News has started leaking out that a duel was fought between two British army officers at the Allenby barracks in Bovington Camp, Dorset last Friday night after an end-of-course Fathers and Sons dinner for young tank troop commanders of the Royal Armoured Corps.
Apparently there was a disagreement between two serving officers, and a demand of satisfaction was made. It was then decided to settle it with a duel held on board kayaks in the swimming pool and the weapon of choice was 16mm flares. The protagonists were reported as being naked at the time.
It seems at some point a misdirected flare careened through a window into the officers mess on the 7th floor of the barracks.
Attempts at bringing the fire under control were hampered somewhat when it was discovered that the fire hydrants had all been shut off several months before due to concerns regarding the possible presence of Legionnaires disease in the water system after an outbreak in January. This resulted in the staff attempting to fight the fire with handheld C02 extinguishers, but the fire was too great and the local Fire Brigade had to be called to deal with the blaze.
Luckily there were no casualties and the plucky firemen managed to safely rescue the cheese board....
The fire was contained mainly to a corridor, although there was extensive smoke damage to the whole floor as can be seen in pictures taken the morning after the duel....
Army sources suggested the incident was being viewed as “high jinx rather than criminal damage”, and an Army spokesperson said: “We can confirm a fire occurred on Friday evening at Bovington Camp, Dorset Fire & Rescue attended the fire. There was some damage but no one was injured, while an investigation is taking place it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
It's refreshing to see British Cavalry Officers still uphold the traditions of the service after so many years since the banning of satisfaction in an affair of honour. I am personally delighted and impressed to hear of this!