This One’s a Bit Naughty!
Dits and Pics
We’re collecting dits and photos from those that have served in the armed forces to create an online exhibition to share stories and memories.
Dits and Pics is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund
“I was put up in the Hotel Intercontinental because Pete and I had an allowance to spend on accommodation. And we decided that if we were going to work ridiculous hours, we were going to bloomin’ well sleep well, you know, and have really good accommodation. And more and more senior officers kept arriving. And we were told that we had to leave the Intercontinental Hotel. And I said, “Well I’m dreadfully sorry but I’m personally renting my room. You know, so I’m not prepared to leave.” Pete, the silly bugger left, and he went to the Excelsior Hotel and he rented a junior suite, because we could. And when our French Colonel was out there, he’d had to move into the Excelsior and he was complaining about the size of his room and Pete said, “Well, I’ve got a junior suite.” But Colonel *** goes, “Well, how come you’ve got a suite?” Peter said, “Well, didn’t you ask for one?” Yes, but I stayed there because… ooh, ooh, can I add another dit?”
“Of course you can.”
“I got recommended for an MBE when I was out there.”
“Oh well done! Did they give it to you?”
“No…and when I tell you why, you’ll understand why I never got it.
When we were out there, loads of people are just flooding in. They’d been at war. They’d been doing their peace-keeping. They’d been in the field, they’re miserable, they’re wet, they’re cold, they’re exhausted. They’ve done so many months away and they get a short break in Zagreb.
So, I put together a small A5 folded handbook, to say where you can get the postage stamps, how you get tram tickets, where you get the laundry, best places for phone calls, how you get free porn on your hotel TV, the going rate for various sexual favours and everything anyone would want to know, the laundries, facilities, transport, airport, the lot.
And my Commodore came and saw me and he said, “Your leaflets are very popular. And he said, “No, I mean, they’re REALLY popular.” He said, “Lots and lots of people are asking for them.” He said, “Could you put a Union Jack on the front?” I went, “Of course!” I thought, ‘This has suddenly become official. Has he looked in it?’ Turns out, he had and that’s why it was so popular.
A Union Jack went on the front and we were producing these things left, right and centre and giving them to all the different nationalities because it was the only guide on what to do and where to go and all the different hotels people were in, the phone numbers for things, you know, transport and everything else. And that was the end of it. A couple of years later, I found out that I had been nominated for an MBE and then someone had opened the booklet…
God forbid that anyone would look at that.”