Tales of Extra-Ordinary Excellence
A browse through the olde Household Brigade Magazines will bring to the attention of the reader, many fascinating facts and events of Grenadier Life.
So it is with great pleasure that we are able to present the following extracts for your delectation!
Which will also jog some memories (We Hope?)
This is on-going project - click on the number of the item under Contents
1. Fred Karno from the Winter 1939 edition
2. Discipline and Dying
1. Winter 1939
PASSIVE AIR DEFENCE SCHEME FOR 1st BN., FRED KARNO'S ARMY
2655999 L/Cpl N. Winter, Coldstream Guards
(Private. Confidential. No security for dept)
(a) Object - not yet decided
(i) To ensure that no one is about when bombs (if any) are dropped.
(ii) To give the camp the appearance of Hampstead Heath on the morning after a Bank Holiday. (See Karno's "Kamp Kamouflage," Sch. 3, page 6, Vol. 2.)
(b) The nature of attacks to be expected are: -
(i) Bombing Raid. -- Bombs may be of three types:-
It is very probable and more than likely, if not definite, that all three will be used in any air raid that might occur. The amount of risk attached does not vary in direct ratio to the type or number of bombs dropped, but more in proportion to human skin surface visible within a hundred yards of the main point of impact. (See Note 3, App. 1, "Instructions for Prostration of the Body.")
(ii) Low Flying Attacks. -- These are highly irregular, and should more than one occur in any one week a report will be made to the proper authority, who will take steps to point out to the enemy such contravention of "Rules of Warfare 1912."
Troops should be trained (at Pirbright in particular) in various methods of avoiding swooping mosquitoes at high speeds, so that aircraft will, in comparison, easily be dealt with.
Action to be taken now, but if already completed will not be done again.
1. A small cubby-hole should be found for every man, irrespective of his religion, size of boots, marital status and other vital issues, and should contain: -
(a) Beds Iron - one.
Blankets unserviceable - one
Coire Fibre Soldier's - for the discomfort of
(b) A copy of regimental standing orders amended to date
2. On receipt of the "Alarm" (which should be acknowledged on Army Form B. 198), each man will secrete himself in his cubby-hole and await further instructions. If he is thus detained over a meal period, arrangements have been made with the N.A.A.F.I. for a hot meal to be supplied at negligible cost.
3. He will on no account be tempted to peep out to see whether the coast is clear (we are at least three hundred feet above sea level), but will wait until notified by the official bulletin broadcast by the B.B.C., N.B.C., M.C.C., and all stations to Aldershot.
Personnel unable to take cover in time. - In the event of anyone having been dopey enough to be outside a radius of ten feet from his cubby-hole when the "Alarm" is sounded (ample warning of which will be evident from the antecedent bobbing and shaking as recorded on the camp seismograph). he should, if contaminated, remove all his clothing except his socks, which might otherwise stray and further putrefy the area. Taking out his tin of grease, M.T., Axle, smear himself all over, especially in the prominent parts of the body, eg: -
(d) Knees (unless suffering from housemaid's variety, for which separate instructions are under consideration)
Having completed this manśuvre he should promptly disappear down the nearest worm-hole.
(N.B. -- Foxholes are not to be used as alternatives, as the official sanction of the local meet has not been obtained, and the fox itself might a few regimental objections should he be disturbed in any of the following positions: -
(ii) Enjoying siesta
(iii) Attend "C" bed-down
(a) Action to be Taken when the Air raid is Over
A continuous siren for two minutes will be heard, varying largely on the durability of the siren.
Gradual emerging of personnel from cubby-holes must take place in strict order of seniority. Premature exposure may result in a corresponding vacancy in the promotion roll.
By day, blink the eyelids not less than twice in order to adjust the size of the pupil of the eye, which, unless under alcoholic stimulation, should not exceed one quarter of an inch.
If on the reappearance of all concerned no further danger is imminent, the occasion will be celebrated by placing a wreath of laurels on the nearest flagpole, and hand-bells, rattles, and any other infantile implements to hand, sounded.
All ranks, notwithstanding length of rifle butt, will be treated to a free tea and wad.
Immediately anyone feels capable of the effort, a report will be made to sufficiently interested parties showing : -
(a) Number of casualties
(b) Number of soldiers too idle to resume normal activities
(c) Number of soldiers proceeding to Newcastle on leave
(d) Any other number (except seven) that can be thought of
(c) Cycle Orderlies
The company in-waiting will detail one man to act as cycle orderly. He should, if possible, be in possession of the requisite number of limbs to operate same, a book of pass forms, and a through working knowledge of the local public houses. His cycle lamp should, by night, boarded up with plywood, and the whole machine camouflaged to resemble, at first glance, nothing more than a haystack in Trafalgar Square.
It would be as well to point out at the very beginning that during a state of emergency suspension of several vital functions would be necessary: -
(a) The medical bunk would cease to operate as a treatment centre for in-growing toenails, mudpacks, eye-brow plucking and face massage, but would function as a mutual lying-in hospital for over-fed Company Sergeant Majors.
(c) It is regretfully announced that all ranks will have to reassume (approximately) the male standard of haircut owing to rife confusion with A.T.S., the nape of the neck being left comparatively clear of curls for this reason.
(Remainder censored by the Ministry of Interference as being of no use to anyone)
Addendum - Errata - Extraneous Detail
The above will not be complied with in the event of an atomic attack! - (Ed)
2. Winter 1957
H.Q., Household Brigade, Horse Guards,
Subject: DISCIPLINE — DYING
It has been brought to the notice of Headquarters, Household Brigade that men have been dying without prior consent of their superior officer. This practice will cease immediately. It must be fully understood by all ranks that manpower shortage is still acute and any man dying, without first obtaining permission, commits a serious offence to which the only answer is disciplinary action.
The attention of all ranks is drawn to A.C.I. 10/66.
DYING: The following drill will be carried out by all members of the Household Brigade:
No man below the rank of L/Cpl may give the order to die.
The person ordered to die will; in all cases, be known as the victim. Under no circumstances will the victim be allowed to die in his own time. On receipt of orders the victim will die by numbers, as follows:
The victim will stagger forward a full pace of 30 in. followed by two short, sharp paces of 21in. and 25 in. respectively, at the same time allowing his eyes to glaze over.
He will sink slowly and smartly to his knees, counting out the correct time of 1,— 2, 3,— 1, then falling on his face, arms outstretched, thumbs in front and in line with the ears.
He will lower his legs, toes resting on the ground, heels at an angle of thirty degrees and in line with the shoulder-blades.
Then, in his own time the victim will be allowed to draw his last breath, which will consist of two duberies and one of oxygen (less Army weights and measures scale). The death rattle will not be used except on ceremonial parades, or when by an officer (not below the rank of Major).
Before dying, a map showing the best route to Heaven will be drawn up from the Q.M. Stores. The uneaten portion of the day’s ration will also be drawn to be eaten en route.
There will be no overtaking on the route to Heaven. Any officers passed on the way will be paid the usual compliments.
On arrival at the destination the victim will report to the Orderly Room, No. 18 Royal Angel Corps, for Angelification.
He will draw up, on arrival, the following items of kit: -
1. Harps, brass
2. Clouds, fleecy
3. Wings, pairs
Harps will be clean, bright and highly strung.
Wings will be blancoed with flickering stardust No. 3.
Clouds will be checked for condensation and refilled with anti-freeze as and when necessary.
Victim will parade one hour after arrival for halo fitting.
Dress: Loose Order, wings at the Glide, harps at the Port.
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