Foreword by Webmaster:
I was absolutely delighted to hear from Angus
McKay as I remember him so well as Chief Clerk at Osnabruck,
Plymouth and Gibraltar. As I was Major Meredith's QM clerk I
had many times to step into Angus McKay's domain and it was
this domain that he ran with a tight rein. He was good friends
with the late RQMS Nobby Clarke who was my immediate boss.
Angus writes, "I was very close to Nobby
Clark (who died last year after a long illness), he was in the
Orderly Room of 1 SOM LI when I joined it in 1953, and was my
mentor for many years. When I left 1 SOM LI in 1959 and was
posted to the DCLI Depot in Bodmin as Chief Clerk I was the
first to move between regiments prior to the amalgamation and
despite my protests was made to change my badges to DCLI. I
was not very happy about this but it was only for a few months.
I was then posted to 1 SCLI to take over Chief
Clerk from Nobby who moved over as RQMS, and was one of the
Sgts Mess guys who threw him into the Officer's Mess in Berlin
on his commission".
ORQMS Angus McKay was always to be seen going
about his regimental duties with great efficiency. I am sure
from what I know that the regiment owed him a great deal.
How not to travel between Berlin and West Germany.
We were due to have a party of Old Comrades visiting
us in Berlin and it was decided that rather have them wait for
the Military Train we would send a coach to collect them and
bring them through the Russian Zone by road. I was "volunteered"
for the job by RSM Worster and the officer in charge was Lt.
Alan Ramsay. He and I met at the guard room at some unearthly
hour (about 3am I think) and duly boarded the army coach driven
by a lad from the local RASC Pool.
Obviously the documentation for the journey had
to be perfect otherwise the Russians would not allow us to proceed.
We passed through the RMP and Russian checkpoints in Berlin
without trouble and proceed down the autobahn towards Helmeted
- and this was where the fun started! It was daylight by now
and at the Russian checkpoint a NCO took our documents, glanced
at the vehicle and ran into the office - now that was strange
for a start!
Berlin NAAFI 1964
Lt. Ramsay and I got off the coach and lit cigarettes,
then the office door burst open and out strode a very indignant
Russian Officer shouting that our documents were incorrect!
We looked at the document, checked the registration number of
the coach and to our horror they were different! We were stuck!
Our driver had collected the wrong coach! Then a Major of the
Russian Army came out, spoke to Lt. Ramsay, shook his hand and
gestured that the barrier be lifted and we were free to go.
What a surprise!
It was then explained to me that the previous
week Lt. Ramsay had been on the Military Train and had presented
the same Russian Major with flowers and chocolates for his wedding
anniversary - as a resulting thaw in international relations
(as far as the Major was concerned) we were allowed to proceed
with a smile.
Needless to say we made sure the documents were
perfect for the return journey!