reads: Belgium Nov. 11th - 17 2063 Sapper W. D. Lycett 15th Aust L.R.O. Co'y B.E.F.
France and of 126 Railway Place Flemington Melbourne Victoria Australia Should
the owner of this diary be unfortunate enough to lose it, will the finder please
forward it to Miss D. Hill 40 Mirams St. Ascot Vale Melbourne Victoria Australia
and accept the grateful thanks of the owner.
Monday 1st January, 1917
Slept better, up 5.30, gave hand to fix up hall for tonight, had practice song.
2 p.m., early tea for patients and at hall 5 p.m., nice spread. New O.C. Col.
present. Sang in two quartets, "Sweet and low" and "O who will
oe'r the downs",
also sang "My little grey home in the west". Evening closed 8 p.m.,
went to billet and
played bridge. Turned in 10 p.m.
Tuesday 2nd January, 1917
Slept well and up 8.30, did some washing. Orders out for us to move tomorrow,
my equipment ready. Did some writing before dinner. Packed panniers etc. this
afternoon and loaded them on G.S. Wagon. Cleaned up and fixed everything for
early start in morning. Very quiet evening and turned in 8 p.m.
Wednesday 3rd January, 1917
Slept splendidly. Reveille 6.30, rolled blankets, had wash and breakfast 7.15
loaded blankets on Amb. Wagon. On parade 8.15, marched out 9 a.m. Passed
through Fresselles, Villers-Brocage and Rainville to Cardonette, 10 miles. Arrived
p.m., billetted in old barn, very muddy marching. Had game bridge and in bed 8
Thursday 4th January, 1917
Reveille 7.30. Breakfast 8 a.m. and on parade 8.45, marched out 9. Passed
through St. Gration and had dinner in road at Quersiere about 12.30 then marched
on to Ribemont about 12 miles, arrived about 4.30 p.m., rained all the way and
terribly muddy. Lots of German prisoners roadmaking. Billetted in large mill.
tea went to good concert. Back and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 5th January, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. After breakfast had shave and good wash in River Anen. General
parade at 9 a.m., roll call and orders, our section (A) for duty. Detailed men
at sick parade then went to cafe and had coffee with some of the boys. After dinner
Lieut. Kirkland, 4th bgde Machine Gun Coy asked me to play for his team (soccer)
against Anzac Hdqtrs, did so and we won 4-0. Back to mill for tea then had game
bridge and into bed at 7.30 p.m.
Saturday 6th January, 1917
Reveille 7.30 a.m. and on parade 8 a.m., roll call and orders then issued again
gas respirators and steel helmets as will be moving tomorrow. Dismissed and
walked to Buire about 3 miles and had bath, back for dinner. Parade 2 p.m. and
dismissed. Sent Harry and another man as guard on G.S. Wagon to Becordel. Had
game bridge before tea, then arranged kit for morning and in bed 7.30 p.m.
Sunday 7th January, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. Parade 8 a.m. and marched out 8.30 a.m. Arrived Becordel 1
p.m. and put in marquee. Busy afternoon fitting up tent for dressings, operations
etc. and turned in 9 p.m. Very muddy and cold.
Monday 8th January, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on duty 8.30. Completed arrangements in dressing tent, only
two wounded cases today but number of dressings. Very cold and squally day,
miserable. Relieved and went off duty 8.30 p.m. and turned into bed 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 9th January, 1917
Up 7.30. Breakfast 8 and on duty 8.30. Cleaned and tidied for inspection at 10
No. of dressings, did not have any wounded in all day. Very cold, feet wet all
camp very badly laid out. Posted my photo's home, wrote couple of letters and
duty 8.30 p.m., in bed 9.
Wednesday 10th January, 1917
Up 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30. Got everything fixed up for inspection
10 a.m. by O.C.'s. Good no. of dressings today, only one wounded case, very
severe compound fracture skull. Bitterly cold again today and place a sea of mud.
Wrote couple letters tonight. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9.
Thursday 11th January, 1917
Was woke this morning at 7 a.m. by very heavy gun fire on our left, lasted about
hour. Up 7.30 and on duty 8.30, had wounded case in night away, only one
dressing etc. Wrote some letters. Spoke to Major Bentley re my promotion and
wrote application to O.C. Col. Follit. Little snow, very dark tonight. Off duty
bed 9 p.m.
Friday 12th January, 1917
Up 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30, dressings etc. and 3 wounded cases.
O.C. sent for me re my application for promotion. Shifted our panniers as someone
has been at them. Guns going pretty solidly at intervals. Were paid this afternoon.
Finished duty 8.30 and turned in 9 p.m. Received 2 letters.
Saturday 13th January, 1917
Up 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30 a.m. Quiet day again, only one wounded
case, dressings etc. Very cold and little snow fell but melted at once. Wrote
this evening. Off duty 8.30 p.m., in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 14th January, 1917
Same as yesterday, one wounded. Snowed a little and very cold. Not got promotion
I applied for.
Monday 15th January, 1917
Up 7.30, breakfast and on duty 8.30, very frosty and cold. In full charge of tent
div. again. Went through panniers and refitted them again. Dressings, foments
one wounded case. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and turned in 9 p.m.
Tuesday 16th January, 1917
Very cold night. Up 7.30, on duty 8.30, very frosty again. Washed and oiled
panniers this morning, dressings etc. One wounded case this evening, had game
cards and wrote letter. Off duty 8.30 p.m., in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 17th January, 1917
Up 7.30 and on duty 8.30 a.m. Snow fell during night, three or four inches deep
morning and more falling. Had two wounded cases today and usual dressings.
Fixed up and re-arranged basket panniers today. Off duty 8.30 p.m. Had to stay
Thursday 18th January, 1917
Lay down in operating tent about 2 a.m. and was woke at 5, two wounded coming
Had 6 wounded today in. 14th Field Amb. arrived and relieved us at 7.30 p.m.
Pretty busy in various small ways today. Turned in about 9 p.m. Sleeping in theatre
to look after our instruments etc.
Friday 19th January, 1917
Up at 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30 at preparatory tent cleaning wounded
and putting them into pyjamas. Very cold, snow still on ground, only 2 men and
myself on job. Harry in dispensary only had 3 cases and relieved at 8.30 p.m.
Section. In bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 20th January, 1917
Up 7.30 had breakfast and on duty 8.30. Kept fairly busy today, had good no. of
cases, heavy bombardment going on. Very cold again. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and in
bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 21st January, 1917
Same as yesterday, not so much doing. Frosty and very cold, had bath at Fricourt,
think caught chill, feel very sick tonight.
Monday 22nd January, 1917
Had rotten night, vomited and strained heavily. Up at 7.30, feel as if torn to
Little more snow and bitter cold. Saw Charlie Price a friend in 14th Field Amb.
left us today. Passed very miserable day and went on duty in charge operating
theatre 8.30 p.m. Feel anyhow, nothing doing up to midnight.
Tuesday 23rd January, 1917
Did not have case in and went off duty 8.30 a.m. Got into bed, feel sick. Fritz
over this morning, guns bombarding heavily all day. Very frosty 36 degrees below
freezing point can't get warm. Up for tea and on duty 8.30 p.m. Nothing doing
Wednesday 24th January, 1917
Two cases early this morning, one died, amputated his arm, worked at him for two
hours. Wrote birthday letter to Dais and off duty 8.30 a.m. Bitter cold again,
little better but not too good. Fritz plane over again this morning very high.
10 a.m. Up for tea and on duty 8.30 p.m. 2 slight cases. Enemy planes over just
Thursday 25th January, 1917
Had no cases after midnight, off duty 8.30 a.m. Very frosty again. Enemy plane
over 10 a.m. Made grate for stove in officers' mess and put new lense in Col's
nez. Turned in about 1 p.m. slept till 8 p.m., on duty 8.30 p.m. Had row with
James, threatens orderly room in morning. No cases up to midnight.
Friday 26th January, 1917
No cases came in and off duty 8.30 a.m. Very cold and frosty. Fritz aeroplane
about 10 a.m., driven off by gun fire. Sharp heavy bombardment on our left early
morning. In bed 11 a.m., up 8 p.m. and on duty 8.30. Still very cold. Electric
installation failed, one captured from Germans.
Saturday 27th January, 1917
Had no cases at all in and went off duty 8.30 a.m. Fritz plane over again 10 and
a.m. Saw Capt. Furber re tucker which is very bad, made no headway. Dinner
12.30 and in bed 1.30 p.m. Up 8 p.m. and on duty 8.30, two cases before midnight,
very windy and frosty.
Sunday 28th January, 1917
No cases after midnight, off duty 8.30. Fritz plane over. Turned in after dinner.
duty 8.30 p.m. 3 cases before midnight.
Monday 29th January, 1917
No cases after midnight and off duty 8.30 a.m. Still frosty and cold. Fritz plane
before dinner. Turned in 1 p.m. and up again 8 p.m. On duty 8.30 p.m. Shells
passing over us from enemy guns bursting "Albert". Fritz plane up about
heavy explosions. Had four cases before midnight.
Tuesday 30th January, 1917
No more cases in, off duty 8.30. Four of us walked to Albert, saw where bomb
dropped close to road, very big crater. Snowed a little today and wind very sharp.
Turned in after dinner till 8 p.m. On duty 8.30, our guns going solidly. No cases
before midnight so did some writing.
Wednesday 31st January, 1917
One case at 2 a.m., did some more writing and off duty at 8.30 a.m. About two
inches of snow this morning but not so cold as wind has dropped. Had breakfast
and turned in 10 a.m. Slept most of day till 7.30 p.m. when got up and went on
8.30. Guns going sharply at intervals. Had five cases in before midnight.
Thursday 1st February, 1917
No cases after midnight so did some writing. Off duty 8 a.m. Snow still on ground
but lovely and mild day. Handed in box gas respirators and received new ones.
Turned in after dinner, up again 7.30 p.m. and on duty 8.30. No cases in before
midnight. Frosty and cold again tonight. Can't hear guns so much today.
Friday 2nd February, 1917
No cases after midnight and off duty 8.30 a.m. Heavy firing early morning, our
took Hun strong post. Very nice and mild day. Turned in 11 a.m. and up 8 p.m.
Various rumours about, i.e. Austria capitulated, attempt to assassinate Lloyd
George. On duty 8.30 p.m. Enemy plane dropped bombs about 9.30 p.m., two very
close to us. No cases before midnight. Hear some of our boys are going over
Saturday 3rd February, 1917
No cases and off duty 8.30 a.m. Was very cold night but nice day, snow still on
ground. One of our chaps (Hicks) burned badly today. Gave patients concert
tonight, I sang "An Emblem". On duty 8.30 p.m. Our guns very fierce
cases. Heard of Germany's threat to sink all ships of all nations on sight. Party
Cameron H'landers, one whose time expired tonight was killed by bomb explosion,
nearly 30 others injured.
Sunday 4th February, 1917
Same routine, one case 2 a.m. Off duty 8.30 a.m. On duty 8.30 p.m. Our guns
thundering tonight on our left, no wounded in. The heavy gunfire tonight is on
left in direction of Thiepval and Beaumont Hamel like continuous roll of thunder.
Enemy shelled Albert today.
Monday 5th February, 1917
Stayed on duty till 8.30 p.m. tonight. Very heavy bombardment early this morning,
hear our boys attacked successfully on 12 mile front. Only one case in all day
busy on various duties. Heard that America has given Count Bernstorf his
passports. Very cold, little snow. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 6th February, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on duty 8 a.m. Cleaned and tidied for inspection 10 a.m. by
orderly officer. Various small jobs to do. Had two accident cases, not very severe.
Bitterly cold wind, very biting, hard to keep warm and tucker rotten. Was cold
last night. Off duty 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 7th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m. and on duty 8.30, cleaned for inspection. Too cold to sleep last
and have 4 blankets. Major Welch rejoined unit today and set about re-organizing
camp. Has taken my men for ward duties, left on operating theatre by myself, have
to sleep there in case wanted in night so am actually on duty all time. Turned
Thursday 8th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, got lights going, oil heaters and cleaned up,
running round till dinner time. Just finished dinner and had to dress about 20
feet, busy all afternoon drawing stores etc. Very cold day, turned in 10 p.m.
Friday 9th February, 1917
Not disturbed all night, up 7.30 a.m. After breakfast cleaned up, filled lamps
few dressings, drew water and general work. Expect to move into a hut in day or
warned about it. Received a months pay today. Wrote letter after tea and in bed
Saturday 10th February, 1917
Called up at 4 a.m. Fritz plane dropped bombs near by and one man was wounded.
Tidied up after breakfast and after dinner received sudden orders to shift all
a hut. Worked hard till 9 p.m. and made temporary arrangements to treat wounded
in new operating theatre, turned in 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 11th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., busy arranging things. Played soccer against A.O.C. lost 4-1.
Worked hard till 9 p.m., Harry helping me. Turned in 9.30.
Have to arrange and set out operating theatre in good style, not a small job by
means, difficulty in getting clean linen etc.which makes great difference. Also
to sort out good stuff from rubbish.
Monday 12th February, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m., breakfast, tidied operating theatre and busy all day improving
Had one case, an accident. Number of innoculations against Tetanus in various
wards this afternoon and few eye and ear cases to fix up. Moved our quarters into
another tent but I have to sleep on my job. Turned in about 9 p.m.
Tuesday 13th February, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m., breakfast and busy again fixing up theatre which is to be a very
elaborate affair. Various small duties. Innoculated about 30 men against tetanus.
Had four cases tonight, burns, chap put petrol on a fire in hut, blew up, burns
severe, some said to be dead. Warned to be ready for rush of wounded, was still
preparing at midnight.
Wednesday 14th February, 1917
Busy till 2 a.m. when turned in fully dressed, no wounded came in, heard Jocks
taken some enemy trenches. Up 7.30, had breakfast and cleaned up. Very busy all
morning syringing ears, innoculating and doing various jobs. Kept going again
dinner. Our guns going very solidly at intervals. Various rumours of successes.
Turned in 9 p.m.
