View Full Version : "The 'Clear the Causeways'"

5th May 2009, 06:11

I asked about them a few years back and someone did identify them: ORAC, I am almost sure.

I have lost/forgotten the answer. They were a regiment of the British Army and my hazy memory associates the name with (a) what used to be called "the Near East", as in possibly Turkey and (b) Chanak around 1920 or so.

Help, please: Who were they?


In my youth I did meet the minister involved in this tale. During WW2 he was padre of a Highland regiment in the Western desert. The merry men decided to build a regimental chapel of the Church of Scotland, set about it, and duly got it built of stone on schedule. Good job.

Next thing was the interior. Pews were built and installed and the last great effort was diirected to the Communion Table and the Pulpit. At this stage there was much secrecy. The padre was carefully kept out of the loop for "the Surprise!" He knew something was planned, but not what. As a true gentleman he contained his curiosity.

Came the Day. The Surprise was unveiled. The Communion Table or the Pulpit, whichever, was revealed in beautifully constructed oak with the equally beautiful legend carved in the wood: "Scotland For Ever".

With pride the builders awaited praise. The padre gave it generously ...... but, he demurred, ...... ummm ...... did the legend truly capture the Christian message?????

The lads digested this, and concluded that maybe he was not so far wrong. He was told to keep his mind easy, Sur, that all would be made perfect, and it was.

Next time he saw the carving, it had been completed. It now read: "Scotland for Ever and Ever, Amen".

Anyone know where that regimental chapel is?

5th May 2009, 06:31

There you are Mr Davaar.

tony draper
5th May 2009, 06:45
Something on it here.
Cleanse the Causeway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleanse_the_Causeway)

5th May 2009, 08:35
Well thank you.

The incident I have in mind is not the Douglas's outing but the one at Gallipoli.

Perhaps a postscript to my inquiry might interest some. My late father had been a machine-gunner in the Highland Light Infantry (he met a sergeant Davaar in the regiment, who turned out to be a cousin, and became RSM in India in WW2). After WW1 my father and others entered the ministry (one I remember had a DCM for taking out a German machine-gun nest on the Western Front, and another had flown the Bristol Fighter in the RFC), and when WW2 rolled round joined the Home Guard.

My father was captain of his unit, which was composed largely of hard nut Irish coal miners, and his "day job" of presbyterian minister was not entirely consistent with a bunch of Irish RC heavies, so it was no doubt inevitable that someone would try the limits of what was acceptable.

Of course they did not know he had been a “real” soldier. One character had a go and Dad, knowing the man's history, asked: “So tell me, Xxxxxxxxx, is this the discipline they taught in the “Clear the Causeways”?

There was a stunned silence: “And fwatt does yerself know about thim, Sorr?”

My recollection of the story was that the chap had been in the Inniskillings, but it may have been the Dublin Fusiliers as the research suggests.

Anyway there was no more problem.

Sometimes in these pages the anti-Christianity faction talks of the wimpish and crutch-leaning religious crew. Well now. One of my Dad’s crew, O’yyyyyyyy, had been in WW1 and badly wounded. That left him unable to carry a rifle but he was keen to serve, so they managed to get him in, and my Dad arranged for him to have a revolver and eventually ammunition.

Out on his pastoral visitations on day, Father was accosted by the village gendarme, very agitated. It seemed that O’yyyyyyyy, plus the said revolver, was in the village pub, and had announced that he was there to settle accounts with ZZZZZZZZZZ, a close companion.

The polis wanted Father to cope. "But Mr MMMMMMMM", said Father, "Surely this is your part of the ship; you are the policeman and I am only the minister!"

“That’s true, Mr Davaar”, said the policeman, “But YOU gave him the gun!”.

Father acknowledged the truth in this and made his way to the pub. Sure enough, it was a scene from B Cowboy movie. O’yyyyyyyy was at the bar, attempting the swing with the trigger guard, and sweeping the rest with the revolver, they being crammed against the walls, petrified. Father engaged O’yyyyyyy in conversation and then thought it might be a good idea if he handed over the revolver, which he did. Incident closed.

Another day in the life of a parish minister.