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Old January 13, 2013, 12:39 PM   #400
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,300
Sir Robert Baden-Powell

He was mentioned on page one of this thread as the founder of the Boy-Scout movement. During WW I, he penned a small book as part of his contribution to the British War effort. From "Quick Training For War" we have this amusing entry:

The sizing up of your men at squad or any other drill requires a close observation and a quick eye. In my subaltern days I was lucky enough to make a success of my very first parade, the day after I joined, and in the wise. My troop was ordered to parade in double rank, and I was given by my captain the simple task of walking round to inspect the men and to see that each of them was wearing a cholera belt. Shirts were thrown open and I walked down the front rank, finding each man dressed as he should be. As I turned at the end to come up the rear rear my eyes downcast from the sheer shyness at commanding a parade, I just caught with the tail of my eyes a movement at the opposite end of the troop, as a man stepped from the rear rank into the front rank which I had just examined. I only knew the name of one man in the troop at that time, because he had been detailed to bring me my horse, and this happened to be the man who stepped across. I took no notice of the move, as I had to debate in my mind whether or not it might be a bit orthodox drill that, when the officer arrived at the area rank, one of its number should step into the front rank. As I passed along the rear rank examining their belts I pondered the matter over, and came to the conclusion that I would risk matters and call this man out.

On arriving at the front again, I called, "Private Rasbotham, step to the front. Have you got your cholera belt on?" There was a blushing, confused reply of, "No, sir." I did not punish him, as I was not clear what powers of punishment I had; but I said, with much far and great gruffness, "Take care you don't allow it to occur again," and dismissed him. But the punishment which he afterwards got from his own comrades in the way of jeers at being caught out by a fresh-joined subaltern was far heavier for him to bear than any I could have inflicted.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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