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   Chapter 6 ON THE MOVE

At Suvla Bay By John Hargrave Characters: 1523

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


We moved to Dublin after seven months of drill and medical lectures in barracks at Limerick.

After about a fortnight in the Portobello Barracks we crossed to England and pitched our camp at Basingstoke. Here we had two or three months' divisional training. The whole of the Xth Division-about 25,000 men-used to turn out for long route-marches.

We were out in all weathers. We took no tents, and "slept out." This was nothing to me, as I had done it on my own when scouting hundreds of times. It amused me to hear the men grumbling about the hard ground, and to see them rubbing their hips when they got up. It was a hard training. Still we didn't seem to be going out, and once again, the novelty of a new place having worn off, we became unspeakably "fed

up."

Here at Basingstoke we were inspected by the King, and later by Lord Kitchener.

Then came the issue of pith helmets and khaki drill uniforms, and the Red Cross brassards on the left arm.

Rumour ran riot. We were going to India; we were going to East Africa... some one even mentioned Japan! There was a new rumour each day.

Then one day, at brief notice, we were quietly entrained at Basingstoke and taken down to the docks at Devonport before anyone had wind of the matter.

All our ambulance wagons, and field medical equipment in wickerwork panniers, went with us, and it would astonish a civilian to see the amount of stores and Red Cross materials with which a field ambulance moves. And so, after much waiting about, aboard the Canada.

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