Eccentricity

Discussion in 'General' started by Gerry Chester, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Pg 301 IG History:


    The Italians living in their separate cave had, so far, taken no part in the war, but one of them, called Vittorio, was the owner of "Ration Farm," and he was depressed by this turn of events. He came forward with the story that it was all due to some Fascist spies, and that he could show the Battalion where these spies were and so contribute to the Allied victory. He was put in charge of Guardsmen Montgomery and Adamson, two of the most forbidding-looking and resourceful men in the Battalion. They returned in about an hour with a small Italian Army captain, a smaller and even more terrified civilian, and a huge Alsatian dog. From the conversation which followed the Italians got the impression - as well they might - that they were going to be shot out of hand and fell on their knees weeping bitterly.


    Vittorio, the informer, repeated many times that, since the dog was an Alsatian, it must have been supplied by the Germans for the special purpose of carrying messages. The Italian captain swore that it had been his since it was a puppy, so the Sergeant-Major suggested a simple test.


    The dog was led away round a corner, and the Italian was told to call it. The Italian began confidently, but when no dog appeared, his voice rose in tones of shrill despair, particularly when he noticed Guardsmen Adamson and Montgomery significantly shifting Tommy guns from hand to hand.


    The Adjutant decided to look at the dog before doing anything hasty, went round the corner and found it, struggling desperately and half-strangled by a rope tied to its collar. Hanging on the rope was Major Kennedy. "A grand little dog," he said. "It took to me at once."


    The Italians were reprieved.
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    5th Black Watch fighting in Gennep during Operation Veritable, Feb '45.
    Major Alec Brodie was seen "walking down the street , which was whipping with bullets, carrying an umbrella, up. When asked why he was doing this, he replied that it was raining. And so it was, although nobody else had noticed it"
    Whitaker:Rhineland page 107
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    In 84 Bty, 49th Light Ack we had a Bty barber who, when the mood took him and when the BSM wasn't about would cut fellow soldiers hair while stark naked !!!!!!!

    Don't ask me why and don't ask me to show it as an entry in one of my diaries but I still have mental images of this character busy cropping hairs whilst completely in the buff :)
     
  4. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    It has always been my opinion, that if you want to find eccentrics? then the Royal Engineers is the place to look.
    Sapper
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Reading a Dunkirk book last night in bed, I came across an article about a Captain Churchill and I thought to myself I've posted about this 'Nutter' before:

    Here's a picture of him going ashore with his sword in Norway
    [​IMG]


    In May 1940 Captain Jack Churchill pops up at a place called L'Epinette, just west of Lestrem. The book briefly describes that he always took three 'toys' to war with him-His Bagpipes, a Sword and a Bow and Arrow!

    On the 28th May he had his bow and arrows with him as he was preparing to defend the village with around 80 men from the 2nd Manchesters. As the Germans approached the village he climbed into a loft. Looking through the opening in the loft he could see five Germans loitering on the corner of a building. He told a couple of infantrymen with him to open up on the group after he had fired an arrow at them.

    On hearing the 'Twang' of his bow the men opened fire on the group of five Germans. Before retreating 'Mad Jack' Churchill had a quick glimpse to see he had hit the centre German with his arrow in the left side of his chest.

    The book goes on to say:

    For perhaps the last time in history, the English bow-the weapon that turned the tide at Cr'ecy and Poiters six hundred years earlier - had again been used in battle


    The Miracle of Dunkirk-Walter Lord
     
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    A real photo of the man in action... :wacko:
     
  7. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    Reading a Dunkirk book last night in bed, I came across an article about a Captain Churchill and I thought to myself I've posted about this 'Nutter' before:

    Here's a picture of him going ashore with his sword in Norway


    Do you know which operation this was ?
     
  8. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    OC No 3 Company, 2nd Bn coldstream Guards. Major Angus McCorquodale.

    Dunkirk Fight To The Last Man Hugh Sebag-Montefiore. pages 424-425

    Name: McCORQUODALE, ANGUS
    Initials: A
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Major
    Regiment/Service: Coldstream Guards
    Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
    Age: 34
    Date of Death: 01/06/1940
    Service No: 34851
    Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold McCorquodale; husband of Pamela McCorquodale.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Row A. Grave 2.
    Cemetery: WARHEM COMMUNAL CEMETERY

    CWGC :: Casualty Details


    found this quote of his on the net.

    This, presumably is same McCorquodale who was written about in Walter Lords book on Dunkirk.
    "The 2nd Coldstream Guards remained holding a line along Bergues-Furnes Canal, the 1st East Lancashire Regiment were also along the canal, but east of Bergues. Further along to the left was the 5th Borderers. On the other side of the canal was a party of the German infantry and about midday they managed to cross the canal. So desperate was the situation in relation to holding the perimeter, even officers were threatened should they disobey:
    An officer from the Borderers hurried over to Major McCorquodale's command post to warn that his battalion was exhausted and about to withdraw.
    "I order you to stay put and fight it out," the Major answered.
    "You cannot do that. I have overriding orders from my colonel to withdraw when I think fit."
    McCorquodale saw no point in arguing: "You see that big poplar tree on the road with the white milestone behind it? The moment you, or any of your men go back beyond that tree, we will shoot you."
    The officer again protested, but the Major had had enough. "Get back or I will shoot you now and send one of my officers to take command."
    The Borderer went off, and McCorquodale turned to Langley (Lt Jimmy Langley of the 2nd Coldstream Guards), standing nearby: " Get a rifle. Sights at 250. You will shoot to kill the moment he passes that tree. Are you clear?"
    McCorquodale picked up a rifle himself, and the two Coldstreamers sat waiting, guns trained on the tree. Soon the Borderer reappeared near the tree with two of his men. They paused, then the officer moved on past McCorquodale's deadline. The two rifles cracked at the same instant. The officer fell, and Langley never knew which one of them got him."

