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Sea Cadet Guard Drill
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Sea Cadet Guard Drill

Date is estimated. This picture was taken as this was the first time the Kirkwall Sea Cadet Unit had formed a Guard as part of the unit's Annual Inspection. Cadet's in the Guard were L-R Donald Glue, Robert Gauld, Rognvald Peace and myself. The webbing was "obtained" from an Army source but the colour did not conform to Royal Navy requirements - it was Khaki! A lot of elbow grease using "plimsole white" and black boot polish we turned out with white webbing and black leather straps! Sadly Robert and Rognvald died when very young men.
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Picture added on 16 February 2008
Just stumbled on this photo - and its interesting caption! The drill position shown wasn't in vogue in my day, but it's noticeable that two different methods of holding the rifle are being used. Knowing how detailed drill manuals are, I can't believe both holds are strictly permissible. The one where the thumb doesn't encircle the sling looks the better to me, but what do the experts think?
Anyway, a commendable effort by Raymond, Robert, Rognvald and Donald!
Added by Ian Hourston on 21 May 2017
Hi Ian just came across your comment. From memory the rifle is supposed to hang on the middle finger, no thumb around the sling, thumb pointing down the sling. Our officer was Sandy Firth the teacher and his explanation is the guard was not only ceremonial, but practical. By pulling the rifle hand back the rifle would fall forward ready to be caught with the left hand in a firing position.
As I said that is from memory and that was 47 years ago.
Added by Raymond Grieve on 05 December 2019
Sandy Firth's explanation is interesting and plausible, except that you'd wind up with the wrong finger on the trigger wouldn't you? And you'd still have to cock the rifle before you could fire?
(I'm depending on memory from 71 years ago - and from the wrong Service.)
Added by Ian Hourston on 10 December 2019
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