E. KING (english version)
RANK: L/CPL Mr E. King “The Black Watch” Att. 1st Batt. London Scottish
BORN: Polar London
SERVICE/REGIMENT: “The Black Watch R.H.R.” 1943.44 Discharged
Apart from all the obvious memories of horror, bravado, comradeship, etc. one memory amuses me.
Throughout our many movements in and out of the battle of Anzio, I carried a tin of pineapple chunks around with me. Heaven only knows why or where I actually got them from.
My close mate was named Bill Everett and we were mainly a Bren – Gun team. On this occasion we were confined to our slit – trenches, only being allowed out mainly at night. We were cold and desperately hungry, fed up and taunting each other with what we fancied to eat. When I said to Bill, “How do you fancy some pineapple?” Well you can imagine what Bill called me, until I brought the tin out of my pack. (he had never known that I had them).
We began to dish the chunks out, “one for you and one for me, a drop of juice for you and a drop for me and so on”. Our mouth were watering as we prepared our “banquet”.
It was at that moment that Jerry (Germans) decided to lob mortars at us, one of which landed close by our trench. Now bearing in mind that it had been raining cats and dogs and there was plenty of mud around us, plus we had been using the ground around us for a toiled, you can imagine what landed into our mess – tins with the pineapple. And how angry we were!
Dear old Bill was killed in action and I was wounded and repatriated.
I visited the cemetery in Anzio, May 16th 1994. I stood by his grave and patted his headstone and sadly said “you never did get your pineapple did you mate?”