Pull Up A Sandbag - the Novel

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We've just been made aware that another couple of ARRSE users have headed down the "Picking Up the Brass" route and published a book:

This book is a diverse collection of humorous anecdotes collated by two former Squaddies under the pen-name Jonathan Smiles. They’ve been pulling this particular sandbag for nearly a year, but now it’s finally time to push it!

Pull Up a Sandbag is an invitation to swap a few tales, and hopefully includes something for everyone. It is a patchwork quilt of stories, but forget any mental images of chintz, silk and satin – the material is definitely hessian, DPM and old Goretex, a mixture all squaddies will be comfortable with. The stories are as true as any story remains after successive telling, and as accurate as memory can be after surviving the passing years and occasional alcohol-based filtration.

Help for Heroes will receive £1 from the proceeds for every copy sold.

So here’s the invitation – Pull Up a Sandbag, and if you recognize yourself in any of the anecdotes, either starring or in a supporting role, then accept the appreciation of everyone that smiles, laughs or cries as they read.

Press on the Picture below to go direct to the purchasing page…

Whilst out on the Range “Picking Up the Brass” what better companion than “Pulling Up a Sandbag”
Any thoughts/reviews or other after reading the book will be more than welcome in this thread.
When did they start collecting the stories for it? I was asked donkeys ago by someone to send in a few daft tales and was wondering if this is the finished article.
Wey Hey! Got my copy today and have soiled some underwear already. I looked at the 'content page'first and was intrigued to see, and rightfully so, that Ancient Mariners caper had made it to the book. I still laughed out loud and probably will forever.
I was was also very pleasantly surprised to see that a tale of mine was included.
(bugger, I should have got a free copy!! Fear not, it's for a good cause and you can donate it to..... something!!
I found myself thinking that a Strawberry would have diificulty in following the lingo..... then I thought, phuck'em.
I have just started to read it properly and in order and I just knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

Well done gentlemen and a full appraisal will follow!
Received mine 2 days ago, I'm two thirds through it.
Very funny read.
The missus is pissed off that I've had my nose in the book for the last 2 days.
It does seem that the majority of stories happened to, or involved the Engineers though.
Funny as fcuk though.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
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Got mine yesterday and started it last night. Just like switching off arrse on the 'pooter and starting again in a book!

Great stuff. Should be issued in Phase 1 training to newbies.

Only quibble is the time it took to get from the seller. I had to phone them to chase up. Still, obviously a small business trying their best.

Well worth the pennies.


Book Reviewer
Got mine a couple of days ago, and it's in my reading list - after seeing some of the comments here, I'm going to bump it up the list. Delivery turnaround was fine.


Kit Reviewer
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Reviews Editor
archer said:
A_Knocker_Till_The_End said:
i ordered it last weekend & still not arrived so the despatch side of it is not the mae west.
Yes, same here.
Worth the wait :D

Biped. It is not a novel or biog, just a collection of short (but hillarious) stories, so can be pcked up and read without spoiling your current read.

Just love the cruise to Egypt & Isreal from Cyprus :omg:
Auld-Yin said:
archer said:
A_Knocker_Till_The_End said:
i ordered it last weekend & still not arrived so the despatch side of it is not the mae west.
Yes, same here.
Worth the wait :D

Biped. It is not a novel or biog, just a collection of short (but hillarious) stories, so can be pcked up and read without spoiling your current read.

Just love the cruise to Egypt & Isreal from Cyprus :omg:
Ordered mine evening of 22 April, but as I'm in Bosnia anything under 3 weeks for delivery is a bonus!
Eventually got onto the Facebook reference for the book, after repeatedly being sent to a personal wall (turned out to be that of the last person to post on the PUAS wall). Obviously a kink in the ether, my clockwork computer or my own ineptitude rather than fault with Knocker's post.
Having paid the equivalent of 3 or 4 pints (8 or 10 here in Sarajevo :D ) I was happy to see the positive reviews both here and on Facebook.
Will be joining Gundulph for a beer next week, and hope to be able to show him my copy.
I took this on nights with me and sat laughing like a loon whilst reading it. I recieved some funny looks from the others working with me, but when l showed them some of the stories (the navy one by Ancient Mariner being a good example) they joined me in the laughing.
A really good book. I look forward to the sequal.
Thanks to everyone for the reviews here, also to a Les Howard for the following:

Hysterically funny - and then some!, 14 May 2009
By Les Howard

Pull up a Sandbag is a brilliant collection of bite sized snippets of armed service humour. A perfect bog-book for home or work, or for civvies who wonder what squaddies do when they are not appearing on TV with Ross Kemp. Warning! Don't read this on a crowded bus or train as the resulting fits of hysterical laughter will have onlookers phoning directory enquiries and asking to be put through to the funny farm to tell them to come and collect you. Some spare four-by-two or a small girly pack of tissues is also a must as reading this book will make the air dusty and cause streaming tear ducts. This book can also be considered as a "how-to" manual if you need inspiration for a wind up or decent nickname for the latest numpty that has just arrived from basic. And if you are an ex-squaddie, matelot or crab don't be too quick to sigh with relief if your unfortunate experience, foul up or wah isn't mentioned - there's bound to be a second volume!
Finished my copy this morning and as already said, I wasn't disappointed!

The book is crammed with hilarious tales of just about every subject and what makes it funny for me is that the authors have obviously put in what they know people of a certain ilk will find very funny and it works.

I had tears streaming at one of probably the best written incidents of 'The old Lady and the Kit Kat' It paints a very vivid picture of you actually being there and re-living it yourself. Brilliant!

It is rounded off with the 'You know you're a Squaddie when ....'
Of the list of 50, it's amazing how many I can relate to. Many I didn't realise I was blissfully unaware of. Now I know why I can understand just about every accent in the country!

If you are undecided, go on, give it a whirl, you wont regret it.... I can almost promise! Guess! (read it and all will become clear) Brilliant.
Bought it myself about two weeks ago - took about a week to arrive, but then again that's roughly how long it said to expect on the website.

Promptly annoyed the missus all weekend when she was down visiting by being unable to get my nose out of it and kept bursting out laughing when she was trying to work :D
If it is the Very Same Biped from ARRSE who has left a review of the Book over in Amazon then many thanks Biped that was a neat Review :wink:


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