March 4th 1916

Lt. Col. Stuart Taylor (West Yorks) is currently with 93rd Brigade, 31st Division in Egypt. He is of course known to us all at the OPS as ‘Fluff’ and is the most loyal of Old Boys. He has contributed on numerous occasions to the pages of the Draconian on his time in the South African War, on horseback in Crete and in Northern Nigeria.

On leave in 1897, Fluff acted briefly as our swimming instructor and clearly his interest in matters aquatic continues unabated!

Stuart Taylor 2“We saved 1000 gallons of water in the last week out of our water allowance and yesterday, Sunday, we celebrated the close kinship of cleanliness to godliness by letting every man indulge in a bath! They made nice oval holes in the sand, spread their mackintosh sheets over the holes and pressed well down into them; and then poured in their hard-saved water – and then, the joy of it! It reminded me of days when I watched seals at the Zoo revelling in their plunges in and out of their various water ponds. Soap, sunshine, splash and singing, it made up a wonderful picture and how they all enjoyed it.

These men of mine are passionately fond of soap and water and the absence of these things worries them more than short rations or sleepless nights…”

Fluff has paid us two visits since this war started. On the first occasion, last April, he was – for reasons unexplained – escorting a Turkish prisoner along Charlbury Road and dropped in. Last term, before he went out to Egypt, he came and demanded of me two ‘extra halves’ and two ‘no preps’ – the biggest yet – and this of course was met with great enthusiasm by the boys, so that I could hardly refuse.

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