No holds barred boyos! - nothing gets in our way!

No holds barred boyos! - nothing gets in our way!

A new Blog Page for your “Wise & Wicked” type comments, launched 13th November 2008. The rapid growth of Wise & Wicked in a few short months amounted to almost 2,000 comments on that page, a fact that might deter some contributors from participating due to slow loading on some browsers. I surmise also that the relevance of some earlier comments might well have been overtaken by more recent contributions. I’m further, reluctant to dismount W&W as there might be some benefit in searching the old comments to recall how smart we all are and how grand is the repartee on current affairs – wise or stupid.

The 21st century ain’t changed much since December 2007 when I wrote the opening editorial leader to W&W – in fact – the planet generally is probably more stupid and politically correct than ever before. Our mission remains the same however – to register our incredulity at the antics and absurd laws and practices that our political masters will have us believe – are good for us. Accept if you will – with protest – that the age of chivalry has gone forever – accompanied by the demise of good manners, politeness and regard for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. picture12As we Old Light Infanteers of the ’50’s shift into the autumn of our years – let us not go gently – let us continue to take the piss with remorseless abandon (notice that I didn’t write ‘gay’ abandon!) My personal editorial assistant will oversee all comments. So, I suggest that you now transfer your smartarse (non DCLI) comments to this new blog.

December 1st 2008: Early Christmas lunch for the Old Bloggers! Season’s Greetings to you all, from Ed. We in OZ hope that Christmas 2008 & New Year 2009 brings you Good Health and Good Fortune. One & All!


A bum Christmas at Bill's place!!

A bum Christmas at Bill's place!!

Bill's Festive Season card to us all - with hope!

Bill's Festive Season card to us all - with hope!

Bill's thoughts on JT's 24th November '08 ROR blog comment

Bill's thoughts on JT's 24th November '08 ROR blog comment

Photo below supplied by our friendly webmaster at Yapp Family KSLI Link

Bill took this photo at 5,000' over Hereford

Bill took this photo at 5,000' over Hereford

Merry Christmas from OZ!

Merry Christmas from OZ!

Bill Griffiths in 1970's Mess Kit.  Pix taken 2009, including shoes!

Bill Griffiths in 1970's Mess Kit. Pix taken 2009, including shoes!


180 Responses to RHYME OR REASON


    All. Had an email from Terry Joll with the sad news of the passing of our dear friend and comrade of the DCLI, Harry Patch, just after I got Terry’s email it was broadcast on the main news channels.

    What a wonderful example he was to our Regiment, and as a role model of all those who gave their lives for our Country in times of war, also for his thoughts always of the enemy who fought against us. What an example to the people of this country for being such a humane man.

    I like all the men who had served in the DCLI feel so proud and privileged to have met him, especially at our Open Days at Bodmin.


  2. Swanny Swanson says:

    ALL. While watching the local TV news last night about the closure of hundreds of rural Post offices, the TV cameras were in our area. Loh and Behold JT! – who should be pictured – was our very own MMG Specialist Jack the lad Madron. Only thing, they didn’t ask him to speak on the subject.

    Jack has just gone from from his weekly visit to me and I said I would tell JT that there was a mad machine gunner running amok in the Post Office.

    HA HA, he said to me don’t you dare!

  3. Bill Grifffiths says:

    Hi Guys,
    Sorry been AWOL again. Still having trouble coming to terms with all my family problems. But, I know I have all you ex L.I. friends around me, and that means a lot to me.

    Read the article on Heart attacks & water and although I have always adopted the Eastern habit of having a cup of chinese tea with a meal, I then quickly followed that with a couple beers and as you know, I have heart problems. So – there is probably something right in that article.

    Anyway, still looking forward to seeing you all in June. Not long now,

  4. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All. Now browsing the Fraser Pakes pages, I see in his Intake photo two boys who went to school with me, Trevor Rex Wallis and Edgar Lynn.

    I see these two from time to time and have asked them to join the Association, but they are not interested!! They don’t know what they are missing, as we that are have some very good times together. We have still lots who were in the DCLI in our district – also no interest! Their loss not ours!


    • Editor says:


      Point made ‘Ole Mate – but what more can one do? – except ask the question. The reality is that 2 years National Service, in most cases now – represents a small percentage (about 2.9%) in a life of (say) 70 years and unless the experience at the time merited some rewarding memories, then it flushes away. My experience has been that many so-called ‘Old Soldiers’ are dead and just wait to be buried – such is their enthusiasm for memorabilia. Sadly, it usually happens after said ‘Old Soldier’ kicks the bucket, that family and friends dig into his past and try to contact others. The LI Message Banks are full of plaintive calls for photos and details etc – generally from others who have no interest either.

      It’s called ‘charisma’ Old Mate – that elusive quality of the tall poppy – few have it!

      Remember the cajoling, pushing and shoving we brought to bear on many a lad who was just there for the duration? No pride in dress or personal standards, on the piss, no fucking money from week to week, borrowing gear, never won a Stick Orderly, never competed, never excelled in anything.

      Fuck ’em Mate!


    An email is doing the rounds about the above topic and rightly or wrongly – it seems as if the information is worthwhile. There appears to be no scientific backup but, as one reader states – better to be safe than sorry.

    The link above is clickable and will not reside on your computer.

    However, the article that was sent to me – by email – contained embedded images – and I am always suspicious of these ‘circular’ chain letters as they are an open invitation for virus transmission. So firstly, NEVER send any to me and secondly, make sure you scan the article before opening.

    Best of all, Google the topic and read the URL.

  6. JT says:

    Bill’s gone awol again.

    • Dave H says:

      Derek its funny how we never heard the word embedded before the Gulf war, well at least I didn’t hear it.


    Given that any one of you “Wise & Wicked Bloggers” wishes to make a point via a particular website that you have browsed, here is what you do.

    In the “Leave a Comment” box – where you are required to list your Name and Email details (mandatory), the 3rd box will accept a URL (in full), which is then hotlinked to your Name. As per this example, where MY name appears in Blue or Black Bold and can be clicked on by another reader to open.

    This method can clearly be used to convey information onto our Blog pages. To ensure accuracy, simply ‘cut & paste’ the target address from your browser address bar, otherwise you’ll create a ‘broken’ link.

    When Jack recently extrapolated information from Google about Hurricane Hilda, he could have made his point additionally, in this manner.

    Be advised however, that as Editor, I can choose whether or not to remove any offending websites.

    Go to it!

  8. JT says:

    You OK Billy Boy?

  9. JT says:


    I should just spread the word around your DCLI associations and personal contacts which I am sure you guys are doing.

  10. JT says:


    I should forget those two

  11. Swanny Swanson says:

    JT. Do you know if Charlie Seabourne and Pedler are still with us? It would be nice if they could be contacted. I used to see John Allsop at Bodmin every year but he died a couple of years ago. I asked Joe Knight about Cpl Trevor Pope, and Cpl Ken Young but he had lost contact – they were all ex OX – Bucks LI as was Charlie.

    ED: Swanny, I’ve appealed these blogs for over 2 years now for news of Charlie, with no response from anyone. I’ve written to the Bermuda Prisons Department for any records and appealed a retired Police Inspector in Hamilton. SFA!

    If someone cares to sit on a phone for 30 minutes and canvas the National Directory Service for possibilities – in likely areas (Oxon, Berks etc) – summat might happen.

    Even then – like Roy Westbrook – you write and I write (4 fucking times) and nary a reply – some blokes are just not fucking interested! I know for instance that Bert Love retired to Shrewsbury and lived next door at one time to Reg Mitchell (bugler) ? – but again SFA!

  12. JT says:


    Wots a Horny ?

