13th and 14th January (1918)

On chaff-cutting fatigue, chippety-chop-chippety-chop.  Find that the driver whose horses I performed with the other day is trying to get rid of one of them and  am not surprised.

Driving manure cart with a dour and taciturn old Scot.  Same job this afternoon.  They’ve painted all our tin hats battleship grey.

7.30.  A charming sunset over the snow, everything fading away in a tinted mist and the red sun sinking behind a straggling row of tall bare trees.  Two very squiffy Canadians were grovelling about on all fours on a railway line, to the huge delight of a gathering crowd.  Gave my quiet Donk a snowball, which to my amazement he ate and swallowed.  I repeated the performance, so did he, and I let it rest at that, fearing to make him ill.  One forgets in this continental winter that such a climate as summer and warmth ever existed.  What we are getting now is mere child’s play to last winter, when they often had to send the men into their huts and give them fuel.  You may perhaps wonder why I talk of riding when carting things in waggons, etc. but no doubt you know that almost all driving in the army is done postilion fashion.

IMW Q 78272 British Field Kitchen

Image: Photograph taken on 14 January 1918 showing waggons ridden ‘postilion fashion’, not of New Zealand troops, but of British field kitchens arriving to relieve the French on the Seraucourt-le-Grand road, Imperial War Museums, Q 78272.

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