Tactical Tailor

Right! Sergeant Major, Marchin’ Up and Down the Square

One of my favorites.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Don’t stand there gawping like you’ve never seen the Hand of God before! Now, today, we’re going to do marching up and down the square! That is, unless any of you got anything better to do. Well?! Anyone got anything they’d rather be doing than marching up and down the square?! Yes?! Atkinson. What would you… rather be doing, Atkinson?

ATKINSON: Well, to be quite honest, Sarge, I’d… rather be at home with the wife and kids.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Would you, now?!

ATKINSON: Yes, Sarge.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Right! Off you go! Now, everybody else happy with my little plan… of marching up and down the square a bit?

COLES: Sarge!


COLES: I’ve got a book I’d quite like to read.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Right! You go read your book, then! Now! Everybody else… quite content to join in… with my little scheme of marching up and down the square?!

WYCLIF: Sarge?

SERGEANT MAJOR: Yes, Wyclif?! What is it?!

WYCLIF: Well, I’m, uh, learning the piano.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Learning the piano?!

WYCLIF: Yes, Sarge.

SERGEANT MAJOR: And I suppose you want to go and practice, eh? Marching up and down the square not good enough for you, eh?!

WYCLIF: Well,–

SERGEANT MAJOR: Right! Off you go!


SERGEANT MAJOR: Now! What about the rest of you? Rather be at the pictures, I suppose.

SQUAD: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Ooh, yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Right.

SERGEANT MAJOR: All right! Off you go!

SQUAD: Oh. Ooh. Great. That’s great. What a day. I want to see the Merle Oberon picture. Eh hehheh.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Bloody army! I don’t know what it’s coming to. Right! Sergeant Major, marching up and down the square. Left, right, left. Left…

NARRATOR #1: Democracy and humanitarianism have always been trademarks of the British Army…


NARRATOR #1: Shh! …And have stamped its triumph throughout history, in the furthest-flung corners of the Empire,…
…but, no matter where or when there was fighting to be done,…
[patriotic music]
…it has always been the calm leadership of the Officer class that has made the British Army what it is.

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8 Responses to “Right! Sergeant Major, Marchin’ Up and Down the Square”

  1. cj says:

    genius. for those of use on the other side of the Atlantic, that skit is more relevant than ever.

  2. Gerard says:

    Inspired comedy, Python at their best

  3. Strike-Hold says:

    Awesome – well played SSD!!

  4. CAVstrong says:

    The next scene is pretty great too.

  5. Erick says:

    One of the best on-scene depictions of the stupidities of garrison life ever.

  6. Rich275 says:

    I will date myself with this comment, but I saw that movie in the theater, a few times.
    And, while serving as pledgemaster (yes, there is such a thing) in my college frat before enlisting, I played the role of SGM complete with British accent, while repeatedly yelling at our pledges asking if any of them had “anything better to do than marching up and down the square!”
    Anytime one of them came up with some lame excuse, I had them drink a beer before dismissing them.

    • Rob Collins says:

      I went to school at Nebraska, and was pledgemaster in my college fraternity. When the Huskers hosted Oklahoma. One pledge got to be “Ruprecht the monkey boy” for a day while in the house, and when his name was mentioned, he had a pot and a wooden spoon to beat it with yelling: “Oklahoma!”, “Oklahoma!”, “Oklahoma!”….