Thursday 15th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m. Had breakfast and cleaned up, various odd jobs assisting doctors
minor operations. Fritz plane over this morning. After dinner made some tin covers
for kidney and other dishes. Kept going till tea time and this evening wrote a
Our guns very busy again. Seems to be a heavy one close to us, shakes the hut
violently. Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Friday 16th February, 1917
Small ammunition dump of ours accidentally blown up today, caused by dud shell,
heard explosion and saw cloud of smoke further up valley. Fritz planes over and
dropped number of bombs about 5.45 a.m in our vicinity, but did not wake me, they
also used their machine guns. Up at 7.15 a.m., breakfast and cleaned up, various
small jobs in theatre. This afternoon our planes were very active and our guns
solidly. Weather much milder today. In bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 17th February, 1917
Up at 7.15 a.m., our guns at that time pounding heavily. After breakfast cleaned
and made various improvements. Usual number of dressings and small jobs during
day. Weather warm but looks like rain, rain fell heavily about 8.30 p.m. Turned
Sunday 18th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., usual routine, very muddy, guns not so loud but few shells from
passed over us. Wrote letter and turned in 10 p.m.
Monday 19th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., had breakfast and cleaned up. Few dressings, one accidental
bayonet wound, innoculations for tetanus, hypodermic injections and other small
duties. Some dissension amongst officers caused by Major Welch. Afternoon very
quiet, only odd job or two. Rumour of us moving at end of week. Wrote letter and
bed 10 p.m.
Officer gave dinner to Div. Comm. Gen. Holmes and to Brigadier Gen. Brand.
Tuesday 20th February, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., breakfast and cleaned up for daily inspection, Capt. Douglas orderly
officer. Few dressings etc. and two wounded to fix up, one bayonet wounds in thigh
and other shot through foot. Expected to be leaving about
Friday but latest reports
are that moving orders have been cancelled. Rained fairly constantly, in bed 10
Wednesday 21st February, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. Breakfast 7.30 a.m. Cleaned up for inspection at 10 a.m. Had
usual few dressings before dinner. Quiet afternoon for us but our guns to the
towards the Anere were pretty busy all day. Very muddy but not cold at all.
Grenade accident at Mametz today, 4 of 15th Btn. injured. Very tired, turned in
Thursday 22nd February, 1917
Was very sick at 11.45 p.m. last night, sort of Biliousness, up at 7.15 a.m. Feel
little bit shaky. Had few dressings, couple of Fritz prisoners among them, rained
again and awfully muddy. Moving orders very uncertain. C. Section bearers went
this morning to Millancourt. Wrote letters after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 23rd February, 1917
Slept well and up at 7.15 a.m. Breakfast and cleaned up for inspection, O.C. very
pleased with arranging of theatre. Few dressings before dinner, and afterwards
packed some of our panniers as might have to move at short notice. Were paid at
p.m. Did some sewing after tea and turned in about 9 p.m. Feel a little shaky.
Saturday 24th February, 1917
Slept pretty well and up 7.15 a.m. Was called up at 11.45 last night for morphia.
Few dressings this morning. Very busy packing as far as possible ready to move
tomorrow. Slightly frosty, our guns pretty busy. Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 25th February, 1917
Up at 7.15 a.m., had breakfast and finished packing panniers. Worked hard and
loaded panniers and gear on the G.S. Wagon by 10.30 a.m. On parade and
marched out 10.45 in full marching order, carrying full kits with 2 blankets and
waterproof, passed through Albert and Millancourt and arrived at Laviaville at
p.m. Billetted in old barn, had dinner, very small village, hardly any civilians
News given out as official that Germans have evacuated Bapaume and retired a
good distance, fairly cold tonight so turned in at 7 p.m.
Monday 26th February, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. Breakfast 7.30. On parade at 9.30 a.m. Roll call, orders and
dismissed to billets. On parade again 10.30 a.m. Major Welch took us for route
march through Henencourt close to Warloy. Did 144 paces per minute on return.
Dinner 1 p.m. On parade at 1.45 p.m., had kit inspection by O.C. and dismissed,
removed to barn next door, slightly better. Our guns sound very busy tonight,
in 8 p.m.
Tuesday 27th February, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30. On parade 9 a.m. Major Welch took us for march
through Henenc't and Millanc't, also gave us section drill till dinner time 12.30
very stiff going. On parade 1.45 p.m. Major Welch and Capt. Spargo took us for
short march and section drill till tea time 4.30 p.m. After tea sat talking to
Baber till 9 p.m. when turned in. No confirmation of fall of Bapaume but British
Wednesday 28th February, 1917
Our guns sound very active though far away. Reveille 7 a.m. Breakfast 7.30. On
parade 9 a.m., went for bath to Millancourt, not much good, back for dinner. This
afternoon had football practice as 12th Field Amb. have challenged us for tomorrow.
Other men went for route march. Tea 4.30 p.m. News of further British victories,
of Kut yesterday. Had plate of Quaker oats with Mr. Baber and turned in about
p.m. Guns booming solidly.
Thursday 1st March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. Breakfast 7.30. On parade 9 a.m., marched up road and had
physical drill, squad and stretcher drill and semaphoring till 12 noon. Holiday
afternoon, went to Ribemont and saw 4th M.G.'s play 1st Grenadier Guards soccer,
Guards won 5-2. Back just after tea. Enemy still retiring. Had game of bridge
turned in 9 p.m.
Friday 2nd March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30. One of our chaps very sick and feverish, missed
a.m. parade to arrange for his welfare. Had my boots soled. On parade 2 p.m.,
short route march and inspection of feet followed leg washing and treatment for
prevention of trench foot. Our troops still advancing, guns going in the distance.
Received two letters, did some writing and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 3rd March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. No water for wash. Escaped 9 a.m. parade
and went for walk to aerodrome, heard lecture on signalling to planes and back
dinner. On parade 2 p.m., went for route march and drill with Major Welch then
wash with trench foot soap and powder. Had game cards after tea and in bed 9
Sunday 4th March, 1917
Usual routine, route march and drill before dinner. Route march, foot washing
afternoon. Turned in 9 p.m. Route march this morning through Henenc't, Samlis
and Millanc't. After dinner parade to gas school and found out should be tomorrow.
W. Hill came to see me today.
Monday 5th March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. At 8.30 loaded our panniers etc. on G.S.
Wagon and marched out 11 a.m. Arrived Millancourt 11.30 a.m. and were attached
to 3rd A.F. Amb. Have charge of 9 billet wards, very busy all day arranging my
on duties and supplying necessaries. Have good barn billet, stretchers and straw
mattresses. Capts. Spargo and Tooth with us. Things pretty well fixed up when
turned in at 8.30 p.m.
Tuesday 6th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. Parade, roll call and orders 7 a.m. My men on duty at 8 a.m.
Made ration statement for my wards for 9 a.m. and various other duties. Dinner
12.30 noon and ration state again 2 p.m. and then had statement at 3.30 p.m. Kept
pretty busy till 4 p.m. Had my name taken for using 27th M.A.C. Latrines. Seems
very funny. Tea at 4.30 p.m. Afterwards wrote letters, frosty again tonight. In
Wednesday 7th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., escaped 7 a.m. parade, made out ration state and visited my
wards before 9 a.m. Various other duties before dinner. Made out 2 p.m. ration
state and 3.30 p.m. bed state, then walked to Laviaville and played rubgy against
D.A.C. beating them 6-0. Felt very sick at half time so did not continue. Awfully
wind, strong and freezing hard. Back at billet and in bed at 9 p.m.
Thursday 8th March, 1917
Did not get up till 7.30 a.m., very cold again, feel a bit shaky. Same duties
yesterday. Had snow and sunshine at intervals but wind strong and bitter cold.
Douglas Haig and H.R.H. Prince of Wales passed through this morning. Did some
writing after tea and played bridge, turning in at 9 p.m.
Friday 9th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., did not go on 7 a.m. parade. Breakfast 7.30 a.m. then did
round, afterwards writing a letter. Cold again today and snowed at intervals.
dinner did my rounds again and finished 4 p.m. Tea 4.30 p.m. after which played
bridge till 9 p.m. when turned in.
Saturday 10th March, 1917
Same routine as yesterday, drizzling rain part of morning but not so cold. After
dinner we received our A.I.F. Xmas gift boxes, mine from Footscray, better late
never. Wrote a letter and was paid during afternoon. After tea played bridge till
time 9 p.m.
Sunday 11th March, 1917
Same routine today again. Applied for leave to go to Amiens tomorrow but did not
get it. Wrote a letter and turned in at 9 p.m.
Monday 12th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. Do not go out on 7 a.m. parade. After breakfast made out my
ration statement and went back to billet and cleaned up my equipment for inspection
by D.D.M.S. tomorrow. Ration and bed states this afternoon and then wrote a letter.
Received news of capture of Bagdad by our troops this evening. Arranged with
Capt. Tooth for inspection and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 13th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30, breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on parade in full marching order at 9 a.m.
Proceeded to Laviaville at 9.30 and inspected by O.C. Marched to paddock at 11
a.m. and inspected by A.D.M.S. D.D.M.S. not present, everything satisfactory.
Arrived back at billet 12.30 noon, wrote letters this afternoon, had game of bridge
after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 14th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. Mornings duties as usual, applied for
leave for Amiens, did not get it. After dinner went to Laviaville and our corps
45th Battn. Rugby and Soccer, won former by 3 points to nil, and latter by 3 goals
nil. Played in soccer game, ground very muddy, raining hard just before game.
hot bath and back at billet 5.30 p.m. Had tea and read and in bed at 8 p.m.
Thursday 15th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. Major Bentley down here with us now. Days
duties as usual, strong rumours of British successes and boys in great spirits.
day but very clear and sky blue. Our planes going over in great numbers and our
guns being heard rumbling like thunder. O.C. inspected our billets and village
inspected by Gen. Birdwood. Had cup of cocoa and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 16th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. Very cold day again today, could not get
warm. Days routine as usual. Filled in hour or so in Sgt's quarters. Various war
rumours, sky clear this afternoon and planes very busy. Watching farm people
thrashing oats, old fashioned treadmill. In bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 17th March, 1917
Guns going heavily when woke this morning, had breakfast and usual routine.
Received news that Austn. troops in Bapaume, also Russian revolution. Great
numbers of cavalry passed through village today in direction of line, Indian and
British. In bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 18th March, 1917
Routine as usual, played Soccer against 3rd F. Amb., lost 2-0. Beautiful day,
splendid news of allied successes. Had game of bridge and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 19th March, 1917
Reveille 6.30, breakfast 7.30 a.m., ration state 9 a.m. Loaded panniers on
G.S.Wagon at 10 a.m. ready to move out at 2 p.m. At 11 a.m. got orders to report
Gas school for two days anti-gas instruction along with L/Cpl. Donald. Went to
school and reported at 3.30 p.m. about half way to Albert. Have to report again
9.30 in morning. Slept in same old billet, turning in at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 20th March, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m. Had breakfast and at anti-gas school at 9.15 a.m. At 9.30 a.m.
officer started and gave us lecture till 12 noon. Had dinner and back for 2 p.m.
lecture again till 4 p.m. and Helmet drill till 4.30 p.m., also went through
Lachrymatory gas (tear gas). Back for tea, had yarn and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 21st March, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m., had breakfast and at gas school 9.15 a.m. Had lecture, helmet
and went through strong concentration of chlorine gas for test. Had to play Rugby
football for our corps against 4th Machine Gunners, had good game, draw 8 points
each. Packed my gear and joined section at Laviaville, moving in morning. Great
numbers cavalry moving up. In bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 22nd March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. Packed up and on parade in full marching
carrying bed roll at 9.45. Moved out at 10 a.m. passing through Millanc't, Albert,
Becordal to Fricourt. Had dinner en route and arrived and put in huts about 2
About 7 miles but tired, packs and blankets heavy. Unloaded part of our panniers
and turned in about 8.30 p.m. Hail and snow.
Friday 23rd March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30. Parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders, then assisted
sick parade. Sun shining but very cold and bleak wind. Not a wall left standing
the village, only old trenches, ammunition and rubbish. After dinner went to
divisional baths and had bath. Wrote letter tonight and in bed 9.30.
Saturday 24th March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30. Parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders. Kept busy
sick parade till dinner time, expect to move on any day. Wrote letter this afternoon,
sunny day but wind rotten and bitter cold. Capt. Furber back. In bed 8.30 p.m.
Sunday 25th March, 1917
Same routine as yesterday, beautiful spring day, did some writing and in bed 9
Monday 26th March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. Raining and blowing a gale. Parade at 9 a.m.,
roll call and orders. Sick parade 9.30 a.m. Dinner 12.30 noon. General parade
2.30 p.m., movement orders read, are to go to Bapaume tomorrow. Loaded our
G.S. Wagon and got everything ready for early start. Had game of cards and in
8.30 p.m. Raining hard and blowing tonight.
Tuesday 27th March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on parade full marching order 9 a.m. Marched
out of camp to Contalmaison by road then on duckboards across country over old
enemy trenches, passing through Martinpuich and Le Sars where we had dinner.
These villages utterly destroyed, evidences of wanton destruction, also of casualties
mostly enemy. After dinner moved up on main Bapaume road, mine craters at
intervals. As we got nearer the ground was not so shell torn and patches of green
grass showed. Snow, sleet and hail. Entered Bapaume just before tea, not a whole
building standing and every tree cut down. Terrible night, put tent up in garden
sleep in, then had look round working party which were digging out bodies of Light
Horse and Aust. Comforts fund from ruins of town hall which went up by a mine
our occupation. Turned in about 8 p.m. Harry's 21st birthday. Bapaume still
burning when entered.
Wednesday 28th March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m., on parade 9 a.m. On general fatigue salvage
work getting good timber from ruins for our camp. Worked hard till 12.30 then
dinner. At it again 1.30 p.m. and going strong till 3 p.m. when stopped as expect
move on tomorrow. Had wash, first for two days, also shave and then tea, after
which visited cemetery, showed signs of vandalism, then to fort, very strongly
arranged. Our planes very busy and guns going. Turned in 9 p.m.
Thursday 29th March,1917
Wet night again. Reveille at 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on parade 9 a.m.
