The Black Watch’s Sir Bernard Fergusson commanded one of Wingate’s columns in Burma and often gave the impression of being a little eccentric. His monocle failed to impress some Australian troops when they first paraded in front of him. Next day, the Aussies all went on parade with beer bottle caps over one eye to mock their new commander. Fergusson took one look at the Aussies and threw his monocle in the air – catching it in his eye socket when it dropped. “Now do that,” he told the mocking Antipodeans. The Aussies quickly realised they were dealing with no ordinary Pommie officer.

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