Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: October 18th 1914

Sunday, Oct. 18th.

Church this morning and after that several of the officers went ashore. I remained on duty and had a somewhat strenous day.

Several of the men including about seven from the 9th Battery lowered one of the ship's boats and went ashore just as the officers were finishing lunch. They landed and turned the boat adrift. We notified the police ashore and sent a piquet with Capt. Crerar to round them up again. This occurrence was a distinct breech of discipline as orders were that no men were to go ashore. They have since been located and dealt with.

Monday Oct. 19th we started to unload horses and equipment. This took practically all day, so it was not until 1.30 A.M. Tuesday that our Battery, the last as usual, left the ship after saying good-bye to all the officers who had treated us so well.

We marched about 2 miles to the common where our horses were picketed formed up, and started for Friary Station. This was about 4 miles. We arrived about 4.30 expecting to see our train waiting, but owing to some delay we could not load until about 9 o'clock. It was very difficult to keep the men from the "Pubs". They would slip out unobserved or on pretext of getting breakfast and get liquor. However, on the whole they were fairly well behaved and I know now that we can trust them to stand by the officers.

We loaded and the train pulled out at about 10 o'clock. An incident which shows the will of the people towards us, I must relate. The men were asked to bring up their water bottles and the women of the neighborhood filled them with hot tea and coffee, while we were waiting to lad the horses.

We arrived at Amesbury Station on Salisbury Plain at about 6.30 P.M. Tuesday. After starting to unload horses we were told to clear the road of guns and pack them. This job took about an hour and a half. We were then ordered to unload 3 cars of infantry belongings, including large packing cases, picks, shovels, and all manner o of odds and ends. Then we loaded them onto large vans and sent them. off. By this time it was pitch dark and we had only commenced to get the horses off. We unloaded these and tied them where we could along the road out of the station and in a field near the railway. We then unloaded our own baggage, put it into two trucks and left Mr. Craig to lad the remainder when the truck would arrive.

We collected our horses and started to walk into camp. It was a cool dark night and the roads were good but very long. We had a 14 mile march to West down North camp and leaving at 11, arrived at 3 A.M. My feet were blistered but apart from that I was only slightly tired. We watered and fed the horses, had some bread and jam and tea and turned in.