Commenced to pitch camp on paddock about 200 yards away. Building officers'
Mess room 20' x 12' all day from timber gathered from ruins. Ground very deep
mud, feet wet through and generally miserable. Rained in heavy showers all day.
Tea at 4.30 p.m., had yarn and in bed 7.30 p.m. Raining hard.
Friday 30th March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30, on parade 9 a.m. Roll call, then took my men
again, bit of pioneer and engineer about us now. Shifted our tent to new site
laid out camp. Worked hard till 4.30 p.m. on officers' mess. Saw some of our tri-
planes today. Fly very prettily. After tea laid boards to sleep on as ground so
muddy and wet and in bed 7 p.m.
Saturday 31st March, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30. On parade 9 a.m. and went on with erection of
Officers' mess shed. Had to go to old billet and supervise removal of our panniers.
Worked hard all day and turned in 8.30 p.m.
Sunday 1st April, 1917
On parade 9 a.m. and on mess shed at 10 a.m. Got ready to receive wounded by
12. Odd case or so, plenty sick. On duty till 10 p.m. then into bed.
Monday 2nd April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 8 a.m. Wounded started coming in
about 9 a.m., walking cases only, very busy and worked hard. Big attack on our
troops going forward. Huns shelled this town and round about us, one shell lobbing
about 10 yards from our tent. Got dinner about 3.15. Managed to get all cases
through, dressed 250 up to being relieved at 8 p.m. Our O.C. and A.D.M.S. and
concerned highly pleased. Tired tonight, in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 3rd April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m., on duty 8 a.m. at dressing tent. Fritz shelled
this way again today lobbing one at entrance to O.C.'s tent. Kept pretty busy
Just after tea a Fritz plane came over and set two of our observation balloons
but was hit himself and brought down in our lines, rather exciting, balloons were
close to us. About 30 of our cases yesterday were Germans, heard our boys took
500 prisoners. Off duty 8 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 4th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. breakfast 7.30, on duty 8 a.m. Fixed up our dressing tent decently
today, had fair number of cases. The advance still going on. Snowed today and
very muddy. Heard fritz retired 2000 yards last night. Enemy shelled town again
nearly got our horses. Only one very slight casualty in town so far. Rumours of
success near Arras and 4000 prisoners. Off duty 8 p.m. in bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 5th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 8 a.m. Had few wounded this morning
but not too busy. Just after dinner started write letter enemy plane dropped 2
about 100 yards away, 3 wounded brought in to us, trephined one but he died also
one of others died, very badly smashed up. Lot of walking cases from the line,
going at top speed until relieved at 8 p.m. Been lovely day today. Turned in 9
Friday 6th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 8 a.m., very nice morning, had
number of patients. Enemy plane came over, lot of our guns moving up and heavy
bombarding in Arras direction. Received orders have to move camp, are going
about 2 miles further up, shifted part of camp today but going on with our work.
about 300 sick and wounded this afternoon, very busy. Wrote letter, off duty 8
and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 7th April, 1917
Routine as usual till tea time when packed up, loaded wagon and set out for new
camp about 2 1/2 miles beyond Bapaume. Enemy shelled round our old camp,
caught A.S.C., caused no. of casualties, 6 being killed. Dropped one on road just
behind us. Reached new camp site and got prepared to start work in morning. Busy
till 10 p.m. when turned in.
Sunday 8th April, 1917
Up 7 a.m., after breakfast very busy fixing up, had few wounded and sick, also
escaped tommy prisoner. Glorious day, expecting our troops to make big attack
soon, in bed 10 p.m.
The escaped prisoner was a 5th Dorset Regt. taken by Huns at Beaumont Hamel
nearly three months ago. Had been working 13 Kilometers behind enemy's lines,
escaped last night, wounded slightly through arm. In shocking verminous state,
he had had very bad time.
Monday 9th April, 1917
Rained most of night and wild sort of day. Very heavy bombardment to the north
early this morning. Usual routine, on duty 8 a.m. till 8 p.m., some wounded through.
Could see fritz's shells bursting on ridge ahead of us. Various orders going round,
told to expect to advance at any time. Rumours of good news viz:- success at Arras
and district, large no. of prisoners 10 to 20,000, 19 enemy tanks captured and
60 guns. Enemy plane over very high. In bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 10th April, 1917
Up 7 a.m. and on duty 8 a.m. Snowed a good deal today but not very cold, wind
boisterous. Had few wounded in and were relieved by B. section at 2 p.m. C.
Section arrived today from Millencourt. At 8 p.m. A and C section bearers went
up the line and I turned in . Have to be on duty at 2 a.m. in the morning. Expect
heavy stunt tonight or early morning.
Wednesday 11th April, 1917
Up 1.30 a.m. and on duty 2 a.m. Only few cases up to 7.30 a.m. when large
numbers started arriving. Worked for my life till 6 p.m. by which time we had
dressed and fed nearly 700 wounded. Our attack was successful but positions
could not be held against enemy counters. Hard luck. On duty again 8 p.m. Heard
some of our bearers have been made prisoners, not true. Our casualties heavy,
treated about 900 up to midnight.
Thursday 12th April, 1917
Going strong until 2 a.m. when relieved, believe enemy losses greater than ours.
Turned into bed 2.30 a.m. almost too tired to sleep, ache all over. Up for dinner
on duty at 2 p.m. Wounded nearly all finished but was told to be ready to move
rear in morning, our division to be withdrawn on account of severe losses. It
terrible. Worked hard packing up till 8.30 p.m. and am absolutely done up. Had
wash and clean up by 9.30 p.m. and turned in 10 p.m.
Friday 13th April, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., on parade 6.45, roll call and orders. Finished packing up,
G.S. Wagon and on motor char-a-bang by 8.15 a.m. Sorry to have to go back.
Arrived at Becordel via Martinpuich and Posieres about 11 a.m. and took over at
once from 7th F.A. Div. rest station. Everything very disorganized and men tired
was very busy arranging things all afternoon and did not get to bed till 11.30.
like a thorough holiday and rest, work this last four days being such a strain
Saturday 14th April, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., had breakfast, unloaded our wagon and carried panniers etc. to
dressing hut by dinner time. This afternoon arranged the place and set out
instruments etc. Been very busy day as we are so short-handed only two sections
being here. Turned in about 9 p.m.
Sunday 15th April, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m., breakfast and on duty 9 a.m. Had lot of dressings etc., slight
wounds. Rotten day. Off duty 8 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 16th April, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., breakfast and on duty 9 a.m. Am doing the clean dressings of all
patients of which we have about 600, about 50 dressings a day, also have to be
ready for any emergency operations. At 5.45 p.m. inocculated our own unit against
para-typhoid, was done myself. Afterwards wrote some letters and in bed at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 17th April, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., breakfast and on duty 9 a.m. At 9.30 Major Welch had look at
wounded and we re-dressed their injuries. Had a gassed patient through, also had
to give number of anti-tetanic injections. Not so busy this afternoon so had a
Rotten day, my arm sore from inocculation. Wrote letters tonight and in bed 9.30.
Wednesday 18th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. On duty at 9 a.m. and kept busy with dressings
etc. all morning. After dinner had few more cases, rotten place to be in and weather
very unsettled. News of more victories for our troops and for our Allies. Received
letters from home and of Dad's sailing. After tea was busy writing till turned
p.m. Our guns going very heavy tonight.
Thursday 19th April, 1917
Today was much similar to yesterday though not so much rain. Had lot of anti-
tetanic injections to give. At 3 p.m. went and had hot shower bath and felt clean
again. News of more victories to our side, can hear guns roaring all day and still
going on. After tea was busy writing, had few interruptions for injections morphia
etc. and turned into bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 20th April, 1917
Routine as usual, turned out very nice day so about 2 p.m. set out for "Meaulte"
about 2 miles away and saw W. Hill, had yarn until tea time then went into "Albert"
"Anzac Coves" variety show. Very good and enjoyed it. Out about 8.45
arrived back at camp about 10 p.m. and turned in.
Saturday 21st April, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast and on duty 9 a.m. Dressings etc. kept busy till
dinner time. Had quiet afternoon, very nice day. At 6 p.m. had committee meeting
re Anzac Day dinner then busy writing till 10 p.m. when turned in.
Sunday 22nd April, 1917
Routine as usual, beautiful day, guns thundering like mad tonight, more writing
in bed 9.30 p.m.
Monday 23rd April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m. Dressings etc. kept busy
dinner time. Fritz plane over this morning but soon driven off. Rumours of big
successes by French. Few dressings this afternoon, fine day again, mud clearing
up. W. Hill over to see me and had tea with me. Afterwards had chat with Mr.
Baber our Warrant Officer and had read, turning into bed about 10 p.m.
Tuesday 24th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 9 a.m. Dressings etc. kept me busy
dinner time, very nice day. Guns booming and our planes very active. Few
dressings after dinner, received two letters and did some writing. W. Hill came
see me for a yarn. Rather chilly at night, turned in about 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 25th April, 1917
2nd anniversary of landing at Anzac. Morning routine as usual, after dinner played
Rugby against 7th A.S.C. winning 3 points to nil. Had dinner and concert in mess
hut, started 6.30 p.m. Officers and all the unit present, was very good, dinner
splendid. Sang in a part song and supported the toast of our unit proposed by
Welch and had enjoyable evening. Turned in about 8 p.m.
Thursday 26th April, 1917
Guns were going heavily all night. Up at 7 a.m. and routine for morning as usual.
Very fine day again. One of our boys sick, mumps? Few dressings after dinner and
at 6 p.m. assisted Capt. Douglas to inocculate some of our chaps Para-Typhoid
2 was done myself. W. Hill up to see me again. Did some writing and into bed 9
Friday 27th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. till dinner
Fine day. After dinner had practice game rugby then shower and rub down. My arm
a bit sore from inocculation. W. Hill up to see me and had tea. Guns booming
heavily, did some writing and turned into bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 28th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 2 eggs and bacon from canteen fund 7.30 a.m. On duty
a.m., dressings etc. till dinner time when we had baked rabbit (frozen). At 3
played 8th F. Amb. rugby and won 7 points to nil. Had shower and rub down and
then tea. After tea did some writing. Been very fine day, in bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 29th April, 1917
Routine as usual, real splendid day. Inocculated some of our chaps, also voted
today. Had a read tonight and turned in 10 p.m.
Monday 30th April, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., busy with dressings etc.
dinner time. At 2.30 p.m. had practice rugby match followed by shower bath and
down. Beautiful day, very warm. After tea had read till 8 p.m. when turned into
about 8.30 p.m.
Tuesday 1st May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m, breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. till dinner
time. Fritz plane over, chased away by 2 of our planes. More dressings after dinner
and various small duties till tea time 5 p.m. Very slow and rotten place here.
yarn after tea and in bed 9 p.m. Beautiful day again.
Wednesday 2nd May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. kept me busy
dinner time 12.30. After dinner had more dressings and went to Meaulte to see
Hill, back at 8 p.m. Some of our horses and drivers called up the line. Beautiful
turned in 9 p.m.
Thursday 3rd May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. and usual routine till dinner time. Big attack commenced up the
this morning, no news yet. At 3.30 p.m. went with Capt. Powell to do some
inocculations near Albert, afterwards went on in car to Ribemont. Beautiful day
enjoyed the outing. Arrived back at 9.30 p.m. and turned in.
Friday 4th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. Fritz plane
very high. Believe yesterdays attack very successful but good number of casualties.
2nd Div. caught it hot, nothing definite. Our bearers standing ready to go up
needed. Very hot day. Wrote couple letters and turned in 9 p.m.
Saturday 5th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., lot of slightly wounded
dressed today and was kept busy till tea time. Very fine day again. One of my
chaps took sick this morning with malaria, had to put him in hospital. About 10
our bearers were called out and went up the line. Heavy gun fire. Turned in 10.30
Sunday 6th May, 1917
Routine as usual, pretty busy. Got word at 9 p.m. that my best pal here, Sgt.
Chisholm killed last night. Into bed 9.30 p.m. 6 wounded.
Monday 7th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. Major
went and brought Sgt. Chisholm's body down here. I set it out and sewed it up
blanket. It was hard, my oldest and best pal in our corps. At 3 p.m. we buried
the cemetery at Becordel, then went to see W. Hill who is making a cross for me
put up. Went to pictures at Albert with Will and some of his friends. Back to
and in bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 8th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., dresssings etc. kept
busy till dinner time, more dressings after dinner and at 4.30 p.m. I inocculated
about 40 of our chaps for Para-Typhoid. After tea did some writing. Our casualties
so far known for sure are 4 killed and 11 wounded, one of killed R. Aynesly, out
my tent. Hear tonight 2 more been hit, don't know if killed. Into bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 9th May, 1917
Up 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. kept me busy
dinner time. More dressings after dinner, also wrote a letter and after tea went
Meaulte and saw W. Hill who is making me a cross for Sgt. Chisholm's grave. Also
met Alf Whiting. Back at 8.30, did some writing and in bed 9.30 p.m. 2 casualties
reported yesterday untrue.
Thursday 10th May,1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30, on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. kept me busy till
dinner time. A beautiful day again. After dinner more dressings, saw Allan Smart
who had seen Fred in England and whose brother was killed with us a few days ago.
Were paid at 7 p.m. Rumours of a move very soon. Did some writing and into bed
Friday 11th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. kept busy till
dinner time 12.30 noon. Very hot day. More dressings after dinner, very busy,
bearers coming in tomorrow. Heavy bombardment this evening. After tea wrote
letter and turned into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 12th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 9 a.m., dressings etc. Bearers
arrived back 10 a.m. More dressings after dinner. Packed some panniers and
loaded on wagon as moving tomorrow. Went to see W. Hill and back at camp and
in bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 13th May, 1917
Routine as usual, loaded wagon, relieved by 7th F.A. at 12 noon and marched to
Dernancourt. Had swim in creek and turned in 9 p.m. Very hot day.
Monday 14th May, 1917
Slept rotten last night, atmosphere so very close, heavy thunder storm about 3
and vivid lightning. Up 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 and on parade 9 a.m., roll call
orders then dismissed. Wrote some letters. Parade and roll call 2 p.m. and
dismissed, did some more writing and generally loafed time away. Turned in 9 p.m.
