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The Lighter Side
The Lighter Side 

Western Mail, Thursday 28 September 1933, page 2

The Lighter Side.

Dear "Non-Com." - Let me relate a couple of true incidents that happened in Armentieres. I have often wished to tell them before but I do not feel capable of expressing the humour in the situations as they appealed to us at the time. They both concern a Balmain boy named "Mick," who somehow got drafted to "D" Company Signallers, at Larkhill. On arrival in France we quickly discovered that Mick had two passions, bock and toffee! There are exceptions to every rule, and Mick was one of them; he could get "drunk" on bock!

You will recall that in Armentieres we were billeted in an old college or school. In the room in-which "D" Company Signallers were placed there was no door, but in place thereof there was an iron grille which used to 6Îide across and lock. One moonlight night Mick came home brimming over. After he had amused us for half an hour or so with his silly antics, such as flicking his torch across the fire to see if it was alight, the troops retired for the night.

About midnight we were awakened by varied cries of wrath. We found Mick trying to knock down the far wall, and yelling “What silly blighter locked the blanky gate?" Mick was trying to walk through the reflection of the grille that had been thrown on the wall by the moon!

The other incident concerns the toffee and incidentally the torch. One dark night "D" Company was detailed for carrying duty, and had to deliver a number of "A" frames to the front line. The company had to proceed along Plank Avenue from the subsidiary line, and at one point it was necessary to leave the trench, cross a road, and enter the trench on the opposite side. Mick was about the centre of the carrying party. All went well until the road was reached (the road by the way was usually subjected to heavy machine gun fire by Fritz).

Half the carriers had got across safely, when all at once someone flashed a torch on the road.

It was Mick. There he was, torch in one hand, the other supporting the "A" frame on his shoulder, and wandering all over the road. "Put that light out, you silly blighter! What the blazes is the matter with you?" came from both sides of the road.

"I've lost my toffee," came the reply.

"Damn your toffee, d'ye want to get killed, you silly cow."

"But,” retorted Mick, "me teeth are sticking to the toffee!"

Strange to say, Fritz did not fire a shot and Mick recovered his toffee.

Frank Le Cras (44th), Bencubbin.

862 Frank Percival LECRAS, 'Hillford Cottage', Grafton Street, Bayswater, Western Australia, 44th Battalion, D Company