I've just been watching the tennis

  pj123 16:49 06 Jul 08
Locked

Never done it before.

So what is all these military forces personnel standing to attention.

What is their role in this?

  Bingalau 17:11 06 Jul 08

Believe it or not they are spending some of their leave time doing this stewarding type job. Most of them are themselves tennis fanatics and volunteer to do it. It is a sort of perk I suppose. I have no idea when it first started but no doubt someone on here will know, and enlighten us.

  Forum Editor 17:21 06 Jul 08

first appeared at Wimbledon, but I've been going there for a good few years now, and they've always been there.

They do a superb job, and are unfailingly polite and helpful. I think they lend the occasion an added dimension of Englishness, and I hope it continues for many more years.

  Stuartli 17:33 06 Jul 08

We should also praise the ball boys (and girls) who are newly selected each year, undertake training and then go out and quietly and efficiently perform a tremendous service over the Wimbledon fortnight.

Many of you may recall a BBC TV documentary about them a few years back and the Sgt Major style trainer who instilled efficiency and discipline in their ranks.

It was obvious that the youngsters were very keen to be on duty at Wimbledon.

  pj123 17:46 06 Jul 08

Thanks Bingalau and FE. But what do they actually do?

All I can see is that they stand to attention and don't move.

Stuartli, yes I did notice that as well.

  Bingalau 18:01 06 Jul 08

pj123. I don't think they are standing to attention. If they were they wouldn't move at all. They are there to assist people to their seats and help if there is any problem. I am sure they do a lot of other unseen jobs as well, but the bit you see on the telly is when they are getting their reward of being able to watch the tennis. Like the FE says I hope they continue getting these perks for a long time to come.

Next week these very same people could well be in Afghanistan in an entirely different atmosphere. Good luck to them all.

  laurie53 20:43 06 Jul 08

Request for volunteers used to come every year when I was still in the service.

As somebody says, you have to take leave to do it.

I joined in '53 and if it was not going on then it must have started very soon after.

  Stuartli 21:52 06 Jul 08

What a gripping and thoroughly enjoyable men's final - I wanted Roger F to win but Nadal did well to overcome what must have been crushing disappointments at various stages of the game.

The eldest offspring rang from the Caymans shortly after the finish to ask if we had been watching? They'd been glued to the TV since breakfast and even missed out on a barbeque to see the match through to the conclusion.

The mixed doubles final finished virtually in darkness...:-)

  TopCat® 22:35 06 Jul 08

The longest men's final in Wimbledon history, by all accounts, and one of the best ever seen there. After many years in the wilderness it's a double victory for the Spanish; first the Euro 2008 football winners and now Wimbledon men's singles title holder. My hat's off to them! TC.

  Bapou 23:04 06 Jul 08

click here for what looks to be a military forum thread on the subject of personnel required at Wimbledon.

  Forum Editor 23:32 06 Jul 08

They show people to their seats, ensure that people don't stand up and move about when play is in progress, speak quietly to anyone who is being a nuisance, tell people to switch off mobile phones, stand at the doorway to any private or restricted areas and check credentials, answer requests for information, and generally add an air of organisation and efficiency to the place.

They're an asset. When I go to Wimbledon it is usually in the company of people from abroad, and I always feel a little surge of pride when I see the military uniforms.

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