Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tribute to Dave - Corporal Docherty, Sergeant Millsy & The Shovel of Doom

The last Tribute for my Painting Challenge assistants is for Dave Docherty, our prized 'Wednesday Minion' (who also doubled as our peerless Sultan of the Sudan). Dave has been a long-time supporter of the Challengehaving been in the scrum since its second incarnation (the 'Year of the Vikings', I believe), so I was delighted to have hiassisting me with the circus this time out. He's a great trooper, that Mr. D.

Originally I was going to do-up a single figure, the fellow seen here leading with the pipe - but while I was preparing the figure an idea came along which made me modify my plan and allowed me to have a bit more fun with the composition.

As many of you know, this year Dave created a funny story-line featuring himself, Millsy and, the close friend of every infantryman, a shovel. In Dave's story the imperious 'Major Docherty' harangues a hapless 'Corporal Millsy', who's only expertise it seems to be in the digging of latrines.  As I was working on Dave's 'tribute'it dawned on me that it might be fun to expand upon his story of the doughty Docherty, the maniacal Millsy and the Shovel of Doom. So I converted another figure to accompany the first and wrote a brief flight of fancy, an un conte, which mixes a Moorcock-esque premise with a dash of Black Adder magic-realism.


'C'mon Corporal Docherty, keep up. We're late.'

'Remind me again, Sergeant Millsy, why do I have to lug around this bloody shovel?'

'Well, first, I outrank you this time out, and if you'll remember dear heart, it was I who had to use that thing instead of a proper lance in our last outing, when we were in The Valley. Do you remember? I had a hell of a time whacking away at those Frenchies with that blasted shovel. Granted, it does have a wicked edge on it and '



'They were Russians, Millsy, you addled git. We were allied with the French, fighting the nasty Russians. Mind you, even Raglan, that inbred one-armed antique, couldn't keep it straight...'

'Oh, yes I remember now. You know, after that scrap in that frightful Belgian farmyard I can never get my head wrapped around the idea of the Frogs being on our side... Anyway, no matter, it's your bloody turn Corporal Docherty. You know the rules - one stripe, one shovel, one battle.'

'Right. You're quite right... So, where are we off to this time Sergeant Millsy? It's blasted hot and what in God's name is that infernal racket? It's giving me a headache. It sounds like a bloody train is about to take station over that ridge.

'I don't know what the sound is, but I can tell you that we're marching to fall in with the lads of the 24th. The poor sods have that idiot Chelmsford bossing them about so they need all the help they can get. They're all near that hill over yonder. Damn, what's it called again? It's a odd, foreign-sounding name... Ah yes, I rememberIsandwana

Now, hurry up...'


Thank you very much for all your help Dave. I hope you like this little vignette and thanks for indulging me on my little departure on your original story. :)