The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
"Izzit" of the Sigs
"Izzit" of the Sigs.
There cannot be an "Izzit" in any other Service, because no Service presents such scope for peculiar genius and so many opportunities for undoubted ability, as does the Signal Service. Certainly, 'Izzit" is a peculiar name, but then, if you were in the Signal Service and knew him, you would not think so; and if you saw "Izzit" carrying out his duties you would be forced to the conclusion that peculiar names and peculiar personalities are synonymous terms.
"Izzit" is by profession a student—nobody knows in what particular line of study—by inclination an electrical maniac; and by circumstance an indifferent good wagger of flags. It is he who tinkers sick instruments and revives expiring batteries, and explains for the edification of an admiring audience the interior economy of the latest thing in lamps, panels, or telephones. His celebrated dissertation on the theory of the relay, and the subsequent discussion by a nontechnical audience regarding his capabilities as an electrician, gave him cause for regret, and a flow of language hardly in keeping with the scientific nature of his discourse,
He is the only expert, east of the Canal, able to unravel and trace the tangled circuits in the Signal-office of a certain famed formation; and considering that he watches the office so zealously, he ought to know. It is he who transforms a humble field telegraph office into a passable representation of a City Council power-house, with ingenious frames studded with rows of terminals, and bristling with patent switches. He joins up loose ends of wire, and introduces testing sets and other devices so that it becomes possible to go to the' phone and ringyourself up. Sometimesyou get through to other places, then an entry is made in the daily "faults" book.
On the move, it is hard to tell whether "Izzit's" horse is a pack-animal or just merely an ordinary troop horse. Although "Izzit" is only a little fellow, he carries enough gear to maintain at least four men; and the sight of him in the saddle, surrounded by primus stoves, water-buckets, a complete bivvy, spare haversacks, kit-bags, and the usual technical gear, is provocative of unseemly mirth in the ranks. His horse, too, is one that jig-jogs; and to this day it is not known whether the jig-jogs is an equine weakness, or whether it is occasioned by a disability to outlive the feel of the miscellaneous load it has to transport.
When a new office is opened he is in his element, and is soon enmeshed in coils of wire. Spare parts are scattered about the landscape, all the instruments buzz insistently, and the harassed operators desert their posts to hastily dig in. Out of the chaos emerges "Izzit", peevishly to demand whv the operator is not attending to the XYZ line. With a gleam of triumph in his eye, he waves the "galvo" in the air, and informs the Signal-master that communication is established. He then proceeds to harness up the other loose ends of wire.
"Izzit's" services to the Force are so well known that they need no mention here; but this must be said: He is a good lad. Given a pair of pliers, a length of wire, and a fair opportunity, he will get you through to anywhere.