Witley, August 7, 1917

Tuesday          Very warm to day, sunny did not go out duty bat’y on F.P. To pass away the evening played checkers and read parts of Tennyson Rec’d one letter from J today we get our mail pretty regular now am in the pink

That’s probably famous last words, about regular mail delivery. Janie is a faithful correspondent — if you’ve been counting, this makes five letters in the last week.

Though Percy is in camp on duty — fire picquet again — most of the 14th Brigade of artillery are in another scheme in co-operation with the infantry. It has not been a good day, however. The War Diary notes, more in sorrow than in anger, that “Artillery co-operation was not good, partly due to a thick mist which did not clear until about 11 a.m. & partly to a want of Brigade control & grasp of the necessities of the situation.” (1)

Richard_Ernest_William_Turner

Sir Richard Turner (4)

There is no chance to learn from their mistakes, however, as the brigade is suddenly ordered to return to camp. The Divisional Artillery is to be inspected tomorrow morning by the General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Canadian Forces, that is Lieutenant General Sir Richard E. Turner, winner of the Victoria Cross in the Boer War, recently knighted and promoted, but probably still smarting from losing command of the Canadian Corps to General Arthur Currie. Turner had not been a brilliant success in command in France, but was extremely good — and well-liked — as the “senior soldier responsible for manpower, training and all military matters relating to the CEF” outside the fighting forces in France. (2)

An hour after Turner’s visit is announced, the 5th Divisional Artillery receives orders to proceed with mobilization, detailed orders to follow. (3) At last!

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 7 (August 1917): . Library and Archives of Canada. 1.
(2) Cook, Tim. Shock Troops. Canadians Fighting the Great War Vol. 2 1917-1918. 2008. 260.
(3) War Diary. 7: 2.
(4) Canada in Khaki: A Tribute to the Officers and Men now Serving in the Overseas Military Forces of Canada. Toronto: n.d. 44.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

 

 

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