Witley, June 26, 1917

Tuesday          Finished painting guns & wagons. weather rather squally. lots of dust, Went to pictures tonight they were fairly good. its a great night I think I’ll go out and read till lights out Am feeling well — blue – no mail

While the 13th Brigade is in camp at Witley, the 14th has gone across country to Petworth Park. Rumours are flying that they are about to leave for France, “but there’s little likelyhood [sic] of that,” says Archie Wills. (1)

There’s more going at Petworth than in Witley: Archie watches the Petworth hounds being exercised. “The trainers have wonderful control over their packs…of 50 hounds. They know each dog by name and when one strays they snap the whip and bring the wanderer back. They [sic] are 600 head of deer on the estate and we hope for a little venison before we go back.”(2)

deer petworth park 1431735135306-chrislaceypetworthparkdeerwr.jpg

There will be no venison, but Archie will find a “jake meal for 1s 6d” in Petworth this evening.(2) And there will be a fight in Petworth between “some civies and our boys. It was pay day and booze was the cause. There was plenty of excitement.”(2)

(1) Wills, Archie. Diary. 4: 88. June 25, 1917. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(2) Wills, Diary. 4: 89-90. June 26, 1917.

The photograph of deer in Petworth Park is by  Chris Lacey and can be seen on the National Trust website for Petworth House and Park.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”