This was my response: Gavin, where did you serve again? Given that you are almost exactly the same age as I am, I would imagine that you served in one of the two Gulf Wars. I have a modest proposal: bearing in mind that I come from a military family, and despise the very idea of an individual impersonating an ex-serviceman, you could come and stay in my late father’s house on the other side of Birmingham and we could drive out to Ladywood and confront this man. We could take film and sound equipment and expose this dissembler for exactly what he is. You name the time and the place will be in my hands.
This will not appear let alone receive any kind of response.
I hope that Gavin responds to me privately with answers to my questions.
Or he may believe, as his psychiatric idol believes that ‘Many servicemen – who appear to have joined up imagining that war was a thing of the past, and that armies are now purely ornamental or a form of disguised unemployment – returned home from the Gulf deeply traumatised psychologically.’ (http://www.gulflink.org/GulfWeb/uk_news/te080397_1.html)
I’d bet my bottom dollar on the latter.
I went into a public-’ouse to get a pint of beer.
The publican ‘e ups an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, and Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me.
They sent me to the gallery or ’round the music-’alls.
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! They’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopships’ on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.
Yes, making mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy ‘ow’s your soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O, it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.
We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy fall be’ind,”
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.
You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of his country,” when the guns begins to shoot;
Yes, it’s Tommy this an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
But Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!