Can you assist in identifying everyone in this photo?

We just came into possession of this photograph along with an accompanying poem, both of which were kindly provided to us by former P.C. Jim McIlwain.   The envelope indicated that it contained a missive from Eric "Wee Eckie" Laing from his "Collection of writings and memories" which was given to Jim by his fellow Scotsman.  Jim explained that the subject matter was also one of his fond memories of Bermuda.

Before you read any further I would ask that you have a close look at the photo to see how many people you can recognize, and then try to figure out what on earth they were up to on official business down East!

The explanation is contained in this excellent poem written by the "Wee Eckie" who clearly had a way with words coupled with a great sense of humour. Here is "Wee Eckie's" Ode to "An Advenure in Old St. George's".

 

Young P.C. Eric "Wee Eckie" Laing

AN ADVENTURE IN OLD ST. GEORGE'S   -  JULY 1967

 

At 2.pm on Friday the 21st of July

We were sitting in the Police Club eating BLT on rye,

When a giant Irish Sergeant, like a bolt from out the blue,

Said, "Just the men I'm looking for, I have a job for you."

Poor Flooky went six shades of white beneath his golden tan,

My stomach turned then churned and burned and left me feeling wan,

The Sergeant spake the awful words in his growling Irish brogue, Said he, "It seems a woman's found a safe, somewhere off Cut Road".

 

Now "somewhere" is the mildest term he possibly could have used,

T'WAS SEVENTY BLOODY FEET DOWN! all rusty and abused,

It seems this woman, bless her heart, had thought it might hold treasure,

She'd staked her claim but couldn't raise it, to do so was our measure;

 

With typical British dignity and in seniority of rank,

We stumbled, fell and clawed our way, to the bottom of the bank,

There we saw the object of all the 'fficial fuss,

Three by three by four, perhaps, it looked nothing much to us;

 

"We can move it easily" he Sergeant calmly said,

And straightening up to plot our course, promptly banged his head

On an overrhanging awkward branch of an old, dead cedar tree,

The likes of which were fifty more, between the top and we;

So shirts and jackets belts and vests into the bush were cast,

Alas in ur exhuberence, poor Flooky's pipe gopt lost,

Eventually we got started, to move the safe around,

To get it off the water's edge and on to solid ground;

 

Well, we took a deep breath all around and pushed and pulled and moved it once its length.

We had to stop; this humble effort made us sweat like mad,

Sarge was gushing sweat from pores he never knew he had;

At length I said "to hell with this. let's get it up the hill,

With gritted teeth we bent and heaved it upwards with a will,

Over and over and over it went, first this way then that,

Till twenty feet above the shore we rested on a flat;

 

The sounds of voices high above filled our hearts with hope,

There, crashing down, came Jim and Al and Neill, with a rope,

This was quickly fastened so that they could take the strain,

And hold the cursed, bloody thing when we rested once again;

 

The next was bound to happen, Sarge's hand caught 'neath the rope,

I laughed and vanished suddenly, backwards down the slope;

It  seemed no solid ground was there as I got set to push,

My mighty thrust reversed itself and threw me in the bush!

 

The straw that broke the camel's back of what that might be called.

I was angry then and when I'm mad, something's going to fall

Sarge and Flook were in accord, determined was their mein

We attacked the safe with furious strength and up it went again.

 

Suddenly Flooky's voice went booming viciously o'er the rocks.

Snagged on a cedar halfway down, was half of one of his socks,

I laughted again and stumbled over a hidden cedar root,

Sarge yelled "stop  ye highland nit, it's on my bloody foot!"

 

We rescued him and off we went quite steadily its true,

Till at last, (Ye gods, at last!) the summit came in view,

I saw the laddies on the rope, pulling away like slaves,

Two were stripped and sweating, Al still wore his cap and shades,

"Ten feet to go, we're nearly there!: was all that we could say,

"Let's go!" said Sarge, and go we did, this time all the way;

 

You've earned your beer this day" he said and thanked us all around,

As at the top we wheezed and gasped and flopped all over the ground.

 

To put it in the truck was next; here, we began to argue,

When a female voice behind us said, "You're not taking my table are you,"

 

Not a sound was heard in the silece that followed that remark

Till Flook collapsed with an anguishged sob, clutching his aching back ,

"What do you mean, 'your table'?" Sarge asked in a deadly voice,

"Are you telling me that this safe here was down there by choice?"

"Oh yes" she says unwittingly, "My husbands friends and he",

"Put it there so we could have our picnics by the sea".

 

Then the Sarge exploded, his vernacular singed the grass,

'KISS ME!" he roared (I can't remember where but I know it rhymed with grass)

"Now see here!  this is private property although some signs it lacks,

And I'll be much oblighed if you will kindly put it back!"

 

A glint came to the Sergeant's eyes, as he slowly swung around,

"Okay lads", he says to us, "Let's put the thing back down".

 

We managed well till halfway down, the safe began to roll,

Nine hundred weight is far too much for four poor men to hold,

And thus the tale is ended, quite happily for we.

 

Now she can have her picnics - not only by,  but IN, the sea!

 

_______________________________________________________________ 

 

Editors note  -  Many thanks to Jim McIlwain for sending us this excellent poem written by Eric "Wee Eckie" Laing.  

Young P.C. Jim McIlwain

 

Jim mentioned that  it is taken from Eric's "collection of writings and memories.  It would be very interesting to hear if anyone has any more poems or writings by "Wee Eckie" and if so we would be delighted to receive them.

 

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Comments  

#5 Davie Kerr 2018-05-20 17:27
I wouldn't have got Neil Cox, and I think Jim McIlwain has slimmed down a bit since those days, but I'm with John H on Flooky, Ecky, Alan and Joe...

Editors note - It's definitely Neil Cox, and I'm not sure Jim McIlwain is any slimmer now than he was then!
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#4 George Rose 2018-05-18 18:27
Isn't that Jimmy McIlwain himself at front left that no-one seems to have actually yet named?

Editors note - That's exactly who it is George. Jim is currently on Island and he personally delivered both the photo and the poem to my daughter's office. Have been trying to contact him to ascertain who the other people are. Will keep trying.
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#3 John Headey 2018-05-17 06:57
Before my time, but could that be Laurie Jackson back left?
Brian Flook(leaning), Alan Proctor(2nd left front)and Joe Colton:(T shirt),
with Ecky showing his muscles. Others I don’t know.

Editors note - Many thanks John. I don't think it's Laurie Jackson back left but youre spot on with Brian Flook, Alan Proctor, Joe Colton and Ecky Laing.
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#2 Peter brown 2018-05-16 15:20
To the right of Neil Cox in the white shirt is Joe Colton who at the time was a Sergeant at St.George

Editors note - Correct on both ID's Peter.
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#1 terry Bawden 2018-05-15 10:16
Rear row third from left looks like Brian Flook, and bottom row far right could be Neil Cox, the rest I don't recognise.

Editors note - Spot on with those two Terry. Many thanks.
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