Tuesday 15th May, 1917
Reveille 7.30, breakfast 8 a.m., on parade, roll call and orders 9 a.m. At 3 a.m.
adjoining ours collapsed, fortunately no-one sleeping in it. On parade again 10
and route march till 11.30. Parade again 2 p.m., route march till 3 p.m., then
watched cricket match, Bearers v Transport, former won. Bad headache tonight,
bed 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 16th May, 1917
Reveille 7.30 a.m., breakfast 8 a.m., parade, roll call and orders 9 a.m., after
loaded G.S. Wagon. Rained today. Parade 2.30 p.m. and marched to Edge Hill
and entrained. Started our journey 5 p.m. going via Amiens, Abbeyville and Calais.
Travelled in brake vans, almost missed at Abbeyville trying to get hot tea. Fairly
cold, lay down and tried to get some sleep.
Thursday 17th May, 1917
Travelling all night, rough trip, bumped all over place so not much sleep. Passed
through Hazebrouck and detrained at Bailleul about 9 a.m. then marched 7 miles,
full kit up, to Doulieu, billetted in farm building. Rather nice village, people
Had feed eggs and chips and into bed 7.30 p.m.
Friday 18th May, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m., breakfast 8 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders,
sick parade. One of our chaps sent to hospital with anthrax. After dinner went
some pals to Estains, a small town 3 miles away, one of cleanest places I have
in. Had two good feeds of eggs and chips and landed home about 9 p.m. and
Saturday 19th May, 1917
Reveille 7.30 a.m., breakfast 8 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders.
parade again 10 a.m., gas helmet drill, then had to give tent sub-division squad
till 11.45. After dinner watch 15th and 13th Battn. play rugby, latter won 9-6
Had game cards after tea and in bed 8.30 p.m., fine day.
Sunday 20th May, 1917
Up 7.30 a.m., marched about 3 miles to church parade at 9 a.m. Spent afternoon
and evening writing and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 21st May, 1917
Reveille 7.30. Breakfast 8 a.m., on parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders, some
told to roll our puttees regimentally. At 10 a.m. did sick parade and one or two
dressings. Beautiful day, guns going a bit. Spent afternoon and evening writing
into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 22nd May, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call and route march till 7.30 a.m.,
breakfast 8 a.m. On parade again 9 a.m., rained heavily so returned to billet
had lecture by Major Furber till 11.30 a.m. Parade again 2 p.m., roll call and
dismissed. Our section (A) played C. section rugby, C won 3 points to nil. After
we had a smoke social amongst ourselves and turned in 9 p.m., lights out 9.30.
Wednesday 23rd May, 1917
Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and route march till 7.30. Parade
9 a.m., roll call, orders and route march till 11.30 a.m. Dinner 12.30 and on
again 1.30 p.m., roll call and dismissed. Payed at 2 p.m. Spent afternoon reading.
Received letter from Harold saying he is in France. Spent evening yarning, been
beautiful day and in bed 9 p.m., lights out 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 24th May, 1917
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., route march till 7.30 and breakfast 8 a.m. Several
N.C.O.'s up at orderly room at 9 a.m., had to act as escort to one, case remanded.
Parade again 2 p.m., roll call and dismissed. Transport and tent div. played bearers
Aust. football, T & T won easily. Been lovely day, sat in orchard reading
and turned in 9 p.m.
Friday 25th May, 1917
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., roll call and physical drill till 7.30 a.m.,
at 9 a.m. then went in car to Bailleul for Med. stores. Had dinner and back 1.30
Whole unit had photo taken, also Rugby team. Very hot day. After tea had yarn
and turned in 8.30 p.m. B. section tent div. left us today.
Saturday 26th May, 1917
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30. On parade again 9 a.m.
went for route march till 11.30 a.m. then went in car to Ballieul to Mobile laboratory,
back at 2 p.m. Had game of cards before tea and afterwards. Turned in 9 p.m.
Made bed under tree in orchard.
Sunday 27th May, 1917
Reveille and physical drill, after breakfast sick parades etc. Beautiful day,
plane over, did writing and in bed 9 p.m. in orchard.
Monday 28th May, 1917
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30 and breakfast 8 a.m.
parade again 9 a.m. and route march till 11.30 a.m., very hot day, dinner 12.30.
Parade again 1.30 p.m., roll call and dismissed. Had game of bridge and turned
about 7 p.m. Sleeping in orchard still.
Tuesday 29th May, 1917
Was up 6 a.m., reveille 6.30. Parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30 p.m. On
a.m., gas drill and route march till 11.30 a.m. On parade again 1.30, gas drill
hour. At 2 p.m. played 12th Field Amb. soccer, won 3-1. After tea went to boxing
tournament and spent enjoyable evening. All heads present. Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Been very hot day again.
Wednesday 30th May, 1917
Up at 6 a.m., reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30 and
8 a.m. On parade again 9 a.m. and route march and inspection of feet till 11.30
a.m. On parade 1.30 p.m., roll call and then loaded our G.S. Wagon ready to move
tomorrow. Very fine day, but hot. Spent quiet evening and in bed in orchard 9
Thursday 31st May, 1917
Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders and breakfast 7.30 a.m.
Packed our gear and on parade full kit up at 9 a.m., marched out 10 a.m. Passed
through Steenwerk to Neuve-Eglise just over Belgian border, arrived about 12.30.
Lay on grass and rested after dinner, our planes active. At 9.15 p.m. Fritz plane
brought down one of our balloons. In bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 1st June, 1917
Fritz started shelling 11 p.m. last night, woke me up. Were ordered out of our
at 2.30 a.m. and took cover under hedge bank. He put 140 shells round us during
night, casualties in other units. Reveille 6.30, parade 7 a.m., roll call and
drill till 7.30 a.m. Parade again 9 a.m., roll call, orders and kit inspection.
two of our chaps who are sick. Parade 1.30 p.m., roll call and dismissed. Wrote
letter and turned in near hedge in open at 9 p.m. Lovely day.
Saturday 2nd June, 1917
Quiet night. Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30 a.m.
at 9 a.m., roll call and orders then dismissed. Inspection of billets by O.C.
After dinner our section played transports cricket and lost. Fritz plane over.
evening and in bed in hut 9 p.m.
Sunday 3rd June, 1917
Routine as yesterday with little gas drill, our guns booming. Our section played
section cricket and lost. 2 fritz planes over. Fine day and in bed 9 p.m., lights
Monday 4th June, 1917
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30. On parade 9 a.m., roll
orders and dismissed. Had game cards. Had game cricket against B. section, we
won by 6 runs. After tea watched boxing tournament till 8.30 p.m. Our guns going
solidly, blew up fritz ammunition dump. Fritz plane over very high. Beautiful
in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 5th June, 1917
Slept outside last night. Routine as yesterday with gas drill at 9 a.m. After
had bath. Fritz plane over about 6.30 a.m. and bombed an ammunition train near
Bailleul. About 3 p.m. our guns put up barrage on enemy, sky full of smoke and
dust. Barrage eased about 4 p.m. but guns still going solidly. Watched boxing
tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 6th June, 1917
Had gas alarm at 2.15 a.m. and had our helmets on for half hour. Reveille 6.30
on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed as most of chaps have got diarrhoea.
parade 9 a.m., roll call, orders and lecture by Major Furber. Our guns going solidly.
Had quiet afternoon at cards. After tea selected teams for sports tomorrow and
bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 7th June, 1917
Gas alarm just after 1 a.m., soon over. Our guns put up barrage about 2 a.m.
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., roll call, dismissed. On parade 9 a.m., roll
orders then went for swim. Had to hurry back, pack up and went out by motor to
Kandahar Farm. Left again on foot at 6.15 p.m. and reached Reg. Aid Post, Spring
St. about 7.15, dressing wounded till midnight.
Friday 8th June, 1917
Busy dressing till 3.30 a.m., when lay down and slept till 7.30 a.m. Dressing
wounded till dinner time. After dinner went up with bearers to Messines Aid Post,
had to go through fritz's barrage fire, very hot time. Brought back wounded chap
and busy dressing again for rest of day. Five of our chaps killed and some
wounded. Our guns all round us going continuously. Fritz shelling our way all
time. Tremendous barrage fire this evening from both sides.
Saturday 9th June, 1917
Dressing all night. Fritz counter attacked last night but was driven back, still
us. Lay down about 9 a.m. and had nap till about 12 noon, dressing again all
afternoon and till midnight. Fritz put some gas shells over near us. Capt. Wynn
wounded. One of our planes shot down, and a Fritz. A little quieter this evening.
Sunday 10th June, 1917
On all night till 7 a.m. when lay down till dinner time. Took boots off for first
had wash and shave. Shelled us heavily today. Up for dinner and on duty again,
wounded still coming in at midnight.
Monday 11th June, 1917
Quietest night since have been here but still had good number through. Fitz put
shells over about 3 a.m. Chlorine pretty strong for about half hour, also he put
H.E.'s all round us. Had breakfast and lay down about 9.30 a.m., slept till 4.30
Best sleep since have been here, have not had my clothes off yet. On duty after
tea, tear shells put over by fritz about 6 p.m., shelling us all the time. Very
Tuesday 12th June, 1917
Busy till 6.30 a.m., had breakfast 8 a.m. Saw plane come down on fire. Turned
for nap 10 a.m. and up at 12 noon. Quiet till 6 p.m. when fritz started shelling
very heavily with big H.E.'s. Made it a very hot shop until we were relieved by
Tommies at 8 p.m. when went back to Kandahar farm arriving about 9.15 p.m.
thoroughly tired out but otherwise well. Had drink of cocoa, got stretcher and
undressed before turning in for first time since went up.
Wednesday 13th June, 1917
Up at 7.30 a.m., had breakfast, packed up and marched out 9.30 to just outside
Nieppe, about 50 yards across border into France. Arrived about 11 a.m. and put
into huts, put up tent before dinner. After dinner went for swim and had clean
change afterwards. Took dirty clothing to be washed. Lovely day and glad of a
Ordered not to leave camp tonight. Nothing more doing so turned into bed 8 p.m.
Thursday 14th June, 1917
Reveille 7 a.m. and breakfast 7.30 a.m. On parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders
dismissed. Afterwards took my washing out. Not allowed to leave camp as have to
stand by. Wrote some letters this afternoon and just after tea had a letter from
who is in Belgium. Into bed 9 p.m. Fritz put few long range shells over.
Friday 15th June, 1917
Up 7.30, breakfast and on parade 9 a.m. Gas helmet and boot inspection then went
to Bailleul to try and find Dad, did no good. Back at dinner time. This afternoon
some sports among ourselves, one Sergeant broke his leg (Schofield). Beautiful
day, turned into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 16th June, 1917
Reveille 7.30, breakfast 8 a.m., parade 9 a.m. when heard where Dad was. Got
permission and Harry and I went to see him about 15 miles away near Popperinghe.
Delighted to see us, had dinner and tea with him, had fine day. Came back with
in motor as far as Loene after which we jumped motor lorries and arrived back
camp at 8 p.m. tired but happy and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 17th June, 1917
Reveille 5.30, on parade 6.45 and marched to Steenwerk about 3 miles, took over
D.R.S. Awfully hot day, but quiet. On duty in charge of night staff at 7 p.m.,
9 p.m. then quiet till midnight.
Monday 18th June, 1917
Quiet night so had a nap from 1 a.m. till 5 a.m. when went round wards to see
correct. Relieved at 7 a.m. and had breakfast then turned in but too hot to sleep.
Had bath after dinner and took my washing out. Cool change with thunder and
lightning at 4 p.m., very glad of it. On duty 7 p.m., things very quiet, about
patients but none very serious. Sat up writing letters till midnight.
Tuesday 19th June, 1917
Very quiet after midnight so caught a nap from 1 a.m. till 4.30 when woke up by
aircraft guns firing at 16 fritz planes which they drove off. Off duty at 7 a.m.
after breakfast turned in for sleep. Up for dinner and got cleaned, had look at
match, B. section and Transport, former won, then went out for tea, had eggs and
chips. Back and on duty 7 p.m. Fritz put shell in church close by, killed 2 women,
wounded padre and man. Very quiet till midnight.
Wednesday 20th June, 1917
Lay down at midnight and slept till 5.30 a.m., went round saw everything correct
off duty 7 a.m., turned in 9 a.m. and up again dinner time. Had read and smoke
then went for my washing. Watched our boys playing cricket. About 5 p.m. several
fritz planes attacked our balloons bringing down 2 on fire. Our guns appeared
bring down 2 enemy planes. Rained a little after tea. On duty 7 p.m., busy for
getting serious case away then all quiet till midnight.
Thursday 21st June, 1917
Very quiet after midnight so had a sleep till 5 a.m., saw everything satisfactory
before going off duty 7 a.m. Turned in 9 a.m. and slept till dinner time 12.30
Lay in tent after dinner reading till tea time. Inclined to be showery today,
On duty 7 p.m. but very quiet so sat yarning till midnight.
Friday 22nd June, 1917
Very quiet after midnight. Called Major Welch, who was going out to put crosses
graves of our chaps killed near Messines, at 2.30 a.m. then lay down till 5 a.m.
duty 7 a.m. and in bed 8 a.m. Up just after dinner and yarned till tea time, rained
little. On duty 7 p.m., very quiet. Two of us cooked dinner which 6 of us had
midnight, fried rabbit, potatoes and tinned tomatoes and coffee, excellent.
Saturday 23rd June, 1917
Had sleep after midnight till 5 a.m., saw everything correct and off duty 7 a.m.,
breakfast and slept till dinner time. Fritz plane brought down 3 of our balloons
our anti-aircraft guns brought down fritz plane close to here. Turned in and went
Sunday 24th June, 1917
On duty in charge A block (3 wards) till 7 p.m. About 90 patients. Saw fritz plane
shot down. Off duty 7 p.m. Send off to Capt. Douglas and in bed 9.30.
Monday 25th June, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on duty 7 a.m. Supervised the work of our tent sub-division
and had everything cleaned for inspection by orderly officer Capt. Trumble.
