A record of the Sportsman's Battalions during the First World War, including a database of soldiers who enlisted in - or served with - the 23rd, 24th and 30th Royal Fusiliers, originally raised by Mrs. Emma Cunliffe-Owen in September 1914. If you have any questions or comments, please send to fmsketches@macbrem.com, thanks!

The First Sportsman’s Gazette – No. 11


An old campaigner, and a good soldier in every sense of the word, recently gave it as his opinion that never had he seen a more capable body of men than those which make up the 23rd (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, and he also expressed the view that when fighting was afoot these men, drawn together from the four quarters of the globe by a common bond, would render splendid account of themselves.

Few of us would wish for better compliment.

Those two words—“Sportsman’s Battalion”—have a ring about them which attracts the right kind of individual. They suggest “playing the game,” and everything that means to the Britisher. They make a real appeal to the individual who loves an outdoor life—the man who is used to pitting his skill, his judgment and his endurance against long odds, the prophets who, at the inception of the idea for forming a Sportsman’s Battalion, said that men of this class would take to soldering as a duck takes to water have had ample justification.

Many have been the setbacks, great have been the difficulties, but these things only serve to give a zest to the game, and now the most arduous part of the task is over, and there has come into being during the four darkest months of the year a battalion of which each individual member is as efficient a soldier as the two years’ man in times of peace. It might also be safely said that had the equipment come to hand more quickly even greater things might have been accomplished.

The future is in the lap of the Gods, but now that Spring is almost here, and there is some possibility of rifles being served out to us at an early date, it may not be long before we are ready and fit to take up our posts in the trenches alongside those other splendid units of Lord Kitchener’s Army, which Great Britain has trained in such record time.



Trenching has been continued during the week as usual, with the exception of last Saturday, when the heavy rain caused the trip to Benfleet to be abandoned.

The “Dismiss” Bugle was a welcome sound to those anxious to get away for the week-end.

Chief interest for the moment centres on the bayonet drill, in which all companies are making good progress under the instruction of Sergeant-Major Smith. The recruits, too, are coming along splendidly under Sergeants Cummings and Whiteside.

Fresh recruits are being accepted every day.

It is pleasing to note that the general health of the Camp is improving, the epidemic of influenza and sore throats having been almost entirely stamped out.

In this connection it is pleasing to note the return of Sergeant Bucknall. The whole regiment heard of his illness with the deepest regret, and we are glad to welcome his return and that of the remaining members of his hut.


The following extract from the “London Gazette” of 25th February has interest for the Battalion :—”Temporary 2nd Lieutenants to be Temporary Lieutenants—R. N. Bealey and the Hon. A. E. F. Yorke (22nd February).”

And the whole Battalion will welcome the appointment of Sergeant R. O. Jourdain as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant.

Also from the “London Gazette” 1st March : — Temporary 2nd Lieutenants to be Temporary Lieutenants—2nd Lieut. Pirie; 2nd Lieut. Cross. (22nd Feb., 1915).

Temporary 2nd Lieut. P. A. X. Thompson is appointed 2nd Lieut. 3rd Inniskilling Fusiliers (Special Reserve).

The appointment of Sergeant R. T. Williams, Right Flank Company, as a musketry instructor, is also announced.


Privates J. Wilson and C. Johnstone have been transferred from “B” to “L.F.” Company.


“B” Company are holding a dinner at the White Hart Hotel, Romford, to-night (Friday), with Lieutenant P. C. Suckling in the chair.


One of the songs sung by Kitchener’s Army to the tune of the Soldiers’ Chorus from Faust, runs something like this : —

“All soldiers live on bread and jam,
All soldiers eat it instead of ham,
Every morn we hear our Colonel say
“Eyes front, form fours, jam for dinner to-day,”

which in good humorous vein gives some hint that there might be just the slightest chance of monotony occurring in the feeding of England’s Legions.

Stew yesterday, roast to-day, stew to-morrow— stew before, stew after, in one continuous procession until the palate cloys;

Not that the meat is not excellent, not but that it is thoroughly cooked. Rather is it that the taste becomes accustomed to every subtlety of the flavour, and thus having explored every possibility, there being nothing left to put a zest on the appetite, one eats mechanically without enjoyment for the sole purpose of feeding the human machine.

An Escoffier would make a food poem with the materials our cooks are furnished with, but we cannot expect an epic from the Army Cook.

