Dennis Adams - 3RTR Legend (Surely?)

It was with love in her eyes when Mrs Adams looked over at her new born babe as he lay in a cot near her bed. ‘I wonder what’ll become of little Dennis’ she thought as he lay slumbering. If only she’d known that, over the next two centuries he’d become a legend in his own time!!

Dennis was a fiery chap as a kid!As a youngster, Dennis grew up in a relatively rough neighbourhood. He quickly learnt to fight his own battles as all the other lads in the neighbourhood were bigger than him. His demure stature seemed to invite numerous beatings at their hands………and feet. Dennis found that, even when being beaten to the ground, he could still bite the assailant’s knees then ankles on his way down. This however, sadly, only meant that when on the floor, his beatings were meted out with even more ferocity by his attackers.

So, Dennis grew up with true grit and tenacity despite being not much greater in stature than a goblin. Under Queen Victoria’s reign the profession of soldiering seemed to offer a true vocation for Dennis and he duly enlisted in the Army. He quickly distinguished himself being in action at Rorkes Drift. He became known as the ‘kraal butcher’ as he single handedly disposed of 200 men. It seemed to matter not to his OC that 22 of those men were in fact, his own, unfortunately shot by Dennis, in the back, as they surged forward in response to (by now) LCpl Adams’ order to charge at the 2000 Zulu warriors mooning to their front. Dennis screamed “CHARGE AND GET THOSE ZULU FECKING WARRIORS DOWN!”. “Cracking good show Cpl Adams!!” The OC bawled at a dusty faced Dennis. “But Sir I’m only a Lance Jack" responded Dennis. “Not bloody now you’re not, I’m field promoting you to fullscrew with immediate effect and, I’ll get one of the Taff choristers to write a song about the action!!!” Hence, that well known ditty ‘Get ‘em down, you Zulu warrior’ was born.

Upon return to England, Cpl Adams had decided that he’d had enough of infanteering and decided to give horses a Keep Up Dennisgo. Having transferred to a Hussar unit, his stay was fairly short lived as he, one morning, misunderstood the order to ‘provide a sample’ from the CO’s prize stallion, into the bucket he’d been given. He was soon found, in the stable trying to manipulate said, now painfully neighing, stallion’s erect member into providing a full bucket of ‘sample’. Even when it had been explained that he’d been meant to provide a ‘stool sample’ by simply shovelling fresh dung into the bucket, he continued to manipulate the stallion while chuckling with a gleam in his eye. Quickly, Dennis found that his services were no longer required in the cavalry. It seemed that his deed was ‘beyond the pale’ even in an organisation that openly advocated donkey buggery!!!

Dennis now entered the 20th Century and, with the onset of WW1, as a full Corporal, found himself as an Instructor for the Women’s Royal Voluntary Auxillary Balloon Corps. However, one day during one of the initial Zeppelin air raids, his order to “Haul in that fecking barrage balloon and clean the cable you daft bitch!” brought a hail of bombs down in central London shortly followed by a telegram from the King to the GOC saying:

‘We are not fecking amused at having a Buck house tea party disturbed by the Kaiser’s bombs falling nearby just because some ttwwaaaaattttttt called Adams decided to pull in a barrage balloon. Get rid of him now, and I mean NOW....!!”

Dennis then found himself ‘volunteering’ for a ‘Dangerous and Hazardous mission’ with the Heavy Branch the Machine Gun Corps. He served through WW1 with the newly invented ‘Tanks’. It wasn’t an easy time for Dennis as, he quickly proved he had the mechanical prowess of a lemming. Rumours quickly grew that the early tanks were unreliable when, in fact, it was Dennis proving that, every tank he entered, could be easily broken with an F type spanner!!!

Come and join Dennis!!After WW1, Dennis distinguished himself in the new ‘wireless’ field by, ensuring that any procedure he transmitted, was wrong causing confusion all over Salisbury Plain where the command and control trials were taking place. This echoed through to the early stages of WW2 when, this ‘DA’ as it had become known, confusion ensured that the BEF could not sustain a viable answer to the German blitzkrieg through the Low countries. The only saving grace to this being the German high command, halting their rampant advance outside Dunkirk as, they heard of ‘That verdammte Fullscrew Dennis Adams’ and his cockups and, were laughing so hard, they all suffered a bout of involuntary defecation which took them to the latrines for almost a week! During their absence, the lack of orders forced the panzers to a halt enabling Churchill’s ‘miracle’ of the BEF’s evacuation from the beaches.

Dennis now found himself in the newly returned to Blighty 3rd Royal Tank Regiment where he took a post in the QM’s spare parts stores. Shortly after, Dennis found himself in Greece where the Regiment was tasked with, once more, stemming a German advance. In the annals of history this was catalogued as a disaster as the Regiment retreated leaving it’s cruiser tanks strewn through the country due to unreliability and a ‘shortage of spare parts’. In the Regimental war diary though, a different story is told. ‘ That tttwwwwaaaattttt Adams has done it again………….our cruiser spares arrived today……….from fecking Essen!! Adams ordered spares via a telephone hotline number in a spares catalogue…….for the Panzer fecking 3. When I questioned him he’d ordered these from a captured German catalogue because QUOTE “I thought the Panzer was more reliable than our own pieces of junk!!!!”UNQUOTE.

Dennis AdamsDennis now found himself tied to a stores role for the rest of his career albeit in an administrative role as he found itdifficult to ‘conform’. Such as in the North African desert where, when asked to order new items of uniform for the troops, the resultant issue of sweaters and thermal underwear, nearly brought on a mutiny and, Dennis nearly died in the beating that followed where the whole of A Squadron hit him, constantly, with M3 General Grant trackpins which,incidently, should have been M3 Stuart trackpins which they’d ordered for their Stuart tanks through………Dennis!!! At one point it was rumoured that Monty himself was heard to shout, "Why the feck don't you just sack the twaaatttttt??!!"

When WW2 ended, 3RTR were the lead Allied unit in therace for the Baltic coast. It was lucky the war ended when it did as, Dennis and the entire stores of 3RTR were, in fact heading for the Swiss border after Dennis misread a 6 figure map reference and led the entire Regimental Rear Echelon packet South instead of North. Dennis, remaining a Fullscrew continued to serve with 3RTR through the cold war. His motto…..”Once a Fullscrew, always a Fullscrew” became known throughout the whole British Army. However, with the advent of the Cold War’s end, 1992 saw the end of 3RTR as it amalgamated with 2RTR . The Regimental standard was laid up in London and Dennis?? Well, he was placed in frozen Cryo Stasis and, as he shouted “Feck yo………….” the dry ice met his larynx and froze his words on his lips. The chamber was sealed and a label stuck to it’s door……

  Dennis Adams...not to be let out unless!  

A few years have passed since Dennis Adams loyally toiled away in the QM Department. He, like many others were and still are ridiculed by the 'Tank Park' soldiers. It was this type of banter that actually made for a better Regiment and I am sure that we all realised that we needed men like Dennis Adams behind us, (the further back the better..some would argue!!). Dennis was actually promoted to Sergeant, on merit, in the twilight of his career, and sadly passed to The Green Fields Beyond in January 2009. Dennis will forever be remembered as a Corporal and I am sure when he reached those Pearly Gates, the gate guard would have announced " Flipping Heck ....Dennis Adams ......I remember you as a Full Screw!!! "




My thanks must go to Malcolm Cleverley who rather cleverley penned this for me.....I have not yet paid for it, but promise to do so at some stage!!!!