One Fine Day in the Magazine

The place: 7th South African Infantry Battalion.

The year: 1983

7 SAI Lawler

A Very Short Story … about Mortarists.

There we were, tidying up the magazine, one chap, I forget his name, as he was not long with us, was messing about with a Patmore. He had unscrewed the pipe and discovered the floating pin they have. He put his finger on the pin and pulled the lanyard, it stung, he proceeded to put his finger nail on the pin, that hurt enough to make him yell. We grew bored with his antics and stopped watching him, unfortunately. He then took a R4 round and placed it in the pin, pulled the lanyard….

The brass of a cartridge is soft, so the whole thing exploded, sending pieces of metal all over the show. That would not be TOO terrible, but we were in a magazine for heaven’s sake; racks and racks of all sorts of things that go bang, big time;  RPG heads, grenades, mortars and so forth. Never have so many men left a small door so fast, simultaneously. I swear the metal was still in the air and we were outside and running.

The idiot lost most of his thumb and index finger. When he came out of hospital he was going to be put straight in DB. (Detention Barracks, army jail, in other words.) He went AWOL and I believe he ran to Botswana where he had family. Better not to go OPs with a guy that stupid!

Nosce te ipsum

View the Mexican Horse Thief’s Page

Short Story



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