I remember the 1st September 1939 well. It was a Friday, and as I had worked late on the Thursday evening putting the latest edition of the “Peeblesshire Advertiser” to bed, I had the afternoon off. It was a nice sunny day and with my mate John Black decided to get our Raleigh bicycles out and had a cycle run to the village of Stobo some seven miles away, calling in to see his aunt to enjoy cream scones and then as we headed back to Peebles decided to collect our swimming trunks and a towel and finish the afternoon at the Swimming Baths. Our larking around was interrupted when the local ‘know-all’ appeared at the side of the pool and leaning over imparted the news to John and I that the Territorials were wanted at the Drill Hall that evening at 6 o’clock to undergo a medical examination. I was passed fit for service and heard of no one who was not! Then in groups we were ushered into a room where an officer sat with a copy of the King James Bible in front of him. He briefly explained the oath we were about to take. It was the second time I had undertaken ‘my Oath of Allegiance to the King and all his Heirs and Successors’, and now solemnly undertook to obey the officers and those appointed over me. As I left that room, two phrases now defined my position: (a) I was 'embodied', and now a constituent part of the Regular Army (not just the 8th Battalion The Royal Scots) but from this day onwards was liable to be sent to any battalion or unit; and ( B) would serve 'for the duration’, no matter how long the War would last. I went to bed that night sadly aware of the worry this 18 years 5 months old son had wrought upon his Mother and Father; they had enough to bear thinking about my three older married brothers, who like me were spending their first night as a Regular Soldier; two of my brothers had young families, not yet school age. I remember my own worry as I tried to sleep: that I would be able to do whatever I was ordered to do and tried to fight off the fear of letting myself down. The next day I had to tell my Newspaper Owner that I was now in the Army; he received no notice; the break with my old job was instant. My working dress was now uniform and for the first three weeks of the War, we slept at home (unless you were on guard duty) but spent all and every day at the Drill Hall. The days were spent drilling, weapon training and route marches to get us fit. We quickly mastered stripping and reassembling our one Bren machine-gun, practised sighting our rifles and regularly practised the 'art' as it was grandly called of crawling across ground, hugging it and keeping our weapons clear of the dirt. When we did leave Peebles there were crowds of local people to see us off and tears were shed at our departure. But the tears I have always remembered were my father’s as he stood at the door when I left home . . . I had never seen him cry before. Joe Brown.