21 June 2002 


From:     Jack Riley, Urangan Qld.,
Date:      18 June 2002 00:58
Subject:  Letter Received

Greetings Tony
Trust all is well with your world. I have been fighting off pneumonia but the Doc and I have agreed that amputation at the neck is probably overdoing things a bit so I have decided to live.
Our gang will probably be pleased to know that they have received the following:-
Buckingham  Palace
The Queen has asked that her warm thanks be conveyed to you for your kind message of good wishes on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. Her Majesty received your greetings and congratulations with much pleasure.
Sir Robin Janvrin
Private Secretary to The Queen
June 2002

[Ed:  I guess that item would be suitable for framing Jack?  I trust that you will get better soon - look after yourself!]


From:     Dave Barton, Kings Lynn,
Date:      19 June 2002 06:30
Subject:  Tick Tock Man

Hi Tony,
Further to my previous e-mail ref John Holloway's question about who or what is the Tick Tock Man (OBA 7th June).
As I guessed it was the name of a book by Terrence Strong and refers to the Bomb Disposal Teams in Northern Ireland - a good read too.
Keep up the good work.
Dave Barton

[Ed:  Thanks Dave.  I did look for information about the book in a search engine, and strangely enough could only come up with two rather vague references, one being a listing (along with about 20,000 others) of just title and author, and the other was mentioned casually in someone's life story as "Books I have Read."]


From:     Michael Fellows
Date:      19 June 2002 09:41
Subject:  Royal Air Force Flag

Dear sir, 

I am trying to obtain a R.A.F flag for my Great Uncle's funeral on the 27/06/02, to be held in Birmingham, West Midlands.

He was in the RAF during the Second World War, and served in both Africa and Egypt. During the 50's he went to join the Special Forces for some years.  I do understand that certain organisations refuse to let the flag of the RAF to be draped over a funeral coffin under the Queen’s Regulations.

I would be very grateful if someone could get in touch with me ASAP. I believe that my Great Uncle should have this request
given to him after the years he served for the country he lived in for so long.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Yours sincerely
Mr. M. Fellows

Please contact me by either e-mail:   or

Tel: 07909-898946

[Ed:  This then is a matter of some urgency.  If anyone has any information that they can get to Michael, I'm sure he would appreciate it greatly.]


[Ed:  Alas - we're a wee bit light on the correspondence this week.  So as not to disappoint you, and so you'll have at least something to read during your Friday morning ablutions, I have come up with a couple of interesting military type anecdotes]:

This story was recounted by a Lieutenant who knew the participants well.

In the early 70's, an undercover Military Intelligence squad was patrolling a notorious Belfast area in plain clothes. After the perilous evening, they emerged onto a York street and stopped for petrol and a few smokes. One of the soldiers asked the attendant if there was a pay phone, and the attendant pointed to the rear of the store.

As the soldier turned towards the phone, the attendant caught the flash of a concealed weapon. Alarmed and fearing a terrorist hold-up, he vanished into the back room, where he phoned the local police station 100 yards up the street. But instead of phoning the front desk, which would have known of a military patrol in the area, he phoned a pal in the CID.

The CID was excited by the thought of a good action going down, and they also failed to consult with the local police. They drove out, mob handed, to rescue their friend from terrorists.

The soldiers were just preparing to leave the petrol station when a car screamed to a halt across the street and disgorged six plainclothes policemen brandishing an assortment of weapons. Believing they were under attacked by terrorists, the soldiers drew their own weapons, dove behind their vehicle, and opened fire. The police returned fire in earnest. For good measure, an off duty officer around the corner drew his weapon and fired four shots in the air.

The exchange lasted many minutes before a lone voice sounded, "Stop! Police."

Another voice shouted back, "Cease Fire! Army."

Over 100 rounds were fired across the busy intersection during the exchange. Not a single person was hurt, and the story was kept from the media to protect the identities of the "intelligence" officers involved.


March 2001, Ghana. Tribal clashes in Northern Ghana cause some to resort to witchcraft in the hope of becoming invulnerable to weapons. Sixteen men purchased a potion that would supposedly render them invincible to bullets.

After smearing the magical lotion over their bodies, one brave man volunteered to test the spell by standing in a clearing while his compatriots fired upon him...

The Juju man who had supplied the defective magic was seized and beaten for his failure.

(Reuters, New Zealand Press)


Secure the building!

The phrase; "Secure the building", has different meaning in the  different branches of the Norwegian armed forces.

Army: When the army secure a building, they surround it, provide cover fire by snipers and heavy machine-guns, and they clear the building room by room,

Air force: When the air force secure a building, they make sure the windows are closed, lights turned off and the doors properly locked at the end of the day.

Navy: When the Royal Norwegian Navy secure a building, they sign a ten-year-lease contract, with options to buy it after five.


Rank Recognition

Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound.
Walks on water.
Lunches with God, but must pick up tab.

Almost as fast as a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a shunting engine on a steep incline.
Leaps short buildings with a single bound.
Walks on water if sea is calm.
Talks to God.

Faster than an energetically thrown rock.
Almost as powerful as a speeding bullet.
Leaps short buildings with a running start in favourable winds.
Walks on water of indoor swimming pools if lifeguard is present.
May be granted audience with God if special request is approved at least three working days in advance.

Can fire a speeding bullet with tolerable accuracy.
Loses tug-of-war against anything mechanical.
Makes impressively high marks when trying to leap tall buildings.
Swims well.
Is occasionally addressed by God, in passing.

Can sometimes handle firearm without shooting self.
Is run over by trains.
Barely clears outhouse.
Doggy paddles.
Mumbles to self.

Is dangerous to self and comrades if armed and unsupervised.
Recognizes trains two out of three times.
Runs into tall buildings.
Can stay afloat if properly instructed in the use of life jacket and water wings.
Talks to walls.

2nd Lieutenant
Can be trusted with either gun or ammunition but never both.
Must have train ticket pinned to jacket and mittens tied to sleeves.
Falls over doorsteps while trying to enter tall buildings.
Plays in Mud puddles.

Officer Cadet
Under no circumstances to be issued with gun or ammunition, and must even be closely supervised when handling sharp pieces of paper - staples are right out.
Says: "Look at choo choo!"
Not allowed inside buildings of any size.
Makes good boat anchor.
Mere existence makes God shudder.

Catches hypersonic armour piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot depleted uranium long rod penetrators in his teeth and eats them.
Kicks bullet trains off their tracks.
Uproots tall buildings and walk under them.
Freezes water with a single glance; parts it with trifling gesture.
Is God.


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards