The Quarter Masters Stores……

October 13, 2010

1974……Brady Barracks

Time to find out where we were getting posted to.

Rock and Roll was over and we had all returned to the Squadron HQ at Brady Barracks (alias Headquarters 1 Brigade).  The Squadron HQ was a rather dilapidated collection of buildings not too far from the Brigades Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess, which meant nothing to me but is worth mentioning.  Inside the HQ it always smelt of paper and stationery and chemicals used for the Gestetner roneo machine.  The ones that had some kind of red waxy paper to type on. This specific machine was hand operated and there was always someone there cranking the big black handle on the side that was the trigger to pick up paper, print, and spew out paper the other side.  It only printed on newsprint or at least that’s the quality we got with our precis.  In those days this was a very serious piece of kit.

Anyway I am getting side-tracked.

I had been informed that my first posting was going to be to a place called Wankie (yes there were some Wankers there)…..up the Victoria Falls road to an outfit named 1 Independent Company, Rhodesia Regiment (1 Indep Coy RR).  I was a little disappointed at first as all my mates or most of them anyway were going to Mukumbura in the North-Eastern border area to lay mines on Cordon Sanitaire.  I shouldn’t have worried for two reasons.  Firstly I would get more than enough tours to various parts of the Cordon, and secondly it was not too bad at 1 Indep once I got used to arrogant Infantry Officers who had more domestic scandals surrounding them than I care to remember.  It was really bad there at one stage and the extramarital shagging that went on in the background was the stuff that legends were made of.  Extramarital shagging is fine but not in front of the troops…….and no effort was made to be discrete.  One of these people doing the shagging actually had the temerity to call me a dude one day because he had sent me and my crew out as a stop group without the opportunity to get fully prepared…….knobber.

My specific job-title was “Mine-Standby”,a  really strange coincidence seeing that 1 Indep was based inside an old mine compound in those days.  Wankie was one of the biggest collieries in the world at the time and the army had taken over one of the disused compounds.  Dozens of little cottages……better than tents that’s for sure.  As the job title implied my mission was to stand-by and wait for a landmine to go off somewhere.  I would then be flown out by chopper to sweep the road 2 kilometers either side of whatever or whoever the victim was in case the evil gooks had laid additional mines…..a common tactic.

It was about this time (and before my first deployment) that I realised that our Squadron Quarter Master was a rather nasty piece of work and a tosser to boot.  He was a bully who seemed to think that everything in the store belonged to him and that all of the kit belonged on the shelf so he could show it off to the Squadron Commander when he was brown-nosing the boss.  There is no place in the field for these possessions of his either.  If one of us asked for a replacement first field dressing we were asked for the old one.  I could name this individual but I wont.  He knows who he is…..an infantry officer, not even a Sapper.  And I really hope he reads this because by now he realises that we only saluted his rank and not him.  There was actually talk of fragging him amoungst us……hope that woke him up.   The other ranks in the stores were OK but he needed shooting.  The only time I saw him in the bush was to come and count knives and forks……I jest not with you.  Woe betide the Troop Sergeant who was a fork down on his camp inventory when the Major came calling.  This was tantamount to treason and equaled the loss of the entire vehicle fleet of the Rhodesian Engineer Corps……including all the Pookies!!  I saw his name on an e-mail distribution list the other day so he survived the war staying out the combat zone……brave bugger you have to be to survive in the stores.  I think he was impotent too.

Anyway enough slagging off the officers for now……but to be honest some of them really deserve it as you will find out later.

And now it was time to draw my weapon and first-line ammo, pack my kit, and depart on some of the greatest adventures of my life.

 

A much thinner FatFox9 testing the MMD1...1974 Wankie

A much thinner FatFox9 testing the MMD1...1974 Wankie

 

5 Responses to “The Quarter Masters Stores……”

  1. Michaelvan said

    Afgedeelde diens in the Infantry , Storeman Officer that comes out in the bush to count knifes and forks.
    Looks to me you earned every rank that you wore the hard way.

    Nice pic with the detector.

  2. Eeben Barlow said

    As always, a pleasure to read.

    Too many of us have allowed history to be forgotten. Please do not stop now!

    Rgds,

    Eeben

  3. satellitesurgeon said

    Want to share a picture Need your EMail

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