The soldiers billeted in Haldanes and Stark’s Factory during the War were often drilled in the streets around Corn Market where I lived. We all thought it fun to watch them.
The young boys of the street would line up on the footpaths in imitation of the Tommies and Yanks on the road under the command of their sergeant.
‘Left, Right — Left, Right ..
If you can’t get it right, copy the kids on the sidewalk!’
one American platoon commander scoffed.
Fair enough, our boys put a lot of concentration into their ‘drill’.
Arms were flaying like windmills.
I well remember, I was about fourteen, and Mrs Cunningham, Gerry’s mother, used to call me over.
‘Com’ere, Bridie chile, and stand in front of me while I watch.’
This was because she was heavily pregnant at that time. Women were modest then about such things. They would not be seen in public with distended tummies.
Nowadays they flaunt it, like everything else!