The Sandbag Times Issue No: 19


The Veterans Magazine

Canada Calling



The Canuck Connection

GreeTinGS To VeTerAnS on BoTh

SiDeS oF The ATlAnTic

I had the pleasure of attending a NAAFI night organised by

Chris Collins (retired Artillery), head honcho of our Deeside

Breakfast Club.

It was night of Darts, Dominoes and war stories. It never

ceases to amaze me how strikingly similar our Army, Navy

and yes, even the Air force stories and memories are. We

spoke of exercises in Germany, UN Duties in Cyprus and

Egypt. Those were Cold War stories. A couple of much

younger Vets spoke of Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. All in

all a very good night.

Meanwhile in Canada the fires are still raging and I read

that evacuees from Fort McMurray, staying in other

provinces, aren't able to access wildfire assistance funding

from the Alberta government.

The premier's office said it's working on a plan to get

debit cards to those who are temporarily located in other

provinces, but there's currently no timeline, spokesman John

Archer said on Saturday.

Sadly yet another inept mistake in bureaucracy. Hopefully

this will be rectified by the date this article is published.

i saw this ode on a facebook page and thought it was interesting

and oh so true.

i am sure that most of you have seen the e-

mails and Facebook posts about reforming

an Army of Veterans to fight Al-Qaeda, iSiS

etc. A good idea with lots of merit.

I posed last issues question to a group at the NAAFI night

and no one got the correct answer. So here it is.

the question of the week is……. where did the idea for

the nursery rhyme humpty Dumpty come from? (hint

think Army)

There are actually 2 supposed theories of Humpty Dumpty

falling. I must admit this was a tricky question first posed to

me by my amazing cousin Alistair. Mythical possibly, like

the Mythical Animal of Scotland “ The Unicorn”.


Two of the most popular theories link Humpty Dumpty to

two separate historical events. The first is the Fall of

Colchester. During the English Civil War in 1648, the town

of Colchester was under siege. Supposedly, a man named

Jack Thompson was stationed on the walls with a cannon

nicknamed “Humpty Dumpty”. Thompson and the cannon

managed to do a lot of damage to the advancing

Parliamentarian troops, until the cannon eventually tumbled

to the ground. Given the size and weight of the cannon, the

dozens of men who attempted to lift it back to its place on

the wall were unable to do so. Eventually, Colchester was

forced to open its gates and surrender. While the siege of

Colchester did happen, it is unlikely that Humpty Dumpty

refers to anything in the siege as it happened over a century

before Humpty Dumpty was recorded, and there is no

documented connection between the two.

The other popular theory is that Humpty Dumpty

represented King Richard III, called the “humpbacked king”.

(He supposedly was a hunchback, though recent evidence

seems to indicate Shakespeare was wildly exaggerating on

this point, with Richard actually apparently having scoliosis

which made his right shoulder higher than the left, but

otherwise no hunch). In 1485, Richard III fought at the

Battle of Bosworth. In this “humpty dumpty” origin story, it

was said that either his horse was named “Wall” or his men,

who abandoned him, were representative of the “wall”.

Either way, the king fell off his horse and was supposedly

hacked to pieces on the field, thus no one could put him

together again. Several problems exist with this theory, the

least of which being that the term “humpbacked” didn’t exist

in King Richard’s day, nor for several centuries after. (The

term “hunchback” also didn’t first pop up until the 18th

century). Much more importantly was that the king’s

remains were recently found largely intact save for a

bludgeon to the head which probably killed him.

Additionally, other than pure speculation, as in the previous

“siege of Colchester” theory, no solid historical evidence has

been found that shows that King Richard III was the

inspiration for Humpty Dumpty. And, indeed, one of the

reasons it’s so often connected, because of the “all the king’s

continued over 11 |

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