20 Fd Sqn & The Ball & Chain Awards...

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Gundulph, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. Myself and another former Sapper are putting together a book full of the stories usually reserved for telling/or usually only remembered! after a few beers. I think we could do an entire section in the book covering the Ball & Chain Awards that 20 Sqn used to dish out on a weekly basis whilst on Ops/Tours Abroad, can anyone involved remember any of the Classics, I was kind of involved in the first one awarded during a Tour in FI back in 89, couldn't keep the following to myself and poor 'Specs' was indeed awarded the Ball & Chain for that first week:

    The Bright Lights of Brize Norton

    The 1st time I flew south to FI in a Tri-Star, we'd been in the air about an hour after taking off from Brize Norton when the young bespectacled lad sat next to me (known to all the lads as "Specky" believe it or not, you can't beat the Army for thinking of original nicknames), who had been staring out the little window since we took off, turned around and said "These things don't fly very fast do they" to which I replied "What the $*&# are you talking about mate?" his reply - "Well look out there past the end of the wing, you can still see the lights from the runway"!!! suffice to say, he landed the Ball & Chain at the end of that first week in the Sapper Bar, I was in an attached Troop with 20 Fd Sqn (their emblem is a kangaroo with a Ball & Chain attached to one leg) but there was no way I was going to deprive the rest of his own Squadron of this idiots’ classic entry to their weekly Ball & Chain Competition :lol:

    Any entries we publish in the book we will send a Complimentary Copy to the owner of each story and we will add thanks to everyone by name/pen name in the book also, a % of the profits from the sales of the books will be donated to BLESMA, the RBL and Help For Heroes...

  2. Something along the same lines...."Chod Of The Week" courtesy of 3 Sqn in MG Bus Depot, Bosnia. Which also entailed the "winner" having a ball and chain attached for the saturday and sunday .

    One sapper (forgot his name) is heard on the phone to his girlfriend back in the UK.....saying he was receiving incoming/arty/sniper fire/the works and doing sound affects whilst on the blower! hahaha it's HELL over here love!!! :D

    Needless to say...come Chod time he was rather red faced and less mobile..hehehe :twisted:
  3. I'm sure I could make up a whole section on my own for my stint in 20. 8O
  4. I was in 6 Sqn at the time and know the bloke you mean, buggered if I can remember his name though, I think his surname began with P and was a type of fruit that rhymes with beach??
  5. I think thats the most sensible thing you've ever posted on here NT 1 :twisted:
  6. yep, that sounds like the one...small skinny bloke....sigs or MT? yeah....hehehe
  7. IIRC kicked out for drugs offences at the arrse end of 98, shame!
  8. A mate of mine who went on to teach at 3 RSME got chod of the week for this corker.

    He had just been promoted off the square and had taken over the G10. When we got to Kosovo he was tasked to test the Ebex's. He complained that they weren't working only to be shown that there weren't any batteries in them. Next when he was testing the sensitivity of them he complained that they were going mental. he was checking them in an ISO container. Good one Wes. He's now the Engr Recce Sgt with the QDG! Hope he doesn't need to check any safe lanes for them!
  9. A nice Ball and Chain award

    20 Sqn was doing a task in Catterick for the ITC (improving facilities on the training areas) in 94

    We had a visit from the CRE one day. all the Sqn grownups were in attendance including the OC with his pup.

    While the CRE is there having a little chat the OC's pup cocks his leg and has a widdle on the CRE

    OC was awarded the ball and chain in the NAAFI later on at Sqn happy hour (strange Sqn at the time loads of the lads were into orange and 'coff gasp' tea during the happy hour very odd for a bloke who was used to happy hours in Germany)
  10. Maggie Thatcher's visit to the Falklands gave one Troopy his chance to excell, he spent the morning running round the site making certain everything was ready, he was driving everyone potty. The OC asked if everything had been checked, troopy assures him all okay, as a laugh the OC asks him if he has checked the smoke cannisters to help bring in the helicopter. You got it next minute smoke every where, well at least he knew they had worked. I think we nicknamed him mancub from the Jungle Book, as he needed constant supervision.
  11. Thanks guys,

    Any Ball & Chain stories posted here we will take it the poster is Okay with the story being used in the book, I know 20 Sqn alone in that one Tour down South could fill an entire chapter or more of the book with the Ball & Chain Awards, there were some absolute classics, our troop particularly liked the fact the entire Squadron was involved in the weekly 'Non Exemption' Ball & Chain Parades in the Squadron Bar, unfortunately I only got to be present at a handful as I spent the next 3 months on a Mountain building a new set up for a Royal Signals Site, we could have sent our own weekly Ball & Chain contenders we had so many 'mishaps' myself included...

