The Battle of Battle

‘A lot’s been wrote about the Battle aint it, but I can tell you, mate, most of it’s ‘orse piss. I were there weren’t I, stood right next to the King, bein’ as ‘ow I were ‘is flag bearer an’ all. You wants the honest truth? We was knackered is all. You ever tried beatin’ up a few thousand Norwegianese then marchin’ the length of England to face thousands more Frenchies with only a few flagons of ale to keep you goin’? Not that drinkin’ ale did our bowmen much good. May’ve affected their aim, know what I mean? O’ course, the powers that be – well, the powers that were – never admitted as much, but then again, a two ‘unnerd mile march in four days withaht a rest, you gotta ‘ave summat to keep you goin’. An’ all the frogs ‘ad been doin’ was sittin’ on their derrieres in boats crossin’ the channel. Anyway, they’d already made it six mile inland when we spotted them. They’d gone an’ ransacked poor ol’ ‘Astings on the way through, otherwise they might’ve got ‘alfway to London afore we caught up with ‘em. What’s that? Yeah, bit of a coincidence that, I grants you, the actual battle takin’ place in Battle. They’ll ‘ave a laugh at that in a few ‘unnerd years’ time, I shouldn’t wonder. They’ll prob’ly just go an’ call it the Battle of ‘Astings anyway, if I knows them monks what writes everythin’ dahn. Pardon? You’re askin’ about the arrer? In the eye, yeah? Thought you might. Load o’ codswallop, mate. Just the Frenchies biggin’ theirselves up. It was puttin’ it on that giant paintin’ or whatever it were what done it. I bet they thought they was bein’ clever. Just like they thought it were clever to invade withaht any warnin’ while we was busy seein’ off them Norwegianese in Lincolnshire. Sneaky, I calls it. No, see, what really ‘appened were this. I’m ‘Arry’s bannerman, right? Big flaggy thing I ‘ave to ‘old all through the battle – bloomin’ ‘ard on the shoulders it is an’ all – stuck on a long pole an’ the pole’s got a pointy end, know what I means? So, we’re standin’ up on an ‘ill ‘cos the king he likes to be seen by his men, yeah? Gives ‘em confidence an’ that. Worked a treat at Stamford Bridge. Less so ‘ere though as it turns aht. I’m next to ‘im, wishin’ we was a bit lower down if I’m ‘onest. Anyway, the froggies unleash this great mass of arrers and me, quick thinkin’ like, moves me banner across to try and protect old ‘Arold from the onslaught. Well, not the best idea I’ve ever ‘ad, I admit. ‘E looks in my direction an’ sort o’ ducks to avoid the arrers an’ only goes an’ pokes ‘isself in the eye with the pointy end of me pole, don’t ‘e? ‘Onest, mate, I never been more embarrassed in me life.’