The Sergeant Major is called in to the CO.
In he stamps, salutes, "SAH!!!"
"Ah, Sergeant Major, we've had some delicate news. Private Hoskins' father has unexpectedly died. Will you break it to him, please?"
"SAH!!!" - and off he stamps.
He marches down to the barracks.
"RIGHT - ON YER FEET!!! FALL IN, YOU 'ORRIBLE-LOOKING SHOWER!!! AT THE DOUBLE!!! 'SHUN!!!"
The privates all line up at attention.
'OSKINS!!! ONE STEP FOR'ARD!!! 'OSKINS - YER FATHER'S DEAD!!!"
Hoskins collapses on the floor in a dead faint.
So, a month or so later, the CO calls in the Sergeant Major again.
Again the Sergeant-Major thunders in, stamps to attention, salutes, "SAH!!!"
"Sergeant-Major, I'm afraid we've had some bad news, again - Private Hoskins' mother has unexpectedly died. Break the news to him, please."
"Oh - and Sergeant-Major?"
"For God's sake, Sergeant-Major, use a bit of tact this time."
"SAH!!!" He salutes, stamps out and down to the barracks again.
"RIGHT, YOU 'ORRIBLE LITTLE MEN!!! FALL IN!!! AT THE DOUBLE!!! AT THE DOUBLE!!! SHUN!!!
So they're all 'fell in' and at attention. The Sergeant-Major eyes them beadily, takes a deep breath - and then he stops himself. He's thinking to himself, "Use a bit of tact ... use a bit of tact ... hummm." He ponders for a moment, then straightens up.
"RIGHT YOU 'ORRIBLE-LOOKING SHOWER!!! ALL YOU MEN WITH MOTHERS - ONE STEP FOR'ARD!!!
"'OSKINS!!! WHERE THE 'ELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING?!!!"