Witley, March 17, 1917

Sunday       We are now closed in with barbed wire & a guard over us we wear red bands

Dodds quarantine

“Quarantine administration continues to present difficulties” said the War Diary on March 10th. The measures Percy names certainly make it less likely that the soldiers will break quarantine, though they aren’t good for morale inside the quarantine huts. John MacArthur wrote gloomily to his sweetheart about the prospects for getting out:

“It is quite likely that someone else will get the mumps just when we are ready to get out and we will be here all summer. It is great you know staying here and letting some one do the fighting for you and all your friends getting killed over the channel. However it seems to be our fate that we are never to see the ‘line’ so I guess it won’t do any good to worry.”(1)

Orders arrive today at the Fifth Division for the 54th and 81st Batteries to be prepared for service in France. (2)

The photograph of quarantine at Witley Camp is from the scrapbook of Brigadier General W.O.H. Dodds, part of the Brigadier General W.O.H. Dodds Fonds. Special Collections and University Archives, University of Victoria.

(1) McArthur, John Alexander. Letter to Hazel Challoner. April 1, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
(2) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 2 March 1917. Appendix 3: 5.  Library and Archives of Canada.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

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