Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday 17th December 1935

Last drill this year. Jellicoe did rifle drill with Lea-Enfields. We have now been taught to; take up arms, slope, shoulder, order and present. Also the “trail” with the left hand steadying the nose cap. Have not used bayonets yet.

The choice of a division lies between gunnery and visual signals, I suppose, so far as I’m concerned. VS would suit me better – less of mechanics, less of cleaning and polishing. Also (vanity) it would be easier to obtain the crossed flags of an OS than the gun and star of a SG.
Gunnery is a much rougher branch (these are the people who scrub decks in the RN). The “bunting tossers” are generally a much more intellectual lot. And I’d learn signalling – tactics, codes – more easily than the mechanical side of gunnery.

Against all this, is the fact that gunnery includes seamanship. Gunnery and seamanship is not an off-shoot of naval routine – it is IT. Secondly, gunnery is more exciting – and more dangerous. Well, I’ve got two months to decide. (Wouldn’t it be glorious, up on the signalling bridge when I go to sea? The eyes of the ship.)

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