Witley, January 28, 1917

Sunday Church parade AM Milford Church PM

It is now a week since talk of the artillery reorganization had become common. A week ago, as the news percolated through the ranks, even the chaplains addressed the matter at church parade.

Writing that previous Sunday, Archie Wills noted:

“At church service this morning the padre paid particular attention to the split-up.
‘It is sad to think that you are to lose your officers, the officers whom you have learned to love and have confidence in,’ he emphasized.
“Someone started to cough and a smile went around.”(1)

There follows in the notebook a blank space, and then another line:

“The line above will be filled in later. The confidence and love were words which might have been better replaced.” (1)

2017 01 21.png

His entry for the day concludes: “All day long the boys were singing ‘Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,’ but there was little or no smiling.”(2)

Archie’s 62nd (Howitzer) Battery was one of those that disappeared, being divided between the 51st and the 58th. Archie joined the 58th, conceding that there were some nice fellows among the strangers.(2)

(1) Wills, Archie. Diary. January 21, 1917. 3: 138. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(2) Wills, Archie. Diary. January 21, 1917. 3: 139

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”



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