|| Probably, the most
inspiring hour of all - in fresh air, happily - was the Dive
Bombing Attack, which became an Imitation Dive Bombing Attack.
Fog prevented flying, nevertheless our Instructor, a very
charming old gentleman of the schoolmaster ("stinks")
type, took us out to see the very special "airplane observation
and defence trench". It was Y-shaped, but they "hadn't
had time to camouflage it yet". Observers would man each
leg of the ‘Y’ to ensure all-round vision; and bolt into one
or the other safe leg if enfiladed by the airplane.
A few students were placed in the trench. "Now,"
said our mentor, with sublime and beaming seriousness, "now
I'm afraid we will have to imagine a 'plane is coming over.
Gather round the trench and watch how the occupants behave.
There's the 'plane, now. Up there, see! It's circling round
- must have spotted the trench, by Jove, what? It's coming
down - now for it! Nine thousand feet! Eight thousand feet!
Seven thousand feet - that's right, you spectators, make
a noise like an aero engine. Buzz-z-z-z. Jolly good show!
Five thousand! Four - now for
| - it's going to
make a dive bombing attack. See to your machine guns,
boys! Three thousand! Two thousand . . ." But there it
stopped, for I could stand the excitement no longer and shouted
out : "For God's sake don't shoot, Major, it's one of
Finally, the most beautiful exercise of all was the night
march on a compass bearing. Three syndicates were to be
formed, one for each of the school prismatics, but as I
had taken one with me I was allowed to form another syndicate.
Possession of it also appeared to suggest that I had some
knowledge of its use, and my party was duly blessed and
launched into the stilly night. Believe it or not, we were
only five yards wide of our objective after three miles
across open country. But it was not so much due to compass
proficiency as to our highly developed sense of smell. We
easily adjusted our five yards error and walked happily
into the warmth and cheerfulness of the "local".
It's a grand course if you don't weaken. And there is not
a stink in the length and breadth of the kingdom but will
remind all "Old Boys" of their Dear Old School.