Potato Water

Remembrance Day nostalgia of the seventies in Buntingford depot

By Carlo Zambonini


Thoughts on remembrance day 2011

When I was a youth, and life was great, I had a job as a shift cleaner in the Buntingford depot of a well known supermarket chain during the early seventies.Alongside me, in my team, were men with 2nd world war experience. Bill (ex-Dunkirk), Chris(Western desert), Cliff(unknown), Peter (reserved occ.), and Tom (again unknown, possibly SOE!). They would make me dress up in arm-length rubber gloves, a face-mask, and a boiler suit, then arm me with a tub of hydrochloric acid in order to clean the toilets in the locker rooms.

At tea- break they would listen to my moaning and whingeing over my travails but laconically carry on playing a card-game called nap. “You’re problem was you were never conscripted to fight Nazis!”, one would suggest. “And another thing, you cannot cope because the most your body can secrete is potato water”. I would be struck mute, amidst their laughter.

I still drink with a D-Day vet in Buntingford called John. Like my erstwhile colleagues he does not talk about his experiences. All I know is that this generation must not shrink from support for the EU. It was their sacrifice that made a common sharing of values and 66 years of peace in western Europe possible. Churchill did not give up on the Greeks, neither should we. If the EU breaks up the sacrifice of 63.7 million people will have been in vain.

Wear your poppy with pride.

This page was added on 11/11/2011.

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