28 Dec 2013

“Better Late Than Early”

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Lt. Gen. Hubert de la Poer Gough

“It so happened that I was in command of ‘A’ Squadron and brought it to parade five minutes before time. Goughy* appeared at 9.00 am and had his trumpeter sound ‘Squadron Leader’. We all galloped up and saluted, and he addressed us as follows. ‘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.’”

*”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.

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