Inspection by D.D.M.S. 2nd Anzacs at 12 noon, everything alright. Fritz put shrapnel
over this way at one of our ballons with no success. Guns booming harder tonight.
Started to rain 8 p.m., in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 26th June, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders then on duty hospital.
Various small duties to do and to see all correct. Inspection at 11 a.m. by orderly
officer. Couple of fritz planes over very high, soon driven off. Beautiful day,
some writing and off duty 7 p.m. Turned in 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 27th June, 1917
Woke at 4 a.m. by our anti-aircraft guns driving some fritz planes off that were
dropping bombs. Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m. Routine of day as yesterday, get
very dull on these jobs. Lovely day, had game of bridge before tea. Off duty 7
had a yarn and into bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 28th June, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed to duties. Borrowed
bike and set out to see Dad at 9 a.m. about 15 miles to go and arrived about 11
a.m., roads very bad. Dad looking splendid, had good day together and got a motor
lorry back leaving at 6.15 p.m. and getting to Steenwerck 7.30 p.m. Started to
heavily about 8 p.m. Saw one of our balloons struck by lightning, split the envelope,
in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 29th June, 1917
Heavy thunder and lightning during night, reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m.,
and dismissed to duties. After dinner a sports meeting was held. I entered for
wheelbarrow race but did not win, have not much interest in this unit now, it
been knocked out of me. Sports were continued after tea. Relieved at 7 p.m. and
after a yarn turned into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 30th June, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders and then on duty
hospital, usual duties, rained pretty heavily. Capt. Findlay went on leave to
taking a Pte's turn, utter rotter. Off duty 7 p.m. Am having a weary time. Had
and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 1st July, 1917
Routine as yesterday, rained lightly. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 2nd July, 1917
General Holmes killed.
Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital. Beautiful
day again. Several fritz planes over but soon driven off. Can hear our guns in
distance booming very heavily, guess fritz is having a bad time. Off duty 7 p.m.,
yarn and into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 3rd July, 1917
After getting to bed last night fritz planes came over about 10.30 p.m. and dropped
number of bombs in neighbourhood, not heard of any damage. They also fired their
machine guns over us. Reveille 6.30 and parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders.
Routine of rest of day as usual. Beautiful day. One fritz plane shot down. Off
7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 4th July, 1917
Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital.
daily routine, very monotonous. News of Russian offensive and hopes of a speedy
end of war. The King somewhere in this vicinity today, good number of our planes
about. Little rain, otherwise good day. Off duty 7 p.m., had a yarn and in bed
Thursday 5th July, 1917
Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital,
routine. Had elderly Frenchman in badly knocked about by a motor car. Very fine
day. A fritz plane over very high this afternoon, our planes active, fair amount
fire to the north. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 6th July, 1917
Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital,
same. Beautiful day, held some sports this afternoon, was not interested, am tired
of this unit. Fritz shelled one of our balloons near here, his shells missed their
and came dangerously close to us. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 7th July, 1917
Fritz planes over last night bombing, dropped some on No. 2 A.C.C.S. near here
went on to Bailleul, dropping a number there, some on No. 11 C.C.S., R.A.M.C.,
killed 2 nurses and number of patients and R.A.M.C. staff, dropped large number
bombs, wrecked houses and killed civilians. Routine as yesterday, in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 8th July, 1917
Heavy rainstorm during night and vivid lightning, up as usual and routine the
cleaned up during day. On duty till 12 midnight when turned in.
Monday 9th July, 1917
Up at 6.30 a.m., had breakfast, borrowed a bike and set of at 8.15 to see Dad,
arriving about 10 a.m. Spent pleasant day together and saw his O.C. about a
transfer for myself, said he would have me and gave me an approval. Started back
6.15 p.m. and arrived Steenwerk 7.30 p.m. Wrote out my application for transfer
and put it into Orderly room. On duty tonight.
Tuesday 10th July, 1917
Things quiet during night so managed to get short sleep. Off duty 7 a.m., had
breakfast and yarned for a while. Inquired at orderly room and found my transfer
had been approved and sent on by O.C. After dinner had game of cards and
watched a cricket match. Fine day today. On duty 7 p.m. A lot of our planes about
at 12 midnight otherwise all pretty quiet.
Wednesday 11th July, 1917
Things very quiet so had a nap and off duty 7 a.m., had a sleep till about 11
very nice day. Played cards in afternoon. A fritz plane set fire to one of our
close by. Received news of further Russian successes, looks like finish of the
this year. Had a yarn after tea and on duty 7 p.m., very quiet up to midnight.
Thursday 12th July, 1917
Fritz planes over about 3.30 a.m. bombing not far away, Had a short sleep and
duty 7 a.m. Fritz shelled Bailleuil this morning killing some civilians and wrecking
houses. Went for ride with pal on bikes to Bac. St. Maur. Very nice day. On duty
7 p.m., very quiet up to midnight.
Friday 13th July, 1917
Lot of our planes about at 1 a.m., went over towards enemy lines, probably bombing.
Two Fritz planes brought down near here yesterday but did not see them. Very hot
today, had game of cards and did some writing. On duty 7 p.m. and very quiet again
up till midnight.
Saturday 14th July, 1917
Lay down for sleep about 1 a.m., was woke at 3 a.m. Fritz planes bombing.
Dropped four about 100 yds from us, made holes in field 12 ft diameter and 5 ft
deep. Off duty 7 a.m. and turned in till dinner time, played cards till tea time
duty 7 p.m., very quiet.
Sunday 15th July, 1917
Just one fritz came over and dropped bombs, no damage. Quiet night and off duty
a.m. Had good sleep and very quiet day. In bed 8 p.m. and slept till midnight.
Monday 16th July, 1917
On duty 12 last night, a fritz over about 3 a.m. Took over A block building 7
about 130 patients. Very busy till dinner time. After dinner fairly quiet, had
Fritz plane attempted to bring down one of our balloons, was driven off by anti-
aircraft guns. Beautiful day. Off duty 7 p.m., things very quiet, had yarn and
Tuesday 17th July, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and on duty hospital. Various
duties kept me busy till mid-day, beautiful day. Fritz plane over, our guns going
solidly by the sound of them. Watched game cricket after dinner. Off duty 7 p.m.
had yarn and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 18th July, 1917
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and on duty hospital. My transfer
came through today, will be leaving tomorrow. Duties as usual and off duty 7 p.m.
At 8 p.m. the boys gave me a little dinner as a send off, steak, eggs, chips,
and coffee, very nice, a few words of good wishes etc. Packed up lot of my things
and in bed 10 p.m.
Thursday 19th July, 1917
Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed. Packed my gear, shook
hands with the boys and left at 10.15 a.m. in motor, arrived at Rly unit about
a.m., reported at Orderly Room and had dinner with Dad. Went out on job this
afternoon, finished about 3.30 p.m., cleaned myself, had tea. Building a nice
sleep in, worked on it till 9.30 p.m. and in bed.
Friday 20th July, 1917
My dear brother Fred of 46th Batt. was killed on July 18th 1917
, six days after
his Batt. and about 2 hours before coming out of line.
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. No job for me so went on building hut. Harry
arrived about 10 a.m. brought news of Fred's death, can't say how I've felt today.
Dad terribly upset, Officers and men most considerate, its been an awful day.
a letter to Mam after tea, its very hard to write. Had wash and shave and in bed
Saturday 21st July, 1917
Up at 7.30 and had breakfast, put into extra emergency breakdown gang. Got
wagon and filled it with tools, then went on building and improving our hut, very
day. Very trying, trying to keep Dad's spirits up. Turned into bed about 9.30
Sunday 22nd July, 1917
Up 7.30, nothing doing before dinner. Called up line to load guns at 2 p.m. Guns
did not come so came back. Had quiet time, went to church, in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 23rd July, 1917
Up 7.30 and had breakfast, went out and loaded more tools, after dinner called
to load old motors to be sent away. Crane came off line, took about hour to put
on, worked hard till tea time 5 p.m. Guns going solidly today. Fritz plane dropped
bombs near here last night. Fine day, in bed about 10 p.m.
Tuesday 24th July, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and called out on job at 9 a.m. Sent back at 9.30
now on night duty as temporary breakdown gang. Did some writing and had a sleep.
At 7.30 p.m. called out and had to go up line past "flamestinghe" to
put engine on
rails which had come off. Fritz put some shrapnel near us. Finished and back at
camp at 10.45 p.m. and turned in fully dressed.
Wednesday 25th July, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Fritz put few shells over during night. Wrote
letter, rained hard, were issued with oil skins. Fritz shelled near here after
killed 2 tommies, wounded one. Called out for breakdown up line at 6 p.m. but
sent back as men up there had fixed it up. About 9 p.m. our guns opened up solidly
and were going at it for all they were worth when turned in at 10 p.m.
Thursday 26th July, 1917
Our guns going like mad until 4 a.m., was not called out all night. Up at 7 a.m.,
breakfast and did some writing. Padre brought register No. of Fred's grave. Harry
came up about 10.30 a.m., said he was going on leave to England on
guns opened up again this afternoon. Our planes very busy this evening, also saw
Yankee plane. Building an addition to our hut. Called out at 9 p.m. for breakdown
near Wyshaete, back at 4 a.m.
Friday 27th July, 1917
Turned in at 4 a.m. and up for breakfast. Had quiet day, very nice and our planes
and guns active. Called out at 5 p.m., went out with tractor, fixed up two
breakdowns and went on to another past Spoilbank, got there 9.30 p.m. Got road
clear and fritz shelled us out so had to leave, fritz shelling very heavily. Fixed
another small job at Vauxhall, got blocked in on line, then went back about 12
past Spoilbank again. Got mustard gas.
Saturday 28th July, 1917
Arrived on job again just at daybreak and finished it. Fritz much quieter. Set
home 5 a.m., passed our heavy batteries firing heavily and arrived home at 7 a.m.
and turned in. Up for dinner, very nice day. Did some writing this afternoon.
German plane over dropped bombs close by this evening. Turned in about 10 p.m.
Sunday 29th July, 1917
Not called out during night, very heavy rain storm all day, did not go out. Standing
by from 5 p.m. and into bed 10 p.m.
Monday 30th July, 1917
Not called out during night. Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. On day shift this
Was busy this morning working on crane, unloaded some machinery. After dinner
on crane again unloading some new trucks, finished at 4 p.m. Rained a little again
today. Spent quiet evening in hut. Some rumours of our great offensive starting
early in morning. Into bed at 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 31st July, 1917
Was awakened at 4 a.m. by drum fire of our artillery. Got up at 7 a.m., loaded
tanks on wagons and went to Wellington and put an engine on the rails, back for
dinner. News of our offensive very good, reported all objectives taken. Saw large
number of German prisoners brought in this afternoon and unloaded some broken
trucks before tea. Our guns still going tonight. Started raining, in bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 1st August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., had rained all night also rained unceasingly all day today. Awfully
muddy. Was not called out today, but had to stand by. Helped a chap to trench
tent and gave Quarter master a hand, more prisoners came in today. After tea
wrote a letter home then had yarn and in bed 10 p.m. Our guns sound further away
Thursday 2nd August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, had rained all night again and also most of today,
ground a quagmire. At 2 p.m. was called out to Winnipeg on breakdown, was back
at 3.15 p.m. and had to stand by till 5 p.m.. Very rotten day and cold. Cooked
potatoes and french beans for tea. Our guns booming heavily again tonight. Still
raining and in bed 10 p.m.
Friday 3rd August, 1917
Up at 5.30 a.m. and out on track 6 a.m. Rained very heavily all day, everywhere
quagmire. Put three engines on at Vauxhall and several others at different places,
set out for home at 6.30 p.m. after hard days work and arrived at camp at Ellarside
at 9 p.m. thoroughly tired out, had dinner and in bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 4th August, 1917
Roused out at 5 a.m. and on track at 5.30, lot of engines off track through bad
weather, still raining. Had very busy day and worked hard. Had 14 derailments
eventually landed home at 11.45 very much done up and wet through. Had tucker
and into bed.
Sunday 5th August, 1917
Up at 7.15 and out at 8 a.m., breakdown near Spoilbank, worked hard all day and
arrived home 8 p.m., into bed 10 p.m. Finer today.
Was under solid shell fire all day and eventually had to leave the job, our driver
being dangerously wounded and fireman on broken down engine severely wounded.
Brought them in to Dunedin dressing station and returned to camp. Our Cpl. was
slightly wounded as well.
Monday 6th August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Take over night shift this week. Did some washing,
wrote a letter and had a bath, very quiet day. Few of our planes about, had slight
shower otherwise fine. Called out at 8 p.m. for breakdown, back at 10.15 p.m.
Zealand. Lay down and was not called again up to midnight.
Tuesday 7th August, 1917
Called out at 2.15 a.m. for breakdown near Ypres, went out and fixed it up. Fritz
peppered us with shrapnel all the time. Fixed up another breakdown at Brisbane
dump and arrived back at depot at 8 a.m., had breakfast and turned in till dinner
time. Had a read after dinner till tea time, standing by from 5 p.m. Lay down
p.m., not called up till midnight.
Wednesday 8th August, 1917
Was not called out all night, got up 7 a.m., had breakfast and got cleaned up.
Things pretty quiet. After dinner had a walk up the road and a cup of coffee,
back to depot before 5 p.m. Standing by from 5 p.m., yarning and had cup of tea
9 p.m. Received official word of Fred's death. Rained a little tonight. Lay down
p.m. and not called up to midnight.
Thursday 9th August, 1917
Not called all night and up at 7 a.m, got cleaned and dressed and had a read.
12.30 p.m. Dad, Tom Leaming and I went in motor to erect cross on Fred's grave
Underhill Farm at foot of Hill 63. Fritz doing bit of shelling in that district.
away and arrived at Ballieul at 5.15 p.m. and had tea, arrived at depot about
p.m. Fixed up Lieut. Stamp's leg and had yarn and smoke. Lay down at 10.30 p.m.
Friday 10th August, 1917
Not called out all night so up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Weather very unsettled
and showery. Just before dinner my brother Harold arrived, was glad to see him,
first time for nearly 3 years. Dad going to try and get him here. Had dinner and
with us and left on bike at 6 p.m. Very quiet evening, rained a little again,
10 p.m. and not called up to midnight.
