Gloucester High School - Flicker Yearbook (Gloucester, MA)

 - Class of 1960

Page 14 of 184


Gloucester High School - Flicker Yearbook (Gloucester, MA) online yearbook collection, 1960 Edition, Page 14 of 184
Page 14 of 184

Gloucester High School - Flicker Yearbook (Gloucester, MA) online yearbook collection, 1960 Edition, Page 13
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Page 14 text:

1888 THE GIRLS ' DRILL TEAM The Girls’ Drill Team started in 1887 when a squad of girls under the command of Captain Munroe held a broom drill in the Armory. In 1888, there was a drill by sixteen girls under the command of Captain Grace W. Pew. Their uniforms consisted of nile green skirts and waists faced with black crepe. They also wore soldiers’ caps and belts and carried wooden guns. The commander wore a uniform of grenadier green crepe skirt and waist, faced with black velvet with embossed thread worked into the regulation knots on the shoulder above a black velvet background. At the drill in 1889, sixteen girls under Captain Alice Hodg- kins held a bar drill. There does not seem to be any record of a girls’ drill squad in 1890 . In 1891, the girls’ drill team was again mentioned. The com- mander of this squad of girls was Captain Maggie Keefe, and the two companies of girls presented a Foil Drill and a Hoop Drill under the direction of Major Helen Follansbee. After this drill, there is no record of a girls’ company until 1943, when it was established once again under the title of the Victory Corps. This company consisted of senior girls who were tak- ing physical education. Its original purpose was not a drill team, but a group of girls who would be trained to meet an emergency if one occurred during the trying times of World War II. They were taught to carry messages and overcome obstacles which they may have been unfortunate enough to encounter in such a time of danger. They were also well trained in first aid. The girls, however, wanted to do some other thing in the way of pleasure. They asked their physical education teacher if they could organize a drill team for their own entertainment. She 10

Page 13 text:

1940 Before the school year of 1917 ended, the cadets had entered the World War and many mem- bers of the class entered the service directly from High School. In fact, practically all who were physically able entered the service before November 11, 1918. In September, 1919, the work in military drill was taken over by the Reserve Officers’ Train- ing Corps. The object of this movement was to give all students a thorough physical training and to teach them the fundamentals of the military profession. The first R.O.T.C. instructor was Major Husley in 1920. At the Field Day in 1922 a prize of $50.00 in gold was awarded to the best company. As the years went by, the regiment grew larger and was involved in more activities. In 1939, for instance, the rifle team won the First Corps Intercollegiate Matches. First and third places in the Corps Area were also won in the William Randolph Hearst Trophy Match. In 1925, the following report was made: " On September 17, announcement was made that the unit had again been awarded a place among the thirteen honor R.O.T.C. units in the country and ranked all other units in the First Corps Area.’’ June 15, 1928, for the first time in twenty years, Gloucester High’s military unit participated in an inter-school competition, where a picked company went to Lowell. It won the drill, with Lowell second. Gloucester won the tent pitching contest. From an item in the Times of June 6, 1930: " Begin- ning in 1921 Gloucester has been honor unit for ten con- secutive years. This record is unparalleled in the United States.” On June 21 1933, it was announced that as the en- rollment of 1933-1934 would be so large a regiment of two battalions would replace the single battalion which had been in order since the war. Again this year, the regiment was an ’Honor” unit for the fourteenth consecu- tive year. The R.O.T.C. helps to provide an electorate informed as to American traditions, ideals, and institutions, includ- ing the purpose and necessity of a sane policy of national defense. It is a school for citizenship.

Page 15 text:

(New 7, w” I jjj therejyas 1 pla ; 4nd since $ne had ha 1 previous experience with girls’ drill squads, she un- wor k and jilJmi hern to the best of her ability. foundftjand jfffis presented a problem; for during World War II, materi as as everything else. The girls soon solved this problem clothing i Jhatf J ey already had or could easily get. Their uniforms consisted s white shirt, red stockings, brown and white saddle shoes, red skic after men’s overseas caps. These hats were made by a local tailor tisin of JA i y o The drill team progressed rapidly; and one day while they were drilling, the R.O.T.C. com mander at the time, Sergeant C. W. Tucker, commented on their progress and even went so far as to say that they drilled better than the boys. He was so impressed, that he asked if they could drill for one of the Officers’ parties held at that time in January or February. This was a won- derful opportunity for the girls, and they did so well that they were asked to be a permanent part of that party every year. In 1944, the girls’ drill team was adopted by the R.O.T.C. and made a regular part of the military program. Although they are not recognized as an official military organization of Gloucester High School,- they have become a standard part of all R.O.T.C. activities. They participate in drill at the two annual officers’ parties, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Field Day, formal inspections, football games, and civic functions. Today, the Girls’ Drill Team has become a source of great com- petition among the girls at Gloucester High School. The Drill Team consists of fifty-five girls. In the fall of each year, new members are selected to fill the vacancies left by the graduates of the previous year. To be eligible for the Drill Team, a girl must have a good scholastic record and she must have perfect school citizenship. The purpose of the Girls’ Drill Team is to help the girls to develop confidence, coordination, teamwork, and leadership. It is a wonderful organization for a girl who has the time and in- terest for it.

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