|Image Source: John Buchanan|
When people retire from the Army or left a regiment it is fairly common for some form of event to be initiated to mark the occasion. Bill was the Second in Command of 1 Armoured Division Transport Regiment in 1988 and was very popular with the regimental subalterns.
The poem is an account of how we turned his office into a golf green on his final day serving with the regiment. I will always remember how we underestimated the task of turfing the office, and of course the clean up which came after the big reveal. That said the smile on his face and his thanks made the effort worth it.
The Day Bill Got Turfed Out
Bill was always at the golf course
or talking about the game.
The Regimental Golfing Officer
his nick name fast became.
When in the mess or in the field
you would see him take a swing,
then pause to look out thoughtfully
as the imaginary ball took wing.
When his final tour was over
and it was his time to go
the subalterns decided to
say a fond adieu.
They came up with a cunning plan
To bid their boss farewell
and laid a green in his office,
with a hole and flag as well.
The turf came from the garden
and was laid on a plastic sheet.
The task took the lads all night
for they had to be discrete.
Next morning, when Bill arrived at work
he found a group of subalterns
chatting with the clerk.
They were there to see his face
when he walked through the door
and saw his landscaped office
with grass upon the floor.
His face was a picture,
as it registered his delight
at being turfed out of the Army
by friends who'd worked all night.
John Carré Buchanan
22nd March 2013