Friday, July 15, 2005

15 July 1915 - Pay day again

Leslie Payne received his pay again at Dibgate on Thursday 15th July.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

6 July 1915 - Leslie Payne promoted to Corporal at Shorncliffe

Five days later, on 6th July, Leslie Payne was also promoted to the rank of Corporal - the official confirmation came through in Part II Daily Orders on the following day, the 7th, and accordingly his pay was raised by an extra 10c. per day. It was on these two days, according to the War Diaries, that Nos. 7 & 8 Companies were busy moving the 29th and 31st Battalions and their equipment from Dibgate Camp to Lydd.

Friday, July 01, 2005

1 July 1915 - Promotion for William Hogg & Bob Moodie

Service records show William Hogg to have been promoted to the rank of Corporal on Thursday 1 July 1915 and, on the same day as he was discharged from hospital, the rank of Lance Corporal was confirmed for Bob Moodie.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

11 June 1915 - Bob Moodie to the sick bay

On this day, Bob Moodie reported sick and was diagnosed with measles. He was transferred to the Canadian Hospital at Moore's Barracks. After almost two weeks, he was transferred once again to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Folkestone, where he remained until his discharge, presumably upon full recovery, on 1 July.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

1 June 1915 - Bob Moodie assigns pay to his sister

On Tuesday 1 June, according to his service records, Bob Moodie assigned $25 of his monthly pay to his sister Miss Jane M. Moodie, of Leiterellen Steps, near Glasgow.

June 1915 - First leave, and a trip home to Derby

Some time in June, Leslie Payne must have been granted a few days' leave, as were many of the Canadian soldiers keen to see the bright lights of London or visit family. Unfortunately the leave was not noted in his service records, but I am fairly sure that he did take leave at this time for a couple of reasons.

Private Leslie Payne, 7th Company, 2nd Divisional Train, C.A.S.C. Portrait by E.M. Treble of Derby, probably taken in June 1915. Collection of C.B. PayneThe first of these relates to a postcard sized photograph (at left) of Leslie taken by the studio of E.M. Treble in Derby. In the head-and-shoulders portrait he does not have any corporal's stripes on his uniform, suggesting that it was taken prior to his promotion in early July. It is also possible that he just hadn't sewn the stripes on yet, although I think this is unlikely. The bandolier is different from the one he is shown wearing in the photos taken in St John, New Brunswick, suggesting that it was after their equipment had been replaced in England. The cap badge and collar dogs are of the "General Service" type, which mean that it certainly wasn't after he had transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, the following year.

Constance (Con) May Hogg (1889-1918), daughter of William James Hogg & Louisa Scholes, probably taken in Derby c. 1915Also, Leslie withdrew a large portion of his pay in June and July 1915 - a total of $82.50 - and the only other times during his service that he withdrew large amounts was immediately prior to going on leave. A later posting will show that Leslie assigned $25 of his monthly pay packet to his "sweetheart" Con (Constance May Hogg) at the beginning of August - it seems very likely that this took place soon after he had seen Con while on leave. Constance (shown in the portrait above) was an elder sister of William Percival Hogg, who had joined up on the same day as Leslie, and the Hogg family were obviously known to the Paynes in Derby. Their father, William James Hogg (1862-), was a land and estate agent in Litchurch, Derby, as was Leslie's father, Charles Vincent Payne (1868-1941).

