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An Irish Regiment in the British Army

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  • An Irish Regiment in the British Army

    "I soon learned that when one joins an Irish Regiment, March 17th was an annual event not to be missed for that is St. Patrick's Day. It turned out to be a strenuous day for the band. It started with an early Reveille with a mug of tea laced with rum and of course those bandsmen who could had more than tea. That over our first call would be to the Officers' Mess to awaken them with a medley of Irish tunes, stopping at each individual bedroom. Then we would give a concert to the Other Ranks while they took their breakfast. Our next function was at 10 a.m. when we were expected to perform at the Regimental Football Match – Officers versus Other Ranks. This match always started off as a football match, that is the whistle was blown to commence battle, and that was the only legal event. The rest of the game was an 'All-In' affair, with everyone dressed as they pleased and all football rules going beside the board. There were no restrictions on the number of players on each side, anyone who wanted to play just got stuck in. There were always ambulances standing by and if the drivers got bored they too would join in the affray. Meanwhile, the band played on as the spectacle moved from one end of the pitch to the other. At no time did we see the ball – perhaps they were playing without one! This fracas continued for almost two hours as we played on as each side wheeled and reeled to and fro. I remember thinking it was going to take a salvo from the Royal Horse Artillery to stop this madness when miraculously and very suddenly the field cleared and lo and behold there stood the Commanding Officer tied to one goal-post and the Adjutant to the other. Similarly the other goal-posts were bedecked with the Medical Officer and the Padre. I almost forgot to mention the few casualties stretched out on the field."

    From Horses to Chieftains by Richard Napier

  • #2
    I just tried to find that book and the only copy I could find was several hundred thanks. No book is that interesting. Too bad, though.


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