May 28th This morning we were called
up at 5.30 o'clock in order to get everything
ready to leave for Petawawa. We got our
kits in shape and after getting a slice
of bacon and bread we slipped out of
camp. We packed our rolled coats, mess
tins, water bottles and haversacks.We were
escorted to the boat by a band and
when many blocks from the steamer we
were engrossed in attention by numerous
friends. It was with difficulty that the
boys could extricate themselves. Without
doubt it was the finest send-off Victoria
has ever given her boys leaving for the
front. We all felt pangs of sorrow and
regret when the steamer tooted her
farewell whistle and we looked for
the last time for quite a while into
the face of ones we loved and admired.
However, good friends must pass and
we all took their leave with the hope
of soon meeting again. The boys had
presents heaped upon them and no
doubt will have ample opportunity to
We left Victoria at 2.30 o'clock
and after a small and pleasant trip
reached Vancouver at 7 o'clock in
time to see a huge fire on the
my mother and father made trip to Vancouver to [footer]
see me safely away. It was good of them.[header]
waterfront. We entrained at
Vancouver at 9 o'clock and were given
another fine send off.
It was my misfortune this
evening to be picked for baggage picquet.
I was dead tired and figured
on a fair sleep but when this news
came around there was nothing to do
but keep going. I got about two
hours' scattered sleep. I come off
picquet at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning
May 29th I came off picquet
at 8 o'clock this morning x Was tired and
had a short nap. When we passed
through Kamloops a bugle band was
on parade to welcome us. We have
been having great receptions all along
the line x We had a roll call at
Revelstoke, but outside of that the morning
was uneventful. This afternoon
we had the opportunity of seeing
the Rockies in all their grandeur,
the weather being fine and revealing
the great pinnacles of beauty. In
order to stretch my legs we were
taken for a short route march
This afternoon two native
sons from B.C. were arguing
with two Scotch men.The Scotch
men were saying that this would be
their last trip home; that they had
had enough of the western country.
They termed it a land of graft
and lost opportunities.
'I come from the hub of the
British Empire,' said one
of the Scots.
'Where's that London?'
'No you --- fool, Glasgow.
I could tell you a lot about that town
I want to get back there. Look at
our street cars our swimming baths.'
'Well that's no argument in
favor of Glasgow. You're a dirty crowd
and need baths and a lazy crowd
and need cars. We can walk out
'Stop your spitting. Take the
mush out of your mouth before you
speak, then we can understand you
as well as save a shower.'
'Look here there's no such
thing in Scotland as mush.
That's one of your Western sayings.
Mush: why in Scotland its
'You're an awful cheap crowd
anyway. We haven't seen you buy anything
'That's alright we may be
cheap, but we're clean! Look at
our side of the car.'
'Well you can't help being
clean you clean up everything in
Just then we entered a long
tunnel and all was dark. The
train fruit-seller was just opposite
our section and in the
darkness one of the British Columbians
'Come on there Scottie keep
your hand out of that basket.'
The fruit-seller became
excited and thought he was losing
something x When we at last emerged
from the tunnel we made a careful
survey of his chattel and <del>made</del>
cast suspicious glances at our
May 30th Up at 6am and
found ourselves rambling across
the low foothills which herald the
approach of the praries. Saw a
few prarie Wolves scanning the
horizon for prey.
Arrived at Medicine Hat at
8.30 and had 20 minutes to limber
up. The boys made raids on
the fruit shops and post card
houses. Several also purchased
newspapers to ascertaint the
latest war news. To their surprise
they found the papers dating
from May 24th to May 30th. When
they found that they had been
taken in the boys resolved to
purchase no more papers
except 'cigarette papers.'
It has been interesting <del>to</del>
yesterday and today to watch
the boys banging their heads
on the upper berths. We are
sleeping three in a section; two
<del>above and</del> below and <del>there</del> one
above. In <del>the</del> my section there are
only two of us, which makes
things quite comfortable. There has
been a series of bumps and knocks
and the heads are increasing in
size and also wisdom. Many
of the boys are traveling for the
first time and find the upper
berths continually crossing
their paths. Of course there is
considerable said following
such collision which would look
out of place here. It is safe to
say however, that this hardening
process will be benificial to
the boys as the shells will have
less effect upon their domes when
they get to France.
We reached Moose Jaw at
5 pm and were supposed to have a
route march, but it was raining
hard and it was called off. We
made further purchases at the
station and then embarked.
Arrived at Regina at 4.30 pm and
met some people I knew. Rolled in
at 10.10 pm.
May 31St: Weather fine, up
at 6 am.
There was a rip-roaring
time on the train last night. The
boys have been cooped up so
long that their engery is getting
the best of them. In one of the
coaches one of the boys [produced?]
a pair of pyjamas and donned
them. Just as he was rolling in
several fellows grabbed him and
<del>his</del> the last seen of the pyjamas
was the rags going out the window.
Some of the other boys went <del>throug</del>
through the train and shut
up most of the upper berths. This
caused a lot of trouble.
We reached Winnipeg at
8am and detrained for a
short route march. We entrained
for further east at 8:45. We are
now crossing the worst land on
the trip.It is rocky and barren
Reached Kenora at 1 pm and
were given an enthusiastic reception.
Most of the boys felt
pretty drowsy this afternoon and
went to sleep x Some of the younger
devils got burned corks and
went around blackening the
faces of the sleeping beauties.
Then they put fire-crackers
near the fellows and set them
off. There was plenty of fun for
a few minutes. Everybody
wanted to fight and there was
some prospect of action. Nothing
developed, however x Some of the
designs on the faces were
really artistic and the
language used by the Victorians
was fluent and eloquent.
June 1st Weather fine. Up at
6 am. Everything going lovely. Reached
White River at 10 am and had a
short run around x Were given a
45-minute stop over at Chapleau
and made good use of it x At
8pm we were let off for a short
run around at Cartier. The boys
are all looking forward with pleasure
and relief to detraining tomorrow
This was our last night
on the train and we had a great
time. Everybody made for the lunch
counter and ordered steaks and
There was a wild time in the
car. Some of the fellows got
sandwiches for nothing Our cooks
who have done nothing but argue
throughout the trip, were in on
the game. First one went up and
then the other.They came back
with fine sandwiches and each
accused the other of being a thief.
Then one went off to get another
sandwich, but his mate finally
persuaded him not to as it would
queer the game. Immediately afterwards
<del>they went</del> he went in and
collected a sandwich. Then a
Welshman came out with a sandwich
obtained in a similar manner
'Oh: [illegible]: are you a Welshman?'
'No! I'm a thief,' he replied
'All the same' was the retort.
And so the game goes.
Everybody is trying to fleece the
soldier and the tommy not to be
outdone is getting in a lick
every now and then. Even the
waiters and cooks come around
with a box to ask if there was
anything coming to them. Well there
wasn't much coin, but they got a
whole lot of plain talking.
Tonight we were off to Sudbury
for a few minutes and
were welcomed by the [chicken?]
with open arms. Needless to say
our arms were wide-open too.