  13. JT says:

    Up in’t belfry verger stood
    Horny ‘ands a pullin pud
    Down in’t vestry Vicar yells
    Stop pullin Pud
    Pull’t fuckin bells

  14. Jack Madron says:

    Old gits is right but I don’t know about the horny part. I’m sure you both would be most welcome. This lot aren’t all that bad, even if most of them are ex rifle coy bods.

  15. Paul (Barney) Barnes says:

    What a bunch of horny old gits you lot are? I don’t know if this is the place for a young innocent soldier like me? And I was considering attending the next Dinner and even bring the wife,, also ex Army!

  16. Jack Madron says:

    Thank God.

  17. JT says:


    Looks like Fluffy has given up on you.

  18. Rev Maltravers (Fluffy) says:


    You naughty boy, need any help stroking? As Ex RN I live near Portsmouth (handy for sailors)-(and Marines). So not too far away.

    PS: Don’t mention this to Jack

  19. Swanny Swanson says:

    JT, But the Mrs is mostly in attendance!!

  20. Swanny Swanson says:

    JT, She strokes my belly while changing my dressing!!

  21. JT says:

    I mean the nurse. Not the Mrs

  22. JT says:


    This nurse who comes to stroke you. Does Madam Swanny know about this? Also are you allowed to stroke her which is more to the point?

  23. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All. Now had the stroke nurse in to see me, she said after examining me she was pleased to see the progress I have made since her last visit, she will not have to see me again unless I need her which is good news.

    The Idea from Derek for T Shirts for our reunion is an excellent onr, and thanks to Terry for his help in arranging same. No doubt we will bring this up at our Branch Meeting on Tuesday. Also to Bill hope you are going on OK give my regards to Nancy,


  24. JT says:

    How are you doing Billy Boy ?

  25. Jack Madron says:

    Christmas Island A Bomb tests. Todays paper’s running quite a story in aid of the VETS.

    Your memory of ACC cooks is pretty good. I was just glad there was a NAAFI.

  26. JT says:

    You know this does “ring a bell” re ACC certainly in basic training. Later in Bermuda we had an ACC Cpl cook in the Sgts Mess. He has unbelievably bad teeth, and BO. He was the guy who tried to get Rosie’s (the waitress) tits out – and she stabbed him in the groin. This may or may not be the same Rosie who got her tits out for a shilling at that down town club where Swanny and his mates got pissed in.

  27. E. Coley Ex Cpl ACC 1954 says:

    What you have to remember that we are talking about 1954 when a Catering Officer had to feed a soldier on 4/6 a day (or was it a week). My ACC lads were not cooks and didn’t want to be. They just heated grub for a while til it wasn’t raw

    Nobody gave a fuck whether you lot liked the food. Just wanted to get back to training our DA hairstyles and the good old demob chart and maybe a shag with a NAAFI girl.

    Not like nowadays in the modern pansy army with fucking menus and a choice. Menus. ha ha our lot “which tins shall we open today? or f…k it the cook Sgt’s sold the bacon to the Married Qtrs (we did get a share).

  28. JT says:


    Wots this ?

  29. Jack Madron says:

    In 1955 Anthony Eden was told the bombs would have to be big enough to damage troops DNA. A letter, headed 10 Downing Street, dated Nov 14th says, “The Prime Minister saw the report and his comment was “a pity, but we cannot help it”.

  30. E Coley says:

    That is Not True Mr Dubbin and it’s not the first time these clodhoppers have said this sort of thing on this blog.

    The NS ACC cooks got those things because their diet was mostly, eggs, bacon, steak and chips (3 times a day). They gave the (punters) squaddies tinned tomatoes, dried egg and Pom (dried potato). Because it was more healthy for them – ask anyone.

  31. Adrian Dubbin (Shiner) says:

    Well I can’t see how that’s anything to be proud about. Not surprised though. Most National Service ACC Cooks I remember had blackheads, dandruff, cold sores and dirty fingernails. I think they selected them on purpose.

  32. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All. Back home again. Just having Nobby Clarke here to visit me giving me all the gossip about the old days!

    Lovely photo of Bill in his dress uniform.

    Had senior sister from community here yesterday saying she had given the nurse who took my dressing off my last Saturday a severe reprimand! She was the person who put me unnecessarily back in hospital for having my feeding tube put back in x ray theatre and causing me a lot of pain and put my rehab back another week! But there I will soldier on like a good boy!! Hopefully that’s the last of Hospital.


  33. E. Coley Ex Cpl ACC 1954 says:

    Bah. Anyone would think stomach bugs were a new invention. My Unit gave half of Catterick Garrison the shits in 1954.

  34. JT says:


    “A” Coy in Bermuda didn’t have flame throwers – too dangerous. But Swanny (Pioneer and Coal Miner) had a blowlamp to light the BBQ.

  35. JT says:

    Billy Boy

    Saw the photo. You should wear it when you go to the pub. Go on dare you.

  36. JT says:

    On this note

    When you think about the nerve gas experiments on unknowing National Servicemen at Porton Down. Some Nazi Doctors who did this on prisoners in concentration camps were hanged. Others escaped of course to South America.

    Whats the difference?

  37. JT says:

    MOD Lawyers are trying to block saying too much time has gone by

  38. JT says:


    Interestingly there is a current High Court hearing regarding compensation for surviving NS vets suffering from exposure to radiation from Christmas Island Atom Bomb Tests.

    Remember my little poem?

  39. JT says:


    Can you look up You Tube ‘Down among the Z Men clip’. These Z reservists are a mystery.


  40. Jack Madron says:

    Speaking of flame throwers, we used to have two in our platoon in Minden. They were universal carriers fitted out with large circular tanks on the back with pipes running to a contraption fitted were a bren would normally go. Only used the carriers on manoeuvres to carry suplies. Code name I believe was Wasps. Can’t remember if they were named after Knights of the Round Table, like the rest of the carriers.

  41. Jack Madron says:

    At least you know where all the Aussie wealth is. We haven’t got any left. Maggie sold off all the household assets and what’s left, the bloody bankers have been given, except for £30 million which is needed for the upkeep of royal households.
    They hanged Dick Turpin for highway robbery, nowadays they give them expenses. Bastards.

    ED: Point made Jack. However now that Obama is Pres, having said good riddance to that fucking moron Bush, the White/Black House will ensure equality for all humans on Earth. I hope that doesn’t mean the lowest common denominator – such as Mugabe’s Lot – a 5 Trillion Dollar note for fuck’s sake – decimalisation ain’t reached Ole Zim yet.

    Dunno about an Old Vickers I could find a use for a few flame throwers

  42. Jack Madron says:

    Don’t know what’s happening, Ed. Doing what I normally do. Can’t get hold of white phos. Yanks sold it all to the Issies.

    See Oz is into importing ice boxes now. Handy for keeping your beer cold.

    ED: Yeah Jack – problem is each Esky holds 2 unwanted maggots to bludge on our social service and knowing Rudd the Dud he’ll give all our hard earned cash away without a clue how to replace it. Better to tow the fuckers back out sea and hope that they’ll land in Indonesia – the biggest Muslim country in the world, where all Aussie wealth is now deposited!

  43. Jack Madron says:

    Hi Bill.
    Very smart indeed. With you dressed that smartly, Swanny will not be getting CO’s Stick Orderly again.

    ED: Spammed again Jack! Are you smoking white phos?

  44. Editor says:


    Scroll down leader photos to most recent entry. Very posh Bill, keep the weight off Sgnt Major, will do you a power of good. I shall be inspecting your turnout in person in June ‘Ole Mate – when I get to Eardisley.

  45. Jack Madron says:

    Waiting to see your photo. Wish I could lose a bit of weight. JT and I have something in common. Bay windows, as he calls them. Still, can’t say we are starved.

