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Date: March 1917

Thursday March 1, 1917


Birnie & I had a stroll in the AM.

In afternoon had a bad headache so stayed in the room

Received the Sunday World

Friday March 2, 1917

Drizzle in the morning.

Headache still bad so stayed in the room all day.

Saturday March 3, 1917

Sun shining at intervals during the day.

Attended a meeting of the Divl Sports Committee of which I am Treasurer. As a complete attendance could not be secured postponed it till Monday 11 A.M.

Feeling better today

Received the Sunday World of Feb 11 and the following letters

From Jessie McNab dated Feb 11
" Father & Mother " " 6
" Bob " " 11
" May " " 11

Sunday March 4, 1917

Cold wind blowing & snow and sleet in the evening.

Sat around the room all day reading and writing

Wrote to May. Father & Mother, Miss Cave & to Jake Irwin

Monday March 5, 1917

Mild and raining

Meeting of the Sports committee in the A.M. Went to Aldershot and got 8 lances from the 4th Res. Dragoons for the Tent pegging contests in the afternoon. Motored each way.

Tuesday March 6, 1917

Beautiful morning but cold in the afternoon. Turned to rain in the evening with a heavy wind.

Meetings of Sports committee in both morning and afternoon

Played Bridge in the evening.

Wednesday March 7, 1917

Rained heavily all night. Fair cold and blowing a gale all day. Cold in the evening.

Thursday March 8, 1917

Blowing a gale and cold

Jack Birnie and I went to Guilford in A.M. to see about printing programmes for the Sports.

Friday March 9, 1917

Snowing, raw and cold

Took the men for a route march in the morning. Saw Major Lancaster O.C. 83rd Btty and Col Dc Bury C.O. 15th Bdge regarding my transfer to the 83rd.

Went around with Dick Collard in the P.M. getting acquainted with the Battery.

Saturday March 10, 1917

Raining nearly all day.

Took over the left Sections of the 83rd. Had 7 sick - put in Quarantine for measles. Rode to Bramshott with Dick Collard in the P.M. Raining heavily all the time. On our return were notified that the 82nd and 83rd Batteries were to be ready to proceed to France by next Saturday.

Got a "strafe" from Gen. Dodds regarding the condition of the T.M. huts. Abboth was in London so I was the goat.

Sunday March 11, 1917

Raining heavily all day.

The ground around the stable is now a quagmire

Am orderly officer today.

Took Church Parade and attended stables.

Wrote to May.

Monday March 12, 1917


My transfer appeared in Divisional orders today.

Tuesday March 13, 1917

Raining. The camp is now a sea of mud.

Had 44 men turned over to us today from the 51st Battery, TM Btties, and D.A.C.

Wednesday March 14, 1917

Cloudy & drizzle.

Busy all day. Getting the last final details arranged before leaving.

Wrote to May.

Thursday March 15, 1917


Had a full mounted parade this afternoon to see that each man knew his position.

Major Lancaster was kind enough to tell me that the left section was turned out much better than he thought possible with the time at my disposal.

Have every man pretty thoroughly equipped now and the two sub-sections complete.

Friday March 16, 1917

Sun shining at intervals

Had the men on harness cleaning most of the day.

Find we are to move off tomorrow morning. The Right section leaving at 5 30 A.M. centre section at 7 30 and the left section at 9.20. This means that the men of the left section be at stables at 5 30 A.M. and the other two sections correspondingly earlier.

Wrote to Thos. Cook & Son
Ludgate Circus London E.C.
Giving them notice of the sending for storage my trunk and grip.

Wrote to the Doc to May and to Father & Mother

Saturday March 17, 1917

Nice clear day.

Left as per schedule - no trouble entraining. Arrived Southampton at noon. Imbarked within an hour and remained at the Dock till evening. Then started down the Solent and picked up more transports and Torpedo Boat, Destroyer.

Rain in the evening. The men had to sleep on deck or wherever they could find a place. The officers slept on the floor of the captain's cabin. The 82nd How. Battery - a machine gun corp with mules and an anti aircraft gun detachment and ourselves aboard.

Sunday March 18, 1917

Clear and warm

Arrived at Havre early in the morning. Immediately disembarked. Feed the horses at the stables on the dock. The horses of the 82nd & 83rd all mixed up. Had a tough job disentangling them. Eventually got hooked in and proceeded to Rest Camp No 2 situated above the town on the cliffs. Had lunch at a pension at night. and proceeded to our tents.

Everyone mighty tired. No one has had any sleep since leaving Witby and all have been working like Trojans.

Friday March 23, 1917

Cold - sun shining most of the day. Heavy snow storm last night.

Orderly officer today. Took my section out for a ride in the morning with horses harnessed and hooked together.

Saturday March 24, 1917

Cold and rain

Major Lancaster, Capt. Baker, Dick & myself had dinner at the Hotel Moderne. Before that Dick & I paid a visit to a bath house and luxuriated in a tub of hot water.

Sunday March 25, 1917


Dick Collard and I went down to the Hotel Moderne for dinner in the evening. Meet Major Lancaster and Capt. Baker and ate with them.

Saw a couple of boys from Shorncliffe at Hotel De Fontana who told me that Jake Irwin had just landed with them.

Monday March 26, 1917

Left Havre for the front at 11 A.M. by rail. Didn't know where we were bound for but were told we'd disentrain about midnight. The trip for the day was uneventful, except for trouble with the horses in the cars. They kept continually falling and being trampled on.

The French system of loading horses is as follows. 4 horses are placed in each end of the cars facing each other and are tied to the roof at a point about above the withers. This prevents the horses plunging forward. The forage and harness is placed in the car in front of the horses and two men remain with them.

Tuesday March 27, 1917

Did not disentrain as expected last night. Arrived at St. Pol about 2 P.M. and were met by Ivan McStory who announced to us that our battery was to be broken up and given to other batteries of the 2nd division C.F.A. Disentrained at Brias. Hooked in and marched to Grand [?] a distance of 20 miles. Arrived there at 3 A.M. and each section was directed to the Battery it was to reinforce. The left section went to the 22nd Battery, the centre to the 21st and the Right to the 23rd.

Utmost confusion reigned. The horses of the sections had been mixed up during the march. As one team played out another was taken from the left section and put in place.

Wednesday March 28, 1917

At the wagon line at day straightening up the affairs of the left section.

Brought up the left section guns at night. Left the wagon line at 8 P.M. and got back again at 7:30 A.M. The road was blocked by transports trying to go two ways. Had a heavy task straightening it out but got them underway in time to let them get off the road before day light. Otherwise they'd have been shelled by the Hun. and none could have escaped.

Was pretty tired and cold when we got back as it had been raining all night.

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