View Full Version : There was this Welsh guy, Taffy I think

4th July 2008, 07:32
When you join the army as a recruit, you meet a wide variety of people and types.

Many years ago when I joined up I met a fair few wannabees, these are the guys who like the idea of standing around in uniform with a weapon in the crook of their arm, beating off the dolly birds with a sh 1 tty stick and flexing their rippling muscles. They have absolutely no idea of the effort required to go through the training, and when they find out the hard way,they invariably quit.

Then there are the guys who are physically capable but who are not mentally suited to the job. They might be lazy, they might be too rebellious, not take to the discipline, or their personality might mean you would end up killing them if you had to spend a week in a two man bivvie with them.
Then there are the guys who make it, they are both physically and mentally up to the standards required and are up for it, in my experience this accounts for about 50% of the recruits.

But I came across a different category, a man who was mentally 100% there, totally focussed , dedicated and with an iron will, but is not physically able to do the job.
There was this Welsh guy, Taffy I think his name was, and he was a real character. Only 5'4 with very broad shoulders, narrow waist, almost triangular, he was the platoon personality, funny, never gave up, always helping people and a 100% positive mental attitude. The problem was, he had bandy legs and claw feet. When he ran, it was like watching John Wayne doing the 50 metres holding a pigeons egg between the cheeks of his butt and carrying a sack of spuds on one shoulder. It took Taffy a half hour to get his boots on, and when he took them off, 'BOINGGG' his feet would curl round. I used to reckon he could sleep on a perch in a bird cage, or on a tree branch without falling off.
Because of his problems he had to compensate and so he had a much higher basic fitness than the rest of us when he joined up and this meant he sort of got away with it for a while. As the weeks went by, we got fitter and fitter and he slowly got left behind, sometimes literally, he was becoming a burden.

When the platoon staff decided that a recruit was not up to it, they would call out the name on morning parade, then 'pack you kit, pick up your travel warrant and goodbye' .It was harsh but fair.Clinical. We would never see them again, they ceased to exist as far as we were concerned. Every morning now I was waiting for Taffy's name but he kept getting reprieved, I think the staff liked him as much as we did.

One Friday there was a bit of a stir. Apparently the platoon sergeant had had a bit of row with another sergeant and they were going to set up a competition to resolve it. We had to compete in the gym, the winning platoon were going to get a weekend off, in town. Which was Reading Berks by the way. This was an unheard of treat, you just dont get much time off during basic training.

So there we were in the gym, 15 of us had to compete against 15 of them. First guy goes off, down the gym, 100 press ups, back up the gym. Second guy goes off, down the gym, 100 sit ups back up the gym. Third guy goes off, hits the rope, climbs the rope, changes rope at the top climbs down the second rope. This was the one we all hated, its so hard to pull your body weight up to the roof of the gym, coming down isnt much easier. If you fell you had to start again. It was neck and neck. Fourth guy - press ups, fifth guy sit ups sixth guy ropes. neck and neck.

Soon we had our secret weapon. Although we had two weeks less training than the other platoon, and were two weeks less fit, we had two athletes in ours. One was a guy from Zimbabwe who was in top physical condition, even before he joined up, and we had a National standard Orienteer who could run ten miles without breaking into a sweat. They did their stuff and we were half a gym length in front. Then..My turn, I was number 14. Half a gym ahead, I raced off, damn I was fast. 100 press ups - my speciality. Up and back, boy was I fast, looked over my shoulder, couldnt see him. heh heh. Got back, looked around. The bugger was still half a gyms length behind me.
Damn! I hadn't done as well as I thought I had.

Then number 15, Taffy. Oh Nooooh. He set off for the ropes in his shambling rolling gait, he was so slow. By the time he got to the ropes, the opponent was about six feet behind, we were doomed. doomed. The Platoon sergeants face was like thunder, the opposing team started to laugh. One of them started a song
'I'll drink one, I'll drink two, I'll drink three more pints than you lalalalalalala'
They stopped as soon as they saw Taffy on the ropes though. All his massive strength was contained in his shoulders, he pulled himself up arm over arm and made it look easy. He hit the top in seconds then started coming down. He couldnt resist a joke. He flipped over and started to descend headfirst!!
As he passed the other guy he started to swing about shouting 'the bells , the bells' 'Ith that youu ethmerelda ? givvus a kith' The sergeant roared 'Stop fking around you **** *** ** *** **'
Anyways he got down and back and we ended up winning easily. A weekend on the town - blooming fantastic. It goes without saying that he didnt last much longer, his name was called out one morning and he was gone. Sad. The rest of us went on, most ended up in NI. I often thought that if roosting skills or campanology had been useful against the IRA, we would have kept him and wiped them out in no time.


4th July 2008, 07:42

4th July 2008, 07:46


4th July 2008, 09:17

4th July 2008, 09:41
:yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay: :yay::yay::yay::yay::

4th July 2008, 12:14