    These were desperate times.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I wrote an article about McCorqoudale in my BEF thread, theres a picture of him too. He put his 'WW1' uniform on before he died, fighting at the canal perimeter and the officer didn't get killed but he was warned and shots were fired.

    SB: Just searched for the picture and Wiki says it was taken in Scotland
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    As requested some further info on McCorqoudale scanned from Dunkirk: From Disaster to Deliverance:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    dbf likes this.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Taken from Walter Lords' The Miracle of Dunkirk:

    Major Bob Ransome found the scene on the beach appalling. A mob of officers and men from various service units milled around, firing haphazardly at German planes. Ransome tried to get the crowd into some sort of order but had no luck, even though he jammed his pistol into some very senior ribs. Finally he sent for Captain Tom Gimson, an assistant operations officer with III Corps Headquarters. Gimson was an old Irish Guardsmen, and his solution was to order the mob to fall in, as on parade. He then solemnly drilled them, running through all the usual commands. Surprisingly, the men complied, and order was soon restored. To Ransome the incident revealed not only what drill could accomplish but also the workings of that most austere of human mechanisms, a Guardsman's mind.


    [​IMG]

    I like to think of a rabble turned into a fine body of men marching along the beach whilst all hell was going on around them.

    A
     
  12. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Love this stuff.
    One of my favourites is the Para officer at Arnhem who always carried an umbrella because he couln't remember passwords.
    Will look him up later in Ryan's A Bridge Too Far (my well thumbed copy) as I can't think of his name.
    Is it just the Brits who have eccentric guys (except kilt-wearing FJs) like this?

    Mike
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Love this stuff.
    One of my favourites is the Para officer at Arnhem who always carried an umbrella because he couln't remember passwords.
    Will look him up later in Ryan's A Bridge Too Far (my well thumbed copy) as I can't think of his name.
    Is it just the Brits who have eccentric guys (except kilt-wearing FJs) like this?

    Mike

    Here he is:

    Major Digby Tatham-Warter

    Formerly of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Major Tatham-Warter commanded the 2nd Battalion's A Company.........

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    That's him Andy, ta.
    How could I forget a name like that?
    Too many irons in the fire just now!

    M
     
  15. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    SB: Just searched for the picture and Wiki says it was taken in Scotland

    Thank you for the clarification. In my map there is a channel between Scotland and Norway, called the North Sea ;)
    But who would trust Wiki??
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    19 Year old 2nd Lt. William Lawson knew the importance of looking smart as a British Army officer. However he felt he had a good excuse after being in the field for the last two weeks and his unit being badly mauled at the River Dyle and again at Arras. After two weeks almost continually on the run he made it to the perimeter and then to the beach at La Panne.

    Walking down the beach, to his surprise he saw his father, Brigadier the Honourable E F Lawson, serving with General Adams staff. Lawson had no idea his father was in France let alone when he would see him next. Lawson rushed up to his father and saluted him.

    'What do you mean looking like that!' he shouted, 'You're bringing dishonour to the family! Get a hair cut and shave at once!'

    The young Lawson explained his circumstances and said he couldn't comply with his fathers orders. Brigadier Lawson failed to except his son's excuses and annouced his Batman, a family servant, would do the job - and so it was- 2nd Lt Lawson had a hiar cut and shave on La Panne beach during the evacuation of the BEF.
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    As Captain Marshall and his internal security team of twelve men were patiently waiting to be lifted off the beach an unknown (sadly) Colonel saw the men waiting and came over to them worried that they had nothing to do....

    The Colonel ordered Marshall and his men to 'tidy up the beach a bit'. Marshall looked up and down the beach at all the abandoned kit and thought the Colonel must be joking. It soon became apparent that the Colonel was very serious and explained to the Captain that the less mess they left on the beaches, the less the Germans would think that the BEF had left 'precipitously'. A tidy beach would decrease the enemy's feeling of triumph, thereby helping the war effort!

    So the group of men went to work and stated piling Great Coats together and neatly coiling legths of rope abandoned on the beach. Needless to say, as soon as the Colonel was no longer insight, all the men disappeared!

    Both stories from The Miracle of Dunkirk-Walter Lord
     
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Here's a picture of him going ashore with his sword in Norway

    Has to be a photo taken training in Scotland as if it was the real thing in Norway the cameraman would have landed first. I doubt if that would be the case do you?
     
  19. Tito & Arse

    Tito & Arse Junior Member

  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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