of Boy Jones"
Notes on the text
These notes, edited by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. The page and, line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides, as published and frequently reprinted between 1923 and 1950.
That letter is certainly not written in "terse peremptory sentences and pseudo-military phraseology", to quote Birkenhead. Among other things it is about the side-sight to the rifle being preferable to a central sight; about the light being up in the Drill Hall; and his hope that the men will not object to the 75 ft range. He goes on to say that he has lent the Gardner Gun to the Western Provinces Mounted Rifles, and goodness knows when they will see it again, but "I shall keep an eye on it", etc. I have a note that during Kipling's absence in South Africa Sgt Johnson was the N.C.O. in charge of the rifle range which Kipling had established.This Editor is of the opinion that while Kipling’s brief tour of duty in the 1st Punjab Volunteers (Harry Ricketts, p. 61) would not have taught him much soldiering, his later contact with the Army certainly did.
Kipling did himself shoot; he was not a bad shot either. When he opened the Drill Hall (Rifle Range?) at Winchester, for instance (dedicated to the memory of George Cecil, an Old Wykehamist killed in action) ... he scored a bull's eye at the opening ceremony. He also shot at Bateman's, rabbits and pheasants, and on one notable occasion took a pot-shot from an upstairs window at a rabbit on the lawn, but didn't get it!
[Meryl Macdonald Bendle, in KJ 249/40.