June 2 Up at 4.15 am. Weather
fine. At 6.30 am we have in sight
of what is to become our home for
a few months. We left the main line
of the CPR after rattling along on it
<del>four</del> for four days and five nights
and took a spur. We were none too
favourably impressed at the sight
owing to the throng of mosquito
which greeted us. The land is all
sand with some vegetation and
of an undulating nature - the
high hills to the N. E. preventing
the place from looking like a
at 7.30 am and found our limbs
to be very stiff. We formed up in
sub-sections and were marched
to our quarters about one mile
away. On the march we had an
excellent opportunity of seeing the
camp. All along the roads were
batteries and as we marched
passed they cheered us and <del>said</del>
'Were glad to see you
boys, but you don't know what
you're coming to.'
We do not gather exactly
what was intimated by these words
but no doubt it will be made plain
in the near future. We found our
battery site at the extreme S.E.
It looks very good. Our tents were up so
that saved us a lot of trouble.
We immediately got into our tents to
get straightned up and wait for
breakfast. When cookhouse did blow
we were all very shaky and our
stomachs were knocking at our
back-bones. What we got to appease
our apppetites was two slices of bacon.
Alright! Carry on.
After breakfast we
fell in for some dismounted drill.
We were dismissed at noon for
lunch; another small meal.
Fell in again at
1.30 for some more dismounted
drill and got word shortly afterwards
that the camp commandant
wished to inspect all men in
camp at the parade ground. We
dolled up in dress uniforms and
marched three miles through dust.
We sweat like a lot of bartenders.
Finally we had to march back. There
was a great rush for the YMCA
canteen when we were dismissed
to get ice cream and cooling drinks.
The YMCA has
quite a place here. They have two huge
marquees - one as the canteen and the other
for writing, reading, musical and other purposes.
At nights there is a heavy jam
in the canteen x It is surprising the vast
amount of ice cream and soft drinks
At 9 o'clock this
evening all hand paid attention to
rolling in. They were dead tired.
The mosquitoes - bent on a bloody
pilgrimage - sent forth their notes
of warning and soon the tents
were singing. One of our boys
boys who slept close to the door
got hold of the mallett <del>for using</del>
used for driving tent pegs and
made a speech. He caught a
mosquito and began:
'Look here young
fellow, by right you shall <del>did</del>
die, but you'll not. you see this mallet -
well go and tell your comrads that
they must vacate immediately or
take the consequences. I'll salute
one and all. Now I've warned you
don't forget that and I'll salute
He let go the
mosquito and we all laughed. The
little beggers began to sing again
and a mallet started to fly. The
size of the casaulty list we do not
Our beds were not
cosy or soft but were comfortable.
We slept on the ground with a rubber
sheet and two blankets and grey
overcoats to keep us warm. After the
mosquitoes had departed we were
troubled with varied species of
insects, ants, beetles, etc.
Just as we were
dozzing (sic) off a loud peal of thunder
awoke us and then a brillant
flaze of lightening nearly blinded
us. The rain drops pattered down
on our tent and we thought we
were in for a bad night, but it
soon passed off.
June 3rd. Up at 6 am. Weather
fine. Physical jerks. Fell in at 9
for dismounted drill. Had a little
instruction on an 18-pounder today
for the first time. This afternoon we
were marched over to a <del>wood</del> wood
and had a lecture on 'Discipline'
by our adjutant x We were told a few
This evening I was informed
that I had to go on picquet tonight
- again having to do picquet in
a new environment first of the N.C.O's.
June 4th Sunday. On picquet.
Weather fine. Today like any other
day. Boys at work on horse lines getting
things ready for the horses which are
due some time this week. The boys
are now going down to the river to
swim. 3.40 pm. having just been
dismissed for a lecture by one of our
lieutenants. Off picquet at 6 pm.
June 5th Up at 5 am. Weather
fine. Today we are starting on our new
schedule. 'Reveille' is at 5 am and we
fall in for our first parade at
5.30. We are to get about ten
hours of drill a day.
I have been selected to attend
a physical training class and reported
at the school this morning at 6.30
and was dismissed to fall in
again at 8.30. I've had two hours
drill this morning and another
two hours this afternoon. The weather
is pretty warm and we feel it
considerably. We have cold showers and
they help to minimize the heat of
The mosquitoes are still bothering
us and there are plenty of bumps
on the boys face, necks and arms.
Tonight when we rolled in one of the boys
said that 'All our mosquitoes
were in tonight and none were out
We have a funny Lancashire
fellow in our section and he pays us
a visit sometimes. Whenever he
comes we always say:
'Well, Lanky how are you?'
'Damn fine splendid. How
are thee?''[illegible] some boy.' And
then we have some fun.
<del>July</del> June 6th. Up at 5 am.
Weather cold last night, but <del>cold</del>
warm this morning.
Some fellows tried to deserted (sic)
last night. Three Americans
make up their minds to skip
across the river which is out of
bounds. Unfortunately one of the trio
was put on guard at the bridge.
The other two decided to go without
him. When they got to the bridge
they did not anticipate trouble,
but the sentry halted them and
placed them under arrest. He
said that if he could not go
they could not go.
We had another dose of
drill today and found it pretty
hard in the excessive heat.
June 7th Up at 5 am. Weather
fine. Turned out for our physical
jerk squad and had some more
boxing. Its quite an interesting
day's work x This afternoon we got
some more drilling x
The boys are doing a
lot of kicking now about the
grub. Bad jam and a shortage
of rations x The strawberry jam
the boys say, is a pot of parsnips
and glucose with three berries
dropped in and a lot of bird seeds.
June 8th Up at 5 am.
Weather fine x Off to physical jerks
This afternoon it rained
hard and we could not go
for our jerks x It was some
rain too and we had to get out
and dig a trench around the
tent to keep from being flooded
out x We had to go to our N.C.O
lecture which was good.
This afternoon the boys
were <del>out on</del> not out on drill
and were in the tent. They
started a rough house and
ordered one of the boys to close
the flaps or he would be put out.
He refused and all grabbed
him. He grabbed the tent
pole and <del>it</del> the tent was
nearly pulled down.
June 9th Up at 5 am.
Weather wet. Fellows woke up and
found themselves lying in pools
of water x It was certainly a
hardship and we may yet have
service conditions x
This morning we paraded
for our physical jerks but were
taken to our theatre and had
a lecture and some boxing instruction.
This afternoon we were dismissed x
As a result of the wet
weather we expect some warm
weather and we were wondering
<del>what</del> whether or not we will have
the mosquitoes back in such large
numbers. One of the boys said:
'No I killed two tonight
that should help some'
'That's right I discharged
two today on account of their
teeth' said another
We had a lecture today on
'Discipline' by one of our lieutentants
and in the course of his remarks
her made refrence to
'auto-suggestion,' He proved to
us that one's mentality placed
a person in a more difficult
position than he really should be.
<del>As a</del> For instance a person who
had wet fet (sic) could make himself
believe that he had dry and
As a result the boys went
around after supper tonight when
they got very scant rations - trying
to make themselves believe
that their belts were tight and that
they had a most sumptuous meal.
June 10th Weather very wet.
Up at 5 am. Just the same but had to
remain in tents and listen to the
rain drops patter down on the tent.
Everything was wet and clamy and we had
a fierce time getting our grub. Our
physical training class was called off x
We mooped about the most of the day
wet and miserable.
