1915 – January 23

The family seemed so keen about the theatre that I am taking them both to-morrow to see L’Aigle. The War Office will not give me the number of men I want for my Corps d’Elite, the Train Conducting Officers – I want at least 40 more. The work is hard and after 5 months of it they are going sick one by one. Time bustles along anyway and some day the war will be a thing of the past. The Zeppelins were over England on Thursday and their efforts were quite futile. Trouble with the War Office they cannot understand who on earth T.C.O.’s are nor who on earth I, the O.C. T.C.O. [Officer Commanding, Train Conducting Officers] can be. I have been very cross about it, but now I see the War Office are right. I invented the whole thing and my own importance, and step by step have had myself recognised – it now remains to make the War Office understand the importance of myself and my Corps d’Elite. In the first place we were “Interpreters”, then we were put on supply trains and called Railway Conductor Officers, I did not like this stupid term and moreover the abbreviation R.C.O. was too much like R.T.O., Railway Transport Officer, so in all correspondence I invented the good term T.C.O. which gradually became known and adopted out here, then I got our badge made T.C.O.  which fixed it and then, being in charge of all these officers, I called myself O.C., T.C.O. and there you are, but no wonder the War Office wonder who on earth we are. I think the Director of Railways ought to regularize us by explaining to the W.O. However I am pleased and feel important, I shall feel more so when I get the War Office recognition. Our sphere is humble, but it is something new in Military Organisation in the world’s greatest War.

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