Saturday 11th August, 1917
Not called out all night, up at 7.30 a.m., had breakfast and wrote some letters
dinner time. Had sleep this afternoon. After tea had thunder shower and lay down
at 10.30 p.m. but was called out about 12.30 p.m. for breakdown at Vauxhall, very
dark night but fine.
Sunday 12th August, 1917
Fixed up breakdown and back at depot 8 a.m., very hot day, slept most of it. Called
out to Busseboom at 7 p.m., back at depot 8.30 p.m. and in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 13th August, 1917
Was called out at 11 p.m. last night but sent back to bed at 11.30 p.m. Up at
and had breakfast and at 9 a.m. started unloading light Engines off broad gauge
trucks in Ellarsyde yard. Worked pretty hard all day and got four engines off
p.m. when knocked off. Did some writing after tea. Received word tonight that
Ash had died of his wound. Has been hot all day but rained a little tonight.
Tuesday 14th August, 1917
Up at 6.30 a.m., had breakfast and started work at 7 a.m. First Engine came off
while unloading causing good deal of additional work. Had to work after tea till
p.m. and managed to get four more engines off for today. Been hot and showery
turns. Got cleaned and had a yarn and turned in at 10 p.m.
Wednesday 15th August, 1917
Up at 6.30 a.m., and at work 7 a.m. Got last two engines unloaded by 1 p.m. then
had dinner. Lay down for nap at 2 p.m. and slept till 4.30 p.m. when got up and
tea. Called out as guard at 7 p.m. Signed on 7.30 p.m. and went to Wellington
Engine, picked up five trucks 18 pdr. ammunition for Zillebeke lake about 9 p.m.
went on with it. Fine night, fritz doing bit of shelling and some of his planes
Got to Brisbane Dump 12 p.m.
Thursday 16th August, 1917
Fritz's planes very active at night time lately, dropping bombs all round our
Was blocked in about mile past Brisbane so walked on to Control at Woodcote Farm
about 2 1/2 miles away. Back to my train, got line clear and arrived with ammunition
at Woodcote at 2.30 a.m. After waiting a time, found line blown up ahead of us
had to return with load to Cordova and eventually arrived back at depot at 7 a.m.,
fritz nearly getting us with a shell on our way. Slept till dinner time and had
afternoon. Called out again at 6 p.m. and went to Pacific.
Friday 17th August, 1917
Left Pacific and picked up load of ammunition at Winnipeg going up to Vauxhall
report from where we were sent on to P4 through Voormezeele and to V1 at
Bushouse. Waited while shells were unloaded and returned home by 5 a.m. Slept
till 3 p.m. and out again 7 p.m. with 2 tractors. Went to Vauxhall and took shells
V3. Back at V'hall by 11 p.m. Fritz shelling solidly, pieces flying all round.
up 3 breakaway trucks near English Wood and put them on train at F3.
Saturday 18th August, 1917
Back at depot at 1 a.m. and slept till dinner time. Did some writing and washing
afternoon. Called out at 5.45 p.m. Picked up load amm'n at Winnipeg and took it
Batteries at V1 Bushouse and St. Eloi. Returned with empties to Dunedin. Picked
up load amm'n at Wellington and went to Robsons Dump, returned with empties and
made for home.
Sunday 19th August, 1917
Arrived at Depot 2.30 a.m. and into bed. Slept till dinner time. Did some washing
after dinner. Expected to be called out again this evening, but was not up to
Fritz planes over bombing.
Monday 20th August, 1917
Was called out at 3.30 a.m. and on duty on tractor at 4 a.m. Picked up Lieut.
Worley at Quinton and went out to Zillebeke Lake, took up some Ammunition and
did trip all round lines. Saw Fritz plane fall near Ypres, shot down by our planes,
pilot fell out nearly a mile from plane, observer burnt up. Arrived back at depot
p.m. and had a nap. After tea went out with Dad and had cup of coffee. Into bed
p.m. Fritz planes bombing.
Tuesday 21st August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Called out at 10 a.m. and went to Pacific with
engine and reported. Sent to Cordova with empties and remained for some time.
Very nice day, saw fritz plane brought down. Left Cordova with load of empty shell
boxes for Pacific and back at depot at 6.30 p.m. Heard that Huns had shelled
Brandhoesk hospital killing a nurse and number of patients and wounding 4 nurses
and lot of patients. Expect big stunt to start any time now. Into bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 22nd August, 1917
Was called out at 4.15 a.m. and on duty at 4.45 a.m. Went out as guard on a tractor
with Lieut. Worley of N.Z. Engineers. Went all round line to near Hooge, past
Zillebeke. Our guns very busy and our troops attacking, hear good results obtained.
Good news of French and Italian victories. Back at Depot at 3.30 p.m. and got
cleaned. Went out with Dad after tea and had coffee. Fritz planes over tonight.
bed at 10 p.m.
Thursday 23rd August, 1917
Was called out at 5 a.m. and on duty 5.45 a.m. On the Yale shunt today and went
round good bit of the line finishing up by going with Ammunition to Robsons dump
and getting back to depot about 5.30 p.m. A lot more men of this unit arrived
tonight. Weather a bit changeable today. Had supper and in bed 10 p.m.
Friday 24th August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Called out at 8.30 a.m. and on duty 9.15 a.m.
very sick today. Went out to Robsons dump and Hitchen siding and back to depot
5.30 p.m. Have had nothing to eat today as cannot contain a thing. Feel a bit
tonight. Very windy and slight showers, cold tonight. Turned in at 9 p.m.
Saturday 25th August, 1917
Called out at 5 a.m. and on duty 5.45 a.m. Picked up load at Busseboom and took
out to transport farm near Lake Zillebeke. Back to Pacific and got load for Howe
Dump of ammunition. Back at depot at 1.30 p.m., got cleaned and wrote two letters.
Had yarn after tea and in bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 26th August, 1917
Called 5 a.m., on duty 6 a.m., went out to Vauxhall. Brought back empties and
depot at 4 p.m. Had bath and tea and went to church service. Rained heavily
tonight. Fritz planes bombing early this morning, killed N.Z. guard. Turned into
Monday 27th August, 1917
Called at 5.30 a.m. and on duty 6 a.m. on Yale shunt today. Kept very busy all
Fritz put few shells close to us while at Brisbane Dump. Engine came off rails,
an hour to put it on. Rained very heavy all day, just about wet through when arrived
home at 10.30 p.m., very tired. Had tea and into bed at 11 p.m.
Tuesday 28th August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, very windy and rainy. Did some writing this morning
and after dinner, and was called out at 4 p.m. and on duty at 4.45 p.m. Took an
inch Howitzer to Vauxhall and brought empty wagons back, getting to depot about
9.30 p.m. Had little supper and into bed 10.30 p.m.
Wednesday 29th August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Called out at 8.45 a.m. and on duty 10.30 a.m.,
shunting about all morning and after dinner took load of ammunition to Red Rock
dump through Ouderdom. Very windy rainy and miserable again today. Brought
empty wagons back and at depot 7.30 p.m., had tea, did some writing and turned
into bed 10.30 p.m.
Thursday 30th August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Called out at 10 a.m. and on duty 10.20 a.m. Took
ammunition to a couple of Batteries and did various jobs round the line. Rained
heavily in showers and pretty cold. Things seem quiet in this part of line just
Were delayed getting home by derailed engine ahead of us. Got into depot 10.30
p.m., had dinner and into bed.
Friday 31st August, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. land had breakfast. Things quiet this morning so did some writing.
after dinner the O.C. Capt. Duncan sent for Dad and then for me, and after few
questions told me I was classed as a B'maker and would receive the extra pay 8/-
instead of 6/- per day. Called for guard at 5 p.m. but did not go as will have
in depot now. Did some more writing and in bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 1st September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Not much doing so have had quiet day, did some
washing and mending. Very windy. Fritz plane brought down last night near here.
Went out this evening and had cup coffee with Dad and into bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 2nd September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and on duty at 8 a.m. working in Loco. yard taking brackets etc.
engines. Had from 12 to 1 for dinner and off duty 5 p.m. Went to church this
evening, very nice service. Fritz plane over about 9 p.m., into bed 10 p.m.
Monday 3rd September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. Fritz planes been over during night dropping bombs round district.
of our drivers wounded near Ouderdom. Went to work at 8 a.m. fixing up some
small jobs on new engines, lead plugs, brackets etc. Dinner at 12 noon and back
work 1 p.m., worked till 4.30 p.m. then had hot shower bath and tea at 5 p.m.
with Dad and Uncle Tom at 8 p.m. for cup of coffee. Fritz planes over again tonight,
been lovely day, in bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 4th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Went over to work at 8 a.m. Fairly busy all morning
with lead plugs and brackets off new engines, not quite so busy this afternoon,
finished 5 p.m. Went out with Dad and Uncle Tom and had cup of coffee. Fritz
planes over tonight bombing. Our searchlights caught one and it appeared to be
damaged and coming down. Searchlights and anti-aircraft guns going all night.
bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 5th September, 1917
Got up once or twice last night to have look if I could see fritz plane, dropped
bombs. Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. building up engine that came off rails
was badly damaged. Dad working with us. Knocked off at 5 p.m. and had tea.
Wrote couple of letters tonight, been lovely day. Fritz planes came over about
p.m., searchlights caught one and it appeared to come down in our lines.
Thursday 6th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, went over to work at 8 a.m. putting front plate
engine that fell in creek. Worked steadily and had dinner at 12 noon. Back at
1 p.m. till 5 p.m. Very muggy day and rained heavily this evening, our guns going
pretty solidly. 1st Anzac Corps coming up on this front. Did some writing and
bed at 10 p.m.
Friday 7th September, 1917
Was not disturbed by enemy planes last night. Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast,
worked from 8 a.m. till 12 noon and from 1 p.m. til 5 p.m. Very muggy again today.
This evening our barrage was very heavy, told fritz had counter attacked but was
knocked back. Enemy planes over about 10.30 p.m., did not see them. Wrote a
letter and into bed at 10 p.m.
Saturday 8th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, worked as usual today, only bit harder. Believe
something doing up line shortly. Understand lot of ammunition to be got up pretty
quickly and all engines wanted. Quiet this evening, too misty for planes. Turned
into bed at 10 p.m.
Sunday 9th September, 1917
Up and at work as usual till 10 a.m. when went out to C1 near Brisbane dump with
cranes to put engine on line out of shell hole. Fritz shelled us, his planes saw
Back at 7 p.m., had tea and in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 10th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and at work 8 a.m. fixing up engine that we went out
yesterday, cab and bunkers badly strained. Very nice day. Fritz plane over very
high about 4.45 p.m. Our planes forced it down as it was trying to get back to
lines. Finished work 5 p.m., had bath and tea. Fritz planes over tonight, our
searchlight picked one up and guns drove it off. In bed 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 11th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. had breakfast and at work 8 a.m. working on same job as yesterday.
Inclined to be frosty and foggy this morning but turned out lovely day. Fritz
over very high about 3 p.m. driven off by our fire. Aust. troops up this way now,
believe they are all coming up here. Looks like another push. Our planes busy
tonight. In bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 12th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and on duty 8 a.m. Rather dull day but brightened up later on. Working
on repairs, nearly all our engines out as things are very busy and ammunition
up to guns in great quantities. More Aust'n troops arrived up this way today.
duty 5 p.m., had tea and did some washing. Our planes very active tonight after
dark. Turned in about 10 p.m., our guns booming.
Thursday 13th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Rather chilly all day, windy and inclined to rain.
very busy as all available engines are out, only about four in for repairs. The
Co'y Aust. R.O.D. arrived last night and camped near us, do not know any of them.
After tea went out with Fred Patterson to find a friend of his in 22nd Batt'n,
them at Dominion Camp about 2 miles away. Returned to depot and in bed 10 p.m.
Friday 14th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast then at work 8 a.m. On various small repair jobs
day. Rather dull this morning but brightened up fine this afternoon. Finished
5 p.m. but was called out on small job at 5.15 p.m. Finished again 5.45 p.m.,
tea and got cleaned then went for walk with Dad and Uncle Tom to Popperinghe.
Back at camp at 8.30 p.m. and after yarn into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 15th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work at 8 a.m. Did some small jobs this morning. After dinner
Dad and I put on repairing some trucks blown up by fritz's shells. Dais's brother
found us at dinner time and had dinner with us, also came tonight to have yarn,
camped 5 minutes from us. Had great yarn and in bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 16th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and work as usual. Fritz's planes very active, saw 16 over at once.
Very nice day. Will Hill came tonight, we went to see Stan Cohen. He is back at
base so did not see him. Had yarn and in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 17th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very dull morning, brightened up later. Received
letters from Mam and Dais. About 2.30 p.m. Harold came to see us from Scottish
lines, then H. Hitchens from 4th Amb. came to see us. Went for cup of coffee and
had good yarn, Harold left just after tea. Wrote a letter home tonight and in
p.m. I feel very tired and weary tonight, sometimes I think the life is having
on me and yet I am as well as can be.
Tuesday 18th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. repairing trucks that have been blown up with
Dad and I working together. Rained a little this afternoon, made a stove pipe
and finished work 5 p.m. Had tea and got cleaned then wrote a letter to Dais.
Heavy firing must be going on, sky a blaze of flashes, but wind carrying sound
Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 19th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Not very busy today, very windy and broken clouds.
Fritz plane over. Finished work at 5 p.m. Will Hill came round to see us and got
recommend for transfer to this unit from Capt. Duncan. One of our drivers given
leave today to go and see his brother (F. Furnell) a few miles away, both were
by shell. Had a yarn and turned in 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 20th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., repairing frames of trucks hit by shells. A few
wounded passing up road, latest news says our attack this morning was great
success, numerous prisoners coming in and everyone elated with news. Very dull
and windy day, but our balloons up and planes very active. Finished work at 5
did some washing and wrote two letters, had a yarn with Dad and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 21st September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Plenty of work on hand as fritz has caught a few
our trucks with shells and bombs. Very nice day. Our push said to be progressing
splendidly. 14 fritz planes over this afternoon, bombing round Dickie Bush. Finished
work 5 p.m., had quiet night and in bed 9.30 p.m. Fritz plane over about 10 p.m.
