Witley, May 5, 1917

Saturday          The weather continues good tho’ a fresh wind [.] worked this am slept this pm did not go out tonight Am well

Saturday is a half holiday, so why not a good afternoon snooze?

Percy is well, but concern continues about the Divisions’ horses.  Today the Commander of the Royal Artillery inspects the stables. The horses’ condition is found to be improving, but they still require a lessening of their work “as present forage ration is hardly adequate.”(1) The situation provoked a plaintive article in the 58th Battery’s magazine, edited by Archie Wills. (2)

O Pip 3 11 horses.JPG

One way of improving the horses’ forage was to drive them to pasture in the neighbourhood: Archie Wills and the horses of the right section of the 58th Battery will spend next weekend feeding  in a “ten-acre field on which all the fine residences [in Godalming] backed.” (3) The men too will enjoy an improvement in rations, the neighbours providing eggs and rhubarb pie and all the tea they can drink. (3) In return, the men will entertain the “local kiddies” and some of the neighbour ladies. (3)

The weekend will have its dark side: en route to Godalming, one of the six-horse teams bolts. Two drivers are thrown and injured; two horses are “badly mangled.” On returning to camp, three horses will be shot, and a fourth will remain “in a bad way.” (4)

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 4 (May 1917): 1. May 5, 1917. Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) The O.Pip. 3 (June 1917): 11.
(3) Wills, Archie. Diary. 4: 56-59. May 12, 13, 1917. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(4) Wills. Diary. 4: 57 May 12, 1917.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”



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