Stand Easy

The Kate Adie Affair

Nineteen years later, February 1999, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery was deployed to Macedonia in preparation to move into Kosovo. My official job was gun line section commander but ended up driving our newly fledged Padre around different locations. One afternoon he came to tell me Kate Adie the war correspondent was visiting Brigade HQ and suggested we drive over there to see if we might catch sight of her.

We drove around for some time. Just as we were about to give up she emerged from the cookhouse tent with several senior officer's at least two star rank. Stopping, I shouted, "Katie, over here darling, let me take your picture". Much to my surprise she did! Better still, her camera man took a picture of us together. I quickly saluted the entourage, jumped back into the Land Rover making a smart exit. The Padre meantime slumped into his seat screaming at me for certainly landing him deep in the s*** if a senior officer escorting Kate had recognised him. He was fearful of the consequences and the effect it would have on his confidential report.

Having a twisted sense of humour and knowing the RHQ Adjutant Capt. Rory Hall reasonably well, I approached him on return for a bit of fun. He arranged for one of his Orderly Clerks to send an email to the Padre, seemingly from the Brigade Commander himself, claiming the Padre had been reported for acting in a disorderly and un-gentlemanly conduct by shouting rude and obscene remarks to Ms Kate Adie. Instructions were that he (the Padre) should appear before the Brigade Commander at 0800 hours the following morning.

Later that day word soon got round the Officers Mess, his defence, "It wasn't me, it was S/Sgt Newton" then brought taunts of 'Judas'. The poor Reverend suffered a couple of hours of hell until the prank was revealed. Indeed, during the days which followed also. He eventually came round to forgiving me but only then with jeers to 'turn the other cheek'.

24555395 S/Sgt. D.J. (Isaac) Newton. Long Service List.

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.