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"stopped owing to the big strafe" which was immi-
nent (the Battle of Neuve Chapelle happened soon

Ordering my uniform from Craven & Sons was
quite enjoyable—almost like getting hunting clothes.
Situated in a by-way off Bond Street, the firm of
Craven & Sons had been established a century ago
in the cathedral city of Wintonbury. To the best of
my knowledge the firm was exclusively military,
though there may have been a demure ecclesiastical
connection at the "and at Wintonbury" shop. I was
warmly welcomed by a florid gentleman with a free
and easy manner; he might almost have been a
major if he had not been so ostensibly a tailor. He
spoke affectionately of the Flintshire Fusiliers ("The
Twenty-Fifth" he called them); he had "been up at
the depot only the other day", and he mentioned a
few of the first and second battalion officers by name;
one might almost have imagined that he had played
polo with them, so dashing was his demeanour as he
twirled his blond moustache. This representative of
Graven & Sons was like the royal family; he never
forgot a name. He must have known the Army List
from cover to cover, for he had called on nearly every
officers' mess in the country during the periodical
pilgrimages on which the prosperity of his firm
depended. Newly gazetted subalterns found them-
selves unable to resist his persuasive suggestions,
though he may have met his match in an occasional
curmudgeonly colonel. Mr. Stoving (for that was
his name) chatted his way courageously through the
War; "business as usual" was his watchword. Un-
daunted by the ever more bloated bulk of the Army
List, he bobbed like a cork on the lethal inundation
of temporary commissions, and when I last saw him,