Tues Jan 26/ 15
I have just been making up my Diary & am suddenly brought to a full stop when I notice the date.
It reminds me that I forgot to put in the ‘Touchy Bit’ in my last letter – I feel persuaded to write to you as Jan 27th is the anniversary of the Kaiser’s birthday. His Imperial Majesty requests that no ceremony must be celebrated. “This is a sure sign that the Kaiser is beginning to wish he had never been born” – so sais Punch. Oh Syd and I are bound to make the Germans scoot and grovel in the ground!
TODAY’S SCORING is a great improvement upon Mondays. Syd fired at 300 yards yesterday & got 3 bulls and 2 inners (1). I got (at 300) 3 bulls, I inner, I maggie, (17) (2).
In rapid I flurried a bit (the belt got stuck) – I bull, I inner and the rest not signalled.
Up till this they said was just Preliminary. Syd was so glad for then his bad scoring (10 grouping ) will not count. For the kick off of the Regular Course Syd got 25 out of 25 grouping & was complemented by the Colonel. I wanted to know what he said, but modest Syd only joked ‘Have you anything to say? “No Sir” – well shut up then‘.
I kicked off with 20 & hoped never to see that horrible flag (which I thought when I first fired out of a rifle at QMS was meant as a maximum score!) – but now a washout – nought – oh! oh!
Well I thought of you & thank you all for your good wishes for our good scoring. Your hope has brought good fruit at last. I guess you, especially Basil, pulled a long face at Monday’s bad scoring. Today’s weather was lovely and bright & partly accounts for the good change.
I meant this card for a halfpenny stamp but now I’ve filled it I shall have to dig out 1d. Well I’ll just see what Syd is doing.
There are 2 Sids in next door and 2 Berts in my billet.
Your affec. Bertie.
Kitchener’s New Army sent its recruits on Firing Courses at Luton, to test their quality before mobilsation to the Front.
(1) At QMS, Walsall, Sydney Hibbett won the Blyth Shooting Prize, a silver shield mounted on wood, its lettering now almost obliterated by his mother’s polishing.
(2) Firing Scores: Bertie’s description is rather confusing and I am unable to find a concise definition of scoring in 1915 but a ‘maggie‘ meant ‘no score‘ (indicated by a white flag); ‘grouping‘ meant placing shots as close together as possible – the Lee Enfield .303 rifle’s sights could then be adjusted for the bull.
NEXT POST: 31st Jan. 1915. Luton Firing Scores.