A divorce in Cyprus
Keeping the Peace
By Tom Lessard
After living in Lizard Flats for a few months, the monotony of the same routine and weather day after day with very little excitement, we waited for something interesting.
It just so happened that two corporals living in the signals shack had a disagreement resulting in one throwing the other out – lock, stock and barrel. A complaint was made that Corporal J. was fooling around on Corporal G. with the latter’s donkey. Corporal G. filed for a divorce.
A court was set up on the patio of the junior ranks canteen. Sergeant T. was asked to preside as judge and to hear the case. He was agreeable and set up court during the noon hours.
Both complainant and defendant acquired lawyers. A court clerk and bailiff were assigned to court duties. Also, there were MPs in attendance. Each day after lunch, the judge allotted a certain amount of time for the sessions.
As soon as the complaint was read, the defendant became belligerent and charged after the complainant, knocking over a table and taking a swing. Quickly, the MPs restored order. Each side’s lawyer presented his client’s case and charges were made by both.
Numerous times over the next couple of weeks, the judge had to quiet things down to try to restore order in the court. As the days went by, word got around to the rest of the battalion and the gallery increased to overflowing. It was the best entertainment on the island.
But as all good things must come to an end (it seems some people just can’t take a joke), in the middle of the trial it was brought to our attention that the company commander had received mail from some wives at home who wanted to know what the devil was going on over there.
The trial was quickly dispensed with, and everyone went back to their normal duties. The donkey was never brought to court, and the two belligerents – to the best of my knowledge – never did reconcile.