Electric Fences and a Royal Marine Boot Louie

Please be careful with fences that are rigged with electricity. They can be mighty painful, as Ex Bootneck recounts here:

On a long range rural (dark hours patrol) across the water in Northern Ireland many years ago; my young Boss (a 2nd Lieutenant straight out of the box) deemed it necessary to call a halt as he required a water leak! This did not bode well as every marine in the patrol would have taken a ‘service’ tactical leak at the last stop (laying in a prone fire position one would simply unzip and discharge into the ground, without any fuss).

The 18 man patrol went to ground tactically taking cover behind a dry stone wall, which was only 200 feet away from a well known border crossing in bandit country. I was not a happy hector as it was the worst place possible to call a halt, but a nervous pee has no respect for rank!

There was suddenly a panicked shout (almost a scream), which pierced the cold dead night; It was followed immediately by a marine who voiced his discontent. I slowly moved towards my ‘Boss’ and advised him to zip up and move to the rear, my controlled anger hardly withheld in it’s tone. I assumed control and headed the patrol up to high ground where we settled around the inner edge of a forest. I secured the patrol and headed towards ‘young sir’ to offer strong advice through a gypsies whisper.

It transpired that ‘young sir’ had unzipped and pointed ‘percy’ at the dry stone wall and whilst in full flow had made contact with a live wire cattle fence, his startled reaction was to scream and pull sharp right where upon a young Marine took the brunt of the force~hence the muffled voice of discontent.

Electric Fence

‘Young sir’ was hence forth known as ‘swampy’ by one and all. He actually turned out to be a very good Royal Marines Officer, and went on to serve the Corps through a short 12 year distinguished career.

Whoops young sir, I mean, Swampy. . .