The horses arrived from Victoria
today and they were in pretty bad
shape. Some of them were nothing
but skin and bone and one fellow
remarked that 'only the frames' had
arrived. They were 13 days on the trip
and their backs and legs are covered
with scars and bruises.
June 11th (Sunday) Up at 6.30am.
Wet cloudy, A church parade was
arranged but just as we were marching
out of our lines in a drenching rain
word was received that the parade
was called off so we scrambled
back to our tents. We spent a very
June 12th Up at 5am and
when we saw the sun peeking through
our tent flaps we gave a cheer
Little did we think that we would
ever see old sol again. Here was
our chance to get everything dried.
We got out and has (sic) our physical
jerks and then prepaired for our
drying out process. The sun got
exceptionally strong during the day and
we could not work. The physical
training class had to be abandoned
and it got so warm that all jobs
aroun camp were called off and
the boys taken down to <del>co</del> the Ottawa
river for a swim. They are talking
about getting us straw hats. We are
all burning and look like lobsters.
With all our clothes dry we turned in at
June 13th Weather fair. Up <del>at</del>
as usual. Put in the day at physical
jerks. Tried to get to bed at 9 o'clokc
but Geo. Lomas was telling us so many
<del>funn</del? funny yarns that we simply
couldn't go to sleep. He said
'I'm awfully sharp tonight, Ive
been sleeping near a razor.'
'I'm going to write home to
my dear Mother' he said 'and tell
her what a terrible time I'm having.
Then she'll say 'George my darling
boy come home to me'
He just had us splitting
our sides and just as 'lights out'
was blowing he concluded
'Let your ears flap against
your head; let the eyeballs roll
around in their sockets with a blink
come on there you're worse than a
lot of ducks. As you were. Good
June 14th Weather good. Up at
5 am. Put in the morning at training
school. At the afternoon session it
started to rain hard and we had to
beat it to camp in our thin clothing.
we were wet through when we got
One of our boys went to Pembroke
today and we all anticipated a
treat when we came home. When he
arrived at 9 pm. he announced that
he had not brought anything. We
immediately <del>unleash</del> gave him
the cognomen of 'Shenny'. We
called him all kinds of complimentary
names and the parting
retort as some one blew out the
'Hit him with a brick or
June 15th Up at 5am Weather
very wet. Place flooded. No duties
this morning. We had a pay day
this morning and I drew $10.00
Our physical class was called
off for the day. Weather continued
wet all day.
June 16th Up at 5 am.
Weather drenching again. Everything
wet. Grub not half bad but had
difficulty in eating it. This <del>aft</del>morning
our school worked, but this
afternoon we were dismissed. We
are certainly having a fierce time.
The slave-driver had some of the
boys out working this afternoon and
they got we to the skin. The
consideration shown here for a man
is not all that it should be.
Turned in at 10 pm.
June 17th Horses have arrived
in the lines, which are strung between
our tents. They seem to like the
new home alright x I guess we will
have some fun one of these nights when
we have a thunder storm. It is
interesting to see the new drivers
trying to put the heel straps
on the horses. If the horses make
a move they fly away. The officers
once in awhile go to show us how
to do it but they became excited
and beat in when a move is made.
Weather bad and we got our usual
wetting.<del> I've put in part of the day</del>
<del>at one training school but had to</del>
<del>break off in the afternoon and</del>
<del>make for camp.</del>
Geo Lomas has just handed
me a candle and said 'Let us
have a light supper.' Continued.
<del>June 18th Weather Weather</del>
<del>cloudy. Up at 5 am when we awoke</del>
<del> but it cleaned up</del>.
Old Geo says when he
sees a horse go to kick he going (sic)
to get inside and pull the blinds.
This morning the weather
was very warm and we have to put
in 3 1/2 hours to make up for lost
time. This afternoon we went
down to the Petawawa River and had
a swim. It was very good and we
had a jake time.
This evening we spent
most of our time in the Y.M.CA
tensts spending out money.
June 18th Up at 6.30 am
this being Sunday. Weather
very fine. We paraded at
8.30 am in full dress for a
<del>full</del> church parade. We went to
the recreation grounds. There were
2,500 soldiers there. We were so
far from the pulpit that we
could not hear a word and had
to put in our time standing up and
talking x After we came back from
the church parade we were put
on fatigues. Fatigues again this
afternoon. Tonight I went to the
Y.M. to a service.
June 19th Weather fine.
Up at 5 am. We put in a hard
day at the physical training
school and had a basketball
game tonight between the right
and left sections. The left won
25-21. I played for the right.
June 20th Weather fine
Up at 5am. Put in another hard
day at the physical squad.x
Nothing doing tonight.
June 21st Weather fine. Up
as ususal. Put in another hard day
at physical jerks and am feeling
pretty tired. This is the longest day of
the year and most of the boys are prepared
to vouch for it as they have been
on the go from daylight to dark. The
Governor-General is expected here in a
short time and the batteries have to
get into shape. There were two parades
today and there has been plenty of
'gardening' gun drill and foot-slogging
for the ones who stayed in camp.
We have two Lancashire fellows
in camp and they met in our tent
today. Their language was delightful
and to the best of my knowledge
it ran this way.
'How thou going lad?' said one
'Oh Damn fine splendid' said
'Now where's thou going. I's
going to was theesel'.'
'Will thou go with thee'
'Come on them <del>ol</del>oot-breed
One of the fellows got 7 days
C.B. today for telling a corporal
to go to a place where the sun
I have been appointed to the
sport committee of the battery and we
are trying to arrange sports for
the fellows to participate in seeing
that we can't get out of camp.
JUne 22nd Up at 5am. Weather
very cold. Last night was fierce. The
wind had been blowing strongly for many
hours and it was a keen sting <del>it</del> in it.
During the night many of the boys
<del>was</del> got up and chibed into their
clothes and then got back into bed x
Two fellows were sleeping together
and one woke up and touched his
mate and found him so cold that
he thought he was dead. His first
belied however, was not substantiated
on <del>ecl</del> examination.
Went to physical school this
morning and had hard work in the
heavy wind. We went to school again
When one of the boys woke up
this morning he said he dreamt that
he had been rolling on icebergs and
that the snow was falling. When he
woke up he had no clothes on.
Tonight we had a basketball
game and a soccer game. The
weather was very cool and the
fellows are now [illegilble] in their
tents trying to keep warm.
June 23rd Weather fair. Up at
5 am. Went for a walk this morning.
Went to physical class and was
picked as a member of the squad
which is to perform before the Duke
of Connaught when he visits here
on Tuesday next. We are to get special
training. This afternoon it got very
warm and they issued us with straw
hats. The fellows look like a lot of
old farmers. Their faces are as red
as beets from the sun. The hats
will help things materially.
June 24th Weather fine. Up at
5am. Off to school today and
got some more hard work. This
afternoon we were given a half
holiday and played soccer against
Lethbridge and we won 1-0. There
is a lot of good sport going now.
June 25th Weather fine. Up
at 6.30. This being Sunday we
had to hop off to a church parade.
These parades are the curse of the
soldier. We are rushed so hard to
get dressed in time that there is no (sic)
to think properly and the fellows
are swearing and cursing all the
time. This morning there were not
enough hymn books to go around and
there was little interest in the
service. There were about 3,500 men
in parade and when the band
struck up there was just a murmur
for what should have been a
This is what it is like to
be in a tent when one is getting
ready for church with the exception
of swear words.
