reads: This diary belongs to 2063 Sapper W. D. Lycett 15th Aust L.R.O. Co'y A.I.F.
- B.E.F. France and of 126 Railway Place Flemington Melbourne Victoria Australia
and should it be lost and the finder not be able to return it to its owner will
he or she please forward it to Miss D. G. Hill 40 Mirams St. Ascot Vale Melbourne
Victoria Australia If I should fall Think this of me, That in some corner of a
foreign land There's a spot that is for ever England. Rupert Brookes Killed in
Tuesday 1st January, 1918
Up at 8 a.m. and had good breakfast, after which Uncle Dan and I went round Uncle
Charlie's works, very interesting. Home for dinner and then I went round and brought
Uncle Charlie and my aunt to Uncle Dan's for tea. Spent quiet evening and caught
train for Crewe at 10.45 p.m., Uncle Dan and my aunt seeing me off.
Wednesday 2nd January, 1918
Had long and tiresome ride spending hours waiting for trains and arrived at Crewe
11.15 a.m. Had a good meal and then took walk up town to see some friends.
Received a letter from Grandmother to go down to Winsford tonight. Phoned up Mill
Rd. Hospital about Harold and caught train at 8.45 p.m. for Winsford, found in
train and went to Warrington first stop, so had to get a bed and put up for night,
trains going back.
Thursday 3rd January, 1918
Called up at 6.30 a.m. and caught 7.14 a.m. train to Winsford to my Grandmother's.
Had breakfast and a yarn, saw Jim to the station, Aunt Mary and youngster and
Uncle Jabez and Ellie came round to see me. After tea wrote a letter to Harold
turned in at 9.30 p.m.
Friday 4th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and caught 8.30 a.m. train to Liverpool and went to Hospital to see
Harold, found him doing very nicely. Sat in all morning talking and had dinner
Hospital. Went out with Harold at 2 p.m. had a meal and met Uncle Jabez, Aunt
Annie and Cousin Ellie at 3.30 p.m. Went for tea and set Harold on train then
caught 5.30 p.m. to Crewe. Went round and saw Mr. Walker and family and back at
my cousins and in bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 5th January, 1918
Up at 8.30 a.m. and after breakfast took a walk to Mr. Potters at Hightown where
stayed till dinner time. After dinner went to Mr. Holdsworths then Mr. Lewis's
and finished up at Mr. Fytches for supper, leaving there about 11.30 p.m and
returning to my cousins and in bed 12.30 p.m.
Sunday 6th January, 1918
Up at 8 a.m. and went to Hightown Church 10.30 a.m. service by King's
Proclamation of prayer for peace. Saw lot of old friends after service. After
cousin and I went to Mrs. Hardings for tea, sang duet and went to Church 6.30
After service saw more old friends and went round to Mr. Sam Potters for supper
and stayed till midnight, returned to Cousins and in bed 1 a.m.
Monday 7th January, 1918
Up at 8.30 a.m. and after breakfast wrote up my diary and wrote note to Dad who
at Bristol. After dinner went to "Cosey" at Haslington and had tea then
Mr. Potters, Hightown, and had a musical and enjoyable evening. Quite a party,
supper and got back to my cousins and to bed by 1 a.m.
Tuesday 8th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and caught 8.10 a.m. to Winsford and went to Grandmother's for
dinner. After dinner walked to Uncle Jabez's at Moulton, about 3 miles, and had
Came back to Winsford about 7 p.m. and sat talking with some friends at
Grandmothers. Jim arrived home on leave from Newcastle about 9 p.m. and after
supper we turned in to bed about 11 p.m.
Wednesday 9th January, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and Jim and I caught 8.5 a.m. to Flixton via Manchester. Went
Aunt Sarah's for dinner and Aunt Charlotte's (Dot's) for tea. Aunt Louisa and
came down to see me. Had very nice day and caught 9.10 p.m. back, had half hour
to wait at M'chester so saw Aunt Louisa on car, arrived back at Winsford about
p.m. and into bed.
