Gunner's V Black Watch
Serving in Korea in 1952 saw a lull in the fighting, peace talks were going on as the North Koreans and the Chinese realised that hostilities had reached stalemate, although everyone was on standby we also had a bit of time to ourselves.
I was stuck on top of a hill with Paddy and Taff, our job was to operate a 22 wireless set and a 10 line telephone exchange, our rota meant being on 4 hour shifts followed by an 8 hour one every 24 hours, we very seldom left the bunker except to go and collect meals, we slept beside the wireless in our sleeping bags.
Up the line in front of us was the Black Watch camp, occasionally someone would come on to our frequency using Morse with the message “Have you got a ball "? fortunately one of our cooks had indeed got a real football , it was leather with a rubber insider and a thick leather lace. Paddy answered "yes". Back came the answer, "we're coming to play you a game" and two days later a team from the Black Watch turned up for a match.
After a great deal of persuasion and bribery our sergeant major agreed to allow the game to go on.
When the time came for the game to start the Black Watch lads came at us like bats out of hell, they kicked and booted us up and down the home made pitch, fighting was breaking out every 5 minutes, although we started with eleven a side, subs were coming on but nobody seemed to be going off, every time a goal was scored a rammy broke out, I don't think anyone was keeping the score, it was obvious that something had to be done before someone got hurt. It came just before halftime when the ball was kicked onto some spare ground, before anyone could get to it three shots rang out, someone had just shot the flaming ball.
We never did find out who fired the shots, I think it was our sergeant major as he was against the match from the beginning, as I hobbled back to the dugout I had a black eye and legs covered in black and blue marks, our cook wasn’t too happy about his ball, but we all shook hands and agreed it was a great game. Our officers said there was no chance of a replay, the Black Watch lads had been told the same, officers can be funny sometimes, the game was declared a draw.