'Say have you seen my shirt?
Darn the luck who stole. You've got
'No this is mine you - fool
you never had one.'
'Say lend me your polishing
dope will you.'
'why don.'t you buy some of
'Oh! There's (sic) goes 'cook house'
You rustle through your
breakfast. Then return to your tent
and resume polishing operations.
Just when the 'fall in' sounds you
are putting on your puttees and then
there is a mad scramble for
baudoliers, spurs and other
fixtures. Finally you fall in a
highly discouraged believer.
This afternoon we were off
fatigue and spent the day in a
June 26th Up as usual.
Weather fine. Everything is hustle and
bustle today getting the division
ready for the visit of the Duke
tomorrow. I went to school this
morning and had a second spell
This evening the boys worked
hard to get their harness and
horses in shape for the parade.
When they turned in at 10.15 they
were all dead tired.
June 27th As luck would
have it, it was teeming with rain
when 'reveille' sounded this morning
and the boys were terrible disappointed.
This is certainly one
- of a country. We had some
fatigues to do <del>this</del> before breakfast
- beans - and of course
got wet through. Then there was a
rush to get ready in time for
'fall in' which sounded all too
soon. The dismounted and mounted
parties had to parade without
their coats and were wet through
before they started. The division
was reviewed by the Duke at
Drury Plains and created a
I went to school and our
special class performed before
the Duke. He and his party
stopped before us and watched
our movements with interest. He
didn't distribute any medals.
This afternoon we were given
a half holiday.
A large number of civilians
from Pembroke were touring through
the camp today in cars and they
did not forget the soldier boys
They brought a number of boxes
of 'eats' and distributed. A bit
of home-cooking tastes fine after
the grub we get.
June 28th Weather fine. Up at
5 am. Put in my time at the physical
training class both this morning and
this afternoon x We were informed today
that we would have to give a special
demonstration at a big field day to be
given on Saturday x Dominion Day. We
are training pretty hard. We had
our class pictures taken this afternoon
and when we got back to camp
we were hustled into our best clothes
to get ready for a brigade picture.
When we were ready the photographer
said he would take it tomorrow.
June 29th Weather fine. Up at
5am x Spent the morning at P.T. school
being examinated. In the afternoon I
went to Pembroke to see the C.M.R's
pass through. I couldn't get a jitney
so along came a fellow with a
wagon and I asked him to give me
a lift. He turned out to be a Jew
and a commercial traveller. He proved
to be a poor driver for when I
got in the show his prowess as a
horseman, he smashed the horse with
the whip and we nearly ended up in
the ditch. All the way he was lamenting
about the poor business in Petawawa
Camp. When I got to Petawawa Village
(3 miles) I had had enough of his company
and immediately asked him to let
me off. After profusely thanking
him I backed <del>al</del> away. I caught a
jitney then and after being once in
the ditch and wobbling about the
road we reached Pembroke O.N.
I immediately set about to look got
a good meal and was recommended
to a certain resturant. I ordered
a T-bone steak but it was so rotten
that it reminded me of camp and
I at once backed out.
I saw the C.M.R's
and my brother and they looked fine.
I got back to
camp at 12.30 and had a fair sleep.
I lighted the candle but it went out
so I threw my things down anywhere
and when I woke up I was resting on my spurs.
June 30th Weather fine. Up
at 5 am. Went to school this morning
for a short work-out and went down to
the Petewawa river afterwards for a
swim x This afternoon we had another
July 1st (Dominion Day)
We had a holiday today but had to
go to school for a final workout.
This afternoon the Y.M.CA
held a huge athletic meet and
some fine athletes from the East and
West were in competition. It was very
hot and we were all badly sunburned.
We had plenty of fun and
our brigade won the horseback <del>illegible</del>
wrestling. There were four men to a
team and they line up facing one
another 8 paces apart. On the word
'walk march' they start into one
another and try to see who will be
the first team all off.
This evening a huge
wrestling and boxing tourney was
held at the 'Y' and there was plenty
July 2nd (Sunday) Wet weather.
Up at 6.30am x Missed church parade
this morning as I was on government
service wagon x We have been in our
tents most of the day singing and
We had some fun with
Dowell today. He was anxious to get
on with his riding this week and
one of the canteen men came along
and told him he would be in the
canteen all next week. Well he was
Last week there was trouble
in the canteen and one of the fellows
was <del>w</del> kicked out for informing the
sargeant (sic) what he thought of him x
He informed Dowell the
best way of getting out of it.
'You just go down there and
heave a can of canned salmon at
the boss when he says anything and
tell him that white is not a
patch on you when you are going'
he said x 'Then smash a couple
of bottles of pop and knock your
assestant down on the floor. You'll
get out alright then.'
July 3rd Weather fine. Up at
5 am. After breakfast I was ordered
to get saddled up and went out for
a long cross-country run. We had a
great day. We took ditches at the
gallop, climbed steep banks and
hills and rode without stirrups. After
we were nearly breaking in two we were
dismounted and this break was
followed by horseback wrestling,
which was quite exciting. We had a
jake time and were nearly all put
off x We returned to stables and were
pretty sore when we filed out and into
July 4th Up at 5 am. Weather
very hot x Put in the day at dismounted
drill. This afternoon we were taken on
a swimming parade to the Ottawa
There is a very fine beach there and
the water was jake.
July 5th Up at 5am Weather
very quiet. A million rumors have gone
around here in the last few days as to
when we are going to move. Some say we are
going tomorrow; others in a few weeks
then some say we are going to Mexico
to help the Yanks beat the Grecians.
But goodness knows when we will
pull our pegs and shift from this
July 6th up at 5am. Weather
hot. Saddled up <del>at</del> after breakfast
and went for a cross-country ride
under the direction of the Major.
We certainly had some merry going x Over
ditches, through thick woods, up
banks and steep hills, with and
without stirrups. It was great. The
weather was so warm however, that
we were in an awful sweat and
our saddles beacme so wet
that we <del>were</del> almost stuck in
July 7th: Up as usual. Weather
changeable. Doing gun drill all
morning. This afternoon we were [illegible]
and we are to have 48 hours
leave in order to recuperate. They
expect a lot of sickness but our
boys are all in good health and
there shouldn't be much. All night
the boys have been going around
saying: 'Mind my arm.' And they
go around wiht their hands tucked
away in their shirt or coats. All
rolled in expecting a restless night.
July 8th Up at 5am. Weather
fine x To our delight none of our arms
were bad enough to prevent us falling
in at parade at 5.30 am. However, we
were entitled to the leave and got in.
July 9th (Sunday) Up at 6.30.
Weather warm. There was no compulsory
service today and most of us
This morning the Farrier
Sargeant (sic) got into an argument with
the saddler about their respective
qualites as athletes. One is fat and
aged; the other has a [illegible] leg and
aged. To settle their discussion
it was arranged that they should
try and jump the horse trough, about
2.6 feet high.
When all was ready the
Farrier-Sargeant made a mighty
sprint and then leaped. In some
was his foot caught in the structure
and he was ignominiously participated
into the water. His fat form
came spluttering to the surface, the
water dripping from his clothing
and much bestraggled moustache.
