, I didn’t take any photos this year, as I said to Derek some while ago it’s a job to find something different to focus on, and sometimes with so many people mingling around you can’t get the best shots.

  153. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek, many thanks for putting the pictures on the blog page. Hope you are all well, time is flying by and in 17 days time. I will be flying off to Honky Tonky. Whoopeeeeee. Bill.

    ED: Hi Bill, – no Hanky Panky in Honky Tonky ‘Ole Chep – take care.

  154. Sylvia says:

    Hi Geoff, please don’t worry about not remembering me in Falmouth, I wouldn’t have remembered you either. We were kids that just wanted to play and enjoy ourselves, and we weren’t in Falmouth that long. I met up with Gloria a couple of years ago, after a 50 year gap, and I didn’t remember what her Father and Mother looked like even though we spent about 5 years at school and play. Firstly in Minden then, later in Falmouth and then on to Bodmin. It’s just lovely that we can chat about ‘the good old days’ even though we don’t know each other.

    I am going to the Lucknow Dinner in Penzance this coming weekend. I shall travel down on Thursday and return home on Monday,. A long way to drive (I live in Kent) for the weekend I know but worth it to see DCLI mates and old school mates.

    Take care, Sylvia

  155. John Billett says:

    Good Morning All. Seems we all had a good Remembrance Day, I’m glad about that. It’s good that we are able, still, to get around and do our little bit no matter how small, makes you feel good inside. Have a good day everyone, take care of yourselves.

  156. Anne Knight says:

    Hi All. I watched the Remembrance Service on the TV. it made me proud to be British. We will remember them.

  157. Sylvia says:

    Morning everyone, I went to Hawkhurst yesterday for the Armistice Service. My sister Eileen carried the Standard for the Ladies Section of the British Legion and proudly wears Dad’s medals. The weather was good to us, it’s a long march from the church to the Unknown Soldier’s Memorial. The leader of the British Legion always reads out the names of all of the service personal that have died, from the village, in conflicts old and new. It is only a small village but the list is long and getting longer. RIP to all service personnel who gave their lives for our freedom.

  158. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John. glad you had a good day yesterday on Remembrance day. I too was at my local Church which was packed to capacity and the service was well conducted and attended by the British Legion etc. We, The Korean Veterans also had a short service last Wednesday at our Memorial Plaque here in my Village. I sent a few pictures to Derek which he will put on the Korea part of the website. All best wishes to you and everyone. Bill

    ED: G’Day Sjnt Major. Hereto your recent photos at Eardisley during the week before Armistice Day. Well Done Old Soldier.

  159. John Billett says:

    Hello everyone, I hope you all have had a good Rememberance Day, I went to my local church this morning for our Service, I met Bill Eaton and his wife Sylvia there, a lovely surprise. After the Service in the church Bill and I marched with the Veterans to the Cenotaph in our Park for another laying of the wreaths and a small prayer and a hymn, we walked back to where our cars were parked then said our farewells to each other, the weather was kind for the Service. Take care everyone.

  160. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi Sylvia, Thanks for getting back to me, and yes selling poppies and meeting people was very rewarding, I believe we did very well this year, but I could kick myself. A chap and his wife came up to me, his opening remark was, how did that badge get up here, he then said he was Cornish we did have a brief chat, but idiot that I am, I did not get his name or where he was living, he remarked on the battle honour BRANDY WINE CREEK, so he must have served in the Regiment.

    I am hoping that we meet again, when I am not otherwise employed, try as hard as I might I cannot remember you, but you say about the flats at Pendennis, for a short time I had the bottom flat until I was posted back to the OX/BUCK, but I am sure I must have seen you. Best wishes, Geoff.

  161. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi Anne, How are you keeping these days, it is nice to be back, my ISP supplier let me down badly, but all is well now, had a clear week from hospitals, so have been on poppy duty, ASDA & MOTORWAY SERVICES this week, really enjoyed it, best wishes for now. Geoff

    • Sylvia says:

      Hello Geoff, I am sure you were very proud to go on Poppy Duty. I must say that there were more sellers around this year. Where I live we have had trouble getting them in the past, when I went into ASDA yesterday there was a table laid out the the poppies and two people selling them.

      When I was in Cornwall early this year, Gloria (nee Turner) and I went to the gullies where we played, when we all lived in the flats just under Pendennis Castle. We couldn’t jump across them like we used to as there had been a landslide and a concrete wall as been built. To be honest we are just too old now to get up to childhood pranks.

  162. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Sylvia, thanks for your message. Yes it is a funny feeling having trouble with teeth and feet, sort of top and bottom of things and being only a little chap (five foot two ) there’s not much in between to go wrong but I can boast, that I do not have a big fat beer belly like some a lot younger than me. Ha! Ha!. I look after that by eating well and drink in moderation. Haven’t had a drink since lunchtime! I was able to chew on a few sandwiches at lunchtime and tonight will try a piece of fish and some bubble and squeak. Nice to hear from you,keep in touch. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      Hi Bill, I’m pleased to hear that you drink in moderation and eat really well. I think I’ve been shrinking over the years, when I left school I was five foot six and took size 7 shoes now, 50 years later, I am five foot five and take size 6 shoes. I have never figured out what happened ..

  163. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everyone, see Well Wisher page for an update on Swanny. Bill

    • Sylvia says:

      Thank you for your update on Swanny. How is your foot now Bill, what with that and teeth out, I’m sure you don’t know which part of you to hold first! I hope you are fully recovered by the time you go to Hong Kong. Where abouts in Hong Kong do you stay?

  164. Anne Knight says:

    Hi Sylvia. Great to have you back on the blogs. Yes it was lovely to see you again down in lovely Cornwall, my family were pleased to meet you as well. Laura and Emma are stopping with me next year, and also the rest of my family all being well.Keep in touch Sylvia. Best wishes from Snne

  165. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Geoff. Great to have you back with us, how have you been these days. Glad you sorted the password out its easy when you know how, its a pity a few more don’t get it sorted, come on gang get your acts together we would love for you all to come back on the blogs. Don’t lose touch we would all like to see you back.

    Well Geoff look after yourself. All the best, Anne

    • Sylvia says:

      Hi Anne, I hope you and your lovely family are well. It was nice to meet some of them in June, also to catch up with John and Jenny.

  166. John Billett says:

    Good morning Sylvia, good to see you back on parade, glad you worked out the way to get back in with us, If only a few more would come back into the fold. Glad to hear all the Royffe family are well. Now you are back in it’s worth a look at Sgt Cook’s photos in the Military Album.

    • Sylvia says:

      I’ve looked at Wendy’s photos John, there is one of my Mum and Dad at a Tramps Ball. I’ll email her and ask if she’ll scan it and send it to me.

      ED: Hello Sylvia, welcome back. You can scan (copy) a .jpeg straight off the Picasa Album – OK? Just right mouse click and “copy” to another My Pictures File.

      • John Billett says:

        Hi Sylvia, I did notice your Dad with soot on his face, not knowing Mum too well I didn’t know if it was her or not. More memories for you to mull over, take care.

      • Sylvia says:

        Thanks Derek, I’ll have a go at this later on. I’m off to my embroidery class this morning, I’m learning loads and it keeps me from tearing my hair out in the winter when I can’t go to the caravan.

  167. Sylvia says:

    Good Morning Gang. Here I am at last, sorry to be late on parade! I have only just worked out how to get a password. This techno stuff goes straight over my head. The Royffe family are all well, we all meet up as regularly as life allows. A sad meeting at the end of this month as it is 30 years ago that we lost Dad.

    I have recently been in contact with Gage Williams via email, he and his family are mourning the loss of Toots. I will try and meet up with him when I go to Cornwall next year.

    I attended the Open Day at the Barracks in Bodmin in September and met up with Wendy Rees, daughter of George Cook, her sister Sally and I were friends at school in Jamaica. She kindly gave me some photos of my Mum and Dad that I had never seen. Wendy was pleased that she attended as she met up with a guy who knew her father. Although I enjoyed the day, I have to admit it wasn’t the same without Swanny there. I am hoping that he and Doris will be at the Lucknow Dinner in a couple of weeks time.

    I am sorry to hear of the illnesses you guys have suffered and I wish you all better soon. Kind regards Sylvia

  168. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everybody, including all old bloggers who we want to hear from again. Come on Guys, the years are rolling by far too fast, let’s keep them interesting by swapping tales of yesteryear. Coming up to November 11th and I know you will all be remembering those who have sadly left us.

    I will be holding a short service on Wednesday at the Korean Veterans Memorial Plaque here in my Village of Eardisley, and members of my Branch will be doing the same at six other Plaques which we set up in the neighbouring Market Towns way back in the year 2000. I will also of course be remembering all those who have passed away and for the health and strength of those of us left behind. Come on all you old Soldiers, let’s hear from you. All best wishes to you all. Bill Griffiths

  169. John Billett says:

    Hello again Geoff, lovely to hear from you, how are you coping with your Mobile Scooter, I keep looking for you on the M5 but haven’t seen you yet lol, good to have you back.

  170. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Geoff. Great to see another old soldier back on the Blog, although we have never met I feel as though I know you and everyone who is an old soldier, and supporting the fantastic effort Derek has made over the years to keep us all together. Wish there were more of them would come back as you have done. There are not many of us at the moment so try to spread the word and see if you can persuade others to join us again.
    All best wishes to all old soldiers. Bill

    PS: For Derek. Hope we can get some more of the old boys to return.

    ED: Hi Bill. Geoff and I go way back to 1954, and he has been a welcome contributor since he belatedly discovered our site only a year or so ago. Geoff has promptly activated his ID/Password portal quicker than I could respond, which proves how easy is the process.

  171. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi ED thanks, I am glad to be back, best wishes to all.

    ED: Goodonyer Geoff, welcome back, you’ve been missed. Hope all’s well.

  172. John Billett says:

    Hello Anne, Bill & Derek, hope you’re all well. Great news to hear Swanny is at home and as Anne said there is no place like home to recover quickly, I’m glad he is eating something that is always a good sign. Let us hope that he gets well enough to be able to live a decent life, all the best to everyone, take care.

  173. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Anne and everyone. Great to hear your news Anne about Swanny AND I rang tonight, and have been chatting to him this evening on the phone and he sounds GREAT. Of course he has to take things as they come BUT he is in great spirits and fingers crossed he will make good progress. I told him that we are are all praying for him and he sends his best wishes to you all. GREAT NEWS and I just wish that we could hear from other old pals of his. Where are they? Bill

    PS: Where are all his other old pals. Do they care any more?

  174. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Derek, Bill, John. I had a phone call from John& Jenny Griffin, on the well being of Swanny. He came home Tuesday after the delivery of a special bed and that Swanny has slightly improved and that he is eating, which is great news. I’m sure Swanny will come on in leaps and bounds now he is home, there’s no place like home to recover with Doris looking after him, bless her. John said he would keep me informed will let you know. God bless Swanny will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes from Anne.

  175. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, great to hear from you. With regard to kids knocking on the door I usually open the door with a big bucket in my hand making believe it is full of water and shout “OK who wants it first”, you should see them run. Ha Ha! Yes, time is flying by. Tomorrow, the 30th will be sixty years ago since we arrived back in UK at Southampton after three years out in the Far East, seventeen months of which was in Korea and I had my darling Nancy with me, and we had only been married for thirty days all of which had been spent at sea on our way back home. Where have all the years gone? Keep in touch, I will try and ring Swanny again in the week see how things are, OK? Bill

  176. John Billett says:

    Good morning everyone, hope you all had a good weekend and that you’re all keeping well. Good news about Swanny again thanks to Bill updating us again. Have you all got your Halloween outfits ready if not just get the sweets ready for the kids who come knocking on the door. Isn’t the year flying by, soon be time to hang our stockings up, keep smiling everyone, take care.

  177. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Everyone. I had a phone call from Doris today to say that Swanny is OK but still in the Hospice BUT is expected home on Tuesday. He seems to be in good spirits, but obviously not happy about being so restricted. I know he is thrilled that we are all willing him to keep going and fight on like a good old soldier. Best wishes to you all. Bill

  178. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Derek, Bill, John. Thank you all for information on Swanny. I’m so sorry to see that he is under the weather, i wish him a speedy recovery and that he will soon be on the mend. Also thank you to Donald for letting us know about his dad. All the best my friends, take care from Anne.

  179. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, great to hear from you and yes, nice to share news about Swanny. Keep in touch dear friend, not many of us left. SAD to say. Bill

  180. John Billett says:

    Hello everyone, hope you’re all well. Thank you Bill for your update on Swanny, good to know he is home, but sorry to hear he is still with problems, we can only hope he gets better soon. Good of Donald to contact you Bill. Take care everyone.

  181. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello all, just had a message from Swanny’s son Donald. Swanny is home again but still under the weather and they seem to be mucking about with his treatment and changing medication, which of course must be upsetting the poor old chap. I know it happens to me and sometimes I wonder if the Medics really know what they are doing or are they just using us as guinea pigs. No wonder our Army Docs of yesteryear used to say “Medicine and Duty” and send us back to barracks. Hope you are all OK.

    I have responded to Donald giving him best wishes from you all. That is of course. You Derek, John, Anne.
    Is there anybody else out there or have they all gone AWOL?

    Just cooking Sunday Lunch. Roast Chicken and all the trimmings, plus of course a nice bottle of wine Australian Shiraz. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. All best wishes Bill

    ED: Thanks Bill, good to know that our Old Mate is home at last. I appreciate your diligent efforts on my/our behalf. Lunch sounds good – do you do takeouts?

  182. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek. thanks for all your kind words and I like you just can’t understand what makes some of our old soldiers tick? (Perhaps their clockwork has gone rusty?) It seems that sometimes they are in a different World to us, interested only in themselves, slugging down PINTS at various gatherings, then forgetting completely the CAMARADERIE they once used to enjoy. Or did they?

    Derek, you have been a superstar in providing us all with this great stepping stone, on which we have been able to keep in touch for so many years now, and it will be a SAD day if you have to close it down BUT I for one really appreciate the time and effort you have put in to keep us all together and the patience you have shown in dealing with those who didn’t appreciate your efforts, even though I was one of the late comers to your wonderful Blog pages.

    Derek. Once again thank you for everything. God Bless You and all your family, and I pray that some of our PAST bloggers will return and show you the respect you deserve. All best wishes. Bill.

    KSLI ‘Aucto Splendore Resurgo’

  183. John Billett says:

    Hello every one, hey Bill what good news that you spoke to Swanny, glad to hear he is keeping going. I hope he is much better in health when he eventually goes home, I’m sure Doris will do her best by him. As regards him chasing the nurses, ‘Did you know that a woman can run with her skirt up round her waist can run faster than a man with his trousers down round his ankles’. All joking apart lets all hope he does get better soon.

  184. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek, John, Anne. I have just been on the phone to the Hospice and they let me speak to Swanny and he was so very pleased to hear from me and all your best wishes. He sounded in reasonably good spirits considering his general health and he is expecting to be allowed home sometime next week. I told him to keep chasing the nurses, that will help him recover fully.

    Anyway, he said he had not been looked after by the British Legion which doesn’t surprise me at all, I have never found them to be very helpful in the past, so I resigned quite a few years ago when they ignored me when I was ill. The main thing is we are now in contact with the old soldier and he is OK. Not quite fit for duty yet but hopefully will be soon. If you are in touch with any other old buddies of his, let them know the news. All the best. Bill

    • G’Day Bill.

      I echo the thanks of JB and no doubt the thoughts of Anne in your diligence in chasing down news of Swanny. Worrying times when someone virtually disappears without notice. Goodonyer Bill, you are indeed a loyal Old Light Infantryman. You may now open another bottle!

      I take your point in the direct email to me regarding “Mates” – local, 1 or more for the use of when in peril”. The timing of recent events is unfortunately all awry, in that a Password/ID is now required to access the communal message banks (for the many reasons given), and takes the process back a stage – no greater however, than accessing an ATM, nevertheless. It is unfortunate that local Cornish lads who know Swanny,and who meet him at local DCLI Assn events are silent on the matter, and these attitudes have a habit of biting one on the ass. My prediction is that suddenly – after Swanny starts blogging again, we’ll note the appearance of a few malingerers – I hope so.

      Despite your concern, the interests of Anne & JB – and mine too, the writing is on the wall for the future of LI Most Wanted in its present format. If an Old Mate can’t demonstrate enough compassion to send a supportive ‘Cheerio’ and pass on vital information at a time of great concern for another Old Mate of yesteryear – what use is a massive platform such as this?

      Bill, you are the Senior Soldier in our little group of survivors and have suffered greatly at a personal and medical level, more so than any of us. So too we individually manage our challenges without gripes and have managed to communicate through it all and give much in return. No doubt the missing few are having problems also – so I guess a little compassion cuts both ways!BUT, there are alternatives in ways and methods of keeping in touch, and the time will arrive when a direct email or an occasional phone call will be the alternative to this site. I shall shut it down eventually at which time the site will be passive for viewing only.

  185. John Billett says:

    Hello Bill, thank you for updating us on Swanny’s progress, Doris must be worn out. I hope he rallies around soon, he must be in a sorry state, we’ll keep praying for him.

  186. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek, John, Anne. Just to let you know I have just spoken to Swanny’s wife Doris. Poor old Swanny is in St Julias Hospice in Hayle mainly to give Doris a break because she has had a hard time looking after him. He has been suffering from pneumonia and is expected to stay in the Hospice for another week and will be discharged then providing he still make progress. I have asked Doris to give him best wishes from us all and pray that the old soldier will recover and get back to a reasonable state of health. The Hospice Tel no is; 01736 759070 if you feel like giving them a call. I will be speaking to them in the morning to see what they can tell me. OK guys bye for now

  187. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, great to hear from you, a pity you didn’t get in to the Cathedral, it is really beautiful and as you probably remember. I was a Chorister there from 1940 till 1945 where we sang at services twice a day weekdays and most Sundays three times. Great memories. I was there this morning for about a quarter of an hour and the organist was practising with some really powerful music such a wonderful sound.

    The current Organ was built in 1892 a little before my time, it has been modified of course over the years; it has four keyboard manuals and 67 stops to change the voices. It produces wonderful and powerful sounds.

    Glad you liked Hereford. My darling Nancy fell in love with it sixty years ago when she arrived here in October 1952 and she never wanted to go back to Hong Kong, never. All the best for now. Bill

  188. John Billett says:

    Hello every one, hoping Saturday is a good day for you all. Bill, Peggy and I came into Hereford some while ago, we were on a coach tour and we were dropped into Hereford for the afternoon. It was a while ago, we tried to go into the Cathedral but we weren’t allowed as they were wiring it up for Songs of Praise, thats how long ago. We did enjoy the shopping area.

  189. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello all, managed to get out in to Hereford today, foot still sore, but managed to walk around town for a while and get to my local Church for a few moments with my darling Nancy. Hope youe are all OK. We have a nice bit of sunshine again today, not quite good enough to go out topless but very pleasant, best wishes to all. Bill

  190. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek John, Anne and Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Still suffering with the old Gout but the docs have been very good, have had two home visits so far and expecting another one tomorrow. I think they may soon look for a Witch Doctor to come and have a look at me. Perhaps put me in a pot for a few days, bring to the boil and try to tenderize things.

    Hope you are all OK. Has anyone heard from Swanny, poor old chap he must be suffering and we can’t do anything to help but pray and I am certainly doing this. All best wishes. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill. “We three we’re all alone typing on the old laptop, Anne, Bill And Me” yes I’m fine Bill, went out to lunch today, my Peg, Shirley her sister and John, Shirley’s husband and we were joined by my youngest daughter Susan. We dined at our local Harvester, we had a lovely lunch. We dine out every three weeks, makes quite a change for the women, gets them out of the kitchen for a day. We go to different watering holes, we’ve been informed that our favourite carvery pub is disappearing so we’ll have to search out another one, not easy to find a good carvery midweek. Hurry up and get that dreaded gout gone then you can get out and about again, at least get it gone before you take off for Hong Kong.


    As is obvious the entire site has been privatised for reasons given. Access is by ID/Password only – obtainable by following an ultra simple process via WordPress, that requires an approved subscriber to logon/logoff each time you view. Multiple invitations have been dispatched – 3 thus far have accepted – well, what more can I say?

