Batting, has it ended?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by 1stgulfmac, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. Sat around discussing stuff and the subject of batmen and batting came up.
    Does it still go on?
    When was it formally stopped?
    Is it a Regimental thing, not sure but do the Household Div still have it for special occasions?
    Last time I had anything remotely like it, was the HHI course at Brize when you got trousers pressed, boots cleaned and a cup of tea in the morning! That was in the late 80's.
  2. Generally stopped in the 60's.

    Officers on public duties still have one as do, I think, very senior officers.
  3. I think some Guards units kept it into the 70s- shared a camp with the Welsh Guards in berlin and seem to remember some of their balloon commanders even still had batmen.
  4. Father had a Batman when he was 2i/c of his Regiment in '73, Gunner Dennis Portman - became almost part of the family. Portman's 'office' was a smoke filled room in our cellar in which he cleaned shoes and polished silver as well as fought to keep the antiquated heating system fired up! He, I think, was supposed to 'wait on' if required but Mother objected to his yellow fingers and smell (fags) so wouldn't have him upstairs too often. I remember shortly after we got there (Fallingbostal) he very cleverly dropped and broke all sorts of things in the kitchen, dressed in his finery, before a dinner party which nearly unhinged the old girl.

    Prior to that, in Dusseldorf (HQ Rhine Area), we had a 'Green man', a Polish exPoW called George. George turned up to the Quarter every morning to help clean and do the garden - during school holidays he usually played footie with us or told us stories of his pre-war life on a farm in Poland. These fellows were displaced personnel - couldn't go back home after the war due to the farking Commies that had nicked their homelands after the Armistice. There were also 'Blue men'; these were similar but appeared to me (then aged 9) to be a cut above and drove trucks and worked in the stores. The 'colours' came from the overalls they wore. They all lived in special barracks.

    We had Batting Staff at Sandhurst in the early '80s. They 'lived' in the Lines and charged a bloody fortune to bull boots/shoes and mend things.

    We also had a Mess Batman in Omagh. A charming ex-Mick who wasn't exactly overworked, but did bring the tea round in the morning and spent his life scrounging fags.

    Finally, I had the use of a Batman when posted to HQ London District (HQ 56 London Brigade to be precise). Cpl G*******e SG. On strength he was the Brigadier's Driver/Wireless Operator despite the fact the chap couldn't drive and hadn't seen a military wireless since Depot. We had to arrive at work in suits and change into uniform to sit at our desks and change back again to go home or out for a stroll at lunchtime. Cpl G would help one dis- and re-robe into the required rig on these occasions and by return he would have pressed, polished and starched the vacant order of dress ready for donning! All very civilised.
  5. So the next part is, is there a need for it now? And would you pay for the service? Me, I wouldnt.
  6. Dinner,Dinner,Dinner,Dinner,Batmaaan :D :D :D remember Harry Tuzo's-would have struggled to get a job in McD's :twisted:
  7. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    In 1986, Batman were fully employed at Guards Depot.
  8. I believe the RAF still used battys until the late 80's