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Pte Hovenden's True Story.

Keith A of Hertford 02 Sep 01 - 07:28 AM
GUEST 02 Sep 01 - 12:03 PM
GUEST, Paul from Hull 02 Sep 01 - 12:05 PM
Charmion 02 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM
Sorcha 02 Sep 01 - 12:27 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Sep 01 - 01:07 PM
The_one_and_only_Dai 04 Sep 01 - 08:17 AM
Paul from Hull 04 Sep 01 - 01:43 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Sep 01 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Keith A at work 05 Sep 01 - 08:50 AM
Paul from Hull 05 Sep 01 - 10:13 AM
Susanne (skw) 06 Sep 01 - 06:49 PM
Geoff the Duck 06 Sep 01 - 08:22 PM
Paul from Hull 06 Sep 01 - 08:59 PM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Mar 15 - 11:47 AM
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Subject: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:28 AM

Whatever you think of the song, you will agree it is a remarkable story. It goes to the tune McCafferty/Lady Franklin's lament.
Pte RICHARD HOVENDEN OF THE 58th(Rutlandshire)REGT. OF FOOT
(Keith A of Hertford)

He nobly served in the Peninsular,
Was proved the hero at Bidassoa,
Drowning the horror, Pte Hovenden,
Was charged a drunkard,
With his four good friends.

Those steelbacks did the lash disdain,
And never showed if they felt the pain,
One hundred strokes they all nobly bore,
But Hovenden fainted,
After twentyfour.

Sharper than lashes was the shame,
He planned a way to regain his name,
To be bound again up against the wheel,
Fearing no more flogging
Than the cold French steel.

Up to his Colonel he marched away,
Banged in his heels and to him did say,
No disrespect from my lips would pass,
But I must say Sir,
That you are an arse.

In speechless fury his jaw hung wide,
And Hovenden was soon back inside,
One hundred strokes for his insolence,
And fifty more
Was the recompence.

But no cell could Hovenden contain,
As the French stormed Tolosa again,
The Colonel fell to those bold Frenchmen,
His life was saved by
Private Hovenden.

Then wounded back to his cell that night,
To await the flogging that was his right,
And there they found Pte Hovenden,
Released forever,
From his world of pain.

KA


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 12:03 PM

Wow! Excellent, Keith...I knew the story, but wasnt aware there was a song. Where did it come from...have YOU written it?

*busily trying to sing it to myself now, knowing the tune cos I sing 'MaCaffrey' myself*

I had thought the story was attributed to the Northamptonshire Regiment (48th & 58th) but maybe the Rutlandshire Regt started off as the Northants 2nd Battalion? (desperately trying to remember just WHERE Rutlandshire 'was')

Thanks again for posting it!


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: GUEST, Paul from Hull
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 12:05 PM

Grrrrrr.... That was me...I keep forgetting to put my name in. It somehow booted me out of the Members list a few days ago...


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM

"McCaffery" is in my repertoire, too; I learned it from an old Ewan MacColl record called "Bless 'Em All" and have not encountered it coming from any other source, probably because I am Canadian. This "Pte Hovenden" doesn't look like a real broadside; it contains phrases typical of 20th-century Brit soldiers -- "banged in his heels" and "back inside", for example -- and two very modern-sounding references to emotional distress -- "drowned the horror" and "released forever from his world of pain". So who wrote this ballad? This enquiring mind would like to know!


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 12:27 PM

See the parentheses below the title? I am guessing that means Keith A wrote it........


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 01:07 PM

Ahem....yes, thank you.
Right Paul, the58th 48th were the Northamptons and liked to be known as steelbacks to show they cared not to be flogged. My source gives it as the58th Rutlands at the time of these incidents.
Thanks again, Keith.


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 08:17 AM

Cracking song Keith, can I sing it please?


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 01:43 PM

Hmmmm..was SURE I'd posted on here again, but seemingly not...