    ED: Spammed again Jack!

  46. Bill Griffiths says:

    Whilst I was tidying up my wardrobe, I found my old Mess Dress and having lost a lot of weight during my recent troubles, I thought to myself – I wonder? Would it still fit after 38 years.

    Well. I got all dressed up, and everything fitted like a glove, jacket, trousers, cumberbund. I could hardly believe it so I took a picture of myself, and have sent to to Derek, see if he can slot it in somewhere just for laugh. I last wore this in 1970, at a Sgts Mess dinner with the Glosters when they were about to be amalgamated with the Hampshires, but it never took place. Public outcry at that time, ” You Can’t get rid of the Glorious Glosters” beat the Politicians, although it did happen of course much later.

    The good old days when Great Britain was still Great and proud of their Regiments. Sadly not any more. Hope Ed can print the picture somewhere.

    ED: Done Bill – check out ROR – last pictorial entry

  47. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi JT
    You are posing a few for me, and my brain stopped working quite a few years ago. I don’t remember Z reserve, but found this – Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities. Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

    I was promoted WO2 whilst with the Gosters when we were serving in N.Ireland. I served both in RPOs and Units, especially when I was with the TA. Served with Worthy Down, RPO Chester and nine different Regiments or Corps. My last short attachment here in Hereford, very interesting.

    Well in to the new year now. Think I will pop out for a beer tonight, been taking too much of the old red wine on board.
    But, through recent illness and worries, I have lost weight, and now down to nine stone – the same weight as when I got married 56 years ago. Be back with you soon, trying to sort things out now that Nancy is in Nursing home.

  48. JT says:

    I was still in at time of Suez. I claim on my CV (like Tel el Kebir) that I didn’t go there. Michael Parkinson did though. National Service hossifer RAPC. Probably deployed to pay bribes to the Wogs. Ooops is that a naughty word now? Smack my legs.

  49. JT says:

    There were different reserve classes. I did 6 years colours and 7 reserve. This Z Reserve class is a mystery. No one seems to remember it. Any ideas Bill?

  50. Jack Madron says:

    Thinking about Swanny’s comments on his mate who was recalled for Suez. I take it he was A reserve or B reserve at the time. I had stand by orders for Suez but never heard any more. Being machine gunner, I did expect to go but didn’t.
    If I remember rightly, a chap from Madron did go to Suez. He was signal platoon, HQ Coy, DCLI. Can’t remember his name.

    • Dave H says:

      Going back to this blog. I just found it. I remember we were on stand by for Suez, had gear all packed and I think plane on the ready.

      Jack were you in the UK then?

  51. Swanny Swanson says:

    ALL, about Z reservists. A mate of mine Norris Glasson, was 3 year regular in RT Regt, and served in Malaya for 3 years. I met him in Penzance in 1956 and he was recalled for the Suez Crisis after being away for 3 years! As I was a regular TA soldier none of us were called up for the Suez Fiasco. When Norris came home he joined my TA unit for couple of years and then joined the Regular Army in RASC special air dispatch unit for 10 years travelling all over the world, he has lived in Doncaster for many years now and I met up with him in Penzance last year swapping war stories!


  52. Jack Madron says:

    Vaguely remember something about Z reserves. After demob, I was on A reserve for a year then B reserve for three years. Being short term regular (three years). I didn’t do any TA. Didn’t Z reserves get recalled for Korea? Or was that Suez?

  53. JT says:

    Z Reserve? Do you remember this? These were National Servicemen who had to do 2 weeks a year training. None of our DCLI blog folk remember this but Swanny and Derek joined the TA instead I think. I assume that the people coming for 2 weeks had done their NS before 1955 but still had the reserve commitment. Certainly they were mostly older than me (I was 22 at the time.) They were demobbed with full kit which they were supposed to keep in good order but most arrived with very little of it and had to pay. Most NCO’s in Pay Units at the time were National Servicemen and the Z Man totally ignored them. Because I was a regular I had more “street cred” (+overseas service) plus LI chevrons (never challenged on this by the way I had just snipped off one of the stripes) and of course was very very old at 22.

    We used to get an intake of about 15 every 2 weeks during 1956 So I would get a day every 2 weeks on the rifle range getting lots of practice myself. There was a popular song “Down among the Z Men” and a film .

  54. JT says:

    Billy Boy

    When you were in the RAPC as WO11 does that mean you worked in a Regimental Pay Office?

    When I came back from temp attachment DCLI I spent time at RPO Reading which was the RPO for Royal Signals. Reduced to substantive rank of Cpl did some time (in Reading) auditing monthly Impress Account R Sigs SHAEF HQ Fontainbleu, Paris.

    But my heart was not really in it and persuaded powers that be (were) to be in what I suppose was the HQ platoon. Weapon training, Saturday mornings etc. Also NCO i/c Z Reservists (they had to do 2 weeks a year bringing their kit). (Most had lost it or flogged it). They were almost unmanageable. (But if they got detention they had to do the 2 weeks again). Had to take them on rifle range for classification. I got so much shooting practice which is why I shot for a Southern Command team at Bisley.

    Sent for training with Guildford Fire Brigade and obtained command of a Trailer Pump and a clapped out Land Rover. Daily fire Picket training and regular practice with Civil Defence folk preparing for the imminent Nuclear war.(Thats if we could get the Land Rover started). ANYTHING RATHER THAN RAPC STUFF. Well that enough for memory lane today.

    Keep well

  55. JT says:

    Swanny thats very good for you. I take it that Donald has repatriated from Bonnie Scotland?

    Did you read about that poor girl 5ft 3in punched to the ground by some Scottish yob because she spoke with an English accent? 40% of Scots are on benefits or work for the Government subsidised by English taxpayers. Reckon you should turn your kilt in?

    Och Aye the Noo

  56. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All. Had a nice surprise last night, Doris was setting up my feeding gear when the door opened and my son Donald and his wife Debbie appeared. They go back to Hants this afternoon but it was lovely to see them both, it bucked me up no end to have them home even on a short visit.


  57. JT says:


    Good lad. Hope you get your strength back soon. Watch that marching pace (140?) Take it easy.

  58. Jack Madron says:

    Hi Swanny.
    Nice to hear you’ve been able to have a shower. As you say, “Brober Ansom”. But be careful, mate, in the words of an old country and western song, “To much bathing, weakens ya”.

    Maybe some time before I call to see you. I’ve got a stinking cold and would hate to pass it on to you. Look after yourself, old mate and see you soon.

  59. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny,
    Thanks and great to know you are home even though you are still on a ‘Special Diet’. Keep your chin up, we are thinking about you all the time.

    Nancy now will be staying in a nursing home on a permanent basis, unfortunately about twenty miles away which will make visiting difficult especially at nights. Will keep in touch. OK?
    Bill & Nancy

  60. Swanny Swanson says:

    Ed, had a phone call from John Griffin now back off holiday. He said he would ring you Derek, was nice to hear from him. He and Jennie picked up a virus which was very unlucky over Xmas time.

    Now just had a shower, first for few weeks felt Brober Ansom!!

    ED: Yeah – well Swanny, that’s what the Aussies report about the Pommies “They (Pommies) bathe once a month, whether they need it or not”.

  61. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi Bill, Thanks for your kind thoughts and wishes regarding my health etc. Hope Nancy is lot better than previous months. I am home now but still being fed on Osmolite gastrometry through a tube into my intestines which will go on for some time yet.

    ED, had look at the Joe Knight photos you put on site that will save me downloading the same photos Joe sent me in his letter. Getting tired now will be on Blog again soon, Swanny.

    ED: Well Done Swanny. Take things easy ‘Ole Mate, no rush, Light Duties for a while yet!

