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Discussion in 'The PatsFans.com Pub' started by Mike the Brit, May 28, 2010.

  1. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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  2. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot Rookie

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    Theres absolutely tons from WWII, guys who when you read their stories you think christ. I was reading about the crews of Spitfires and Hurricanes the other week and some of their stories were hilarious considering the danger. One bloke got shot down and while trying to land her and even with 109's wizzing about, he started admiring the weather and countryside on the way down!

    Another pilot had just had the same fate only this time he had to bail out but his parachute failed to deploy correctly, luckily the wind caught it and she opened but the jolt took his boots off. On the way down all he could think about was getting his new socks his wife had just bought him dirty in the farmers fields.

    Typical Brits from that era, absolutely nothing fazed them and everything was treated with a large degree of humour along with some serious dedication and ability to succeed.
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  3. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    I'm not the least bit surprised at their morbid sense of humor and thinking the darnedest things in the face of possible death- best to put a smile on situations than a frown, to look on the bright side and laugh than to see the dark side and mope about :cool:
  4. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, old Tanky for one was clearly a thug (as well as a racist) but he got the job done.

    They told him to blow up a train -- he blew up two. He got captured, he escaped. And again. And again.

    It was if he didn't bother to ask himself what it all meant -- just saw what he thought had to be done and did it by whatever means necessary. That's a better attitude to have as a soldier than as a law enforcement officer in peacetime! But for all that I still admire him.

    One tough old b*gger.
  5. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot Rookie

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    Have you ever seen the film called The Password is Courage, Mike?

    It's based on the escapades of the real life Sgt. Major Charles Coward (another fitting name) and how much of a pain in the arse he was to the Gerries. When he was not escaping, helping others escape or trying to escape he often sabotaged camps on work detail and also smuggled some 500 Jews out of Auschwitz which included, rather daringly considering their reputation, bribing SS NCO's with none other than chocolate.
  6. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No, I don't think I ever did. I don't suppose that they'll have it down at the video shop here in Berlin :D but I'll try to get it through Netflix when I'm back in the U.S.

    Googling him, though, it sounds as if people think that some of his stories might not be 100% credible. I remember reading recently about another British guy who impersonated his way into the Auschwitz concentration camp by temporarily swapping with one of the inmates and it doesn't seem very likely that there were two of them. Who knows?
  7. reflexblue

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    #91 Jersey

    There all very impressive people who lived lives out of the movies i grew up in the 60's. One of the things that struck me was this "John Trenchard Pine-Coffin was born in Kashmir on June 12 1921 and educated at Wellington. After Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Devonshire Regiment and then served with the King's African Rifles (KAR) in East Africa"

    Born in Kasmir and educated at Wellington, he's right out of the days of the British Empire. He was born in an exotic far flong place in part of the Empire, went back and got a great education and joined an elite fighting force. I always found people like this intriguing.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  8. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dead right!

    That world was a big part of British life and it's gone completely -- though it's only a generation or two away. The Army was spread around the Empire and the officers' sons were sent back to public school in Britain. Then they were expected to carry on the family tradition, like Pine-Coffin.

    Wellington was (for obvious reasons -- the name is a giveaway!) the pre-eminent Army school. I'm not sure how great the education was in those days -- more sports and Chapel than maths and science, I suspect.
  9. reflexblue

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    I was thinking of Eaton.
  10. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot Rookie

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    As ever with stories passed down through the decades things get "enhanced" so to speak. Alot was to do with the film I think as this was loosely based on what he did and obviously films take creative liberties but by all accounts the serious stuff he did was geniune.

    I thought it was a good film and quite funny in parts, some typical British humor mixed in with a story. It's often on TCM back home. On a different side I can't for the life of me remember the name of the film about the German ace pilot who was a bit of a Houdini...
  11. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm feeling a bit sentimental and emotional today and this thread reminded me of another Old-School Brit and, in a completely different way, another great hero.

    Norman Heatley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If you read this article, you can see that Norman has some claim to have saved more lives than anybody else in the twentieth century. "No Heatley, no penicillin!"

    Not that he would have told you that. As you'll see, he was utterly modest and unselfish -- and the thanks he got was that he was shamelessly ripped off for the credit (and profit) of his work.

    But don't feel sorry for Norman. I knew him (towards the end of his life, of course). He was one of the sweetest and most lovable people you could hope to meet. And he had a long and wonderful life, so far as I could tell -- healthy, sharp-witted and curious into his nineties, with a family who adored him. The only reason I regret that he didn't become rich is that I think he'd have been a great philanthropist.

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