Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Home Guard - Part 2

From “The London Free Press and Daily Western Advertiser” June 11, 1866.
As was seen in part one of the “Home Guard” the boys are fully trained and ready to go.

Corner of Dundas and Richmond Streets, under a gas lamp, 3 am.
  “To the Captain commanding Home Guards - Formed my troops in square of the rendezyous . Told them London expected every man to do his duty. Threw out skirmishers into the back yards and dark doorways. Marched with the main body under my own immediate command up Richmond Street towards the Post Office. Stood crackers and beer. Scouts in advance reported a suspicious party bearing down on us under cover of an umbrella. Ordered a halt, and told the men to reserve their fire. Challenged suspicious party. Thy name and (   )? I am Roderick Dau. Proved to be a friend - confiscated his umbrella in the Queen’s name, and let him go. Calvary reported and advancing with a band of music. Deployed my forces into a square, and prepared to meet the foe. Turned out to be an old cow with a brass bell around its neck. Permitted the cow to go on giving the countersign. Deployed into line again and advanced. Came suddenly upon a party of raiders singing “We won’t go home till morning”. There went skirmishers on both flanks, and by a rapid forward movement to the rear completely surrounded them, cutting off their retreat. With great presence of mind, I told them in a voice of thunder to surrender , to which they replied, “Surrender be blowed”. Treasonable language like this was deserving of extreme punishment. I collected all their tobacco, levied a fine of six bottles of ale, and made them sign the British Constitution. I now called in all the skirmishers, and marched in close column, with my right wing resting on a saloon, supported in force by the center, and the left wing, and having attended properly to the commissariat department, I gave orders to stack arms and bivouac for the night. So crackers and beer unlimited.

I have the honour to remain, etc.,
Korn Kobb, Jr.,
Lieutenant Commanding Squad.

P.S. All the captures which I made I leave reserved subject to your orders, excepting the beer and tobacco.

So as reported by the "London Free Press and Daily Western Advertiser": London remained safe from the Fenian Raiders for another year.
The article did appear and I suspect it was written in response to what the writer witnessed as raw recruits were trained in London. I’m betting that these recruits drove the British army trainers crazy.
It appears that even in 1866 there was a sense of humour.

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