a night in the mess with 'Badger' Watkins
Good grief, I'm a man, man.
Lord Kitchener & Monty of course.
deplore in one self?
my good nature.
deplore in others?
stupidity & cowardice.
What vehicles do you own?
Just the dear old Land Rover.
Who told you?
damme man, how would I know?.
The Military Handbook, 1935 edition.
favourite radio station?
The BBC World Service.
jam roly poly pudding.
my officer's compass, 1935 issue & a map of Kenya.
The Jungle Book.
What has life taught you?
men like me.
How would you like to die?
with my boots on.
Are you religious?
That's between me and my Maker.
Barking-Barking DSO, ESO, FSO, OOO.
Major General Charles Barking-Barking was born into an army family in Aldershot in 1918. His father Charles, being a career officer with the Black Duke's 25th Light Dragoons, at the time of the General's birth was sitting on an upturned bucket in the Dragoons' stables polishing his spurs. Major General Charles Barking-Barking Senior fell off the bucket on hearing the news. "Begads Sir," he was reported as saying, " you could knock me down with a spur polishing rag, damme if I remember having relations with the she-person, take me to the mess." The latter was, of course, the Officers Mess not his newborn son. Charles Senior was carried home three days later by his batman and groom.
And so the scene was set for the General's upbringing. Mrs Shavings Preparatory Boarding School at Bexhill-on-Sea at the tender age of six, where young Charles excelled in the Prep Army Training Corp (PATC). Thence to Fortingham, a minor public school which had a high pass rate in sadism and entry to Sandhurst, it was here that the pubescent Charles excelled in the Public Schools Officer Training Corp (We recommend the film IF, director Lindsey Anderson, for a general sense of both public schools and the OTC. It has been suggested that this film, appearing as it did in the late 1960's was instrumental in the humanizing of the British public school system.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: This could be allowed to go on for a very long time, as indeed it does in the General's autobiography "Show Me The Whites", privately published in 1980 and now exceedingly rare although you might try emailing the General at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy. (It is rumoured that the General's library contains 77 of the original edition of 100.)
I remember a water carrier in Ajikarkistan, she was no vegetarian I can tell you - wild, wild days! Naturally there were no helicopters in those days and a man depended on his horse, his mess mates and gins at six.
I never mention that dratted son of mine, Jamie, such a continual disappointments he is to me. Although the lady wife says he's making a fortune out of his dress making business it's no job for a man. The daughter, Bertie, she's a different kettle of fish - hunts with the best of 'em."