“Big Head”

They say that a large cranium signifies a high IQ, well if that’s true then I must be very intelligent indeed!

I was being kitted out for my uniform in the Territorial Army nearly 30 years ago, when the regimental quartermaster came to give me my green beret and there was a sharp intake of breath and a long whistle.  I was officially a “big head” – no chortling please…

Worse was to come while practicing marching just before my pass out parade.  Squad 29 was getting ready alongside the regulars at Templar barracks near Ashford Kent, then the HQ of the Intelligence Corps, when the so-called “drill pig” Staff Sergeant Sullivan took an instant dislike to my marching prowess.

He halted the squad and made us about turn with me ending up at the front nose to nose with him, I was absolutely terrified and he knew it!  He started the interrogation gently, rising to a crescendo of disgust as follows:


Shores 24769164 Staff!

“How many O levels?”

Ten Staff!

How many A levels?

Four Staff!

“Anything else?”

BSc and MSc (by this time I was nearly in tears, weak at the knees and losing my grip on my Sterling SMG)

“Well, you march like a woman, you should be passing out in Guildford not here!”

(Guildford was the home of the WRAC although about a third of Squad 29 was female)


“What the hell is that?”

He was pointing to my beret..


He ripped it off my head threw it to the ground and shouted…

“You could land a f***ing Chinook on that beret!”

Stamping his hob nail boot near the fallen chapeux, I almost fainted…

Dear readers, for those of you not well versed on army helicopters, the Chinook is a very large twin rotar aircraft – which only reinforces the observation that I have an exceptionally well proportioned skull…

The evidence was repeated today during a visit with Debbie and mum to Anglesey and the village with the longest name in the UK, namely Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

This is 58 letters long believe it or not and Debbie can pronounce it verbatim, having been taught to do so by her “Mam” Glenys.  The car park is next to the railway station and unfortunately a large store where Debbie immediately bought some essential items of clothing, or so she said.  I manfully refrained from wasting money and spent a mere £25 on an original denim blue Harris tweed flat cap which being Scottish in origin was perfect for Wales and given the sunshine was also extremely warm to wear…

Why mention this?  Take a look dear readers at the size on the inner label, “XL”…


“Big Head”

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