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It hasn't been all work. Shooting was not in the curriculum, but when it was suggested that we did a little shooting, the idea was hailed with delight. Most of the tuition devolved on Sergt.-Major McElhone. I wonder did he enjoy it ? No idea of his feelings about us could be got from him, but from the funny little chuckles he emitted, I have an idea he was not exactly averse to the job. One of our number has made the suggestion that "he took his life in his hands each time he went to the butts to check up". Not he! In his sternest tones he made us lay down the rifle and absolutely forbade us to touch it again till he gave the command. Some practised first with the smaller rifle, but it fell to my own lot to have that cumbersome service rifle for my first real practice.

One evening, two car-loads of us went out to Little Hardwick, taking Sergt.-Major Mac with us. Several girls did very well with that very small piece of paper he called the target. When it came to my turn a "darkness came over the face of the earth", the wind blew - it rained, and the tiny target fluttered wildly - so did my heart. Amid a nasty shower of cold rain I shot off my five cartridges as fast as I could. I can here confess that I knew not where or at what I aimed. I just wanted to be rid of them and to rise from the unsympathetic ground. Sergt.-Major Mac said I was "gun shy". Shy? I was gun-terrified! My shoulder next day testified to the fact that there is a real "kick" in shooting. I like the gun better now and am not afraid to come to grips with it. 

Gertrude Shaw and Eileen Jones, who is our youngest member, later did very well in a competition with Walsall Women Home Guards. Later in the year we had a friendly competition between ourselves arranged for us by Major Trevor-Jones, I believe. At any rate, it was he who came provided with the very desirable prizes. The venue was Brownhills, in a quarry there, and the Sunday morning a real soaker. It was not a great deterrent, and ten of us went along. Col. Cartwright was present and took the keenest interest in all that went on. The shoot was according to military rules and the "details" laid down and stood up again at the word of command. On this shoot it was Janet Wright of Great Barr who took the honours with a very high percentage of marks. She had a miniature silver cup, the second prize-winner, Mrs. D. Cope, and the third, Margaret Hackett, also having silver souvenirs of this Sunday.

We were afterwards entertained to lunch at the Station Hotel, and I think the officers present enjoyed the occasion as much as we did.

On the following Sunday we were able, in some measure, to repay this hospitality, for we went to the Beacon Hut to help prepare and serve lunch to the Officers of the Battalion, some of whom were very appreciative and said the presence of the ladies "made a difference".

Another highlight is the day of the Home Guard Sports at Aldridge, when, for the first time, the women took a major part.                                                  (......continues.....)