and you would have a whole morning of marching.
And you would learn all commands,
such as "About turn," and all that sort of thing.
Having been in the Boy Scouts, it was dead easy to me.
When you get the order, "Right dress!"
you turn your head only to the right.
Some of them managed to turn left,
which didn't exactly please the drill sergeant.
We were all youngsters.
We'd come from fairly sheltered lives and so forth.
This sergeant of ours was the loudmouth shouting-type.
Coming up against military discipline was a shock,
being chased around from pillar to post by disciplinarian NCOs.
Some of the sergeants were shockers.
They would cause a lot of trouble if you were out of step,
or if you didn't keep time, or if you didn't
handle your rifle properly.
They were always having a go at you.
Most of them were all right,
their shouting meant nothing,
but some of them never lost it.
One night I'd gone to bed and
this pot was brought round to my bed
and they said, "Oh, you want to do a piss,"
so I did the business in the pot.
They'd rested this big, huge pot
which contained gallons on the door
and when this sergeant came along
to see that everybody was in bed,
this thing turned up and he was drenched
from top to bottom in fluid.
First of all, I was full of enthusiasm
but, after about the first week, I wished I hadn't done it
但是 第一周过后 我就后悔了
because the discipline was so strict
and I was beginning to get a bit nervous
as to what was in store.
We weren't out dancing, anything like that.
We were getting ready for a war.
The thing was you were in the army,
you had to do as you were told,
you had one master, or dozens,
but you just had to get on with it and that was it.
I did find that right through the army.
If you behaved yourself, you'd nothing much to fear.
This was quite a new world to us, I mean, you can imagine,
I came out of civilian life like all the others did
and we weren't in a position to argue or object.
It was just a matter of doing what we were told.
I liked it. I liked to be told what I had to do,
because there was a reason for doing it.
Later on, I realised that was the best training you could have.
The first week, our route march would be ten miles.
The second week, it would be 12, and so on and so on.
It intensified because it's of the utmost importance
that the infantry soldier could march with the full kit.
What you had to carry was 109 pounds.
Marching was easy for me,
but quite a lot of chaps who were
in sedentary jobs found it pretty hard.
It numbed and cramped the muscles on my thighs and calves
until they hurt very much indeed.
Oh, those army boots! I could've cried.
My feet and ankles with those heavy army boots,
after civilian shoes...
So, to get your boots made pliable,
you used to urinate in them and leave it overnight.
Quite a lot of men were clerks or they worked in shops
and the very nature of their calling didn't make for fitness.
Well, they sent me to hospital and
they gave me the cure for hookworm
and I found that I could stand the drill after that.
They used to march us all round the West End.
Crowds used to foregather.
And some of the poor, deluded ones fell for the con trick
and lined up behind us and we used to march 'em
all down to Chelsea Barracks where they got signed up.
Lunch would consist of inevitable stew.
Now, we must remember that
the chaps in the cookhouse were by no means experienced cooks,
but anybody can make a stew and that's what they did.
Sometimes, we got a bit of plum duff
and milk puddings and tapioca rice.
It was good, old-fashioned, plain stuff that I was brought up on.
这是我从小就吃的 老式的 简单的东西
I had no complaint about it.
In the afternoon, it could be a lecture on Vickers machine guns.
You used to strip the machine gun
right down and put it together again
and, luckily, I seemed to cotton on to that quite quickly.
We were always told
that man's best friend is his rifle,
Our rifle was a short Lee-Enfield.
A very good rifle indeed. A real sturdy rifle.
You had your ammunition pouches on both sides of the chest
to counterbalance the weight of the pack
and those pouches carried 150 rounds of .303 ammunition.
We were supposed to hold a rifle with one hand,
but I could never hold a rifle properly.
my right wrist wouldn't hold it up.
I'd never fired a rifle in my life but, on the first day,