Strange Justice by Brigadier V.C. Griffin

Dublin Core

Title

Strange Justice by Brigadier V.C. Griffin

Description

A humourous anecdote recorded by Brigadier Victor Carlton Griffin relating to an event which occurred during his period of service with the 10th Gurkha Rifles.

Creator

Brigadier Victor Carlton Griffin

Format

text/plain

Language

en-GB

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Text

STRANGE JUSTICE
by
Brigadier V.C. Griffin

Subtlety is not an accepted characteristic of the Indian or Gurkha soldier but during my service with the 10th Gurkha Rifles I witnessed an incident which might disprove this theory.

In the early 1920's I had the misfortune to serve under a Company Commander whose unpopularity with the men was profound. He was grossly unjust and at all times placed his personal comfort and convenience above all other considerations.

The Battalion was, at that time, employed on mobile columns on the Indo-Afghanistan frontier between Chaman and Fort Sandeman. It was winter time and the weather was black but the strong icy winds at night caused the greatest discomfort.

Immediately on arrival at the camping site, after a hard day's march, which frequently included brief skirmishes with our Afghan enemy, the Company Commander would order a party to dig a ditch large enough to take his sleeping bag to ensure that during the night the icy winds would pass him over unmolested. As the camping sites were usually on hard stony ground, the digging of these ditches was no mean task.

It was obvious that the men were getting thoroughly "browned off" with this daily task and though there was no overt breach of discipline I sensed that some rascality was afoot.

It occurred on the coldest and hardest day of our march. On arrival at camp the Company Commander, as usual, ordered his ditch to be dug before the men had any opportunity of organising their own meagre comfort. On this occasion, however, there seemed to be quite a keenness in the working party's activity.

For no particular reason I noticed that the ditch was being dug in a shallow channel at the base of a gentle slope, but I did fail to notice that at the top of this slope all the Company's camel water pakhals had been stacked.

In due course the Company bedded down for the night and all was quiet except for the icy whistling wind which swept the plateau. Shortly after midnight a piercing yell came from the Company Commander's ditch and on investigation we found the tenant almost completely submerged in water, unable to free himself

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Original Format

A4 photocopy of a typewritten page