Behind him the rain lashed at the windows. Life here had been monotonous since that first day when Howardson had them doing circuits of the training ground and then forced them to stand and watch, water dripping down the necks of their uniforms, while the poor lad who had stumbled around last struggled to do his hundred push-ups. Since then, every day had been the same, boot and button polishing, boring classroom lessons on warcraft and a non-stop diet of physical jerks under the critical eye of Howardson, who looked for any opportunity to humiliate anyone showing the slightest sign of weakness.
Jim’s impressions of Britain so far were less than favourable. Aldershot was a dreary place: a huge camp, with old brick-built barracks from the last century, hastily assembled huts and concrete parade grounds. The fellow Jim had spoken to in the canteen had said British army troops came and went but the Canadians were a permanent fixture. The men in the RAF who were sent to Canada for training were hurried through then sent back again and straight into action. Many of them didn’t last long up in the air – the average lifespan of an RAF pilot was measured in days – hours even, but Jim didn’t care about that. He wanted war to distract him, give him a purpose, kill him even, but not leave him here in this godforsaken hole doing gymnastics and square-bashing for Tip Howardson.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish