Do any wobbly ops / spec ops remember Charlie Edgar (deceased)? He came up in conversation the other day, and I remembered what a terrible old dragon he seemed at the time; but now I realise that he was a total star and we shan't see his like again.
For anyone who did not meet dear Charlie, keep an eye out for the Egg Card advert - the one with the old git fleecing people in his garage - he is Charlie Edgars double (even down to the grey work jacket).
It was roumoured that when Charlie was still serving as the SI at Loughborough, he had senior NCOs in tears, some actually climbed out the windows to get out of the building rather than walk up the corridor past his office to leave at the front.
Charlie was a stickler for correctly written morse transcripts. If you didn't cross the 't' properly, dot the 'i' or loop the letters 'l,f and j' properly, it was 'fekking wrong'. And yes his favourite phrase was 'morning *******'.
I have to say, I bet he would be turning at 600rpm if he could see the standard of some of todays oxygen theives.
I remember Charlie, during a morse test, walking up and down behind us all, making sure that we were seated correctly, feet off bar, left hand ready to turn page over, when one of our course got slapped on the back of the head, cans come crashing onto desk "fukcing foxtrot ******" charlie exclaims, student trying to pick cans up, take morse etc, "why arn't you taking it, you little 5hit!".
You're right, if Charlie was at DSSS today, i don't think there would be as many admin cases as we get now. Saying that though, they don't even do morse now anyway! What would Charlie do all day?
He was a star. One time this Yank major or colonel or someone came in on a lookaround while we were doing morse at A2 speeds. We'd been briefed to just carry on and ignore him, but being the friendly Yank type he tried to engage one of the lads in conversation. 'What's your name then, Son?' he said to a Harrogate geezer at the front. Charlie glared at him and said : 'hasn't he got his fukcing name on his fukcing jumper, then?' - this in front of the CO who was showing him around. Charlie then gripped said Harrogate lad for missing some groups 'Chase it, chase it - you don't want to fail your A2s, you'll end up in the fukcing Int corps, you little 5hit!'
The CO was Lt.Col B*****, failed spec op, binned by Charlie years earlier, transferred Int Corps.
BTW, could he really not say 'synthesised' or was he winding everyone up (thynthethithed....)
He never taught me morse thank god. He did radio theory which was a real pain for me and the rest of the gang as anyone will remember. I remember one of the first times in his class at the back of the wing when I put my feet on the bar under the table. He didn't half kick when he wanted to! I think everyone managed to get walloped by him. As an instructor he made you learn or else - as a bloke or personality, I thought he was a dinosaur. Never cared for him one way or another.
I had Bernard and Charlie, both, in '78-'79. Pair of complete heroes, by Jesus you knew you'd passed when they passed you. I'll never forget Charlie Edgar's look of disgust when he asked, the course having finished and SRDs were safely out of the way, what my posting was and I told him I was off on a language course (the first one at GH, incidentally). I don't think he ever acknowledged me again.
Without doubt, yes. It wasn't that visible from the Sig/LCpl end but 20 years later, just before I left, when I had a great deal more insight and access, certainly it was a job exceptionally well done.