Tuesday Yesterday the weather was great Today we started out on a bivouac 1 1/2 miles from Elstead – T’was a warm day 103 deg in the shade We walked into Elstead in the evening being off till 11 pm on the field I rec’d 4 letters from [Janie] April 29 May 1. 3. 8 headache today
Elstead is only a couple of miles north of Witley Camp, as the crow flies, but twice that by road. The “bridge near Elstead,” shown in this photo from Percy’s small album, was snapped much earlier in the year than June, to judge from the trees.
The meteorological office tells us that the temperature was well above normal in nearly all parts of the country — though none of the official temperatures quite match Percy’s figure. (1) Soldiers in their heavy uniforms would have been glad for any shade, or for the refreshment that was no doubt available at The Woolpack in Elstead.
It’s unlikely the bridge shown is Elstead Old Bridge, built at the beginning of the fourteenth century over the River Wey. There are other brooks and watercourses in the neighbourhood, and Percy’s snap does not much resemble this 1910 photograph of a multi-arched bridge with a substantial masonry parapet. It is number 4697 from the Photographic Record and Survey of Surrey.
(1) Monthly Weather Report of the Meteorological Office, XXXIV (n.s.): 6 (June 1917). 1
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