He does his best under difficult circumstances, and he is improving mightily, thanks to the hard work of the Messing Committee. Boiled beef and carrots is a truly admirable dish, Lobscouse, and Boiled suet pudding and Jam are just a few of the items which have served to add the spice of novelty to our daily dinner menu.

Chops for breakfast are very much appreciated by the trenchermen, and it is pretty evident that when this Committee gets well into its stride great things may be expected.

Dinner on the Drive, in sunny February,


Specially contributed to the “First Sportsman’s Gazette,” by John Hassall, the well-known Poster Artist, whose designs are seen on every hoarding. On the back of the drawing are the words, “Sorry, couldn’t find time for anything before. Am rushed off the earth,” Many thanks, Mr. Hassall!


Sergeant R. T. Noyes, better known as “Canada,” gave a most interesting lecture on Friday evening last at the Congregational Church in the village on the expedition to Khartoum to relieve General Gordon. The march to Khartoum and the arrival just one day too late to save the ill-fated Gordon is one of the most dramatic, and at the same time, most pathetic incidents in English history, and when described by one who actually took part in it the story becomes intensely interesting.

Sergeant Noyes went with the expedition in a civilian capacity, being one of the 385 Voyageurs or Canadian river men who served as experts, and he traces the journey from the moment of leaving Canada until within sight of Khartoum.

At one moment pathetic with the nearness of death, the next broadly humorous with a description of the mending of his clothes with a piece of tin and finding it too hot to sit down, Sergeant Noyes held his audience from beginning to end.

I should like to pick you out a plum or two from such an interesting store of experiences, but Sergeant Noyes has promised to repeat the story in full through the medium of the Gazette at a very early date.





The return match with Dulwich at Champion Hill on Saturday had every promise of an exciting struggle, and a record crowd turned out to see the fun.

With the Hamlet anxious to wipe out the defeat of a few weeks back, a ding-dong game was seen, with quite a cup-tie flavour about it.

Full of incident, with the issue in doubt until the finish, a draw of 2 goals each was the only result possible on the day’s play.

Science at times was at a discount, and the efforts on both sides were spasmodic rather than continuous. The sticky nature of the ground had something to do with this, although overkeenness was probably the chief factor.

For Dulwich Clegg stood down to let in W. J. Davies, who has recently joined the colours, and on the Battalion side Lewis at half deputised for Lieut. Hayes.

The Battalion side was the first to be aggressive, and a shot from Clunas went just wide of the mark. It was not long before Higgins at the other end was forced to send into touch from Hayward, the Hamlet outside left.

Higgins, who has not been in the field since Christmas, played a masterly game at back, and his tackling and placing of the ball were as sure as ever.

Lewis contrived to get the ball to Sandham, the outside right centred to Clunas, who waited a shade too long before taking the final shot.

Nixon, the Dulwich outside right, was quickly forcing a corner the other end, and then the Battalion took up the running again, Sandham sending to Owers, who shot behind.

There was always a certain spice about the encounters between Rawlings, the old Dulwich boy, and Nixon, the newcomer, and it must be confessed that the Battalion man did not always get the best of it. Nixon and Nicol on the Dulwich right were always spelling danger. Clarkson, their centre man, raced past J. Hendren and Lewis, but offside against Nicol spoiled the resultant move.

The see-saw work continued, Higgins got the measure of Hayward, and immediately had to race across and check Nixon and Nicol.

Owers was slow at the other end, and Sweeting, the dashing left back, cleared for Dulwich. A pretty move between Owers, the elder Hendren and Sandham, was finished with a weak shot, and in a flash Higgins was forced to concede a corner. This was well cleared by Littlewort, but the Hamlet forwards were not to be denied, and after Kearton had made a great save from Nicol, Newstead scored from a melee in front of the goal, with Kearton still on the ground. In some ways it was a lucky goal, for it seemed as if the goalie should have hung on a little longer before trying to clear. It came, however, after a period of pressure by the Hamlet forwards, and no- one begrudged them their success.

E. H. Hendren raced away from the re-start and gave Vernon of Dulwich a very warm handful, which the goalie did well to save. The ball was only partially cleared, but the return shot from the younger Hendren was cleverly tipped over the bar.

The Battalion forwards for the most part lacked go, although they came again towards the end of the half, when pretty work between Atkinson, Clunas, and Hendren carried the ball into the enemy quarters.

