Witley, January 23, 1917

Tuesday         Raw and cold today Routine the same

The reorganization does not seem to concern Percy unduly. He kept the same battery number (81), though it now belonged to the 15th rather than the 16th Brigade.

Others we have met were more affected.

Writing to his sister-in-law on January 21st, Bertie Cox had said “There’s awful news in the air,”(1) and before he sealed and sent the letter he was able to add:

“Well, the news is now official, and that is that today the proud 59th Battery of Winnipeg ceased to exist. All Batteries are now to go to the front with 6 guns instead of 4. They have decided to split the best one of each Brigade and as the 59th did the best showing at Salisbury Plains, we got the axe. 1/2 are attached to the 60th and 1/2 to the 61st. All of our bunch (bank fellows) are in the 60th. Of course we were awfully sore, but they should worry! (1)

These eight  young men were the “bank fellows,” employees of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Winnipeg. The photograph, which includes nineteen-year-old Bertie second from the left in the front row, was taken in Winnipeg in May 1916.


The historian of the 60th Battery reported that any soreness wore off before too long:

“Naturally these changes at first caused some slight dissatisfaction, so quickly had a pride in their own original units developed in the men. However, as time went on, this was forgotten ; and in the 60th Battery, the only rivalry that remained was found in that spirit of friendly competition which results in increased efficiency of the whole.” (2)

(1) Cox, Bertram Howard. Letter to Mabel Cox, January 21, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
(2) 60th C.F.A. Battery Book, 1916-1919.[1919]. 23



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