Thursday 10th January, 1918
Up at 8.30 a.m. and had breakfast then wrote a letter to Mam and one to Dais.
before dinner. Caught train at 2.15 p.m. to Crewe and went to my cousins where
had a small party, music etc. Had very nice afternoon and evening and turned in
Friday 11th January, 1918
Up at 8.30 a.m. had breakfast and went out and opened an account with the United
Counties Bank, depositing 15 pounds. Back for dinner and went to Cosey, then
caught 4.39 p.m. to Sandbach and had tea at Mrs. Deans, had music and cards,
caught 9.20 p.m. train back and after cup of tea turned into bed.
Saturday 12th January, 1918
Up at 8.30 a.m. and after breakfast went for walk round town. Got my sugar ticket
for 1 1/2 lbs. sugar. Saw number of men I know from works and went back for
dinner. This afternoon bought some presents for home, called on Mr. and Mrs.
Broach, had tea with Holdsworths and went back to Lourton St. with my parcels.
Went out again this evening and spent hour with Mr. and Mrs. Potter of Hightown.
Went back to cousins and found Uncle Jim there, had bath and yarn then went to
station and caught 11.50 p.m. to London.
Sunday 13th January, 1918
Arrived at Euston Station London about 3 a.m. and taken by motor Wagons to
Victoria station. Went into Y.M.C.A. and had breakfast then reported on station
a.m. Got my pass stamped and train left 8 a.m. Arrived at Dover about 11.15 a.m.
and after hours wait went aboard ship, crossed channel to Calais in about 1 1/2
hours and marched to rest camp. Had cold dinner about 4 p.m. and cold tea 6.30
p.m. Got 2 thin blankets, went to Y.M.C.A. service and lay down in bell tent about
p.m. Could not get warm and was lying with all my clothes on, but bitter cold
started snowing heavily, feeling very miserable.
Monday 14th January, 1918
Had very rotten night and up at 5.30 a.m., had piece of cold meat and dry bread
breakfast 6.30 a.m., then on parade 7.30 a.m. Stood in snow shivering for about
hours while we were sorted out into our respective divisions, then marched about
miles to train and got aboard it. Train left at 11 a.m. and we had a cold and
ride to Popperinghe which we reached about 3 p.m. when I set out and walked to
unit about 2 1/2 miles away, put my kit straight and had a yarn, read some letters
from home which arrived while I have been away and turned into bed about 10 p.m.
Tuesday 15th January, 1918
Slept well last night as was very tired and got up at 7 a.m., rather mild morning.
not go to work, took day off to clean and tidy things up and do some writing.
to Mam, Dais., Harold, Harry and Reg. Dare for Dad. After dinner it started raining
and towards night rained heavily, our hut leaking all over. Reading a magazine
tonight, warmed up drop of tea left from tea time and turned into bed at 10 p.m.
Wednesday 16th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and at work 8 a.m. Conditions changed here now, our
Capt. having been worked out of his job and not one officer of our Co'y is left
look after our interest. One Canadian B'maker and several Canadian Fitters are
working here now and dissatisfaction exists at the methods employed to get the
most work out and at the conditions we have to work under. I have been fitting
snow brushes today, only took them off a few weeks ago, a most useless job. After
tea had a shave and took my clothes out to be washed, then had a read. Rained
hard and very stormy all day. In bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 17th January, 1918
Slept well last night and up at 7 a.m., breakfast and at work 8 a.m. fixing snow
brushes on Engines today again. About 11 a.m. Harry turned up to see me, he is
looking well and has been down Peronne way, now camped near Bailleul. Stayed to
dinner and went back about 3 p.m. A miserable day, sleet and rain and very muddy.
Think the winter is telling on me a bit, I feel a bit done up at times. After
some letters and re-addressed some to Dad, sent them to Grandmother. Had a
read and smoke and turned into bed about 9 p.m.
Friday 18th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Put guard iron and brushes on engine then took
down an ash pan before dinner. After dinner hammered and fullard two leaky stays,
put on two sets of snow brushes. Finer today but very muddy and miserable.