  192. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Derek. Thank you for inviting me back on the blogs, its great, and to thank you for bringing them all together for the Re-Union in 2009. Joe was over the moon to meet you all again after 53-54 years it was all he talked about, I had never met any of you before but now I have you all as one big family. If it hadn’t have been for you and my computer, we wouldn’t have known about the Re-Union, and for that I thank you. Keep in touch my friends. God bless you all. From Anne.

    ED: Thank you for your kind comments Anne. I too shared the happiness when seeing you all again in June 2009. It was a timely arrangement for many of the old 3 Platoon and I’m doubly happy that Joe was able to catch up with so many of his Old Mates from ’54-’55. Good too that you are able to repeat the gathering each June. I speak to Griff occasionally, who reports that Brad has been unwell, and I hear also that Swanny is doing it tough.

    All said however, we are all well into the 3 score years + ten prediction and at some stage we’ll all join Joe in that special place reserved for Old Soldiers. In the meantime, thank you for your persistence in setting up your WordPress ID – good to see you accomplish the process, where many others (so far) can’t be bothered. It is quite simple. Take Care.

  193. Anne Knight says:

    Hello Bill. Sorry you have a bad foot, I hope it soon gets better for you,and the pain goes away. All the best from Anne


    Thats’ it Cheps, enough is enough, the cyberspace clowns win. Get a WordPress ID/Password from now on.

  195. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, great to hear from you and with regard to the wine treatment I am definitely massaging the foot with the wine but, from the inside. SO, I drink enough to cover the foot plus enough to allow for spillage then wave my foot about to make sure it is well covered. LOL

    Seriously it is damned painful and the antibiotic treatment prescribed by the doctor last Wednesday has had no effect yet, good job I have a well stocked wine rack, I can’t get out of the house, can’t drive because I can’t put any pressure with my foot on the pedals. Still, time will tell and I will certainly have to get to see the Doc again tomorrow. ‘excused Drill Parades’ for a couple of days but probably put on ‘Spud Bashing’ instead. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, you’re a good sport, as I said in the last letter hope your foot gets better soon. your remark about excused drill reminds me of Alfie Bass ‘Excused boots’ in the television programme ‘The Army Game’, had many a laugh at that. Keep drinking the medicine, pity it’s not on prescription, get well soon.

  196. Bill says:

    Hello Derek. YEP! I noticed it straight away but at first thought it was as a result of too much Red Wine last night. Suffering at the moment with inflamed and very sore foot due to an infection, where from I don’t know, I haven’t trodden in anything, well not that I can remember. Confined to the house as I can’t walk or drive because I can’t put any pressure on the foot. SO, no 140 paces down to Church or the Pub. Good job I have a good supply of wine. Best wishes to all. Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, sorry to hear you have an infected foot, as to remarks about your wine cellar, me being me I’m going to ask, are you going to imbibe it or is it for soaking your foot in, lol, I do have a wicked sense of humour. Get better soon Bill, I want you back to 140 to the minute style, take care.


    Regular supporters will quickly notice a change to all pages. Your most recent comment will now appear at the head of the Comment List, in reverse to previous protocols. This should – hopefully – make browsing a little easier. You will still need to scroll to endpage to locate a fresh comment box.

  198. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Anne. Although we have never met I feel that I know you and I agree with you all the way 100%. Derek has been a real live wire and has been a godsend to us giving us the means of keeping together in our twilight years. Yes a big happy family we are and let’s not let Derek down. All best wishes. Bill

  199. Anne Knight says:

    Hello gang, don’t let all the hard work that Derek has done to bring us altogether for the Re-Union June 2009 go by. Get your heads together gang and sign in to WordPress and get your passwords, then we can all keep in touch. we are like one big happy family don’t let it go. Regards to all from Anne.

  200. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Derek, hope you don’t have to close up all together but I do appreciate all the hard work you have put in to this over the last six years and how much you still do for us. I don’t really fancy any of your prizes for long entries – a crate of wine or two would be better. Glad to hear Anne and John billet are now booked in again, great to hear from them both.

    For a little bit of interest. I told you that I was singing with a fairly newly formed Masonic Choir and last week we entered a competition singing against nine other choirs in our Local Theatre in Hereford. Guess what, we came second beating some well established choirs such as The Hereford Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic society who have been going for years. Great stuff and I am told that I was Star of the Show in our Comedy number which the audience really loved, cheering and stamping their feet and they say this gave us the edge over the other Choirs and our choir master is also ex Army and was the Director of Music with the Blues and Royals and later at the Royal Military School of Music. So still keeping up Military aquaintances as much as possible.

    Please don’t close Derek.
    Best wishes to you and all genuine bloggers

    PS: 209 words which prize?

    ED: Well Done Sjnt Major – you have proved yet again that the best goods arrive in small parcels. As for the prize – you leave me no option – off to Paris ‘Ole Mate – have a word with those f****en Frenchies.

  201. SPAM’S BACK !!@&!(*

    Wouldn’t you just know it – only un-privatised the site for an hour or so – due to problems on my side of the technicals – and the stupid, stupid spammers are back with a vengeance.

    So enjoy the site while its open Cheps and get up to speed with your WordPress ID/Password – ‘cos I’m privatising again real soon.

  202. John Billett says:

    G/Day Ed, and everyone else, sorry I haven’t replied before but Peggy and I came back off a coach tour in Scotland last evening, we were away for eight days. We stayed in the village of Strathepeffer, an old spa village. Ed I will get to work on getting an ID/Password off you, I would like to keep in contact with the blog. I would like to thank Wendy for sending you the photos of her late father Sgt Cooke and to let you place them with the other Picasa photos, not that I knew anything about the military families but they seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I will send a few photos of Scotland on Email for you and Audrey to look at.

  203. SJNT George COOK. (1924 -1965) RIP

    A new Picasa Album has been added to the list of Military Albums posted to the Picasa Album page, graciously forwarded by Wendy Rees (nee Cook) born in 1952 at Bodmin Barracks to Audrey & George. Wendy was just a toddler when we lads of the 16th Intake (5th November 1953) were berated, bollocked and bruised into the Light Infantry by Sjnt Cook, our fearful Training Serjeant, who later (unbeknown to many of us), sailed on the Empire Clyde to the Caribbean.

    Our thanks to Wendy who has supplied many old and battered photos that has taken some time to improve to the current state, but clearly show some early family years at Bodmin and later in Jamaica. I have commented many times on these blogs that little was heard of ‘Cookie’ after January 1954, by we rookies who ended up in that hellhole – Prospect Barracks Bermuda – where (we claim) the real LI soldiering was done.

    Gotta Larf!

    We appreciate the efforts made to bring some more pieces of the 1DCLI puzzle to our attention and hope that many of Wendy’s childhood mates will recognise some faces.

  204. Anne Knight says:

    Hi Derek. I hope you don’t close it down altogether. I like browsing through all the photos and the occasional message and the birthday blogs. As you found all the DCLI for the Re-Union 2009 it would be so sad to see it close down for good, then we would all lose contact, round them all up and keep it going please, it holds so many memories. This is from the heart, I would miss it. All the best Derek from Anne.

    ED: OK Anne, message received. From now on there’s a prize for each comment longer than 100 words and a bonus for any old Caribbean photo not yet seen. Editors decision is final.

    1st Prize: 2 weeks in Afghanistan

    2nd Prize: 3 weeks in Iraq

    3rd Prize: 4 weeks in Pakistan

    4th Prize: 5 weeks in the French Parliament listening to debates

    That should get ’em going – whaddya think? 🙂

    PS: Joking aside, this is a genuine alert that the site will close permanently for banter and bull and the Comment boxes will be blocked. Anyone with an ID/Password will still be able to view, ‘cos there’s many wonderful recollections of LI events from yesteryear, but my monitoring of the Site Stats shows very little interest now apart from a handful of Mates.

    I appreciate your interest in photos and birthdays, but there’s an alternative. Email your friends directly for Birthday Greetings and capture ALL of the Picasa Album web addresses onto your Desktop. This is a simple way to easily view photo collections. Sadly enough, having written about Picasa some years ago, and suggested this method of storing and viewing photos, very few have bothered

  205. UPDATE

    After 10 days or so of total site closure, then a privatised re-opening and about 12 Invitations to subscribe, I can report thus:

    Bill Griffiths, Anne Knight have so far established an ID/Password and have activated the system. Anne may not realise this as she logged a comment against an image – not a good idea! There are ample instructions throughout the site to guide you when logging in a comment.

    Spam is ZERO!!

    I have also received 2 additional requests from DCLI interested newcomers.

    Bill and I exchange direct emails and occasionally JB, Barry & Swanny email me also – as do a random few others. Unless the rundown to Christmas 2012 proves otherwise in terms of comment repartee, contribution and volume, I am broadcasting that our 6th Anniversary will probably be our last. There’s little point in maintaining this large site for an occasional remark from an Old Mate, who has found alternative avenues for LI companionship, be that Twitter or Skype, Facebook or another.

    There is no intended acrimony in my comment, simply a realistic observation that we have had our fill of tall stories, old photos and memoirs, and maybe we are all just ready to haul down the flag. At best we enjoyed some 30 or so Contributors, in 2012 about 6 regulars managed some comment.

    Let me know how you see the picture.

  206. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Swanny and John. Hope you have been able to come back in to the fold at Derek’s request. I have been lost without the blog and missed chatting to you both.

    Swanny, I hope things have improved for you. I have been saying a few prayers for you. John, hope you are OK and look forward to renewing the banter we were enjoying now that Derek has re-opened the blog. Best wishes, Bill

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Bill, yes I’m fine and keeping well, as you can see on my letter to the Ed we’ve been away for a week, been to Bonny Scotland, went on a train riding holiday, bit disappointed with two of them but the third was well worth taking, went from Dingwall to Kyle of Lachalsh, beautiful scenery but could have done with some sunshine. Hope you are keeping well and still able to enjoy your favourite tipple

  207. Anne Knight says:

    Hi Swanny. great news, keep up the good work. will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless from Anne.

  208. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny
    Great stuff, so glad to hear this and I bet it is good for your daughter and Doris as well. We all think about you and pray for you every day. Keep it up old soldier. Bill

  209. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All, feeling a bit better this last couple of days, I have been eating a a lot more since having new tablets my doctor prescribed so lets hope I get more of appetite back.

    ED: Well done Swanny, good news, keep it going now and maybe even a Guinness or two?

    • John Billett says:

      Well done Swanny, a few more pasties and you’ll be well away, glad to hear your feeling better, keep taking the tablets. I bet Doris and your family are quite relieved with your progress, we will be seeing you at Bodmin at this rate, stick with it mate.

  210. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hells Bells Derek, firing on all cylinders and rightly so, you are a star. Yes the top brass, if that’s what they can be called, take big salaries and the athletes work their guts out to deliver their best and so many of them did, wonderful real sporting heroes some of them, just youngsters who obviously are dedicated to their sport and work at it for many long hours. All credit to them and, as you say, some of the competitors from the smaller nations really gave their all. Wonderful to watch.

    If they gave medals for getting to the Pub on time, I think I might now qualify for a Bronze, where a few years ago Gold would have been mine. Seriously, it was a great show. GB did us proud. Bill.


    I note that none of we few bloggers who bother to post these days has made comment on the gloriously presented London Olympics. I for one can register a “Ho Hum” over the attitude of some of the Aussie athletic crowd who seemingly need a bloody good dose of discipline and go getter ship. Gone are the days of acting responsibly and the Old Lags who participate in team sports at great expense to the home nation, badly let the younger members down when it comes to paying attention. Social media gossiping and partying crap has entered general life these days to my personal sorrow, and the importance of Tweeting etc seems to qualify for an Olympic event. Why the hell these dickheads can’t contain their racy behaviour and piss poor attitude for a few days during the Olympic Event is a mystery, they owe it to their sponsors and management of the Games to behave like civilised athletes for just a few short days.

    Sadly too the spirit of competition seems to rely on how big an operational budget is applied in the 4 year gap, to training competitors and one can only applaud those smaller nations who succeed on their merits without outrageous spending on coaches and trainers.

    When the Aussies return to Dahn Undah, there will be merciless criticism of the apparent failure to collect Gold, ignoring the success of competition and the near misses and the obvious fact that other competitors are just better and have a winners attitude instead of taking advantage of taxpayer funded holidays and believing that bragging is equal to winning.

    Interestingly too – so reported in The Australian – the Chinese Swimmers are trained by an Australian in Queensland by a coach who was paid only a pittance previously when training Aussies, while the ‘Executives’ have their snouts in the big salary trough, and expatriate Aussies trained the Brits and others in other sports, because of poor salaries that rendered them almost penniless in this country.

    What a load of bollocks it has all become these days, back to Coronation Street soon on the telly!!

    • John Billett says:

      G’day Derek, good to see you’re still up to saying it as it is. From my point of view all sport is controlled by money but I agree about the small nations contribution they are to be admired for their guts. Must admit tho’ Team GB has had a wonderful time picking up all their Golds and of course Silver and Bronze medals, but as Sport for Sports sake has gone out the window a long time ago. Too commercialised.

      • LONDON 2012

        I’m doubly proud to remain British having witnesssed the Closing Ceremony and I have only praise and commendation for GB, Boris and all those hardworking volunteers, the artistes, the designers, organisers, builders – the lot. Those invisible British patriots who when called upon – deliver. So too the British contenders who with grace and dignity showed us British spirit and confidence. My hat off too, to those smaller nations who perform happily and brought home the results. The joy and satisfaction of competition was a sight to warm the heart and in 2012, a time when we expected the worst in terms of terrorism, the world witnessed British leadership throughout.

        Not so impressed with those few spoiled Aussie fuckwits who bragged their way into obscurity – tweeting like dickheads and partying long before the competitions. I’m all for supporting what is now my home country, but I deplore waste and frivolity, ignorance and poor discipline. Aussie participation in future Olympics needs to be curbed to suit our potential, rather than waste precious resources in contests that are frivolous. I’ve so written to our AOC to express my thanks on the one hand, and my critique on t’other. We could have done better and a few heads need to roll and some military discipline applied.

  212. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again John, looks like you did the right thing there no good looking for trouble and I was never keen on the sailor type anyway. except of course my darling Nancy. She was a wonderful little sailor girl and no trouble at all. Bill

  213. John Billett says:

    Hello Bill, another little incident that happened in Jamaica. My mate George Crossman and I went out one evening for a quiet drink, we settled ourselves in a watering hole and started relaxing, after a while a gang of merchant seamen came into the bar and got their drinks. We didn’t take much notice first off then I caught the eyes of these guys focusing on us, then for some unknown reason I got got this feeling that made the hair on my neck stand up, I said to George don’t look around just finish your drink we’re getting out of here, we got out of there pretty quick. Whether the guys were a problem I don’t know but we did not hang about to find out.

  214. Bill Griffiths says:

    Well said John. YES we are all thinking about you Swanny and praying for you. Bill

  215. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Just in answer to all, I have not been on line as I used to be due to my present illness, I have a very strict business with trips to different hospitals in the next two or three weeks another scan! also to see an optician as my eyes are not good and I find if difficult to type etc and also see my surgeon etc on August 2nd, so busy time ahead. John rings me from Bristol on a regular basis and he said Derek you had a trip to hospital etc, let’s hope you are on the mend old mate and best regards to you and Audrey, there is enough of us wounded, lets all hope we all get better soon, best regards. Neil and Doris.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Swanny, we understand why your not coming on line, but having said that we’re glad you were well enough to let us know how you are. It’s good you have Doris and the family there to help you along, just take things easy.

  216. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny, come on lets hear from you, we know you are feeling down but don’t let it get you down too much, we have a long way to go yet and lets try to have fun whilst we are doing it. We all miss your updates on what is going on. Come on Old Soldier. Chin up. Chest out.’By the left’. All best wishes seriously. Bill.

  217. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Swanny. We have heard you are a bit under the weather but being looked after by Doris and a lovely Nurse, keep at it old soldier we are all hooting for you. Keep taking the medicine and wash it down occasionally with a drop of Guinness. That will build you up again. All best wishes. Bill

  218. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    We had a very good turnout for the West Cwll DCLI Assn. meeting on Tuesday evening with 22 members present and also a raffle took place with most members bringing a raffle which raised £35 for branch funds. John and Jenny Griffin and Anne Knight attended and it was a very convivial evening had by all. Greetings to all our friends abroad was recorded in the minutes, also attending was Sylvia Royffe who was down on a few days off driving down from Kent, as said it was very good meeting indeed.

    ED: Thanks Swanny, good news that all are keeping in touch. Thinking of all Old Mates at this time. Good Luck to all and best regards.

  219. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Met up with John and Jenny Griffin, Anne Knight at their caravan in Mousehole on Saturday and we had the evening at the Legion. Anne came down with her son Paul and his girlfriend who is originally from Hong Kong, a very nice lady. We had a nice evening chatting about old times. The DCLI association is this Tuesday for a meeting and they will be coming to that I will report on this to the blogs, they are looking forward to meet up with old friends. Paul is very much like his father Joe to look at and has his late Dad’s humour and Banbury accent.

    ED: Well Done ‘Ole Mate. Please pass on my regards and best wishes to Griff and Jenny, also Anne. Hope you all have a terrific week together.

  220. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All
    Just got back on Sunday after a nice few days with Donald, did me and Doris a lot of good to have a change, he drove us different places every day, went to Chichester what a lovely little place to visit as well as many other places in the adjacent area, just what we needed for a change, but nice to be back home, we had good weather while up there. bye for now.

    • John Billett says:

      Hello Swanny, good to hear you and Doris enjoyed your stay at Donalds, and that you are back home all relaxed. I bet it was lovely to look around somewhere different for a change, sounds like he done you both proud whilst you were there. take care.

  221. Bill Griffiths says:

    Many thanks John I will take care and I will also have a tipple or two drinking to the health of you and all our old soldiers. But where are they all? The blog pages seem very empty these days. Talking of brown knees, I first arrived in Hong Kong in September 1949. Another WOW, almost sixty three years ago.
    Cheers for now. Bill

  222. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello again John. I will be going to Shrewsbury again on the 9th for our Light Infantry Re-Union and marching on the Barrack Square where I did my first parade way back in May 1946. WOW sixty six years ago AND I did my very last parade as a serving soldier there in June 1984, twenty eight years ago. WOW again.

    • John Billett says:

      WOW WOW, certainly worth a double wow, hello Bill, where does the time go, I’ve asked loads of people and guess what, no one can tell me. I hope you have a good weekend at Shrewsbury, plenty of old friends to chat too and lots of marching then a good glass of whatever to quench your thirst. I thought fifty seven years was a long time but sixty six leaves me the rookie, you could tell me to get my knees brown, glad you’re keeping well and it’s nice to hear from you. Take care Bill will be thinking of you.

  223. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John. Yes Diamond Jubilee and to think when the Queen came to the throne in February 52 I was still up to my neck in it in Korea, still with seven months to go before being sent home and getting married to my darling Nancy on the way. WOW! Time flies. Hope you have a great time and relive many happy memories. I certainly will.

  224. John Billett says:

    Hi everyone, Diamond Jubilee almost upon us and my mind goes back 59 years, I was sent home on leave from Bodmin, after about three to four weeks into my basic training, the Barracks must have closed down for that period of time. Here’s hoping you all have a good day, on the day.

  225. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    My son Donald is driving down from Hampshire today and taking us up to his place near Southhampton for a few days holiday, which will be a nice break especially for Doris and me after a few bad weeks, as I have not been feeling that well down on my nerves a bit, hopefully this will be good for both of us.

    ED: Have a good break Ole Mate and Doris too, thinking of you both. Good Luck and safe travelling.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Neil, you and Doris enjoy your stay with Donald, it’ll do you both the world of good. Take care.

  226. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, many thanks for your kind words and you are right. things will never ever be the same for me without my Nancy, BUT I do appreciate having made new and good friends especially through this great blog page. Thanks again John.

  227. John Billett says:

    Hi Bill, couldn’t help noticing what you wrote in your letter to Neil about your Dear Nancy, the time flies so fast and they say that time heals, I wouldn’t imagine enough time has passed for you yet, but having said that I can’t imagine any amount of time will pass to make it easy for you. Take care Bill.

