Witley, July 17, 1917

 Tuesday      Yesterday it rained up till noon we slept in the open twas a great night Reveille this am was at 3:30 Thats going some[.] we went through W. Sussex went into action at 11o’c & came out about 2 and went on to Liphook Hants [Hampshire] Rain all day rained in the night

Percy is in the midst of what the battery historian called the “terrific ‘battles’ of Midhurst, Liphook and Frensham Ponds.  Mud rain, very late suppers and lack of sleep made this campaign as bad as active service, if not worse.” (1)

The manoeuvres were part of a tactical scheme involving the 15th Canadian Infantry Brigade, with some of the batteries of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery (among them Percy’s). (2)

He added in a note at the end of the diary:

19c With late supper supplies crop.jpgIt was great sleeping in the open last night we got supper about 10 pm & went to bed at 11 up at 3:30 and moved off about 3 to 5 miles and took up a position about 11 am somewhere in Hampshire retired about 2 pm and went on to Liphook got there about 7:30 and had supper at 9:30[.]  between 5 am breakfastime [sic] and 9:30 we had a small sandwich we were famished. after supper it began to rain & we had to make our bed under great difficulties.

The photograph of a smiling Percy with late supper supplies was taken during an earlier outdoor exercise. It comes from Percy’s large album.

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

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

 

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