Amusing Military 'Crimes'

Discussion in 'General' started by Ray Hanson, May 5, 2011.

  1. Ray Hanson

    Ray Hanson Member

    Although my father seldom talked about his ‘active’ service in the infantry he did like to talk about his brushes with military discipline and the ruses he used to avoid or minimise punishment; so I thought it might be amusing to start a thread devoted to such anecdotes.
    His favourite story concerned an incident on Victoria Station in London in April or May 1944. As a 21 year old private soldier, returning to camp after his last leave before D Day, He was stopped by a middle aged WRNS officer for being improperly dressed. Two tunic buttons were undone. Annoyed, he decided to misunderstand the officer. He explained bluntly, that she was much too old for him but gave her some advice on where she might find some old soldiers who might be willing to give her what she needed. When he appeared before his CO on a charge of insubordination both the Sergeant Major and the CO struggled to keep straight faces as the details of the charge were read out. He was awarded 28 days CB, which as the camp was closed by then was no punishment at all. As a naive teenager, I asked him if he hadn’t been worried about getting into serious trouble. His response was that in training it had been drummed into them that they could expect up to 50% casualties crossing the beach on D Day and he knew that that could only be a matter of weeks away – ‘what could they do to him that was worse than that’? This taught me a great deal about the limits of even military discipline. Perhaps it also says something about the attitude of front line soldiers to female officers in those politically incorrect times.
     
    dbf and von Poop like this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    One of my Dad's mates was a great subject for such tales ...

    Sammy ... spoke with a lisp. Once, when we were in the Training Battalion we were at a ENSA concert, oh about the beginning of '43 and we were all in this big gymnasium. There were seats at the front, for the officers and all you know, but eh, we were all jammed in and some of us were at the back. Sammy was with us.

    Drill Sergeant Ben Howe, he was the SM in the Training battalion, he was up at the front.

    The stage was lit up but the rest of the room was pretty dark you know. And there was a magician up on stage doing tricks with cards and he says, "Would one of you gentlemen come up to the front and help me with a trick?"

    Well none of us went forward ... but eh, Sammy he shouts out, "Get thath bathard Ben Howe up!"

    Well Howe, he stood up straight away like, and marched to the back, pushing the rest of us out of the way with his pace stick, "Stand aside," he says. "Hill you're on a charge!"

    "How did he know it wath me?"

    He was always doing that.
     
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Another story about Sammy:
    Well, another time I remember we were on a 3" mortar course and we were in the Training Battalion. The mortar now, it was a very heavy piece of equipment, it had a big barrel and a plate that it sat on. It took 2 men to carry the plate, heavy thing. I used to make sure I got the sights to carry.

    We were late getting back to barracks, and eh the Sergeant made us go back, but pick up everything first. It was on some waste ground at the back, you see and we had to go down this lane, a concrete road back again.

    Well I had the sights and Sammy he always ended up with the barrel. and he was in front of me, we had to march back and the barrel was bouncing up and down on his shoulder. Sammy was cursing. He'd ended up with it a couple of times at least by then.

    And we were marching down this road and eh, there were these 2 young officers at the side. Sammy stepped out and eh, the Sergeant made us halt. Sammy took the barrel off his shoulder and threw it down on the ground in front of the Sergeant.

    The officers were saying things like [posh] "Oh, we've only just joined the Micks and this is what we see." "A Guardsman throwing his weapon at a Sergeant!"

    Anyway they moved off. That was the first time.

    So the next we were on a running walk, eh, 5 miles run. It wasn't all at once in amongst each other, we had to do it in marching order, lef', righ', lef', righ'. We had left the barracks - Lingfield it was - and we were running for one mile up this hill, round the barracks and down a wee lane, 100 yards double time, 100 yards marching and Sammy had ended up with the barrel again. We'd just finished double time and eh, there was there was this wee bridge over this stream, only about a foot of water and Sammy stepped out again and heaved the barrel over the bridge and into the water.

    The Sergeant shouted, "What did you do that for Hill ?"

    And Sammy says, "I couldn't help it! That'th the thecond or third time I've carried it."

    So the Sergeant says, “its the Guard Room for you when we get back.” Sammy’d seen the inside of the Guard room manys a time.

    “Not on your life”, he says, or words to that effect, “there'th thill another three mileth or tho to go till we get back. Put me on a charge!”

