A couple caught having sex by police officers on Dartmoor on the coldest night for 26 years have earned praise from some social media users.
The couple, who engaged in their tryst in temperatures of -3 °C (26.6 °F), were sent on their way by officers enforcing the anti-coronavirus lockdown and reported for a breach of the regulations, which could mean heavy fines.
“Fornicating under the stars, on the moors, may seem like this years latest rom-com, but it is not an essential journey and certainly breaks social distancing guidance,” chided Tavistock Police in a sadly now-deleted tweet.
“Please continue to abide by Covid-19 legislation to help prevent the spread of Covid,” they added.
Members of the public who were perhaps not too concerned by the public health impact of an illicit fling on a bleak and frozen moor appeared rather sympathetic to the amorous pair, however.
“In this weather? Makes you proud to be British,” declared one social media user, adding thumbs up and British flag emojis for good measure.
In this weather? Makes you proud to be British.👍
— Ian Heard (@irheard) February 11, 2021
The phrase “Makes you proud to be British” — usually a somewhat facetious expression of praise for a person or persons caught in a scandal involving some level of daring, has a colourful history, with some attributing its popularisation to Sir Winston Churchill.
One of the most famous retellings of the story, which involved an incident not unlike the one the Dartmoor Two were involved in, comes from Churchill’s modern-day successor at 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson, by way of the war-time leader’s grandson, Nicholas Soames.
“One of [Churchill’s] Conservative ministers was a bugger, if you see what I mean, though he was also a great friend of my grandfather,” Johnson quoted the notoriously politically incorrect Soames as saying in his book The Churchill Factor.
“He was always getting caught, but of course in those days the press weren’t everywhere, and nobody said anything. One day he pushed his luck because he was caught rogering a Guardsman on a bench in Hyde Park at three in the morning — and it was February, by the way,” Soames continued.
“So the Chief Whip came down to Chartwell [Churchill’s home in Kent], and he walked into my grandfather’s study, where he was working at his upright desk. ‘Yes, Chief Whip,’ he said, half turning round, ‘how can I help you?’
“The Chief Whip explained the unhappy situation. ‘He’ll have to go,’ he concluded.
“There was a long pause, while Churchill puffed his cigar. Then he said: ‘Did I hear you correctly in saying that so-and-so has been caught with a Guardsman?’
“‘Yes, Prime Minister.’
“‘In Hyde Park?’
“‘Yes, Prime Minister.’
“‘On a park bench?’
“‘That’s right, Prime Minister.’
“‘At three o’clock in the morning?’
“‘That’s correct, Prime Minister.’
“‘In this weather! Good God, man, it makes you proud to be British!’
Home Sec Backs COVID Cops Interrogating Brits Sitting on Park Benches During Lockdown https://t.co/xyUEc6qLsE
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 7, 2021