  228. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Neil, many thanks. Of course I knew it was Gods Country and lots of his people live there including you of course. Keep your chin up keep taking the medicine and enjoy each day as it comes along, that is what I am doing nowadays.

    Today it is a year ago exactly that my darling Nancy passed away so it is a very sad day for me, but I have had several visitors paying their respects which is more than I got from my children. NOT ONE WORD FROM THEM and this hurts. Anyway, keep smiling Neil. Love to Doris

  229. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi Bill, We call Cornwall ‘Gods country’, first and last in the UK. If you see any of my mates give them my best regards, I’m afraid my travelling days are behind me these days don’t think I am up to it now Bill. We have mates coming down to PZ in June, old army mates and Anne Knight and her son, we will miss dear Joe Knight who sadly passed away last year so very much he was a very close friend and former OBLI- DCLI soldier and Derek would endorse this as he was an exceptional Soldier and mate. I havn’t been feeling well this past few weeks and havn’t been on the blogs so much as I used to, hopefully I shall be back as normal, best regards to all of our bloggers, Swanny.

  230. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny. How come everything happens down in your part of the World? The only interesting things that pass my place are ‘Lamb Chops’, but they are still alive and kicking and being chased by the farmer as they go past.

    I will be on Parade on 16th June at Copthorne for the Re-Union. Let me know if any of your pals will be there. I will look them up if so. Bill

  231. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    West Cornwall is a hive of activity last two days with the Olympic torch landed yesterday at RNAS CULDROSE flying in from Greece with the Olympic flame on board the plane. Princess Anne, Lord Coe, David Beckham, Boris Johnston were greeted by thousands of locals and the media. Today the flame was taken from Lands End in relays and passed outside our house enroute through Cornwall stopping at most the towns to change relay runners, it has really put West Cornwall on the Media map.

    ED: You woulda thought they could have popped in for a photo session with you ‘Ole Mate – being that close. We saw all the Lands End shots on TV here. Good story. Best Regards Swanny.

  232. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Neil, great news and this just shows how tough you really are, keep it up old soldier.

  233. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Thanks ED and JB. Feeling a lot better since my results I can get my head around things better now, did a bit of gardening yesterday just pottering but it is a good leveller in the garden, again thanks for your welcome words of comfort. Best regards Swanny.

    ED: This ‘leveller’ referred to Swanny, was it a case of 1 dig, 1 sip of Guiness, ‘nuther dig, ‘nuther sip etc etc – that’ll level you out pretty quick! Gotta Larf

  234. John Billett says:

    Swanny what a tremendous result, You are indestructible, sort of stuff that made the DCLI and indeed the British forces a formidable force, remind me to stay on the right side of you LOL. Now you can get on with YOUR life and look after Doris as you’ve been doing. Looking forward to seeing you later in the year. Take great care.

  235. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All. Had my proceedure done yesterday and good results, all clear in the stomach area and all is well. The Endoscopist commented on my operation and said all was in very good order and what a good surgeon Mr Peyser is to carry out with such good results in his field of surger, thats a big weight lifted for me and my family, thanks guys for all your support during this stressful time in my life, Neil (Swanny) Swanson.

    ED: Well Done ‘Ole Mate, very good news, thinking of you all. Get into the Guiness mate – with a squeeze of lemon!!

  236. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All
    Thanks guys for your words and thoughts, nice to hear from you Geoff, hope you are going on OK these days, like us all on the blogs none of us is getting any younger and it is good that we can chat on the blogs. We are like that US series the Golden Oldies, just think that 60 years ago we were 140 paces, it’s nice to think back to those days. Best wishes to all of you, Neil (Swanny)

  237. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hi Neil, you have my sympathy mate, I have a flexi with camera once a year into my bladder, checking the big (C) is not back, none of these are very pleasent, best wishes, Geoff

  238. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All. Now had a letter to attend at West Cornwall Hospital next Tuesday 15th May to have a endoscopy put down to have a look at my stomach area, I have had it before but it is not very pleasant procedure, but thats life. This is because my surgeon was concerned I had internal bleeds so let’s hope all will be OK and the last one of these procedures, fingers crossed.

    ED: Good Luck ‘Ole Mate.

  239. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny. Great news, just proves that our prayers can and will be answered, see my blog on 28th April. God Bless.

  240. John Billett says:

    Hello everyone, a bit of bygone times. 57 years ago yesterday I was released from the DCLI, I was at the Jellalabad Barracks Taunton, only had to go up the road and I was home. I hope everyone is OK.

  241. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    ED and bloggers. Some good news, I saw Mr Ellis the radiographer today and he gave me a going over medical and he said he was pleased to say I do not have to have chemo at this present time and I will see him again in August to see if anything has changed in that time. Also had a blood test to see my blood count etc, so over all it was good news, which as you can immagine was a relief for me and my family, so soldier on as usual. Again thanks for all your good thoughts and words of comfort, Swanny.

    ED: Well Done ‘Ole Mate – back to the Guinness!

    • John Billett says:

      We’d like to say how very pleased we are at your news Swanny, seems like we have to keep our fingers crossed for a while yet. With a lot of luck you’ll be fine.

  242. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi Anne
    Thanks for your kind thoughts, also ED, Bill and JB. I really appreciate the blog mates for all your caring thoughts and words at this difficult times for me. God bless you all. Swanny.

  243. Anne Knight says:

    Hi Swanny, hope everything goes well for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, god bless you Swanny, from Anne.

  244. Bill Griffiths says:

    Swanny, We are with you all the way, keep at it, our prayers will be answered I am sure.

  245. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All
    Just to say not good news from my MRI scan they found tumours on my spinal area and I have to go and have either Chemo or Radio therapy, but I must soldier on and live in hope. My surgeon Mr Peyser said it is amazing what they can do with modern drugs etc so lets hope all will be goes well.

    ED: Tough news ‘Ole Mate, not what any of us wished to hear. Our thoughts and prayers are for you Swanny, hold tight there Champ and keep positive, we’re behind you 101%. Good Luck and Best Regards.

    • John Billett says:

      Tough news indeed Swanny, we didn’t have our fingers crossed tight enough did we. As ED says keep plugging away, we are certainly behind you, good luck for future, John & Peggy.

  246. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All. I go to see my surgeon on Wednesday for a discussion about my latest scans etc, as I hadn’t seen him since he was on holiday when I went for the scans which will be good to talk to him face to face. I had a letter from him stating that my results were very good but it will be good to see him face to face for reassurance regarding his letter which was sent from him personally, for which I appreciate so very much, as said before he is a first class gentleman and top surgeon and I have complete trust in him. Swanny.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Swanny, good luck on Wednesday, we’re still keeping our fingers crossed for you. Best wishes for Doris as well we’re sure she’s well on the mend, take care.

  247. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    All. Now had a nice surprise, Donald now drove in from Hampshire. Debbie has a golfing weekend in Wales so he drove down for the weekend to stay with us which is very nice, we haven’t seen him for ages so it is a lovely surprise for us, best regards. Doris and Swanny.

  248. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi Derek just thought I would write a little note, have had the plumber in and fitted a new shower took the bath out etc so much easier now Doris has had her hips done. So if you fancy you and Audrey come over for the weekend feel free to get on a plane to Cornwall, best to you both. Swanny and Doris.

    ED: Thanks Swanny, we poor Aussie cousins need a shower – now and then – at least 1 a month whether we need it or not!! Could we all fit in together to save your Pommie water?

  249. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi JB, thanks for your kind thoughts and word, Swanny.

  250. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi all, not long got back from Treliske Hospital from having a MRI scan, my daughter Moira drove Doris and me there. A bit mind boggling this scan, they give you ear phones to wear and music to help muffle the loud banging noise of the scanner, was quite an experience and would be difficult if you suffered from agraphobia! You are in the scanner for half an hour which seems much longer when you are in it. But lets hope this is my last scan as I have had my fair share of them. My PC seems OK at the moment so I hope to be on it as my usual enjoyment, best regards to all. Swanny.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Swanny, half hour is quite a while just to lie still, good that they gave you music to listen to, keep our fingers crossed that every thing is OK.

  251. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny, and I thought you had gone AWOL. What about semaphore or morse code? you know ‘did it da dit.’ ‘did it da dit’ and so on, bang it out on a dustbin lid from your front door. Bill

  252. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi all my Outlook Express is playing up. Donald is going to have a look at it for me, if you are not getting any emails, this is the reason, Swanny.

    ED: Change to a web based email server Swanny.

  253. Terry Simons says:

    Easter Greetings to everyone, hope you are all well especially Peggy in Taunton. All the best. Terry and June.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Terry & June, Peggy said she is feeling a lot better thank you very much, and we both wish you a Happy Easter, looking forward to seeing you both later in the year.

  254. John Billett says:

    Sorry Guys, Happy Easter to you as well. Those bits of chocolate would go down very well, especially the bunnie noses and as you said Swanny what if it is dark, very tasty.

  255. Bill Griffiths says:

    Happy Easter from me as well and I just LOVE little bunnies noses. I would like those any time of the year, not only at Easter. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, lovely. Bill.

  256. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    ED. Doris and I would like to wish all of our bloggers a very Happy Easter to all of you and hope as JB to have the lovely girl above to give me a taste of her chocolates. Again a Happy Easter to you all.

    PS. I don’t care if they are DARK chocolate,yum yum!

  257. John Billett says:

    I’ll have Two of those please Ed, especially if they’re milk chocolate. Have a good Easter, you Audrey and all your family.


  259. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi John and Peggy, sorry to hear Peggy has been poorly, and had to cancel your holiday, we hope more importantly that she will soon be a lot better. As you said she has a water infection. Doris had it some weeks ago and it is very painful complaint, hope she will feel better soon. Best regards Doris and Neil.

    • John Billett says:

      Thank you Swanny & Doris, it is not at all nice, Peggy is getting better by the day. Good when it’s gone and out the way. Take care both of you.

  260. John Billett says:

    Hi Terry & June, she’s had a rough few days, one minute boiling then shivering cold, a water infection and that’s what it tends to do to you. Hope you & June are well. What a change in the weather, unbelievable. Thanks for getting in touch, both take care and we’ll see you later in the year.

  261. Terry Simons says:

    Sorry to hear that Peggy is unwell, June and I hope she will be fighting fit again soon. All the best to you both. Terry and June.

  262. John Billett says:

    Hello every one, we hope you are all well. Audrey, Peggy and myself are going to Scotland on a coach trip tomorrow, been a little while since we were last there, we will take some photos and send them on for you to see. Our hotel is the Dornoch Hotel, way up north, we’re hoping the weather stays good but I think it’s on the change, we’ve had some gorgeous weather this last month, more summer than spring. Will speak to you all again when we return home. Regards to every one, take care.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi guys, change of plans, we got on the coach this morning, we reached Gordano services Bristol had to get off coach as Peggy got taken poorly, called our daughter Sue to come to get us, Peggy is now resting on the bed, will get her to Doctors tomorrow to see what problem it is. Scotland will have to wait.

      ED: Commiserations JB, hope that Peggy will be OK. most important to quickly track down any issues. Scotland will always be there. BIG HUGS to Peggy.

      • John Billett says:

        Doctor saw Peggy today, He found she has an infection in her water, apparently it gives high fever and makes you feel very groggy, got some tablets for her to take, she will be on the mend soon.

  263. G’Day Cheps, check the hotlink to titling above.

    Get the terrorist bastards!!

  264. John Billett says:

    Again today two Army personnel shot dead by the people the Army trained in the use of weapons, how misguided are our leaders to think they wouldn’t turn the weapons on our boys. It’s high time our troops were brought home and let the maniacs get on with the way they have been living for hundreds of years. Regards to everyone.

  265. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    I have written comments of my recent scans on my blog page if you wish to read them. I like your comments Derek about your politicians, I think they are like ours in the UK Lib Dem Wits? they seem all tarred with the same Brush. I am like you Derek after the Budget yesterday here in the UK I call them everything but a WHITE MAN. Nothing changes Derek, you have the Fenian Bastards and we the Bullinden Public Schoolboy Twats all Millionaires by the way!


    Interesting that Swanny refers to OZ on his blog page in response to banter from JG, who lives in Queensland also. We have State elections this Saturday the 24th, and I was interviewed on ABC drive time yesterday, for some pertinent comments. Without cusssing (there’s a 1st) I let the audience know how poorly are the pensioner and aged sector considered at both State and Federal levels, with accelerating costs and lack of attention. Our fuel has doubled in price within 2 years and power costs are almost double of Canada & USA. We used to be the Lucky Country until the Fenian Fuckwits gained power. Bah Humbug! At least I got the ear of the future State Treasurer (follow the money Cheps!)

  267. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Had a phone call from Anne Knight in Oxford yesterday, she said she is looking forward to June when her son is bringing her down here in Cornwall and Jennie and John Griffin are staying in the next caravan to them. Anne like all of us is missing Joe so very much, of all the servicemen I have served with Joe was top of the tree, never ever varied in his ways, always willing to give his friendship to one and all and the foundation for me in my Military career,a nd thank you Anne for being our close friend.

    Swanny and Doris.

  268. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Now the shit will hit the fan! This GI that shot all those civvies and kids in their homes, what was the prick doing! We ain’t seen nothing yet but all of our troops will face a backlash from the Taliban and their henchmen! I read and saw what those Libyan fanatics did to desecrate the graves of all our servicmen who died in WW2 in Libya. As we have all said about the backlash of the GIs who burnt the Koran, will the Yanks never learn, I think we will see one hell of a backlash after this last fiasco! and it will hit our brave troops on the frontline. Who do you trust in these Muslim Countries, the Afghan Forces have already shot the very men in the past who has trained them, what hope is there when already the Taliban are planning to again hit our troops out there, I wonder what the Russians think about when they were defeated by these bastards and must think as we do, how often have we said FUTILE!

    ED: Right on Swanny, and the bloke was a 3 tour vet of Iraq, with a family and 2 kids to boot. The locals are baying for a public trial – fat chance of that! – but what mayhem it is all creating. The last issue needed in this volatile cesspit.

  269. John Goddard says:

    Hi Brothers, think of this. The Vietnam war, 60,000 Americans kia, 300,000 wounded, Australia 550 kia 10,000 wounded etc. and all the other countries including Vietnam and now we go there for our holidays. Thank you Mr Government, throw the relatives of the dead a few bucks to keep them quiet, soon we will be going to Kabul for our vacation. I bet you the big hotel chains are out there now looking at locations to put up hotels and resorts to provide rooms for oilmen and holiday makers. Ask any soldier who was in any conflict if he wanted to be there, their answer would be NO except for a few nutters.

    ED: Thank you JG – totally agree – we’re all on the same page here. This shithole Afghanistan, filled with the fucking raghead Taliban and the tribal wankers who corruptly deal in Western money, lives and goodwill are a disgrace to the human race. What about the religious perversion?Why the West bothers is beyond sane reason – but then – look at the fuckwits voted into power at all levels of our Government – makes you wonder surely? Beam me up Scotty!

  270. John Goddard says:

    Hi brothers
    I think there must be oil and gas also minerals in that hell hole and the big corporations will take their money and run and left behind will be a poor nation and war graves. The whole Middle East is a ticking time bomb.

    We had a doctor living next to us for a few years and he said to me a Westerner will never understand the mind of a person from the Middle East, he is right, he was from Iran. The big corporations pay the governments tell them what to do and we suffer, dig in hold the line and take no crap.

    On another thing my Sheila is as good as gold but gets tired as she should after what she had done, you know guys big brother will be reading these notes lets tell them to all go and get f****d.

    ED: Hear Hear JG, good to hear news of Sheila – thats what important to know.

  271. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    I wholly agree with what you have all said about this futile war, we have all said it from day one, this bastard place Afghanistan is as you said Derek a cess pit of scum and cowards,and this last atrocity of all those dear boys to have been killed as all those before them. Isn’t it time for our dimwit politicians to see it is FUTILE. As you said of the billions we have spent on that bloody country nothing have been learnt!

    I well remember a ex DCLI soldier Tom Simmons telling me about when he served in India before WW2 that an old Royal Flying Corps pilot took Tom up for a flight in a old Tiger Moth for a flight over Afghanistan and he afterwards said NO armies over centuries have ever beaten this bloody lot, the most barren country on the planet and the most barbaric tribes also. BRING OUR BOYS HOME.

  272. Hi John
    Sadly the people (our stupid politicians) who send our troops out to these barbaric countries will never learn. I would like to bet that there are none of them who have served in the Forces, more than half of them wouldn’t even be good enough to join the Scout Movement or the Girl Guides for that matter. It would be a little different if our lads were fighting a war, but they are not, they are wandering around foreign streets surrounded by suicidal idiots and not allowed to shoot on sight. Bring them all home I say and I bet every ex squaddie will agree with me. I am disgusted the same as you are

    • Hear Hear Bill. Totally agree, let’s get the fuck outta Dodge and let this maggot infested shit pile rot in its own hell. Humbug reasoning to ‘save’ Afghanistan. None could before – 3,000 years ago and all time since – the cowardly wankers just head for the hills and commit murder – thats what they do! A fucking big pile of crap that the West pours lives and money into. Our boys have done what they can – bring ’em home.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Bill, I can’t see any politician putting on a uniform, grab a weapon to take part in the war. They pop in after dark take a quick look around next day then fly out again, not like the boys they send there to get on with it. Prats Blair and the Yank should never have started it. It’s nothing to do with keeping our streets safe, they can do that by bringing our boys home and let them guard the streets if need be, or put them on patrol keeping unwanted people out. One of the worst jobs that happened in my eyes was building the Euro tunnel, you might not agree, but maybe so many people wouldn’t be able to get across.

  273. John Billett says:

    More terrible news today, more of our great boys lost to what I call a wasted list of lives of our boys in this unending battle. We all know that when we do pull out the country they are fighting in will revert to their old barbaric ways and all those lives will have been lost for nothing. When will people learn ?.

  274. Terry Simons says:

    Looking through Fraser Pakes’ photos I saw a couple of photos of Brian Gooch. He was in 3 platoon, anyone remember him? He came from the Bodmin area I believe. Hope everyone is OK. All the best to all Terry Simons.

  275. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Just to say Doris is going on marvellous walking every day to the end of our road etc. Good to hear John that your wife Sheila is doing so well after her spinal OP, I know the feeling as I had a minor OP on my spine in the mid 80s and had to pack up work. Since my last operation my back plays up and a job to walk sometimes, and always have to use my walking stick. All the best to all of our friends and comrades on the blogs, I am in regular contact with Tom Strike ex 4 platoon A Coy who lives in Melbourne.

  276. John Goddard says:

    Hello everybody
    Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts. Sheila is now home and taken over again. She has lots of metal in her back and the doc has given her a letter to let the security guys at any airport know that she has metal in her body. She has no pain, is taller and walks upright. We are walking every day. She will be back at golf and lawn bowls in 6 weeks. The dog is also back to normal, she missed Sheila. Once again you band of brothers thank you for your support and kind thoughts.

  277. Terry Simons says:

    Glad everyone is OK. June, the family and I fine. All the best to every body. From Terry Simons.

  278. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Doris had a get well card from Anne Knight which was kind of her, Anne said on the card she is looking forward to her visit to Cornwall in a few months time and will be staying in Mousehole in the next caravan to Jenny and John Griffin. We are looking forward to seeing her, Anne is travelling with her son which will be nice to meet him. All the best to all our bloggers.

  279. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John, Sheila, Neil and Doris, thinking of you, and praying for you allm especially Sheila and Doris. Wish I was closer to you all so that I could enjoy your company. BUT, thinking of you all, keep smiling, wish my darling Nancy was here with me to share your friendship.

  280. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi John
    Thanks for your thoughts and words, she was out of bed today when I phoned now on crutches drill! I will visit her tonight with my daughter Moira and tell her of your kind wishes, hope she be home on Saturday next, it depends on her mobility etc. Neil (Swanny).

  281. John Goddard says:

    Hi Swanny
    Hope all goes well with Doris, my Sheila came home today after a stressful 12 days, I am chief cook dhobi waller and dog walker but glad to do it. The girls do a good job I reckon, I have been lazy for the last few years, the meals were there the washing done etc etc. You DCLI boys out there keep fit, eat well and don’t over do it with the grog and exercise every day. We is all getting old we is.