Many of the boys in camp
have made cellars in the tent so as
to put some of their stuff in them.
We get boxes and dig holes and put
them in. At lunch hour today one of
the fellows in our tent went around
and nailed the lids of the boxes
down with 4 -inch nails. There was
a funeral ceremony when we came
back. We had to pull the boxes out
in order to get the lids off.
Things are going slowly and
all the boys are in the open kitchen
July 10th Up at 5am. Weather
fine. Went on a long ride this a.m. This
afternoon we had a lecture and at 4 pm
I knocked off to go on leave. I have been
granted five days.
Walked to Petewawa and caught
6.19 train for North Bay en route to Toronto.
Got into North Bay in time to make connections
for the south. We had a fine
run and saw a fine display of fire-flies.
They looked great as the train whizzed by.
For the first time tonight slept
between the things they call sheets.
Had a Pullman sleeper and it was certainly
July 11th Up at 7 am. Weather
fine. Reached Toronto at 8 am after a
fair run. Went to see the Knapp's and
stayed there. Attended a wedding this
afternoon and had a great time. We
had a celebration outside with the
bagpipes and a crowd of kides singing.
The <del>g</del> couple had an awful time
getting into their car and we had it
well labelled with tin cans, boots, etc.
July 12th Had another good
bed last night and slept fine. Up
when felt like it. Some class.
Getting fine grub now. Went out to the
aviation school and saw the boys flying.
July 18th Went to a ball game
today and a show tonight.
July 14th Spent the whole day
at the aviation school watching the boys
July 15th Started on my way
back to Petewawa. Met a number of
fine young ladies and had a nice trip.
Got into Petewawa at 1.26 am and
had a 'nice' walk through the woods
to camp. Couldn't get into my tent so
bumbed a bed from the stable picquet.
July 16th (Sunday) Up at 6.30.
Weather wet. No church parade.
On stable <del>I</del> pichquet at 6 pm.
July 17th Was complimented again
on the clean lines. Was taken off
picquet and was sent out as a
corerer for A-sub gun. Had some interesting
manouvers. Plenty of dust.
Came off picquet at 6 pm.
July 18th Up at 5.30 am. Found
weather very warm.Last night we had
the surprise of our camp life. With our
arms feeling pretty sore and 10 o'clock just
striking we were figuring on turning in
for a good sleep. Just then the Major
came into our lines calling for the trumpeter
to sound the 'fall in'. after he had
climbed into his clothes he sounded the
cheery notes and we scampered out as
best we could. Then we got the order
'saddle up'. The moon was nearly full
and the Northern lights were flickering
in the Nothern heavens and with the
combined assistance of a few lanterns
we filed into the stables. Our luck would
have it most of our harness was in pieces as
the drivers were cleaning it in the afternoon.
There was some tall talking and the fellows
were scrambling about collecting their
pieces. When we were harnessed up we were
ordered 'to file out and <del>harness up</del> hook up'. We
hooked in our teams and on reporting 'ready'
were ordered to 'stand at ease'. It was a
fine sight to see the men sitting in their
saddles and silhouetted against the
moon. After standing fast for about ten
minutes and listening to the other
batteries shouting and 'telling off' we
were ordered to 'move off'.
Through the dust and
dark we marched through the battery
lines. The dar and dirt make it impossible
for one to see any distance
and we were going alone by instict
and were lucky not to pile up. It was
a peculiar experience to be rambling
along in the dark. After a two-mile
jaunt we arrived back in the gun park.
We were ordered to 'dismount' and 'un-hook'.
While there we were <del>ordered to</del>
informed that our battery was the
first of the division to turn out.
Some honor, especially when these
easterners have been telling us how good
<del>we were</del> they were. It was a sad licking
for them. We were notified that we would
get a night alarm again and have to
We had an easy time today. Had
a gun laying class this afternoon.
Turned in at 10.15 pm.
July 19th Up at 5 am. Weather
fine. Attending gun-laying class this
afternoon and <del>just</del> had a fine ride
this morning under the sargant-major (sic).
July 20th Up at 5 am. Weather
cloudy. Had gun laying this morning and
got some more this afternoon. We hauled
the guns into the wood some distance
off and then it clouded up very
black. We had not the guns parked
when the thunder started to roar and
the lightning was cutting up the skies.
The roars and flashes caused the horses
considerable worry and they were up to their
fetlocks in water. When they kicked they
almost downed the boys who were standing
near. We had a nasty job feeding
and water the horses at night.
Our mess room was flooed out
and we had to grab our supper and
hike to our tents and eat it. There was
a chance of a stampede at night so
the picquet was given orders to arouse
the whole camp in case of trouble. We
were told to turn out just as we were when
the alarm occurred so as to get the
horses before they got bad. Some of the
boys slept in their clothes in anticipation
of a 'call'.
No one was outside tonight.
We all stayed inside and listened to
the roar of thunder and the rattling
of the rain <del>of</del> on the tents. It was some
night. We all wanted something to eat
and drink from the canteen but it
was too wet to venture out. About 9 o'clock
in tumbled Lomas wet to the hide
with a can of peaches under his arm.
We all anticipated a treat, but it did
not come. He refused to divide. So we
finally got a pool between six and
one of the boys <del>we</del> went forth to the
canteen. When he returned we got into
an argument with Lomas and called
him a tight wad and other kind names.
'You can call me a tight wad if
you like, but I'm having none of it,' he
And on it <del>wh</del> went until we
had a free fight. We threw around
orange and banana peel; biscuits etc.
Finally we arranged a truce and both
Then Lomas went out for a wash
during a short lull in the storm, and
while he was gone the boys emptied his
cellar. We have little underground places
and keep our eats and odds and each in
them. There were rags, biscuits, cleaning
kits, etc. all over the place. When he came
in and saw the mess he was sore and
the language was very polite and he
went to bed without saying 'Good Night'.
He tried hard to get a fighting
pal and clean up the tent.
'Are you going to see me defeated
Kelly,' he asked.
There was no response so he went
July 21st Up at 5 am but weather
was so wet, we did not turn out until
6.30. The horses were so wet that they
required exercise and we had to wade
up to our boot-tops to take off
the heel and head ropes and then take
them out for a walk and trot. There
was six inches of water in the mess room
so we were unable to sit there. It was
a 'mess room' alright. We had no drill
in the morning, but in the afternoon we had
a little ride. Turned in at 10.15 pm expecting
another thunder storm but it did not
July 22nd Up at 3.50 am. Weather
fine. I was sent out in charge of the
General service wagons which carry the
grub and provisions to the batteries. I
had six wagons and during the day
hauled 4 ton of hey; 2 ton of oats,
double ration for each battery. The last
item romped home at 7 pm. It was
a hard day and I was in the saddle
for quite a time.
July 23rd (Sunday) Up at 6.30.
Weather fine. I went out with the G.S.
wagon, which has more thrills in it in
two minutes than the whole night in a
There was a church parade
this morning and the dress was
dress pants, bandoliers and spurs and
work shirts. It was awfully hot and
the officer wanted all shirts buttoned
up. He gave the order but one of the boys
on the end had his neck opened and
it lead to a question.
'Why don't you button up your shirt
when you are told,' the officer asked
'I've lost the button sir,' he said.
