Please leave a comment on our guestbook

You are in the scripts section

Return to Index of Scripts

Lost and Found

February 26, 1946

It is the painful duty of the column to report that two subjects of the empire are hopelessly lost or at least, mixed up.

To begin at the end, here’s what: Angus McGow who lives in Scotland . . . as if you couldn’t tell . . . is in Australia, and Alex McGowan, whose home is Australia, is in Scotland! A quick ear will detect this is not as it should be and it all came about through the similarity of their names.

Now to go to the middle of the story, it should be explained that in military establishments, it is the practice to hold what is known as a “muster.” This consists of handing a list of badly typed names to an honest, well-intentioned sergeant with a lusty voice and a bland indifference to genealogy. Did you notice how in the war years, railroad stations suddenly echoed with the chaste voice of female train callers? You walk into Penn Station today and you hear a well-modu¬lated soprano intoning Norwalk, Greenwich, Philadelphia, South Orange . . . in syllables picked clean as a knife edge. It was not always thus. You remember the good old bellowers who used to cup their hands and let go? You couldn’t tell what they were saying but they said it with creditable volume. Well, maybe you wondered what happened to all those mumbling train callers. I can tell you.

They were made sergeants in the Army or petty officers, first class in the Navy and assigned to hold musters! They held them at morning quarters and at chow time and at inspection and at mail call. No one has ever beard them pronounce a name intelligibly, but they call them. Well, that’s what happened to Angus McGow and Alex McGowan. These two lads were prisoners of war at Singapore. When time came to board ship to go home, Angus McGow answered to the name of Alex McGowan and vice-versa. This was an understandable error, inasmuch as the mustering sergeant made both names sound as if they were Alexis McGillicudy. And now you know how it happened.

Today United Press reports that Angus is in Australia and Alex in Scotland. It’s a big world!