The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30284   Message #605554
Posted By: GUEST,Boab
07-Dec-01 - 05:08 AM
Thread Name: ADD: Kilroy Was Here (Ewan MacColl)
Subject: RE: Kilroy Was Here-Ewan MacColl
I lost a dear Friend last week. He was one of the decrasing number who earned, back in the early forties, the nickname "Desert Rats"---a soubriquet attached by non other than Erwin Rommel, whom, my pal Johnny insisted, was one of the finest Officers ever to command an army. Johnny was RAF regiment, but had to share the to-ing and fro-ing with all theother squaddies in North Africa. He used to tell us of many of the more humorous facets of life in the Desert. One of the things he used to recount was a practice which he attributed to the wags in the 51st Highland Div.., who always claimed to be in the forefront of things. He reckoned that no matter how fast most of the army could scamper after Rommels army [when the scampering was in that direction, at least!] there was this ever-present scrawled exclamation left by some impudent squaddie of the 51st---"Kilroy Was Here!" The wee man peeking over the wall, as far as I recall, was known as "Chad". The true origin of the expression will likely lie elsewhere; but the war in the Desert surely dates it well back.