Then it was found that a lot of the
collars were too tights and the order
was given for every man whose collar
was tight to step forward. Every man
I had a fine swim in the
Ottawa river this afternoon. Nearly
all the obys, who are not quarrantined,
One of our boys was arrested
yesterday for swimming out too far. He
was arrested by an armed guard and
taken to the 'clink' in the colonel's car.
He was given the night in a dirty cell.
In the morning the colonel released
him under open arrest and told him
that he had not broken any rules or
army regulations but had not used
common sense in swimming. The boy is
a fine <del>surviving</del> swimmer and had a
canoe with him so was alight. His
is another instance of how the 'brains'
are running the army.
I went on picquet tonight at 7.
July 24th Turned out at 5 am
to get lines in shape and was again
complimented on their cleanliness. I was
taken off picquet <del>ton</del> this morning
and sent out with the battery as
corerer. WE had a good day, but it was
very hot. Came off picquet at 7 pm.
<del>July 25th Weather fine. Up at 5 am</del>
The battery went out this morning to prepare
for action and get ready for firing tomorrow.
We had ordered to take up an open and
a semi-covered position. I was sent out
as a corerer. We first took up a position
in the open, and went into action very
smartly. Later we libered up and shifted
to a semi-covered position. In open
positions the target is always visible
through the sight, whereas in semi-covered
positions it is necessary to lay by
the indirect method. The sun was very hot
and we simply dripped. We returned to
our gun park and were glad to get in
out of the heat.
July 25th Up at 5.15 am. <del>Reveille</del>
'Reveille' is being sounded 15 minutes later
much to our relief. Weather very warm.
We got orders to do some firing today
and relieve a certain battery and hold
the ridge against an advancing body
of <del>und</del> infantry supported by a battery
of artillery, until relieved by another
battery. We moved off from our gun park
good and early. I waas sent out as a
director-man. We marched about 4 miles
and were then ordered to seek shelter in
a wood from an aeroplane attack. Our
gun park was selected and the guns
hustled into it with orders to prepare for
action, while the ammunition wagons
rambled off to the ammunition park to
get cartridges, shells and tubes. The
Major set out on his reconnaisance
and about 15 minutes later an orderly
came tearing back with our orders. We
at once moved off in column of route. Our
position was marked out by the Major
and sargant-major (sic). The order 'sub-sections
right turn' was given and the teams
went racing up to occuy their positions
when the aile-trees [?] were in line with the
markers the order 'halt! Action front' was
given. The gunners immediately unlimbered
and the teams and limbers made
for the park. The rigth-section was
doing the <del>fir</del> ranging and when it
found the target the left-section went
into action. Soon came the order
'Ammunition expended' and the
limbers and teams were brought up
and the battery went out of action.
We at once moved back to our gun
park to turn over our tubes.
The heat was terrific and both
men and horses prespired freely. The
temperature was 100 F in the shade and
in the sun it was greatly in access of
that as the sand magnified the heat.
The sweat poured off us. My saddle was
absolutely wet and I seemed to stick
in it. Our throats were parched. Some
of the boys had water bottles and the
water was almost boiling. We got
back to camp after being out five hours.
It was certainly some day.
We had little to do this afternoon.
Drank most of the time.
July 26th Up at 5.15 am.
Weather fine. We had orders to go on
another firing parade and moved off
early. We took up another open position
with exactly the same circumstances
as goverend the previous day's firing. The
Major conceived an idea of disguising
our guns, so while we were awaiting
orders in the gun park the gunners and
drivers gathered all the ferns and
foliage they could and ornamented
themselves, guns and horses. All brass
and other shining work was covered
and the boys did their work so
well that the Major said it was
difficult to distinguish the battery
at any distance.
We had just got into action when
the heavens clouded over and a deluge
of water came down. We were wet to
the skin in a very few minutes. Our
saddles got drenched and when we
swung into the on coming out of
action there was a swishy-wishy
noise and our seats got wet. It was
a nasty day.
The rain in the afternoon prevented
farther work and we had a
July 27th Up at 5.15 am.
Weather fine. Ordered out on another
firing parade. We had not gone for(sic)
]when one of our bombardiers was thrown
from his hourse and rendered unconscious.
He was sent to the hospital in the
ambulance an old ram-shackle
affair. Beofre they had gone very far
the boy had regained consciousness.
The jolting would have brought anyone
back from the dead.
We continued on our way,
secured our ammunition, decorated
our guns and then went into action
this time laying <del>down</del> indirect. We
did our work well and were congratulated by the umpire.
On returning to camp I was
made battery orderly, replacing the
bombardier who was hurt.
July 28th Had to get up at
5 am owing to being B. O. Did not
have much to do and the battery went
out on a divisional parade. This
afternoon most of the boys got their
third inoculation but that pleasure was
reserved for me until next week.
July 29th Up at 5 am. Weather
fine. There was nothing doing today as
all the boys were sick from inoculation.
July 30th Up at 6.30 Weather
very hot. This being Sunday we were due
for a church parade. Some poor nut in
headquarters ordered the boys to wear
tunics. Well, it was sweltering and the
boys were in torment. The sweat just poured
off them and when they came home they
were almost all in. One of the fellos said
'I swore more this morning than I have
since I joined the army.' Church under
these conditions is mockery. I was fortunate
in not having to turn out. I went on
the general service wagon.
This afternoon the heat got terrific
and it was 106 F in the shade. It was
terrible and althrough the boys went around
with their pants and and boots on. They
sweated [?] like niggers. It was the
hottest I have known. To make life
a little more pleasant I got a bunch to
go to the Ottawa for a swim. We
stayed in for two hours and were
just getting dressed when a call came
along the beach that a fellow was drowning.
I made tracks for the place immediately
and resuscitated the fellow and
took him to the hospital. It was lucky
I was there or the fellow might have
We tried to write letters tonight
but the sweat tumbled off us
so rapidly that the papers got sopped
and we had to give it up.
July 31st Up at 5.15 am. Weather
moderate. All the horses were turned out
this morning and the N.C.Os had a
special ride of their own. We were without
stirrups most of the time and our
seats were most painful.
We had a fierce sand storm
this morning. At breakfast it came on
quickly and our mush, coffee and
bread and butter was rendered uneatable.
We couldn't see for the dust. In
the evening it came on again.
This afternoon I got my
third doze of inoculation.
Today we heard the story
of a batman who masqueraded
as a major and deserted with 15
other men. The major had gone on leave
and he dressed up in the major's clothes
and marched the 15 men who were pals
of his and wanted to get out of this
hole, through the camp. There is a
bridge over the Petewawa with a sentry
stationed on it. On reaching it the
batman ordered the sentry to let his
squad pass and then brawled the
sentry out for not saluting him
properly. On reaching the village of
Petewawa they all changed into
civilian clothes and beat it. The batman
sent <del>his</del> the major's clothes back and
he had to pay the messenger 50 cents
before he could get them back.
Aug. 1st Weather fine.As I
have 24 hours leave after inoculation
I am taking it. The battery went out
to fire this morning. We got paid this
morning and it was very welcomed.
I can say this hot weather caused
a great rush on the cantenn and the
money is needed.
