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Remember the parade ground
IP: 1.144.110.138


Did this happen to you?

At last it was time to show to the world this bunch of new soldiers. He with the rest was well inspected then they were dismissed, then breaking ranks moved out into the wicked world.
Conquests of the fairer sex the most common subject matter and common practice each to try to outdo the other in details. When this important side of youthís bravado dried up the next important subject was beer consumption, it was limited; army pay didnít match the ambitions of the new drinker. Anyway the pint glass at that time looked big enough to swim in; calling for a half a-pint was considered to be unmanly. It was a freedom that would last as long as the money in their pockets. At least this first trip out was an acknowledgement that they were tidy enough to be soldiers of the King. The picture on the left was strictly Napier Barracks style.
It was still the early days. The importance of the parade ground to army discipline had not really sunk in. and was about to be learned the hard way.
The All-Important Parade Ground.
Freedom to roam the barracks seemed to be as natural as apple pie. He was as innocent as a newborn baby as he decides to cut across the all-important Parade Ground. Within in striking of him distance a partly human noise filled his head. It had turned on the right switches for the army and was reduced him to an unmoving thing attached to the ground. Solid and stolid he had frozen had lost any control of his body. It would only move when that voice gave the order to move.
The order to move was given; feelings of a rabbit about to have its life shaken out of it by a stoat reduced this Private soldier into a jelly. "You come here"! It was long drawn out, with the strength of a hundred kilowatts that didnít seem to provide the motion he expected from the lad.
ďDouble, double, fasterĒ with ever-increasing voice volume, some how the lad was expected to travel even faster on those unusable solid legs of his. Move he did, and was now in close contact with this bellowing monster.
It was his first meeting with the RSM. His badges of rank stood out from his red tunic, the hat set as only a RSM could wear it now looking down with the airs and graces of a supreme overlord this monster looked down on this miserable creature. His badges of rank seemed to hover above the uniform, there was a no doubt about it, it was the Big Him with all his RSMís leather equipment that shone with a mirror shine. Added to all this his short stick complete with brass knob long since removed from under his arm was waving about like a magic wand. Mesmerised by it was even a further step in turning the young one into a toad.
Distance between them was so close by now that he had to drop his arms to his side to place his face within inches of the shaking soldier.
In case the soldier was hard at hearing, the mouth that seemed to extend from the chin to the top of his head was placed over the ear, it trumpeted through the ear, a voice that sounded like thunder. The Sergeant-majorís performance had reached it peek, a captured audience surrounded this spectacle. Some were relieved that it wasnít one of them standing there, others standing there bemused by the whole thing. Possible as a warning to those that might transgress upon his sacred ground he shouted out details of the terrible things that had been done to his parade ground. In great detail he raved on with what would be the result or even worse if his parade ground was denigrated.
It seems that his parade ground had suffered the weight of this toadís size six in boots; the body that filled them was even a worse offender. No human he said especially a Private was blessed with the power to walk across his parade ground. A toad had soiled his parade ground; it was an act of God that he was at hand to cleanse this area of this crime the lad had committed.
From then on for the lad, the square was only there to play at being a barrack-room soldier. Come to think more about it now, memories of it is worth three coats of laughter.
William.

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