  62. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Swanny,
    Happy New Year from me and Nancy. We have been praying for you dear friend and will continue to do so and look forward to your full recovery.

    Best wishes now to you and all the family
    Bill & Nancy

  63. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All, Have sent email today about my progress, if I left anyone off I apologise. Had letter and photos from Joe Knight will send them to you Derek when I have downloaded them. I am not quite up to being on the PC as I am so tired and weak at the moment after only a short time. Again thanks to you all my close mates for your kind thoughts and deeds.

    ED: Good to have you back Swanny. Check Joe’s photos on Supplementary now published. They may be identical to the batch he sent to you. What we’d all like are some pictures of you getting those back rubs in Treliske!

  64. JT says:

    Bill are you looking into the other blog ?

  65. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Well. another year come’s to an end, nothing much changed I suppose, except that we are all a little older and nothing we can do about it, just keep taking the tablets.

    Hope you and yours all had a great Christmas. I had Nancy home for the week and we enjoyed a few meals out at the local, just to save me doing the cooking and an excuse for a couple of swift halves. Then back home to polish off another few bottles of Sainsbury’s Best Plonk. Hell, those empty bottles ain’t half heavy when you cart them off to the bottle bank. And when you are as short as me they also bounce off the kerb stones and rattle, just to let everybody know that I am a piss head.

    Well Guys, a Happy New Year to you all, and hope you have lots more tales to tell. All the best for 2009.
    Bill & Nancy

  66. Bill Griffiths says:

    It’s a good job they didn’t mistake it for a salami, could have been painful if they decided to – well – you know what I mean!

    Hope everyone had a great Christmas day. Nancy and I enjoyed ourselves. Just the TWO of us.

  67. JT says:


    My uncle Jack (RIP) 6th Airborne) used to tell us kids that the Ities used to queue up to get on the end of his bayonet in North Africa 1941 ?

  68. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Guys,
    Christmas nearly over, then Boxing day and then 2009. Hope this will be a good year for all of you.

    Thinking about you and praying for you Swanny.

    J.T. Thanks, yes had a couple at the local at lunch time, now getting to grips with a nice bottle of Red “Montepulciano d’Abruzzo” ! Sounds a bit Italian to me, quite nice though.

    Never had an Italian! Honestly! Too late now except in my dreams. Anyway chaps. Look forward to a great year with you all, and thanks again Derek for keeping us all together.
    Bill & Nancy

    ED: Thanks Bill. Prosperous & Healthy New Year to you both

  69. Jack Madron says:

    Happy Christmas EVERY one.

  70. JT says:

    Saw the Alastair Sims Christmas Carol on TV today. Coincidence that we looked at the You Tube clips.

    Liked the news today about the R Marines in Afgh firing a mortar wearing Santa Claus caps.

    Cheers everyone for tomorrow. Is it worth hanging out a stocking tonite? Tangerine and a few nuts? Just like 1940.

    Dont forget the sun screen Derek if you go for a paddle in the billabong. Don’t forget your wellies and woolies everyone else.

    Behave yourself Jack no fighting with the kids. Hope you are feeling better Swanny. Have a few wets Billy boy, f..k the Medics – miserable bastards. Barry hope your lady feels better.

  71. JT says:

    “God bless us everyone” said Tiny Tim

    “Get a grip you little prick” said the RSM

  72. Bill Griffiths says:

    Merry Christmas everybody from Bill and Nancy.

    ED: Thanks Bill. Hopes for better health to you both.

  73. Jack Madron says:

    Thank you everbody for the friendly banter over the last twelve months. Thought the days of bullshitting and piss taking were long gone but thanks to this voodoo machine and you chaps, I’m reliving old army days.
    God bless you all.

    ED: Surprise! Surprise! Jack. Your callup papers are in the mail.

  74. JT says:

    Merry Christmas all you old bloggers.

    Special good luck to Swanny and Billy Boy.

    ED: See the latest news on Swanny on his Blog Page.

  75. Tiny Tim says:

    Thanks Derek. Got to have a larf. Wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas in the sun shine. Have been trying to send you an animated card but I think they have been crunched.

    ED: Thanks JT. The gmail address might be better than the hotmail option. Seasons Greetings to you both

  76. limostwanted says:


    Apologies for delays in downloading JT. I’ve been away at the beach for a few days, soaking up the sunshine, balmy breezes and blue skies.



    SCROOGE (Alistair Sim) Part 1

    SCROOGE (Alistair Sim) Part 8

    JESUS WAS ENGLISH (Alf Garnett)

    TILL DEATH DO US PART (Alf Garnett)

  77. Jack Madron says:

    Just noticed. I had meant to say, Sin the bad sailor. Sorry Ed. It must have been all those mince pies and things I ate yesterday. Must watch my waistline.

  78. JT says:


    Brilliant. I must talk to my agent Dick Barton.

    Don’t think the kayak will be ready for some time yet. Looking at those rivets it will sink like a stone. But it keeps the lad amused.

  79. Jack Madron says:

    Now, now, you senior soldiers. You would expect this sort of thing from privates, big or small. Anyhow JT, how can I talk about my privates, when, like you, I haven’t seen them for years.

    We both could join Bill in panto (oh yes we could) (oh no we couldn’t). I could be in, Jack and the has been stalk. You could be in, Dick Witty ton. Swanny could play the Genie of the miners lamp and Derek could be Sin the bad sailor, what with the kayak he’s building.

  80. Bill Griffiths says:

    JT, I would rather play or rather play with Puss in Boots and wouldn’t really matter about the boots.

  81. JT says:


    You in the Panto this year? They still want a Tom Thumb in Hull.

  82. Bill Griffiths says:

    Talking of privates, being only five foot two inches tall. On parade one day in charge of a rather large group of squaddies, I remember the inspecting officer after looking DOWN at me, and then UP, at the squad, turning to me and saying.

    ” Sergeant Major, you must have the biggest privates in the Army”

    Knock off the five foot and the rest is about the measure. Ah! well, little and good and like they say, it’s not the size of the cannon that counts, it’s power behind the shot !!!!

  83. JT says:


    Have you been talking to anyone about your privates ?

  84. JT says:

    Sounds like a lot of balls to me. Can’t wait

  85. Charles Dickhead says:

    Announcing his new Hollywood epic.

    “Privates of the Caribbean” , the searing tale of Jamaica Jack Madron (alias Mad Ron) and his privates.

  86. Bill Griffiths says:

    No unfortunately, no nurse, no housemaid, nothing. I am on my own and if one did pop in like the one above, I am not sure I would remember what to do with her hat?

    I would make sure of an attempt to take off the wrappings off the little parcel below. Wonder what is in there? Probably tablets to combat Blood Pressure.

    Ouch! that upset my Hernia!

  87. JT says:

    Do you get a nurse popping in to see you every day as you are entitled? Is that a photo (above) of her wearing the Christmas hat? No wonder you have blood pressure problems.

  88. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi JT
    Getting along reasonably well, still a bit sore and blood pressure still causing a little concern, and I haven’t been to the pub for so long now, not sure if I could find my way there without a compass.

    I hope to have Nancy at home from the nursing home for the Xmas week, that is if I can manage on my own, so I will probably rely on going down to the local for a few meals – save me doing all the cooking and washing up.

    Bye for now, have a great time over the Festive Season..
    Bill & Nancy

  89. JT says:

    Got the mail from Don.

  90. JT says:

    Any news of Swanny?

    ED: Latest from Don Jnr a few days ago was that Swanny remains in IC and is adjusting well to revised swallowing procedures and is responding favourably.

  91. JT says:

    Billy Boy

    You OK ?

