It was in the early sixties that I and the KOSBs were stationed in Berlin Germany, during our time there I was privileged to captain The British Army Over The Rhine (BAOR).
I remember the one and only game when we played against the German Navy at Willems Haven the Germans, Navy Base (I think I’ve spelt it correctly) hard lines if it’s not!.
I can’t remember much about the game, I can’t even tell you the score, but I do remember that we ate in an old second world war bunker. It was like one that you would see in the old pictures about World War Two. After the game we were having a meal with the opposition.
The German Navy team simply out sang the BAOR team, the officer in charge of the BAOR team noticed that we were second best in the entertainment department. So in an attempt to rectify this he ordered me to climb up on the table which was full of empty plates and beer bottles. Once I was up on the table my head was touching the ceiling, so I had to bend myself downwards to stop bumping the ceiling. I was knocking everything over, plates, bottles you name it. I was doing it and would you believe it I started to sing this song, don’t ask me why but the song I sang was, Ilkley Moor Bar-Tat. I didn’t even know the words of the song, (you know what I mean Harry).
It must’ve been appropriate cause being from Yorkshire “not” apart from being a Scottish Battalion we we did OK… I think.
Later on in the evening when trying to impress the gathering, I began crushing bottle tops in my fingers, I needed to use my left hand to get the tops to bend. I thought I was pretty strong with my hands even “Macho”, what happened next was annoying and embarrassing. The German Navy team Captain began to copy me but instead of crushing the bottle tops with one hand, he had one in each hand, yes two at a time, obviously he was a very strong man, much stronger than me. It’s sad to admit it but he was, we stopped the bottle top game very quickly, I was not going to let him beat us at that game too, even though in truth, he had.
It’s not me singing, but this is the song – Ilkley Moor Bar-Tat