I've heard that there is only one regiment whose mess etiquette dictates that an officer late for dinner should NOT apologise to the President (or Senior Officer), as it is assumed that he can only have been delayed by duty. Does anyone know which regiment this is? TIA.
Never heard such tripe in my life. Regardless of the delay be it military or civic duties or family issues it's protocol to apologise for tardiness. Regardless of the cause. Quietly apologise as you enter the mess to the President or senior bod present and give a quick explanation later.
Only the dull and unimaginative would put themselves in a situation wherein they need to apologise for being late.
Simply let the fire alarm off, and then wander in with everyone else once the all clear has been given.
If anyone queries you, simply brass it out.
Carton de Wiart was my military role model, which was probably why I baled out as a wise-enough-to-bale-out-before-offically-classed-as-passed-over major. He won his VC at the Somme as a brigadier for walking accross no-manÂ´s land tossing granades at the Boche from a satchel slung round his neck. I believe that by that time he had already lost an eye and an arm. He wrote an autobiography called Happy Oddesy. If anyone can get hold of it, itÂ´s well worth reading. My favourite quote: "I failed the Staff College exam gloriously". My type of officer.
My favourite Richie-Hook quote was after spending a week with the partisans in Bosnia in 1943 "Impressive soldiers - I particularly like the one whose name ended in Itch".
Back to the thread, Carton de Wiart couldnÂ´t give a stuff if you were late for dinner.
I remember in 1996 hosting a group of Polish officers as part of a CFE armour count in Barker Barracks. The count was over very quickly and with time to kill I took them on a tour of our WOs and Sgts Mess, boring them to death with tales of derring do associated with the Regiment. The RM major who was accompanying them was translating and everything was going really well. But they were trully bowled over when they came across a picture of the great man in the mess and exclaimed in unison CARTON DE WIART!!!!!!
I thought I knew my Regimental history but these guys were gushing in their praise of Carton De Wiart, it was then that I started to learn of the extent of his exploits with the Poles, apparently they hero worshipped him in parts of Poland.
A swift shot or 2 of Bush sealed our comradeship and we all parted much the better for the meeting
Another Carton De Wiart inspired diplomatic success