Id almost forgotten about Francis (later Lord) Pym

The death of Sir Francis Pym caused me to resurrect this extract from an anecdote drafted for the Regimental archive in 2001.


This was around the time when Mrs Thatcher came to power (May 79). She started work immediately and appointed Francis Pym as her Defence secretary and dispatched him on a Flag Waving tour, to include S Armagh (Note: It was commonplace for Politicians to be seen in places like Crossmaglen & he was no exception)

Back in Forkhill I was busy one dark night emptying some bins in the camp complex. The OC (Major C*******) opened the door to his portacabin and proceeded to clean mud from his boots (The Camp was Mortared a year earlier and was therefore a construction site) He had just received news of the impending visit and sat on the step muttering “F*cking politicians, why can’t they leave us to get on with it? Now I have to disrupt everything, clean this pigsty & put on a show” etc etc…….

After a while he saw movement in the blackness & said, “Who’s lurking over there”?

“Pte Fingers Sir!”

“How much did you hear”?

“NUFFING sir, too windy!”

He gave me a wry smile & I knew to keep quiet…….

10 years later the Regiment was in Aldergrove. I was a Sgt and we (The Mess) were awaiting a visit from 8 BDE Commander for Albuhera day. His name? Brigadier Mike C*******! Of all the mess members assembled I was probably the only one to have served in his company and found myself strategically placed (By the RSM) at the front of the crowd.
He duly entered and surveyed the member’s faces. On seeing me he came over to congratulate me on gaining promotion to Sgt. After a while I asked “Sir, do you remember that day when you were cleaning your boots”?


“And I was in the background & could hear you wingeing about ‘cleaning the place up’ for VIP visits”?


(RSM went a funny colour behind him at this point!)

“Well, me & the blokes ’ad to do it again today………cos you’re ‘ere!”[/i]

The Mess erupted, as did the Brigadier :)
Francis Pym, one of the blokes who used to make me support the Tories. A true gentleman of the Old School, which was probably why he didn't get on with Maggie.
What ever happened to "gentleman politicians"?

Somehow, of whatever Party, those who had served [at whatever rank] seemed to rise above the self-seeking spineless herd.

Denis Healey, Tony Benn, The Heath ... so many others, but all somehow better than the rest.

RIP, Sir.
12volts said:
Heath was a cnut. I'd vote for Alan Clark.
Clark was a cnut.
I voted for Heath, who was one as well.
Can't win them all when you're a die-hard Tory :wink:

But .... The Carlton Club commissioned portraits of post-War Tory PMs. i was given a framed set of prints. Strange that the Carlton Club didn't commission one of Ted ... I wonder why?

Latest Threads