Our training started to take a new turn. Most of our battery officers were attending classes to check their ability of the fundementals of being an artillery officer. Now it seemed we were being given foot drill by officers from the 37th battery who were not the most pleasant to we western chaps, and they seemed to be able to point out shortcomings in our non commissioned ranks, some times with malice. The garage and the gun shed were under the control of the 37th Battery so things used to get a bit sticky when returning a vehicle to the garage having every scratch or speck of dust pointed out to you. But we praire fellows rode this out with pride in ourselves and a silent curse under our breaths to those who thought they were doing us in the ear.
It seemed that we did hours of parade square drill, with little time learning the rudiments of the guns. The guns in question were at the moment a couple of qf 18pounders, field pieces from WW1 adapted to rubber tires. These were housed in a gun shed as winter was coming on and we were able, regardless of weather, to train on these guns. We were later to get 4.5 howitzers and more 18 pounders which we had outside in the spring, along with quads which were the name for the trucks that pulled the guns. All this we had lined up precisely in the gun lines.
But I am a little ahead of myself.
Here is when a lot of the married men started to get home sick, a long way from home and their wives were likely writing how tough things were at home without them and the kids were being tough to handle. Or, in some cases, wives did not write and were seen at local dances with airmen from the Commonwealth training bases. All added to unrest amongst the married fellows. Mind you some of the single fellows recieved the dear John letter saying to the fellows that they were not going to wait for them. Oh well, that is the way it went, but a lot of the married fellows were the first to play around seeing they were far from home.
Discipline came hard for a lot too. I took most of this in stride and kept a cheerful attitude, and found it much easier that way. The daily routine was steady and it soon became normal. You did your turn as guard Sergeant, and orderly sergeant and drilled recruits. In between times you wrote a lot of letters, and drank your share of beer in the mess. All the time you tried to be a good soldier [ maybe took yourself a bit seriously sometimes ].
Looks like I am getting a long chapter so will close for the next time. It will be Christmas leaves, and going home to spend it with your family.
Cheerio, Gordie ..