Short Stories

It was God only knows what time and I was waiting for Dinger to arrive and relieve me. But his feet were bad , rotting with trench foot.

There was a rumbling at sea that came in with the tide. It drowned out the crash of the waves on the pebble beach. It just floated in from the black abyss. There was bad news on the wind.

The Battery was now deployed along the fragile beach of Bluff Cove settlement. Facing towards the hidden final objective of Stanley. The guns still silent after having missed all the opportunity targets that we could have given them a couple of days before. Not by any fault of their own. I might haste to add. Then though, they had no ammo. Now, that was a mere detail my friend.It was piled so high now it blocked out the sun.But ET still hadn’t phoned home yet. Sid hadn’t found anybody at the top.  All subjects we wouldn’t know anything about until the television years came on the BBC.Featuring 1982, the year that was.

Well. It was the year that was, now. The noises brought in from the seaward side of the gun position were scary enough to warrant a radio message from the gun position command post. Me, I couldn’t hear a thing. I was quite happily sitting on the side of the hill in my little Sanger trying to keep warm. When over the radio came the fatal words “We think there are landing craft approaching the beaches. Can you confirm with Bde HQ, as we are now in the hull down position and preparing to engage targets!”

LVPT7’s. That’s what I thought. The American Marine Amphibious Assault landing craft. The one’s we’d seen on the news coming ashore at Stanley. In these conditions, virtual tanks mate. That was what they were. My quiet night was beginning to turn into a total nightmare. I contacted Bde and passed on the message or Sitrep (situation report). Adding that if nobody told them to the contrary .The battery were going to start filling everything that they could see floating on the water, full of 35lb high explosive artillery shells.

I was asked by Bde to repeat my message, which I did. I was then asked could I tell them from which direction these landing craft were coming from, I told them to wait out. I re-contacted the gun position, with the request.

It’s coming from the sea, I was told again, then sarcastically it was pointed out to me, that if it was from any other direction, I should be able to see them too. To which after passing it back to Bde, they again asked from which direction, I was beginning to get a bit peeved.

Then somewhere alight must have dawned in or on some illustrious person. “It’s the Scots guards,” was the cry down my head set. In clear no code-names no officer’s vague veiled speech, I relayed to the command post.

I was going to say Wooden Tops but I didn’t want to confuse the issue further. Possibly getting some poor bastard killed as a result.

The wait was an eternity but eventually word came back and I relayed it down the line. The Scots Guards had arrived at Bluff cove settlement.

Though after spending about 6 to 8 hours in the LCU’s they were in bits and not fit for fuck all. I felt sorry for them, for about 3 seconds and then it the moment passed. I too had spent time on an LCU getting buffeted about in the squally seas of the south Atlantic. We’d embarked in an effort to save us tabbing halfway across an isthmus were a short direct route by sea would save time and effort. I’d froze my bollocks off, as did everyone else. I watched a bloke try and make a brew, fucking hours he spent, I don’t think he managed it in the end. But he didn’t give up.

One of the first things they teach in map reading is that the shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line.

Off we went in the LCU and the rain pissed down and the waves crashed through the sides. Yes through the bloody sides, there were these bloody big gaps running the length of the craft and the sea just pissed all over us. After God only knows how long at sea, we were put ashore.

It turned out to be on the same beach, 400 metres from where we had started  from. You couldn’t make it up……………..


A Brew On An LCU

The white tablet hissed and spat

The cup rocked and rattled above it.

Steam and vapour entwined

Floated upwards.


The deck heaved and rolled

The flame faltered and went out  

Extinguished finally by a two-foot wave.


The not so white tablet hissed and spat  

The cup rocked and rattled above.

Steam and vapour entwined  

Once again floated upwards.


The deck heaved and rolled ......

This sometimes used to make me aware as to exactly what futility was.

Jim Love

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