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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas 199*


Christmas 199* saw my battalion still in Northern Ireland. Our Christmas dinner wasn't served in the trenches and it wasn't even served on Christmas day. A lot of the battalion were returning to blighty for Christmas leave so dinner took place in early December.

One thing our Christmas dinner had in common with that of the Second Battalion, The Royal Welch Fusiliers was that the officers and senior NCO's served the men. This is a fine tradition that probably dates back to when Chieftan was a rank and not a tank.

This is also the only possible occasion in the year when you can ask the Commanding Officer to "not be shy with the turkey my good man" and get away with it.

10 Comments:

Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

The enemy can sneak up on you all at Christmas time.

11:34 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

A 'rank and not a tank'- summing it up like a sherman! I love it!

12:20 am  
Blogger gonorr said...

haven't heard that one for a while.*grins*

5:50 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

GG - Yes and Wednesday afternoons when all finish early to do sports.

FJL - unfortunately not mine.

Gonorr - 'I was on the main gate when you were on Cow & Gate.' The old ones are the best ;)

7:28 am  
Anonymous Pete said...

And do they still have Gunfire? (When the SNCOs bring round tea in bed to the lads on Christmas Day morning (suitably laced with something nice of course.)
Last time I served it I had just left the mess after the evening celebrations, went straight to the cookhouse (Soldier's Dining Room?) clutching a bottle of rum, and helped make urns of tea before staggering around the billets with it.

8:08 am  
Blogger Nick said...

I like the idea of this role reversal thing. Perhaps, in the army, it ought to be Christmas every day! (I'm not sure, though, that I approve of the army being able to decide for you when Christmas actually is.)

8:49 am  
Anonymous Kath said...

when all finish early to do sports

Yup, I always tease those Royal Marines for all their "work" on their fooball and rugby. They always tell me "what? It's phys!"

3:51 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Pete - Hello and welcome. Yup - I'm going to post on Christmas day 199* quite soon and gunfire features quite heavily!

Nick - it wasn't so much that they decided when Christmas was - it was more they wanted us to do it when we were all there.

Kath - Sports afternoons are one of the few perks we have ;)

5:58 pm  
Anonymous Laura said...

I don't get the "rank tank" thing

Is it an army "in-joke"?

6:36 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Laura - definitely - there are a few like that. The explanation is far from funny - Chieftan would have been a rank in the Stone Ages, Chieftan was the name of British Army tank in the 1960s-70s. Ergo - Rank and not a tank = old bastard!

6:41 pm  

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