Received a letter from Dais. Told tonight that we have to change to another hut
morning. Rumours of a Belgian advance and that Germany has agreed to the Allies
peace proposals with exception of question of Alsace-Lorraine, hope it is true.
Wrote couple of letters and had a read then into bed at 9 p.m.
Saturday 19th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, then had to shift into another hut, took our time
fixed up properly by dinner time. Went to work after dinner, took down front of
Engine and straightened one side of frame. Rather mild day and did not rain.
Officers now in charge of depot trying to stir things up, men getting up against
After tea did some writing under difficulties, one chap doing physical jerks and
several drunks in the hut. Had a read and turned into bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 20th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., drizzly wet day. Uncle Tom and I working together
straightened the other side of engine frame then I put up an ash pan that had
taken down. Half day off today. Harry came up to see me and stayed till 3 p.m.,
looking well. Received a letter from home, had a read and fell asleep before tea.
After tea had yarn with Will Hill who expects to go on leave to Eng. tomorrow.
had received a parcel from Cis., had piece of cake and some butter. Wrote a letter
home, had a read and turned in about 9 p.m. Very windy tonight.
Monday 21st January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., drizzly wet day and slightly cold. Built up front
engine, marked off and put up two guard irons, put on some lagging and started
put up an ash pan. Will Hill went on leave this morning to Eng. Were paid just
before dinner. Rumours that our company is likely to move somewhere before long.
Number of our planes about though weather not good and tonight they seem to be
very active. Wrote a letter to Dais., read a magazine and turned into bed about
Tuesday 22nd January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., finished putting ash pan up on engine. Patched
and rivetted guard iron bracket and bolted them on then bolted up guard iron.
much doing after dinner, officers been rushing us and now not much to do. Dodged
over to hut about 4 p.m. Rotten dodging officers in yard and have not got a job.
Nice day and our planes about, weather real good for time of year. After tea went
for my washing, started raining a little. Had read and turned in 9 p.m.
Wednesday 23rd January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took down an ash pan and took out fire bars this
morning. Nice day again. After dinner put some fire bars in another engine and
took out safety plug, refilled it and put it back again. Things slack again, waiting
the fitters. Officers chasing us round, misery dodging them. Our tucker getting
worse, practically living on bread and jam, purely bad management. After tea wrote
letter, had read and yarn and turned in 9 p.m.
Thursday 24th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. knocking ferrules out of tubes so as to expand
ferrules very tough in this engine, about 30 tubes went back, worked hard and
not get them all finished today, been badly put in. Very nice day, just like spring.
Our planes active, saw couple of fritz planes over towards lines, soon driven
Supposed we will be moving in few days time. After tea wrote letter to Dais. as
her birthday. Had letter from Dad, doing alright at Bristol. Into bed 10 p.m.
Friday 25th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. still getting ferrules out of tubes, pretty solid,
tubes driving back, job has been badly done on some previous occasion. Beautiful
spring day again, our planes active and more sound of the guns today. Still rumours
of us moving. Fritz planes tried to get over, not successful. Beautiful moonlight
night, expected fritz planes over bombing but did not come, could hear ours going
over. Had read and turned into bed 9.30 p.m. Received 2 small parcels, from
Cousin Mirrie, and from Sir Charles Starmer, "Northern Eals" office,
Saturday 26th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m.. Got some more ferrules out, some broke and had
to cut last four out. Rather chilly this morning and misty, but cleared up fine
dinner time. My mate started expanding tubes at fire box and so as had not much
do this afternoon washed a suit of blues. Do not know for sure if we are moving
After tea read a book "Gallipoli" by John Masefield, very good, then
the parcels I received. Had cup of tea made in the hut and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 27th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., rather misty and cold, came out nice after dinner.
Expanded some boiler tubes this morning and at 12 noon slipped off for a bath
before dinner. After dinner shaved and had a nap then read till tea time, things
slow and dull. After tea wrote some letters and had a read. About 8 p.m. heavy
fire opened out for about quarter of an hour then continued spasmodically. Beautiful
clear night, a little cold, turned into bed about 9.30 p.m.