  282. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Went to our DCLI branch meeting last night after coming home from visiting Doris in hospital, John G is in the same boat as me with his wife in hospital for surgery we wish them well and a speedy recovery. I thought it very droll with John asking the surgeon about what the doctor said he will be able to have sex in six weeks he should be so lucky! Our meeting was very well attended with 20 members, all send their regards to you Derek and all our mates living abroad as I tell them I am in contact with you on the internet. We voted to include The Rifles will now have the badge on our regimental paperwork, in order DCLI. LI, The Rifles in that order at top of the page.

  283. John Goddard says:

    Thanks guys
    John and Sheila

  284. Geoff Cherry says:

    Hello John cracking news, all the best to you both, Geoff

  285. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello John G’
    This all sounds great and I hope and pray that Sheila will be out and about as good as new soon. Give her a hug and all best wishes from me.

    And I agree with John B, there are some fantastic doctors about and the sad thing is, they get paid a lot less than the big ‘Administrators’ in the NH, the so called ‘Chief Executives’. I have had a run in with a few of them.

  286. John Goddard says:

    Good Morning gentlemen,

    On the 6/Feb 2012 my wife went into hospital for major spinal surgery, we had the best spinal man who has a new way of working on the spine, he cuts you down the front moves your bowel and intestines and works from the front on your spine. Sheila was in surgery for 4 hours, he said it was a text book operation. He said there was a problem with one of her vertebrae so he turned on her back and replaced it. She has cuts front and back big ones. 7 days later today 14/Feb 2012 she is up and about and walking pain free. She is still in the hospital but they say she will be leaving soon.

    Well thats all for now will keep you informed, One funny thing that I had a laugh at at the pre op talk the doctor said after he told us what he was going to do have you any questions I said when will Sheila be back to normal how long? He said looking at me “you can have sex in 6 weeks”.
    Carry on men
    Regards to all
    John Goddard

    ED: Send Sheila our best wishes and supportive thoughts JG, we’re thinking of you both here in Brisbane. Derek & Audrey.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi John, I think that is absolutely brilliant, isn’t it awesome what these guys can do. Having been in the operating theatre for 4 hrs myself, not knowing if I were coming out alive, I have nothing but great admiration for the theatre staff. To think your wife is up and about with no pain is really great news. Best regards to you both, take care.

  287. Bill Griffiths says:

    Helloeeeeeeeeeee, anybody about? Here we are almost half way through February, damned cold here in Hereford and am having to take plenty of internal heating fluids, better get to the Supermarket tomorrow, top up the brandy section of my cocktail cabinet.

    Hope everything is OK with you all, waiting to be kept up to date with whatever is going on.


    PS Swanny. I will be saying a prayer for Doris on 14th , hope that all will go well

  288. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Thanks for your reply Derek, will do, over and out. Swanny.

  289. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    I wondered Derek if you could do like JB has done and put the Band and Bugles playing our Regimental March Trelawney on this page, as I play JB’s High on a Hill every time I go on this blog page. Keith and his wife came in to visit us on Friday and we had a good old yarn again about old times etc and I played the DVD of the 2009 Re-Union and the good time we all had on that Re-Union week that you organised Derek. So sad that we have lost good mates since that occasion, buts that’s life so we that are left make the most of it!

    ED: Of course Swanny glad to repeat the exercise which sat for months at the page header (no-one noticed or made comment). The problem with posting up URLs into an individual comment is that unless one knows it is there, it gets swallowed up in the subsequent pages and virtually lost unless a reader browses through. There are 10 comments to a page, so subsequently each comment shifts down the pages. Gottit?

    Suggestion for you Ole Mate. Gather ALL your favourite titles, military airs, bugle calls and such and send ALL the URLS, You Tube clips to me and/or post ’em to Nostalgia.

  290. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Keith and Maureen Mannings are coming down to West Cornwall for their annual Winter break on Thursday, looking forward to seeing them both, lets hope the weather is OK, we are lucky usually, just drizzle at this time. So we will be going out with them all being well and Keith and I will be putting the world straight as usual and yarning about our war stories in Bermuda.

  291. Mike Cummings says:

    I would appreciate a password please, don’t want to miss the blogs.
    Mike 2 Pltn A Coy

    ED: S’OK Mike I have you down for a P/W

  292. John Goddard says:

    Hi Guys. John Goddard again, thought this bit of info might interest you all if you don’t already know it.

    I was reading a book a few years ago, a book about the French in Indo China, they were going not so good [as usual] and the French PM visited the British PM to seek support from the army. There was a Cabinet meeting. The chief of the defence staff said the 1st DCLI is in the West Indies, they are used to the tropical conditions, they are one of the regiments we could send to help. The British PM, Big Mac I think, gave it a lot of thought and said we are not going to get involved in Indo China. So you see boys if the PM had of said yes to the French we might not all be here.

    I can’t remember the book but if I do I will let you know. It was a book on released Cabinet secret meetings. Take care.

  293. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Nice to have John comments on the blogs, very interesting about his meeting up with a Major General in OZ and his service in Vietnam. As we on the blogs have always said pity a few more don’t write on here.

    Nobby was visiting us yesterday and said he met five old Dukes and said to them AGAIN about coming to our Assn meetings but the same response, zilch.

    I am writing my autobiography, it is quite time consuming but I am determined to do it, it was Donald my son that started me on this as he said if you don’t write about all your life’s stories they would be lost for ever. As said I will give it a good go to to finish it but will take some time yet.

  294. John Goddard says:

    Great stuff, just read the lot, it’s a shame it’s only a handfull of vets use your sites. This is rather funny I think. One very good mate who lives in Canada is very sick and we have been keeping in touch via emails etc. Ken has a brother who lives in Coffs Harbour OZ, he was in the Ozzie army infantry. I have met Geoff a few times so the last time we were driving down to Melbourne [4000 klms round trip thats for the UK guys], we dropped in to see Ken’s brother Geoff, we were chatting about army etc etc. I told him I was a private he said he finished up a major general. We had a great time he talking about Vietnam [3 tours as a battalion co], me as a bugler in Kingston. He said we were protecting the assets of the Colonial British, but we had a good time.

    You know boys I think Geoff was right.

  295. Editor in Brisbane. says:


    We are shifting into the last weeks before the site is changed to “Private” access and in due course you will be advised of the ID/Password access. Before this happens, I suggest that you right mouse click on your mouse/thinggy – when you are viewing the Home Page – and select “create shortcut” from the dropdown menu. This will place an icon on your Desktop for easy future navigation. You can ‘rename’ the icon to your choice. Then in the future, when you open this icon you will simply login with your allocated ID & Password – and business as usual!

  296. Ray Grubb says:

    Dear Ed, please may I have a password. I was in D Coy, that little known one. Many thanks.

    ED: Goodonyer Ray – good to hear from you. You’re added to the list – will advise in due course.

  297. Geoff says:


  298. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Well another year is nearly with us, had a nice Christmas hoping you all had the same. Well Derek as said before the time passes so quickly when you get older, we received over a 100 Christmas cards this year, mostly from DCLI Assn Members but one card from our elderly cousin from Perth in OZ, it got here with the address a little awry no postcode. Says a lot for our Post Office as this shower in government have tried and tried to downgrade it, but full credit to the GPO, bravo. Not looking forward to 2012 as it looks like doom and gloom again, and our pensions are stretched to the limits and our investments making no interest on our hard earned savings etc, but we still soldier on! Anyway a Happy New Year to all of our bloggers.

  299. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:


    I would like to thank JB for putting the Light Infantry Band and Bugles on his blog comment. As you all know I served for over 24 years in the Reserve Forces and marched with bands from lots of Corps and the Royal Marines. They are all brilliant but nothing stirs my feelings like the Light Division Band and Bugles especially all of the regimental County Regiments and always the DCLI when playing Trelawney. What wonderful memories of yesteryear, and now the Rifles Regimental band, makes the hairs on your neck stand out, bravo for the new Regiment to carry on with my favouret music.

  300. John Billett says:

    Hi Everyone, Peggy and I would like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. I hope the bit of music is appropriate and to your liking, not Christmassy but a memory from the distant past

  301. Terry Simons says:

    June and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2012. Hope the Bermuda boys are OK. From Terry and June.

  302. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All
    For all that served in Bermuda, now had a letter from Cpl Dave Besley of 3 Platoon. Sadly Dave’s wife passed away a couple of years ago and he will be spending the Christmas with his daughters in Bridgewater. He commented on Joe Knight’s passing and said about an incident when we were all out at Warwick. A group of us bought 26 bottles of rum, 2 crates of 12 plus, 2 bottles of coke. He called Joe “Rocky” and said him and Rocky we’re the only 2 left standing at the end, he said couldn’t do it now.

    As you know Derek, he and I were great mates and the first batch to set up our leave Island with Sgt Seaborne. Dave served in the DLI in Korea with distinction and like Joe Knight was a regular soldier, we were lucky in 3 Platoon to have good NCOs.

    After contacting Dave last year after all that time ago I asked him to come and stay in PZ and he said on this last letter he hopes to come down in 2012, it would be really good if he does come to meet again after all these years. He sends you Derek and all that knew him a Merry Christmas and Happy new year.

  303. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Doris and I wish all our bloggers a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. Derek, Doris is now watching the film White Christmas 1954. I had a weeks leave and stayed with John and Rose Warrilow in their married quarters and they took me to see this film in Hamilton. I believe it was a premiere at that time as it was in the USA. I had a very nice week staying with them but often regretted not having Christmas with all my platoon mates; but as said before young and naive,s adly Derek we have lost most of our closest mates in the past couple of years.

    RIP all of them.

  304. Geoff says:

    Hi all, in case I don’t get another chance, a very Happy Christmas & New Year, Best Wishes.


    • John Billett says:

      Thank you Geoff, I’m sure you’ll have lots of chances. A Happy Christmas and New Year, all the best to you, regards JB.

  305. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi. Driving to Truro Branch Christmas Lunch, taking Nobby and Mary Clarke as we take turns driving to venues. We are as you know members of Truro Branch so we will pass on your best wishes Derek, how times fly cannot believe Christmass is nearly here again, what a difference to when you are young and the time used to drag as you thought!

    Not much news Derek but I am in contact with plenty of ex Dukes on my address book, pity they don’t go on the blogs. Hope you and Audrey and your family are all OK, best regards, Swanny and Doris.

  306. John Billett says:

    Swanny. We hope you and everyone else have a very good evening later today, enjoy the Lucknow Dinner and the evening in general, wish everyone well from us, we will be thinking of you all, best wishes from Peggy and John.

  307. John Billett says:

    G’day Ed, the little girls names are Lilly Sue and Summer Amelia, the mothers choice.

  308. John Billett says:

    Life just gets better and better, Peggy and I have just been made Great Grandparents to a pair of Twin Girls, how much better can it get.

    ED: Congratulations to all concerned, the cycle of Life evolves, let us know their names in due course.

  309. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    No the one I wrote was about my first encounter with Sgt Tug Wilson. I only wish I could have said about Rosie etc but don’t think it would be published Derek, and about yours and mine about the house of disrepute we used to visit when we first arrived in Bermuda. As you said Gotta Larf! and the coal hole would get a XXXXX rating Ha Ha.

  310. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    I received the book National Service Exploits (1945-1963 and you and I Derek are mentioned in dispatches, of our N/service in the book of when we served in Bermuda. Very interesting write ups of National Service and photos to match with our close mates in 3 Platoon. The author Brian Davison has written 365 pages of N/Service and I found the various stories of that time very interesting indeed. I ordered the book from him directly but anyone interested can buy on line from Amazon, and it is very good for anyone who did N/Service to read. His address is 19 Kirkdale Way, Acklam Hall, Middlesbrough, Cleveland. Tel.01642- 274261

    • G’Day Swanny

      I’ve exchanged emails with Brian regarding an listing for the book and I’m informed that it is not available through that avenue. Evidently Brian seeks purchasing from him direct, so anyone interested needs to contact him on the address given.

      How many chapters did he devote to you? Was Rosie referred to?

      Gotta Larf!

  311. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    I watched Ross Kemp in On the Front Line last night on Sky TV with Ross in Afghanistan with 45 Commando RM. How I respect this brave actor as he puts his life on the line with these special men on a meeting with the Taliban. How many politicians would do the same as this brave actor and put their lives on the line. As his programmes before it takes a lot of guts to show the general public what our brave services do in real life with his film crew who come under real live bullets etc to show the reality of a services job is.

    I have always admired Ross Kemp for his and film crew for filming real war for the public to see first hand what our bravest of the brave go through on a daily basis. I am biased too, as Ross Kemp is a clone of our son Donald, the likeness is uncanny as Doris and I always say when we see Ross Kemp on the TV. Bravo Ross for making these documentaries for TV.

  312. 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the century

    Thank you Sloop and Swanny respectively for doing the honours for the Regiment, your reports are appreciated – as too your diligence in respecting the glorious sacrifices of past conflicts. Sadly those sacrifices are still being made after ‘the War to end all Wars’ was pronounced all those years ago, and one ponders on where or when the final bugle calls will happen. Not in our lifetime, that’s for certain.

    At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we shall remember them.

    • John Billett says:

      I share your sentiments entirely. According to the Bible there has been wars going on forever, fighting between tribes mainly through different religions, and I suppose the same as now GREED and POWER, as you said ”It will not stop in our time” Hope you and Audrey and family are all well. Take care.

  313. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Had very busy couple of days. On Armistice day 11-11-11 I attended the Service at Heamoor RBL as President and wore my DCLI blazer as rep for the Association. A very good turnout; in the group present was the history master from Mounts Bay School and his history class, which was much appreciated on this day. Afterwards the Club laid on refreshments etc. I got talking to the group of pupils and explained to them the history of Remembrance Sunday etc and of how the Country should never forget about the sacrifice the services have paid with the loss of life from the past right up to the present conflict in Afghanistan and they said they really appreciated my time to speak to them.

    On Sunday I attended the PZ RBL service at the Church with our Branch DCLI but as last year I was unable to march as in previous years due to my ailments. Last night I attended Heamoor RBL service at St Thomas Church with our Branch Bugler DCLI Assn, Graham Martin representing the DCLI which as always was appreciated. Another year has passed.

  314. John Billett says:

    I had a good Rememberance Sunday I was seated in the church waiting for the service to start when Bill Eaton was brought to where I was sitting by a SLI friend of mine. He saw Bill’s DCLI badge on his blazer so he decided to bring him over to me. We had a lovely service, afterwards Bill and I joined the SLI contingent and we marched to Vivary Park to the Taunton Cenotaph for the short service and the laying of the poppy wreaths. Then we made our way back to the car park beside the church where our cars were parked. We said our goodbyes wishing each other well and saying we would see each other another time. It made my day. Hope everyone else had a good Rememberance weekend.

  315. Mike Cummings says:

    Hi Bloggers. I don’t live in Bodmin now I live in Weston-Super-Mare. I will be moving shortly to Pathfinder Village in Devon, so will be nearer to Bodmin. I looked at a house in Bodmin St leonards Terrace opposite the Cat and Fiddle. I wonder if is the same one I was at the Open Day this year. I met Gerald Hunkin who was a corporal in Bermuda. Apart from that it seemed to be mainly Rifles people so I was not impressed.

  316. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi Again Mike
    We had a a Brian Peters from Bodmin who was in our Intake, he was the Coy barber in Bermuda. Just after I came out in 1955 I drove my motorbike to Bodmin when he came home, I have never seen him since that day.

    Fred Hughes from Bodmin was a Sgt in 4/5th DCLI TA who I see on a regular basis didn’t know him! and I have enquired about him several times still no joy. I found his house when I went to Bodmin, he lived in a cottage opposite the Cat and Fiddle pub but have never had contact since? I wondered if you knew this chap, he had very blonde hair and he worked then in Bodmin Mental Hospital I think? Could you possibly ask around in case anyone knew him.

  317. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi Mike
    Nice to have you on the blogs, we used to be very busy on the blogs, so it is nice to have you on board. You should join the Bodmin Branch DCLI Association and come and join us at Open Days etc. I think you would enjoy meeting ex Dukes etc, again nice to have you on the blogs.

  318. Mike Cummings says:

    Thanks for your answer Neil, yes even as a National Serviceman I have a pride in serving in the DCLI. also coming from Bodmin, a link to it.

  319. John Billett says:

    Hi Barry, I have just found your letter on my blog, have left a response to it. Hope you’re keeping well. John.

  320. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    In answer to Mike Cummings, I was in the TA at the time of the amalgamation of SCLI and knew a lot of locals that were in SCLI and it worked well as it did when all were in merged to the LI. They all served the Country as all before them to the highest as Light Infantry soldiers always did before. My son served 24 years in the LI and ended up as a WO1 and I used to go to Shrewsbury every year for the LI reunions and the camraderie was always first class as all before and you never lose your love for your Mother Regiment.

  321. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    A Brian Davison has now a book published about National Service. Some time ago I sent him some write ups about my time stationed in Bermuda, there are three articles I sent him and are in this book. You can find this book if you log on to Amazon with price etc which is about the three services ie Army, Navy, and RAF, this should be good reading for all that did National Service I should think.

  322. Mike Cummings says:

    I was thinking the other day, and wondering what it was like when the DCLI amalgamated with the Somersets. I was demobbed before it happened. Were any of you bloggers in at the time? and what was the general thoughts on the merger at the time.

  323. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Just to say I attended the Thanksgiving Service for Captain John Morgan with Keith Mannings who drove me to St Just in Roseland Church on Friday last 23-9-11. Also in attendance was Lt Jeremy Hooper and Major Peter Michell representing the DCLI the church was packed for the service with over 400 attending. Keith and I met Mrs Bridget Morgan and her daughter after the service who really appreciated our attendence on behalf of the Regiment.

    Sloop will like this!! While Keith and his wife Maureen was staying with us for the week Keith refitted my shower unit for which I am truly thankful to him for doing that, good mates in this day and age are hard to find he is a true DUKE.

    • John Billett says:

      Hi Swanny. You are truly lucky having Keith to refit you shower unit, as you said mates like that are rare these days, but may I say this, I expect there are lots of mates like that around, they just don’t get the opportunity to do kindnesses like that. Hope Doris is still on the mend, have you handed back the apron and feather duster yet or are you still doing household duties?

      What a beautiful church they have at St Just in Roseland, and the most beautiful setting for it, the pictures we have of it doesn’t do it justice.

      Take care everyone.

  324. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Saturday at Bodmin wasn’t like the normal Open Day, I think the date change helped because we have always had it in June, and it didn’t seem right? Although for me I met up again with Bob Curley Wotton and his wife and a friend, and also Sgt Bill Rich who always makes the effort to come from Plymouth every year. He was Peter Michell’s Sgt in Jamaica before Peter Michell came to Bermuda and we had a drink together. A lot of strangers seemed to be there this year, maybe that was due to the dates. At least I met a Cpl who was a regular soldier in 1Platoon I forgot his name and he said he met Lt Peter Middleton when he was a manager of a Casino in Bristol and he gave me his phone number. If I contact him Derek I will let you know.

    ED: Thanks Swanny, still a few fresh names around I see. Good work, regards to all.

  325. Editor in Brisbane says:

    JB’s Photo Memorabilia

    JB has kindly forwarded some random photos taken at Bodmin Open Day. Click the link above or travel to Picasa Albums.

    Many thanks JB

  326. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Hi All
    Just reading Derek’s comments about the blogs, all so true but I for one hope it keeps going. I think like JB but is it difficult to keep it going Derek, as the Cornish say it will happen Dreckly! I have a lot of military friends that are on Facebook that look at our blogs, but none ever writes anything which is a shame, as I thought they would be interested.

    Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday John, we the West Cornwall Branch have a coachful going 30 members. It should be a good day as said if the weather keeps fine, The Rifles Band and Bugles are supposed to be there, just a pity it is later in the year. I will say you asked Derek if anyone you knew will be there.

    ED: Thanks Swanny, Hope the Day is special – as always. Regards to all.

  327. John Billett says:

    Hi Derek, we will be visiting Bodmin for the Open Day this Saturday coming, 10 Sept. Hope to see as many old chums as possible, even though it’s later in the year we hope it will turn out alright. Will take camera and hope to get some pictures, fingers crossed that the weather will be reasonable, take care.

