Sunday The pastime last night was laughable lots of rain today
The rain was a change from the snow that Archie recorded in his diary over the past couple of days. On Friday, he noted that it had snowed hard, and that it was so cold “it takes a lot of courage to wash these mornings.” (1) There’s no sign of snow in this photograph taken on Saturday — and both the barbers and the barbered do seem to be enjoying themselves.
The War Diary notes today that “quarantine administration continues to present difficulties.” (2) Gordon Brown tells us what they did about it:
“They want to move all the quarantined subsection into neighbouring huts. They are now fenced off with wire and guards mounted. I rather think the authorities are alarmed at the way the huts have had to be quarantined. It is all for measles and mumps. There is only one sub in our battery [Gordon was in the 54th] quarantined, but some batteries [like Percy’s 81st] have as many as three or four. For mumps, they are quarantined for about a month, I think and I notice some won’t be released till on in April.”
“I believe that is all that is keeping us in England now. I understand all the batteries in our brigade have been warned for overseas soon but the spread of these diseases will keep us here for awhile, I guess.” (3)
With urgent messages (4) coming into Division Headquarters about sending the 54th and 81st overseas, quarantine presented another administrative difficulty: would the batteries be held back, as Gordon thought, if they were not up to full strength? or would there be more reorganization to send healthy subsections from other batteries in the place of quarantined men?
(1) Wills, Archie. Diary. 4:11. March 9, 1917. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(2) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery.Vol. 2 (March 1917): 2. March 10, 1917. Library and Archives of Canada.
(3) Brown, Gordon. Letter to his mother. March 11, 1917
(4) War Diary. Appendix 3: 4.
Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”