Parchute Regiment "re-enacter" walts it up in San Diego

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Byronik, Apr 28, 2008.

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  1. There's a St. Pauls Cathedral in San Diego, California. And they have a big service there every year to mark St. George's Day.

    The Episcopalians think they're part of the Church of England but they're much bigger on the smells and bells. The April 27 service this year kicked off with a procession that included, I don't know, a thurifur, a crucifer, the man who carries a photo of St. George, the man who carries the heavy Bible, the seven-foot-tall man, the bagpipers, the choir, the bishop, sundry clergy, the English Speaking Union and, ultimately, all by himself, a man dressed as a WWII-vintage sergeant from the Parachute Regiment.

    After a first rate concert from the Pacific Academy of Ecclesiastical Music there was a slap-up high tea in the adjoining hall. And I took an opportunity to sidle up to the paratrooper and ask if he'd ever served a day in the British Army in his entire life. He said he hadn't, but that he is a "re-enactor."

    I suppose there's a time in every boy's life when he gets excited by dressing up and playing soldiers, so perhaps "re-enacting" has some kind of legitimacy, even though the boyhood of this particular re-enacter must have been many years behind him. What I can't get my head around is how turning up in a religious parade wearing para wings you didn't earn is re-enacting something.

    Furthermore, the British Armed forces still exist, to some extent. And there are always several officers and NCOs attached to the American Naval and Marine bases in San Diego county. Some of them are Anglicans. One of them is actually an Anglican priest, Father Ned Kelly, attached to the marines at Miramar. Possibly the diocese could liaise with the British Ministry of Defence in time for next year's procession so the re-enacter can be excused church parade and spend more time camming up and pretending to kill Germans.

    Please send polite suggestions to: James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, St Pauls' Episcopal Cathedral, 2728 6th Ave, San Diego 92103-6397. Tel: (619) 298-7261 Fax: (619) 298-2689.
  2. IM sure some of the lads i work with would love to attend for a parade if free flights and accom are provided sounds like a very good idea>
  3. I thought the RAF was full of re-enactors! :?
  4. What about BA pilots that wear 'wings'? That's waltish.

    Or armed police at airports that hold there MP-5 like there going to raise it to you, having magazines tapped together and a pistol strapped to the leg.

    Even in Basra, soldiers are more relaxed when they patrol.
  5. St Georges Day? April 27th?

    Should we tell them?
  6. Have to say that I don't think it was an uber walt. It's good that the Church in the US celebrates its links with the Anglian Faith and the Church of Ireland & Church of England. Episcopalians are a great faith and supporters of our monarchy & a good friend of ours.

    Respect them & take the church service with the friendship & support they mean. I had many a goody box & letters in GW1 on Op Granby from them. Byronik is showing his immaturity & lack of history. The chap was not a walt but simply taking part in a ceremony to honour tradition.

    Yes in an ideal world we would have guys there, but it's nice that our US cousins acknowledge and respect our history & joint Ops. Americans are very proud of their great efforts in WW2 & I think that it's nice that the Church has had the service and educated folk & children on history, risk, danger & a sense of duty.
  7. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I went to a 'Kirking-o-the-Tartan in Tennessee same sort of thing but for porridge-yanks. I was chief bag carrier to the piper they has hired for the weekend.

    The the description of the procession reminded me of it.

    Befroe we stated we got a briefing from the 'preacher'

    "Piper in the lead, followed by the crucifix, followed by the thurible, followed by the preacher followed by the acolytes followed by yours truly followed by the Tartan: Any questions?

    "Yes" says I, "what are acolytes?"

    "They are small children who follow the preacher and carry his bible and prayer books" If he'd stopped there it would have been fine but "haven't you heard the word acolytes?"

    "Yes but never like this" says I,

    "Well, what did you think it meant?"

    "Little pixies that dance around the devil" They take their religion very seriously in the deep south, there was a deathly hush. and then the preacher said'

    "One day the Lord may save you" which was cue for "amens" all round. As I was being paid to be there and had not deliberately meant to offend I did not offer any smart rejoineders or tell him Foxtrot Oscar but I did have hard time not sniggering.
  8. Hang on. 'Father' Ned Kelly, a BritFor padre? Based in Miramar? Isn't that where Top Gun school is? Does Father Kelly go to work on a motorbike or a horse?

  9. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    FWIW, if the yanks want to include a mention that they aren't the only army on this earth, then I think a re-enactor is a fine replacement if they can't get the real thing.

    I suppose the paperwork may have mentioned that he was XYZ of whatsit re-enacting?

    No issues. Not perfect. But then so much isn't.
  10. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Does he wear a dustbin with arm holes cut in, and a pail on his head like his famous ancestor?

    I thought a Walt was somebody who claimed to have served, not a harmless actor?
  11. Hey Gaz: The Navy Fighter Weapons School (aka Top Gun) used to be at Miramar, but the Navy turned the NAS over to the Marine Corps in the late 90s sometime. The Fighter Weapons School is located nowadays at NAS Fallon, nevada.
  12. This particular bish is an absolute legend. Used to be on Albion and is a total riot on the beers. Glad to know he's still around.

    Byronik, if you speak to him again, can you ask for an email address as I've lost his mobile number.
  13. You remind me of the comedian Kevin Day whose stand-up material used to include a childhood recollection of a priest describing him as "an acolyte of Satan."

    "What's acolyte of Satan," his friend asks him.

    "I don't know," young Kevin replies. "But my mum's got a blouse made out of it."
  14. yes too many walts about for my liking, saw some bloke on tele on rememberance sunday in a suit wearing a para reg beret. strolling round proud as ya like
  15. Now that I've been set straight on the mature distinction to be made between walting and re-enacting, I wonder if it would be appropriate for me to attend next year's event dressed as Biggles in honour of The Few.

    In flying boots and goggles, I feel I'd cut a dashing figure beside the wannabe paratrooper who, even sans cigarette, seemed somehow reminiscent of Pte Walker in Dad's Army.