Carl the caretaker's in charge

Carl the caretaker's in charge!: A phrase on the Western Front among both British and American troops when finding themselves in a "quiet" sector with few indications of enemy activity. "The trenches opposite," writes an officer, "were said to be in charge of Carl the Caretaker, a methodical old man whom the Kaiser had left in charge while the troops were elsewhere. Many were the stories told about him in different parts of the line; sometimes he was credited with a family, a 'Missus' and 'three little nippers.' Sometimes he was 'Hans the Grenadier,' owing to an occasional fancy for a night bombing party. Sometimes he was called 'Minnie's husband!'" (See Minnie). [1]

References / notes[edit]

  1. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.47.

Glossary of terms and customs[edit]

This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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