Monday 28th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., frosty and a bit cold but beautiful day later.
planes busy, an odd fritz plane over very high for few minutes. Expanded some
tubes this morning finishing fire box end and after dinner put most of ferrules
too much work in just now, good job as our tucker is a perfect disgrace, would
impossible to do real hard days work as have not been getting sufficient nourishment
for some time, cooks are rotten. Did some writing and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 29th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., started expanding tubes at smoke box end and
67 today. Frosty again this morning but lovely and clear later, just little sharpness
the air. Had letter from Dad who is at Dartford, Kent in the No. 3 Austn. Hosp.
up line seem to have been bit more active this last few nights. Sharp again tonight.
Wrote to Dad and had a yarn then turned in 9.30.
Wednesday 30th January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., finished expanding tubes at smoke box end and
in remaining number of ferrules in firebox end. Took out safety plug and refilled
with lead and put it back again. After dinner washed out one and filled up two
boilers. Frosty morning but lovely and clear, our planes busy, one fritz plane
over for few minutes. Fritz put some long range shells over us, H.E. and shrapnel
burst well behind us. Wrote letters after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 31st January, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., very little doing. Frosty morning and a bit foggy,
colder during the day. Put in firehole door, took off step, got it straightened
it on again. Have had no papers for two days, rumoured air raid on England.
Received photo of Fred's grave from England. After tea did some writing had cup
comoposition and turned into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Friday 1st February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Nothing doing this morning, very frosty and cold.
Mixed up four bottles of cough mixture for four chaps with colds, do what I can
the boys but not much encouragement from the heads. After dinner straightened
guard iron bracket, took off two old guard irons and one bracket, replaced bracket
after blacksmith had fixed it up. Very cold tonight, wrote home and to Dais. Sent
photos of Fred's grave. News of strikes in Germany. Turned into bed about 9.30
Saturday 2nd February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Frosty and sharp but came out splendid later.
some broad gauge rails for guard irons, marked them off and got them drilled,
much doing. Got permission for tomorrow morning off, going to try and find Harry.
Fritz plane over about 2 p.m., our planes going over in great numbers. After tea
went out and shook couple of sandbags of coal, did some writing, had read and
and into bed about 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 3rd February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, got leave today so set out at 9.15 a.m. for
Bailleul to see Harry, walked all the way, about 9 miles and arrived before dinner.
Saw lot of the old boys and had good dinner. Saw monster British aeroplane arrive
at aerodrome near by. Carries 16 bombs of 1 cwt. each, 40 smaller bombs, 6
machine guns and six of a crew, can walk about on it, a real beauty, had close
Set out back at 3.30 p.m., got ride in motor lorry to Reninghelst and arrived
5 p.m. Feel tired so turned in at 7 p.m. Had letter from Harold about "Peggy".
Monday 4th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., fine day and much milder. Put up an ash pan and
put fire bars in, started taking down ash pan on another engine, not too much
in. Wind rose a bit this afternoon, fixed up septic finger for a chap and gave
some cough mixture. News of rioting in Berlin, wonder if it will bring peace nearer.
After tea wrote letters and had read and turned into bed about 9 p.m.
Tuesday 5th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Finished taking down an ash pan, took off some
bent and damaged stanchions on another engine, had them repaired and put them
on again. Put up baffle plates, steam jet bonnet and smoke box front. Rather mild
day, fairly clear, a fritz plane came over and was chased out of sight by four
After tea had shave and went out for my washing, had a read and turned into bed
Wednesday 6th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Put up a stanchion and made a new tool box. After
dinner took out some baffle plates, refilled a safety plug and marked off a guard
Very fine, clear and mild day, our planes about. Heard Will Hill has been made
2nd Corporal, very pleased. Our Cpl. of Boilermakers and Uncle Tom been drinking
all day, was pay day yesterday, made more work for us as we are short handed.
Wrote letter after tea, had a read and in bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 7th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Cleaned set of tubes and knocked out ferrules
before dinner. Rained this morning but very mild. After dinner piled up tubes
for expanding then slipped over to see Will Hill who got back from leave to England
last night, found him O.K. After tea had read and yarn, still rumours of us moving.
Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Friday 8th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Could not get on with my job as tube expanders
have been lent to Ouderdom depot and did not arrive back till 4 p.m. Just hung
about and had a yarn with Will Hill. Rained fairly heavily but weather still mild.
tea Will Hill and I went to Church Army Hut and had cup of decent tea and a yarn.
Watched one of our chaps do some ju-jitsu tricks and turned into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 9th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Rolled and expanded all the tubes in Baldwin boiler
(83) also four at smoke box end. Rained a little but very mild. Not much work
rumours of us moving are very persistent. Some think we will go to Palestine.
tired after tea so lay down and fell asleep, woke at 8 p.m., had a yarn and made
of tea and turned in again at 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 10th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., put about 60 ferrules in tubes and took out safety
plug, refilled it with lead and put it back again. Finished work at 12.30 noon,
cleaned and Will Hill and I went for walk to Popperinghe. Everything very quiet
enjoyed the walk and was back for tea. After tea wrote letter to Mam and one to
Dais. then had a yarn. Been pretty windy today but ground drying. Turned into
Monday 11th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Put in remainer of tube ferrules then marked off
and put on two pair of brackets on a pair of Ford tractor wheels, really a fitters
Kept very busy till 4.30 p.m. We expect to be moving out of here on
morning, no real official word, but believe we are going on the new British front
round St. Quentin way. Did some writing and went through my kit ready for packing
then turned in at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 12th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., things quiet and lot of talk about our move,
the men from up the line come in. Expanded four tubes in smoke box and put up
ash pan and baffle plates. After dinner took mud hole caps off an Huntslett Engine
ready for washing out. After tea Will Hill and I went to concert in Church Army
arranged by some of our company, very good. Had a yarn and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 13th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., did not go to work at shop today as our Capt. had little business
to do. Wet day and generally miserable. Got cleaned up and went to Waratah rest
station and saw dispenser for our Capt. After dinner sorted out my kit and packed
some of it up ready for moving. More of our men came in tonight from up the line,
lot of them getting merry. Had bit of a sing-song in our hut and turned in 9 p.m.
Raining steadily tonight.
Thursday 14th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Some of men still drunk from last night. The Sgt.
B'maker did not turn up so I went back to my hut about 10 a.m. and read the paper
till dinner time. Went to work after dinner and put up steam pipe bonnet smoke
front and a set of fire bars. As nothing else was doing went back to hut and had
down. Platoons have been arranged ready for move and I am in the armed guard.
Nothing definite known yet except that we are moving. After tea did some writing,
had a yarn and read and into bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 15th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Not much doing, put small lamp bracket on an
engine. Heavy barrage about 2 a.m. and guns fairly lively all day. Frosty but
clear. After dinner collected up the tools and handed them all in to the store
knocked off and got cleaned. Did some writing tonight, big crowd in our hut so
things very upset. Had a yarn and turned in about 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 16th February, 1918
Finished work yesterday so did not have to go over to shops this morning. Up at
7.30 a.m., after breakfast got cleaned and did some packing ready in case we move.
Frosty and cold but very clear again, a few planes about and guns been going pretty
strong all day. The battle front seems to be livening up a bit up this way. Wrote
couple of letters this afternoon and then yarned, can't write much, too many in
Had read and yarn and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 17th February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m., frosty but fine. Went to W. Hill's hut to see how he is, has
tonsilitis, gone to doctor. Just had to stand by and await orders. After dinner
sleep and read till tea time. Received word about 6 p.m. that 50 of our company
to go as advance party on
Tuesday to Savy, somewhere on the Arras front. I am
among the party along with the Sgt. B'maker. Went over to shops here after dark
and pinched some tools with Sgt. Grant. Fritz plane over and dropped bombs some
distance away at 7 p.m. Turned in about 9 p.m.
