“It so happened that I was in command of â€˜Aâ€™ Squadron and brought it to parade five minutes before time. Goughy* appeared at 9.00 am and had his trumpeter sound â€˜Squadron Leaderâ€™. We all galloped up and saluted, and he addressed us as follows. â€˜Good morning, gentlemen. I noticed 1 squadron on parade this morning five minutes early. Please remember that it is better to be late rather than early. The former shows a sense of sturdy independence and no undue respect for higher authority, the latter merely shows womanish excitement and nervousness. Go back to your squadrons.â€™”
*”Goughy” = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Gough
— From the memoirs of Brigadier Sir Edward Beddington (1884-1966), late of the 16th Lancers.
Hat tip to John Brewer.