Pull up that Sandbag

There are many tales of derring-do (and derring-don'ts) to be had around the Messes, the Legion pubs, and the odd nursing home. Personally I never talk about my military history. Not only because there isn't much to tell, but also because very few would believe me.

There was one occasion when I confess to acting far and beyond the call of duty. I still think I should have been mentioned in despatches, rather than mentioned on Orders, but there you go.

I remember being surrounded once, by hungry blokes gagging for tea. I was concerned, because they obviously hadn't washed for days. Cold dark and hungry eyes stared at my section as we struggled to build defences, dig a trench, find our weapons, anything really. So this was our baptism of fire, and we were very brave that day. Tension heightened, when our water refused to boil, and apart from that, the stew was burnt. Never have I felt so close to death. Apparently, you could smell the burnt stew for miles. This was bound to give away our position, and could have had terrible consequences. I ordered my section to start splitting some compo boxes, mainly for the bog roll, for I knew we would need it. I thought we could use the boiled sweets to fend off an ensuing attack. They would have been useless though, against tin hats and rock hard soldiers.

Our carrots and potatoes were also running low, there was no chance of a resup today either. And spuds make such an excellent weapon don't you think? I looked to my corporal and asked him if he had any rock cakes left, but he'd used the last few to balance his camp bed.

We were all terribly frightened by now. But, thank the Lord, just as the mob started to advance upon us, a cry went out over the net. An incident had taken place and all troops were to move out ASAP. I won't go into further detail, for I've said enough, or too much, already.

I remember that day with gratitude, and have had many a similar close shave since. However-> for all those out on actives, on front lines, and anywhere where British Forces may be found, you have my family's thoughts and best wishes. Come home safely. We'll send you some blueys if we can get the addresses.

Take care.

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