Aug. 2nd Up at 5.15 am. Weather
fine. We are getting plenty of riding these
days. The boys are being sent out both
morning and afternoon and their seats
and feet are becoming pretty sore. We
have our riding rings at Drury Plains
about 3 Miles from ourlines. Everything
goes jake until the order comes 'Quit
stirrups'. It is then a case of gripping
with your knees, but as this is an
art only acquired by practice, some
of the boys have the time of their life
sticking on. The ring Master, when he
sees some fellow 'gripping leather,' bellows out:
'Let go there. I'd sooner have
you fall of a dozen times than
grip leather. Let go!'
In confusion the victim
usually yields to the warning and
suddenly realized what a foll
he was to let go when he comes
in contact with Mother Earth. Other
fellows retain their hold on the
saddle and say 'they'd sooner take
a dozen belling-outs (?) than take the
chance of getting rudely bumped
[start page ]
by a sort of a rock. If in falling
a fellow released his hold on the
reins his horse usually makes for
camp and its a wear, long walk
to the lines.
Tonight it rained torrents
so we were all huddled up in our
tents, making the best of things. We
got into an argument as regards
the amount of room we were entitled
to in our little tent. Bill Newton's
feet have been a source of trouble
ever since we met with them for
in their roamings of a night they
are not particular in the slightest
where they rest. We found plenty to cry(?)
about and poor Bill was a happiless
sight as we all poured forth our
wrath upon his well balanced
understandings. It was peculiar that
the little runts in the tent were
the worse in the condemnation so
Bill rolled over and
'If you little runts had been
fed properly when you were young
you would have been more like men
That had a soothing effect
and we managed to get to sleep.
Aug. 3rd Up at 5.15 am. Weather
Riding both this morning and
Tonight there was another argument
in our tent, which has gamed
the reputation of being the noisiest
in camp. It was all over 'room'
George Lomas, Kelly and I
who have been subjected to the
wild roamings of Bill's feet more so
than anyone else planned to make
things more comfortable for ourselves.
We turned in early and put Bill's
kit over on the other side of the tent.
We then crawled into our beds and
faked sleepines. Soon in came the
men rerpesentative of the other side of the
tent along with big Bill. It didn't
matter a continent (?) to Bill where he
<del>sleep</del> slept. But the other three were
greatly peeved to think that their room
was to be restricted and at once
made mutterings which were detrimental
to our welfare. We at once came slowly
to our senses, blinking our eyes and
making inquiries as to the trouble.
They were not long in making known
their trouble. There was great prospects
of an argument and we were
all in good fighting [trains?]. Dowell was
the spokesman for the other side and
he deployed a great wealth of oratorieal
ability and it showed that some
time or another he must have studied
Shakespeare. By a wonderful
display of neutrality he concluded
that each man was entitled to
2 6/7 seams in the tent. He attempted
to show us that we were enfringing
on their rights but we were having
none of it. We were all going strong
when 'Lights Out' sounded and
peace was once restored in our
Aug 4th Up at 5.15 am. Weather
fine. Riding again this morning and
Tonight we heard an amusing
story. It was in connection with a
recruit review. One of the headquarters
officers who had a lot to do with
the reviews asked one of the batteries in
our brigade for the <del>Con</del> loan of a
This was done and the
major and his horseholder make for
the reviewing grounds. On arrival there
he <del>told</del> addressed his horseholder as
'Stay here until I return.'
The major went on with his
manoevures and <del>in his</del> through the interest
he took in the display he forgot
all about his horseholder. The review
concluded and the major returned
'In the battery stables was sounded
and the horseholder was absent and at
supper he was also absent.
The s-major went to the major
and made inquiries about his man
'What hasn't that young fool
come home yet?' he asked.
'No he hasn't' said the S-M.
Without any further questions
the major took his leave and mounted
a horse bare-back. He went straight
to where he had left his horse-holder
and found him still standing there.
'So you're still standing there
you ass; why didn't you go home?' he
'Because you told me to stay
here until you returned, sir.' he relpied
'Well, supposed I had died
what would you have done? he
'I'd have gone to your funeral
sir,' <del>re</del> was the calm reply.
The trip home was commenced
and concluded in silence.
Tonight George Lomas was on
police duty. In his way to report he
saw a water-bottle on the path and
he promptly appropriated it as one
of our fellows had lost his and our
tent had to keep its equipment complete
at all costs. He left the bottle
snugly secured in a bush. On his
return he placed the bottle under
his arm and proudly marched into
our tent with his first prisoner. He
gave it to Bill who was short.
A few minutes later we were
standing outside our tent and noticed
a chap looking anxiously about on
the hill for something.
'I'll bet he's looking for
his water-bottle,' were Lomas' words
Of course Bill poo-pooed
The water-bottle is still
in our tent.
Aug 5th Up at 5 am.
Weather fine. Paraded sick and was sent
to hospital with tonsilitis. Having jake
time in here, plenty to eat a good
bed and pretty nurses. There are patients
were with all kinds of aches and pains.
There is a continuous poker game
going. A fellow nearly dead with heart
failure, is one of the worst participants.
Aug 6th No 'reveille' in
hospital. Up at 7.10am. Weather
fine. Living well.
Aug 7th. Up at 7 am. Weather
fine. Am friends with a nurse.Getting
grub on the side: was discharged from
hospital at 5 this afternoon.
Aug 8th. Up at 5.15 am. Weather
fine. Back at work again, doing the
fatigues which makes a soldier's
Aug 9th Up at 5.15 am. Weather
fine. Went out on a ride this morning.
We had 2 hours riding without stirrups.
It was some grind and our legs were
so sore at the finish that we could
hardly walk. we had some smart work
moving up from one horse to another.
One time you would get a horse with
short stirrups then the next one would
be long. It was fine alright. In the
afternoon we had some 8 powder gun
drill. At 7 pm I went on stable picquet.
Aug 10th I was on stable
picquet all day and came off at
Aug 11th. Up at 5.15 am. Weather
cloudy. At 8.30 we moved off from the
gun park on our all day parade. We
were to lunch at a landing. We
were just taking up our second
position when it started to rain.
We had taken our overcoats, so when
it started to pelt we were in a
bit of luck. But our saddles were
pretty wet. The major ordered us to
make for home so we tore along
at a good pace. We were drenched
before we got home, however.
Aug 12th. Up at 5.15 am.
Weather fine. Got all our clothes
dried today. This being Saturday
we had plenty of fatigue work to
Aug 13th (Sunday) Up at 6.30.
Weather fine. Went on a church parade
It was fine today. We had a choir
and I went in it. This afternoon
there was an excursion down the river
and I decided to go. It was
blowing pretty hard. There were about 300
of us waiting for the boat and after
waitin for 2 hours we were informed
that the boat had broken down.
So home I came.
Aug 14th. Up at 5.15 am. Weather
fine. Today was a day of days to a
soldier. We got paid. I got $2,
at the rate of $1 a week. Some pay.
This afternoon we had fatigues.
Aug 15th. Up at 5.15 am. Weather
fine. Today <del>we wer</del> the Right Section
went out as a battery. We had six
horses to each <del>le</del> gun and ammunition
wagon. We carried out battery
manouvers and then occupied a
position in the open. I was a [illegible]
We had some good experience. This
afternoon we had a pow-wow and
the officers told us off for our
mistakes this morning.
