25 September 1914

[From Windmill Hill Camp, Salisbury Plain]

Friday

Mrs P., So you didn’t have too much of your sleepy mole?  Well, I don’t know about any more upcomings.  Next Sunday, that’s the day after tomorrow, I certainly can’t; it’s too soon; and I’ve arranged with a Corporal to take me out riding and over some jumps.  I was very glad I came home when I did.  At 5.30 I found everybody was going out for an outpost affair; Corporal Farrer (who’s taking me out on Sunday) lent me his beautiful horse.  We were out till after nine, in a loveliest starriest night, bits champing in dewy field corners.  I had the luck to be sent with a message to the next squadron; steered by the moon, trotting along on my splendid horse, up far aloft from the ground; pursued the required Captain from village to village in the dark, tracked him down, gave the countersign to smiley realistic challenging sentries, and found my way back a new way to the spot I had left.  Today, we went out at an easy walk across the downs; and I volunteered for some semaphoring, in which I did so so.  A corporal holds out the hope that with a little luck, I might find myself a troop-leader after a bit out at the war. Don’t tell anyone.

The mess corporal told me that he had 2 parcels for me for two days; Heaven knows why he hadn’t sent them to my tent — I suppose he expected my servant to come and ask for parcels; but Paterson’s always in the canteen, I fancy.

[…]

The parcels had the smart hankies and the jerseys which look lovely.  I’ll take them as first line of supplies.  Pyjamas, A1.  But what a supply of things!  I’m thinking of a rummage sale.

Before you’re tied up: there’s a thing or so.  1. Riding whip hasn’t come.  2. Dixie hasn’t sent the eyeglasses; but I don’t care a damn; they would only be another parcel.  3. The lens is lovely, but too strong; I can see only a letter at a time.  If they can change it, I’ll keep it till I know.  But it doesn’t matter anyway. 4. I want two 4d compressed lead HB pencils.

Another great Brigade Field Day tomorrow; I expect I shall have Corporal Farrer’s beautiful horse.

Monday, the King comes.

I did not lose my stick.

The [equestrian] pants rode beautifully.

I don’t see why John Cook [a relative of Kittie’s] needs an introduction to the Inns of Court [Regiment].  But I’ll try to scratch a line when I’m handy for a sheet of paper.  I’m in my tent and I’m damned if I’m going to unroll my basebag.  I want to read German.

P.

One more want: 5. Liebmann’s rotten German-English military vocabulary, which I left in my kneehole.

Percy Lubbock, who knew the Calderons well, described George as having a ‘rich gift of anger’; but it was rarely seen.

Next entry: 26 September 1914

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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