The ‘off’

‘So as not to crowd’ Ludgershall station, as Calderon wrote his mother yesterday, at six o’clock that evening the Blues set off on horseback from Windmill Hill Camp across Salisbury Plain to another station (presumably Amesbury).  The Life Guards had left earlier.  By 2.00 a.m. today, 6 October 1914, the whole 3rd Cavalry Division, comprising about 7000 men, had reached its ‘rest-camp’ at Southampton.  In the afternoon, they rode down to the docks.

He wrote to Kittie this evening from on board the H.M. Transport “Huanchaco”, ‘a little cargo and steerage ship of about 3000 tons, in which 2 regiments of cavalry and other details are all packed.’

No beds for officers; I don’t very well understand the object of that.  War has its hardships; no need for the War Office to invent new ones, such as spelling me ‘Cauldron’ in the Gazette 2 days ago.  You might drop them a line asking them, for your convenience, to spell the name rightly in dispatches and casualty lists.  (That […] is a joke; don’t pass it on to Whitehall.)

Rum thing me leading a big horse down into a hold, in darkness with lamps here and there, dragging him up gangways and down steep inclines and through narrow passages.

No-one, he wrote, knew what their destination was.

Next entry: Darkness

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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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