And urgently. The Canadian batteries were going to Lark Hill, on the Salisbury Plains, where they could fire real ammunition and put their skills to the test before going to France, something they were sure would not be long delayed.
Archie Wills reported that his officers had “officers have discovered that our gunnery has been sadly neglected. Consequently we are being rushed. … We have had to spend so much time exercising our horses and looking after our stables that we have been unable to get ahead with our gunnery.” (1)
And the weather turned cold, the ground so hard and slippery that the horses slid badly as the battery went through its manoeuvres. “We drove around getting into and out of mixups to the horror of our commander,” wrote Archie, and “finally wended our way homeward.” (2)
There was a lively poker game in his hut that night.
(1) Wills, Archie. Diary. 3: 119-120. December 27, 1916. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(2) Wills, Diary. 3: 120. December 28, 1916.
The photograph is from Percy’s small album. It is easy to imagine those roads hard and slick.
Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”