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EX-CORPORAL 3449600  RICHARD PATTERSON
1/8TH Bn. THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS

CONTENTS:

L/F's Killed at kohima

TALES FROM THE FAR EAST

"Mopping Up"
"The Brigadier"

Photo's of Japanese solders found at Kohima

HOME PAGE

"IT'S A MUGS GAME"

You lay down, "bear in mind it's a long while ago since I was in the war, it's surprising what you put up with and what you get used to." So you lay down, you're really wet through and the ground is soaking wet. In the jungle there's leaves and all sorts of stuff on the ground, so it's not even like laying on wet concrete. There's a depth of water, you're soaked as soon as you lay down on it. If you were dry when you lay down it wouldn't be long before you'd be pissed wet through.

So, you lay down at one end of the trench, your mate at the other and you start bailing again, and you go like blazes. You get all the water out and then, what a relief. You get back in the trench again and the same old performance starts if the rain keeps up.

During those conditions one year, a team of officers came around inspecting us during the daytime. It was at the time Lord Louis Mount-Batten another big wheel I had no bleedin' time for. He came around with all these staff officers. A staff officer is a man who is at a Headquarters. They're like clerks really only they're like high ranking clerks in the Army, organisers, they don't do any fighting This fellow came round with Mount-Batten and his team of staff officers, and he stopped at the trench I was in. He picked up one of my grenades. Now just below the top of the trenches, 'the parapet', you used to dig a little shelf where you put your grenades, ready for throwing. It's no good fumbling to get grenades out of your pouch when the enemy's on top of you. So you would dig this little ledge. Well you can imagine the conditions when it's been raining day and night for weeks.

There's a break in the weather and these bleedin' clowns came around. When they come round you can spot them a mile away, because they're all 'bulled' up as we used to call it. They're all polished up. They've got leathers on, leather belts, brass buttons and polished shoes. They don't do the polishing themselves, they've got some other mug from the working class to do that. They all have a Batman, an officers servant who does all that for them.

Well this little twat of an officer stopped at my trench, he picked up one of my grenades. The base plug was rusty, it was only surface rust, but bear in mimd in the Army everything is polished normally, and you get these bleedin' idiots even in wartime demanding that everything be polished. That was the sort of 'twat' this 'thing' was. He picked the grenade up and said, "Who's is this grenade?"
"It's mine sir," I said.
"I've a damn good mind to charge you for having a rusty base plug."

Now I'm not kidding you, that's the absolute truth. That's the sort of fucking idiot you'll get, and you can do nothing about it. If you answer back you're in trouble. They were that crafty in the Army, say you'd answer back, and I'll give you an instance to this. They don't, like in barracks march you off. In barracks they would say,


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Read extracts from a collection of short stories from the Far East which can be obtained on CD shortly.


TALES FROM BURMA
"Ponies"
"George Glover"
"The Pipe"
"John Murray"
"George an' Charlie"

A TALE FROM INDIA
"The Chiropodist"
"Arrival at Jorhat"


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