Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. III. (3 February 1917 to 9 May 1918)

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Also visited 5th Pioneer Bn H.Qs. & saw C/O. In afternoon visited (first Dentist at MORBECQUE) 1st Anzac corps at HAZEBROUCKE. Could not see G.O.C but saw Gen [ ] WHITE & asked him to see if a reorganization of F. Art. Reserve Bde at TIDWORTH could be made to allow of each Div Art having its own training Battery, & a similar system to that in force with Infantry Bde & training Bns inaugurated in order that officers could get a change & N.G.Os. be trained. Gen WHITE appd the idea & promised to submit it to G.O.C. I spoke of uselessness of P.B. men [ ] & asked that we might get rid of them. I also urged the necessity of allowing Officers like Capt. Percy Smith, Major Lowe & others of a similar type to go back to Australia also P.B. men they are useless here & are a useless expense of public money. (Smith has not earned a penny since early last Nov. he admitted this to me [ ] at an interview this morning) I spoke about L'. Col. MIDGELEY & stated that his General considered he does not possess the necessary qualifications to command a Bn. Spoke about Miles & [...] promotion to L'. Col. & Kings protest. Saw my brother Fred in HAZEBROUCKE Gen. Hobkirk & L'. Cols. Tebutt & Crowshaw to Dinner. Augst 14th fine but dull Inspected 5th Pioneer Bn twice on march very satisfactory especially transport. [Page] 87