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This is a question In the Army Now - The joy of the Armed Forces

I've never been a soldier. I was an air cadet once, but that mostly involved sitting in a mouldy hut learning about aeroplane engines with the hint that one day we might go flying.

Yet, anyone who has spent time defending their nation, or at least drinking bromide-laced-tea for their nation, must have stories to tell. Tell them now.

(, Thu 23 Mar 2006, 18:26)
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Sort of on topic in that it involves someone in the Army, which isn't me nor is it strictly an Army-related story or, indeed, at all.
My grandad was a Sapper in the war. He built the Basra pipeline that we're fighting over all over again, he was responsible at the age of seventeen for keeping the entire South East's contingent of Bristol Blenheims in the air, was a part time rally driver and mates with an agent of the SOE (not Sony Online :P). He is also very much a product of Empire. He's not racist, as such, but he can't quite wrap his head around modern attitudes to race. He is a dinosaur. An example:

He recently went into hospital for a triple heart bypass, he wasn't, as I'm sure you can imagine, in the finest fettle and was somewhat disconcerted to have a black male nurse looking after him. His concerned conversation with my mum went along these lines.

"Jude, I'm not sure whether I should say anything, but I really think I should have a qualified nurse, not an orderly"

"Er, Dad, he is a proper nurse."

"Oh really? They're allowed now are they? Well, that's jolly good, isn't it?"

Now, he considers himself to be a pretty progressive sort of a chap and decided he'd strike up a conversation with his nurse. In the interests of racial relations, you see.

The poor nurse was somewhat disconcerted the next morning to find his patient jabbering away at him in tongues. My grandad was trying to talk to a lad born and raised in South London in fluent Swahili.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 10:08, closed)

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