Sunday 27 November 2016


Monday 27th November 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

The adjutant of the 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, tells me that they are at a hutted camp behind the lines near Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, where they are training. He tells me that there has been an effort at improvement of sanitary conditions in these hutment camps.

It reminds me of a story told to me of an officer of the 4th Bedfords a few weeks ago. They are part of a brigade of four “Army” battalions whilst the other two brigades in their division (63rd) comprise Royal Marines and naval personnel, who all think of themselves as still sailors.

The new general officer commanding 63rd Division, Major-General Cameron Shute was less than impressed with the sanitary arrangements of the naval brigades under his command. On a ship there are certain facilities for disposal of effluent which are not present in the trenches. This has led to a rather casual attitude towards the disposal of waste. General Shute, quite rightly, took issue with this filthy behaviour as giving rise to dysentery. However, the fact that the “Navy” men had been reprimanded by an “Army” man did not go down well and consequently the general’s name was habitually changed by the substitution of the first vowel for another vowel in conversation within the naval elements of the division!

Source: X550/5/3

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