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4th June: Congratulations are in order

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4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:03 am

It wasn't completely surprising, somehow, when the word was passed for Thompson to go to the Great Cabin.

He'd straightened himself up and glanced at his sleeve, still unable to believe that the stripes he'd sewn there only yesterday weren't a figment of his imagination.

It was Mallory who was on sentry, and the other Marine stiffened before knocking on the door to announce him. "Corp'ral Thompson, sir!"

There was a muffled voice from inside which Thompson, with his years of experience, interpreted as saying, "Come!"

He swallowed and pushed the door open, saluting as soon as it was closed behind him. "Sent for, sir."

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:09 am

Bolitho looked up as Thompson entered. He had been waiting to congratulate the newly-promoted corporal, feeling that this promotion was quite well-deserved.

"Yes indeed, Corporal Thompson," he said, making a point to use the Marine's new title, "Word has reached me that you have received a promotion." He glanced at the stripes on Thompson's coat. "It appears that rumor is true."

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:15 am

It was still downright strange to be addressed as 'Corporal' after having been 'Private' for twelve years, near enough, Thompson found.

"Yes, sir. I... er, yes, sir."

He still felt a little as though he was masquerading as something he wasn't, but if the Captain was all right with it, that settled the matter.

"It was Mister Cartwright's doin', sir," he added, wondering just why it was that the Marine officer had picked him out for the honour, rather than any of the other Marines.

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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:22 pm

"Yes, I know. Mr. Cartwright informed me of his decision to promote you when he came to speak to me about his own promotion. I believe he made a very wise choice." Bolitho paused. Thompson was pleased to have been promoted, was he not? Did he not agree with Cartwright's decision? "You do feel he made a wise choice, do you not?"

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:19 am

"I'm just surprised he chose me, is all, sir," Thompson said. He hadn't really thought about its being a wise choice, or otherwise, just that there were other Marines equally deserving of promotion. At least, in his opinion, there were. Nobody had said anything negative that he knew of - though he could guess what Shriver's opinion of the whole matter was, of course. "He could've chosen almost anyone else, I mean, sir."

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:40 am

"That is true. The Marines aboard are a fine lot, and deserve to be recognised for their service. Still, I feel that Mr. Cartwright choose a worthy recipient all the same. But of course if you do not wish to be a corporal, the promotion could be given to someone else..."

Bolitho left the sentence hanging, fairly sure that Thompson would not refuse. He understood the man's surprise, but he doubted the promotion had been an unwelcome event. Thompson would get accustomed to his new status soon enough, he wagered.

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
Number of posts : 1318
Location : Sailing towards the horizon
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:50 am

For the second time in two days, Thompson surprised himself. "Oh, no, sir. I mean, well, sir, I like it main well. Only, if you'd rather someone else had it..." He trailed off, a little uncertainly. From the captain's words, he certainly seemed to think that Thompson was suited for the rank, and all the responsibility that came with it.

And if not... He was again a little surprised to realise that he'd be disappointed if the Captain did decide to give the stripes to someone else. He wouldn't argue, of course, not with the Captain, but it would leave him feeling rather flat.

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:13 am

Oh bother. He had not meant for Thompson to take it that way. Bolitho was only trying to prove to him that Cartwright had been right in choosing him for the promotion. He was not saying that he wanted some other Marine to be corporal instead.

"Not at all, Thompson! I did not mean that I wanted to give the promotion to someone else. I merely meant that I would not force you to remain a corporal if you did not wish it. But since I believe that you would like to keep the promotion, you shall."

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
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Location : Sailing towards the horizon
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:32 am

He relaxed a little, though the only outward sign was that his shoulders dropped a fraction of an inch - he was still standing to attention, of course.

"I... Well, sir, it's jus' that it all come as a bit of a surprise, sir, that's all. I never expected it, see. Sir." It didn't mean he didn't want it, not now that he'd had the offer made, and by two officers who thought he was right for it, no matter that he was still a little uncertain himself as to his readiness. But if even Captain Bolitho thought he could do it... Well, he trusted the officers' judgement, and it wasn't as though his own was exactly impartial on such a subject.

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
Member since : 2008-05-28

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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sun May 01, 2011 3:22 pm

"Understandable." Bolitho nodded. Most Marine privates like Thompson would never expect to see a promotion--and rightly so since most of them never would receive such a promotion. Thus such a thing would come as quite a shock. "But since you would like to keep your well-deserved promotion, and since I can see no reason for you not to have it, I advise you to become accustomed to being referred to as Corporal. It may still sound strange, but I wager it will not be long before you are just as used to hearing it as you are to hearing your own name."

