Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dotty Englishmen?? I.

This is coolbert:

"Main Entry: Etymology: alteration of Scots dottle fool, from Middle English dotel, from doten

1 a : mentally unbalanced : CRAZY b : amiably eccentric
2 : being obsessed or infatuated
3 : amusingly absurd : RIDICULOUS

As I have said in previous blog entries, the English over the years have had more than their share of eccentrics. Persons of unusual manner and ability who sometimes are very gifted in a variety of endeavors. Persons recognized by their peers as "odd types", but generally tolerated.

I am thinking of course of such famous military figures as T.E. Lawrence and Orde Wingate.

And even such renowned individuals as Frederick Selous.

The archetype of the "great white hunter". Responsible for exploring large portions of southern Africa that were previously terra incognito.

Selous, up in the years [sixty six years old!!], enlisted to serve GOD, King and country during World War One [WW1]. Was not just content to serve, but insisted in seeing combat too. Was commissioned, even at his advanced age [66], as a lieutenant in the infantry, and was killed in combat.

Selous WAS NOT a madman or ridiculous in any manner. That is why I ask the question in the terms of "dotty Englishman??" with question marks.

Selous WAS a man of honor, principle, and vigor. This cannot be denied.

Another Englishman I ask the question of - - "dotty??" was H.H. Munro. Wrote under the name of "Saki".

Saki. The master of the short story. Also wrote novels and non-fiction long works too.

"Saki's stories were full of witty sayings . . . Sometimes they also included coded references to homosexuality."

Those coded references I will NOT comment upon!!

Born in Burma, served in the Burmese Police [the same as did Eric Blair, better known to the world as the great author George Orwell].

"In 1893 Munro joined the Burma police."

When WW1 began, Saki was forty four years old. Too old for military service. Saki, too, as did Selous, insisted in enlisting. Assigned to the INFANTRY, refused a commission, served as an enlisted man, and was killed by a sniper in 1916.

"although officially too old, Munro volunteered for the army as an ordinary soldier. He was killed by a sniper's bullet on November 14, 1916 in France, near Beaumont-Hamel. Munro was sheltering in a shell crater."

Dotty?? NO. Another man of valor, vigor, and honor.

Some may consider older men who enlist when they do not have to as dotty. I do not!!




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