Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 15, 2007
In Reply to: Stuck his spoon in the wall posted by Don Newburn on June 15, 2007
: Stuck his spoon in the wall... Upon viewing the movie "Galipoli" I couldn't help but wonder if the phrase originated within the British armed forces wherein a soldier would basically write out a quick will, say goodbye to loved ones, bequeath whatever worldly goods he might have on his person and, in absolute obedience to a command that meant almost certain death, go over the wall into a relentless hail of enemy fire. He would use whatever utensil he had available (such as a spoon or fork) to affix his message(s) to the wall of the trench.
Deeply unlikely anyway, considering that the wall of the trench was no more guaranteed to survive the bombardment than the soldier was! But in fact the phrase pre-dates WWI by at least 16 years - see here: http://www1.bartleby.com/81/15998.html.