    ED: Thanks JB, safe trip down and back. Please pass on my best regards to all Old Mates. I shall appreciate any photos of the Day.

  328. G’Day Sloop, thanks for your observations. Sad but true evidently that the core vitality has been stripped out of many of the West Indies Old Mates, like the parts of a bren, never to be re-assembled. This very topic was the central focus of the 4th National Conference of Men’s Sheds, in Brisbane where delegates from UK, Canada, Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand examined the phenomenal growth of Men’s Sheds throughout Australia, where mateship is providing a new meaning for the future for blokes at the back end of life. Click the hotlink under my name to view current advancements on my own local Shed.


    On a serious note, a message from pp72 of Julian Kreig’s booklet “We are all in it; it’s only the depth that varies”. Quote: Spend time on mateship and friendship and you will be able to deal with all sorts of issues in more positive ways that will alleviate the pressures of life significantly. End quote.

    We’ve held these ‘blog survival’ mini debates before on the blog, and you JB have been one of the core few, with Swanny and others, who’ve attempted to promote interest beyond the military experience with meaningful repartee and photos etc. Further you have the advantage of making an annual pilgrimage to God’s County of Cornwall, a trip that I envy. My N/S experience may have only been around 2% of my life, but the lessons have served me a lifetime, never to be forgotten, and support the wish to maintain the contacts with Old Mates.

    The saddest issue of all in my opinion is a general dis-interest in current military matters, where the younger generations are actively fighting wars on many fronts. Surely this is fodder for opinion and cross debate on current affairs, and a few moments spent monthly offering dialogue in supporting that – on what is just about – the only true interactive DCLI blog of the ’50s that is publicly available, seems a small effort to expect. As you well know, the level of repartee on these blog pages descended into the pits (in my opinion) a while ago, where untoward and irrelevant civilian crap was written here, which was better suited to the social platforms of Twitter and Facebook etc.

    Interesting to note that your single comment above was matched by 11 ‘spam’ comments (all of which are screened out by Akismet) and some of ‘em are pages full of spurious and stupid content, that are absolutely irrelevant to Light Infantry interests. Clearly there are self-promotional interests afoot in the UK (mainly) in attempting to engage the blog contributing public.

    I just hope that we can engender some enthusiasm and interest before the close of 2011, and not prove beyond doubt that some buggers are already dead, just waiting to be buried.

    Carpe Diem!

    • 7th September 2011

      Pages are being removed as I type and those that are archived are listed on that page. Given any specific future interest in an archived page I shall re-instate on request, but ’tis interesting to note (at least to me) that not once have I received a ‘re-open’ request in 18 months.

      Tempus Fugit!

  329. John Billett says:

    Hello Derek and Audrey, we hope you are both keeping well. In answer to your letter I would suggest that the boys have run out of things to comment on. As I said in one of my letters back along my life is so mundane I don’t think it worth talking about, maybe it’s because the way life has changed over here so much that people just don’t know how to think and what to say any more. Or perhaps the novelty of these machines has worn off, Google does’t help by keep changing things around. Around our area last week we couldn’t get anything at all because some thieves cut and stole the telephone wires for the copper content which left us with no Broadband. I don’t have the answer Derek but as you said you’ve had a good five years, I’ve had two and it’s been quite enjoyable, what ever you do in the future I’m sure it will not come easy to you. Wish you, Audrey and the family good luck and good health always.

  330. Terry Joll says:

    I have just written a longish letter and bugger all has happened. Now getting too complicated for us duffers.



    There must be truth in the old adage “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”. Over the past months, we have reached the lowest ebb in the tide flow of supportive comments on the blog pages. Behind the scenes – and unseen by all viewers – are the ‘junk mail’ of the I’net – SPAM – now reaching unprecedented volumes of garbage that preys on decent well intentioned repartee. Spam now outranks militarily related comments by 100:1 and ’tis inevitable that Light Infantry Most Wanted pages will be culled, modified or simply closed down by end 2011. A few pages will of course remain, to preserve those memories that are important to the few.

    We have enjoyed – in the main – 5 fine years of mateship and friendship – with just a few miserable dissenters – who remain unmentioned yet stand out in their absenteeism. I refer of course to those who practised bastardry on these pages, not those who legitimately are unable to communicate regularly.

    I guess that ‘the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on’. Nulle Illigitimo Carborundum.

    Carpe Diem.

  332. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Just to say Doris is home and going on very well, moving around the house with her walking aids and taking the tablets! Now watching the TV news about all the riots in London,Liverpool, Bristol etc. What a picture for the world to see, mainly hooded black youths looting and burning of shops etc. Remember when we did Riot Drill in Bermuda Derek in case this sort of thing happened there, who would have thought this like the St Pauls riots in the past would happen on this scale in the UK? With the protective Euro Laws the Police haven’t the power to stop this happening, the only way to stop this is for the offenders would be affraid of being shot! I like all of us ex servicemen hate violence but that is the only way to stop this happening as the police are powerless to stop this unless they are allowed to use force to stop this and clip it in the bud. Our Country have lost all its power of government since we joined the EU? and where were our top politicians when this started? On holidays costing big money that the rest of us could not afford since it affects us with little money to spend due to the banking crisis which was to do with greedy bankers and MPs.

  333. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    Thats good news Derek. Drove Doris to Duchy Hospital today for pro OP assessment, all the usual tests, ecg, blood etc, she goes into Duchy on Monday next all being well for her hip operation. She has been waiting over a year for this. Duchy is a private Hospital but still do some NHS operations and a lovely place as she is having NHS treatment in one patient ward which is nice, will keep you touch when the time comes.

  334. Neil Swanny Swanson, says:

    ED. I am a bit concerned about you Derek. I emailed you and asked Bill if he had heard from you, are you ill. As when you contacted me last you said you had been poorly,could you let me know that you are OK


    Ed. Thanks for your concerns Swanny. Have been out of the loop for a while but recovering. Nothing to worry about. Regards to all.

  335. Swanny Swanson says:

    Had a phone call from Keith to say he returned to Warminster yesterday. He said Cap John Morgan phoned him and said I had sent him a photo of the Branch at Davidstow and also the minutes of the first ever meeting of the West Cornwall Branch 1983 which he appreciated. He said sorry about not meeting us but he was very poorly on the day we planned to meet him and Mrs Bridget Morganas they were looking forward to meeting us.

  336. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your brilliant photos of Mazy Day in PZ, very quiet on the blogs these days. Keith and Maureen Mannings have been down for last two weeks, the time flies so quickly they go back to Wiltshire today. Doris and I took them out for lunch yesterday and we saw them regular while they were down.They also went out with Pete and Jean Rule for a meal etc, but our planned meeting at Capt. John Morgan’s was cancelled because he was very poorly with his illness and like most of we pensioners has good and bad days. ED said he has also been poorly for couple of past weeks, get well soon Derek we miss your banter on the blogs.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi Swanny, the photos were my grandsons project, he was there with his father and mother. Peggy and I met Sylvia Scott at the Lizard and had lunch in the restaurant, we had a good natter and the meal was very good, recommend it to anyone. Sorry to hear Derek hasn’t been to well, hope he gets better soon.

  337. Swanny Swanson says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, and now we have Libya to contend with. Our country is paying millions again on another futile war. Our stupid Government is cutting jobs in the services, how can our brave heroes have the will to fight in these god forsaken Countries and also they know whats going on in the UK with businesses going broke which is hitting service personnel and their families, doesn’t make logic.


    Purely by chance today, I persued a link on the ABC site and found this page that depicts the widespread involvement by foreign troops in Afghanistan. We being Regimental so far as UK and ADF personnel are concerned might (as I have done) overlook the fact that all troops in this asshole country are in harm’s way and I take my hat off to ’em for their priceless service in the name of peace.

    One day hopefully soon, these god forsaken Taliban tribal maggots will be left alone to wage their own senseless stupid cowardly wars and with a bit of luck blow themselves up in the process.

  339. Swanny Swanson says:

    Daily Mirror Saturday 25-6-11 Language Cornish gets cash lifeline. Taxpayers will spend almost £400,000 saving the dying Cornish language. The government cash will fund the Cornish Language Partnership for three years, allowing the group to “plan for the future”, it said. According to the UN, there are only around 500 fluent Cornish speakers left, making it “critically endangered”.

  340. Swanny Swanson says:

    As said in the above comment (Derek I could not follow on). After Wiltshire Keith and Maureen are staying in their holiday cottage nr Lands End. As I said the DCLI Branch are going to Davidstow on Sunday, usually we go to Bodmin Open Day but this is changed to September this year. The Forces Day is held today at St Austell, I am not going as my marching days are over. Age shall not weary them and all that.

  341. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All. This last week PZ has had the Golowan Festival again, alas the weather has been rain and today is Mazy Day where all the school children parade their floats that they build and thousands come from all over to see this wonderful Parade with bands etc. This is the first time in years that they have had bad weather. Keith and Maureen Mannings are travelling down from Wiltshire.

  342. Swanny Swanson says:

    I sent a photo of the bayonette presented to Bugler Smudger Smith to most of my address book and had a email from Tom Strike in Australia as I send him some DCLI updates etc. I only email now and again hoping he might write something on the blogs but to no avail as he says he is always busy with his vineyards etc.

  343. Swanny Swanson says:

    In answer to Sloop, no we don’t go to the Islands, period, but she received a great reception on arrival at PZ and over there.

    Met up with John and Jenny Griffin and Joe and Anne Knight last evening at Mousehole RBL and had a good evening chatting about old times etc and a bonus of Doris and Anne winning a raffle each. Only bad thing the rain arrived yesterday and it is awful rain here today let’s hope it goes soon for the rest of the week for their Cornish holiday, will report on them.

    Had an email from Bill Griffiths to say he attended the LI Re-Union at Shrewsbury and he met up with Terry Joll and had a good chat, it was good that Bill could go and meet up with LI mates after his past few weeks of stress. I think as usual you can get the Reunion on You Tube as in previous years.

  344. Editor in Brisbane says:

    DICK BURWOOD 22246490

    Dick is logging into ‘Empire Clyde Association 1954’ with comments and is indicating an interest in posting up 1DCLI photographs. Bear with me as we sort this out for Dick, and maybe express your interest by threading remarks on this page (General Chatters), rather than the more obscure Clyde blog. The photo shown on that Clyde blog is a Jamaica shot 1955, which might serve as a memory trigger for some of you.

  345. Sloop JB says:

    Hi Swanny,
    Did you pop over to the Iles of Scilly to see her Majesty and welcome her to Cornwall. The weather was brilliant for her visit, Cornwall at its best.

  346. JB’s RELICS OF JAMAICA circa 1954

    Relics of Jamaica circa 1954

    What have we here? A pair of well worn wooden pots for holding what? – snuff, baccy, coins. Only JB can tell!

    Close up of lid

  347. Swanny Swanson says:

    Sorry to say I have mislaid a load of stuff I collected while there, only thing we have found is Bermudian cushion covers. My prize collection a cigarette silver case which I had for most of the time out there and used every day, can’t find it for love nor money. As you will know when you change houses over the years you can never find the things you sort of cherish, as said that’s life.

    Very interesting Barry’s collection, didn’t think he used the places we got our Swizzle sticks, my mate then Roy Westbrook and I had a selection like yours Derek but lost now for posterity. Good memories of our runs ashore Derek. Rosie and ALL in those out of bounds drinking establishments. Oh to be young and fit and foolish again!


    Zulu Lulu in 1954

    Barry Cornish has discovered some old Bermuda Swizzle Stick memorabilia while cleaning out his attic recently and emailed me with the photo. I mentioned in reply that he and I must have followed each other around the bars and hotels of Hamilton, as we both appear to have the same collection.

    JB too, recently forwarded six 1954 Jamaican postcards recently discovered, that are now published to Taunton Sloop.

    If any of you so wish to make a contribution for any long forgotten West Indies memorabilia, then a .jpeg attached to an email to me, will do the trick.

  349. Terry Joll says:

    This is marvellous. All my spelling and typing errors have been corrected for me. It is magic, or some chap working like a beaver behind the scenes?


  350. Terry Joll says:

    Hello JB.
    Yes we are both fairly fit and well. I have suffered from gout for the past couple of months but hopefully now pain free until the next time. Hope to see you in June. I am typing this blind. I cannot get the print to show so I have no idea how it will look when finished. It has finally come up with not too many problems.


  351. Terry Joll says:

    What a wonderful day it has been for me. This morning I had a message on Facebook from Tina, the daughter of my great friend Claude Marsden who is no longer with us. Tina had been looking at Facebook. I have also found the daughter of Sgt Widgey Turner, I was connected to her by Sylvia Scott, Mr Royffe’s daughter.

    Many of you will remember Claude and Widgey, I frequently get asked by members about Widgey.


    • Sloop JB says:

      Hello Terry,
      Good to hear from you again, hope you and your good wife Wendy are keeping well.

  352. Swanny Swanson says:

    Today is Flora Day in Helston. Like May Day (Hobby Oss Day) in Padstow, it is the biggest celebration, to Helstonians and Padstowians these days mean more to them than Xmas or New year. The people of both these towns come back to celebrate from all parts of the globe. Both of these events are very old and go back centuries and are of pagan rites. Both of these towns entertain thousands of people and Helston in particular have RNAS Culdrose based there which over the years many Servicemen based there join in the festivites. At first today there was heavy rain but since 9am the sun has come out so hopefully they will have fine weather for the rest of the day.

  353. Swanny Swanson says:

    Very interesting JB, according to history Jesus visited the harbour on the Mount as the Venesians traded there at that time to trade in Tin-Copper etc. Also he was also supposed to have travelled to St Just in Roseland up the river Fal in those times, also Marazion is supposed to be the oldest village in England, isn’t history interesting?

  354. Sloop JB says:

    I see you have reinstated the photo of St Michaels Mount to head of page. In the year 1599 an ancester of mine called Thomas Bellott, accompanied by a John Budden, bought St Michaels Mount for the princely sum of 231 pounds 8 shillings and 6 pence. They were acting as agents for Robert Earl of Salisbury. In the same year they also bought the Manor of Cranbourne, Holwell in Dorset for 24 pounds 4 shillings, to maintain five soldiers in St Michaels Mount. I wonder how much it’s worth today.

    ED: Interesting info JB. I didn’t realise how historical the Mount is and Wikipedia throws up some fascinating material. St Michael’s Mount

  355. Swanny Swanson says:

    As Derek said, well done for your photos of your lunch with old DCLI mates and their wives from E Company. You were all looking in good shape and well in the photos, must have been all that time in WI in our youth.


    JB has again shown his unfailing support for all matters 1DCLI and has forwarded some candid photos of the event. Travel to the E Coy blog page header to view. Many thanks JB.

  357. Swanny Swanson says:

    I couldn’t agree more Derek. When I heard this for the first time on the radio news early this morning my comment to Doris was, as you said Derek, now get ready for a backlash from these Islamic fanatics who as you said will cause havoc in all of our Countries of Christian Origin We in the UK had that Muslim fanatic in London last week saying about causing disruption on our culture in the UK. Also expect, as you said Ed, our troops on the front line will be severely tested after this death of Binladin.

  358. Editor in Brisbane says:

    “Moral reason must learn how to make coercion its ally without running the risk of a Pyrrhic victory in which the ally exploits and negates the triumph” (Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr)

    Excuse my cynicism please, but I fail to see how the execution of Osama bin Laden and the secret burial of his body at sea, brings closure to Western anger. Trillions of dollars, loss of precious lives, over 10 years in the hunt and 8 months of covert surveillance, removes without trace just one turd only from the swimming pool. Taliban retribution will be swift, harsh and lengthy, placing even more of our troops and civilian populations in harm’s way. Capture, trial and incarceration of this criminal would have provided a far better conclusion for the US President to crow about. Now we have another fucking martyr, whose exploits will be believed by millions of jihadists. Beam us up Scotty to save us from foolish politicians who meddle in wars.

    • Sloop JB says:

      I agree whole hearted, I only hope it doesn’t come back and bite us in the ass.

  359. Sloop JB says:

    G’Day again ED,
    Have now completed my Jamaican episode and posted it on my page.

  360. Swanny Swanson says:

    Now watched the Royal Wedding ceremony and was very pleased to say that Cornwall Gods Country was well to the fore as the Bride’s posy and the buttonholes were made from lily of the valley that were from West Cornwall and was very apt that flowers from our County were carried by the now Duchess of Cambridge as she will be known. Also the head bands of the bridesmaids were also lily of the valley which has done the County proud to be seen around the globe.

  361. Sloop JB says:

    G’day ED,
    I’m working on the Jamaica section now, as there was more time I spent there. It’s going to take a bit longer, please bear with me.

  362. Swanny Swanson says:

    I wrote an article on the Rifles blog yesterday about IEDs and my views on saving lives. Thinking about it afterwards I didn’t think about going on the internet. Today I found good info on the subject of FLAILS. On You Tone they had several versions of Tank flails. On there, the USMCorps have tested the ABV Assault Breacher Vehicle and I was very impressed and I think our bloggers would find it very interesting in the video etc of this vehicle. As an ex Sapper don’t know how I didn’t find out about this before. Getting old is the message that comes to mind, hope some of our bloggers will be enlightened by this.

    ED: Well Swanny, full marks Old Chep, for making an effort to encourage dialogue. Methinks thou art shovelling shit uphill. We are reduced somewhat to an ageing few these days, with no new blood appearing to add to the glorious past. However, perhaps after Wishful Willy and Klever Kate, DTBQ, get off the box, there might be continuing interest in things military. Have you read JB Sloop’s latest offering (see new page link in header bar)?

  363. Swanny Swanson says:

    A very Happy Easter to all of our friends on the blogs, up till yesterday we had lovely weather but yesterday was very heavy rain, prior to that I cannot remember a warmer April in Cornwall. Also thanks Sloop for you sorting out our email addresses, all sorted now.

    • Sloop JB says:

      You’re welcome Swanny. Had I known I would have done it before, never mind all okay now. I would like to wish you and Doris a Happy Easter, I would like to extend this greeting to all blog members.

      I am loathe to say it but we could do with some rain up this way, not only would it do the ground good it would also replenish the reservoirs, they are looking rather empty for time of year. Take care.

  364. Geoff says:

    Sloop on second thoughts, not a good idea, I am not looking for charity, so a free holiday in the Queen’s Hotel – everything provided free, thats taken all the fun away mate, but will keep the standard in mind. I have a place to put my walking stick in could put the standard in there?

  365. Geoff says:

    Yes Sloop, scooter going fine got the hang of it now, was thinking of a trip up the fast lane of the M40 to see if I could get a police escort, and perhaps get a mention in dispatches HEH! HEH! (FLY THE FLAG)

    • Sloop JB says:

      I suppose you could borrow a Standard from one of the Associations and fix it to you scooter before you go up the M40, now that would be a sight to behold, I think you definitely get an escort. You would end up in Shepton Mallet prison.

  366. Geoff says:

    Hi Sloop,
    Battery stored internal, first charge lasted 81 years, not bad going, should be good for a few more now, comming of wire up in two hours and counting, and ED I wondered what the roaring in my ear was? thank’s for solving that one for me! best wishes Geoff.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Bless you Geoff,
      You’re a good sport, hope you’re getting on fine with your scooter.

  367. Sloop JB says:

    Have a good ANZAC Day.

    ED: Thanks JB. The Aussies are very loyal to their own and amazingly, each year sees an increase in (mainly) younger successors of the Old Diggers, parading the capital cities and attending the Dawn Services. It’s quite an eerie experience to stand at the War Memorial at dawn, see the sun rise, and hear the bugles play. Lest we forget!

  368. Geoff says:

    Went to hosp today, they wired me up, put me on charge for 24hrs, must think I am a scooter? HA! HA!

    ED: Got a tiger in yer tank ‘Ole Mate? Keep well and all the best for the Easter Hols and beyond.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Geoff, Question:- Where do you store your Batteries,? hope I’m not being to personal, LOL, how long does the charge last ?, !!!!

  369. Geoff says:

    I wish you all a very Happy Easter, where ever you are.

  370. Sloop JB says:

    Hello Derek, hope everything is fine with you and family.

    Would you please advise Mervin Chandler that I would like to book one seat for lunch on 4th May at his gathering of old mates. Thank you.

