Western Mail, Thursday 6 July 1933, page 2
Starring the Hon. James.
Dear "Non. Com." - J. Ryder's yarn in the issue of June 22 reminds one of another yarn about mounting an extra man on guard work to allow the "cleanest and best dressed man being released from duty.
It happened on the transport Carpentaria whew returning to Australia in September 1918. In Mid-Atlantic Jimmie Cornell, M.L.C., was one of those picked for guard duty. Several old soldiers, after conferring, agreed that they would get him exempted from duty, by parading him as the cleanest and smartest dressed soldier pf the guard. In the attempt to do so, much Kiwi, spit and polish Were expended on genial James's make-up, plus the bestowal of a borrowed plume or two.
But alas! Like the best laid schemes of mice and men this scheme also miscarried. It so happened that a digger, answering, but not conforming to the name of Mead had had his strides pinched by an inconsiderate digger soon after leaving Devonport Harbour. He happened to be warned for this guard also, and duly paraded for duty, equipped from the waist down in underpants and boots only.
The officer on duty was a good sport, and after carefully inspecting the guard spoke thus: "Sapper Cornell, two paces forward, march! Your luck is out to-day, you have fairly won the distinctionof appearing as just "it," but the reward is not for you. The colonel is a most fastidious man, and it is said that he Was once the principal of a Ladies' College, therefore, the reward must go to that blighter in the rear rank, who, if he had his deserts, would he crimed. However, through devotion to duty and sheer necessity he has paraded with his nether organs adorned by underpants which have long passed beyond the laundry stage, and are more than qualified for total destruction. He therefore wins the concession."
J.K., Southern Cross
Those in the story:
Carpentaria = D19 SS Carpentaria which weighed 5,766 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was owned by British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., Calcutta.
The Honourable James CORNELL, M.L.C. (23 December 1874 - 25 November 1946)
Jimmie Cornell, M.L.C. = The Honourable James CORNELL, M.L.C. (23 December 1874 - 25 November 1946), Member for the South Province elected as an ALP Member 22 May 1912 but after the 1916 split, became a Nationalist. On 24 February 1917, 7995 Sapper James CORNELL, enlisted with the AIF Tunnelling Companies and embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 21 November 1917. During the Great War he Returned to Australia, 8 August 1918, and was subsequently discharged as Medically Unfit for Active Service due to flat feet.
MEAD = 3193 Private Aubrey Walter MEAD, a 33 year old timber worker who enlisted in the AIF on 27 August 1915 and was allotted to the 28th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement which embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 18 January 1916. During the Great War he Returned to Australia, 8 August 1918, and was subsequently discharged as Medically Unfit for Active Service as a consequence of Trench Fever.
Kiwi = a popular brand of boot polish.
Narrator J.K. = Unidentified