Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Got Any Gum, Chum? The chewy thing in foil ain't gum, kid.

In shallow shoals English soles do it, Goldfish in the privacy of bowls do it...

That despicable generation known as the baby boomers insist that sex was invented in the 1960s. It appears however that American "Piccadilly Commandos" and British "good time girls" blazed such a trail of free love twenty years prior to the sexual flowering of the "me, myself and I generation" that fears were raised that all the frenzied bonking taking place might scupper the Allied war effort and hand victory to Hitler. From the BBC:

Prostitutes 'preyed on US troops'
Prostitutes pestered American GIs so much during World War II that ministers feared for the transatlantic alliance, newly released papers suggest. Troops stationed in London were writing to family back home saying they were often accosted by "good-time girls".

The Scotland Yard file, released to the National Archives, shows concerns ran so deep that crisis meetings were held. Officials feared if the Germans found out, Nazis could portray British women as immoral in a propaganda coup. US Army chiefs were not only afraid of an outbreak of venereal diseases among their men, but also wanted to see British law changed, making it easier to jail prostitutes.

Colonel W.M. Clark, a US federal judge serving as legal adviser to the US Army in London, was so appalled that he demanded a meeting with the Attorney General.

One Home Office official said: "His points are there are far too many prostitutes, that their behaviour is far too blatant, and that the impression created on the American troops and their mommas at home is bad."

The Metropolitan Police did not share the US Army's concerns, saying many of the troops were the cause of the problem.

"It has been noticed that they congregate around Piccadilly Circus and Coventry Street, many of them worse for drink and quarrelsome until the early hours of the morning," said Superintendent A Cole, in charge of policing the West End.

The file also includes details of the types of prostitutes frequenting different parts of London. Women working around Burlington Gardens tended to be "rather expensive" while in Piccadilly Circus there was "a lower type of prostitute, quite indiscriminate in their choice of client and persistent thieves", according to the file.

One report called Pestering of American Troops by Loose Women referred to those GIs who consorted with prostitutes as Piccadilly Commandos."

I'm not sure which phrase- "Piccadilly Commando" or "Pestering of American Troops by Loose Women"- would look better in the interests section of my resume/CV.

No comments: