max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk/Afghanistan: Prince Harry was not exempt from making the tea on tour

00:05 27 January 2013

HRH Prince Harry (left) or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache

HRH Prince Harry (left) or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache

PRINCE Harry and his colleagues from Suffolk-based 662 squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan last week. JAMES EDGAR find out more about the Prince’s daily life during the four months away.


HE may be third-in-line to the throne, an army captain and responsible for attack helicopters worth £45 million, but Prince Harry was not exempt from making the tea in Afghanistan.

Losing the daily round of Uckers, a traditional military board-game, would consign the 28-year-old to a shift of servitude, at the beck and call of his bell-ringing comrades.

The relaxed setting of the Uckers board outside the airmen’s VHR (very high readiness) tent belies both the fierce competitive edge to the game and the ever-present threat of a call to scramble to the Apaches.

Harry and the three other pilots on his flight of two aircraft kick back, eat chocolate, tune in to the radio and swat at the irrepressible flies.

They are surrounded by reminders of the war they are fighting - their benches are propped up on empty ammunition boxes and the wire frames of Hesco defence barriers overhead is a camouflage net giving some much-needed shade. Empty shell cases make perfect ash-trays.

At arm’s reach is always the “Shout” telephone, which triggers a dash to their primed attack helicopters.

Captain Simon Beattie, Harry’s flight commander, explained the Uckers routine: “It’s always the thing we do first in the morning, with my flight.

“And the loser ends up being on call. We ring the bell and they make the brews, and for anyone that comes by.”

The four airmen in Harry’s team were so determined not to suffer the indignity of being the on-call servant, some underhand tactics were not out of the question.

Asked if it was particularly satisfying to force the prince to play butler, Capt Beattie beamed: “Absolutely. Especially when you’ve cheated the whole way round!”

Harry defended his Uckers record amid rumours he was not as good at the game as he is on the PlayStation.

“I don’t know who told you that, it was probably Si,” the royal said to journalists.

“I lost two days ago, and yesterday, so since you guys have been here I’ve only lost.

“I won last night, which was good. Very quickly.”

Similar to Ludo, Uckers is traditionally a Royal Navy game, but it is also very popular in the Army Air Corps.



  • Does anybody REALLY believe this ridiculous propaganda?

    Report this comment


    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • How interesting....zzzz

    Report this comment

    Captain Slog

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Essex police are investigating a robbery at Jaywick.

An 88-year-old Essex man suffered a broken hip when he was knocked to the ground by robbers who burst into his Jaywick home.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Ipswich Park and Ride. Martlesham.

The two remaining park and ride sites in Ipswich could close in three years’ time if there is not a substantial increase in the number of motorists using them.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

Dan Poulter with Lord Robert Winston

ES 18.3.11

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet training day at Elstree film studios in Hertfordshire has come under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Dr Dan Poulter.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenager must pay nearly £300 in fines and court costs after admitting being drunk and disorderly in Kesgrave.

Childhood obesity figures revealed

One in 10 Suffolk children will become obese or overweight before leaving primary school, new figures have revealed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24