Witley, March 8, 1917

Thursday    We begin to feel the food shortage or else there is some graft somewhere, placed under orders for France

Finally, the word they had been awaiting, after weeks of wondering if they would ever see action, or if the Fifth Division and its artillery would be stuck in Britain as a garrison force.

Newland records in the War Diary a “Telephone communication received from 5th Divn: WITLEY for Mobilization of 54th & 81st Batteries. Confirmed by letter from Hdqrs. 5th Divn.” (1) The 81st, you will remember, is Percy’s battery (formerly the 48th).

Orders had been received a few days earlier (March 3, 1917) for the mobilization of the 82nd and 83rd Howitzer batteries. (2) Now the entire 15th Brigade is under orders for France, each of the four batteries to be supported, from the ammunition column, by

  • 6 Ammunition wagons with Limbers and harness
  • 18 Drivers and 36 Draught Horses
  • 6 G.S. [General Supply] Wagons and harness
  • 18 Drivers and 36 Draught Horses. (3)

calder mules horses and wagons.jpg

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery.Vol. 2 (March 1917):2 March 8, 1917. .Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) War Diary Vol. 2 (March 1917):1. March 3, 1917.
(3) War Diary Vol. 2 (March 1917): Appendix 1.

The unidentified undated image of wagons, horses and mules is one belonging to William Calder, who was in the Divisional Artillery Column at Witley.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”
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