Tales of a Colonial Policeman

Simba is OK but I was partial to the Tembo dark ale when I lived in Lubumbashi. Strangely, when Kabila's mob descended on the place the brewery remained pretty much unscathed and the workers went about their business unmolested. Interrupting the flow of beer would have meant disaster for all parties.

As for superstition a local colleague, recently promoted to captain was telling me today that the BH fighters are all tweaked by the witchdocor with amulets and goat wazz or whatever they use to make them bulletproof. In all seriousness he was telling me that his brother saw them take multiple hits and keep coming, the only thing able to stop them an RPG hit or 14.5. Using logic and physics I explained that it wasn't possible (refraining from pointing out that they're all bloody awful shots) but he was adamant that the goat wazz or whatever it was did the trick and made them bulletproof. This from a supposedly educated bloke.

Seen it in SA too. Seemingly sophisticated and educated folks will go to a sangoma to have a curse removed or a chicken bone waved at them before heading off to the doc for a bit of western quackery.


My bold.. I had similar tales from Mercenaries I picked up on the border coming back from Katanga. One told ne he had put umpteen 9 mm rounds into one charging tribesmen from a "mitrailleuse" but it wasn't until one of his mates had put a round from a FN FAL into him that he dropped.
Re the Simba, not long after independence in the Congo allegedly some Africans had broken into the brewery and indulged themselves. Apparently some time later when one of the huge vats was drained for cleaning they found the well decomposed body of one African who had fallen in. Well I suppose it did give it a bit of "body" :)
 
Rhodie and SA tales of terrs continuing for a few yards when hit due to being doped up to the eyebrows. Similar from US cops dealing with loons wibbling on PCP.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Dear God, don't let the middle aged members of ARRSE see that or we'll never hear the end of it.
too late, far too late mwaaaa
 
Mess life in NR..
I was fortunate enough to be posted to stations that had reasonable numbers of European Police, some 20 + in Chingola as it was a district HQ and about 10 or so in Bancroft. There were many that had only one or two, or less than a half dozen, as in John Gornal's case, where there was no mess.
Our social life revolved heavily around them, remember there was no TV, (the first came when I was in Bancroft and that was only in the "all ranks" Police club, not the mess. Available women were very scarce and in great demand by the numerous bachelors working on the copper mines and other related occupations. I would estimate randy bachelors outnumbered single spinsters by more than ten to one. That's not to say that there weren't a few married Women who looked for a change occasionally, (thank god)! So alcohol in its various guises was used to numb the desire quite a lot. It was considered "infra dig" to consort with African women, and there were a few that sold their charms to some of the mining fraternity both black & white, however the resultant crop of maladies, from the usual STD's and even leprosy which was present in some of the Africans, could have very nasty consequences, so I never knew of any of my colleagues who indulged.
My first relief from enforced celibacy came as a bit of a shock. In my first week on station I had gone to the local cinema on evening and was sat with Johnny my shift boss waiting for the lights to dim when in walked the CO of the Nchanga station accompanied by a very attractive blue eyed blond, his wife. I mentioned this to Johnny who stated she was known as Nina the ice berg as she was always very cold & offhand when talking to any other man. A month or so later after a state of emergency had been declared and the reserve Police had been called up, she, a reserve Policewoman, who by this time had separated from her rather dour S. African husband whom I had met when first visiting his station on my arrival in Chingola, and gone back to live with her family who worked on the mine, turned up for the night shift working in the control room.
At about 2.00am she came into the charge office asking for some paperwork which was kept in a storeroom about 60 yards the other side of our station complex, as I was the sole European in the charge office, the others were out on patrol, I took her across the dimly lit area, unlocked the storeroom & turned the lights on and shut the door. Immediately she grabbed me & pulled my face down to kiss it very enthusiastically. To say I was stunned was an understatement. I pulled away and asked he what the hell she was doing, she said she had spotted me that night in the cinema and had fancied me strait away and started kissing me again. I again tried to pull away saying I couldn't as her husband was a fellow officer. She grabbed me again saying her marriage was over.
As you can imagine being a very normal, red blooded and highly frustrated bloke I was in a noticeable state of arousal, (thank god for those baggy shorts). I again pulled away saying this was not the time or place for anything further to happen but agreed to her picking me up in her car next evening before the shift started and going for a drive.
To cut a long story short we went together, very surreptitiously, only Syd Chaplin knew as he happened to be seeing Nina's best friend another "separated" women in the town, for about two months. When suddenly without any warning, Nina stopped seeing me & went back to her husband.
I got a call from him, the husband, saying he wanted to meet me privately in my quarters, which sounded ominous as jealous husbands had been known to shoot errant wives lovers, fortunately Syd had had a message from Nina via her friend. Apparently Nina's husband had found out due to one of the other Inspectors wives, who happened to work on our switchboard, listening into to one of Nina's calls to me and I was to say it was just "a shoulder to cry on" that I had offered Nina and NOTHING else had ever happened between us, with me actually advising her to return to him.
I asked Syd to be around when the meeting took place just in case and actually had my loaded .38 tucked under my pillow on the bed next to the chair I was sat on during the meeting. I said what I had been told to and he accepted it, threatening to knock my head off if I went near her again. A couple of weeks later he had resigned & gone back to S. Africa with her in tow.
I got a message from Syd's g/f about 7 months later. Nina had had a miscarriage in S. Africa when 8 months pregnant so definitely my doing despite my obviously inadequate precautions. That was the reason she had gone back with her husband, as she knew that as a first tour a/Insp I wasn't allowed to marry & would have had to leave the force, probably being forced to return to the UK as well, but I also think she realised I wasn't interested in marriage with anyone at that time and might probably have said no.
I managed to have relations with 3 other young ladies on that tour, none with such devastating consequences. On returning to London in the "swinging sixties" I could and often did, have that many in a week!! I was like a hungry kid being let lose in an "all you can eat" sweetshop.
As I said earlier most of our social life revolved around the mess. When you came off the morning shift just after 2.00pm, you went back to your quarters relaxed had a nice cup of tea, had a bath run by ones houseboy, (funnily enough I don't remember any quarters having showers) then leisurely got dressed in civvies and got the houseboy to bring one a sundowner from the mess bar on to the stoep while watching the sunset. If you haven't lived in the tropics its difficult to believe that at 5.30pm it can be broad daylight and at 6.00pm its completely dark (hours may vary slightly depending on month) but half an hour was normal.
After that it was into the mess for a few more drinks and on to dinner after which the serious drinking might begin depending who was present.
Formal Mess Dinners were a big thing especially in the bigger mess of Chingola. These happened every couple of months or so with either a local bigwig, the resident Magistrate, District Commissioner, a visiting Senior Police Officer or the like.
They started quite formally with everybody dressed in their best bib & tucker (described by me earlier), medals if entitled etc, standing around chatting, sipping sherry or a small G&T, we then went into the dining room where the meal was served normally with quite pleasant S. African wines, French was normally far too expensive & not easy to obtain. After the meal Port & Brandy went the rounds, belts & sometimes ties loosened and the drinking began. Songs would be sung, games played etc...
When I say games I mean things like Buck buck - Wikipedia where 2 teams compete trying to jump on & collapse the other team. It was banned for a time by the Commissioner as one of his deputies had broken his shoulder when missing his jump and hitting a wall in one vigorous game at the Mobile unit mess.
One day in our mess some idiot suggested using Bows & Arrows to play darts, then a bigger idiot, (would you believe Pringle, the twat who had been back squaded in our entry at training school, he had been posted to Chingola where "as I knew him" our CO had put him under me on my shift,) I had taken over from Johnny as he had wangled a posting to the Mobile unit, our specialist riot Squads that enjoyed a reputation for toughness and a great mess social life. Anyway this moron had decided in his pea sized brain that pistols would be better and had gone to his quarters, got his and promptly fired 6 shots into the dartboard knocking chunks of our mess wall all over the place. Someone then grabbed him, disarmed him and he was sent to bed in disgrace, It cost him several months mess fees to repair the wall. Fortunately for all concerned no one was hurt.
Another night the singing had started with lewd Rugby songs and then we formed a circle grabbed each other around the shoulders and started "hold him down you Zulu Warriors" when some bright spark, a guest IIRC had suggested we needed a fire to dance around and started breaking up chairs & lit a fire in the center of the mess.. That cost ALL of us several months mess fees to put right with the ruined chairs, fire damaged floor & smoke stained walls & ceiling
As the Provincial CO said we were like a lot of retarded school children not responsible Policemen. But boys will be boys and yes it was one way to let off steam.
 
