Back in Aldershot, we came under the command of Col Ken Landers, and soon we became named by other units Landers Lilies. This name being brought on by the spit and polish, Whitened stripes, badges, lanyards and webbing. Oh yes we were very smart and soon we believed it. Our gun drill, foot drill, and walking out dress and general deportment was truly like a bunch of young strutting peacocks. Our average age was about 22 years old and most of us had never been so far away from home in our lives.
A leave to go to Scotland and use the tube system in London, then the small fast trains, all this efficent way the British moved millions of people every day was awe inspiring. Oh yes, I did not mention the buses. A lot of them were the double deck kind. It did not matter really where you wished to go, there was a train or bus to take you.
Our guns were brand new 25 pounders complete with ammunition limbers and a Ford or Chev quad to pull it. The Quad was in effect the gun tractor and was a closed in vehicle that pulled the gun and trailer and seated the crew inside. The #1 was the gun sergeant and his position in travel was standing up through an open hatch exposed to the weather, not an enviable job on a rainy day, but a spot sought after by the crew when it was a nice day and they could look into the second story windows of the houses along the way. We only had the guns for a short peroid of time when the 24th gun in the regiment turned a corner too fast and overturned causing, a near courtmartilal for tht Sergeant who was Duke Laidlaw. I forget what penalty was handed out to Duke but I am sure some one will remember.
Duke was not to stay long with the regiment as his parents were old. They had an uncle, an MP in Ottawa, and Duke was sent home to work the family farm. I remember the 2/ic's car picking Duke up from a firing on Salisbury Plains. From there he was sent back to barracks and sent to Canada. I saw Duke once after the war working on the ferry at Nelson BC.
More shooting schemes and training demonstration shoots all to come .