The Baptism Of RSM Dick Hughes

Willie Lawson
On one particular day Group HQ and 8 Coy members attended some sort of local parade in their best OG uniforms and afterwards all quietly adjourned to the new All Ranks' Mess at Rowcroft Lines.   It was already mid afternoon and it was decided that no further work would be done that day and the Tiger and Anchor began to flow.   Some married pad members started to drift away and missed an extraordinary incident!

For some strange reason Gerry Faulks (who must have had a few more than the rest of us) decided to pick on Dave Ovens, "Hello, John", he said to Dave, "John, who?" came the reply.   "John the Baptist"  said Gerry and threw about half a glass of beer all over Dave, totally unprovoked.   While we laughed, Dave stomped outside in a rare temper and shortly afterwards returned with a fire bucket (the fire picquet obviously hadn't checked this bucket for a while, the colour of the water was the same as our OGs).   "Right, you b******", stormed Dave making his way purposefully across the Mess towards Gerry.

As mentioned above, Gerry must have had a few more than most of us as he jumped onto RSM Dick Hughes's lap and threw his arms around Dick's neck.   Dick was still in a state of surprise as Ovens approached undaunted by the rank of Gerry's new chair.   At the very moment Dave Ovens hurled the contents of the bucket, Gerry leapt off Dick's lap!!

The giggles and laughter in the Mess ceased abruptly was an open and shut case, even Poirot wouldn't have got Ovens off this one.

For those who know Dick, his turnout was always immaculate and we are all aware what OGs look like when wet, I'm trying to paint a picture here........"Outside!" roared Dick to Ovens who was still stood, with a grotty bucket in hand surveying the scene, his mind racing at the various possible outcomes of his OTT revenge action.

The Mess settled to an excited buzz as the two left the room and Gerry Faulks even emerged from the corner where he had hid to join in.   Anticipated punishments ranged from permanent Duty Driver to a Black Cap verdict from the CO at Group.  However, a short while later the two Scotsmen returned to the Mess, the score apparently settled between themselves.

To this day I've no idea what was said and members will have to ask Dick or Dave Ovens how the matter was reconciled.   One day perhaps, all will be revealed………