The Battalion side went off with a rush in the second half, and it was not long before they got the equaliser. Rawling was really the initiator of the movement. Receiving back from Pat Hendren he booted up to Owers, the centre man sent out to Hendren, who passed inside for Clunas to score from an awkward angle. This was the signal for a general siege of the Dulwich goal, and after Littlewort, Rawling, and Clunas had all tried long shots with effect, Owers with a ladylike movement turned a centre from Hendren to account. Owers, who had not been playing with his usual vim, atoned for many previous omissions by this effort, and lie almost repeated the dose a second later from a pass by Clunas.

It was not long before the Hamlet side were again in the picture, and with the visitors hesitating for the fraction of a second on an offside appeal, Nixon swung the ball over to Nicol, who scored with a shot that gave Kearton no earthly. Easily the best goal of the match.

To sum up, both sides played good football, in parts both made mistakes. The result perhaps was a little disappointing to the Battalion, but we were a little slow in the forward line, Owers being the chief offender. With a little more “ginger” here we should have gained the verdict.

In view of the increasing interest in the Battalion football two matches have been arranged for Saturday, the one against Hampstead Town at Hampstead, and the other against the R.A.M.C. from Brentwood, here. Both are timed to start at 3.15



Top Row (left)—Harris (secretary), Thomson, Williams, Gilmour, Franey, Spurway, Trott, Whittock, Clemetson.

Bottom Row (left)—Salvesen, Pearce, Lieut. Taylor, (the Referee), Capt. de Bourbel, Wadham (capt), Henri, Stratton.



The Rugby team played St. Thomas’ Hospital Saturday at Chiswick Park, with a change of two forwards, Capt. de Bourbel and Pte. Stratton being unable to play. Their places were taken by Reynolds and Scott-Tucker (the former making his first debut with the team).

The ground was in perfect condition, but the Sports are used to heavier going, and it was not conducive for their good play. The wind was favourable for the home team in the first half, and they made full use of it, and tried to wear down the visiting forwards. The first score was obtained by the Medicos, for, from a free kick, Coverdale the international, dropped a beautiful goal. Immediately after this the Sports pressed hard and had twice in succession five yards scrum in the home line, but on each occasion, owing to their forwards being unable to get possession, lost the chances and ground gained. A fine piece of passing by Coverdale to Owen, the celebrated Blackheath player, a second score was obtained. This was unconverted, and at half-time the Medicos were leading by 6 points to nil.

The Sports forwards after half-time seemed to wake up, and many excellent forward rushes were lead by Clemetson, Gilmour and Thompson, but suddenly Owen and Coverdale made a splendid passing movement, and Owen got over and made the home team 9 points up (owing to the strong wind this try was unconverted).

The Sportsmen after this seemed to get a new life into them, the forwards got the ball out, and after a good forward rush led by Clemetson and Spurway, supported by Taylor, Pearce crossed the line most cleverly, and Williams converted the try by a well-judged kick.

A great task at this time lay before the visitors, for with only 15 minutes to play they had to obtain five more points to be victors.

This was managed by another grand rush by Clemetson and his forwards, and Henri being on the spot picked up very smartly, passed to Wadham, who immediately transferred the ball to Salveson. He got a splendid try on the line midway from the goal posts. This made no difference to Williams in his kick against the cross wind, for the converted two points were obtained, making the Sportsmen one point ahead.

They continued pressing, and when the whistle blew they were on the opponents’ line.

Coverdale gave a tine exhibition, and with the support of Owen, were very nearly the means of beating our team.

The Hospital were very unlucky to lose Gimlette during the early part of the second half, and thus having to play with seven forwards, but the judgment of their full-back, Cardell, in his fielding the ball and round kicking, saved them a great deal of pressure in the latter part of the game.. All our three-quarters played a very good saving game, especially Wadham, and with the help of our halves we have to thank them for our victory. It was unfortunate that Scott’s leg troubled him because, though tackling well, he was unable to kick as well as he has previously.

The forwards are greatly lacking in combination in the scrum, and before we can win further matches we must have scrum practice. Each seemed to wait for a certain place; this is folly because the first to get the shove on very often is the first to get the ball out.

The game was most admirably refereed by Mr. E. T. Andrews, to whom our thanks are due, and we hope to have the pleasure of having him refereeing for us soon again.

St. Thomas’ Hospital—J. D. M. Cardell; G. R. C. Willson, W. Owen, R. W. Procter, and F. Molina; H. Coverdale and L. M. Davies; J. S. Sloper, S. A. T. Ware, G. T. Gimlette, J. W. Wayte, F. C. Gladstone, R. E. Rampling, E. J. S. Bennett, and A. Pappenfus.