Saturday 22nd September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Same work, very dull and like rain today but kept
off. Just at dinner time 10 fritz planes over bombing, not many casualties or
damage. Finished work at 5 p.m. About 7 p.m. Harry came to see us, he is camped
at Yale, arrived today. Had yarn and he left 7.45 p.m., in bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 23rd September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Things very quiet, very nice day. Our guns
active tonight and in bed at 9 p.m.
Monday 24th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Rather cold and foggy this morning, not much doing
for us. Day came out splendid. Fritz planes very active, also ours. After tea
for walk with Dad and Uncle Tom, back at 8 p.m. and wrote letter. Received two
letters today. Things quiet tonight, believe our boys attack in the morning. Turned
Tuesday 25th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. on truck repairs. Rather busy this morning and
worked hard. Beautiful day, got very hot this afternoon. Harry and Joe Tichman
came down to see us and stayed for tea, walked into Reningholst this evening with
Harry, Dad and Uncle Tom went too. Back at 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m. Guns
Wednesday 26th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. repairing damaged trucks. Did some rivetting today.
Our offensive still going on and our troops giving fritz a hiding and driving
Batches of prisoners came in today, very sorry looking lot, Dad after souvenirs.
nice day, knocked off work at 5 p.m., had read and in bed 9.30 p.m. Fritz plane
about midnight but was asleep. One of our men wounded last night.
Thursday 27th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. rivetting again today. Rather dull this morning
very sunny and hot later. Worked solidly this morning. After dinner W. Mitchell
H. Peskett came to see me, went and had cup of coffee and they stayed to tea.
Very fine night, wrote letter home. Fritz came over tonight again bombing, also
heavy gun fire. Wrote to Dais. In bed 10 p.m.
Friday 28th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. on same work. Chilly this morning but beautiful
followed, getting tinge of frost in mornings and evenings now. Fritz plane over
high this afternoon, driven off by our anti-aircraft guns. Finished work 5 p.m.
after tea did some writing. Fritz planes over bombing again tonight, one of our
naval guns on railway firing near here. Bright moonlight, in bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 29th September, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Turned out splendid day. After dinner did some
washing. Put in application for leave to England this morning. Finished work 5
Bright moonlight again tonight and Fritz planes very busy bombing round the district.
Our planes busy too. Received letter from Harold to say came out of stunt all
serene. In bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 30th September, 1917
Up and at work as usual till dinner time, had bath this afternoon. Harry came
us and had tea. Fritz planes bombing all round district tonight, our planes active.
bed 10.30 p.m.
Monday 1st October, 1917
Up and at work as usual, sharp this morning but lovely day. Our guns going
terrifically from early this morning until dinner time. Big lot of troops went
by today in
motor Wagons towards line, mostly Aust'ns. Our guns eased down after dinner.
Finished work at 5 p.m. Told we will have to move out of our hut, new huts being
provided for us but not yet erected. Fritz planes over again tonight bombing.
at 10 p.m.
Tuesday 2nd October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and at work as usual, rather cold morning again but
lovely day later though a sort of haze hanging about. Things not so busy just
Received word at dinner today that my leave application, though recommended by
my O.C. had been turned down by the Sup. Light Rly's, does not seem any hope of
getting it before Xmas. After tea wrote a letter to Harold. Things quiet tonight
turning in at 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 3rd October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, rained overnight and dull and miserable today.
Looks as if winter is beginning. This afternoon 3 pals from the Amb. came to see
me and we had a good yarn. News in the papers looking very good. Had yarn and
wrote a letter after tea and in bed at 9 p.m.
Thursday 4th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. The infantry went over the top this morning
great success. About 2500 prisoners brought down this way, rumours of capture
very great number of prisoners ranging from 10,000 to 25,000, hope it is true,
capture of "Polecapelle". Weather very miserable today. Tucker not too
After tea wrote 3 letters and had a yarn and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 5th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, miserable day today, drizzling rain. Had
afternoon off. Harry and two pals came to see us and we walked to Reninghelst
bought Xmas cards to send home, had cup of coffee and back home for tea. Latest
rumours of our offensive very good. Harry and friends left about 5 p.m. Had 2
letters from home and one from Dais about Fred's death. In bed 9.30.
Saturday 6th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, miserable day again, wet and cold. Our hut
come down tomorrow so made arrangements to go into another. Our guns seem to
be very active and fritz keeps lobbing an odd shell over this way. Packed my gear
tonight ready to move in morning and into bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 7th October, 1917
Put clock back one hour at midnight and up at 7 a.m. Fritz bombing close by early
this morning. Put up bunks and moved into new hut today, fairly comfortable.
Rotten day, wind and rain. In bed 9.30 p.m.
Monday 8th October, 1917
Fritz put over few shells not far from here during night. Up at 7 a.m. and at
usual. Looked like nice day at first, but turned out rotten, rained hard. Fritz
some heavy shells near here during day, some fell in Waratah hospital camp killing
and wounding patients, a doctor killed also. After tea wrote a letter home and
some odd jobs, raining very hard tonight. Fritz balloon brought down today. In
Tuesday 9th October, 1917
Up and at work as usual. Rotten day again. Fritz put few shells over us again
Heard that 2nd, 3rd and 5th British armies had all advanced, also French army
further north with considerable success. Waiting anxiously for news. Finished
at 5 p.m., wrote a letter to Dais and in bed at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 10th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Fritz plane over bombing last night, also put
few shells over. 4th Field Amb. came to camp opposite us so saw Harry. Harold
came to see us as well. He came out of line last night and is camped at
Busseboom, a friend took shapshot of us all together. After tea went and saw some
old pals with the Amb., back at camp and in bed at 9.30 p.m. Rotten day.
Thursday 11th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Much better day today though cloudy. Some of
my old pals from Amb. came to see me. Rumours of big sucesses further north by
the 5th Army, also of impending attacks this week or early next. A fritz plane
tea time. Harold and Harry came to see us after tea. At 8 p.m. went out and saw
of my old pals, returned to camp at 9.30 p.m. and in bed by 10 p.m.
Friday 12th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, rotten day, very rainy and muddy. Harold and
Harry over after dinner to see us. Finished work at 5 p.m. Must be awful for boys
the trenches, more prisoners taken today. Harry and old Mitch round this evening.
Went out about 7 p.m. and saw Stan Cohen, had yarn with him till 9 p.m. when
returned to camp and in bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 13th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, rotten day again, too wet to work after dinner
had a bath and did little washing. Harold and Harry turned up after tea and stayed
talking till 8.30 p.m. Very wild and wet night again, turned into bed about 9.30
Sunday 14th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Had half day off and did some writing. Harold
and Harry up to see us tonight. In bed at 9.30 p.m.
Monday 15th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, little finer today but cold. Some of the boys
Amb. over to see me at work. Finished work at 5 p.m. Fritz planes over bombing
this evening. Harold and Harry up to see us. Went across to Amb., had a yarn with
the boys and got some Amb. stores and in bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 16th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, fine but cold. Don't feel too good today, have
heavy cold. Harold came up for tea and Harry later. Went out and had cup of
coffee, then went to Amb. and saw Lieut. Bankier who used to be S.Sgt. in Amb.
now of 4th Batt. Had yarn and supper and returned to camp and in bed 10.30 p.m.,
Wednesday 17th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, finer today but cold wind. Our planes very
About 11 a.m. fritz plane over Reninghelst very high, our planes cut him off and
of them sent fritz crashing to the ground. After dinner more still of our planes
Finished work at 5 p.m. Harold round tonight, he is not very well, told him to
tomorrow. Went round to Amb. at 7.30 p.m. and got some stores and couple suits
of pyjamas for Dad and I. Back and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 18th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, much nicer day today. Half doz. fritz planes
to get over about 1 p.m. but beaten back. Harold and Harry round to see us. Will
Hill round to tell us his transfer is through, will be with us tomorrow. Went
Amb. about 7.30 p.m. and got some things and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 19th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Will Hill came to our unit today. Rather nice
today. Fritz planes over very high, our planes active. After tea wrote a letter
Our guns roaring very heavily all evening, seems to be heavy bombardment on.
Fritz plane over bombing about 8.30 p.m., in bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 20th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, very nice day but hazy. Fritz plane over very
about dinner time, also over very high again later. Our planes very busy and guns
booming. Went into Reninghelst with Will Hill after tea and bought some Xmas
cards, back and in camp at 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 21st October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and on duty as usual, busy all day till knocked off at 5.p.m. Had
cleaned up after tea and was going to do some writing when enemy plane or planes
bombed our camp, it was terrible. The Royal Engineers suffered most, two of their
huts being hit direct and others wrecked. Dad had just gone out with Uncle Tom,
Harold and Harry were with me, made them lie down then went to look for Dad. Saw
a wounded man, dressed him (Brachial artery severed) and took him to A.M.C. near
by. Total casualties so far as I know are 14 killed and 34 wounded, some of
wounded sure to die. Dad took cover under Motor Wagon inside which a man was
killed, later 35 holes were counted in wagon where pieces of bomb had gone
through. Dad upset, got him fixed up and turned in 10 p.m.
Monday 22nd October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and went over to job at 8 a.m. Dad still upset so did not do any
Very few working, everyone too upset. Buried 11 of the killed this morning, four
our company were wounded and 2 gone to hospital with shock. Did some writing
after dinner. Harold came to tea and we saw Harry later. Fritz planes over bombing
district tonight again. Turned into bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 23rd October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., very wet morning. Went over to job, did not do much as too wet.
Worked after dinner. Harold came over for half an hour at 2 p.m. After tea did
writing then went for cup of coffee and visited some of boys at 4th F. Amb., had
some supper with them and at home and in bed 9.30 p.m. Dad sleeping over at
farm with Uncle Tom. Heard today total No. casualties from bomb raid by fritz
Sunday night was 71 killed and wounded.
Wednesday 24th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work at 8 a.m., rained hard during night, little clearer this
morning. Went for coffee at 11 a.m. Worked hard after dinner, our planes very
active, great nos. of them about. Fritz planes tried to get over but driven back.
tea wrote letter and went for coffee. Very wild and wet night, turned in 10 p.m.
Thursday 25th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, still repairing wagons. Rather wild day and
inclined to rain, also cold. News of French victory near "Soissons".
After tea sky
cleared and seemed like frost. Went out for coffee and had supper with Amb. boys.
Fritz planes over bombing not far away about 9.30 p.m., in bed 10 p.m.
Friday 26th October, 1917
Up 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Put in application for leave to England this morning.
Very wet and windy day, almost impossible to work in the open. Heard rumours of
immense French success. After tea went for coffee and had supper with Amb. boys
and back at hut and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 27th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Nicer day but chilly. News of great French
successes. 4th Field Amb. left today, Harry went with them for a rest. Our planes
very active and rumours of an advance on this front. After tea went out and saw
Charlie Price, 14th F. Amb., wrote a letter home and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 28th October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, fine day. Guns going and saw no. of wounded.
Cut my fingers badly on tin. Tried to write letter to Dais. In bed 9.30 p.m.
Monday 29th October, 1917
Did not sleep much, my fingers ached horribly, had to take bandages off during
to ease them. Up at 7 a.m. and went over to job at 8 a.m., very nice day but cold.
Did not do much and after dinner had a sleep and read till tea time. Could not
tonight so went out for coffee. Fritz over bombing nor far away, driven off. Into
Tuesday 30th October, 1917
Fritz was over bombing at 5 a.m. but did not hear him. Up at 7 a.m. and at work
a.m., very cold and bitter day, rained this afternoon so could not do much. After
finished my letter to Dais and had a yarn. Great discussion as to whether Fritz
be over tonight. Turned into bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 31st October, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., very nice and mild day. Fritz planes over bombing
all round here about 5 a.m., dropped over 100 bombs, believe number of casualties
in Popperinghe. Heard 47 men waiting for leave train were killed. After dinner
sandbags for around hut as protection against bombs. Had bath and after tea went
out for coffee. Back at 9 p.m. and Fritz plane over 9.15 p.m. Did not drop bombs
into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 1st November, 1917
Fritz planes dropped bombs near here 10 p.m. last night till nearly 11 p.m., also
couple of times during night, but did not hear them again. Up at 7 a.m. and at
as usual, mild but inclined to rain, got colder towards night. After tea went
coffee, then wrote letter and in bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 2nd November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work at 8 a.m., very mild but inclined to rain. Very quiet
much doing and too dull for planes. Rum ration was issued last night for first
here. After tea did little at souvenir ash tray then went for coffee. Back at
hut at 8
p.m. and wrote a letter, afterwards had yarn and turned in at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 3rd November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. One of our chaps scalded his hand, dressed it for him and at work
a.m. Finished repairing trucks for present so went on Engines, not much doing.
Very dull day but mild. After tea went out for coffee with Dad and Uncle Tom then
Will Hill and I had yarn and in bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 4th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, mild and rather nice day. Our guns going hard
last night and again this evening, very quiet otherwise. Turned into bed 9.30
Monday 5th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. straightening an engine frame today. Very nice
mild day, good number of our planes about. News of sinking of eleven Hun boats
(patrol etc.). Dad not too good, got bad cold. Guns very busy at intervals. After
went out for coffee. Came back and in bed 9 p.m. as have got nasty headache.
Tuesday 6th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work at 8 a.m. Believe Fritz planes over during night, did
hear them. Dad not too good so went on sick parade and was admitted to Waratah
divisional rest station, got nasty cold. After dinner I got off and went up to
and take some things, he is pretty comfortable. After tea took my washing out
my great coat to have the colours sewn on, back and had a yarn and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 7th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., cold and bleak morning, hailstones fell. Working
small Huntslett engine that is in to be inspected and overhauled, got terribly
with soot and water, looked pretty picture. At 4 p.m. had a bath and after tea
see Dad, he is doing very well. Believe fritz plane over at 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
morning but driven off by our planes before could drop bombs. Turned into bed
Thursday 8th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., rather cold. Took wash out plugs and mud hole
door of Huntslett Engine. Great no. of our planes about. At 11 a.m. a fritz plane
came over and was brought down. Fritz plane was over bombing about 3 a.m. this
morning, did not hear him. News of further Italian retreat. After tea wrote letters,
went out and had some eggs and turned into bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 9th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. stripping tanks etc. of Huntslett, worked hard
did good days work. Dad came back from rest station. Fritz planes over after tea
about 8 p.m. bombing some distance from here. Went out and had coffee, wrote a
letter to Dais. Feel tired and was weary tonight, suppose it is home sickness.
