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Wife of

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The wife or partner of a soldier. As an expression it is an outdated and sexist term, a proudly accepted and damn well earned compliment, or, on occasion, shorthand for all sorts of unnecessary trouble. Ya takes ya choice. It can be all three, but only when you’re least expecting it.

Wives Of fall into three main types:

1. Oops. She didn’t know that she was prodding a sleeping monster. He did, and that was just his first mistake. Has many ambitions, but all have “reality” in the title. Bless.

2. The real deal. Somehow puts up with loneliness, worry and the seemingly bizarre world of her chosen one. Contributes to and is as much a part of the British Army as any soldier, but wears a much sexier uniform, right down to the webbing.

3. Officers’ wives. Similar to either 1 or 2 above, but could well be horsey and called Henrietta. They can sometimes be found working in the garrison library patronising the ORs and arranging books by colour (I fib yay nay).

I once asked for a book that I required in preparation for an Open University course. “Henrietta”, in gushing and yet patronising tones deigned to inform me that “that kind of book is oh so wery, wery difficult. Are you sure?!” I eventually got the degree and she now sucks off tramps for half a can of cider (that last bit is purely speculation, but we can all fantasise and remain bitter, can’t we?).