16th Commonwealth field ambulance Thailand

I took up my "Boiling Duties" in the other ranks cook house where i met John Nignoy Little; John became a great mate and still is today.
The camps rations were not as bad as we sometimes recall, but i have to say that most of us who served on ops crown could have won the "Slimmer of the year award".
Richard Cliffe reminded me that we cooks treated the rations the same way as some of the lads treated the Comer trucks.
After looking at the photos posted on this site of those trucks all i have to say is, "Sorry lads".
However we did have an endless supply of green runner beans, some say that we used them like they were going out of fashion.
We tried every which way to cook them and old Lennie Gibbs found an unusual way, he used to present them as a floral bouquet to his best friends.
I recall the cook house pots and pans were spick and span, courtesy of Mr Yates who would send in a  late night Jankers crew.
Usually the cook on late duty was also on Jankers so he made the victims suffer, i know, i did lots of late night Jankers.
 Ali's catering shack did a rip roaring trade feeding the under nourished with an endless stream of egg banjo's, but alas he couldn't compete with the cook house on corned beef.
We had a wild Major medic with us who had declared that the camps rations were both nutritious and nourishing and much better than starvation. I recall the day he road tested the effects Mekon had on the bodies vital organs.
He decided to lock himself away while drinking Mekon and compose a literal work of art about living in camp doom.
He was discovered the next day a total wreck completely out of his tree, his literal work of art was under copy rights and several years later made into a block busting movie, "The Zombie", he also owes Mamma San a bottle of Suntan Lotion and 250 condoms.
Some one said he had used the swimming pool water as a drinks mixer to boost the drink.
Our Major had also declared that the swimming pool would act as a form of relaxation for the boys, he also stated that swimming with snakes and frogs would be both exhilarating and excruciating.
He later sold the mineral rights of the festering waters of the swimming pool to the Yank's who used it for deforestation in Viet Nam.
The camps upper echelon declared him to be some kind of dooms day machine and posted him back to the UK where a nice padded cell awaited him.
Little did we know that the swimming pool feature was introduced to help us acclimatize for the monsoon season, it did, for we developed webbed feet.
I am sure that everyone will remember the monsoon seasons; we had so much rain that even the rain got wet.
For the record, Mr Yates did not use a Gondola for his daily inspections during the monsoon season, and he most certainly did not serenade to dusky maidens while paddling around the flooded camp.
Don't miss next weeks exciting instalment of life in Camp Doom--Sun Sea Sand and a 10 man compo ration pack.


I recall that during the monsoon season it was usually the strongest swimmers who reach the village bars first, non swimmers on rafts were always last.
Non swimmers were encouraged to form a synchronized swimming team, they did and it was referred to as, "Drowning by numbers".
This stood in good stead for our trips to Pattaya by the sea, boy oh boy were we in for a treat.
We all remember our trips to the seaside at Pattaya, a quick visit to entrepreneur Ali's shopping precinct to acquire Laterite dust free clothing, perhaps a pair of padded speedo swimming trunks too.
This has got to be a "First" in the British Army, Serving on any other posting in the Army, other than Works Crown one would be issued with a "Cash Allowance" upon going on leave or holiday.
I assume that our camp was cash strapped as the powers to be forgot the "Cash Allowance" and just issued us with the rations, a 10 man ration pack each.
As per norm, the Officers acquired the Salmon, the senior NCOs received the Chicken Supreme and yes you have guessed it, the other ranks won the jack pot, the corned beef, thank the Lord they had never mastered the art of tinning Green Beans.
"Let's give it to the poor" said one of the lads, "They can make a tin go a long way".
"You bet they can" said another, "I have seen them throw a tin 300 yards".
Our journey to Pattaya was one i will never forget it was exciting with most of us changing our underwear after out flight from Ubon to Bangkok, our pilot was a retired Irish kamikaze pilot who had flown 15 successful missions.
In due course we arrived at the seaside resort of Pattaya, our deluxe three ton coach pulled in alongside what one could call, paradise.
A large villa festooned with hanging baskets of multitude coloured blooms and the palm trees were swaying in the breeze.
It boasted a dining room with waiters dashing to and fro, plates of steaming food and not a green bean in sight.
It had light bulbs blazing away in every room and no one giving a care about the eclectic bill, even a marble patio where chilled drinks were being consumed by thirsty lucky bastards.
Bobbing in the surf a sleek speed boat with fishing rods and water skis, wow, it had everything----However our villa was next door.
Our villa wasn't too bad; it's what one would expect to find if Attila the Hun had spent his Stag do there.
We had hanging baskets of green beans amid an abundance of empty tins, a beautiful view of the moon and stars; perhaps they will fit a roof to our villa one day.
Bobbing and half submerged in the surf was our wooden water logged sea feature, a boat, it looked very old with its name painted on its wood worm encrusted bows, Mayflower.
We had a special exercise feature too, a push bike nailed to the floor with only one wheel, operating instructions printed in Japanese, but we soon got the hang of it when we needed the electric cooker and lights to work.
The bin men called once a week to the villa next door to collect, they called at ours every day to deliver.
The only toilet paper we had was the few sparse sheets issued with the 10 man ration packs, it wasn't rocket science to see what had happened to the villas curtains.
The Yanks in the posh villa next door asked us why we spent so much time in the sea, it's for sure we weren't swimming in there, i wonder what was killing all the jelly fish?
Our holiday over we were told to clean our villa ready for the next intake of incoming victims; it took us ages to find a digger and skip.
We returned back to camp doom where everyone was getting ready for the opening ceremony for the runway.
Extra rations of fresh food was shipped in just to show off what delights could be on offer, we cooks soon sorted it out, cook till black then scrape to the required colour.
It must have been a success as not one cook reported sick that day suffering from missing or broken limbs.
Soon after that we discovered the secrete behind the runway construction, it was to be shipped back to the UK to become the M1 Motor Way.
Then so as to avoid the locals from falling into the big hole left behind it was filled in with concrete.



