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28 2   DAYS OF PREPARATION

of a brilliant sun to the heat of noon and as rapidly cooling about 3 p.m. to the chilly and misty evenings. All arrangements were excellent and were carried out with smoothness and celerity by the Imperial authorities. Every possible contingency seemed to have been foreseen and provided for. Camps were linked by telephone and telegraph. Post-offices were in full working crder and a delivery of Canadian mail was made on the second day after the arrival of the Division.

Palliasses (cloth bags six feet long and two feet wide) and straw were issued for the making of tolerably comfortable mattresses, and new Army blankets were plentifully distributed. Loads of board tent floors were delivered to each camp. The greatest inconvenience was that of overcrowding, owing to a temporary shortage of tents. However, after muster parades were held, duties 'detailed, standing orders promulgated, and the usual routine matters of a new camp attended to, the Division felt at home and ready and anxious for the winter's training. Then, on the night of the 20th of October, the rain commenced to fall.

The guy ropes of the tents had been pulled taut during the preceding days of fine weather and as the rain soaked the canvas and ropes they contracted, pulling the pegs out of the sodden earth and tumbling the tents down upon the slumbering occupants. During the, ensuing 'confusion, in which the men stumbled about half-clad in the pitch darkness vainly endeavouring to restore order out of chaos, most of the carefully planned arrangements for their comfort were utterly destroyed. It was the beginning of that long winter of hardship and discomfort. The English tents differed substantially in material from the Canadian tents and were by no means waterproof when standing. The poor quality canvas merely broke the heavier drops into fine particles of spray which settled and drenched everything within the tent as thoroughly as though it had been steamed. Blankets


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