War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 9 Jan 1918
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
January 9 1918
Italian Expeditionary Force.
I have just been inoculated with a full dose of anti-typhoid, and ordered to bed in two hours time.
At the moment it is snowing hard, and this has ruined an inspection, which was to have taken place by General Plumer, who did not turn up. The battery looked better than I have ever seen it, so you can imagine how hard the limber gunners and drivers had worked. Even the Battery staff, often called the “Comics”, the signallers, director-men, range-takers, and such like turned up quite presentable.
The other day two of our subalterns, one we call Harry Tate and the other his “Idiot Boy”, were asked to dine with the R.A.M.C. Officers of the Italian Hospital here. They had quite a good dinner!! The day before one of our horses got its leg broken by a kick and had to be shot. I immediately received a request from the village butcher, who wanted to buy the carcase. I let him have it, and immediately the village shops were full of meat. He must have made a good profit. It appears that the Italian mess cook bought some of the delicacy, and our two officers had the unexpected pleasure of dining off one of their own battery wheelers! They said it was quite good. Thank goodness I did not go; but probably I have often eaten horse or mule unbeknownst in Italian restaurants. What a tragic end for a war horse, truly an economic one. He more than did his bit, he furnished one.
I may be able to get Italian leave soon. I much want to go to Rome and Naples. English leave has been opened; but at the rate it is going my turn will come in seven year’s time.
There is a good article in this month’s “Blackwood” called “The Brain of the Guns.” I do not know who “Anthony Price” is. (CP)