Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Broom Cupboard

When I joined the Army in the early 80's many of the directing staff (DS) at Depot Para were Falklands veterans. They had experienced war at it's most primal level and were determined to ensure that the soldiers they trained were, to use the Regiment's motto, 'ready for anything'. By coincidence the platoon was destined to return to the same battalion as the DS, which naturally drove them to push harder and ensure that their protégés did them justice.

In this incredibly hard environment there was a need for recruits to vent and the DS used an unconventional (and very unofficial) mechanism for allowing us to do so. As such the broom cupboard became a place where differences could be settled and respect could be earned away from prying eyes.

It was also a place where I learnt that friendships forged in fire last forever.

The Broom Cupboard

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
Behind the closed door
differences were settled.
The bully, strong, confident,
bought crashing to the floor
by his victim
and yet, no face was lost.

Amidst the brooms and polish
fists flew, differences were sorted;
the result stayed silent,
save for the unspoken respect
forged in the dim confines
of a place where rank
meant nothing.

John Carré Buchanan
10 May 2014


  1. How great it must have been to punch somebody without their stripes and not get away with it. Nice one John

    1. It didn't always end in a fight, sometimes it was just about getting things off your chest. It was pretty scary though, these were hard people and you could get hurt too. Thanks for your comment.

    2. I have had times where I have had to confront hard men and bullies, like you say John, sometimes just talking is enough... And earns you respect just for having the guts to stand before such people in the first place :)


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