Auld Pop had a philosophic attitude towards life. “Save your luck for when it counts. A man has only so much luck. Sooner or later you will roll snake eyes.” “This is the only life you have this side of paradise: be a leal n’ true mon (a man of honour)”. “A soldier will die for the Colours but no’ an extra two bob a day.” Pop, we used to say you have to stop smoking! He answered “Tha moral dhaoine anns a cladh a mhianniacheadh casad a bhith aca mar seo.” (“There’s mony a man in the cemetery that wad like to hae a cough like that!”
“Cuimhnich air na daoine bhon tainig tusa” REMEMBER THE PEOPLE YOU CAME FROM. Ne obliviscaris he said many times -his Regimental motto- DO NOT FORGET. Of people who were “feckless slackers” he would say, “Such a mon has nae poosh (no push; no ambition). He is good for naething at a’! except to be a parasite hanging aroond the kitchen.” If we complained he would say, “If THAT’S A’ ye hae to worry aboot, ye hae nae worries! Hiding in a dry cave in Gallipoli , low on ammunition and water wi’ Turks scream to cut off your heid…THAT’s WORRY!!” Auld Pop had a soft spot , naturally for the Red, White and Blue of Britain, but he was a naturalized American citizen (at age 50). During WWII he built Naval vessels and liberty ships (before WWI he built Naval ships on the Clyde.
Auld Pop used to say. ” You are lucky to be alive. Every new day is a gift. Lucky to have fresh water to drink and to wash. Lucky to have a roof over your head and tea at the boil. Lucky to have someone to love and to be loved by someone. Lucky to have hot soup for dinner. Lucky to have a job to do and lucky to have legs to walk to it. Lucky to have ears for music. Lucky to have a voice for talking. Lucky to have eyes to see. Lucky to have two arms and two hands and all ten fingers. Lucky to have a dollar or two in your pocket. Lucky to see a new generation growing. Lucky to see Old Glory flying. Lucky to have had a good ride. When the evening comes. and there is peace on every hill glad to have lived. And , yes when the evening comes how peaceful will be our sleep for we saw not the sacred flame extinguished. We saw not the Colours lowered in our time.”
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