Liévin, February 5, 1918

Tuesday          Today was clear & warm[;] observation was good Fritz fairly quiet all day, at 5:45 & 6:15 we fired a crash, at 10:30 fired a test, at this hour Fritz was very active on our right, he started again at 3:30 AM & we fired a retaliation. am well

field gun horse Galtrey page 25.JPGToday General Morrison’s report of the wagon lines is received by the Brigade: initial impressions on the day of the inspection were positive, but the report itself is not entirely favourable.

  • The horses were clean, well fed and spirited: the details of eyes, noses, tails and heels have been properly attended to. … The harness as a whole was soft and well cared for. The greater part of the steel was bright, but there were a number of sets that fell below the standard of the majority.
  • Battery Cook-houses were … found to be clean and orderly: in some cases soda… could be used to advantage on the tables which were somewhat greasy.
  • The men looked exceptionally well. The attention paid to cleanliness of person and equipment was noticeable. (1)

(Is the order of the points indicative of their relative priority, I wonder?)

After the general observations, each battery gets detailed attention. The 55th comes in for criticism, being “a little below the standard of the remainder.” In particular, “the horses need more grooming. Harness was clean, but a good deal of steel was only semi-bright. Appearance of men generally satisfactory.”

Again, the men come last.  Well, not quite. Praise is left to the very last, to end on a positive note: ” Cook-house – particularly good. Credit is due for the erection of excellent stabling, making a good road and improvement of billets.” (1)

Lionel Edwards’ drawing of “the well-fed, clean and healthy horse” comes from Roger Galtrey’s  The Horse and the War. 1918. 25.

(1) War Diary of the 13th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. Vol. 13: 17. Appendix 3. Extract concerning this Brigade from Report on Inspection of Batteries.  February 5, 1918. Library and Archives of Canada.

Copyright 2018. See “More about this project.”




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