Witley, July 9, 1917

Monday     We started at 8:30 this morning on a bivouac to Horsham in West Sussex 20 miles from camp it rained for about 16 miles a slow miserable rain we [got] to Horsham about 5:30 fixed the lines & had supper We slept in the R.G.A. [Royal Garrison Artillery] Huts as it was too wet for outside

The War Diary says “heavy rain interferes with bivouac schemes.” (1) Obviously it wasn’t enough to cancel them.

Horsham was the site of a Siege Artillery School of the RGA. At the back of his diary, Percy added the following note:


89 Another bivouac scene cropOf our trip to Horsham there is not much to say the place is about 20 miles from here we started about 8:30 in a slow rain and it rained about 18 miles out. As it was too wet to sleep out the commandant of Horsham RGA offered us some spare huts to sleep in


The Battery historian describes the bivouacs at Petworth and Horsham as pleasant affairs, trekking through “the pretty Surrey and West Sussex country.” 11)  Today’s sodden journey does not sound pleasant at all, and though the rain stopped about 4 pm, dining al fresco could not have been much fun either. This photograph from Percy’s small album, entitled “Another Bivouac Scene,”  can’t show today’s dinner.

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 6 (July 1917): 3. Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) MacArthur, D.C. The History of the Fifty-Fifth Battery, CFA. 1919. 9

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”



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