Superb song, Keith, & thanks for the clarification. Its depressing to me how much Military & 'political' re-organisation has swept away so much County/Military tradition...historically so much a part of the British Armys 'strength' & prowess (though taken to an illogical & extremely unfortunate degree in the 'Pals' Battalions of WW1)

(& lest anyone think I'm sounding like too much the 'Militarist' I want to assure people that thats REALLY not the case.....)

Charmion, 'McCaffery' is probably a story worthy of a thread in itself. Based on a true event, it seems like it was so disapproved of by the 'Authorities', that it was still believed, in the years between the 2 World Wars, that to sing it was a Chargeable Offence in the British Army. (& for THAT notion to persist (whether true or not) one dreads to think how fearful those who sang it were, prior to that time).

Thus, I suspect its a song that possibly NEVER appeared in print until modern times (desperately trying to find my copy of the (UK) 1970's paperback 'Songs & Ballads of WW11' where I first encountered it.....a while before I ever heard it sung, on vinyl or live) - which may account for the number of variant forms of it that were found, making it very much a part of the oral tradition, I suppose!

Thats a task I think I may give myself...tracking it all down... as it doesnt seem to be in the Database, or to have any threads on it thus far.....though that might be down to my inability to 'work' this site.....*G*


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 01:54 PM

Thanks for the interst and kind words. Please sing away but when I sang it I felt it didn't go across very well.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: GUEST,Keith A at work
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 08:50 AM

McCassery is the title under which McCaffery can be found in the DT. I always sing it as McCafferty and there is some ambiguity to the name, I don't suppose he could write it. I think I remember it being mentioned in threads but we could still start one. I have some background to his story if you are interested. Reading your posts Paul, I'm sure you know more than I do.
Leaving with a good intent,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 10:13 AM

Aha! Never thought to try 'McCassery'...I should have done. Thanks Keith.

Well, I'll dig up what I know, & try & give the 'References'......& try a Websearch too, to see if that maybe yields any more.


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 06:49 PM

Some more info on McCafferty here. It's still in the 'Allinone' file so you'll have to scroll down till you reach McCafferty.


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:22 PM

Interesting how songs change with different renditions.


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:59 PM

Wow! Thanks Susanne..as much, if not MORE info there than I was actually aware of.... which is just as well, cos a Search of the web yielded precisely NOTHING, which surprised me.... (& now I'm saved the trouble of typing out what I know)


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Subject: RE: Pte Hovenden's True Story.
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Mar 15 - 11:47 AM

Now retired, I have been reading Cornwell's "Sharpe" stories.
It has reminded me of this story which would seem too far fetched to believe if found in a book.

I found this quote,
"    The nicknames of the 58th are the "Black Cuffs" and the 2Steelbacks." The latter is said to be bestowed from their coolness in taking the floggings that were freely given in early days. This is admirably described in "Nicknames and Traditions of the British Army" in the following words; "While serving under Wellington in the Peninsular War, one Hovenden, a private in the regiment, was ordered to be flogged for his share in a breach of discipline; at the twentieth lash he became so exhausted that he fainted. So annoyed were his comrades that they would not recognise him. Discovering the cause of their conduct, he marched on to the square where the colonel was standing and told him that he (the colonel) was a fool; for this he was again sentenced to be flogged. During the night, while lying in his cell, the French attacked the regiment. Evading the guard, he escaped from the scene of the conflict, only to see his colonel wounded and in the hands of the enemy. Seizing a musket, he shot the Frenchman and liberated the colonel. After binding up his wounds he left him, and was making his way back to the cell when a bullet struck him, and entering the cell he expired. His desire to be flogged again was therefore not gratified."          The depot was at Northampton.

http://www.regimental-art.com/northamptonshire_reg.htm

I will try it tonight at the White Horse.
Vers 1 now
He nobly served in the Peninsular,
Was proved the hero at Bidassoa,
To drown the horror was his mission then,
But was charged a drunkard,
With his four good friends.


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