At a given command the rescuers galloped up, wheeled round, and, slipping the near foot from the stirrup, left it for the rescued to jump up by. I was soon up and sitting directly behind the saddle with one foot in the stirrup and a hand in Sergeant Wicks’ belt. (Those of you who know how slight she is can imagine my feeling of security!) Off we set with every hope of reaching the post first, and I was just settling down to enjoy myself when going over a little dip in the field two terrific bucks landed us high in the air! Luckily I fell “soft,” but as I picked myself up I couldn’t help wondering whether in some cases falling into the enemy’s hand might not be the lesser evil! I spent the next ten minutes catching the “Bronco!” After that, we retired to our mess for tea, on the old Union Jack, very ready for it after our efforts.
We had just turned in that night and drawn up the army blankets, excessively scratchy they were too, when the bugle sounded for everyone to turn out. (This was rather a favourite stunt of the C.O.’s.) Luckily it was a bright moonlight night, and we learnt we were to make for a certain hill, beyond Bisley, carrying with us stretchers and a tent for an advanced dressing station. Subdued groans greeted this piece of news, but we were soon lined up in groups of four—two in front, two behind, and with two stretchers between the four. These were carried on our shoulders for a certain distance, and at the command “Change stretchers!” they were slipped down by our sides. This stunt had to be executed very neatly and with precision, and woe betide anyone who bungled it. It was ten o’clock when we reached Bisley Camp, and I remember to this day the surprised look on the sentry’s face, in the moonlight, as we marched through. It was always a continual source of wonderment to them that girls should do anything so much like hard work for so-called amusement. That march seemed interminable—but singing and whistling as we went along helped us tremendously. Little did we think how this training would stand us in good stead during the long days on active service that followed. At last a halt was called, and luckily at this point there was a nice dry ditch into which we quickly flopped with our backs to the hedge and our feet on the road. It made an ideal armchair!
We resumed the march, and striking off the road came to a rough clearing where the tent was already being erected by an advance party. We were lined up and divided into groups, some as stretcher bearers, some as “wounded,” some as nurses to help the “doctor,” etc. The wounded were given slips of paper, on which their particular “wound” was described, and told to go off and make themselves scarce, till they were found and carried in (a coveted job). When they had selected nice soft dry spots they lay down and had a quiet well-earned nap until the stretcher bearers discovered them. Occasionally they were hard to find, and a panting bearer would call out “I