Hints on Promotion Exams (1925)

By W. Boss

Connecting File, No. 5, Vol IV, December, 1925 (The Connecting File is a regimental journal of The Royal Canadian Regiment)

The time for examinations drew near, but Captain Dan could not concentrate on his work. His wife dragged him to dances, road houses and blind pigs with a giddy, reckless young social set. The Board of Examiners said they had never seen so hopeless a set of papers.

Having spent the better part of five months studying Napoleonic Wars, Lieutenant Hennessy felt confident that he would be able to pass with flying colours the promotion examination – which was to be held on the following day. He had religiously abstained from all frivolities such as the flowing cup and saucy siren and had assiduously devoted himself to securing a proper appreciation of the strategy of the Little Corporal.

He decided that the eve of the examination should be celebrated in a fitting manner, not with intoxicating drink, which would obscure his thoughts on the great day, but by the luxury of an epicurean feast.

Unfortunately, he was badly poisoned with French artichokes with Hollandaise sauce, and spent the day of the examination, and many days thereafter, a sufferer in hospital.

Danger often comes from a sauce that is least suspected.

Captain John Anderson was a clever Company officer who had devoted all his energies to building up the framework for a successful military career, passing his examination with flying colours. He was a bachelor and had never interested himself in the gentler sex. He said he was far to busy for foolishness. It was unfortunate that when studying for his d (iii) examination for promotion to the rank of Major, little Yvonne Labelle should visit the summer resort to which he had gone for peaceful study. She was a beautiful petite blonde and had an adorable piquant expression in her baby blue eyes. She as really the first girl to whom John was attracted, and it was not long before he fell victim to his charms. It must be stated with regret that he paid her too much attention, to the detriment of his study. Within a year he had failed in his examinations, neglected hi Company, overdrawn his bank account and resigned his Commission. His pretty little friend married a rich stockbroker.

A little woman is a dangerous thing.

The General Staff officer at Hepworth was an enthusiastic Officer, who took great pride and pleasure in coaching junior officers for promotion examinations. Stern and severe at all times, he was not liked by the subalterns in the Command; yet they never failed to attend the lectures which he gave to them. They hated his mannerisms, disliked his appearance, feared his sarcasm, but they were always present when he announced his voluntary lectures and listened carefully to the wisdom which fell from his lips.

Necessity is the mother of attention.

Lieutenants Gonwithin and Dunmore were brother subalterns in the same Company of the Blankshires, but there their equality ended. The former was the son of Colonel Sir John Gonwithin, the distinguished military strategist, and his Uncle was one of the leading Barristers in the Midlands. The latter was the son of a prosperous grocer in a small Lancashire town, and when excited he had the outrageous habit of forgetting his aspirates. However, he was a keen student of military matters and burned much midnight oil mastering the principles of his profession.

Gonwithin on the other hand contented himself with occasional hurried notes to his relatives when some knotty point cropped up, and received many carefully phrased letters of explanation in reply, after the perusal of which he would sojourn to the billiard room or the theatre in search of congenial company.

When the promotion examinations took place, Gonwithin was picked as the favourite in the race because of his distinguished connections, and doubt was expressed whether the plodder Dunmore would even pull through. It was thought that his careful and continual study was an admission of ignorance. Yet, when the results were announced, to the surprise of all, he name of Dunmore headed the list.

Birth is much, but reading is more.

While on his annual leave, Captain Dan Mackie met a bathing beauty at Atlantic City. He was first enraptured by her lithe slender figure, and later in the ballroom of the hotel by her sinuous graceful dancing. She plied her charms with such subtlety and success that within ten days he had married the pretty statuesque vamp and returned to his station with a dance-loving pleasure-mad wife.

The time for examinations drew near, but Captain Dan could not concentrate on his work. His wife dragged him to dances, road houses and blind pigs with a giddy, reckless young social set. The Board of Examiners said they had never seen so hopeless a set of papers.

Marry in haste and repent at Examination time.

Standing on the corner of the busy thoroughfare where one took the streetcar for Cozy Island park, was a pretty girl with wavy bobbed hair. She was waiting for someone, and from the eager anticipation which came into here eyes when khaki-clad figures approached, the lucky "someone" was evidently a soldier. Presently two stalwart warriors approached, one a dashing cavalryman with clinking spurs; the other a splendid type of the infantryman. They paused before the modern Circe and were rewarded with a brilliant smile. Encouraged, they stopped to indulge in that light badinage which precedes a flirtation. The girl seemed atracted at first by the smart appearance of the horseman. Gradually, however, she confined her advances to the representative of the P.B.I. It was not long before the two said "Goodbye" to the dismayed cavalryman and boarded the car for sequestered spots far from the madding crowd.

Take care of your scents.