18th March 1917 (Sunday)

The snow and ice of the past few weeks had practically disappeared and in brilliant sunshine the company fell in and marched to the assembly ground for church parade at Holy Trinity.

Church parade was always regarded as an occasion for emphasising ‘Pride of Regiment’ and spit and polish was at a premium.  In due course the RSM reported all companies present and correct and ready to march off.  The colonel followed by the adjutant, impressively mounted on glossy chargers, cantered briskly down the line and back to the head of the column adding a final touch to the dignity of the parade.  In a few moments the band would strike up and the march to the town commence.  D Company was positioned half way up the column and from the upstairs windows of the shops and buildings onlookers were watching the spectacle.  Precisely as the colonel and adjutant passed by a chamber pot was lowered on a line strung from a first floor window.  The perpetrators of this monstrous contempt were, in fact, certain members of B Company held in quarantine following an outbreak of spotted fever in the middle of February.  That day they were untouchable but even quarantine would end in due course.

Original diary entry