Stand Easy

The Old Salute

The following is a letter in the Daily Telegraph 10 August, 2002.

Sir - Regarding correspondence on the term 'bollocks'. There is a little known example of its use to beneficial effect in 1945. Jackie Lord was the RSM of 3rd Parachute Battalion who was taken prisoner at the battle of Arnhem in September 1944.

In his prison camp he was the senior representative of the prisoners and challenged the German Commandant over his failure to distribute Red Cross parcels. The Commandant pointed out that under the Geneva Conventions his officers were entitled to be saluted by prisoners and once saluting commenced the parcels would be given out.

The RSM returned to the committee through which he ran and advised them he had agreed that German Officers would now be saluted. The committee was disinclined to agree with this, but the RSM invited them to watch, whereupon he left the hut and sought out a German officer. Approaching the officer, the RSM whacked up an immaculate Household Division salute, looked him straight in the eye and said clearly and with conviction "Bollocks!!" It was not long before salutes were being offered together with the accompanying "Bollocks!!" by soldiers of many nationalities to any German officer they could find.

Red Cross parcels were distributed the next day.

Brigadier F.R. Steer MBE. Sent in by Ex-Cpl Ted Rimington. R. Leicesters.

Stand Easy can be purchased as a book with all proceeds shared by
The Royal Leicestershire Regimental Museum Appeal Fund and the Royal British Legion.