  92. Jack Madron says:

    Nice pix, but I’m still not going sky diving. If you were meant to do that, you’d be born with wings. Nice undercarriage though.

  93. JT says:

    Go on then let’s get the short and curlies going. Not too much excitement at first though. Swanny’s a bit delicate and Jack likes a quiet night.

  94. Editor says:


    This’ll make yer hair curl – cheps!

  95. JT says:

    These Haj pilgrim things. When I see these pictures I do worry about the public lavs. Perhaps its me age but I do have bladder anxiety.

    I was going to ask ex L/Cpl Bear about the bog arrangements underneath the burkha but the little bastard has deserted.

  96. Editor says:


    Mmmmmm – see this – hotlink

  97. Jack Madron says:

    I’m probably all behind, like a cows tail, but browsing British Light Infantry Regiments. Guestbook, earlier saw a message from Harold Royffe’s daughter, Margaret. You probably saw it two days ago, when it came in. Just thought I’d mention it.

    ED: Well Done Jack. Good to see that you follow the LI message boards too. As you can read, I’m a regular there also! It was there, several months ago that I picked up a Royffe grand daughter comment that led to my email contact and subsequent exchange with daughter, Margaret, who is working on getting Harold’s photos to me for publication.

  98. Editor says:


    Don Swanson Jnr has emailed the latest update on our Old Mate. Go to the Neil Swanson blog page to read.

  99. Jack Madron says:

    Ask a local builder for a quote on the repair. Don’t say anything about the plod. Also visit Citizens Advice Bureau. Personally, I would tell them to take me to court. I bet any judge would throw there case out bloody smartish. I know it’s easy for me to say this but you stick up for your rights, they don’t run the bloody country, yet.

  100. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Guys,
    Still here, and still a bit sore down below, taking its time to heal. But how about this for absurdity. You know I was rushed in to hospital recently on a Saturday night, with no time to inform anyone of my plight. When I didn’t turn up the next day, to meet a pal of mine who I was supposed to meet for a pint, he came round to my house, saw lights on, but couldn’t obviously get any response, so promptly called the Police and Ambulance, fearing the worst.

    The police smashed a window to get in to the house. Finding it empty, called the hospital and found that I had been admitted. They then called in some ‘cowboy’ to board up the broken window with a piece of ply wood about 30 inches by ten inches. Two days ago, I received a bill from the POLICE! for £111.30 to cover the cost of making my house secure again.

    SECURE? I could take this piece of wood out with my bare hands. I rang the police and accused them of being criminals themselves. They just said PAY UP.

    What a great country we have. I have to pay £111.30 for a piece of ply wood 30″ by 10″ because I didn’t leave a note on the door telling them that I had been admitted to Hosp. I reckon the Police must have shares in our local double glazing business.

    Ah well! I suppose I will have to pay up or get ‘locked up’. At least if they lock me up, they will have to feed me I suppose – might just try it to see what sort of grub they dish up. Disgusted


    ED: At least the ‘glazier’ might have done a proper repair with glass, seeing as he obviously had access. A matter for your local news media I suggest. I agree with Jack in his comment below – Fuck ’em – sort it out in Court and show ’em by wide appeal to all who might be caught in a similar situation. Where’s the friendly local bobby who would roll up his sleeves and do it himself for an Old Soldier?

  101. JT says:

    What a little shit.


  102. Ted Bear (Lt. Col) says:


    Coupla items: Firstly, I’m now substantively ranked at Lt. Col – one gets rapid promotion in Kitchener’s Dirty Dozen (but then, I’ve been around for some time!) – plus I can get free drinks on my burkha stories in the Mess for years to come. Secondly, I’ve been on a special 3 months mission in the good ‘ole USA for George Dubya. He is a bit envious of how that shithead Rob Mugwump in Zimbabwe has been able to inflate the $ZBM to practically zero value and wants something similar for the US before that dogooder Obama along with our Hil, get into power.

    George Dubya commissioned me personally with the comment that ‘cos he’s done SFA in his time, he really wants the world to remember him for something really spectacular. His idea is to bring down the entire western economies in line with ‘Ole Rob’s place in Harare, – especially that arsehole Brown’s patch across the ditch, and so far its all going to plan.

    My role – being a disguised teddy, with concealed access under most of the pin striped suits in Congress – is to sound out anyone who really understands economics. Not easy! I can tell you, so far haven’t found anyone and between the running butterfly vibrators and these hairy Yank arseholes – it takes some tolerance! For the little these Congressional arseholes know – ‘ole Ossie bin Laden could be in their midst!

    However, never one to give up a task – that’s me. I’ll keep you posted.

    All the best for the Festive Season. Try a teddy for the missus at Christmas!

    Ted (Mo’/Jesus) Bear (Lt. Col)

  103. Jack Madron says:

    Not into latex or plastic.

    Underneath the Burkahs. Flanagan and Allen. Very good.

  104. JT says:


    I expect that L/cpl Bear after so long muff diving underneath the Burkhas (Flanagan and Allen ?) is no longer fit enough. Needs to be posted to Z List (Bill knows what this is)

  105. JT says:

    I expect Ed will oblige if it’s not rude. No Naughty Nurses because Jack gets excited

  106. Paul (Barney) Barnes says:

    Anybody know how or if you can add a photo to this blog?


    ED: Barney, there is an open invitation to all Bloggers to nominate a chosen photo (sent to me in .jpeg format) for placement in the main page editorial leader of any selected Blog – given that photo’s applicability to the titling. The photo cannot be placed within your individual comment.

  107. Jack Madron says:

    Any word on L/Cpl Bear? He hasn’t joined those Somali pirates, has he?


    I have today been advised that (Cpl) Joe Knight of 3 Platoon, “A” Company 1DCLI, Prospect Garrison, Bermuda, has been in touch with Swanny’s home in Penzance and spoken to Don Swanson Jnr. Joe has been emailed with all the web site details. Let’s see what happens.

    Joe, if you get to read this – wear your old tin hat to dodge the bullshit!

  109. Jack Madron says:

    35mm camera would have been wasted on me. The Brownie box camera was my limit, you know, point and hope. Camera I’ve got now is a Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd. Still point and hope for the best.

  110. JT says:


    I bought a posh 35mm camera and took loads of colour slides. First wife trashed them all in one of her little spats.

  111. Jack Madron says:

    Well said in your blog mate. Would never have been able to put it that way. Edification is a wonderful thing. See you on Tuesday.

    I think everything years ago was black and white. I’ll take your word about Skegness. If we had digital cameras when we were in the army, what a collection we would have now. Derek would be inundated with photos.

  112. JT says:


    Correction Skegness was always black and white never in colour. Should have noticed.

  113. Barry Cornish says:

    Hi all.

    Thank you for your brilliant depiction of ‘The Bloggers’ Lunch’, Derek, and your good wishes to us all, for Christmas and the New Year. I too, would like to send you all my Best Wishes for Christmas and especially for a happy and healthy New Year. Among my wishes for the New Year are: –

    That you will be able to enjoy a drink and a meal out again, Bill.
    That you will be able to enjoy downing the tankard of ale that I am seen pouring for you, Swanny.
    That Audrey gets the ‘all clear’ at her next check-up, following her recent operation and that you are able to come over to Cornwall in 2009, Derek.
    That you will be able to get a good night’s uninterrupted sleep, John.
    That we can still meet up at the West Cornwall Light Infantry Association.

    Jack. See you next Tuesday!

    Keep on Blogging!

    ED: Thank you Barry. There is now a fresh blog page entitled “Xmas 2008” etc for any of you to use for specific Greetings.

