"These are answers to questions Leila asked in her last (letter) received, while we were eating supper in the kitchen on April 7th along with yours and Ina's of March 3rd, 5th, and 6th: " How far are the guns from the trenches where the SOLDIERS are"? I read that part out loud to the boys. There was much laughter. You would have thought we were soldiers too if you had seen us that day. Answer: Anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 yards , Our shells go over our front line into enemy zone, which is allotted to us. If we make a mistake in range etc., we kill our own men, but this very seldom happens. Shells from other batteries, are going over our heads day and night. In some positions, we can see the enemy in the distance. Our gun is a 3.3, but makes more noise than a 60 pounder, when fired."
Check out the complete letter here.
The latest latter from Bombardier Cox, " Today I am celebrating my 2nd Birthday in the Army by going on guard duty tonight. Last year , I hoped that I would never have another year in the army, but being a little more enlightened on the subject, my wish, today, is to be alive on March 25th 1921. and then I'll make another wish in accordance with what is going on then." Read the entire letter here.
Been held up with a few other projects and the weather hasn't been the most coperative. However, i did pull the fender off and now working on getting at the starter motor so that I can check out its condition. (First time I ever removed a fender!) Check out the progress here.
Take a look at that Gunner you're working with in the detachment the next time you're on an exercise or go back in your memory and think about some of the other members of your detachment from days long ago. Did you ever wonder what path they're on in the future? What kind of people are Gunners?
I'm fascinated by some of the stories that I find researching past members of the Regiment. The latest is Gunner William Newton. He was a Gunner with the 5th and volunteered to serve in World War 1 with the 15th Brigade. He was a Bombardier but 2 months before shipping to France, he requested to revert to the rank of Gunner. On 17 February 1919, he is awarded 14 days Field Punishment for overstaying his pass. That's 3 months after the war ended! A month later, they're in the midst of posting him to Cambridge University. There's an untold story here.
Check out his bio here and see if you can figure out why he was AWOL.
Check out his obituary here. Are any of your fellow Gunners on a similar path?
There seems to have been a lot more digging in World War I than today,"I spent 2 weeks at the wagon lines and am at present at the guns In this position ( our 7th , I think) since we've been in France, we are digging all day with picks and shovels, making gun pits and general improvements all around. I think I'll get a job, after this war as a grave digger on salary, though, not piece work." Not quite the glamour shown in the recruiting poster. Check out the rest of the letter here.
Another soldier has been found that served with the 15th Brigade and did not return. Gunner James Haddow Frame joined the 62nd Battery in Victoria and succumbed to Pneumonia during training in Witley, England on 29 April 1917. He is buried in Witley (Milford) Cemetery, Surrey, United Kingdom and left behind a widow and four children.
Lest we forget.
The latest news from Bombardier Cox - latest 1918 news, that is. "We are pretty comfortable in this position. Sleep in the cellar of some body's shattered home, and keep a good fire going all the time. There is no scarcity of wood, as all we have to do is take the roof or side of some ruined house. There's not a single house with an untouched wall or roof standing in the vicinity.
January 15th 1918…..
I've just been talking to one of the three lucky fellows to get a pass to Blighty for Xmas. It certainly does put the spirit of leave into one, but 116 have to go before I do.
I have an "O'Pip" which I will send to you. It's very good this time."
Read the complete letter here.
Read the O'Pip here.
A distinctive building on Yorke Island is the Officers' Quarters (aka WO's Quarters) This building was constructed prior to 1939 of brick construction with plaster which is similar to the Gun Stores Workshop building and a section of the Battery Observation post. We have been unable to locate the construction drawings for the buildings and have now turned to Google to search for a resemblance to other residential buildings of that era. Eaton's and Harris Homes provided DIY building kits back in the 30's. Is that what our building was modeled after? Can any one else find a match on the internet?
Not a pleasant Christmas for Bombardier Cox. "Xmas Day was a rotter to the core. I was on guard on Xmas Eve, and Battery Runner ( taking messages between the guns and horse lines, about 6 miles) on Xmas Day. We moved into action on that day in a new position, and I had a terrible time finding it. Wandered all over an open field in full view of the enemy, but they evidently let me live because it was Xmas Day!" Apparently the meal partially improved the day. Check out the letter here.