Published 29th September 2020
Welcome to the launch of Sergeant Frosty Publishing. We will mainly produce books on historical fiction for children and young adults. I have been asked: “Why Sergeant Frosty? Why a snowman dressed up as a Royal Marine?”. It all started a long time ago, in 1972 in fact. That winter, a group of Royal Marines were involved in an exercise up in Arctic Norway. The plan was, apparently, to see how easy it was to send reinforcements there.
I know that now. What we knew then was that we were in a deserted part of Arctic Norway in winter, and everyone seemed to have forgotten about us. We were on a hill. Once we had made our positions secure, there was very little for us to do except wait.
It might have been a pretty site, but there was nothing to do. We went out on patrols every now and then, but mostly all we had to do was wait. It was boring.
We had plenty of snow, so we made snowmen. Obviously, we put green berets on them and called them snow-Marines.
Then we realised we had empty packing crates, and we turned these into planks of wood. We called these sleds, although today, they would be called snowboards.
We had snow-Marines and we had snowboards. The next step was obvious. Down the hill they went.
Snow-Marines are not very good at steering. They generally tipped and fell over and became piles of snow.
All except one. It reached the bottom of the hill, intact.
We collected it and tried again. It survived a second trip down the hill.
It was at this point that our Sergeant advised us, in that kind and thoughtful way that Sergeants have, that he would be very grateful if we could “stop messing around in the snow.”
I decided that it wouldn’t be wise to point out that there was snow everywhere, and went back with the others to our position. Obviously, we took the Snow-Marine with us. It had survived two trips down the hillside and deserved to be returned to our positions. On the trip back, we decided to call the Snow-Marine Sergeant Frosty. Sergeant, because it seemed indestructible and when you are a young Marine, sergeants seem to be indestructible. Frosty, because young marines are not very imaginative when it comes to names.
Of course, when we had to line up for departure at the end of the exercise, Sergeant Frosty was in the line with us (between Marines Flin and Grant). We were pleased when our officer announced that Sergeant Frosty won all the awards for performance during the exercise. We weren’t so pleased when we learned that the prize for the awards was a day’s leave.
We left Sergeant Frosty on that hill in Norway and, as far as I am aware, he might still be there.
There the story might have ended, but many years later, I was telling bedtime stories to a young child. “What do you want in the story?” I asked.
“Snowman,” was the reply. Thus began the adventures of Sergeant Frosty.
And now begins the latest adventure for Sergeant Frosty, publishing all sorts of books for children of all ages.