    For any former 20 Sqn ARRSE Members, was the Ball & Chain weekly Award the norm for Tours abroad?

    Good Days!
  12. The ball and chain award! I'd forgotten all about that and didn't know it was still alive and well today.

    I went to Belize in 1981 with 20 Sqn and we were introduced to the ball and chain by having the rules explained on arrival. Those being, that whoever was nominated and witnessed by others making the biggest tit of themselves during a one week period would be awarded the title and winner of the ball and chain at 'happy hour' on the Friday afternoon. It would be padlocked to the ankle of your choice and would literally not come off until first parade the following Monday. Yeah, it's funny for the friday night as you would invariably be too pi$$ed to go for tea on Fri but sense of humour usually ebbed when queuing for every following meal with a ball (solid steel) and 4ft length of chain padlocked to your ankle!

    We had a section of the Royal Pioneer Corps attached to the Sqn and it was decided that they shouldn't be left out and so were made duly elligible for the coveted title. (who said "pie 'n' ear"?) We'll come on to that.

    Ok , I was a good contender for the first week as I quickly learned (again) after total exhaustion, that a Johnson 40 or whatever it was, will work much better with the spark plugs in. Saved by the bell!... witnessed by my good self and a couple of others was the beautiful sight of a sweat covered pioneer with a bushmans saw in one hand and a small sledge hammer in the other beating the holy cr4p out of the saw blade on an anvil with said hammer.

    Polite version.... pray young man, what are you doing? "this saw is feckin' sh1t and no wonder, the teeth are all over the place so I'm straightening them"
    Just in case 'normal' people are confused by the apparent innocence of that reply, the teeth on a bushmans saw blade are offset, left lean, centre, right lean, very accurately on .. sort of purpose.
    The undisputed winner of that week was born.
    The following week churned out it's usual feeble nominations but gold was again to be struck!
    Old farts like myself will obviously remember the days before digital photography etc and when you you had to actually hand the film in at the Naafi to be processed and pick the prints up about a week later. Well that's what Pioneer Smith shall we call him, was doing in the Naafi queue
    this particular lunch time and was handed his set of prints. "Been testing my new camera" he merrily declared.
    Now you or I would probably suss something was wrong if the first 3 prints showed the left hand side of your head and sunburnt ear and shuffled out the shop but Smithy shall we still call him, slowly thumbed through the 24 prints and stated loudly that "this can't be right!" I give you winner number two, of week two.

    Suffice to say, another Pioneer won the title in week three and the maker of important decisions was forced to ban the Pioneers from entry in that particular period of eternity.
    I may have fluffed up the story by saying his ear was sunburnt but the two tales are absolutely true!
  13. In Kosovo (same tour as previously mentioned) a Troopy decided rather than take his take and do things properly to set out a 125 man ITC using an extremely dented dems ladder! The Clk Wks (C) wasn't really impressed with that one, neither where the brickies who had to strip out all the blocks they'd laid for the ablution units etc.

    Same tour AGAIN, a certain Scouser who was really mince either wasn't paying attention or wasn't thinking let his hand go in between the guide rollers on an 8 tonner winch. He lost the best part of three fingers on his left hand. "H", the MT storeman, billed him for the mangled glove. He got crated for not being able to order 10 beers holding up his fingers and was crated for short touring.

    Different tour of Kosovo this time. A REME VM was driving the ambulance following the guys round on green PT when one of the wheels fell off and over took him. Wouldn't have been so embarrasing but he had carried out the 14 day check on the vehicle 2 or 3 days earlier!
  14. I seem to remember a larger than life chap that liked to dress up as Batman down in FI during that Tour, or I could have been seeing things during one of the many drunken blurs down there! 8O
  15. For any former 20 Sqn ARRSE Members, was the Ball & Chain weekly Award the norm for Tours abroad?

    It was always a weekly event on the 93 Falklands tour, I remember one lad getting it for not knowing how many engines were on the Tristar he flew in on!!

    Happy days!