Sir Samuel Browne.
 
 

Of all the stories associated with the Squadron one event, which occurred in the late sixties, must truly rank as legendary.

Like everyone else in the last days of Empire it was the custom of the RSM of 18 Signal Regiment to leave his official regalia, ie: Sam Browne, Pace Stick and Best Boots, to be attended to by the "Boot Boy" on a daily basis. They were placed outside his office at close of play and normally retrieved the following morning. On the morning in question however, instead of highly buffed kit all that could be found was a large metal waste bin containing the charred remains of the said regalia still smouldering amidst their own ashes.

Sometime during the previous evening a member of the Squadron, returning from a night on the lash and with courage bolstered by copious amounts of Tiger, had taken the opportunity to redress some imagined slight. Sam Browne, pace stick and boots had been placed in a bin, sprinkled with combustible fluid and ignited. Sadly the intake of alcohol had not only fuelled his heroic spirit it had completely removed all trace of common sense. Written on the patio, in black indelible pen, the inscription, "If you want to know who did it follow the arrows bastard." A convenient trail of black arrows then led across the road and up the steps into Rawson block.

The reaction was swift and predictably OTT. Every member of 249 Signal Squadron, married personnel included, was placed under "house arrest", hourly inspections and parades were instigated and we were marched to and from meals. The hope being that this mass punishment would entice someone to grass the culprit up.

How could they have got it so wrong - a squadron that already had a superb sense of comradeship and loyalty was bound even closer together by these shared injustices. No one cracked, in fact we revelled in it. Back then it seemed that it went on for weeks but in truth probably it was no more than a matter of days before Keith Olds returned from leave and put a stop to it.

The culprit handed himself into the OC who, true to his word, punished him within the squadron. He was of course made to pay for replacement regalia on top of the disciplinary award.
I know the name of the guilty party but will say only this: He was a member of ASSU Troop and lived on the second floor.

Many stories are associated with this event but I will leave the telling of those to others far more eloquent than I. (John Davis)