Legio Patria Nostra and all that... what does that mean for you the grunt. Well it means you will be spending Christmas with your family... your French family, yup the rest of the French army goes home for chrimbo, you guys do not. However, the Legion make it a party not to miss, not sure about other regiments but the REP get every section to make a cresh, a little model of JC and his mommy and all the lil farm animals... they also get each section to build a bar :D

Work it out for yourself how many bars that is because you aint allowed to sleep untill you visit the lot! The only time all four companies were in Calvi in my entire time was at Christmas. This means a lot of bars and a lot of drinking.

The day starts with a slap up breakfast and run (I shit thee not) after the run its time to sort out your uniform before lunch, cushy eh, a whole morning for one suit, hehehe. At lunch the entire regiment forms up and marches in for a scoff made in heaven, lobsters and litres of wine. Each company has then to offer a short cabaret, officers are ridiculed and sgts poked fun at, and the whole time the regiment drinks. Time to open ya prezzies... oh lordy... one year we got a Gerber fighting knife, bad idea to give 600 drunk paras a fighting knife eh. Yup you guessed it, we took the party outside to see how hard we had to throw the knives to break them... hehehe. Good fun.

In the evening you are expected to wander the regiments bars, they never close and the regiment becomes a shambles, bodies everywhere, pavement pizzas all over the place and uniforms which would be better worn by african part time policemen. The entire regiment slips into shit order. And it goes on for two days solid, booze booze and more booze. Some of you will get guard duty, I spent one new year's eve at the zodiac stores watching the fireworks across the bay in Calvi and generally feeling sorry for myself, when it happens to you.... oh dear... never mind... soldier on. It's horrible to be in the Legion at chrimbo unless you relax. Accept it and go with the flow.

At least you will have some great after dinner stories later in life...
....not sure about other regiments but the REP get every section to make a cresh,
In Mayotte, the rotating company of the 2e REI built a bamboo mit thatched palm tree roof cover as a manger. Then, we got to do a ferking play with live animals for the stable animals, outfits - and JC - provided by the officers' wives or along those lines. They venit into the bush, they vidi-ed the play - and the platoon piss up was after they partit.
We got first prize whatever that was was worth but we saw none of it. Some fine French wines for the cadre I suppose.

ADDITIONAL RECALL: A French corporal Valois assumed a Roman legionnaire 'raconteur' role mit contemporary attire, and walked through the assembled group over the entire episode with appropriate dour humour: "Le petit Jesus avait un tout petit zizi".

The following year, the cresh endeavour was on a much smaller scale with a sugar cube miniature of the Nîmes Roman arena with a couple of feet radius, pont du gard, Maison carré and other Roman ruins...we ruined the miniatures in the end much to the 'chagrin' of the baker's assistant in the platoon.

The cresh thing is in all platoons of all regiments. Some how I can seen platoons working together without some DS - but over creshes not worth it. There is the 3e REI Xmas play in the messe sous-officiers in the Channel 4 video of the jungle assault course and survival training with this ex- RM who joins the FFL and comments on his experience. I forget the name of the video but Lovelace mentioned it in the former board.
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