"Fall in two men," and two men would fall in, well if they didn't fall in two men would be detailed to fall in. They'd say, "You and you fall in," and they'd march you off to the guardroom. The guard Commander would make out a report and you'd go before your company Commander. It's like a Magistrate's Court, only it's an Army court. You might get seven days for answering an officer back. You get all the dirty jobs to do. You would be confined to barracks. Whenever the bugle blows default, a special call, then you're running like a fool back to the guardroom to do some shitty job.
Well they don't do that in wartime, they're not that daft. They want you to fight the war. So if you're up on any offence they would book the offence down all right, but they hold the charge over. They leave you fighting until you go out. When your battalion goes out on rest that's when your charge comes up and usually, unless it's a serious offence, it would be a stoppage of pay. If it's a detention charge, well then you'll do your time in a Military Prison. They are worse than civilian prisons. They were that crafty that they would delay and delay until such time as you were ready to go out for a good time. You might. when you've been fighting for so long, be taken out for three months. Well if you're going to get a month imprisonment for telling some snotty nosed officer to go and get stuffed, then that's the time that they would send you to a Military Prison. They're crafty. The whole thing as I keep on stressing is a bleedin' mugs game, there's no doubt about it.
The other point I should mention is the crafty bleeders you'll come up against, in barracks in peacetime or before you go to fight any enemy. You'll get these Sergeants and Sergeant- Majors shouting their fucking heads off and giving you orders. But when you get into battle you'll find very few of those fellows around. There are some, some were great fellows, some of the Sergeants and Sergeant- Majors, and officers, they were great, there's no doubt about it but you'll find a lot of them have disappeared with the crafty bleeders I was describing earlier.
What happens is this, I was happy with the mates I had in the Army, and I didn't want promotion because I'd joined the Army. It didn't take me long, -long before I went abroad, to realise that it was a daft thing to do and it was a mugs game. So I wasn't ambitious in the Army I wasn't looking for promotion. I came across these 'blow' hard's, they used to call them. A fellow gets a stripe, then two stripes, then three and there's no knowing him. Well I didn't want the promotion as I say, because I was in a motor cycle platoon until we went to Burma. This was not all the time. For the last two years before; because after the Battalion I was with went to France as I have said and I came back again, there was not much doing. There was a bit of fighting in N. Africa but most of the Army was in England around the coast, because the government was still frightened of invasion from Germany.
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