Witley, August 12, 1917

Sunday            Mob’n parade this am work afternoon Milford Church PM

1917 08 12 snipAccording to the War Diary, today’s work includes the painting of vehicles and the packing of stores.  Surplus personal kit has already been identified and is now being despatched to the Surplus Kit Depot for storage. (1)

Everything needs to be carried by the soldier, with everything in its place — field service marching order in other words.  Soldiers resorted to some clever tricks to supplement their kit. William Calder told his mother:

knitting instructions IODE“I managed to keep that good underwear you sent me & I have your shirt on me the rest were handed in, – have a pr. of socks in my mess-tin (take them out when I eat) a pr. in each pocket of my overcoat & a pr. in each nose bag for my mules, down at the stable. I had to give the rest away to some of the boys who had room for them.” (2)


But the weight quickly adds up: “we have our steel helmets now & our bandoliers loaded & believe me they are heavy.”(2)


The leaflet of knitting instructions can be read in its entirety through the Toronto Public Library.

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 7 (August 1917): 5 . Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) Calder, William. Letter to his mother, March 28, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”






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