Saturday Stayed in the hut all day
Measles and mumps have been stalking Witley for weeks, and “strenuous means are arranged to cope with the danger of infection,” says the War Diary. (1) Feb 1.
When someone is diagnosed, he is sent to the hospital, and his hut put into quarantine. “We just have to stay in four weeks it don’t seem long when you say it quick, but I think we will find it plenty long enough before we get out.” (2)
Another soldier complained that quarantine did not always mean staying comfortably in his hut: when folks at home get the mumps, he said, “you get put in a nice warm comfortable bed and have all kinds of good things. But when we get them they take the one who has them away to the Hospital and put the rest of us away by ourselves and no one comes near us and we have to march with heavy packs on and drill just the same and can not get out at nights they took us out this morning with our packs on in the heavy rain and marched us over the hills among the wet grass and brought us back into a hut without a fire. I think I shall have the mumps in the morning and go to a nice warm Hospital and have a nice nurse to kiss me every morning when I wake up.” (3)
(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery.Vol. 1 January 23, 1917 to February 28, 1917. February 1, 1917. 4. Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) Bennett , James. Letter to Jenn. March 17, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
(3) Tait, Andrew Ernest. Letter to Marion.May 16, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
Bruce Bairnsfather’s depictions of nurses come from “The Push — in Three Chapters” from Fragments from France 1:28 nd and “Supra-Normal” in Still More Fragments from France: 3: 34 nd