1st Sportsman’s Battalion—H. Scott; L. Williams, R. Pearce, H. F. Wadham (capt), and S. A. Salvesen; Lieut. H. A. Taylor and P. Henri; G. V. Spurway, J. M. Gilmour, D. L. Clemetson, S. Thompson, G. T. Franey, A. Whitlock, H. Scott-Tucker, and S. Reynolds.

This Saturday we are meeting the London Rifles at Brighton, and on the following Saturday we play the return match at home against the H.A.C., who only once have been beaten, and that was by us, so this match will be keenly looked forward to by all our Rugby supporters.


The Editor has heard that the suggestion of a Craft Re-union Dinner has met with approval in the Camp. Replies have even been received from brethren outside the Battalion. A meeting of Freemasons is therefore called for Wednesday evening next, at 6.30 p.m. Those desirous of attending are requested to send their names at once to the Editor. The place of meeting will, of course, depend on the number signifying their intention of being present.


Copy of a letter addressed to Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen. The article referred to is “Broncho Lou,” which has quite a characteristic Western flavour.

     Riverside Hotel,
          Reno, Nevada,
               Feb. 3rd, 1915.

Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen,
     Dear Madam,
          Were I in a position to do so, I would much like to send you a check for £1,000 to purchase comforts for the men at the front, Sportsman’s Battalion. As it is, however, I see no way at present except to contribute a few original stories, based on fact, and if the same were worthy of publication, I should like all the proceeds to go to the men of the above Battalion.
     This Story is original. If you think the same would be acceptable to the boys, if nothing else, I shall be glad to send you more.
     I should, as you know, like to be with them, sharing their hard knocks, as well as their comradeship,-and I believe I could help liven things up, as former life as a soldier in the trenches, has taught me what goes best with the fellows.
     Sincerely and respectfully,
          (Sgd.) H. BARR CHILD.


Dear Freer,
     I understand that the changes which have been made recently on the Staff of the Gazette have been misunderstood in some quarters of the Camp, and misrepresented in others, and I think that a brief statement from me may possibly help to clear the air a little. In the first place I wish to place on record the generous and courteous manner in which the Commanding Officer and all the other officers concerned carried through these changes. My own resignation was rendered necessary by the fact that in the eighth issue I allowed my instincts as a journalist to outrun my duty as a soldier. My plea is that the position was rather an unusual one, and that at times I scarcely knew whether I was acting in my capacity as soldier or as Editor of the Battalion journal. In any case I recognise the essential justice of the attitude taken up by the Regimental authorities in this matter, and I am perfectly satisfied, not only with their decision, but also with, their way of carrying it into effect. I may perhaps be permitted to add that the resignation of my colleagues on the Responsible Committee, although inspired by friendliness to myself, does not necessarily imply responsibility for the sentiments expressed in my article.
     I wish the Gazette—in which I shall always retain the deepest personal interest—a long and successful career under your able guidance.
          Very sincerely Yours,
               WILLIAM J. HARVEY.

(Series continued).

E. H. HENDREN (Middlesex).

Looking every inch a cricketer, E. H. Hendren, now a Private in “B” Company, has been playing in first-class cricket, in fact first-class football too, since the early age of 18.

On the ground staff at Lords he quickly earned recognition from the country. 1907 was the date of his first important match, and, curiously enough, it was against Lancashire when a more than usually inquisitive crowd so spoiled the wicket by prodding it with sticks and umbrellas, that the game had to be abandoned after lunch.

It is, I believe, the only case of this sort on record in first-class cricket, certainly the only case at Lords,

Robbed of the chance of distinction in his opening game, Hendren has since won his spurs in many fields, although Lords has always been his happy hunting ground.

It was here he made his first big score, that of 134 not out against Sussex. He has oftentimes topped the century since, but this still remains his highest effort.

Perhaps his best performance, also at Lords, was in the second match with Surrey last year.

Hayes, now his comrade in arms, would remember this too.

Hendren had just reached double figures when Hayes bowled him with a ball which hit the wicket without removing the bails. Hendren playing in masterly fashion afterwards showed such appreciation of his good luck that he totalled 124 before being finally dismissed.

Cricket appears to be a family gift, for both his brothers have distinguished themselves in the same sphere of sport.

