A CYPRUS MYSTERY SOLVED
Tim 'Dick' Davies, was Sgt Pl Comd of 10 Pl, D Coy, 1 R Anglian, in 1973, commanded by Lt Col David Thorne (later Gen Sir David Thorne KBE CVO, decd 23 Apr 00 on St George's Day). They were enjoying a posting in Ipiskopi, Cyprus,until one morning when all hell broke loose in the 'Headshed'. The RAF 'Admiral' in the Happy Valley Yacht Club had discovered that all the strip lights in the tunnel linking Happy Valley to the exclusive yacht club had been broken. Who else could it be but the resident Bn of 'Pongoes'?
The CO and RSM sent a task force to interrogate the Bn tearaways, to no avail. The angry 'Admiral' was fairly high on the local food chain so something had to be seen to be done. We were confined to barracks, less the married pads, extra runs up and down Troodos, company drill etc.
In short, quite a lot of pain was had by all, including, to be fair, the 'Headshed' and even the storemen! And there the matter ended. Until ......
In 1977 I recruited an ex-Navy man as a driver. (Yes, I know, but I was desperate!) One day we were talking and I mentioned Happy Valley. 'Iíve been there,' he said. It seems the Navy maintains a list of sailors who have not had shore leave so parties of sailors are put ashore, whether they like it or not. My driver was one abandoned in Happy Valley. After wandering about the polo pitch they came across the tunnel.
One had found a tennis ball and was bouncing it off the roof. It hit a light and as the descending glass made a brilliant noise they proceeded through the tunnel, accounting for all the lights, leaving the Vikings (ie 1 R Anglian) to carry the can.
It just goes to show that sooner or later the truth will out.
By Maj (Retd) John L Raybould TD** - published in B&C (The Britannia & Castle) The Regimental Journal of the Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk Regiments) Issue 90 Jun 98