According to the account of Geoffrey Elliott:
- Alan Bennett refers to a defining moment in his life when, in the closing days of his National Service, he was ordered to clean a urinal with his bare hands at the Intelligence Corps Depot at Maresfield (LRB, 30 September). I trudged the same route as Bennett a few years later on the way back to normal life from the Army Russian Course, and found myself having to perform the same ritual cleansing, with the minor saving grace that I was given a razor-blade with which to work and the major inconvenience that my work was disturbed halfway through by the Commanding Officer insouciantly using the next stall.
- From Geoffrey Elliott 'Poncy Linguists' Letters London Review of Books, Vol. 21 No. 21 · Cover date: 28 October 1999