    Well he couldn't then, so Sammy says, "All right, I'll put methelf on one." And he jumped in the stream, got the barrel and went back the way we came... all regimental like of course.

    Anyway, when we finished, we were marching through the gates and eh, there was Sammy looking out the bars, shouting: "Thtupid eejits!" at us.

    That was when he ended up on a charge in front of the CO.

    He ended up in front of Reynolds, and there were young officers there too.

    Sammy explained, "Thir, I always get that barrel, me thoulder'th black and blue carrying it." He was going to show them and all, started unbuttoning his shirt. Well the CO hid his face and then he made an order that Sammy wasn't to carry the barrel ever again ... But he probably ended up with the base plate instead!

    He got away with it, he got away with everything, they couldn't take him seriously.
     
  4. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    The Sergeant Major at the Guards depot has all of the recruits on parade Saturday morning for the rat race (March around camp) 'Right let's have a good one, parade will move to the right in threes - right turn, all except one young recruit do, this unfortunate soul goes left, you there laddie come here, the young man his knees rattling makes his way over, you laddie tonight when you get back to your billet, stick your bare arse out of the window and get some air in your brains'. A week passes and they are all on the square, the Sergeant Major spots the man and shouts you - did you do as you were told, the young man snaps to attention and says yes sir, bit odd really sir ,why is that my lad, well sir- the colonel walked by saluted me and said good evening Sergeant major.
     
  5. Combover

    Combover Guest

    My Grandfather was always on 'Jankers' for back chatting, being late, back chatting some more etc to the extent that he could whitewash coal, peel spuds and cut the grass with his clasp knife quicker than anyone else in Lancashire.
     
  6. Combover

    Combover Guest

    The Sergeant Major at the Guards depot has the all of the recruits on parade Saturday morning for the rate race (March around camp) 'Right let's have a good one, parade will move to the right in threes - right turn, all except one young recruit do, this unfortunate soul goes left, you there laddie come here, the young man his knees rattling makes his way over, you laddie tonight when you get back to your billet, stick your bare arse out of the window and get some air in your brains'. A week passes and they are all on the square, the Sergeant Major spots the man and shouts you - did you do as you were told, the young man snaps to attention and says yes sir, bit odd really sir ,why is that my lad, well sir- the colonel walked by saluted me and said good evening Sergeant major.

    :lol: Fantastic!
     
  7. PeterG

    PeterG Senior Member

    He was awarded 28 days CB, which as the camp was closed by then was no punishment at all.
    In my day being confined to barracks was pretty gruelling. Reporting to the guard room in full marching order several times a day starting about 5 AM and ending about midnight interspersed with fatigues in the cook house and latrines or running around the parade ground under the RSM's supervision. It took a lot of stamina to get through 28 days of that.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    When Old Hickory was finishing his training with the 30th ID in late 1943, he was able to secure enough leave time to go home for Christmas. While he was there, one of his relatives prevailed upon him to help him cook off some corn mash. Since moonshining was illegal (and still is), the relative was having trouble getting anyone to help him with that two man job. Everyone he asked declined out of fear of imprisonment were the still to be discovered.

    Old Hickory agreed to help. In his thinking, what else could they do to him. He already knew his division was slated for overseas duty and he was in a combat unit. No judge was going to put him in jail and incure the wrath of the Army.

    In the end, he carried a gallon of the Alabama Fire Water back with him to camp and he and his barracks mates enjoyed it the before they shipped out, headed to England.
     
  9. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    Nice story Slipdigit. I'm not opposed to some of that "Alabama Firewater" myself!
     
  10. Ray Hanson

    Ray Hanson Member

    In my day being confined to barracks was pretty gruelling. Reporting to the guard room in full marching order several times a day starting about 5 AM and ending about midnight interspersed with fatigues in the cook house and latrines or running around the parade ground under the RSM's supervision. It took a lot of stamina to get through 28 days of that.

    As a life long civillian I bow to your greater knowledge. All I know is what dad told me of CB which was that in his early days it was 'torture' but once fully trained and at peak fitness it was no big deal. Also in his case fatigues, guards and parades, even when not CB, were usually replaced by maintenance work in the officers and senior NCOs quarters, in civilian life he was a plumber/electrician. All part of his constant attempts to get out of the infantry and into a unit where he could get 'trade pay'.
     

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