Don Fathers' Army Boxing Contest

On the march with broken ribs

By Nicola Benge

Photo:Don Father's srmy training schedule

Don Father's srmy training schedule

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Boxing match

When I was stationed in Derby, I was conned into going in for a boxing competition. My mate Pat Shepherd (We were always known as Fathers and Shepherd, like a music hall act) was to blame! We were on parade one day, and this Sergeant Major shouted:

"I am organising a boxing match for tomorrow. Is anyone interested?"

And Pat Shepherd dug me in the ribs and said,

"He'll do it, Sir."

I'd boxed a bit, at school, but hardly at all! I had no practice... and the next day, what was for lunch but my favourite, Shepherd's Pie! Well, I had two big portions, didn't I?

In the ring, the other guy said, "I've never done this before, so go easy on me," and I was going to... but he hit me in the ribs! Well. We had to go three rounds of two minutes each, and in the end, although the men didn't like it, the decision went his way. I lost.

The next morning, my rib area was sore, and swollen. And the day after that too. So I felt my rib, and it sort of floated around in my side! I went to the MO, and he said "What is it this time?" and I told him...he took a look at me, poked me around a bit, and said I had a broken rib. I was strapped up, and told to come back if it hurt.

Well. I had to march on this rocky road every day, didn't I? And the rib jarred and it hurt, so I went back and said it hurt... and all he said was, "You're a nuisance. Get back on the job!"

This page was added by Nicola Benge on 16/01/2008.

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