Aug 16th. The Left Section
went out as a battery this morning.
while they were gone we got orders to
clean the camp as Gen. Lessard
had come to inspect us. Consequently
we were busy all day getting our
lines whitewashed, etc.
Aug 17th. Up at 5.15 am.
weather fine. We went out on another parade
today and had a fine time. Dowell
came home today from Toronto and
brought us a huge parcel of eats.
The same day we got several other
parcels and one of the boys said
'Well we are either having a feast or
a famine.' Anyway we'll not starve
for a few days at all events.
Aug 18th Up at 5.15 am
Weather fine. Out on another mounted
parade and this time went as a
telephonist. I had all kinds of
gear and instruments strapped to
my body and they pinched me
some. I was glad when I got back
to camp and unstrapped them.
Aug 19th. Up at 5.15 am.
Weather fair. Being Saturday we had
plenty of fatigues. Had half holiday
August 20th (Sunday) Up at
6.30am. Was on S.R. wagon this
morning and missed church parade.
It was a scorcher. The boys had
to parade in tunics and were
drenched with prespiration when
they came in. Owing to the heat [Alf?]
Dowell, Bill Newton and I went
down to the Petawawa to get out of
the heat. We didn't intend to swim as
the river is out of bounds but as
soon as we got down the heat was
so terrific and the water looked so
good that we stripped and
jumped in. It was sure jake. We
just managed to get out and
don our clothes when along came the
picquet. Of course we were innocent.
Then we walked down the river and
Alf fell in so we all jumped in
woth our clothes on. We stayed in
Aug 21st. Went out on parade
today. Nothing startling happened.
August 22nd. Around camp all
day. Went on stable picquet at 6 pm.
Aug 23rd. Came off stable
picquet at 6pm.
Aug 24th. Up at 5.15. Weather
fair. Out on mounted parade today.
Took up a position today amidst
considerable confusion but managed
to get by O.[R?].
Aug 25th. Up at 4.30 am. We
were turnede out this morning before
it was dark in order to get off
the ranges by 6.30. We only got
a scanty breakfast but expected to be
back shortly. This however proved to be
incorrect. We had to wait until the last
to do our firing - a monotonous wait.
The second battery mistook the
order between its gun-fire for
20 minutes instead of 20 seconds
and of course our wait was prolonged.
We, however, hung on and the
heat added to our thirst and hunger.
Finally we got the order to return
to camp and do our firing in the
afternoon. We had about half an
hour for lunch and then harnessed up
again. We finally fired all rounds
in the afternoon.
Aug 26th Went on leave
at 1 <del>pm</del> am. Motored to Pembroke at
midnight and caught train for
Ottawa, arriving there at 5 am.
Three of us turned into one bed and
had a sleep for three hours. We then
saw the town and pulled out at
11 pm for Toronto.
Aug 27th Arrived in Toronto
at 7 am.
August 28th In Toronto.
August 29th. Left Toronto for
'home' at 1.45 pm and was sorry to
leave. Had good trip back and
plenty of fun, including a minstrel
show given by five of us in the
Aug 30th Arrived at Petewawa
at 4.45 am and had a dreary
two-mile walk in the rain. We
got into camp wet and were greeted
by the 'fall in.' We were dead
tired but had to go on stable. Managed
to squeeze through with a fairly easy
day. Although I was sent out on
an all-day parade. I thought I
would go to sleep but managed to sit
my saddle O. [A?]. We took up two
positions in the morning then paraded
to a landing on the Petewawa unhooked
and had lunch and afterwards a
swim. We hooked in and took up a
third position in the afternoon. I
acted as a [illegible] all day.
Aug 31st Rain. up at 5.15 am.
Light day. Went on stable picquet at
7 pm. Had a short storm.
Sept 1st Weather wet. Was
tired all day as I had to post picquets
every two hours. Came off picquet
at 7 pm.
Sept 2nd This was This was Saturday
We had plenty to do one way and
Sept 3rd. Up at 6.15 am.
Went on as battery orderly for the week
and spend the day in camps.
Sept 4th Up at 5 am. Due to
go out <del>as</del> to do firing today but it was
raining hard and we postponed
it for this morning. We went out
this afternoon, however, and got caught
in a downpour. We fired 15 rounds
and got into camp at 6 pm. Had
a fair time.
Sept 5th Up at 5 am. Weather
wet. We were not expecting to do any
more firing and were greatly disappointed
this morning to learn
that we were to fire again. We
thought we would turn in our guns
today but were suprised when they
reached ordance to be be informed
that they must be returned to our
gun park. We then turned out and
did some good work on the range.
This afternoon we were busy getting
ready to turn everthing over to the
Sept 6th Up at 5 am.
Weather fine. Today we fired in
the morning and then turned
our guns into ordanance. This afternoon
we turned over our horses to
the new battery and were tickled
to death to be relieved of 'stables'
and 'stable picquet.' We hated
to say good-bye to some of our
noble beasts for they had carried
us over a good many miles of
country without a falter, but
then again others we never hope or
wish to see again.
Sept 7th Up at 5 am. Weather
moderate. We were busy all day on
drills and fatigues. We had a big
time tonight in camp. We celebrated
our departure from Petewawa.
We are sure glad to be leaving x We
expected a peaceful departure as
most of the boys turned in early but
at 9.30 a few noisy fellows got
going and soon the whole camp
was in an uproar. Everybody
turned out. One tent preferred to
sleep and their tent was promptly
dropped on them. We also let
go the sergeant's tent. One of our
officers went on a rampage
and stole two horses from other
lines. We paraded through the
camp with the trumpeters, and
two corvetists. We assisted their
efforts with tin-can melodies and
weird shrieks. We got into bed at
midnight. The right and left sections
nearly came to below before we got
Sept 8th Up at 5 am. Weather
wet. Prepairing to leave for England
at 7. 30 tonight.
In stables 'Carry on with the
On parade. 'Double up.' 'Double
up the sick'
Lomas' description of his first horse
back ride: ' I was going titherum-
tay. I had an argument with the
saddle and I kept meeting it
half way. I went in the air and
the saddle seemed to come up and
meet me as I came down: Now I can't
sit down and I'm in an awful
'The Clink' has been condemed
by doctor but still the prisoners are sent
there. The rooms about (8 in number)
are about 4 x 6 and the large room 10 ft
square. It smells badly and is badly
Item is the second of eight diaries written by Archie Wills during World War I. The diary covers the period from May to September, 1916. Topics include Wills' departure from Victoria and journey by boat and train across Canada to Ontario where he trained with his battalion at Petawawa camp. He describes jubilant crowds at Victoria and Vancouver send-offs, the monotony of the train journey and restlessness of his fellow soldiers. After arriving in Petawawa, his diary entries cover living conditions including the weather - excessive heat, thunderstorms, and flooding as well as mosquitoes. Wills' diary illustrates the monotony and strain of the drills and fatigues, parades, shooting practices, riding exercises, 'horse wrestling', and school work. During their spare time, the soldiers swam in the Ottawa and Petawawa rivers, played basketball and read. Wills' diary records humorous interactions between soldiers, daily hardships and an attempted desertion by 3 Americans. On September 8, 1916, Wills departs for Great Britain. People mentioned include: Bill Newton, George Lomas, McDougall, and H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught.