|Regimental Sergeant Major H 'Tommy' Atkins
How do you remember the bugle calls?
You ask about the bugle calls, now they did control our way of daily routine as I mentioned and some of the easiest ways of remembering these bugle calls was to put words to the tune and being soldiers in barrack room life of course you learn all these ditties don't you, you see, and I'll give you an example, maybe one, perhaps two, but to make it sort of realistic I've got to use a little naughty word here and there, all right? So one of the tunes that comes to mind is the guard call for getting ready for Guard Mounting and then there used to be a Half Hours Dress and a Quarter Hours Dress call following the Guard Call. Now the Guard call went like this, "Come and do a picket boys come and do a guard, you think it's very easy but you'll find it fucking hard", then it was followed by the Quarter Hours Dress which went, "You've got a face like a chicken's arse", end of story. Now that's how the soldiers put little words to these tunes. What's another one, there used to be the Mail Call which I did mention, didn't I, that the Regimental call preceded all bugle calls and I'll give you that one. The Regimental call used to be, "If·you want to have a shit fall out", that the recognised, that means that you were, that was your Regimental call, and that would be followed by the call like the Guard Mounting that I've told you and the Quarter Hours Dress or it could be the Mail Call, "Letter from lousy Lizzy, letter from lousy Lou". What else is there? There used to be the Officers' Mess call for the Officers' Mess dinner at night and the Regimental call again and the words to, or some of the words to it, the opening bars were, "The officers' wives get pudding and pies but us poor bastards get skilly", and it would repeat itself again, they used to sort of double up on the bars and that would be that. That gives you some idea.