Wednesday Yesterday I made a mistake the 81st left for France on Mon the 19th[.] Tues the 20 should be written on the 15th
In the tedium of quarantine, it is hard to keep the days straight. The War Diary, which recorded the order for the 81st and 54th Batteries to entrain on the 20th, also notes that they departed on the 19th. (1) Let us assume that these are not irreconcilable discrepancies in the accounts: if the first of the trains were ready at Milford Station not long after midnight on March 20th (as they were for the howitzer batteries a few days ago), then the batteries would have left Milford/Witley Camp before midnight in order to march the couple of miles.
With thirteen officers, 472 Other Ranks, and 464 horses, not to mention the guns and the wagons,(2) Milford Station would be been a much busier and more confusing place in the darkness of the early morning yesterday than it was in this 1908 photograph from Francis Frith.
(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 2 (March 1917): 3. Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) War Diary Vol. 2 (March 1917): Appendix 4.
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