Captain Mainwaring called the platoon together for a recce out West to Millington, with two separate rendezvous points. Reporting for duty at Market Cross we had pte Walker, pte Godfrey, pte Frazer, pte Pike and Sgt Wilson. Just before departing, Bob the U-boat captain arrived. Looking around the assembly his eye set on the newest recruit, “What’s your name then?” he said with a friendly smile. “Don’t tell him Mike!”
A look of disappointment crept onto pte Walker’s face when he realised we’d have to climb the Westwood hill to reach our second rv point at Manor House. Pte Godfrey, taking pity on his plight, offered to set the early pace. “My sister Dolly says you can blow a gasket going too quick up there, so we’ll take it nice and easy”
Waiting at Manor House was warden Hodges, however no sign of captain Mainwaring. A check on despatches, showed he’d suffered a mechanical and was running late. “Och we’re a’ doomed” thought pte Frazer before a red faced Captain loomed in the distance, huffing and puffing his way to the start line, only to inform us he was “time pressed” and would be peeling off early.
Arriving in Cherry Burton we met up with Corporal Jones who’d taken multiple choice to a new level. The platoon then continued to Etton and Holme-on-the-Wolds, before heading to Middleton-on-the-Wolds. It was then time for the long drag up to North Dalton and Huggate. The platoon spread forces on the way with the the U-boat captain leading the scouting party.
Captain Mainwaring then headed back to base while the rest continued to Millington. Reaching the drop into Millington Dale, Corporal Jones seized his chance to head to the front, making sure he was going to be first in the queue at the cafe. Pte Walker did make a half hearted attempt to catch up, followed closely by pte Frazer. On reaching the switchback pte Frazer tried to get ahead for a photo opportunity but all the smiles were wasted as “operator error” crept in, failing to capture the moment.
Arriving at the Ramblers Rest cafe, the bright sunshine tempted the platoon to dine “Al fresco”, somewhat to the chagrin of some who were tempted by the warmth from the roaring fires inside. Discussing the return journey, the avoidance of Nunburnholme Hill seemed to be unanimous. Warden Hodges did offer to lead, but with his navigational skills and propensity to yell “Put that light out!” we’d end up lost in the dark.
Leading the return was Corp Jones followed by pte Frazer and pte Pike. After the climb out of Millington a quick pace split the platoon before regrouping at the KP golf club.
At Nunburnholme we turned towards Burnby and the climb to Londesborough. Another regroup at the top of Intake Hill and we were off again. Corp Jones set off once more on a lone scouting mission and headed up through Goodmanham as had been agreed. Pte Walker had other ideas though as he turned off up Red Lane despite the shouts from behind. “Do you think that’s wise sir” called Sergeant Wilson. Corp Jones was left to surmise that the platoon “Don’t like it up ’em hills”.