Can you imagine watching 64 man dancing on the docks just before leaving for an unknown destination?
In July 1941 the men of 27 Line Section stood waiting (as soldiers spend so much time doing) at Liverpool docks to embark on their troopship for a distant unknown destination. The Scotsmen in the section decided to while away the time by dancing an Eightsome Reel. Sergeant Pawson (from Glasgow?) was the leader and he made up eight separate Eightsomes – 64 men. Their captain, my father Barry Baker, attempted to play the mouth organ for them, while the Scotsmen taught the Englishmen the steps and the moves. Then they danced.
The reel was such a success that it gathered quite an audience of porters, sailors and others, so we did it all through once again. After that came the order to board, so my last memory of England for more than four years was dancing on the platform at Liverpool Docks.