Thursday, 7 April 2016

Crags of Tumbledown

Stole this from a private Facebook group I am a member of but I am sure nobody will mind me reposting this

The Crags Of Tumbledown

In the summer of 1982 (aged, 41) I was a part-time disc jockey running a small mobile discotheque.

We had been on the road for four years entertaining at a variety of different functions throughout the South-East of England.

One day I received a contract from my agent asking me to 'entertain the troops at RAF Chessington'. This was something of a mystery. I had often visited Chessington Zoo but had never seen an RAF base there.

I asked around and found that RAF Chessington was actually a convalescent camp. Mystery solved. On the agreed date we presented ourselves at the main gate and were shown to the building wherein the disco was to be held.

But then the next mystery began to set in. Having entertained troops before, you tend to get a feeling who's who. The navy are different in their attitude and behaviour from the army, and the Air Force totally different from both of these.

My audience on this particular night was on average six feet twelve inches tall, spoke in broad Scottish accents and was swathed from head to toe in bandages and plaster casts. They were definitely not airmen as I had expected.

I puzzled long and hard trying to figure out exactly who these chaps were. From time to time they handed me a record entitled 'Crags of Tumbledown' to play. It was a piece of bagpipe music and each time I played it my audience went absolutely wild.

And then it suddenly clicked that my audience that night were the Scots Guards, the walking wounded and survivors from the troopships Sir Tristram and Sir Galahad that had been bombed by the Argentineans at Bluff Cove in the Falklands.

These were the guys that had stormed the machine gun posts at Mount Tumbledown. I felt so humbled. The rest of that evening was so emotional; it was a memory I'll keep forever......

John Clancy

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