Contemptible Little Army" which the Bernhardi type of publicist would have Germany believe knew next to nothing of the art of war.
The weather conditions during the fall of 1914 were terrible—Moon Hill, like Salisbury Plain, became a veritable sea of liquid mud. There were no huts: for weeks the men slept in wet clothes under wet blankets in tents which ought to have been, and probably were, condemned years before. The Medical Officer's parade came perilously near to a roll-call of the regiment. The Patricia's suffered, but their condition was infinitely better than that of the Regular troops, many of whom had spent seven years in the Far East and were more inured to the tropic sun than the damp cold of December in England.
The news that filtered past the censor from the Front was not reassuring. Personal tales of the great retreat from Mons came down to camp from the lips of survivors in London hospitals. The victorious tactics of General Foch at the Battle of the Marne were not fully appreciated. The men could not understand why, when things were in such a bad way in Flanders, experienced divisions like the 27th and 28th should be allowed to rot under canvas in England.
Many men were lost to the Patricia's at this time. The War Office was so slow in taking action that it was thought by some that the Government had in reality no intention of ever sending Canadians to the Front. Many men who were eager to fight secured furlough, deserted the regiment, and re-enlisted as private individuals with their former battalions, or wherever they were likely to receive an early call to France.
December was well advanced when goat-skin coats were forwarded to the Divison, and at the same time the Ross Rifle was finally withdrawn from the Princess Patricia's, and the men, to their infinite satisfaction, were re-armed with the short Enfield and the long bayonet. Spasmodic efforts were made to get in at least a pre-