Footballs, strafing, and clerical work

On August 11-12, 1916 Peirs writes some interesting things. On the 11th, he writes to his father that the battalion is in their trenches and that they are being shelled severely by the Germans. He bears this with his usual matter-of-fact way but concludes the letter asking for his father to send some footballs for the men.

So as they were getting shelled and as the battalion was readying itself for an assault Peirs was thinking about what his men will be doing once they were out of the line, football being a good way to occupy their time. He was certainly looking after their well-being and knew that busy men were often happy men. Peirs was also a good football player in his youth, playing for both Charterhouse and Oxford, so he had more than a casual appreciation for the sport. Hence his care with where he wanted his father to order the footballs and his desire for them to be of high quality.

In today’s letter, August 12, Peirs writes that he is busy with his work as adjutant of the battalion. This means that he was busy doing the administrative and operational work of the battalion. As the 8th Queen’s were in the line and preparing for an attack, he had his hands full.

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