Tuesday We are transferred to the 55th the 81st expect to leave any day was sorry to lose my old gun 9 letters today
Percy’s record shows him as “SOS [Struck off Strength] to 13th Bde [Brigade] on March 18th, and “TOS [Taken on Strength] from 15th Bde & Posted to 55th Bty, Milford” four days later.
While the newest members of the 55th Battery are languishing behind their barbed wire, the Instructional Sports tournament continues, today at the Brigade level.
It was an all-day event, and the weather, fortunately, was fine. If Archie Wills’s experience was typical, each battery (including the cooks and “the grub”) left camp at 8:30 and set up horse lines on the edge of Bagmore Common. The cooks set to work on noon-day dinner, while the various sports began. It was “a great day” even though there were disappointments. Archie’s battery lost the casualty race, because a quick release slipped after they crossed the finish line. The 61st Battery provided some entertainment — a wild west show: “They had an old prairie schooner and six horses. The Indians raided it and the cowboys came to their relief and then summoned the R.N.W.M.P. [Royal North West Mounted Police, precursor of the RCMP] Then we had a bucking contest. It just reminded one of home to see the western stuff. We captured many of the honors and returned to camp at 6 pm.” (1)
(1) Wills, Archie. Diary.4:17-18. March 20, 1917. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
The image of western saddles is the heading of Chapter 10 of When a Man’s A Man, which Percy has been reading.