Selected by Frances Pattman, Archivist

In September 1914, Major Walter Temple Willcox of the 3 King’s Own Hussars was fighting in the First Battle of the Aisne. In his diary he describes returning from the front to their billet in Vauxcéré and, on September 22, the joy of actually having a hot bath. In addition to his diary is a small photograph of a group of people outside a farm building which is annotated on the back, ‘My billet at Vauxcere near the Aisne’. By the end of September he was taken ill and during his recovery took the opportunity to make a few sketches including the one shown here of Paissy village in relation to the location of the battle.

It is particularly interesting to find three different items all relating to one specific moment. The war had only just begun but Willcox, a seasoned campaigner having served throughout the South Africa (Boer) War, was able to step back a little and take in his surroundings.

Ref:   Willcox 2nd Accn

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