  114. Jack Madron says:

    Hi John.
    Never played Skegness. Worzles might have but I haven’t. You were up late again last night. You must stop having 40 winks in the afternoon, then you would be able to sleep at the proper time. Mind you, I have 40 winks myself quite often in the afternoon. So who am I to say, you mustn’t.
    I tell the wife, I’m just resting my eyes.

  115. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi all. Well today’s the day I go in to Treliske Hospital for hopefully for my big OP tomorrow. Thanks to Jack and all that have visited me and phoned etc over the weeks and months since my illness. I would like to congratulate you Derek for your new caption of the Charles Dickens lookalikes on your Christmas Blog Caption – Brilliant!

    As Jack said my son Donald drove down yesterday from Hampshire to stay with Doris for a few days. It will be good for Doris while in hospital; most have reflected on me over the months but Doris has been my power of strength with the strain on her during my illness. Again to all my close friends on our blog page and all of my friends of The Light Infantry I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers, God bless you all.


    ED: We’ll be thinking of you ‘Ole Mate! See you at the Buckaroo!

  116. JT says:

    Jack, Anyone can see the picture is Skegness. I would have thought that you and The Worzles might have played there in your heyday.

    ED: Skegness indeed!! One would wish!! However – pisstaking aside, I’m indebted to Keith A Forbes, webmaster bermuda-online with whom I have an exceptional working relationship and to whom also I’m appreciative for the references to Bermuda water colours. Keith’s website is a widely referenced professional mine of information for anyone interested in our former ‘home’.

  117. Jack Madron says:

    PS. new picture at top of page. Is that Bermuda?

    ED: Jack, (This reply added 4th December) The water colour that you refer to has now been changed to a Bermuda digital photo – in the “Header” position at the top of the page. Our WordPress server facilitates a simple change option to any selected ‘master’ illustration – that flows to each and every separate page at view. I am able also to insert any .jpeg pix into the ‘lead’ page of any blog. So if any of you have a request – just fire away and let me know.

  118. Jack Madron says:

    Hi all.
    Visited Swanny this afternoon. What a man. He’s got a heart as big as a lion’s. His son Donald is down visiting for a few days, arrived this morning. We had a nice couple of hours chat, that is, Swanny did the chatting and we did most of the listening.

    Swanny, I wish you everything I wish myself old mate.

    About the frog salamies, I don’t like bragging but I use two hands all the time. One to hold the magnifying glass and one to hold the tweezers. Must agree with JT. Bloggers Lunch, is a work of art. Well done Ed.

    ED: Thanks Cheps – thinking of you all.

  119. JT says:

    Hello Bill

    Never mind looking at the others, I haven’t seen my own since I developed my “Bay Window”.

    Ed. Bloggers Lunch, work of art. Thank you

  120. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Guys,
    Still having a few problems, but just had to pop in to say hello to you all, and of course to wish all the best for dear old Swanny.

    ED. I couldn’t resist having a look at the big Frenchie. But, do you know I must have seen many hundreds of willies during my 38 years and never ever saw one any bigger than about 7 inches. Not that I was staring of course. But where do all these big un’s hang out – or are they really false?

    Mine was a one inch wonder, but did plenty of damage and five kids to prove it.

    Hope to be back to normal soon, but it seems to be a long old haul this time.


  121. Jack Madron says:

    I see the French are claiming that they need the biggest condoms. What’s new. We all know they’re the biggest load of pricks on the planet.

    ED: Shall we start a fresh Blog entitled “Letters from the French”. See website Big French Cock

    23cm de longueur pour 18cm de circonference

  122. Jack Madron says:

    Heinz! Someone’s living well. I shouldn’t mention, (over the top) on this blog. Somebody might get a bucket of sand and swing the lamp and start off with a war story. You can’t stop these Rifle Coy bods, you know.

  123. JT says:

    This ketchup bottle which you keep upside down and squirts when pressed is a devil machine.

    Would it be over the top to get a petition going?

  124. JT says:


    Heinz Tomato Ketchup also not good on keyboard (todays event)
    It makssssxxs the keyyysss ssssticlk

  125. Jack Madron says:

    No excuse. Half the time I don’t know what the ‘l’ I’m doing. This voodoo machine scares the hell out of me. Afraid I’ll push the wrong key and bankrupt the whole country, or something. These modern contraptions are OK for you youngsters but not for us senior citizens. Some are inclined to drop things on them, like marmalade and things.

  126. Swanny Swanson says:

    ED. Peter Mitchell served in 4-5 Bn DCLI TA for a considerable time. Like Nobby and me he got his 12 years TA medal, not to mention many others for services rendered. I lost track of DCLI TA as I joined RE’s in 1958 – apart from close mates – i.e. Jan Passmore, Nobby, Claude Marsden, and many more who as I helped form DCLI Assn in 1966, who then numbered over the 150 plus mark and we had great weekends etc together.

    I do see Jeremy Hooper and Pronto Corringham at Bodmin on most years, also many more as I served with several in TA with. As to John Rutter RIP, I wrote several times to his son Tristan but to no avail. Hope my comments have been some help to your queries.


  127. JT says:

    On the other hand because of my mostly invisible state (see memoirs) none of the NS hossifers did me any harm. Didn’t have much to do with em.

    ED: You having a piss again JT – can’t you sleep?

  128. Jack Madron says:

    I’m not exactly sure, but I think Peter Mitchell was NS. Swanny will know anyhow. I don’t know of any officers who live in Cornwall apart from Peter Mitchell. Again, Swanny can fill us in on this. I do know that Peter Rowe, my old platoon commander, died a few years back but don’t know what year. I think he was from the St Austel area.

    Your boss calling you a bonS. Shame on her. As Pay Sgt, you should dock her NAAFI allowance for a week.

    ED: Watch your “p’s and q’s” Jack – where’s the second ‘l’? Have you been supping Proper Job IPA?

  129. JT says:

    The wife says I am an Inverted Snob. Must be a “Northern thing”

  130. JT says:


    Guess it’s an “other ranks” thing. No Hossifers on this site are there? OK we all have respect for Majors Williams and Marsh (they were after all considerably older than we were at the time and with distinguished war records, but come on now – those little pricks the Nat Service hossifers ‘spect they are too grand to join in. Some must be aware of this blog – the older senior NCO’s (Pedlar, Fred Thomas, Bert Love etc held them in absolute contempt.

    ED: Good point JT. “Esprit de Corps” ‘n all tha’ (kept going by squaddies) – yet Peter Mitchell, (now Major rtd. – must have been a career man) as the exception, appears regularly at the WC DCLI Assn – but again – few others, whom we know from references still live in and around Cornwall – nary a picture or comment. I have received one email from Jeremy Hooper.

    PS: (Lt) John Rutter, RIP was the single exception of course in that he had promised some photos last November 2007, for the website. His son Tristan will no doubt in due course, fulfill that undertaking.

  131. JT says:


    I bet that prat Butterfeld? Never replied to you did he? re Yacht race?

    ED: Krect JT! Promises, promises, but no action. Same as Curator of Maritime Museum – where the Marsh Photo Memorabilia was donated by Keith Mannings, gifted by Priscilla Mannings. Not a single bloody response to several emails. But then – Simon Marsh (somewhere in the UK) knows well that we are searching for his Pa’s records and does SFA about it, even though I’ve been in communication indirectly via a grand daughter. My intelligence on Bermuda of today is that its a good place to stay away from – the bleks have it under control (!!) and the white ferkers are still snobbish!

  132. JT says:

    The reaction to the prison break was typical of the underlying hysteria of the white Bermudians. Arseholes. Mostly snobbish prats (with some exceptions who welcomed us into their homes) who were terrified of the black population who of course outnumbered them. Turning out the regular garrison was ridiculous. Lots of panic that the black Bermuda TA forces (who were called out and kept in their drill hall) would turn against the whites and attack the Bermudian pansies of the Bermuda Rifles. Pricks.

