As is probably the case at other military officer training establishments across the world it is the custom at Sandhurst to conduct early morning inspections. The cadets in the new intake may never have experienced such occurrences but soon become accustomed to them, alongside the traditional 'bulling' – that is, polishing your boots to an insanely high mirror-like gloss and your brass buttons till they gleam along with anything else that is metal or leather and likely to be on show.
Morning inspection requires the cadet's room, bed, locker to be immaculate and the person of the cadet to be standing to attention by his open door. One morning the inspection party was proceeding as usual, finding minor infringements wheresoever they might be. The corridor had many doors outside which stood many cadets hoping that this time they would pass muster. Suddenly the party came to a halt for the door they had arrived at was closed with no-one in attendance. Inspection eyes could not be believed; cadets' ears were pinned back while their eyes developed extraordinary degrees of peripheral vision.
There was a loud knocking on the door which brought forth no reaction. The door hammering that followed elicited an unexpected response.
A languid voice was heard saying, 'If you're nice, come in. If you're not, go away.'
Cadets within earshot struggled to contain their mirth. Next morning, all were present and correct for inspection. It's sad to reflect that so many of those bright, amusing, hopeful young men lost their lives in various skirmishes around the world. It's tragic that so many, of all ranks, are still being killed or maimed in wars of doubtful worth.