Fatigues were not just the usual maintenance duties of the unit. Any “extra-professional” task that needed to be done could be assigned. As the weather worsened in November and December, improvements to the stables were called for, and it was the men of the battery who carried them out.
“Just at present the battery is acting as a contracting outfit,” complained Archie Wills. “The drivers are hauling sand and bricks with which the floors of the stables are being lined. The gunners are acting as bricklayers and between this fatigue and other duties the battery is doing no training.”(1)
Bricklaying didn’t start until after the horses had been exercised. The soldiers did not complain too much about that:
“Dec. 1st. Weather very cold and plenty of ice is to be seen and the parade grounds and roads are very hard. This morning we were on a ride and managed to keep warm.”(1)
(1) Wills, Archie. Diary. 3: 93-93. December 1, 1916. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.