    ED: Thanks JB. I shall email Merv accordingly and I thank you for showing support. I gather that you already know Merv and I trust additionally, that you will meet many more Old DCLI Mates.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi Derek.
      Yes I know Merv from school days. I expect to meet a few, bugler Austin Chamberlain for one and maybe an ex driver Gibbons, can’t think of his christian name at the moment, could be Dennis, and Tom Howell. We’ll see. I am aiming to get some photos at the same time if no one objects.

      ED: Thanks JB. Some photos (and ID’s) would be fantastic. Given your usual enthusiasm, we could then mount a Picasa Album of record for the Event – which might then encourage others to attend future Lunches.

      • Editor in Brisbane says:

        G’Day JB

        Merv has confirmed a booking for the Bridgewater Lunch for you and mentions your earlier days and is looking forward to you all meeting up again. I hope the weather holds good for you on the day – at least!

        • Sloop JB says:

          Thank you ED,
          I’m sure we will have a lot to talk about, civilian and DCLI, we haven’t got together for ages. Our best wishes to you, Audrey and your family.

  371. Swanny Swanson says:

    Sloop JB
    His army number was 2290? the intake before me, my no. 22920403.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi Swanny,
      Our intake was 2287, my number was 22876824. Time the numbers got to him it most likely was 2290, so I’m assuming it is the same person.

      • Sloop JB says:

        Hi Swanny,
        Thinking more about it, my maths are up the creek, it would take quite a few people to get from my number to his so we’ll skip over my last comment.

  372. Swanny Swanson says:

    While out with Doris yesterday met an old mate of ours Tony Willis he was our Regimental Medic but like Jack Eddy who was a batman was in our 3 platoon. Hadn’t seen him for lots of years as he was a porter in the Hospitals in Truro and also lives there. He asked to be remembered to you and I told him about our Re-Union two years ago and what a success it was and that you had done the organising of the event.

    Tony is a cousin of my mate Nobby Clarke and was still serving his regular 3 years service, he was in the Intake before me in Bodmin and very nice guy I said to him about the Assn. etc but like so many isn’t that interested, his loss! But apart from that it was good talking to him again.

    ED: Thanks Swanny, I remember Tony very well. As you say a nice bloke. Pity about the Regimental interest though.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi Swanny,

      There was a Tony Willis in our Intake, could it be the same one I wonder?

  373. Swanny Swanson says:

    Bill Oates has been a very sick man the last few years, I only know because my daughter used to see him when he visited her surgery in Pendeen, alas she doesn’t work there anymore. I have seen him some time ago and he like a lot of ex DCLI doesn’t seem that interested.

    Strange as he was the one that told me about our blogs when you first started Derek back in 2000. As for getting a trip to Somerset most of our trips out are organised by the Associations and as said on so many times a lot of ex DCLI that are still in existence don’t show any interest. As my mate Nobby keeps saying ( same old faces).

    I had phone call from John Griffin this last week asking for everybody, and gives me the news from Brissol end, as you know Joe and Anne, John and Jenny are coming on holiday down here in June, and Graham was also coming down, there are some doubts whether he will now be coming, family commitments or something. We all had a good time together last year, John and Jenny are only now back from Spain where they spend a lot of time.

    On the 11th April we have the AGM Truro Branch and Spring lunch and next day 12th April we have West Cornwall Branch AGM and buffet at Heamoor RBL, lets hope a good number turn up to both of these events, will give a report as usual on both.

    ED: Thanks Swanny. first time anyone has reported on Bill Oates, but you’re right in that Bill showed some interest initially. Given the opportunity, please pass on – directly/indirectly – my thoughts and well wishes. I purely mentioned him ‘cos I recall that he was “E” Coy and a Bridgewater visit to support Merv, might have revisited our glorious past. As a reminder, I have posted the “E” Coy Lunch Notice to the page header, in support of Merv Chandler and Tom Howell.

    I’d appreciate too – as a support item to the Bridgewater Lunch in May – that a mention be broadcast to the forthcoming Assn Meetings and possibly too – an alert to Dave Besley, who (I think) lives in Bridgewater and might just attempt a GOYA – like so many others need to do.

    ‘Tis a great pity that the surviving hordes show such little interest in DCLI matters in their later years, when much camaraderie is evidenced by the few (particularly you Penzance Cheps). Gatherings all take more than a little effort and voluntary time to set up and the simplicity of parking an arse on a bus seat for a few hours seems a small contribution to make. But this is the perennial lament Swanny, as we well know, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. As stated many times before “Nulle Illigitimo Carborundum”.

  374. Editor in Brisbane says:


    G’Day Cheps. Kindly note the Bridgewater Lunch Notice posted to the Home Page and the E Coy page, that is self explanatory. The Merrie Month of May might be a pleasant time in Grated Britain, to pay a visit to Somerset. Merv Chandler will make you all welcome. Post your inquiries and/or bookings to Merv here or Comments anywhere and I’ll advise Merv accordingly.

    In the early days of this blog site, our ‘Ole Mate Bill Oates contributed some photos, but I’ve not heard from him ever again. What about a minibus trip from Cornwall you cheps to support Merv and maybe also encourage Dave Besley too, to make a day of it!

  375. Geoff says:

    Hi Swanny, here’s me thinking ‘Cor Blimey! don’t I look young and handsome, then you put the boot in HA! HA!. I joined the columm in company with the Camel Express rider, getting quite a mobile unit again. I would start up a Tech Store but spares for the Camel would be a problem? Health wise old mate I hope you are doing as well as me.

  376. Geoff says:

    Hi Sloop, column of one is all I can do at present mate, so you had it right! Enjoying the new found freedom, bit bumpy not very well sprung, but must not complain.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi Geoff,

      I know what you mean about the bumpy bit, our car is a bit like that, but then it is called a Waggon, and on some of the roads we go on it is just like being in a waggon. We bought it so that my wife Peggy can get in and out of it with ease owing to her having arthritis in the knee. But it gets us down to Cornwall so we won’t complain either, as I said before, take care.

  377. Swanny Swanson says:

    Lovely photo old mate, you don’t look a day over 50? only joking, you are looking well Geoff, keep it up. Didn’t know you are the new DR of the bloggers brigade, make sure of the mail etc, again very good photo.


  378. Geoff says:

    Hi Derek,
    Thanks mate for the quick response, I will try my hardest to follow your advice, but as the saying goes old habits! with a bang bang here and a bang bang there HA! HA! happy memories.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Lifantry, by the left, in columns of one, wagons roll. Forgive me Geoff just couldn’t resist it. You look great, happy riding, take care.

  379. Geoff says:

    Hi ED,
    I sent an email to to you, and I have the impression that you did not receive it, if you have not I will re-send with photo attached, hope things are still well with you all.

    Best wishes Geoff.

    ED: G’Day Geoff, apologies for not replying, I did indeed receive email and pix. Will post the Grand Prix photo up to the site for all to see. Watch the speed limit ‘Ole Mate, no texting while driving and quit turning off the ignition like you did on the Bedford in Hamilton in ’54.


    By John Cleese:

    The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

    The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British Army for the last 300 years.

    The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

    Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

    The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

    Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

    The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

    Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation.

  381. Swanny Swanson says:

    Had a phone call from Joe and Anne yesterday saying how they are looking forward to their holidays in Mousehole with Graham and John and Jenny, only 12 weeks to go before coming down, lets hope we have good weather at that time, it has been glorious for the last week down here just like summer warm and sunny.

    Just like to say Keith and Maureen Mannings moved in to their new bungalow in Warminster last week and after the hustle and bustle of the moving, are now settled in. Not a lot of news Derek, Nobby Clarke had laser treatment on his eye and will have the other eye done in due course at Treliske Hospital.

    Hope you and Audrey are keeping well Derek, all the best for now.

    Swanny and Doris.

  382. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All
    Here we go again. Attacking Lybia. Cameron and Co are going to cut our Forces to the bone and now we are in another war. What are our forces in Afghanistan thinking about this, will it affect their morale in fighting that futile war?

    The powers to be are cutting everything in sight, ie pensions, and the loss of hundreds of service personnel from our forces. Where will it all end up? It is all right for politicians and bankers, and as for Blair he has made millions since the Iraq war and couldn’t give a toss for anyone. But as said before none of these people have to fight wars. As the Indians said “speak with forked tongues”.

  383. Swanny Swanson says:

    I had a phone call from John Griffin to say he managed to find out where Maurice White is, he is now living in Callington and John spoke to him on the phone. He said he is in regular contact with me and you Derek. He told John he is not on the internet, I thought he told me when I met him at Bodmin last year that he had a PC etc? but I must have got it wrong. John gave me his address phone number etc so I will make contact if possible and when I do I will let you know.

    ED: Thanks Swanny – good detecting all round – keep me posted.

  384. Terry Joll says:

    Hello Chaps. I am having difficulty posting on the Reggie Mental pages, seems very slow. I have had my Inbox full, I was unable to receive or delete emails. Hopefully it is all sorted now, until the next time.

    It is all my fault, as in my younger days all I was interested in was becoming a good soldier. Computers were for the office wallahs so I paid no interest, it has now come home to roost. Never mind, I get messages coming in which I do my best to reply to. Take care all you chaps.


    ED: G’Day Terry. Thanks for persevering with Reggie Mental – it is slow, as that blog is loaded with multiple graphic files. I guess that in due course I shall need to find a place to re-locate most of the pix – probably a linked Picasa Album. Thanks also for responding to Ray’s query, we’ll see if he responds.

  385. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi Terry
    I replied to your mail but could not get you and also had your message returned. I rang you this morning in case your PC is OK on the blogs or if you have a problem. Swanny.

  386. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hail the Pasty. Protected status for the one – time favourite food of tin miners is long overdue from the European Union. But let us celebrate the new not-so-humble Cornish Pasty, the champagne of meat and potato snacks. FOOD

    Cornish bite rip off is all in the pasty. Cornish pasty makers were celebrating yesterday after the meat and vegetable snack was given protected status on par with Champagne. In future, the British favourite can only be made in Cornwall using the correct D shape and a strict, traditional recipe. The European Commission decision marks victory after a nine – year campaign by Cornish pasty producers. Delighted Cornish Pasty Association chairman Alan Adler said “By guaranteeing the quality of the Cornish pasty, we’re helping to protect our British food legacy. “We lag far behind other European countries like France and Italy that have hundreds of food products protected and it’s important that we value our foods. “Other producers can make other types of pasties but they won’t be able to sell them as Cornish”

    As you well know Derek, there’s nothing like a proper “OGGIE” made in Cornwall – from all our training days many years ago when most we Janners would bring home made pasties back to Barracks and share them with our up Country Mates, that was when our taste bud Were Prober Andsom!

    ED: Too right Swanny ‘Ole Mate. Those ‘oggies’ were a sight to behold when you all came back from a 72. Note however that those fuckin’ frogs over the Channel will get their own back and declare that French Letters can only be made in France!!

  387. Sloop JB says:

    It is quite simple really
    Go on YouTube website (
    1. You need to create an account in YouTube, to be able to upload footage. (easy enough to do)
    2. Follow link to the upload video page.
    3. I think that the said footage you want to upload has to be from your hard drive, not from a disc.
    4. I think that the said footage has to be in avi format not DVD, so it might have to be converted into avi format before anything happens.
    5. you can only upload up to max 10 minute length at a time, and it could take up to an hour to upload

    • Sloop JB says:

      Swanny, this response is from my son Steve. I say it’s easy when you know how,which I’m sure Derek will agree with.

      • JB – interesting comment and while agreeing with ‘simplicity’ per se – I feel your supportive instructional is an exercise in futility and not one that I would have attempted. Simply ‘cos – on many occasions over the past 2-3 years I too have tried to encourage ‘tooling up’ such as Avatars and Links – only to realise that the reader needs to have that depth of interest. The ‘You Tube’ process is I know, beyond the compass of most to even contemplate. Seems to me that Video, DVD and CD technology is a field on its own and nowadays is a feature of camera software technology – and any enthusiast should embrace that option as part of using the hardware. Keith Mannings is a Video fanatic, but new to the Internet and highly supportive (at his own expense) in sending us all his home made copies of Regimental stuff. His choice against the cheaper method of a single upload wherein I can publish the link.

        You may know, that among the ‘deserters’ there exists an established capability to do ‘You Tube’ uploads – but those fuckers would sooner sneak away and disown us, rather than share with their mates. Keith Mannings on the other hand, has shown himself to be a quality Old Mate – unlike some! I hope that he gets a grip and gives it a go.

  388. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your comments, I had phone call from John Griffin last night saying he had a DVD from Keith Mannings and I said that Keith had sent a number of these to many of A Coy mates, also ED, Keith was asking how he could get this DVD to be put on You Tube? I said I haven’t a clue, could you advise Derek how to do this? I said I would ask you, I keep telling him to write something on the blogs but I don’t think he is confident to do this.

    ED: Most PC/Laptop camera software have an icon marked “You Tube” upload. Follow the prompts.

  389. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All
    Just to say my daughter Lesley drove Doris and I to Hayle Hospital to see the ENT Specialist Mr Whinney a very nice gentleman. He took me to another room and put a camera down to check on my voice box, he said that my tubes in the voice box were stretched but of no great damage and nothing sinister was there. He said that they could do a operation if I wanted but I said I would rather not as to my previous problems. He said he would arrange a speech therapist to see me and usually would be fine as I had seen one after my op etc and said it should be OK So thats good news all round, thank you to all that have been saying and asking about my problems with this to all concerned.

    From Doris and Myself, Swanny.

    ED: Good News ‘Ole Mate. Wonder why yer voice box tubes are stretched?

  390. Editor in Brisbane says:

    8mm cine film of Prospect Garrison

    I have today received a DVD from Keith Mannings, originating from John Morgan, which is acknowledged with thanks to both for your efforts. I have also logged a post onto “A” Company blog.

    Given approval from John, Keith might care to publish up to You Tube, following which I shall post the link – for all to see.

  391. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All
    JB sent me an email about Davidstow Airfield Cornwall which is due to Open Day at Bodmin is changed from June this year due to R C Show etc. We discussed at our Branch meeting on Tuesday last about having a day out at this venue. We went there many years ago when this chap set this museum up. Jan Passmore and Gwen his wife used to go very often to this and a pub in the nearby area where the landlord made home made cheeses etc, I think when we went, which as I said a long time ago now, that the Branch went to this place after visiting Rough Tor for a Regimental occasion. At our meeting Frank Baxter (advised)is going to arrange a coach for this day out will keep you posted about times and dates when I get them.

  392. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All
    Derek, I hear on the news today Perth has had big fires raging, seems like all over the world there is some awful going on. As you know I stayed in Perth in 1995 as my cousin Bert and his family live there and enjoyed Perth very much.

    Have not heard a lot about the Gold Coast lately, hope everything is good for your family Derek. Had a phone call from Anne and Joe Knight this morning they are so looking forward to their holidays in Cornwall in June. Also had mail from Terry Joll and he is a lot better. I am still the same voice box ever so weak and very tiring if I speak on the phone. Also getting daily mail from Bill Griffiths which is nice as he is on his own and I look forward to them every day. I also had mail from my mate Len Nicholls in Scotland and he is a good bit better, but Jan his wife is still in hospital with a broken hip so hopes she gets home soon.

    We home here seem to be all crook, but at least the evenings are getting lighter and the cold weather seems to be gone. Thank god for that.

  393. Swanny Swanson says:

    Some very sad news. My closest mate Michael (Nobby) Clarke rang me last night with sad news that his younger and only brother had died. Butch as he was known, was was being treated for cancer and has had several weeks of treatments. Mike is 10 years older than Butch and kept in regular contact with him. He lives in Chorley Lancashire. Mike’s daughter will drive him up there when they know of funeral details etc.

    Mike said he rang the night before and he was in good spirits laughing and joking and it was a complete shock to all of Nobby’s family. Life isn’t fair, Butch did 24 years in the RN in submarines as a chef and came out as a CPO, he then for the last few years was a chef on the oil rigs in the North Sea and had just retired a short time ago. He leaves a wife and three children.

    RIP Butch from all your mates in Cornwall.

    Neil and Doris Swanson.

  394. Geoff says:

    Hi Swanny. I am keeping fairly well, more annoyed with myself than anything else, being restricted on what I can do, I get light headed most days. I thought it might be to do with my medication, but that turns out not to be the case. I saw the doctor again last Monday and she believes it could be the irregular ticker.

    I have to go to the clinic next month, after some more tests, and ECG, all of us seem to be having health problems, sometimes I think it may be caused by the passing years, but then again I could be wrong.

    It was good to hear Derek was out of the worst of the weather I feel for the people in the region hit, after the rain and floods they have just had, it reminds me of the old saying, there is always someone worse off.

  395. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi Geoff.
    Nice to hear of you on the blogs,we have missed you hope you are keeping well. Keith Mannings rings me on a regular basis and said go on Ber News and there was the Bermuda Regiment at Warrack camp doing a Guard of honour etc. I was quite impressed by their standard of drill it, was first class. I see that all their Officers were still white, same as when we were there, mostly snobby bastards – still the same by the look of it. Before I finish it is good to know that Derek and family are not affected by this latest cyclone, we have seen it on the news cannot believe winds at 200 mph, we think it bad here when we have force 10 winds.

  396. Geoff says:

    Hi All I hope you all get well soon, a bad time of the year, best wishes to all Geoff

  397. Geoff says:

    Hi Derek, time to batten down mate, our thoughts are with you, hope you miss the worst of it.

    ED: Thanks Geoff, for your concerns. As mentioned earlier, we are well south of any problems from the cyclone, which is in effect a tropical weather system, whereas we are classified ‘sub-tropical’. We continue to endure the poor early summer months of high temps and humidity, but come the end of February we shall be ‘beautiful one day – perfect the next’!

  398. Joe Knight. says:

    Hello Derek.
    Picked up your message on general chatters this morning that Swanny is not 100%. We understand that you and Audrey haven’t been 100% either.

    Joe had pneumonia over Christmas but glad to say he is much better. We are really looking forward to seeing some of the lads down Penzance. By the way we got in touch with Dave Besley, he was a Cpl in 3 platoon, he wishes to be remembered to all the lads that knew him. Keep well, keep safe. All the best to you both.
    Joe and Anne;

  399. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi Derek
    You said John spoke to you on the phone, he phoned me last week and said he and Jenny had some flu symptoms. Had to apologise to him because of my voice box problem and am not able to chat for long. Can you imagine Derek me not being able to speak for long? but joking aside it gets you down a bit just whispering. I thought I had finished all that when I had this problem when I was in hospital after my operation, lets hope there is a remedy when I see the ENT Specialist.

    Had my daily email from Bill today as usual he is a bit down as his problems don’t ease at all, but our daily mails seem to help a little.

    I think I said couple of weeks ago Joe and Anne have both been poorly, I think 8 out of 10 people have been effected one way or another, chin up lets just soldier on and grin and bear it!

  400. Sloop JB says:

    G’day Derek,

    I understand you have a cyclone heading your way, never rains but it pours does it. Better tie everything down and hope for the best, just like we did out W Indies, Wish you well mate.

    ED: Thanks JB, fortunately we are 1700 kms south of Cairns and well outta the path of Yasi- not so the case with Innisfail and Mission Beach. We continue to sweat though with high humidity and heat of over 35C

  401. Spoke to Johnny Griffin in Brissol this morning – OZ time. He reports being recovered after a bout of fluey type infections – after returning from Benidorm. He also mentioned that Joe and Anne Knight had been a tad poorly with winter infections. They speak regularly to keep in touch over general matters. Not much news of Brad – he’s around the traps – but I suppose that your foul British weather is keeping folk inside.

    Anyway we’re all still vertical and bullshitting as usual.

    Nulle Illigitimo Carborundum!

  402. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your reply, I have now recieved in the post my appointment to see a Mr. Whinney ENT specialist at St Michaels Hospital in Hayle on 16th February to look at my voicebox which is good news and quite prompt As usually you are like Doris waiting months on end to have an operation on your hips-knees etc, I have to thank my cancer surgeon Mr Paul Peyser for getting me in so quickly, as you probably know this bloody government is trying its best to balls up our NHS, as said thats life I suppose!

    All the best for now Swanny.

