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Pull Up A Sandbag
Sandbag Reminiscences of Jim O'Hagan Sandbag
'O' Is Always In The Middle!
The first thought you had as the train pulled away from Tonfanau station and you got your first sight of the camp was "Oh fuck what have I done!". I also remember the Sergeant on the other side of the track. He was waving his drill stick and shouting rude names at me. I had only just arrived and I was already in the ‘shit’.
Being issued with my uniform which only fitted where it touched? The stores Sergeant’s remarks as I struggled out of the door, "Don't worry son you'll grow into it”.
The locker inspections that had to conform to the ‘locker layout photo’. I had to spend the last few quid I had on a razor, blades and shaving brush. Just for the record I didn’t even need to shave until after I had left Tonfanau!!
Running into the sea wearing your army issued navy wool swimming trunks, only to find that they are now wrapped around your ankles!! Not a pretty sight!
Waking up in the morning with the taste of coke fumes in your mouth then noticing that ice had now formed on the inside of the windows because the bastard fire had gone out!
The orange tubs of floor polish which was probable a by-product of some nuclear power station.
Forming up for pay parade in alphabetical order then every few weeks the duty Sergeant would shout, "OK this time it’s Zed to Hay!” Fucking great, I would just change places with a guy called Phillips!!
Being introduced to the famous 24 hour ration pack when the instructor went to great length to explain the different menu of the A, B, C and D packs. He then went on to say how they are packed with energy, protein and vitamins. As quick as a flash some kid in the front shot his arm up and said "But Sergeant I don't like any of that food!! So what happens to me?” (I could feel a storm brewing!). The Sergeant homed in on the kid and then with a very loud voice more like a scream he said "Boy! Did I at any time say you had to fucking like it!! and the answer to your second question is you will probable starve to death!!"
Working on the old saying that all good soldiers are entitled to moan then we have a lot to thank TONFANAU for!!
Coming to this party late (I only found the website last month) I can see that previous sandbag writers have stolen some of my stories. But fuck it I was there too so I am pressing the send button!

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