ROYAL Scots Borderers serving in southern Afghanistan celebrated Hogmanay as best they could at Camp Bastion – with alcohol-free beer, “bucket reeling” and an early bed.
Corporal James Peters, of the Royal Logistic Corps, who took these photographs at the 28,000-strong British military base, described how the troops of 1Scots, an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, brought a wee bit of home to Lashkar Gah.
“They played games like Irn-Bru bong,” he said, “where two cans of pop are poured into a funnel with a long straw, and are gulped down as fast as possible without spilling any. In addition to the games they had a buffet, and lots of cans of fizzy pop – Irn-Bru, Mirinda (Fanta) and alcohol-free Becks.”
Cpl Peters explained another game called “bucket reeling”: “Twelve troops link arms in a circle and try to manoeuvre each other into a bucket in the centre of the circle. If they touched the bucket or broke the circle they were out. Once it was down to the last two they arm-wrestled to see who was the winner.
“The piper playing started each round. They also competed to hammer a three-inch nail into a piece of wood in the shortest number of hits possible.
“At five minutes to midnight, the guys all got together and had a countdown which was followed by Auld Lang Syne on the pipes and a quick dance and sing along. After which the troops all went to bed as it was business as usual for them the next day.”