    PS: I nearly forgot, my daughter came in with a bantam hen that had been under attack from the chickens at her friends farm, so Doris and I are rescue centre yet again, consolation? perhaps Kim our parrot will mate with her and we will have bant-parrots?

  403. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your reply Derek. We had the AGM of Heamoor RBL last night and after some arm bending I was elected to Club President, like us only a few turned up for the meeting. These are getting less and less each year, I think also the small attendance was due to the freezing cold weather for our part of the world, minus 3 degrees. As I said I have not been very good with chest ailments etc but I went to the meeting and took the Presidents position, as we the DCLI Association use the club as our venue for meetings etc, also with falling membership we must try and keep the Club going.

    I explained that I cannot always attend meetings but was told by the committee all was needed was a ex military man as a figure head which is rare in the Legion these days, most are just like working mens clubs Bit different from Griff’s and Graham’s clubs in Bristol where their membership is hundreds of members, but thats life.

    All the best to our bloggers.


    ED: Congratulations Swanny, you’ll do a brilliant job – as usual. Might be an idea to shift the AGM to mid summer when more bodies will appear to share the load. I remember your RBL location and premises very well, a well appointed Club and needs all the local support that you can muster. Get some raffles and events broadcast ‘Ole Mate – with maybe a loyalty card system to reward the regular drinkers. Maybe the Brewers will chip in with a few Competitions. Better not promote dwarf-throwing competitions though Mate – might upset the women!

  404. Swanny Swanson says:

    As you know I am in contact with Bill on a daily basis and kept informed by Bill of Nancy’s daily routine etc, I send Bill and most people daily jokes etc but keep my proper reports for our blog only. I get fed up asking so many ex DCLI mates that I send emails to, to write just snippets to our blogs, even if its just short news items of their whereabouts etc. We have our first meeting on Tuesday week coming and always mention this!

    Hope Derek you and yours are safe still from your awful floods etc.

    • Derek Lovemore, Editor says:

      G’Day Swanny,

      Thanks for your comment about Bill and Nancy and for your enthusiastic support regarding blog involvement by other DCLI’ians. Sadly we know, that our efforts fall on deaf ears, and quite often ’tis only when Old Mates are at Death’s door, is it realised that more could have been done. You and I, and a few others too, know how beneficial a kind word can be when one is down and out. Just to know that there is a friendly, sympathetic ear out there – with links to our youth – makes a difficult day pass more easily. Anyway ‘Ole Mate, we’ve done our best, can’t put ’em on jankers these days.

      Nulle Illigitimo Carborundum!

  405. Nancy Griffiths

    Many of you are aware that Nancy Griffiths is rather poorly and nursed in a Home in Hereford about 20 kms away from the family home in Eardisley. In the past, Bill has been able to take Nancy back home for a few days and also visits her many times during the week. Bill informs me, that Nancy is now wheel chair confined, which prevents any transportation back and forth. Bill too, has moments of short term ailments that need monitoring.

    Nancy has been Bill’s whole life and our old Sjnt Major mate is doing it tough these days. Join me in wishing ’em both better fortune healthwise, improvements all round, particularly Bill’s health, as without his support, Nancy will be left alone.

    We are all thinking and praying for you both Bill and Nancy. Good Luck in all that you do, take it easy ‘Ole Mate and BIG HUGS to Nancy from all your Light Infantry Mates.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Thank you ED,
      We are with you whole heartedly with the letter you wrote for Bill & Nancy, plus anyone else that are suffering at this particular time. We feel so sad for Bill not being able to have Nancy at home even for a short while, it must be heart breaking after all the years they’ve been together. Big Hugs all round.

  406. Terry Joll says:

    I cannot honestly say I knew the chap but he would have been one of the very large intake that the SCLI had join us in Osnabruck in 1960. I am in contact from a few of them who were in 66th Intake. I will make enquiries.

    I came on here tonight to state that I am feeling much better today. Once again my inhalers have been changed. I was fed up this week with appointments every bloody day both at doctors and X Rays etc. Feeling better now and will venture out tomorrow. Thanks for all the messages of goodwill received.


    ED: Well done ‘Ole Mate, good news about your health. Maybe they can change the inhalant to Malt!

  407. Swanny Swanson says:

    ED, In the Daily Mirror today, Question Time, National service stood down.

    Q How long did national service exist for and what was the final group number? I was in group 1. John Kay, Wirral, Merseyside.
    A On the outbreak of the Second World War, National Service was introduced and made compulsory for men to join the armed forces. I completed my national service with the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry. I was called up in September 1960. I was among the last to be called up. My intake number was 66. As far as I can recall there were no other intakes after that. M. Felstead, Yeovil.

    It would be interesting if any one reading our blogs, or if anyone that served at that time would know this person? it would be interesting if anyone could know of this national serviceman as he was in the Light Infantry. Could possibly someone could know this man as his address is in the West Country? It is a small world and it is as I have said some one could shed light on this.

    Neil (Swanny) Swanson.

  408. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi Bill
    It’s good you’re learning some Cornish Lingo, We Cornish say ‘Canti’ if you cannot do a certain thing, we are a bit like our Bristol mates, we have our own dialect. When we served, living in the barrack room it was good to hear so many different local dialects, Oxford, Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucester, Geordie, Yorkshire etc and as my late father who was Scottish would say we are all speaking English?

  409. Bill Griffiths says:

    PS: To last comment. Just having a glass or two of some very nice red. ‘CANTI’ Sicilia Merlot Sangiovese 13% proof, very very nice indeed. Wish you were all here to join me. I have quite a few bottles.


  410. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi everyone, Many many thanks for all your good wishes for me, and my dear little Nancy. I went to see her this morning, and she is not able to walk even a few steps without support and, she was just being taken to hospital for an appointment with the eye specialist. Not too much to worry about there, as I am sure it is just a routine check up because of her diabeties. But, it is heart breaking to see her gradually getting worse, and into a state where I can no longer bring her home for a few days. Well, at present, that is the situation.

    Once again. Thanks Swanny and Ed and thanks everyone for your kind thoughts.

    Bill and Nancy

  411. Editor, Brisbane says:

    LI Musical Medlies at page header

    I notice that (at long last after 2 months) one kind soul has opened up the graphic links on the Home Page and played the musical medlies, which when heard will evoke some fond memories. Thank You Young ‘Un

  412. Swanny Swanson says:

    Good result for you to hear from Lt John Rutter’s family, as you know some time ago when we heard of John’s death I believe in Canada, we both tried to contact John’s son Tristan, I managed to get hold of him but we kind of lost track? I knew Lt John very well when serving together in Bermuda, very good boxer and sporstman and good soldier, he and our Platoon Commander Lt Francis Drake were very good friends. It is good for them to contact you again Derek and looking forward to hearing more from them on the blogs, also it will be nice to have some photos etc on the Picassa Albums.

  413. Terry Joll says:

    Hello dear friends. I am finally up and about at long last. My trouble has been a flare up of the COPD, chest condition which has knocked the wind out of me. Altogether five doctors & Hospital appointments this past week, two more to attend on Thusday and another two next week, not all for the same problems. When you get older the bits start wearing out but best foot forward.

    Hope all you other seniors on here are keeping as well as can be expected and not falling by the wayside. I am better today than for about ten days, the rasping cough has finally left me so will be having a Single Malt dreckly.

    Regards to all. Thanks for good wishes


    • Sloop JB says:

      Good to hear you are up and about again Terry, make that a Double Malt but be sat in the chair first, take care.

  414. Sloop JB says:

    Good Morning All,

    I’m sorry to hear that Terry Joll and Bill Griffith are having a rough time of it at the moment, I can only wish them well and a speedy recovery, my thoughts are with Nancy as well. Get well soon, all of you.

  415. Swanny Swanson says:

    Had an email from Terry Joll he has been very poorly, I mailed him with hopefully speedy recovery, also Bill Griffiths, we mail each other on a regular basis which is comforting for Bill as he is alone and dear Nancy is in a nursing home and not very well, very unsteady on her feet and too much for Bill to cope with.

    We all wish you well Bill and Terry, I think I can speak for all your mates and friends on the blogs – get well soon, also which is good news. I have been in contact with Tom Strike in Australia originally from Launceston Cornwall. A Coy Bermuda, thanks to Keith Mannings getting Tom’s email address for me. Let’s hope we can get Tom on the blogs. We have not heard a lot from Tom Howell lately, hope he is keeping well, would be good if we could get some new names to join us on here!

    • Bad and good news ‘Ole Mate. I join you all in sending get well messages to both Terry and Bill & Nancy. A worrying time at our ages to have to be concerned over waning health matters. As you say, an injection of fresh talent will be appreciated.

      On that note I can advise that Tristan Rutter, son of Lt John Malcolm Rutter has been in touch with me and so far we have a fresh Picasa Album under way and a Memoir in the pipeline. Lt Rutter passed on some 3 years ago now, shortly after we had opened up email communication, at which time he mentioned his wishes to get involved with the blogs. Tristan, his mother, and I will do our best to produce a fitting Memoriale for one of “A” Company subalterns.

  416. Swanny Swanson says:

    Me again with more sad news, not long come back from yet another Military funeral, a great friend of Nobby and I. Harry Trembath and former President of the RAFA in Penzance.

    Harry was the one many, years ago when he was President of the Penzance Branch RAFA, to ask our DCLI Branch if we would carry out the duty as the County Regiment as an honour on the Battle of Britain Parade annually, to parade our DCLI Standard. At that time and for many years after, Nobby carried our Standard with pride on that day.

    Harry was service secretary of the Penzance branch for over 40 years visiting and helping ex RAF comrades when they needed help in many ways. Many members of our branch would go to the Gremlin Club after many parades that took place in Penzance for a drink and we always recieved the respect of RAFA members, and in days past there were a lot of members of both the DCLI and RAF Associations. The Church was full with mourners in respect of Harry and his family.

    Harry Trembath RAF (RIP)

  417. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your kind thoughts and words Derek, I think that is a good idea of yours again to do that. I know the work that you do is so valuable to all of us REGS on the blogs, thanks again Derek.

  418. Swanny Swanson says:

    As I said on my report on the Memoriale page about the funeral of one of our own Mr William Bevan Phillips. The ones who turned out for the funeral were a bit disappointed at the numbers present. I emailed Jack Madron, but I left it a bit late as Jack did not get my mail on time and emailed to say he was too late to go.

    Lots of times it seems that the job of getting members to attend these funerals is left to me, I try to the best of my ability to email all who are on the internet but unless people don’t contact me about events etc I seem to get some stick. This particular funeral was in all our local papers so most would have read it in our area, especially those in the Hayle and district.

    Terry Joll emailed me to say he could not go because of hospital appointments, most of our members know my phone number so they can get hold of me. I said on my report that John Lander ex DCLI came to the funeral and he is not a member of any DCLI Association. He played rugby with Bevan and Hayle Rugby FC were well represented at the funeral. Bevan was a all round sportsman and well known in our area, as I said on my Memoriale report.

    RIP William Bevan Phillips DCLI

    • Swanny, ’tis a bit of a tough call to castigate you personally, when of all people in the Regiment ’tis you that spreads the news – good or bad! You can only do so much ‘Ole Mate and many will try to shift the blame. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Our experience on the blog support is telling us that.

      With hindsight, I believe that we can get smarter in the future, by limiting any deaths or funerals information that requires publication, to Memoriale – and not spread it over other pages. I shall now create a “Deaths Notice” section at the Memoriale Page header, where on notification from anyone I’ll simply log the detail for all to see. Advise accordingly if you will.

      I can tell however, from the Viewer Logs, that Memoriale is not being browsed all that regularly, but at least if we create the feature, there’s no excuse for ignorance.

      Keep up your good work ‘Ole Mate, you can only do your best.

  419. Swanny Swanson says:

    I have sent and received mail from Tom Strike in Australia, I didn’t know him in Bermuda but must have met him at some stage in DCLI TA, Keith Mannings gave me his email address and hope now he will join the blogs. He has not been on the PC very long so hopefully he will come on.

    I sent him a couple of photos of the Open Day at Bodmin and he really appreciated them. As you know I will be attending the funeral today and Nobby will take me and Cyril Pryor Have sent an email to Jack Madron and contacted several others, a lot of our members are not online so getting hold of them is difficult. Being on line is so much easier to contact people?

    Will give a report of the funeral after the event.

    • Editor says:

      REF: Tom Strike

      That’s good news to hear Swanny. Tom forwarded some photos a coupla years ago that are published on the A Coy website (now uneditable), so it will be good to be able to get him up to speed and maybe publish some more Bermuda memorabilia. Thanks for your support.

  420. Sloop JB says:

    Terry Joll,

    Good morning to you, could I make a little suggestion about the Camborne Christmas Lights, If you retrieved your bugle for a little while went down into Camborne Town centre and blew lights out would they go off, just a thought. Or has whoever plugged them in forgotten where the plug is. Just a silly bit of banter. Hope you and Wendy are both well.

  421. Joe Knight. says:

    Hello Derek & Audrey. Hope those terrible floods don’t reach you. Keep well and keep safe, you are in our thoughts. All the best from Joe & Anne.

  422. Joe Knight. says:

    Hi Swanny. So glad that you have had good news from your surgeon, keep up the good work, well done. All the best to you both from Anne & Joe.


    Many, many thanks for the multitude of emails that we have received, expressing concern for our welfare during these difficult times. We are well, high and dry and live several kilometres north from the Brisbane River, where the problems prevail. The only marginal issues that we have to deal with now, are overpowered storm drains that (sometimes) have difficulty in absorbing the rapid downpours, bearing in mind that we are a sub-tropical state and have systems designed to handle ‘normal’ conditions. This flood is abnormal, but prevails over 75% of the State of Queensland. The State is now cleaning up, a task that will take months and sadly some cyclones are forming in the Coral Sea, that might pose more problems to the northern part of the state.

    Thank you all for your kind concerns, kindly continue to send money (larf!), I have more than enough place mats and antimacassars now to get by.

  424. Swanny Swanson says:

    All, I have written a report on my Swanny blog to say I saw my surgeon today at PZ Hospital and he was very pleased with my progress. I hadn’t seen him for a year and he will see me in six months time.

  425. Swanny Swanson says:

    To add to my comments as above, I forgot to say we have 10,000 British serving in Afghanistan, the French have 3,850. Always reminds me of two world wars. who let the side down? Guess who?

  426. Swanny Swanson says:

    Doesn’t it make your blood boil? In my newspaper today shows Barack Obama shaking hands with the French President saying they are his closest allies. Both these assholes have never been in the Armed Forces and I think this is a kick in the face for Obama to makes these remarks.

    We have lost 349 British service personnel and 7 times more than the French in Afghanistan, and for him to say what he said is an insult not only to the British people but more so to all of our troops serving there at this time.

    Deep down the Yanks have liked us since the American Wars of Independence and we as DCLI soldiers bug them with our battle honour of the red behind our cap badge and the 46th of foot to inflict so much to defeat them in that war especially beating the French.

  427. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hope you and your family are still safe from the terrible floods in Queensland. While listening to Radio Cornwall this morning a Cornish family living in Queensland and originally from Stoke Climsland, North Cornwall was speaking on the programme about the awful floods. She like you Derek is one of the lucky ones living higher up on their property and the bottom of their drive was 12 feet of rushing torrents of water and a large van was jammed up in a large tree at the bottom of their driveway. As said before most people home here cannot contemplate the area the size of Queensland is as big as the whole of Germany so just imagine the amount of water that has fallen as she said for six whole weeke of steady rain, we are thinking of you all at this difficult time.

    Frog hitching a ride at Dalby Qld 2011

    ED: Thanks Swanny and to all who have contacted me. Imagine as you say, the volume of 2 Sydney Harbours each day, flooding the system. As I reply, early Wednesday morning in Brisbane, the entire city of Ipswich to our west is under at 21 m and the Brisbane CBD river level to peak at 1100 hrs, with many river suburbs under as I type. King tides are also happening over the next 2 days. It looks as if the 1974 levels will be overtaken. Other than that a beautiful sunny day with balmy temperatures.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi ED,

      Better get your welly boots ready, I think it’s heading your way. Time to try out the boat you built, assuming it’s finished and ready for action, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it won’t come to that, keep dry.

      ED: Thanks for your remarks JB. Boat still in the workshop, many hours still required. A bit like Noah – needs 30 years! Tough times here today, Brisbane CBD going under and panic buying starting like lemmings! No bread, milk or essential items left on the shelves. Worst floods ever with 10 now drowned including 4 little kids and 15 unaccounted for.

      Joe Blake on the fence

      We’re OK, if it floods here in Clayfield, where we are, the entire eastern seaboard of OZ will be under. However, Toowoomba – pictured above – is 2,000′ above sea level, so the flash flooding that overpowers the drainage system is the worry. Only additional problem now is the snakes.

  428. Sloop JB says:

    Get well soon Nobby and Bill, everybody is rooting for you. Take great care.

  429. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All
    Some good news at last. Nobby now phoned me and seems a lot better, his doctor visited yesterday and prescribed new pills, he said that he had angina of the gut so hopefully he will react to these new pills. I told him everyone on our blogs wished him well and he appreciated that. Also I had my first email from Geoff Marshall today so with me nagging him when he comes to our DCLI meetings we might get him on the blogs. Geoff was Cpl Clerk with Major Fry in Beleize when we were there in our time, first class chap and Major Peter Tresidder’s son-in-law. He always asks for you Derek and sends his best regards.

    Now waiting from mail from Bill in Hereford hope he is a lot better, he and I have become such great friends since meeting at Shrewsbury LI Re-Union, like all on the blogs, very close Family, something you can never buy, FRIENDSHIP.

  430. Swanny Swanson says:

    I would have let you know, but I didn’t get any info till Nobby got home when Mary phoned me. While there you would not have been able to visit as they had the bug on his ward. He is home now but Mary advised not to visit because of this bug thing.

    I have had chest probs again myself the past couple of days, and as you know I suffered with pneumonia when in hospital back long, there is a lot of illness around at the moment. Also Derek, I had my usual mail from old Bill he was admitted to hospital yesterday with similar symptoms and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance in the snow that is back up there in Hereford. Poor old chap has had a very bad Xmas one way and another, any change and I will keep you posted.

  431. Terry Joll says:

    Have just picked up the note ref Nobby Clark and his visit to RCH Treliske. Pleased to hear he is home again. I know all about the type of problems he is having but pleased to state no worries. Had to see Cardiac Consultant on Wednesday and came away feeling grand. No changes to Echo or ECG so that puts a little spring back into my step.

    As some of you already know I am a Volunteer worker at Treliske and would like to be informed whenever any pals are admitted so that I can give them a visit. We must look after our own, no bugger else will.


  432. Joe Knight. says:

    Hello Swanny. Sorry to hear about Nobby Clarke, please keep us informed. We wish him well and all the best for a speedy recovery.

    Joe has had a bad chest infection over the holiday, on antibiotics. Give Mary our best regards, looking forward to seeing them in June.

    From Anne & Joe.

  433. Swanny Swanson says:


    Now phoned Mary Clarke. Mike (Nobby) was taken to hospital at Truro on Tuesday with heart problems again, he came home last night and now has a bug virus he got while in the hospital. Nobby has had a lot of problems with awful pains in his stomach for the last few months which puts a strain on his heart. I get it from time to time and had a bout of it last night. I have special strong pills when I get it which is normally quick to relieve the pain, but Nobby is not allowed to take these as they go against the pills he takes.

    These are times after heart surgery you get so many complications, we keep in close contact with each other and worry when these things happen. I will keep you posted as to his health.

    ED: I share your concerns for Nobby, Swanny. I trust that he will recover swiftly and strongly, these hospital spread viruses are of real concern to anyone with ailing health. Please pass on my best regards to him when you next speak to him.

  434. Joe Knight. says:

    Hi Derek. So sorry to hear that you have been poorly. Hope you soon feel much better and on the road to recovery take care, regards to Audrey.

    All the best from Anne & Joe.

    ED: Thanks Joe & Anne. I greatly appreciate your good wishes and remarks. We’re both on the improve now and apart from our foul weather (rain, humidity and floods) we are getting on with Life in general. Australia has today discovered that there is life after a 2 weeks Christmas holiday and gets back into harness. What a bloody waste of time, resources and money – summat like $1 billion in unwanted gifts – beam me up Scottie!

