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Sammy's Stories (So far)

I am sorry I haven't many tales about Xmas Island, except for the time we were at Poland Beach and I tried to be clever by diving into a giant roller. Somehow it got under and behind me and threw me over the reef. All I could think about at the time was, "here I am, 44 days to do on the Rock and I'm going to drown or be eaten by sharks, because at the time there were plenty about. No one could get out to me because the waves were so fierce and huge. Suddenly this huge roller picked me up and threw me back on shore. Although the temperature at the time was over 100F in the shade.

Bob Morrison's picture

Shady And His Amazing POLYTHENE Dream Coat.

For the benefit of the historically-challenged, a little preamble. In 1963 the British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home and some other foreign blokes got together and signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which forbade atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons by the agreed nations. These included Great Britain and the USA. Therefore, at the stroke of a pen, Christmas Island as a nuclear test base was redundant. The effect of this treaty meant that ordinary squaddies like me had to remain ‘tourists’, with little chance of becoming full-blown Grapplers.

Chatty's picture

Freddie Who? - Part 3

The only other stories that spring to mind concerning Freddie indicate what an absolute idiot the RAF had entrusted with a Queen’s Commission, and how well he was liked by his land locked comrades. The Main Camp Bus Every day the blue-bodied, white-roofed 39 seater purgatory wagon would make its journey to the Main Camp and Airfield. Not usually an exciting journey, but under normal circumstances an uneventful one. At least it was uneventful until Freddie became airborne. As I’ve said before, anything moving was a fair target.

Chatty's picture

Freddie Who? - Part 2

This man never learned his lesson. I assume it was the same man. Surely there wasn’t a whole store full of these idiots hidden away somewhere in the dark recesses of the RAF infrastructure. Some more but brief memories of this “Commissioned Death Wish”. The Grader Driver’s Nightmare. One of the more impressive pieces of plant equipment on the Island was the Grader. ( see photo ). To me, this lump of machinery defied both logic and gravity. However, during my time there, the driver was an RE Plant Op named Rod Dawes.

Chatty's picture

Geoff The Drinker (Navy style)

As I briefly mentioned earlier, because of the nature of our work, we were heavily involved with the Navy Section. These lads were in my opinion some of the best on the Island. Anyway, I don’t know how they fixed it, but Yorkie and I became “Honorary Matelots” so to speak. We always had our mid morning breaks in the Shipwrights’ shop, went out on the boats every opportunity that arose, and the best and most amazing thing was they managed, by fair means or foul, to get us included on the Rum Role.

Chatty's picture

Geoff The Baker (I’ll show you how)

As well as Pet Fitters, there were also some RASC Bakers on the Island. They were a most welcome group and I must say that those lads produced some of the best bread I’ve eaten. The two I can remember are Billy Treen and Geoff Newport. Now, Geoff was too good to be true. He was the dead opposite of the “Prof” He didn’t know it, had never done it and didn’t have the tee shirt. He just baked bread and was the biggest Bull Sh***er on the Island. When we arrived he had just started his second tour on the Rock. With that in mind he took it upon himself to be our guide and mentor.

Chatty's picture

Gizza Posting

I'd been in the Army for all of 2 years. Already I was feeling footloose and fancy-free. At the time there wasn't a lot on offer that caught my attention, but anything had to be better than West Moors. I'd done my A3 and B2 training. Done my Drill Certificates, so that was Wiffin out of the way. God! that name brings back memories. R.S.M. Claude Wiffin, Sir in his presence, Black Dog out of earshot. He wasn't the tallest man in the Army, I've seen blankets stacked higher, and he hated anyone taller than he was, so that just about left everyone else. He had his favourites.

Chatty's picture

The Greystone Phenomenon - Part 3

Unbelievably there’s more. This time the events were painless and bloodless. However they were bloody funny. Yorkie and I had been at work for at least 2 hours when it dawned on us that the “Prof” hadn’t shown his face at work. This would normally be greeted with great pleasure because we knew that when he wasn’t around we were safe.

Chatty's picture

The Greystone Phenomenon - Part 2

By now you are very likely wondering how the “Prof” had survived as long as he had. I think that thought has flitted across many a mind. Believe it or not, there’s more to come. Sadly, being a Pet Fitter on Christmas Island meant that there was no one else around to do our major repairs or maintenance. Sometimes it was just a complete pain in the nether regions. Other times it was a challenge that was faced with some trepidation and then there were the times when you knew that something just had to go wrong.

Chatty's picture

The Greystone Phenomenon - Part 1

The following events are not in any chronological order they just appear as they are remembered.