Witley, March 26, 1917

Monday     I must miss these days as I’ve no record of them.

Archie Wills tells us that they were all CB [confined to barracks], where the general opinion was that mobilization was imminent, “as we have orders to discard all surplus kit. I have three kit bags fulls of junk and am having quite a time discarding.” (1)

At the Fifth Divisional Artillery headquarters, they stood by yesterday until nearly 4 pm, when a “message arrived from Divl: Hdqrs: that necessity for special vigilence [sic] is past.  Normal conditions are to be resumed.”(2)

1917 03 25-26.JPG

Today, the officers decide that it would be a good time to test mobilization preparedness. A two-page document is issued clarifying what would be required in the case of either “mobilization for embarkation overseas” or “preparation to entrain immediately” –and notes that the “best means of ensuring promptness in arriving at the state of complete readiness required in either eventuality, is to proceed at once to bring every Unit to a mobilized state so far as circumstances allow.”(3)

“Much waste of time and misdirected energy will be saved by a little organization,” says the document. There follow 36 distinct activities to be carried out in order to reach the state of complete readiness.(3)

(1) Wills, Archie. Diary. 4: 24. March 26, 1917. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(2) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. 2 (March 1917): 5. March 24-25, 1917. Library and Archives of Canada.
(3) War Diary. 2 (March 1917) Appendix 5: 1.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”




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