1917, JUNE 12th – BILLETS AT BERNAVILLE, RESTING AND TRAINING
From The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry by Captain G. K. Rose M.C. (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1920)
I rejoice that the few pleasant phases of the Battalion’s experiences in France elapsed less rapidly than I describe them. At Bernaville the weather continued fine and warm; in fact, some of the hottest weather of the year occurred. A busy training programme was in swing. To escape the heat, companies paraded at 7 a.m. and worked till 11, and again in the evening at 5 and worked till 7. This training must not be judged by readers according to style and methods possibly seen by them on English training grounds during the war. At home, after the last divisions of Kitchener’s Army went abroad, no officers trained their own men whom they would lead in battle. The men were usually the rawest drafts, while the officers in home battalions were too often those who had never gone and never would go to the front. A totally different spirit characterised training in France. Colonel Wetherall was a master of the art of teaching. His emphatic direction and enthusiasm earned early reward in the increased efficiency of all ranks.