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Don't Mess With Me!

Heroes Remember

For the purpose of discipline, I'll grant this, you've got to have a bit of a gap between an officer and the other rank. The warrant officer is the connecting one, he's the connector between the other ranks and the officer. In other words, nine times out of ten it's the warrant officer that has to tell the officer what to do. It happens all the time I've had it, I've had to tell officers no this, that's a nono, you just don't do it that way. Some officers have been very good about it and says thank you sergeant-major and that was it. But I've had, I had one officer he tried to get, he says, “Sergeant-Major”, he says, “ I don't need you to tell me my business.” I said, “Well alright sir.” So I just let him go and hang himself, very simple. Well, you know it's surprising what you can do as a warrant officer. See my sergeants, all my sergeants we had an officer came to us, a new officer. He called all the warrant officers and the sergeants in and he started to expound, “I am in command of this company, it's not gonna be run the way it's been done. ” He said, “ I am running the company.” About that time I took a casual look around at all my sergeants. They got the message.He lasted one month. We did it by the book. He lasted just one month. He found out eventually the hard way who was running the company.

Mr. Henley discusses the status he held as a Sergeant-Major, and how his NCO's rallied around him when his authority was threatened by a new officer.

Roy Henley

Roy Henley was born in London, Ontario on September 29, 1898. After enlisting in Toronto in 1916 with the 166th Queens Own Rifles, he was discharged with suspected tuberculosis. Mr. Henley re-enlisted, sailed to England aboard the horse transport SS Welshman, and joined the Quebec Regiment. Mr. Henley's recollections are detailed, sometimes graphic and occasionally humorous. His experiences spanned many battles; the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Cambrai and Arras.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Roy Henley
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War

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