Roffey Camp, Horsham,
February 24, 1916
Received your letter some time ago and must drop you a few lines tonight. Wrote home and to Clemmie last Friday. Have had a busier week than usual especially Monday and Tuesday when the whole battery had a little test. We were supposed to be in action and the test depended largely on the telephonists. Well on Monday morning we had our regular parades and fell in as usual at 2 P.M. when we telephonists were sent to lay a line from the battery which was in the field beside the parade ground to the battery commander observation post four miles north of Camp. Well we got on OK and got our wire nicely laid by about 5 o'clock and were just getting ready to go in when Lt. Hooper came on the motorcycle and told us that B.C.'s observation post had been changed, and that we would have to lay our wire to the new position. This meant taking in about two miles of wire and laying it again over a different course.
By this time it was getting dark and we had no supper so we beat it to a little country store, bought some fruit and cakes and had a very good meal. And then we started to work. Taking in wire in the daytime is a tedious job but when one has to get it off fences and for two miles after dark with no moon it is no cinch. However we got on fine. Got it taken in as far as we needed by nine and then started to lay in the new direction. By 9:30 full moon came up bright and clear and we got on OK reaching the next O.P. about 11. Then we got into communication with the battery, found that our line was okay and headed for camp, arriving about 11:45, an hour and by half after lights out. We were served with sandwiches and got to bed about 12:30. Meanwhile a gun crew of 20 men from each of the four sub sections went out at 5:30 and laid platforms for each of the four guns of the battery, made dugouts for themselves and the officers etc. also screened their guns and dugouts with brush as a protection from airplane observations, finishing about 11.
Tuesday morning we got up at reveille - 6:30 and the telephonists fell in at 8, left four men to take charge of the phone at the battery,, six of us went to the B.C.'s O.P. and the remainder formed a line of flag stations from the battery to the O.P.. Of course the work was all imaginary but the observations and ranging were exactly the same as if the shells had been bursting on the supposed trenches. We kept shelling the trenches till 12 when, having demolished them, the battery was ordered to cease firing and we had to take in the line which we did in remarkably short time., getting back to Camp 1:30 when we were off for the rest of the day. It was a pretty busy 24 hours and the first time we have had any amount of work to do over drill hours since we came to England and I certainly enjoyed it. Of course we were a little tired but slept till supper time and were as good as ever again. Had a little test this morning too just to find out where we are and to pick out an advanced class of some 20 out of the 55 signallers that we have now for a four-week special course. I was one of the fortunate ones who made it, but we have a month of good hard studying ahead of us to make the course what it should be. At the end of that time we will begin our chance to qualify and considering the fact that we could