In The Spotlight - More Missives from Torch Bennett

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Oct 11, 2021, 1:47:52 PM10/11/21
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In The Spotlight – More Missives from Torch Bennett
By Ed “Hazukashii” Howell
11 Oct 2021

Following up on the revelation of when ‘Torch’ Bennett believes the ‘HASH HOUSE’ Harriers got their start (July 1939), in his letters to Hema (a.k.a. Colin Snow) from 1981 . . . here are a few more bits on hash history for you to ponder. 

1.  As one of the founding members of the HHH, and an early On-Sec, Torch wrote the hash trash with a special sort of British humour.  Torch stated . . . “I did the weekly circular and used to try to embellish them with a little ode on some incident on the previous weeks run, a variant of the cartoon character “Sporting Sam” . . . “or match-stick-man drawings, but by the 100th run we were all too pre-occupied with other things.”  Sporting Sam [] was a British political comic series that ran from 1908-1995.  This cartoon seems poignant for the time:

2.  Both G and Torch worked for Evatts & Co as accountants before the war, where they first met in Singapore in 1934.  After the war, Torch continued to work for Evatts stating . . . “I actually left Evatts for Neill & Bell (now Couper Bros) on 31/3/47 and retired from N. & B. on 31/3/58.” 

3.  As far as his hashing career goes, he states . . . “I had actually stopped active participation some time earlier [before his retirement in 1958], partly on account of anno domini and partly as having survived the war and subsequent P.O.W. life, I didn’t want my impending retirement stopped by bandits.”  This confirms his status as a POW, which I will need to do a little more research on to better elaborate.  The bandits he mentions refers to an incident that occurs post war in 1948, as told by Cecil Lee: “This has been widely misreported, but what actually happened was that below where the Lady Templer Hospital is now, in an area that was then rubber and belukar, the Hares on a darkening and rainy evening came across some men wrapped in ground sheets sleeping on the ground. The following pack found the bandits on their feet but someone, in the general confusion nobody got hurt. One member ran to Cheras Police Station and raised the alarm; the army laid ambushes on tracks leading out of the area and first thing the following morning bagged three bandits trying to break out. One of them was found to have a substantial price on his head and the bounty was shared among the non-government employees on the run (government servants were not allowed to participate in such rewards).”

4 Torch makes reference to the original Hash Anthem being Anthony Rolly.  This is actually an old British children's song known as ‘A Frog be would a-wooing go.’  So, for those looking to replace Swing Low, consider this:

Anthony Rolly
(a.k.a. Anthony Roly, Anthony Rowley . . . A Frog be would a-wooing go)
The tune can be heard in this children’s version:

"A" is for asshole, all covered in shit

[Chorus, the first (c1)] = "Heigh-ho," says Rolly.

"B" is for the bugger who revels in it,

[Chorus, the second (c2)] = Singing rolly, poley, up'em and stuff'em, "Heigh-ho," says Anthony Rolly.

[Then start the sequence again]

"C" is for cunt all dripping with piss, (c1)

"D" is for the drunkard who gave it a kiss, (c2)

"E" is for the eunuch with only one ball, (c1)

"F" is for the fucker with no balls at all, (c2)

"G" is for goiter, gonorrhea, and gout, (c1)

"H" is the harlot who spreads it about, (c2)

"I" is for insertion, injection and itch, (c1)

"J" is the jerk of a dog on a bitch, (c2)

"K" is for knight who thought fucking a bore, (c1)

"L" is the lesbian who came back for more, (c2)

"M" is for maidenhead all tattered and torn, (c1)

"N" is the noble who died on his horn, (c2)

"O" is for orifice all cunningly concealed, (c1)

"P" is the penis all pranged up and peeled, (c2)

"Q" is the Quaker who shat in his hat. (c1)

"R" is the Rajah who rogered the cat, (c2)

"S" is the shit-pot all filled to the brim, (c1)

"T" is the turds which are floating within, (c2)

"U" is the usher who taught us at school, (c1)

"V" is the virgin who played with his tool, (c2)

"W" is the whore who thought fucking a farce, (c1)

And "X", "Y", and "Z" you can shove up your arse, (c2)

5 And finally, for those who are still doubters . . . Torch makes it clear when he says:  “. . . an American friend sent me a cutting from the Wall Street Journal in 1975 with a long article about us, and said ‘surely there can’t be two Torch Bennetts in this world”.  In it, both G. and myself were called Australians, horrible thought.”  No offense to the chain gang down under, (well . . . then there is Hamersley of course).   If any hasher out there has a Nexis Lexis account, I would be grateful if you could look up this article and send it to me.  Much appreciated.

For many more articles like this on the history of hashing, check out . . .

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