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

25 May 1915 - Leslie Payne's Army Pay Book

Leslie Payne's Army Pay Book contains several entries indicating when he was paid over the summer of 1915. Together with entries in the Pay Sheets included with his C.E.F. Service Records, I have pieced together the following account:

Date :: Location :: Event (Source)

Begin. May :: Sandling :: Paid (Army Pay Book)
25 May :: Dibgate :: Paid (Army Pay Book)
6 July :: Shorncliffe :: Paid (Army Pay Book)
- & Pro[moted] to Cpl. Auth. Part II O[rder] No 160. (Service Records)
7 July :: Shorncliffe :: Paid (Army Pay Book)
- & Confirmed in Rk. of Corpl. By O/C 2 D.T. Pt. II - 160 & Nom. Roll 3/8/15 (Service Records)
15 July :: Dibgate :: Paid (Army Pay Book)
30 July :: Otterpool :: Paid (Army Pay Book)
1st Aug :: - :: Assigned $25 of Pay to Constance Hogg, 48 Sackville Street (Service Records)
1st - 31st Aug :: Temp[oraril]y Employed as Armourer (Service Records)
1st - 30th Sep :: 3rd Class Work Pay. 7 days (Service Records)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

24 to 29 May - Musketry course at Hythe ranges

During the week starting 24th May, all four companies of the Train attended Musketry courses at the Hythe ranges, commencing with a parade at 7 am on Monday.

The School of Musketry was set up at Hythe in 1853 by the then British Commander-in-Chief, Lord Hardinge, and is still used to this day. A brief history of the Corps formed by Lord Harding at Hythe is given on this British Army web site.

Charles Ross Francis, in his Personal Experiences and Impressions of the Great European War, on "For King and Empire", gave the following account of his first week at the ranges, some five weeks after the 2nd Divisional Train had been there:
Monday, July 3
At 11 am today we marched down to the Hythe ranges to practice shooting. It is the first I had ever shot out of a rifle and I made a fairly good score considering (16 out of 20). We carry full packs and as the road is rather hilly it is quite a strenuous walk especially coming back which is more uphill. The Hythe ranges are supposed to be the best in this world. They are down by the beach so that we shoot towards the ocean. The ground is all shingle (pebbles) and while it is hard to walk on it is very good for wet weather.

Wednesday, July 5
We are continuing with the ranges. I have been coaching every day besides shooting, and while it is not hard work it is rather monotonous and some days very hot as we are now in the blazing sun without any cover. I am burnt as brown as an Indian.

Friday, July 7
We completed our course at the ranges this afternoon. The Battalion as a whole did fairly well but I was not able to keep my own score as I was too busy on the coaching. If possible I may be able to get it and will jot it down afterwards. We shot from ranges from 1 to 600 yards at targets like this,
1 - Bull = 4
2 - Inner = 3
3 - Magpie = 2
4 - Outer =1
For ranges to 1 and 2 hundred the targets are 6'x 6' and for the long distance 8'x8'.
Private Francis trained with the 90th Battalion, also from Winnipeg, which was subsequently broken up on the day that after the musketry course concluded, with the men being absorbed into other battalions.

Ernest Mosley Taylor, who served with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles (C.M.R.) and was killed less than a year later, found the journey from their camp down to the ranges rather strenuous (in letter home which forms part of correspondence in the Taylor-Bury Collection):
8 August 1915
We have been having rather a strenuous time lately, and march down to Hythe every day to start. We start about 7 a.m., our lunch consisting of a jam sandwich and small piece of cheese. Hythe is about seven miles away, and we don't get back till five in the evening. Then I have a wash and clean up and get down to the rooms in time for supper at 7. This means that I have been doing about sixteen miles a day for the last week. I find I keep pretty fit on it though my feet are rather sore with the hard roads, and a rest today is welcome ... We are getting rather tired of having horses to look after. It tires on down so much and there does not seem to be any more prospect of riding them.
This postcard photo shows Canadian soldiers marching through the busy streets of Hythe, presumably on the way to, or on the way back from, the ranges.
Canadians at Hythe. Photo postcard courtesy of Christine Warren's Folkestone & Hythe web pages
A Soldier's Diary - 1916 : My Personal Experiences and Impressions of the Great European War, by Private Charles Ross Francis, published on The Archive, For King and Empire : Canada's Soldiers in the Great War
Correspondence of Ernest Mosley Taylor dated 8 August 1915, in the Taylor-Bury Collection, publ. by the Canadian Letters & Images Project