Patriotism runs in the same groove too. Dennis Hendren, originally with Middlesex, and now associated with Durham, is at present training with the Durham Light Infantry, and of his younger brother most of us have a more intimate knowledge.

The subject of this sketch has never been out of England, although he has played in one of the trial games at headquarters.

He is perhaps the safest long field in the country, and his bag usually averages between 30 and 40 victims a year.

He was a member of the side which, playing at Gloucester, scored one of the quickest victories ever known in county cricket. The match started at 12 o’clock and finished at 6 o’clock on the same day, Middlesex winning by an innings, and Frank Tarrant taking 4 wickets with 4 successive balls.

Although essentially a cricket article, we cannot entirely overlook the football side of the picture.

“Pat,” as he is known to his familiars, first came into prominence with the Manchester City side, and later migrated to Coventry City. While there the City gave Preston North End the surprise of their lives, beating them in the first round of the English Cup, Hendren scoring the winning goal. Coventry eventually got into the fourth round before being knocked out.

For the last four seasons he has played at outside left for Brentford, in which position he has been a most prolific goal scorer.

Still young in his profession, Hendren has shown that he is made of the right stuff, and should he attain further honours, we of the Sportsman’s Battalion who have met him, will be amongst the first to welcome his success.

J. HENDREN (Durham).

J. Hendren, also associated with “B” Company, seems destined to follow in his brother’s footsteps.

Spending four seasons at Lords, he has for the past two years been qualifying for Durham, playing friendly matches for this county in the meantime.

While playing for the Middlesex second string he often found Sergeant Marsden in the opposition, and Marsden bears testimony to his prowess.

Sergeant Marsden was a member of the Hampstead Club, and Hampstead has always been a name to conjure with in the cricket world.

In the ordinary course Hendren would have figured in Durham Senior League Cricket this season, for he had promised to assist South Shields, where Frank Harvey, the old Lancashire player, is the professional.

Jack is a worthy member of a sporting family, and has the making of a good cricketer, footballer, boxer, and soldier too.


Mainly About People.

Notes concerning members of the Sportsman's Battalion.

Freer Cyril C. (Private).—Educated at Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School, Malton, Yorks. Devoted business life to organising and advertising. Was on Staff of “Daily Mail” and is now Advertising Manager to Roneo, Ltd. Lecturer on Business Methods, at Regent Street Polytechnic. Keen golfer. Represented school in rugby, fond of shooting. Founded the Malton Rifle Club in 1901, and acted as Secretary to the Volunteer Augmentation Society, which had for its object the strengthening of the local Volunteer Company. Has taken a prominent part in Freemasonry, being in the Chair of his Lodge, Camalodunum 660 in 1906, its Jubilee year, is also P.M. Fitzwilliam Marie Lodge 277, P.P.G.A.D.C. North East Yorks, P.Z. King Edwin Chapter 660 and P.P.G. Asst.-Soj. North East Yorks.

Leith, Edward (Lance-Corporal).— In theatrical business. Manager for Marie Studholm. Five years as Stage Manager with Seymour Hicks. Song writer, including in his efforts “My Daffodil Girl,” for Marie Ash, and “The Call,” chorus of which appears in this number of the Gazette.

Marwood, G. (Sergeant).—Born in Taunton. Educated Emmanuel College, Wandsworth Common. Civil servant. All round sportsman including Tennis, boating, motoring, cycling and walking in his hobbies. Five years P.W.O. Civil Service Rifles.

Thomas, Clement (Private).—Educated Marylebone Higher Grade School. Motor Engineer. In the industry from its infancy and had the satisfaction of placing first English motor cab on the streets of London. Hobbies, hunting—is the winner of many steeplechases—fishing and yachting. Generally known as “Tommy.”

Toogood, A. H. (Private).—Professional golfer Champion Midland Counties. Fourth in Open Championship at Sandwich. Second in “News of the World” in 1906. Represented England against Scotland, 1904-5-6-7. Won London Professional Foursomes with Rowland Jones in 1907 Beat open Champion of Ireland.


W. HOOPER (Welter-weight).

You may catch your boxer but the difficulty is to make him talk, and this perhaps accounts for the fact that outside the actual fraternity we of the Battalion have heard little or nothing of the powers of Private W. Hooper.

Hooper, who fights under the name of Dick Brown, is a splendid example of the hereditary genius. His grandfather was well known in the ring, his father besides being useful in “the art” was a first-class runner (an ominous combination), while both his brothers have made a name for themselves in the boxing world.