    If they could not handle a prison break then what was the point of them? Bit of a larf all round as Derek would say. Glad you had a good breakfast lads.

  133. JT says:

    The instructor mentioned attached to Bermuda Rifles etc was Larry Weatherhead (WO11)( made up from Sgt) when seconded from Warwickshire Regt.

    He married one of the nurses we knew (English girl) I went to their wedding in UK 1956. They then went back to Bermuda and settled there permanently I believe but I lost touch afterwards.

  134. Swanny Swanson says:

    All. Now had a phone call from Gerald Thomas, he asked how good was my memory? He asked about the time when most of us in the Coy were rushed to Warwick. Prisoners had escaped from St Georges Prison and had broken in to the Armoury at Warwick and stole weapons etc! We were put into the Armoury and given Sterling Machine Guns with live ammo etc and did like on guard!

    I said that the WO1 who was PStaff instructer was in charge was either in the Royal Warwicks or Leicester Regt? Nothing changes Colonial Reserve Forces gets new weapons which the British army didn’t get, just as our troops today are issued with crap gear! – ie Iraq and Afghanistan! Again nothing changes.

    PS: Thanks JT and All for asking about me, also lovely to have Bill back on on board.

    ED: Swanny, I recall the prison break event quite clearly, but don’t remember the PSI you mention above. Why would they put such a bod in charge of a Platoon (?) of ‘regular’ troops. I do remember the best part of getting a civilian breakfast at the home of one of the Prison Warders – nice change to eat from bone china plates and having a tablecloth adorn the table – a bit different from the Cook House!

  135. Editor says:


    Email just in from Bill sending his regards to us all with apologies for his preoccupation with medical issues at the moment. I won’t repeat his graphic descriptions of his operations – but he’s struggling to get his life back in order after hospitalisation and trying to arrange for a N/H for Nancy. He promises to contribute to the banter very soon.

    By the way – he’s altered his old email address – so here’s the current one – which I’ll remove in 24 hours.

    NB: Bill’s email address now removed as a respect for his privacy – mainly from the Spam Invaders. If anyone requires it – just say so and I’ll email you direct.

  136. Jack Madron says:

    I find it easier to lick my marmalade off my toast or the plate. Don’t fancy the laptop, can’t get my tongue down between the keys.

  137. JT says:


    Computer tip from one who knows. Try not to drop a blob of marmalade on the keyboard.

    ED: ‘marmalade blob on my applemac keys’ anagrams to ‘Pay back old man empales memorably.’

  138. Swanny Swanson says:

    Hi All, Had Jack visit me today. He brought photos taken at Lucknow Dinner. I have now downloaded them will send them to you Derek. I am now on special feed unit which is a bit of a job! It takes so much out of the day and night as Jack saw today, so I haven’t so much time on my PC, will try to be more active on the Blog when I can.


    ED: Thanks Swanny – all in good time Mate – take care and Good Luck with the special feeds.

    PS: 2140 Tuesday 25th November in Brisbane, Swanny. Your latest Lucknow Dinner pix (plus news clip of Derek Lawrence) now published as thumbnails on “Neil Swanny Swanson Blog” – they are unworkable in a larger resolution. Click images to enlarge in a separate page and mouseover to view titling. Many thanks.

  139. Jack Madron says:

    That’s the chep (hell, Ed’s got us at it now). Used to whistle a lot. I’m sure he recorded Mockin’ Bird Hill. Also recorded by Les Paul and Mary Ford and Patti Page. Found a nice recording on You Tube of Listen To The Mocking Bird by a Bluegrass group called Hickory Hill. Very nice.

    Has Ed put all those staples in his kayak for ballast? Maybe he has a cunning plan. If attacked by great white, sharky would break it’s teeth on all that iron work.

  140. JT says:

    Jack, wasn’t it Ronnie Ronald the bloke who whistled – “if I were a blackbird I’d whistle and sing” ?

    He would have to sing Bleckbird now like wot Ed does. Black birds are called Afro Caribbean nowadays.

    Anyway we loved ’em in Bermuda didn’t we? “no harm in looking sir.”

  141. JT says:


    No wonder The Lord is pissed off with your Kayak. Crikey (just seen picture – are you sure it floated in the floods? or did you have to call Emergency Services. You didn’t have to go the whole bit with cubitts? of timber (whatever they were.)

    ED: Thanks JT, hope it doesn’t take me 40 years to finish it, either!

  142. Jack Madron says:

    There were two songs on the go back in the ’50s as I remember. “Listen To The Mocking Bird” and “Mocking Bird Hill”. Latter I believe was by Ronnie Ronald. Any coincidence? Maybe to some in Bermuda, it should have been Moching Bird Ill.

    Those Cornish Pixies have always been a bloody nuisance. Ghoulies and geesties and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night. Lord, deliver us.

  143. JT says:


    They were OK giving you free lodging and grub when you were in Korea! – Bastards! What about this Attendence Allowance and visits by District Nurse? Is it all bullshit?


    Mmmmm! Have you seen the latest update on Tommy Atkins? KSLI blog – interesting stuff. Takes yer mind off tits!

  145. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Guys
    Another weekend gone – a very quiet one for me here on my own – still cooked a nice Sunday Roast though, and had to eat it myself.

    JT, the only help I am getting is ‘Self Help’. It’s the cheapest they can find, perhaps if I was an illegal immigrant, or something like that, they would bend over backwards to help me out. Perhaps if I went down to the Police Station and asked if they could tell me where I could buy a load of dynamite! they would lock me up straight away, and look after me. Free meals, free accommodation! Might just give it a try.
    All the best Guys.

  146. JT says:

    Fraser you still looking in ? Now we’ve cleaned up the act? You mentioned Mockingbird and we are thinking of compiling a Mockingbird nostalgia blog. (She may, we think, be entitled to a decoration.) Did you see the poem in which she was mentioned?

    PS: we don’t require personal and intimate experience or confessions. Hearsay evidence is permitted.

  147. JT says:


    Welcome back. You might try pouring Brasso into that machine of yours, teach it a lesson. Don’t remember any stories about squaddies drinking Brasso though they might if trying to work their ticket.

    Could you buy NAAFI double egg and chips for a bob?

  148. Jack Madron says:

    Yahoo, the bugger worked.
    John. As I said in the blog that nobody got. I don’t remember the King’s shilling, must have got it. Probably spent it on boot polish and Brasso. Was there any truth about the alcoes drinking Brasso? Heard the yarn quite often but don’t recall hearing about anybody ever trying it.

  149. Jack Madron says:

    I’ve had a problem with this voodoo machine. I answered you on Friday, clicked submit and the lot vanished, like before. This time the screen went blank and then told me I was not connected to web. Actual words were, INTERNET EXPLORER cannot display the web page. Left it till yesterday, thought it might return, like before but it didn’t. Tried again last night. Same thing happened. Still don’t know, what happened. Hope this attempt works OK.

    ED: No Spammee Jackie! – Cornish Piskies!

  150. JT says:


    Don’t tell us they fobbed you off with a threepenny bit and you are afraid to tell us

  151. JT says:


    Hope you got the kayak finished in time

    And the Lord came unto Derek. “Derek” he said, “Yes Boss” replied Derek (being a bit OZ nowadays). “I command thee to build an Ark” said the Lord. “Struth” said Derek, “that’s a bit much at my age, mate” ” How big?”

    “OK then” said the Lord “Make it a little one” “Just big enough for you the missus and the budgie” “the other buggers can build their own” And Lo it came to pass that the great floods came to Oz and Derek was glad.

