But at six o'clock in the morning you're up again any way because everybody's up at what is called Stand To. "Stand To," is when everybody's alert, they're all in their positions waiting in case the enemy attacks, you see, so you won't be caught unawares. Now that continues every night in the army during wartime, if you're on what is called active service.
Now active service is when you're in contact with the enemy, you know, when you're not in barracks, when you're fighting the enemy. So you can see how weary the life becomes, now that's before anybody has fired a shot. You're absolutely jiggered, and it's ten to one that you're fed up with it, you know. You can stand years of the army in barracks and abroad and have a pretty good time. You can swim, play football, you can do what you like, you know in that respect. There's plenty of time for sport and God knows what, but the catch is when it comes to doing the job, when they want you to fight the war, that's when you've everything to lose, and that's when it becomes a mugs game. You'll find when you look around as I did, all the wise heads have disappeared.
When you look around you find that you're left with all the mugs. Now when I say disappeared people have said to me, "How do you mean they can't just clear off." No they can't they're too crafty for that. What they do, you get fella's who'll continually go sick. They keep going to the doctor with pains in their back or their stomach or the head, anywhere. The doctor knows ten to one that they're trying to get out of the army or they're trying to dodge the column. So eventually he gets so fed up with them, because, (and I have seen this written,) he gets fed up because they realise in the end that even if that bloke goes into battle, he'll be no use. You will not be able to depend on him, because he is that sort of a fella. So that's what I say, so all that lots out of the way. They've all gone and you're left with all the conscientious mugs. So all I'm saying to you is don't get involved.
There are other ways to fight a war. There are more valuable people in wartime than soldiers. The thinkers, the inventors, you know, the writers. There are all sorts of people who play a part in a war who don't even fire a rifle, but they play a very important part. That would've been my aim if I'd had any sense. That's what I should have done. I should've done better at school and not been so daft as to join the army when I did.
Anyway to carry on, so this is what happens. If the enemy attacks in the morning like my first experience, then you can imagine your hearts in your mouth. You get palpitations, your hearts thumping, you hear all this screaming, because when the enemy attacks you they don't just come quietly. Sometimes they do, it depends on the conditions, if they're after information or what ever, but usually if they come in numbers with the intentions of taking your position, they come quietly so far.
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