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Last Days at Artillery Camp, Ardrossan

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Last Days at Artillery Camp, Ardrossan

Post by Hughie »

Kilmarnock Standard
August 13, 1892

Ardrossan. A correspondent thus writes :-

Thursday, 4th August. The morning was very cold, but the day was warm, with bright sunshine. Several of the men had their faces so swelled with the heat that they were almost blind, and had to get the doctor to attend to them. In the fore part of the day we were engaged in physical drill and carbine exercise. In the afternoon we were at big gun practice at the battery, and more than fifty shot and shell were fired. In the evening there was a fight between some of the guard and some civilians, one of whom was taken to the jail by the police.

Friday, 5th August. - The weather was cloudy. There was the usual morning parade. In the forenoon some were at drill on the hill top, and others at the battery. In the afternoon some tents were prepared for the reception of a large party of ladies and gentlemen who were invited to take tea in the Officers' Mess Tent, and to see the sports that were to take place. Only one race was run, for the rain fell so heavily us to drive every person not sheltered in the tents from the ground. There was afterwards competition among the Kilmarnock men at mounting and dismounting guns in the Drill Hall. At night there was tremendous fall of rain from ten to twelve o'clock, the sentries, though covered with their great coats, feeling it to be rather uncomfortable.

Saturday, 6th August.-We were all up early, got coffee, and, having shaken the straw out of our mattresses and pillow cases, we rolled them up together with our blankets, and carried them down to the store. We then took down our tents and had breakfast, and, after much brushing, pushing, and rushing to and fro, with helmets and great coats on, and headed by the band, we marched down the Cannon Hill, appearing, as one once said of them, “The brave artillery, dark like thunder-cloud."

Returning by rail, we soon reached the Drill Hall, Kilmarnock, where, before being dismissed, we were addressed by Captain Sturrock, who thanked the Company for their attendance and for their good conduct when in camp, and hoped they would all be the better for having been there. He had to thank Sergeant Fyfe and the band, and to inform them that the officers of the Brigade had greatly enjoyed and appreciated their services. He had also to thank their drill instructor, Sergt. -Major Bunning and Sergt.- Major Currie for their active assistance in carrying out all the arrangements which had made this, their third encampment, a complete success.
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