Some of my shift at Chingola in late '61, note I've got 2 Asst/inspectors & 2 sergeants! The land rover is equipt with wire mess screens to stop any missiles that might be thrown at us in a disturbance! Also note the slits in them allowing firearms to be used — taken Outside the front of Chingola Central police station.
I'm the one in the middle, Pringle the prat is the one on my right and his lack of height is apparent even though he was probably on tip toe for the photo, the one on my left I think, is a recent addition a chap called White. You might note that Pringle & I are wearing Khaki shirts whilst White is in the same grey shirt that the African Police are wearing. The reason for that is that our squad, the last to join in 1960 was the last to be issued with khaki shirts, after that all Police were issued with Grey in an effort to further "demilitarise" our appearance, but we were allowed to keep wearing our old Khaki shirts until they needed replacing. Most were pretty threadbare by the time that happened as most of us liked the military connection.
 
Some of my shift at Chingola in late '61, note I've got 2 Asst/inspectors & 2 sergeants! The land rover is equipt with wire mess screens to stop any missiles that might be thrown at us in a disturbance! Also note the slits in them allowing firearms to be used — taken Outside the front of Chingola Central police station.
I'm the one in the middle, Pringle the prat is the one on my right and his lack of height is apparent even though he was probably on tip toe for the photo, the one on my left I think, is a recent addition a chap called White. You might note that Pringle & I are wearing Khaki shirts whilst White is in the same grey shirt that the African Police are wearing. The reason for that is that our squad, the last to join in 1960 was the last to be issued with khaki shirts, after that all Police were issued with Grey in an effort to further "demilitarise" our appearance, but we were allowed to keep wearing our old Khaki shirts until they needed replacing. Most were pretty threadbare by the time that happened as most of us liked the military connection.
My wife says "who is that handsome chap in the middle"
 
Did you take style tips and ''artistic poses'' from the Waffen SS?

As one leading defence lawyer in NR is alleged to have said to the magistrate, "The NRP, they dress like the SS in the cold season and act like them all the year round", after one of his clients had complained about his treatment during his arrest. ….. and it wasn't the S. African Miner I arrested in my earlier post :)
 

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