  435. Joe Knight. says:

    Hello all our blogger friends. We would like to wish you all a happy, healthy and properous new year for 2011 and many more.

    All the best from Joe & Anne.

  436. Margaret Royffe says:

    Margaret and John wish all the Bloggers a very Happy New Year. Hope 2011 is kind to you all.

  437. Swanny Swanson says:

    Doris and I wish all on the blogs a Happy New Year.

  438. Sloop JB says:

    We would like to wish all bloggers A Happy New Year.


    Happy New Year from Down Under!

    Perhaps our photography is a little better? Best Wishes to all you Cheps in Grated Britain. May your health be perfect – or as near as possible – in 2011.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Hi Derek,

      Can’t compete with that, which one is Pontins Face, lol. We wish you all a Very Happy New Year. Take every day as it comes, take care John & Peggy

  440. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your reply letter, as said hope you have a good one.

  441. Swanny Swanson says:

    Thanks for your response Derek. Sorry to say to you about England winning the Ashes, first time winning in OZ since1976, on our news thats all we have heard today. I wasn’t all that interested really. My Chelsea are in the doldrums recently losing 6games and now down in 5th place in the league. That Russian prick of an owner sacked the assistant manager and we are in freefall and the money half these players earn is a JOKE.

    Any way lot more serious news another of our soldiers killed yesterday, and this ASSHOLE government we have inherited got to be the worst in living memory, but as we have said before it is out of our hands.

    Anyway Derek I will drink a toast to you and Audrey on Hogmany and hope you will have a good New Year.

    ED: Thanks for that thought Swanny. We are off to a New Year Ball at the Bronco’s Rugby League Club tomorrow night and will lift a dram to you too ‘Ole Mate. Regarding the cricket, I thought that it was a deserved victory for a team that outplayed the Aussies at every turn, but you make a valid point about management. That essentially is the problem in OZ. The Cricket Board has lost the plot and failed to give Ponting adequate backup to replace those stalwarts of yesteryear.

    Acknowledgement to Valdman Cartoons

    Now the pricks are calling for ‘Punter’s’ head on a platter. What bullshit! Like England we need a team of experienced, hungry professionals who have learned how to fight for victory. These Cricketing Board complacent arseholes have failed to keep the level of the game to a “Test” standard. 2010 Test Series has not been a test, per se, other than a test of the supportive public’s patience. We need about 3 – 4 years Swanny, before any decent Test Cricket will be played here again. Even those Pakkie Wallahs will wipe us out and as for the Yarbies, we might as well send ’em to Lords for a decent game!

  442. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi Derek.

    Sorry to hear you have been poorly, glad that you escaped the floods. All this talk of global warming seems a nonsense, we have had snow etc in West Cornwall don’t normally have any till after Christmas as a rule, but you can’t change things. I had an email from Barry with pictures of his great nieces on Bondi Beach in Sydney which was in the OZ version of The Daily Telegraph. I know OZ is a big country but the weather is bizarre

    Any way Derek hopefully best regards to Audrey and yourself and family for a Good New Year.

    Swanny and Doris.

    ED: Thanks Swanny & Doris. Compliments of the Season to you and Family also. On the mend now, but weather not too enjoyable -wet, clammy and soaking everything in sight. Hope Doris is managing OK and is moving higher on the list for corrective surgery. Saw that emailed pix from Barry. Sydney city seems to have escaped the water issues this year, but we in Queensland State have country towns under water with total evacuation enforced for safety. The forces of nature eh? Remember those hurrricanes in Hamilton? I’m glad in a way that we didn’t get to Melbourne as the temperatures lowered to 9 degrees on some occasions – too cold for we tropical bods.

  443. Sloop JB says:


    I know you’re not at home at the moment but I hope to God your home isn’t in the flooded area of Queensland, we hear that roads are flooded and closed off. My brother- in – law says it’s pretty awful there.

    ED: Thanks for your concerns JB. We never made it to Melbourne for Christmas, we cancelled the flights on the eve of departure and have been under the weather (pardon the pun) for over 10 days – with serious illnesses. However, while the water is cascading down across Queensland and Brisbane, we are high and dry, and tripping out only for essentials, under the brolly. Everything is awash and most low lying areas, creeks and rivers are in full flood, with many arterial roads barred to all traffic. More to come, at least it saves me watering my cucumbers!

    • Sloop JB says:


      Glad to hear you’re above water level, sorry to hear you’ve been poorly, hurry up and make a full recovery, get rid of all that sickness. We’re having a big thaw out over here, the snow is on its way out but it’s leaving an awful mess, never mind we can get about a lot better. Take care.

      ED: Thanks JB, just opened your snowmen email. Clever Chep!! Slowly recovering thanks, the Malt helps.

  444. Terry Joll says:

    A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to ALL my friends, old ones and new ones. Let us hope 2011 will be great. Warmest regards to all your families.

    Terry & Wendy

  445. Sloop JB says:

    Happy Christmas One and All, where ever you are.

  446. Swanny Swanson says:

    The big day has arrived. A Very Merry Christmas Day to all.

  447. Swanny Swanson says:

    To all of our blogger friends and all who read the blog pages, on behalf of Doris and myself wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hopefully a Prosperous New Year. The past year has seen a lot of our dearest friends and ex DCLI mates pass away. As Derek has said on many occasions, those of us that are left pass the word to all DCLI-LI and soldiers and ex service personnel in general, GOYA because life is short. Being a member of the bloggers family, I would like to see new members contributing to our blogs and help the few of us that try and keep this going for the benefit of all, and as said all of you God Bless you all.

    When I was very sick a couple of years ago me and Doris found great comfort in being involved with the blogs and our great friendship with each other.

  448. Terry Joll says:

    Hello to ALL my Friends.

    Wendy and I send sincere Cornish Greetings to you all at this Christmas Season. We are once again snow bound, bloody stuff looks good on the pictures, but no use on my driveway or approach roads. Like being stranded in the outback. We both hope you have a Happy Christmas and a good 2011.

    Nadelek Lowen ha
    Bledhen Noweth Da

    Terry & Wendy

    • Sloop JB says:

      Terry Joll.

      Thank you for your Seasons Greetings. As you say the snow looks good on cards and photos but to actually live with it is quite a different thing. May I on behalf of my wife Peggy and myself wish you and Wendy a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, take care and keep warm.

  449. Margaret Royffe says:

    As I don’t have any address’ for you all may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I hope the weather doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of the festive season. Lots of love to you all from Margaret and John

    • Sloop JB says:


      Thank you for your kind Christmas wishes, may Peggy and myself wish you and John A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, enjoy the festive season.

  450. Geoff Cherry says:

    Have a very Happy Christmas everyone, and all the best wishes for the New Year.

  451. Sloop JB says:

    Morning Swanny,

    We had a heavier fall of snow last night, the other day we had just a sprinkling. Lovely and scenic but it certainly disrupts everything, I cleared my neighbours path as well as my own but there is more on the way. I said to Derek and Audrey we could do with some of their weather.

  452. Swanny Swanson says:

    I had some very scenic views of the snow photos sent that our mate Bill Griffiths sent from Hereford today, we had snow but nothing to match the snow that Bill and Nancy have up there in England. We Cornish are very lucky compared to the rest of the UK, but at least Bill has Nancy home staying with him. Let’s hope that they and all of our blogger mates have a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year. OK for Derek in OZ with all that sun, plus the Ozzies have a excellent start in the test series.

    Hope Derek and Audrey have a good one staying the holidays with their son in Melbourne.


    There are many options these days on the Internet to dispatch a Greetings Card by email to your favoured contact. Google ‘free ecards’ and cop the deluge of sites. Simply follow the prompts.

    Similarly, if you find a Greetings Card image that is not copyrighted, you can right mouse click the image and ‘save’ in your ‘My Pictures’ folder and/or sub files. The resultant ‘.jpeg’ image is handled just like a normal digital photo – simply email to me with a comment and I shall publish the graphic alongside your text. Just like “onestep,twostep,threestep,four” – remember Cheps? Similarly with cartoons – rude, bawdy and clean. Share your humour, candour, thoughts with all.

  454. Swanny Swanson says:

    As said JB, lovely card from Bill and Nancy. I think I can speak on behalf of all hope you both have as good a Christmas as possible. On a more sober note, bad news when we came back from the DCLI Xmas do we discovered we had a leak leading from our water meter losing many litres of water which without the problem of the cost of water being wasted, the Water Company who we pay a fortune for in Cornwall-the highest bills in England! were of no help at all when I phoned them.

    I had to phone my insurance company who were very helpful and said they would get a firm to fix the leak. Had a phone call from them who said they would be here on Thursday, so hopefully this will happen. According to the man from them said I should be able to be paid on the insurance for the cost of the water we have used. Nothing easy for the ones that pay their way through life, the low life get everything paid and us that have saved for our retirement are the ones penalised.


    Bill & Nancy, many thanks for your Seasons Wishes. The card is so nice, I wanted to share it with all, hope you don’t mind. Merry Christmas back to you both and many of ’em.

    Christmas Card 2010 from Bill and Nancy

    • Sloop JB says:


      Thank you for sharing such a beautiful card, I think Bill & Nancy look quite elegant, I dare say Bill will toast Christmas with his favourite bevy, I only wish Nancy is able to join him with her favourite tipple.

  456. Sloop JB says:

    Thoughts of Christmas 1954 are firmly in my mind and I’m definitely not going to get in the state I was then. But I can blame the free drinks the Officers were handing out at that time, happy days.

  457. Sloop JB says:

    Love the Christmas card Derek, still freezing here, have to de-ice the car before going out anywhere, send over some of that sunshine.

  458. Editor in Brisbane says:


    We of the Antipodes send all you Pommies a ‘Seasons Greetings’, even tho’ you’re giving us a pasting at cricket! I shall not publish a separate page this year to record Seasonal comments, as readership generally is down, with most contributors having exhausted military recollection (it seems). Little point in flogging a dead horse when several former bloggers (now permanently absent) appear dead, awaiting burial. My views of blog life are portrayed on the Home page for readers to draw their own conclusions. Despite all that crap, kindly use this page to send Seasonal Greetings.

  459. Old Grumpy in Brisbane says:


    With every atom of respect for those bloggers who wish me well, particularly at this time of the year, who send me sentimental ‘chain emails’ wordcrafted by pseudo soldiers, striking at the heart of our feelings of nobility etc; KINDLY QUIT!

    Not that I demean sentiment, loyalty and honour – and all that – BUT, you are spreading computer viruses in your ignorance. My system will identify your email address as an invader and shut you out, including ALL legitimate messages. I’m sure that’s not what you want ‘issit? The swine that lurk on the internet are plying their evil intent and playing on your assumed good intentions.

    Wake Up Cheps, and if you must, send a direct Greetings Card from a reputable source. That way, you will be forever remembered as a Good Mate!!


  460. Swanny Swanson says:

    Lovely photo Derek of your back yard, if you saw the weather here today you would not believe it, from yesterdays! The sun is shining and if it wasn’t for the snow outside it looks like the scenes you see on the skiing slopes in Switzerland, but not as cold.

    We in West Cornwall are very lucky compared with the rest of the UK, apart from the back roads which are still dodgy with ice and snow the traffic here is in full flow and some people can’t drive to work. On saying that the skies are now filling up again at this minute and I think we are in for another batch of snow. The road outside our bungalow is still very icy and covered with snow from yesterday, hopefully we will be able to get out to replenish our food etc. Enjoy your weather Derek and think of us poor buggers here in POMLAND.


    I have a tough day ahead today, and some serious decisions – which bait shall I use and is that beer chilled yet? Looks a lot like the view from your back yard Swanny!

    • Sloop JB says:

      Thanks for the lovely sunny picture makes me feel better already, is that you sunbathing?

      ED: No JB, but I did go up close to check ‘er out, to see if she needed her hook baited!

  462. Swanny Swanson says:

    Now had phone call from Alan Mitchell, he said that Derek’s funeral will be held at Redruth Parish Church, but doesn’t know times or date, he said that details will be published in The Western Morning News on Saturday 4-12-2010. Can you get the paper on the web Derek?

    We here in West Cornwall have had very heavy snow overnight! and no papers have been delivered today as yet! I sent all our bloggers photos I took of the snow this morning as I sent you and the main people on my address book. As Doris and I were looking out of the windows these asshole drivers in 4+4s are driving at excess speeds on the main road outside of our house, like maniacs. All very well till the snow freezes later on.

    PS: Enjoy your weather Derek and think of us in the old Country.

    • Western Morning News Obituaries Column

      LAWRENCE. On Sunday 28th November suddenly at home, Derek aged 76 years of Redruth. Dearly loved husband of Sheila (deceased), dearest dad of Andrew and Jackie and much loved grandad of Bryony and Matthew. Funeral arrangements to be announced in Saturday’s Western Morning News. Club ties may be worn but no black please. No flowers by request but donations if desired in aid of Precious Lives Appeal by retiring collection or c/o the Funeral Directors Bernard Williams and Son, Redwings, 10 Roseland Gardens, Redruth. Telephone 01209 315060.

  463. Swanny Swanson says:

    Rang Alan Mitchell about Derek Lawrence, he hasn’t heard anything, said there would be a post mortem, most probably. Will let me know, sends his best regards to you Derek.

    ED: Thanks for update on this sad news Swanny. I have added one more name to the Honour Roll.

  464. Swanny Swanson says:

    Good comments from you and JB, every day I read the papers doom and gloom! Now in their wisdom Beckham, Cameron, and King Willie are arranging the world cup to be staged in England in 2018, what a bloody lash up. I think they could go to kinder garden schools and let them discuss this arrangement and have more sense than the three wise men! What a motley lot, they could get Uncle Andrew to advise them.

    We must have more DUCKEGG candidates than anywhere on the the planet, what the rest of the world must think? Also before I finish, we in the UK are still giving billions away and haven’t got a pot to piss in ourselves.

    What did all those dear souls give their lives for? I really feel for our next generation to be in the state we are at present.

    • Sloop JB says:

      Good Morning Swanny.

      I would have thought Cameron had enough on his plate to sort out without getting himself involved with football, hasn’t he got ministers to see to that, am I being a bit Humbuggish, perhaps it’s the time of year getting at me. lol.


    “Got a shilling “Guv?” Poor old Grated Britain – flogging off the one time pride of The Fleet. Lucky the Old Invincible ain’t got an engine to go anywhere. Interesting also that GB doesn’t have a carrier that can operate fixed wing aircraft. Great Planning! NO SEX WARS PLEASE – we’re British!

    • Sloop JB says:

      Never mind Derek,

      Next year we are going to have a Royal Wedding and every little thing will be alright again. Time we bail everyone out put ourselves deeper in the Mire we’ll be GREAT again, time we all emigrated to where you are. You got to smile haven’t you.

      ED: Thanks JB, I’d forgotten about Our Will – he’ll rescue GB from all comers – chopper pilot, army commando, and naval strategist and with Hophead Harry, there’ll be bluebirds over… – again!

  466. Sloop JB says:

    Hello Ed & Swanny

    We’ve had two such calls from these people, phone call saying we have some thing wrong with our laptop and they could help us. I took the first call last week, I told the guy we had nothing wrong and hung up on him, today Peggy took the call, it was the same people and the same message, Peggy quickly said there is nothing wrong and promptly hung up. Be careful everyone there racketeers, don’t be fooled by them.

  467. Swanny Swanson says:

    Sad News! Standard Bearer for Penzance’s RBL has died just hours after Sunday’s parade. The body of father-of-three Allan Venn was found in the sea near Mousehole on Monday morning by lifeboat crews. Mr Venn, a carpenter and former tin miner at Geevor, spent the day at the RB Legion’s Club in Penzance after carrying the standard at the Remembrance Sunday Parade. He returned home to change his clothes and then left at 6-30 pm for what his family say was a regular walk towards Newlyn. His body was spotted at 10-30am on Monday near Mousehole Island.

    The Penlee lifeboat was launched after a local fisherman raised the alarm. Detectives say they are not treating the death as suspicious but they are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen Mr Venn on Sunday after 6-30pm. He was married and had three children and four grandchildren. He was wearing a black and yellow striped Cornwall rugby shirt with a red fleece, shorts and sandals. A close friend, David Boase, told the Cornishman it was like losing a brother. “He would do anything for anybody, I will miss him so much. He was like a member of my family”.

    RIP Allan we that knew you will always remember you.

    Neil (Swanny) Swanson, on behalf of West Cornwall Branch DCLI-LI Association.

  468. Swanny Swanson says:


    While on my pc yesterday I had a phone call from a Indian speaking man. I had the same sort of call a week or so ago, this man asked something about my PC. I had a difficult job understanding him as his English was Eastern Type. I asked him as I didn’t ask him the last time he phoned, how he got my phone number? He replied he got it when Doris had bought my PC on line 3 years ago.

    Doris said he could not have got it because my daughter did the buying online, and didn’t give any private details! I dropped the phone and phoned my grandson, who now rectifies any faults etc on my PC. He said these people are smart crooks and are trying to sell something or get into my PC and if like me any of our bloggers have had similar experiances just hang up because these are clever BASTARDS so beware all of our bloggers.

    I have said this before, the RAOB Motto “Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit” means “No Man Is At All Hours Wise”

    ED: Wise counsel ‘Ole Mate. Although ’twas probably a Bangladeshi seeking English Cricket or Rugby secrets from you, ‘cos now that you bloody Poms have licked the Aussies, he’ll be thinking that he can turn a quick quid at the Betting Shops!

  469. Terry Joll says:

    At the meeting of my Cancer Support Group I was talking to a chap I have known for three years and we started talking army. It turns out he was DCLI in Jamaica in 1954, first in C Coy then HQ Coy. He could not remember names.

    His name is Terry Trevorrow from Carbis Bay. I am trying to get him interested in the Association but like most other buggers we try to get involved they just do not want to know. I shall keep chasing him. Does anyone know him?


    PS: Eagerly looking forward to Lucknow Dinner on Friday when I shall be delivering a short Presentation regarding the Bert Angwin Buglers Sword presented to Bugler Smudger Smith of 6th Rifles. Then Presentation to Bert Angwin’s daughter. Hopefully Sylvia (Harold’s daughter) can make it.

    • Editor in Brisbane says:

      G’Day Terry

      The photo of you making the Sword photograph presentation at the Lucknow Dinner, to Bert’s daughter, has been added to Swanny’s report of the Dinner on Reggie Mental. The closeup of the actual photograph, with captions, has been posted to Rifles. I hope that this ‘split’ referencing is not confusing, but again – horses for courses!

  470. Swanny Swanson says:

    Had my weekly phone call from Keith Mannings and he told me to go on the web and put in BERNEWS and I have now been online and saw the Remembrance Services in Bermuda where we that served there did this 50 odd years ago.

    It brought back memories of the DCLI doing this parade and the only thing with the now Bermuda Regiment we put them to shame with our very precise drill etc and speed of march, but on the whole the short videos of 4 captions of the Armistice were of great interest to all of us that had served there.

    I vividly remember on one Armistice Parade we had to leave the RN and Royal Marines on parade go at least a quarter of a mile ahead of us and we still got the war memorial before them.140 paces to the minute and all that, makes ‘ee feel proud looking back on those days, and god bless all of us that are left of the 32nd -46th afoot.

    ED: Well done Swanny & Keith. Hereto a hotlink to the 4 videos. Happy Memories of those sombre occasions.


    Sloop JB has kindly supplied a few photos of the Taunton Vets gathering for the Remembrance Parade 2010. Go to Picasa Albums to view the latest renditions in Sloop’s excellent photography of Regimental Events. Many thanks JB, good work again as usual.

  472. Terry Joll says:


  473. Terry Joll says:

    What is happening on Reggie Mental, It is marching at very sloooooow time.

    I have noticed the superb heading showing all the Poppies and the Oration printed. However, I wish to respectfully point out that yet once again the Oration is incorrect. Almost everywhere and everyone who gives the Oration gets it wrong, It has been going on for years and I hope eventually to be able to convince people what the correct first line is:-

    For those who may be in a little doubt I now print the correct Oration.

    They shall GROW NOT OLD as we that are left grow old
    Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    Now that is my rant over, Today is the day when we Remember all Fallen Comrades, surely we can get the Oration