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 Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957

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AuthorMessage
Bardolinks
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 5
Localisation : Ontario, Canada
Cap Badge : HLI
Places Served : Glasgow, Cyprus, Luneburg Germany
Registration date : 2017-05-18

Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Empty
PostSubject: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime18/5/2017, 22:22

My National Service in the HLI

When I was but a lad of eighteen years,
Half full of confidence and half of fears,
Without a by-your-leave or my assent,
To do my “National Service” I was sent.

To Scotland’s toughest outfit I was drafted,
Where, at drill, weapons and bull we grafted,
Until they judged us fit to take our place,
And serve with other Jocks of our race.

The Highland Light Infantry was the unit’s name,
The “Poison Dwarfs”, of warfare’s fame;
Formed in 1777 to fight the French,
And many another, in pub and trench.

Then on Cyprus among the Turks and Greeks
We stored our kilts and donned short breeks;
Where Colonel Grivas opposed the Queen,
And would from Empire Cyprus wean.

Independence from Britain was the aim,
Enosis was the slogan and the flame
To ignite Cypriot passions for their land,
And take the island from the imperial hand.

What I recall are the stony, dusty roads
To Famagusta, to take and pick up loads
Of this or that; the unrelenting, fierce, hot sun
On tender Scottish skins; my ever-present gun.

Sometimes in the Med’s warm, waveless sea
We washed off the sweat. We drank strong tea
And lots of Coke. The beer was not to my taste,
And of necessity we all were chaste.

We all turned dark brown in time, even those
With white city faces. We would pose
For photos by the rocks or on the sand,
And send them home to our own dear land.

We lived in tents with sandbagged walls
And answered innumerable bugle calls
Reveille, guard duty and the Last Post.
And ate tatties, hash, mushy peas and toast.

Then came the day for which we longed,
Not caring who we might have wronged,
Embarking on the home-bound trip,
Packed aboard an old and rusty ship.

After leave, we left our home again
For Luneburg in Germany, to be the bane
Of the CO’s life, carousing in the pubs,
And getting thrown out of all the clubs.

Installed in a fancy Luftwaffe barrack,
There was no cause to feel a lack
Of anything. It was a cushy billet there,
But Glesca’ boys, they like a tear.

On an exercise to Denmark we once did go,
We were supposed to be the Soviet foe.
That is, until the word it got around
That we could be by friendly Danish found.

The rumour was that after kindly interrogation
By representatives of this pleasant nation,
The captors treated all their prisoners to
A veritable feast, we swore it to be true.

So some of us, daring, slipped out
Of camp, but to our dismay, doubt
Set in, and as our courage slipped away
We slunk back in to fight another day.

Hamburg was the place to spend one’s leave,
To drink in bars until we began to weave
Along the streets, searching for the Reeperbahn
And all the verboten attractions known to man.

Many Jocks came home with new tattoos
Obtained under the influence of the booze;
Others, it was rumoured, got a dose of clap
When their legs around a fraulein they chose to wrap.

Soon the two years of service it was ending,
And to civilian life we returned, intending
To take up where we left off. Easier said
Than done. These two years changed my head.

But that’s another story. Suffice to say
That I have not forgotten, and to this day
Remember the HLI with some affection,
And remain quite proud of my connection.
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
ciphers

Number of posts : 973
Age : 86
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

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PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime19/5/2017, 15:49

Och! that's no bad verse for a heathen.
Bet your toughest posting was Glasgee.

Welcome to the group.

Len (Ciphers)
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http://lenpayne.com/Len_Payne/Jim_Chapman.html
Hardrations
Let Gen
Let Gen
Hardrations

Number of posts : 1049
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime21/5/2017, 23:21

Well said sir. And as Ciphers puts it so well. Welcome to the site.

PS: Might I ask where in Ontario, being an Ontario lad my self, from way back.
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1110
Age : 79
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime22/5/2017, 08:37

Bardolinks

Welcome, very amusing

Think the HLI's next posting was to Aden (known as a punishment postings in past times). They had just left when I arrived in late 1961
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
Shelldrake

Number of posts : 3045
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

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PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime22/5/2017, 14:48

Much appreciated by a fellow Weegie!
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Bardolinks
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 5
Localisation : Ontario, Canada
Cap Badge : HLI
Places Served : Glasgow, Cyprus, Luneburg Germany
Registration date : 2017-05-18

Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime22/2/2020, 14:30

Thanks for the kind replies. Sorry but I have not checked in here for quite a while. To Hardrations, I live in Hamilton where we moved after retirement. I lived in Ottawa for a bit on immigrating in 1967, then Kingston and finally Toronto for 25 years.

As the verse says I lived in Edinburgh, was drafted into the HLI for NS in 1955 (such a great experience, though I didn't think so at the time), got married in Edinburgh and left for Canada in 1967 with 3 kids, and picked up another there.

Jim
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Hardrations
Let Gen
Let Gen
Hardrations

Number of posts : 1049
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime22/2/2020, 18:17

Still enjoyed reading of your career, after this lengthy pause Bardolinks. So I see we were practically neighbours seeing as I was from Brockville. But Toronto, that's to much for me. The 401 scares the hell out of me. I've gotten used to a slower pace out west.
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Dan M
WOI
WOI
Dan M

Number of posts : 125
Age : 64
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

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PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime29/2/2020, 00:50

Bardolinks wrote:
As the verse says I lived in Edinburgh, was drafted into the HLI for NS in 1955 (such a great experience, though I didn't think so at the time), got married in Edinburgh and left for Canada in 1967 with 3 kids, and picked up another there.

Jim,

Got any good dits from your time in? The HLI has quite the reputation, discipline-wise. Did you meet any interesting characters in your time?

Cheers,
Dan.
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Bardolinks
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 5
Localisation : Ontario, Canada
Cap Badge : HLI
Places Served : Glasgow, Cyprus, Luneburg Germany
Registration date : 2017-05-18

Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime2/3/2020, 15:15

Within a couple of weeks of arriving in Luneburg the boys made sure everyone knew who was the new boss in town. As a result we all got barred from going into town for a month.

I got into the rugby team for the special privileges that conferred. Nothing like the football team, the best in the British Army. They won the BAOR Cup. I couldn't even make the platoon team.

I don't really have much to tell about the battalion's behaviour - it was much as one might expect. My buddies and I liked to go into Hamburg for a weekend and stay at a YMCA type place to get away from army life.

On a longer leave I took the train to Switzerland and spent a week travelling there. I thought it would be good idea to wear my kilt as i hitch-hiked around - with mixed results!

We went to Denmark on an exercise and did our best to get captured by the Danish Army/Home Guard when word got around that they would treat you to a great smorgasbord.

We trained with tanks on Luneburg Heath and got roasted once riding on the deck on a hot day. All put on a charge for jumping off against orders.
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PostSubject: Re: Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957   Highland Light Infantry in Luneburg 1957 Icon_minitime

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