What Goes Around Comes Around

By Roy Oswick……

Talking over old times recently with another ex serviceman he related a tale of meeting a guy in the middle of the desert in Tripoli that lived in the same street as him in the UK.  It reminded me of a very similar incident that  occurred during my early days in the Military Police. My first posting was to the C in C’s Escort Section in Cyprus. Sadly when Independence was granted to the island the section was downsized and as a result I was transferred to Larnaca  RMP's on patrol imageDet 227 Pro Coy and for the first time became involved with General Duties.

This included of course mobile and foot patrols in the towns, and as it was now possible for troops to go into the local bars and clubs, patrols could be, to say the least, interesting and eventful.

I well remember one occasion when  I and another Military Policeman were on mobile patrol in the evening and although troops could visit bars and clubs they were still required to return to camp by midnight and part of our duties was to visit bars shortly after 23.30pm and make it known to all troops on the premises that they had only 30 minutes or so to return to camp. We would then return at midnight or shortly afterwards and ensure that the buildings were clear of all military personnel.

On this particular occasion we had visited all of the bars and were in the process of ensuring that they were now clear. We went into a very popular  bar which was always packed with soldiers  and found that apart from 2 sitting at the bar, it was empty. We approached them and told them to leave as they were almost in breach of Curfew.

The immediate response of one of them, who was clearly under the influence of alcohol, was to say “##### Off Ossie or I’ll Knock Your ####### Head Off”  He rose to his feet and adopted a stance that suggested he was about to attempt to  do just that. My training quickly kicked in as it did with my Wrist lockpatrol partner and before he knew it,  the soldier was secure in two very well applied, and very painful, police holds. I was not driving and therefore rode in the rear of the Landrover  with the prisoner to the nearest guardroom. During the trip he  made several attempts to assault me which only served to allow me to apply extra pressure to the police hold, which in turn led  him, in between utterances of pain, to describe in great detail what he would do to me in the event that our paths crossed in the future.

Nothing new in that as I found during the rest of my Military Police career. As we got closer to the guardroom his attitude changed and he began to ask that the police hold be released and that he be allowed to walk into the guardroom himself.!!!

The chances of that happening were less than nil and eventually we arrived and handed him over to the Guard Commander who took great delight in placing the prisoner without too much ceremony into a cell.

After completing the paperwork the Guard Commander said to us, “This has made my day. I’ve been waiting for this to happen, that ####### is a real thug and he makes life a misery for some lads”

It was then that my patrol partner spoke up.This has made my day

“How come he knew you Roy?”

“Well it’s a long story but in a nutshell he and I went to school together and it looks as if he has not changed because he used to bully the smaller lads and take their money. Complaints were made but he had the teachers in the palm of his hand mainly because he was a very good footballer and played for the school and the county. He never bothered me or anyone that he thought might beat him.

Typical bully. I  never thought that I would see him again but I have to say that I enjoyed that. I will make sure that the report is absolutely right because I am sure he will try to get away with this”

“You can bet on that” said the Guard Commander, “He still plays football and the RSM thinks the sun shines out of his backside.”

Many years later I was on leave in my home town and went into my favourite pub. After I had drunk Sharing a pintmy first pint a second arrived before I could order it.

“That’s from the landlord” said the barman. Just then my prisoner from all those days before came from behind the bar. and i had visions of having to stand and fight or do the unthinkable and run.

As it happened the decision was not left to me.

“Remember me in Cyprus Ossie?  I never forgot it and I always promised to pay you back

“You cost me my promotion but I did learn from it, and now here we are Customer and Landlord sharing a pint.

Cheers mate, good to see you safe, And before you ask, Yes I do have all the Legal Docs and Licences”