Summer 1914 - volunteers in their thousands queue to enlist.
I felt restless, excited, eager to do something desperate for the cause of England. And then the impulse came, sending the blood tingling all over my body: why not join the Army now? A great and glorious suggestion. It might not be too late.
Girls smiled at me, men looked at me with respect, the bus drivers wished me luck and refused to take money for my fare, and everybody made way for me, as being on the King's business.
That afternoon I decided to join the Liverpool Scottish. What sights I saw on my way up to Frazer Street; a queue of men over two miles long in the Haymarket; the recruiting office took over a week to pass in all those thousands. At the Liverpool Scottish HQ things seemed hopeless; in fact I was giving up hopes of ever getting in, when I saw Rennison, an officer of the battalion, and he invited me into the mess, getting me in front of hundreds of others. I counted myself in luck to secure the last kilt, which although very old and dirty, I carried away to tog myself in.
Before we got uniforms we learnt to become soldiers in civilian attire with arm-bands. On a route march one day it commenced to rain and a new recruit put up the umbrella he had brought with him. Our then CO even addressed us as 'Gentlemen'!