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Never To Grow Older - [8of7]

Vale, Jonathan
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We all know our last day will come,
For some sooner than others,
And written will be eulogies,
By our HB 'baker brothers.

I fought with [Max] and [8th] a lot,
Or so believed the purists.
In truth it was a comic act,
We put on for the tourists.

It's been not quite a year now,
Since [Max] set off with Sturton,
And we said goodbye to Rentisham's,
No more flenting wax, for certain.

To read this latest news just hurt,
"We've lost the Eighth of Severn."
It all still feels a bit surreal,
Another stalwart gone to heaven,

Remember [8th] in your own way,
From wherever you may hail.
Here's my little anecdote,
Of my friend from Eastern Wales.

Those who've been around a while,
May recall the daunting tale,
Of [8th]'s tussle with a tank,
In some boggy, English dale.

He thought he'd like a look inside,
So climbed up on the top,
Positioned himself above the hatch,
And let his full weight drop.

The hole, alas, was undersized,
In [8th]'s version of the ballad,
In truth, it was the stodgy food,
And not enough of salad.

Six squaddies, armed with levers,
And sweat, and strain, and swearing,
Took an hour to dislodge him,
From the tank he was now wearing.

For me, I shall remember him,
With a Purdey on his shoulder,
A slow march to a bagpiped dirge,
Never to grow older.

UnaBubba, Mar 02 2021

Coffin for 8th Claymore_20Anti-Tamper_20Coffin
[bs0u0155, Mar 16 2021]

[link]






       Not saying goodbye yet, loving all these stories and tributes and words of affection. I never once took his jabs to heart. Lovely poem, UB, lovely memories of a brilliant and oh-so- sweet soul.
blissmiss, Mar 02 2021
  

       I am just gutted.   

       It was only a week ago that I learned my high school girlfriend died suddenly, from a rare disease.
UnaBubba, Mar 02 2021
  

       That's great Una...   

       I was only just getting to know him... a real punch to the gut.
bs0u0155, Mar 02 2021
  

       Beautiful, thank you UB.
doctorremulac3, Mar 02 2021
  

       Nice. Just for a minute there, I actually started to believe that he was a self-hating Welshman.
4and20, Mar 03 2021
  

       Someone should play the bagpipes at his funeral and find a way of featuring a large swarm of cats. (Are there details that can be shared here?) I have his private email, but doubt if even 8th will answer now, thought you never know...
xenzag, Mar 03 2021
  

       Nicely done, [UB]
hippo, Mar 03 2021
  

       I think his hearse should be a helicopter.   

       He *hated* helicopters. And kids. And cats. And humanity. And clumsy officers mishandling explosives in Southwest Asia, while he was in close proximity.
UnaBubba, Mar 03 2021
  

       .
po, Mar 03 2021
  

       +
xandram, Mar 03 2021
  

       .
AusCan531, Mar 03 2021
  

       I've tried to read it numerous times, and still haven't managed to get all the way through.
FlyingToaster, Mar 04 2021
  

       How can people I've never met in meat-space have this effect on me?
He and I talked like twice or something anywhere other than here.
Tears? WTF? Bristolz, MB, 8th..
  

       If any of you folks think that if had I gotten to know you even a little bit and you think that your passing might spontaneously make me tear up at completely inappropriate times could just stop dying... I would be good with that.   

       I could not read everything he has written here and did not understand much of what I did read.   

       What an intellect.   

       I wrote it, [FlyingToaster]. A few tears there.
UnaBubba, Mar 04 2021
  

       And writ' wonderful it is. More than a few, here.
FlyingToaster, Mar 04 2021
  

       Jesus, just read this again. That's an incredibly beautiful eulogy UB.   

       There's been funny, clever, even majestic and poetic stuff posted on this site over the years but for me, nothing matches your line:   

       "A slow march to the bagpiped dirge, never to grow older."   

       I wish there were a generic version of this. I would read that at the way too many funerals I've had to attend in my life.   

       It's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
doctorremulac3, Mar 04 2021
  

       Thank you [dr3]. Sometimes I write things that work.
UnaBubba, Mar 13 2021
  

       I still find it hard to believe. Those two guys, what a pair of somethings. Bookends.
blissmiss, Mar 13 2021
  

       It was a joy to banter with them ;_-
Voice, Mar 13 2021
  

       It was a joy to try to keep up or simply watch them.
Skewed, Mar 14 2021
  

       Ain't that the truth. I just sat back and soaked it in. I couldn't ever join in, but the words that flowed back and forth were perhaps perfection.
blissmiss, Mar 14 2021
  

       Indeed. The phrase "neither had Langsdorf's leg" returns only one result from Google. (Slightly delayed Epimenides paradox arriving in 10 ... 9 ...)   

       Now, who's going to return [8th]'s collection to the Imperial War Museum, before it falls into the Wrong Hands?   

       Don't say "Sturton", because those *are* the Wrong Hands.
pertinax, Mar 15 2021
  

       //Don't say "Sturton", because those *are* the Wrong Hands.//   

       It's actually surprising that any hands would be left in that context...
bs0u0155, Mar 15 2021
  

       You'd need [8th]'s collection to safely handle [8th]'s collection.
FlyingToaster, Mar 15 2021
  

       .
nineteenthly, Mar 15 2021
  

       [8th]'s "collection" is no joke.   

       I recall getting an email once, about an incident where he was teaching some officers in one of the eastern 'stans about ordnance disposal. They were hands on, in blast suits; he was supervising.   

       He said everything was going well until suddenly it wasn't, and he was deaf, feeling very unwell, and pasted liberally with components, droplets and gobbets of a former foreign Army Captain. His commanding officer decided he had done enough for his country and sent him home to the UK.
UnaBubba, Mar 16 2021
  

       That's sobering. How long ago was it, if you don't mind my asking?
pertinax, Mar 16 2021
  

       I... have no words at all beyond these I've just spoken. He will be very much missed. Does anyone know if he was a drinker, and if so what he liked? I should very much like to raise a glass of something he'd have liked in his memory.
21 Quest, Mar 16 2021
  

       I hope his casket, if he has one, is done up ornately in brass and mahogany.
21 Quest, Mar 16 2021
  

       I think he would prefer shell casings and kitten fur.
Voice, Mar 16 2021
  

       //I think he would prefer shell casings and kitten fur.//   

       I had a good think about what he'd want. I think this <link> is at least close. He bloody loved a shaped charge so he did.
bs0u0155, Mar 16 2021
  

       Yes!
21 Quest, Mar 16 2021
  

       //Does anyone know if he was a drinker, and if so what he liked?//   

       We have a lot more documentation of what he disliked than what he liked - but he was certainly an eater, and liked curries and chocolate cakes. From this we could speculatively infer either Kingfisher lager (an Indian brew suitable for accompanying curries, because not too gassy) or maybe an IPA.
pertinax, Mar 17 2021
  

       .
Worldgineer, Mar 17 2021
  

       He liked strong beer.
He'd say a lot of things like; "Subject to a satisfactory explanation, the concept of a tap on the sink or bath that dispenses fresh beer is highly attarctive." 8th of 7, Dec 04 2007
  

       Good to know, 2 fries. Thanks.
21 Quest, Mar 17 2021
  

       Beautiful poem [UB].   

       What terrible news. [8th] was... he was a big part of this place. Between him and [MB]... entertained, challenged, educated...   

       Genuinely gutted.
Frankx, Jun 16 2021
  
      
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