Witley, June 8, 1917

Friday      Slept in this morning The Bty went out for the day I started but returned to the gun park & cleaned up a bit. On duty today am reading one hour & the next The weather is great I’m broke but am in the pink

Apart from the lament about being broke — and yesterday Percy wrote for money, presumably to his brother Ted, to whom he assigned most of his pay — Percy has every reason, it seems, to be cheerful.

Charles_Wyndham,_3rd_Baron_LeconfieldThe 13th Brigade schedule Meanwhile, the Fifth Division’s Ammunition Column has been sent to Petworth Park, the “property of Lord Leconfield” noted the War Diary,  “who has placed his grounds, covering about 3000 acres, at the disposal of the Divl: Artillery. Camp organized to afford an opportunity to the O.C. D.A.C.[Officer Commanding Divisional Ammunition Column] of having his unit free from all Garrison duties & fatigues for training & the conditioning of animals. While absent, the camp lines occupied by this unit have undergone repairs etc.” (1)

The schedule (2) looks pretty full, at least until evening, but  William Calder told his mother it was actually a kind of holiday.

syllabus of training DAC June 1917.JPG

“We are really out here to graze the animals,” he told her. The men “are having a fine time of it – all we do is 2 hrs. gas drill every morning & perhaps an hour or so on our harness to keep it in condition & then we are off all afternoon to swim or sleep & Town leave (to Petworth) is given from 5 to 10 every night.” (3) Obviously stables, morning, noon, and evening are so much a part of routine that they merit no mention in Calder’s summary of his day.

The photograph of Charles Wyndham, third Baron Leconfield, and Lord Lieutenant of Sussex comes via Wikipedia from Baily’s Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, 1908.

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 5 (June 1917): 1. June 8, 1917. Library and Archives of Canada
(2) War Diary. Appendix 3: 5.
(2) Calder, William. Letter to his parents, June 14, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”
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