Dear Mum and Dad,
Your parcel arrived today, thanks Mum, the pair of socks were delicious, please send a string vest next time as i am partial to a spaghetti substitute.
Some of the lads are starving and have been reduced to eating their underpants; i wont be doing that as i don't like spicy food.
I think everyone in camp has lost weight and its causing our RSM quite a lot of problems.
He has banned any calypso music from being played as its encouraging the lads to limbo under the Nash gate after curfew.
We are expecting some top knob officers to visit our camp, i think that the minister of De-fence will be here too as we have had 20 drums of creosote delivered.
I did hear that the minister of De-fence the right honourable Winston Allcock-Brown is very keen on well preserved fences.
We had a spot of bother during the latest monsoon rains, our accommodation tents were last seen floating down the Mekon River.
However Colonel Finger Licking Sanders has come to the rescue and they have erected us a new type of dwelling accommodation, it's called a chicken shed.
They are fabricated from a revolutionary new formula called wood; it appears that there isn't a shortage of the stuff as it comes from trees that have branches everywhere.
De three Fellers who come from Ireland supplied it and they worked very hard as all Irish men do; i take my hat off to the Tree Fellers.
We have a demented Aussie walking around camp with a funny shaped stick; every now and again he prods it into the ground.
The other day he was up to his usual tricks wonder around and stabbing with his stick when by accident he stabbed the mains water pipe, i think he's now locked away in a padded cell polishing a dust bin.
We now have a water shortage and the RSM tried to pull a fast one, he stood by the swimming pool and cast his pace stick upon a rock.
"Look boys" he shouted, "I have found you drinking water to slake your thirst, drink your fill".
"No thanks Boss" all the lads shouted back.
"We all pissed in it last night".
One of our accommodation sheds has its roof removed, this is a new camp feature policy, and each accommodation shed will take advantage of this feature on a rotation basis.
The rotation basis will also include the ablution shed and the bowel relief shed too.
Detailed in-depth planning has gone into this exciting feature with the weather conditions taken into account too.
During the monsoon season the shed with the missing roof will become the camps shower facility, an extra poncho will be issued to the occupants of that shed thus keeping one dry from both the rains and showering personnel.
In the event that the missing roof is the bowel relief chamber or shed as one wishes to call it plastic bags will be on offer so as to keep one's reading material dry.
During the Sunshine season a suntan oil substitute solution can be obtained from the REME vehicle servicing area, it is advised to filter this solution through a fine muslin gauze as broken engine parts can scratch ones body.
Our medical officer is a smashing fellow, he likes us to have a party every time we visit the village; he insists that we take several balloons with us.
Most of the lads are party poopers as they never blow up their balloons or hang them from the bars rafters.
Then we have the poor blokes who are confined to camp, they usually stand on top of the control tower and threaten to Toss themselves off unless they can visit the village with some balloons.
I have been away from home now for two years and my wife writes and says that she's pregnant
again; i hope that no one back home has had it in for me.
Our camps man of the cloth has prayed for us every Sunday morning noon and evening and now we will do the same for him.
For he has suffered greatly of late when visiting the urinal, for he has been heard to scream for them to copulate in hell, we hope that the injections will ease his problem.
My mate went to the MOs yesterday; he asked him what's wrong.
"I think i have piles" he told the MO.
The MO had a look and said,"Son, you don't have piles, you have heaps".
They look bad Mum, i don't think i will ever eat another grape.
I like Sundays Mum, it's like being home, black smoke emitting from the cook house, Yorkshire puddings cooked to a crispy black and the cooks make our corned beef look like one of your burnt offerings, they even carve the gravy.
Then we have a special treat for tea, Spam Fritters with chips and green beans, oh what joy.
The bloke in the next bed is suffering too, he has a bad dose of advanced crustacean, and i think they call it Lobsters or something like that.
I have almost completed my tour of duty here in Thailand so i have to under go a resettlement course.
It is three weeks of intensive house training; i am going to find it hard having to go to the toilet for a slash instead of standing on the shed steps.
I have been issued with a knife fork and spoon; i am told that the fork puncture wounds around my mouth will soon heal.
I will have to go Mum, they are serving chilled water melon--again, 

love Harry.


  1. you were lucky we went down to Ban cock on the train with the sheep goats and chickens .. BE WHAT MAY the place is now a den of eniquity with vice and under age sex rife and full of peverts .. shame it was not like it used to be

  2. whats in the next chapter will it folow soon


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