Sunday, 4 October 2009

Britain is a country where some remarkable and ordinary old men still live

I met an old man yesterday in the shopping centre who was collecting money for the 'Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity'.

In my brief chat to him, he told me that he had served on H.M.S. Cleopatra as ship's cook from 1949 - 51. If he was 18 when he signed he was born in 1931, which makes him a spry 78 year old.

I said : " Even though it was post-War, I bet they were still 'hairy' times ?"
He didn't disagree.

He pointed to his green beret and said that he went on to be a commando and had served in South East Asia doing, I don't know what, in the 1950's. I'm sure he's still sworn to secrecy by the 'Official Secrets' Act'.

I said : " I bet you could write a book."
He didn't disagree.

He was at once, both an ordinary and remarkable old man, who was perfectly understated and quintessentially British.
The young carry on.

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