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
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Location : Sailing towards the horizon
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Mon May 02, 2011 1:52 am

Thompson offered a slightly shy smile. It still felt like ill-gotten gains, somehow, but that the Captain approved made a lot of difference. He couldn't imagine ever getting as used to being addressed as Corporal as all that, not after twelve years of being a Private.

He took a breath. "Sir... If you don't mind me askin', is there anythin' in particular you want me to do, or not do, when it comes to... well, to bein' in command, sir?"

Whatever happened, he didn't want to do something that would let the Captain down. And it was all right for the officers and the midshipmen; they were used to being in charge and giving orders. Thompson had pretty much only ever taken orders before.

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:11 pm

Knowing that Thompson was of a decent disposition, Bolitho felt that he did not really need to be told how to act while in command. A man such as him surely would do nothing untoward and surely did not need to be told how to treat those men under his command. Yet Thompson had asked him, so he needed to answer.

"There is only one thing which I would ask of you, Thompson," Bolitho said, "All I would ask is that you use your authority fairly. Treat the men properly and you will have no difficulties. But I am certain you already know that and would do so even without being told." He paused, then said, "That is all I can truly tell you. Being in command is something that needs to be learned from experience. But I am sure that, when the moment comes, you will do the right thing."

Bolitho thought about his experiences as a midshipman and as a lieutenant. He had been taught much, but there was also much he had learned only when he was actually in the heat of the moment. And that was not something which could be taught or explained.

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:01 am

Fair... He thought - he hoped - that he could manage 'fair'. He had twelve years' experience of following NCOs' orders. It came down to not giving orders he wouldn't have wanted to obey himself, didn't it? Or no - not really. What it came down to, really, was not giving an order that he himself would not follow, if it was an order given to him.

"I think I got it, sir," he said slowly. "Don't ask anyone to do summat I wouldn't do meself."

It was very strange - and strangely pleasant, too - to realise that part of the realitiy of promotion meant that the officers trusted him to do the right thing - had to do the right thing, in fact, because he represented them.

"I'll do me best, sir. An' I know I'm goin' to make mistakes, 'cause I've never done this afore, but I won't do anythin' delib'rately wrong. It'll only be 'cause I don't know what I'm doin', is all, sir."

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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:43 pm

"Yes Thompson, that's exactly it. The men will respect you if you don't ask them to do anything that you yourself would not do." Bolitho nodded. "I have no doubts that you will do your best. And of course mistakes will happen, but no one will fault you for that, least of all myself. I understand that you are not accustomed to command. As I said previously, being in command must be truly learned by experience. And mistakes tend to come with that territory. But that is the only way one can really learn."

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
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Location : Sailing towards the horizon
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:13 pm

Respect? For some reason it hadn't crossed his mind that the men might respect him if he did that - although, really, he should have expected that. It just wasn't something he had considered, with regards to himself. Maybe that was why he'd been given the stripes in the first place. He didn't know, and still didn't feel entirely comfortable with it, although maybe that would come with time?

"I'll do me best, sir, honest I will. I jus' hope I don't screw up too badly, sir. I don't... I don't want to let you or Mister Cartwright down, sir."

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
Member since : 2008-05-28

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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:13 pm

"I doubt such a thing would occur, Thompson. I have every faith that you will uphold the honour of our ship," Bolitho said, "And I am fairly certain that Mr. Cartwright would agree with me."

After all, Cartwright would never have promoted Thompson in the first place if he had not felt that he was up to the task.

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
Number of posts : 1318
Location : Sailing towards the horizon
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:11 am

"I will do me best sir, honest I will," Thompson replied. It felt like a huge responsibility, though, and he still felt as though someone was going to tell him that there had been a mistake and they'd meant to promote someone else.

He just hoped that he wouldn't let the Captain or his own officer down.

_________________
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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
Member since : 2008-05-28

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/private-georg

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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  Richard Bolitho on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:33 am

"Thank you Thompson. I know you will." Bolitho nodded. "Now, unless you have any further concerns to voice, you may be dismissed to attend to the duties of your new rank."

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Richard Bolitho
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Captain
Number of posts : 1318
Location : Sailing towards the horizon
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

Post  George Thompson on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:48 am

"Don't think I have, sir. Thank you, sir." He squared his shoulders, saluted again and turned to leave, fumbling a little with the door-handle before he could get the door open. Once outside, he closed the door again and let out a long breath of relief, ignoring Mallory's quizzical glance at the exhalation.

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
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Re: 4th June: Congratulations are in order

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