THE DI­ARY

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The heat was on

ARMISTICE Day to­mor­row, which we wish to mark with some of our favourite Di­ary sto­ries about the Army over the years, in­clud­ing the reader who had a school project on the Sec­ond World War and who in­ter­viewed his own fa­ther as he had served. He told us: “I reached the point where I felt I had to ask, in a some­what quiet voice, whether he had ever killed any­one. My dad an­swered in an equally quiet voice, ‘Prob­a­bly. I was a cook for some time’.”

TB or not TB

MOV­ING on from the war, a reader who served in Aden was on the troop­ship tak­ing him there when they were given a lec­ture on keep­ing healthy, in which they were warned that half the lo­cal women had VD and the other half had TB. “So we looked for women with a cough,” he told us.

Vote for it

MANY Scots also served in Afghanistan in re­cent times, and a re­turn­ing sol­dier told us his pla­toon was go­ing out on pa­trol when one of the grum­bling troops jok­ingly told the of­fi­cer: “We took a vote and we’d rather go to the can­teen.” “I’ll ex­plain,” their of­fi­cer replied. “We’re here to de­fend democ­racy, not prac­tise it.”

Wheely good

AN­OTHER sol­dier who served in Afghanistan told us one of his mates got such a slag­ging for putting up a pic­ture of his much-loved Peu­geot hatch­back with al­loy wheels while all the rest of the squad sported pic­tures of their girl­friends.

The car chap even­tu­ally snapped back: ‘Laugh if you want – at least my car will still be there when I get back.’ “As he comes from Mil­ton, that was a pretty big boast,” says our con­tact.

Baby talk

A MUM whose sol­dier hus­band served in Afghanistan told us her five-year-old daugh­ter asked if it was not about time she had a baby brother. Mum told her it was a nice idea, but per­haps they should talk about it with dad when he came home from his tour of duty.

“Why don’t we just sur­prise him?” asked the lit­tle one.

Dog­gone it

A SOL­DIER back from Afghanistan was proud of the fact that he had earned his cor­po­ral stripes and sug­gested that the pic­ture of him as a pri­vate pat­ting the now-de­ceased fam­ily dog on top of his par­ents’ tele­vi­sion should be up­dated.

His con­fi­dence was shat­tered some­what when his mum replied: “Well, you see, son, we re­ally keep the pic­ture there as a me­mento of Buster.”

Dis­arm­ing

OUR re­quest for Na­tional Ser­vice sto­ries re­minded an Ed­in­burgh reader of re­port­ing to RAF Bridg­north in Shrop­shire for his ba­sic train­ing. “I still re­mem­ber square bash­ing,” he told us, “and the drill cor­po­ral shout­ing that if you made an er­ror, he would pull off your arm and beat you to death with the soggy end.”

Bit of a char­lie

FI­NALLY, en­ter­tainer Andy Cameron swore to us that a slightly deaf pri­vate do­ing his Na­tional Ser­vice was on guard duty one night and shouted out: “Who goes there?” Con­tin­ued Andy: “On hear­ing the re­ply, ‘Army Chap­lain ap­proach­ing’ he fired his ri­fle. As the pri­vate turned over the body he mut­tered, ‘Aye, Char­lie Chap­lin my back­side!’”

Con­tact The Di­ary on 0141 302 7055 or the­di­ary@the­herald.co.uk.

„ Carry on Sergeant

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