A wonderful message that my friend Richard Munro shared about his grandfather, Thomas Munro: RULES FOR SURVIVING THE GREAT WAR (1914-1919).
He wore a kilt (with a canvass cover) every day for almost five years. He used to kill bugs that crawled up his legs with his cigarettes; he said it took practice to burn the bugs off with out burning yourself. He also said tobacco smoke helped keep the bugs away. Auld Pop was a quiet man but touch not that cat but with a glove. He had killed his first man at age 10 with a Martini-Henry rifle (a Sumatran Pirate); He and his mates killed so many Germans they literally lost count. Once they killed about 50 Germans in less than 10 minutes wiped out a whole platoon before they got off a single shot. It was not for nothing the Germans called them the “Ladies from Hell”.
Auld Pop: When goin’ over the top, furrst, stan’ behind the tallest man or the broadest tree. Aye (always), a guid thing tae do!
2nd Shoot true; dae untae others before they dae untae you! 30 rounds a minute wi’ yer Enfield for the Jairmans an’ 20 for the Turk -15 for the Buggers (Bulgarians).
3rd When carrying boxes o’ provisions bring at least one Webley pistol, prrreferrably two, fully loaded. Aye, the Jairman’s no liked THAT!
4th always carry a bayonet an’ a sgian dubh (the dagger traditionally carried by Highlanders in their sock) in yer leggin’s. Just a wee bit extra for close up warrrk.
5th Eat when ye can and boil yer tea.
6th Make nice with the Dins (Indian Soldiers); you never know when they will hold yer flank. Chai lao! (Bring tea!)
7th take cover and pray like hell during a artillery bombardment.
8th never volunteer for anything; just do your job and stand by yer mates.
9th never smoke at night while on watch. NEVER.
10th Think o’ hame, think o’ your mates, think o’ your loved ones an’ thank God when it’s all over.
REPEAT #1 and #2 and #7 as often as possible!!!
I asked him what the British Army did with near-eyed soldiers who needed glasses. He said, “Och, we pit (put) them in the front lines for a closer “luke” (look)!!!!
Thomas Munro , Sr Dec 22 1886 -June 9, 1962 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders August 1914-May 1919 (Constantinople), MM 2nd Ypres.
The Dins (Indian Soldiers of the 27th Division) called him “Chang Dhost” (the Good Comrade) and Changa Gori Spahis (“The Good White Soldier”). The Jocks of the Ants (Company A) called him “Pops” or Auld Pops, Later Auld Pop.
At one point he saw 36 days of continuous combat on the Western Front experiencing almost daily bombardments and hand to hand combat with the Germans as well as witnessing the first poison gas attack in history. They had only urine-soaked handkerchiefs for protection. In April-May 1915 he lost many of his relatives, in-laws and best friends as well as his first Company Commander in the 1st Battalion Captain Dick MacDonald Porteous (KIA May 10 , 1915). He saw action at Gallipoli, Salonika and the Struma Valley. Only three men in his company were on active service by Armistice day; everyone else was killed or invalided out due to serious wounds.
The Argylls, alone suffered 7,131 killed and over 25,000 casualties. NE OBLIVISCARIS ..do not forget.