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fougasses, demigasses and hedgehoppers, on tanks and tank destruction, on German airborne tactics and weapons, patrol disruption, message writing and map-reading. One of our members, a Section Commander, brings his talkie and arranges a comprehensive programme of films from the Army Kinema Service, and we have military films on numerous infantry subjects, fortnightly, throughout the winter - and so Winter Training 1941/42 proceeds smoothly with excellent attendances at all parades and lectures.

Ammunition is more plentiful and we fire on open range at two-monthly intervals with an amazingly progressive improvement in results. On our last shoot, .300, fifteen rounds per man throughout the platoon, recruits included, we get three bulls or inners for every four shots fired. Machine-gun training is also now at a high level and we solve the difficulty of using the B.A.R. as a light machine gun, even up to Bren standard. Members provide cups for competition and sweeps are arranged on the results to create that little additional interest which makes for a highly enjoyable morning.

Night and day exercises are becoming numerous and we have week-end stand-to's with interesting schemes arranged. On one such night exercise, due to a bad recce., the Platoon Sergeant leading two sections goes knee-deep into filter beds at the local sewage farm and is noisome to all senses throughout the week-end. He has not, even yet, lived that one down. During these week-end musters we find a lot of talent in the platoon in field cookery, using improvised field kitchens built from rubble, and we live well if a little roughly. We take a mental stock of available food in the area in the event of trouble - having to live on the country and find enough to feed the district - including the prize Jersey herd. We find, also, that one of our sergeants had early training as a butcher. We resolve to live exclusively on roast chicken for the first week after the balloon goes up.

Courses are now being arranged by every formation and at every opportunity and are so hopelessly overdone that Officers and N.C.Os. have to be detailed to attend. At one stage we have twenty-two items of new instructions received by our Officers and N.C.Os. from courses, without the slightest hope of putting more than a fraction over to the platoon, due to the time factor and other commitments.

The platoon attends the Battalion week-end course and finds out its physical limitations. A route march there and back, two platoons in attack, night patrols, P.T., and winding up with an assault course which would make a Commando breathe hard. A number of the over-fifties failed to turn up at work next day.

Our Company Commander resigns and we part with a very good friend with great regret. We welcome his successor, well known to us as 2nd i/c since the beginning of L.D.V., and pledge our fullest support.




(Images of the Platoon can be seen on this page)