Friday, September 3, 2010

Bill Millin, RIP

Here's a story to remind us why we admire the British in spite of the Guardian and all the loony loonies:
He was ordering now, as they waded up Sword Beach, in that drawly voice of his: “Give us a tune, piper.” Mr Millin thought him a mad bastard. The man beside him, on the point of jumping off, had taken a bullet in the face and gone under. But there was Lovat, strolling through fire quite calmly in his aristocratic way, allegedly wearing a monogrammed white pullover under his jacket and carrying an ancient Winchester rifle, so if he was mad Mr Millin thought he might as well be ridiculous too, and struck up “Hielan’ Laddie”. Lovat approved it with a thumbs-up, and asked for “The Road to the Isles”. Mr Millin inquired, half-joking, whether he should walk up and down in the traditional way of pipers. “Oh, yes. That would be lovely.”


rashkov said...

Interesting find.

Sorry to de-rail this thread, but if anyone knows any good information on the acquittal of an IDF officer for what seems like a gratuitous killing of 13 year old Iman al-Hams in 2004, well I would appreciate it for a discussion I am participating in. The only things I have found on it come from the Guardian and the BBC, which make it a pretty cut and dry "evil IDF" story. The Guardian version seems to be making the rounds on the internet, even though it is from 2005, because it was posted to the other day. Thanks.

BBC (a bit more lucid than the Guardian):


Anonymous said...

a bit late but I just started on the fourth in the Flashman-series

and it struck me how an author who in his first book bashed his people for about everything seems to be incapable of keeping it up and has more and more admiration for his stubborn, insufferable, lovable, eccentric countrymen creep into it.

i.e. the Bill Millins of them seem to dampen and partially overcome his rage. (and I am mighty glad he made it through)

Churchill tells in the Malakand Field Force (available at gutenberg) that at one point British officers were upright walking through the ditches in bright moonlight under fire while their men were lying protected behind their earth walls shooting back. I wonder whether there are still some left who pride themselves on this kind of nutty but admirable honour.

I remember a statistic of WW1 that the casualty numbers of British officers on the West-Front were a lot higher than German ones.