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40 Royal Marine Commando

Based at Burma Camp Malaya

1962 to 1966


With a Waterproof Cape

Somewhere in Burma Camp during 1963. Thanks to Terry for reminding me of the time I spent in 40 Commando and all the great lads of that special unit. 

............IIt was at a time when the cadres or candy cakes as we used to call them, were showing their potential. And how miserable that was we found out later, when one of them was placed in charge of a patrol. The point is someone decided we should let one of the lads take a drill parade for our section. This was a good idea as it led to a good laugh as good as any comedy show.
It was also the time of the monsoon when the rain came in torrents never-ending.
............II was not looking forward to my turn as I have what was called a soft highland voice or southern Irish tone I was often accused off. The morning came with that inevitability bringing out the comics at their best. And I was the focus of all the jokes, just as others had been before me, although it did not seem the same, not quite as amusing to solitary me. I had been awake a part of the night trying to catch someone who was stealing out bed mats and flip-flops. Pretending to be asleep with my one eye open I lay ready for the thief. He came crawling in on all fours sometime after two. As he approached a bed near the door I leapt. Knox said later, that one second I was lying in bed and the next I was in the air. Unfortunately I was in my bare feet and the ground had grumbled concrete or stone paving and open grass. I lost him running into the night at full galloped. Any way he never came back.
............IIt was now my turn and the theme of my drill parade was Saluting with a Waterproof Cape. I drew in my breath to bark as loud as I possibly could, ‘Saluting with a Waterproof Cape.’ Suddenly the sky turned from murky grey to a Gothic black. The air stilled before a staccato lightening filled the heavens followed by a thunderous bang. Then to match the previous display of chaos rain fell with all the power gravity could countenance.
............IThe parade was marching towards the huts not hearing a word of command. The next bolt of lightning and clap of thunder caused the parade to shout things like ‘Fuck it’ and they ran to their huts. I didn't hang around and ran after them.
............IIf you ever get the chance in the middle of the storm shout out ‘Saluting with a Water Proof Cape’ and you will see how futile it can be.

© Copyright Edward (Andy) (Jock) Anderson 2015. All Rights Reseved.