  152. JT says:

    Thanks Bill

    Re Kings Shilling: it was some mention on TV that triggered the memory. Do they do the Queen’s 10 pence piece now do you think?

    Hope you are getting enough help at home.

  153. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Guys,
    Still here despite what the medics are trying to do to me. Many thanks Ed – your thoughts are appreciated.

    I am at home of course now, having daily visits from docs & nurses, no pretty ones yet? Just the old Hattie Jaques type – remember – Carry on Doctor series. Don’t know where they are. Doctors must keep them for themselves. Daily injections in the belly and waiting for ultra scans. Nancy of course will have to be kept in Nursing Home, as I will not be able to look after her with 100% care.

    King’s shilling. Yes I got that on the 27th May 1946. It was an advance of pay and deducted from my first weeks pay which was then 10 shillings & sixpence. The good old days. Anyway Guys, keep up the good work, and I will try my best to keep in touch – OK?
    Thanks again ED.

  154. Editor says:


    Bill reports today that he’s in a parlous state of health and now suffering DVT from his operation. Bill needs our supportive thoughts and words – cheps – the Old Soldier is doing it really tough. However he passes on his regards to you all.

    Get Well Soon Bill

  155. JT says:


    Why were there never any pictures of Col Sgt Palmer or any mention of memories him in A Coy? Pedlar was hardly a shrinking violet he was quite formidable.

    ED: Not correct JT, Pedlar appears in at least 1 HQ Platoon group shot and in another on the Peppercorn Parade 1956 – unless I’m mistaken.

  156. JT says:


    I’ve been thinking about your record success as Stickman. It can’t be just because the hossifers thought you were pretty – anyone can see that was not the case looking at the pix at the time. Did you have those poor girls bulling up your kit in the coal store? Or did you just lurve the smell of Brasso in the morning?

    Charlie Seabourne was a starch the KD fanatic.

  157. JT says:


    Talking about Manchester (rainy) you are having a few showers in Queensland today I see. Normally the main seasonal showers in Oz are the England Cricket and Rugby Teams.

    ED: Worst storms in Brisbane and SEQ for over 20 years John, fortunately we are away from the main damage area and only have minor debris from trees and shrubs to clean up.

    PS: But speaking of Cricket – OZ are doing it a bit tough at the moment, without Andrew Simons (a Queenslander of course).

  158. JT says:

    Bill and Jack

    Were you actually given a “King’s Shilling” when you enlisted as a regular? Unless I have been dreaming (or an attack of DT’s) I was given a shilling by the Recruiting Hossifer at Manchester in 1952 and No! Jack – just to preempt your usual wit he did not have his hands down my pants at the time.

    Get well Billy Boy
    How’re you Swanny ?

  159. Editor says:


    Our good ‘Ole KSLI Mate is in medical trouble again and needs our support and thoughts to help him through a bad patch. He’s on medication that won’t mix with tipple – so that makes things even worse. I’m sure that Bill will appreciate an email if you have his address – he’s not likely to say much about matters on the Blog, but he won’t be looking in the mirror for a few weeks.

    Cheer Up Bill and Get Well soon Old Mate – amazing how quickly you got your medical attention this time – all that letter writing must have paid off!

  160. Editor says:


    See the latest Lucknow Dinner photos forwarded by Swanny – posted to a blog site dedicated to our ‘Ole Mate

  161. JT says:

    Thanks Swanny and Jack

    Pleased you had a good evening (not too good for you though Swanny as you were not feeling so good). You fellas haven’t changed a bit – but hard to tell. You should all turn up in KD and show us your famous little legs Swanny.

  162. Swanny Swanson says:

    All, In answer to Jack very good turnout at the Dinner, Fred Phillips and his wife Joan picked up Doris and I and drove us to venue. I wasn’t feeling that good and couldn’t eat any dinner, was a bit sick, but I did enjoy the company of so many comrades on the night. Only disappointment was Fred and I had hoped Alan Mitchell would be there, alas Mitch didn’t turn up!!

    Have sent ED photos of the Bermuda boys present to put on website. JT have we aged since Bermuda days? it would be good if you and ED could be here to share our company one day, if ever you thought of coming down west we could always accomodate you.


  163. Jack Madron says:

    Hi John.
    Not long got back from the Lucknow Dinner. Very enjoyable time was had by all. Quite a crowd there, I believe 59 or abouts. Three of us from MMGs, so we had a bit of discipline shown.

    Can’t say the same about certain A Coy bods. Not counting Barry Cornish and Trevor Webb who were smartly turned out. I would say, “Smart enough to be in S Coy”. Took some photos so I’ll get them on the PC as soon as pos.

    Strongest thing we had in Jamaica was Captain Morgan’s rum and Blue Mountain coffee. Didn’t go much on the rum, loved the coffee.

  164. JT says:

    Ganga thats the subtle code for Ganja mon.

  165. JT says:

    Billy Boy

    Are you OK medic wise for a spot of Ganga ? Jamaica Jack is your man.

  166. JT says:

    Hi all.

    Well at least we got the news of the new blog from Derek quicker than via HMS Pickle. Have a good time at the do in Pz boys. You going Jack?

  167. Jack Madron says:

    The Jamaica boys will be there to keep order as usual.

  168. Swanny Swanson says:

    All, LUCKNOW DINNER tonight at the Union Hotel Penzance. 59 members have booked in for our most famous Battle Honour Dinner. The Union Hotel is a very famous hotel, The first reports from the Battle of Trafalgar was to a local fishing boat from HMS PICKLE and pronounced from the Minstrals Gallery of this hotel and taken to London on horseback to the Admiralty Office in London. It makes a fitting venue as in the past years we have held our Branch Lucknow Dinners. Let’s hope it turns out a good evening with the most members we have had for last few years. Fred Phillips is taking Doris and me, also Alan Mitchell is supposed to be coming, so we should have a few Bermudians at this dinner, I shall try and photograph members present.


  169. Jack Madron says:

    Is that the way you did it in the coal shed?
    Roo fashion.

  170. Jack Madron says:

    Hi Ed.
    I wish those in charge would stop pissing around altering our time twice a year. Back an hour. Forward an hour. The time of my blog last night was 11-13pm. Our time. Not the proper time, like you and everybody else use. Never mind, we’ll keep going in spite of those idjits.

    ED: Non illigitimo carborundum Jack – nothing changes does it?

  171. Swanny Swanson says:

    ED, Again Derek, well done for your efforts for this new blog page. We visited a wild park when on hols in OZ in 1995 but never got to see a ROO as in your caption copying me in the COAL STORE! Should have been behind a screen, not in public.

    Well done Del for all your work for our enjoyment on all your blog pages.


  172. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi Guys,
    It’s little Bill, back again, but with a little less time to myself than before. Sorry for being absent from W&W but other things have had to take priority – plus the fact I am a little bit pissed off at the moment because the MO has prescribed treatment that forbids the taking of alchohol. How Dare he, who the hell invented drugs which prevent us having a little tipple? He must have been some real weirdo, definitely not an old ex LI soldier. What is the World coming to?

    Anyway guys, look forward to maybe picking up the threads from what seems like ‘Yesteryear’. All the best for now.
    The Poison Dwarf

    ED: Welcome home Bill and thanks for your emails too. Pleased that you can log on to the new Blog site. We’ve missed you ‘Ole Mate – chin up. Our love to Nancy also – don’t relax too much and burn the porridge!

  173. Jack Madron says:

    Hi all.
    Another new blog. Just like Ed’s roo, get stuck in and get this one going. Lets hop to it, like true LI.

    ED: Thanks Jack – I’m impressed – so soon after launch. Don’t you sleep much either?

  174. Editor says:

    Gidday cheps,

    Welcome to the new blog page – long may it reign!

    Carpe Diem!

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