My name is Carl Hiltz. In 1940, I was a regimental bugler and woke the troops at 0600 hours and lights out at 2215 hours daily. They were long days! The sergeant of the Guard or the Provost awakened me at 0500 hrs because I was supposed to be awake, washed, shaved and in full dress to sound the reveille at the ceremony of raising the Union Jack each day. Everyone hated the bugler!
There are two facts which make this story worth telling...the flag must never touch the ground and the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) was GOD. One particular morning, I was in a rebellious state of resentment due to being on continuous duty and never getting out of camp. There were approximately 20 calls to sound in each 16 hours of duty. So at approximately 0600 hours I suddenly realized I was late. I leaped out of the bunk, pulled on my socks and boots, my greatcoat and the winter issue cap down over my ears. I can assure you I was not a pretty sight as I raced for the guardhouse.
The sergeant was waiting and cursing the GD bugler and just as I raised the bugle to my lips there was a very loud roar in the still morning of January. The sergeant dropped the flag, I dropped the bugle and we both suffered the extreme wrath of the RSM for the next six months. Many years later, the RSM told me, it was worth a million dollars to see me standing there with my long white underwear below my great coat.
In 1945, while waiting to come home, I was a regimental policeman at #9 NETD at a place called Frimley Green in Sussex, UK. It was a huge camp and expected drafts of up to a regiment from the continent on the way to Canada. Our main job was security, checking the leave passes, a few patrols around the fence, control of the motor pool, look after the fuel compound (coal), plus we were responsible for the Canadian prisoners awaiting court martial on various charges. There was a very efficacious Lieutenant, new from Canada and he was continuously checking and finding fault. After all, the war was over! To hasten the plot he was always very critical of our efforts and in particular the fueling records for the motor pool.
Several nights later I was on duty and received a call about 0200 hours and it was our Lieutenant stranded at a place called Bagshot. It was raining heavy as usual and the officer asked my name and ordered me to wake a driver and send a jeep to pick him up at once. I explained to the officer the rules were very explicit concerning the unauthorized use of fuel and equipment and I could not release a vehicle without proper authority. The officer was very, very angry and asked to speak with my superior, which was impossible as I was the only one available at that time. Because of his abusive language and his attitude I felt compelled to hang up the telephone. Needless to say I was transferred to Whitley Barracks the next week as a private!
My father, H.J. Hiltz #3185057 was a bandsman bugler in World War I and afterwards the instrument was always kept on the piano. It came into my possession in 1931; at that time, I was a “boy soldier”, which meant I only received ½ pay, in the 25th Battalion(The Colchester & Hants Regiment MG) in the brass band. I was subsequently issued a uniform and played in the band at the funeral of Lieutenant Governor Frank Stanfield. At the time there was great opposition to cutting down the King’s uniform for a child. The government state funeral in 1931 was my first attempt at playing while doing the so-called “dead march”. In 1940, while in the military band,
I became the regular bugler until 1942 when I was transferred to Aldershot for Advanced Infantry Training. I became the bugler again at Petworth Park U.K. and the last funeral that I sounded the Last Post and the Reveille was at a place called Basinstoke UK. At that time I was with the regimental police at a place called Frimley Green #9 NETD. Military forces of the British Commonwealth and the use of the bugle go back hundreds of years. It was the only communication (other than runners) with the troops from the officer in charge.
If I remember correctly the last music book of bugle calls from Boosey & Hawks, London, UK had approximately 200 calls (regular and ceremonial).
The use of the military bugle is in its self a complete history.
Revallie -0600 hours(sometimes the flag was raised according to the sunrise)
Cookhouse - 0700 hours
On parade - 0800 hours
Defaulters - 0900 and 1000 hours
Cookhouse- 1200 hours
On parade - 1330 hours
Defaulters - 1500 – 1600 hours
Cookhouse - 1700 hours
First Post - 2100 hours
Last Post - 2200 hours
Lights out - 2215 hours
Oh yes, I forgot taking down the flag and turning out the guard, and so on …