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I see nothing whatever unreasonable in this.

It is precisely what I would have done myself if I was ever asked to defend my country. After all, I'd need my energies for....... for....... Well, there's sentry duty, ceremonial stuff...........  I mean, I could't do that sort of thing looking all hot and sweaty, eh no.

How about this from WW1. Differences in discipline


An example of the clashes between the two conceptions is what happened at the camp in Strazeele (Belgium), where the Australians were encamped on the other side of the road from the 10th Royal Fusiliers. The Tommies were simultaneously shocked and impressed by the Aussies' casual attitude to war - or at least to the Army. It could hardly be right for Aussie privates to address their commanding officer as 'Jack', but the Fusiliers heard them do so with their own ears.

For their part, the Australian 'Diggers' as they were often called, were equally disapproving of certain rites observed by the Fusiliers. As private C. Miles of the 10th Btn. Royal Fusiliers recalled:

   "The Colonel decided that he would have a full dress parade of the guard mounting. Well, the Aussies looked over at us amazed. The band was playing, we were all smartened up, spit and polish, on parade, and that happened every morning. We marched up and down, up and down.
   The Aussies couldn't get over it, and when we were off duty we naturally used to talk to them, go over and have a smoke with them, or meet them when we were hanging about the road or having a stroll. They kept asking us: 'Do you like this sort of thing? All these parades, do you want to do it?' Of course we said, 'No, of course we don't. We're supposed to be on rest, and all the time we've got goes to posh up and turn out on parade.' So they looked at us a bit strangely and said, 'OK, cobbers, we'll soon alter that for you'.
   The Australians didn't approve of it because they never polished or did anything. They had a band, but their brass instruments were all filthy. Still, they knew how to play them.
   The next evening, our Sergeant-Major was taking the parade. Sergeant-Major Rowbotham, a nice man, but a stickler for discipline. He was just getting ready to bawl us all out when the Australians started with their band. They marched up and down the road outside the field, playing any old thing. There was no tune you could recognise, they were just blowing as loud as they could on their instruments. It sounded like a million cat-calls.
   And poor old Sergeant Rowbotham, he couldn't make his voice heard. It was an absolute fiasco. They never tried to mount another parade, because they could see the Aussies watching us from across the road, just ready to step in and sabotage the whole thing. So they decided that parades for mounting the guards should be washed out, and after that they just posted the guards in the ordinary way as if we were in the line."

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