Harry gave us an opportunity of witnessing his abilities near home, when he drew with Stanley in a ten-rounds contest at Romford, and the younger brother did well in the army and navy championships before going to the front with his regiment, the 16th Lancers.

William, who is the eldest of the trio, was well in the running 18 months ago for the welter-weight Lonsdale belt, when he had the misfortune to break his hand. This and the war have put him back a bit, but he is now doing his best to re-establish himself.

It would be meaningless to some of us to quote a list of the names of the boxers he has conquered, the remainder of us know. Perhaps a better idea of his quality can be gathered from the fact that in one year he had 33 victories to his credit, in fact until the accident to his hand he had never been beaten. Most of his wins, too, were gained in the first round. Recently he easily got the better of Bill Sutton at The Ring, while he was the runner-up in a welter-weight competition at the National Sporting Club on the night of Delaney’s big fight.

Modest,- a fearless fighter and hard hitter, Hooper who is a Private in No. 4 Company, goes about his training in the most unostentatious way possible.

Jerry Delaney, light weight, and W. Hooper (Dick Brown) welter weight, would be a good Battalion double for the Lonsdale belt competition.

Any offers !


PRIVATE JERRY DELANEY (on the left) who defeated Jack Denny last week at the N.S.C., and his trainer, Private Joe Jagger.

By The Recruit.

I decided I was a Sportsman before I thought of being a soldier, and I do really think that if I had not been so sure of that one thing I should never have joined the army; but I was always keen on reading football reports and I oft would venture my bob on a gee.

Well, my pal Fred, joined the Battalion in November, and when he came home at Christmas he was so full up of pride with being a Lance-Corporal, that I made up my mind to throw up my job as hot cross bun maker and enlist.

I haven’t been a soldier long, but I’ve learned many things during the short period I’ve lived in Hornchurch.

For instance, I’ve never washed up before in my life, but by jove I know how to do it now, and I can give any new chap who comes along a few tips about getting rid of the grease with the least amount of trouble.

Don’t you worry. It’s foolish to bother about drying mugs and plates, souse ’em well in hot water, then stand ’em up and let ’em drain. In less than an hour they will be all right without a single touch of the teacloth.

The fellows may grumble a bit, but if you smile hard and crack a joke, you’ll get through easy enough.

There’s one thing, though, that I kick about., I’m the only recruit in my Hut, and the other inmates have a rule to the effect that recruits must fetch early morning coffee and biscuits for the runners from the cook house and serve it to them in bed. It’s a hit too thick, I think, because it means lighting two fires first. We’ve a vacant bed, and I 'hear another recruit is coming in. Heaven help him, he’ll get this particular job as a permanency directly he arrives.

No other fellow in the Hut has been appointed permanently as Sunday orderly. I felt a bit proud of that at first, but now I realise that it is simply another of those burdens the young soldier has to bear.

The tea buckets, too, are a bit of a bug-bear. The other fellows boil water in them, and it takes me about two hours of hard scrubbing with Monkey Soap—which I have to buy myself—to get the grime off the bottom.

Why on earth so many meals are needed I cannot imagine. There’s Coffee and Biscuits for the runners, Breakfast for the trenchers, Breakfast for the runners, an “al fresco” semi-lunch for those on parade at 11 o’clock, dinner at 12.45, tea at 4.30, dinner for the trenchers at 4.45, and lastly a wallopin’ great supper of sorts about 9.

Our chaps bought a double set of plates, and they manage to dirty the lot at each meal, so you can jolly well understand that if I don’t know anything about washing up nobody does.

That blessed bugle, too, seems always on the blow. First its “cook house,” then its “rations,” then its “cook house,” and when our chaps started me regular as letter carrier, I’ve got to keep my ears skimmed for “Lively Lou.”

At the beginning I washed all the chaps’ kit boxes—I washed the windows, and was beginning to wonder I was not told off to touch up the tin roof plates. Lately I’ve made progress as a slacker, and when that other blessed Rookie comes on the scene I’ll be as artful as they make ’em.

I used to tell myself that soldiering was a grand life, and I jeered at Gerty, that little kitchenmaid I walked out, but now I know she was a bloomin’ Hero, ’cos as I’ve tried to convey, I’ve had some myself.

The other morning—the day after I’d been orderly—I was called over the coals by the Sergeant for not taking—and now I’m hoping I’ll be a defaulter for a month or two, for I’m sick to death of this washing up games.

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