The Primary 7 children had already visited the war memorial in Kirknewton village and learned some information about WW1. As it was the 11th November I recited some extracts from some of the war poets. Wilfred Owen who taught English at Tynecastle High School in Edinburgh whilst recovering from shell shock wrote Dolce et decorum est. I also recited from a poem by Rupert Brooke. The children then listened to some songs and began to learn the words to ” It’s a long way to Tipperary” and ” pack up your troubles”.
The P7’s then read the following instructions on how to march:
To march forward from a halt, the command of execution is “Forward, march.” On the command “March,” you smartly step off straight ahead with your left foot, taking a 30-inch step (measured from heel to heel), and place the heel on the ground first. When stepping off and while marching, you will use a coordinated arm swing — that is, right arm forward with the left leg and left arm forward with the right leg. The hands are cupped with the thumbs pointed down, and the arms hang straight, but not stiff, and swing naturally. The swing of the arms measures 9 inches to the front (measured from the rear of the hand to the front of the thigh) and 6 inches to the rear (measured from the front of the hand to the back of the thigh).