Saturday 10th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Got the engine stripped and cut off some stays
ready for drilling, biggest job we have had in so far. Rained hard off and on
Finished 5 p.m. Piece of copper hit me in eye today, not sure if went in but aching
tonight. Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 11th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual drilling out stays today with wind and hand
good days work. Heavy bombardment last night and all day. Turned in 9 p.m.
Monday 12th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work at 8 a.m. Broke down the stays and took out the burrs
ready for tapping, very nice day, my job very dirty. Bombardment still going on
and day, third day of it today and it is terribly heavy. Received two letters
a field post card from 30 Gen. hospital say Harold is there suffering from shell
Wrote two letters tonight, had cup of coffee and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 13th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. getting mud stays etc. out of water space, also
out centre stay plates as boiler has to be lifted out of frame. Fritz planes over,
driven off by ours. Nice day, fourth day of bombardment. Various rumours afloat.
Received two letters today and wrote two tonight. Had cup of coffee and into bed
Wednesday 14th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took out spark arrester from my job then could
do any more for present so went on job with Uncle Tom patching broken buffer
beam. The bombardment eased down during last night, have not heard any news
yet. Rather nice this morning but dull after dinner and drizzly rain tonight.
went out for coffee and in bed 9 p.m. Had a letter from Harold.
Thursday 15th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. putting a footplate and bunker on an Engine with
Uncle Tom. Took down ashpan and damper doors from the Huntslett engine. Not a
bad day, few clouds about. Fritz planes tried to get over, beaten back by ours.
tea wrote a letter to Mirrie and asked for 1918 diary in case Dais. can't get
me. Guns going again tonight. In bed 9 p.m.
Friday 16th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., finished putting bunker on and after dinner went
my own job on the Huntslett and drilled five more stays outside with air drill.
today. Bombardment gets very intense at times and has been going intermittently
last night and today. After tea went out for coffee and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 17th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Drilled out 5 more stays inside before dinner,
dinner broke then down and took out the burrs ready for tapping. Bombardment
seemed to ease this afternoon. Very dull day and rather cold. After tea wrote
letter home and turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 18th November, 1917
Up and at work as usual. Half day holiday today so Dad, Uncle Tom and I walked
Boescheppe, had eggs and chips and back at 5 p.m. Feel tired tonight so turned
into bed 8 p.m.
Monday 19th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m.. One of R.E.'s got nasty cut so dressed it for
Salvaged lot of drugs from over the road that an ambulance had left. Dad went
away with another chap on train as guard over some tractors, think to the Somme
district. After dinner straightened side of copper fire box. Very dull day. After
wrote letter to Dais., went out for cup of coffee and back again 8.30 p.m. In
Tuesday 20th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., finished straightening side of copper box and
washed boiler out. After dinner started marking some lead washers, dressed a
couple of chaps hands, very dull and cold day. After tea wrote a letter and had
yarn, guns booming intermittently. Turned into bed at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 21st November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual, took out lead plug, wash out plug and two broken
studs from smoke box door clips and fixed them up. Very dull day and rained this
afternoon. This depot ceased as a running shed at midnight last night and all
engines except those under repair have gone to "Quinton". Had letter
he is in Mill Rd. Infirmary, Liverpool. Am glad to hear it, wrote to him again
Dad landed back tonight, had had fair time. Had yarn and turned into bed 10 p.m.
Thursday 22nd November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Fixed up couple of worn out plugs, an awkward
Work rather slack, nearly all engines away, looks like move for us. Turned out
nice day and very mild. Fritz planes about at times very high, chased off by our
planes which were about in great numbers. Dad and I had cup of coffee and turned
in at 9 p.m.
Friday 23rd November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Work rather slack, can't understand what is doing,
did small job or two. Wind getting up and pretty cold. News of third army's victory
near Cambrai (General Byng's army), very good. Great discussions on Aust'n
conscription question. Guns going pretty hard up here. Wrote some letters tonight
and in bed 9 p.m. Uncle Tom in rest station, diarrhoea.
Saturday 24th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Got tap from Quinton and started tapping stay
holes in Huntslett engine. Tapped two and tap went bung, too soft, so had to knock
off. Wind blowing hurricane making our hut terribly draughty. Wrote a letter tonight
and turned in about 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 25th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Nothing doing, did few dressings for chaps, boils
etc. Half day off this afternoon, did some washing. Dad and I went for coffee
tonight, and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 26th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Still windy and cold, seems like snow. Started
straightening an Engine frame today, but could not make much headway on a/c of
conditions under which we have to work. Wind dropped good deal after tea and rain
came at intervals, not so cold. Did some writing tonight, guns booming heavily.
Made cup of tea and turned in 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 27th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Raining very hard so could not do much till about
12 noon when cleared up. Put a fire on bent engine frame and straightened one
side today. Good news of our offensive at Cambrai. Rumoured we have occupied
Camb. Guns going heavily up here tonight. Wrote letter to Dais and in bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 28th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. My 27th birthday today. Straightening engine frame
today. Windy but fine and mild, our planes about in great numbers. Our planes
about all last night and some about again tonight though blowing up cloudy. Went
for coffee with Dad after tea then wrote a letter and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 29th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Put up front of Engine again and straightened
buffer plank. Windy but nice otherwise, fritz plane over and driven off by ours.
Received letters from Mam and Dais after dinner. After tea wrote some letters
argued about conscription, am for it. Fritz planes bombed Popp. and shells dropping
in it. In bed 9 p.m.
Friday 30th November, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Re erected front plate and commenced setting
smoke-box door which is badly twisted. Pretty cold day, at intervals our guns
sounded very plainly. Fixed up couple of chaps who are sick and after tea did
writing before turning in at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 1st December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Finished smoke box door this morning. Very cold
wind today which increased considerably after tea. After dinner fixed up sick
took temperatures and gave them some tablets to take. Went with Dad for coffee
and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 2nd December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work as usual. Half holiday this afternoon, cleaned up my
and did some writing. Very cold and windy, in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 3rd December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took firehole door and casting off and emptied
boiler. After dinner expanded two leaky tubes and arranged to fix up safety plug.
Very frosty with biting cold and strong wind but sky quite clear and blue. This
afternoon numbers of our planes were about in spite of the wind. After tea did
writing and had a yarn before turning in 10 p.m.
Tuesday 4th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very keen frost, ground white and sharp wind.
Drilled safety plug hole out and tapped it, then started to set smoke box door,
cold. Fixed up Sgt. Major Fraillon who is sick and knocked off 5 p.m. After tea
to Dais. and sat yarning till turned in 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 5th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very keen frost again and bitter cold. Setting
smoke box door but not busy so kept near a fire. Great number of our balloons
fritz planes tried to get over but could not. Had a bath at 4 p.m. Fritz plane
about 6 p.m., quite dark, did not drop bombs. Went with Dad for coffee and turned
in 9.30 p.m. Very frosty again tonight.
Thursday 6th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Fritz plane over early but driven off, very frosty.
Dads arm badly swollen with rheumatism, went on sick parade. Not much work
doing today, finished smoke box door. After tea fritz planes over twice, did not
bombs, got searchlight on one. Did some writing and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 7th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very dull day but much milder. Started tubing
today, cleaned tubes and knocked out ferrules, 83 tubes in the boiler and doing
them all, filed them up ready for expanding. Clerk took my name for leave to
England this evening, did some writing, received parcel from Hightown Church.
much better. In bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 8th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., expanded 83 tubes, good days work. Mild day and
inclined to rain. Mam's birthday. Very quiet day. After tea wrote letter to Mam
went for coffee with Dad and in bed 10 p.m.
Sunday 9th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., replaced 53 ferrules in tubes I am on. Half day
did some sewing and writing and into bed 9 p.m. Rained hard.
Monday 10th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Mild and nice day though rained last night.
Replaced remainder of ferrules in boiler tubes and got ready for testing. About
doz fritz planes over bombing about 3 p.m., soon cleared off. Got frosty about
p.m. Fritz planes over bombing about 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at intervals, quite dark.
Wrote letter to Dais. and in bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 11th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Got steam up on Merryweather pump and tested my
tubes, all were correct. Had engine put on pit again, refilled and replaced safety
plug and put ashpan up in its place again, very awkward job, but managed it by
o'clock. After tea did some writing and after a yarn turned in at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 12th December, 1917
Up 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., washed out boiler and filled it, built up smoke
again and off duty 8 p.m., into bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 13th December, 1917
Woke about 2 a.m. with severe pains in stomach, got up 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m.
Took guard iron brackets off two engines and fixed them up. Not feeling at all
so knocked off at 11.30 a.m. Our Capt. on leave to Paris and New Zealand Lieut.
charge shaking things up. Lay down and had quiet afternoon. Spent quiet evening
and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 14th December, 1917
Slept fairly well and up at 7 a.m. feeling rather washed out so saw Lt. Byers
leave to lie up for day, very nasty drizzly and cold day. Took things quietly
in the hut and kept warm. Am expecting my leave every day now so want to be well.
Turned into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 15th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., slept middling, did not feel fit for work so had to go on sick parade,
otherwise had to work. Saw Yankee Doctor, don't think much of him, thought I had
appendicitis at first. Just my stomach upset by either bad water or dirty cooking.
Marked Light duty but did not do anything. Turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 16th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. feeling better but did not go to work and did not go to doctor. Went
for coffee, out of the way. Back for dinner, had lie down this afternoon, very
and miserable, tried hard to snow. Went out for coffee with Dad and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 17th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very cold and inclined to snow. Run in some stays
in Huntslett and cut them off. After dinner rivetted stays on inside of box, very
awkward. New Zealand officer trying to make things willing. My head very crook
tonight. Wrote three letters, made cup of tea and in bed 9 p.m. Our guns booming.
Tuesday 18th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very frosty and cold with sharp wind. Rivetted
stays on outside of fire box and started taking safety plugs out but had to knock
for lack of tools. Sky clear but cold all day. After tea wrote letter to Dais.
of cocoa and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 19th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., took out plugs at front of boiler and got some
kerosene on to safety plugs which are very tight. After dinner washed boiler out
again. Not a bad day, very frosty and sharp, but no wind. Guns roaring all the
very heavily. Wrote letters tonight, went with Dad for coffee and into bed 9.30
Thursday 20th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., very sharp and heavy white frost. Order up
stopping us from getting coal on penalty of forfeiting 12 months leave. Made lead
washers for mud hole doors and put one up. Fixed up chaps chin, badly cut by
falling on ice, had to have three stitches. Put on two guard irons this afternoon.
Went for coffee with Dad after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 21st December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., put sling plates on boiler and damper doors for
ashpan. Very frosty and cold, heaviest frost so far, also came in foggy tonight.
Wrote two letters and had a yarn. Hard to keep warm so turned into bed about 8.30
Saturday 22nd December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Put wash out plugs in and assisted Blacksmith
weld up a box spanner I am waiting for. Not so cold today but still frosty. After
went with Dad for coffee as our friends are leaving tomorrow. Turned into bed
Sunday 23rd December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., heavy frost and very cold. Took out two lead
Half day off this afternoon, too cold to go out, sat shivering in hut, could not
warm. Fritz plane bombing 6.30 p.m. Into bed 9 p.m.
Monday 24th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Wet frost this morning and cold. Re-tapped a
safety plug hole in Huntslett. Sleet and rain inclined to fall. Refitted lead
Number of men pretty drunk this afternoon so not much work doing. Had diarrhoea
today pretty bad but little better tonight. Wrote letter home tonight and turned
bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 25th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Feel sick today so knocked off at 10 a.m., got
diarrhoea bad. Half holiday this afternoon, big no. of men in liquor. Will Hill
with us. Spent most of day in my bunk. Feel very rotten tonight, turned in for
at 6.30 p.m.
First real fall of snow was on Xmas day.
Wednesday 26th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and went on sick parade at 9 a.m., snowing hard and strong wind.
Back at 11 a.m. Had nothing only boiled milk all day. Dad has to go away tomorrow
to the C.C.S. on his way to the base and perhaps to Aust. Feel little better tonight.
Wrote letter to Dais. and turned into bed 8.30 p.m.
Thursday 27th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., snow still on ground and pretty cold. This is third day have had
to eat, just little boiled milk from farm. Went on sick parade. Dad left at 11
the base, hope he gets back to Aust. Spent day reading, news of first British
raid on Mannheim. Guns up forward bursting out in spasms. Wrote two letters
home and in bed 8 p.m.
Friday 28th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., feel better this morning. Very keen and cold, ground still covered
snow. Went on sick parade and back at 11 a.m. Fritz planes over about 11.30 a.m.,
soon driven off. Spent afternoon reading, started to blow very strong this evening,
had little bread and margarine for first time in four days. In bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 29th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., guns been booming heavily all night, snowed a little. Received word
this morning to go on leave at midnight tonight. Went to doctors at 9 a.m. for
(vermin) and scaby free ticket. Packed up my gear this afternoon and got ready.
After tea cleaned myself thoroughly and set out for Popperinghe station at 10.30
Sunday 30th December, 1917
Caught train 1.30 a.m. and arrived at Boulogne at 11.30 a.m., went on boat and
crossed to Folkestones, then to London by 8.30 p.m., reported at Hdqtrs and caught
train 11 p.m. for Middlesboro.
Monday 31st December, 1917
Arrived at Middlesbro' station at 6.30 a.m. and went to Uncle Dan's, had breakfast
then went out for hair cut and bath before dinner. Pretty tired so spent a quiet
afternoon indoors and after tea Uncle Dan went round with me to Uncle Charlie's
and we spent a pleasant and quiet evening, getting home and to bed at 11 p.m.