Monday 18th February, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. as got surprise orders last night late to move today. After breakfast
packed up, took hut down, loaded it on narrow gauge trucks. After dinner
transferred it to broad gauge and were put in vans and got away about 3 p.m. Cold
day, put stove in our van. Got along very slowly and only got to Hazebrouck after
dark, stayed there in siding till about 5 a.m. While in siding Fritz planes over
bombing. 21 of us in truck, lay down like sardines and went to sleep about 9 p.m.
Tuesday 19th February, 1918
Slept well till 5 a.m. when train started on move again, jolting horribly, did
not get up
till 6.30 a.m. as was warm lying down. Arrived Berguette at 6.30 a.m. and got
on platform. Travelled very slowly again today and was in siding at St. Pol for
time. Eventually got to Savy at 7 p.m. and put in huts in a Tommy Camp, not in
right place, bit of a mix-up. Guns going on this (Arras) front pretty solidly
Turned in about 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 20th February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m., cold and frosty. Could not get a wash, no water in the camp,
breakfast supplied by Tommies, very good bacon. At 9.30 a.m. fell in on parade
went to siding, unloaded huts etc. on to light gauge trucks and took them to our
camp site about a mile from here and nearer the village. Had dinner down there
McConnachies and tea. Got one hut erected this afternoon and floor of another
down, drizzly rain all afternoon and very muddy. Had tea and bread and jam for
then knocked off at 6.30 p.m. and went back to huts in camp, in bed 8 p.m.
Thursday 21st February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and went down to our camp site for breakfast. Not so cold this
morning, but wet boots keep feet cold. Erecting huts again today, got three finished
and other two partially up. Ground dried a good bit today but still muddy. Tucker
cooked much better, but not too plentiful. Looks very nice country round here
after we get settled ought to be pretty comfortable. After tea made a temporary
bunk for tonight and turned in about 9 p.m.
Friday 22nd February, 1918
Slept in one of our own huts and up at 7.30 a.m. After breakfast finished remainder
of huts and started erecting a cook-house, putting down duck boards etc. Windy
today but drying and ground much better. Made a good bunk and fixed up my place
in hut pretty comfortably. Had a fairly hard days work and after tea had game
bridge and turned in pretty tired about 9 p.m.
Saturday 23rd February, 1918
Had good nights sleep and up 7.30 a.m., breakfast and on fatigue work again.
Building a latrine today. Fine day and planes about, an Aust. squadron of flying
corps close to us. Tucker much improved today. Received a couple of letters, one
from Harold and one from his girl, Peggy. After tea went into township of "Avigny",
could not see much as dark, had some eggs and coffee and walked back through
village of Savy. In bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 24th February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and after breakfast started work. Finished building the latrines
dinner time then got cleaned and went out for walk. Went through "Savy"
"Aubigny" and had a look at village of "Agnieres", not much
of interest, some
Portugese troops here. Had tea, eggs and chips in Aubigny and strolled back to
camp. Aubigny is a small French township but as usual very dull. Was going to
write this evening but too much hammering and noise so turned in at 9 p.m.
Monday 25th February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m., raining but weather mild. Not sent for so spent morning making
bunk better and fixing up shelves etc. for my things. After dinner was called
some pick and shovel work levelling off some ground and making paths to officers
huts. After tea wrote some letters, got chilly this afternoon and strong wind.
more settled and comfortable now, had a yarn and turned in about 9 p.m.
Tuesday 26th February, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and after breakfast our company took over the system of Light
here. Went down to Loco. yard and got some tools together, started straightening
bent engine frame, put on a guard iron. The yard is about 1 1/2 miles from our
at present, are having one made nearer. Frosty this morning but very nice later.
Our planes very busy. Had letter from Dad, he is marked C.D. to return to Aust.
be discharged. After tea did some writing, had a sing song, two chaps mandolin
violin and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 27th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. had breakfast and walked down to work by 8.30 a.m. Took off two
guard irons and put one on, straightening a bent frame for the rest of day. Very
and mild day but started raining tonight. Lot of stuff going past here on main
tanks, guns etc. looks very much like an offensive soon. After tea did some writing,
had a read and yarn and turned into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 28th February, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and went down to work at 8.30 a.m., built up front of engine this
morning and after dinner took down another front and straightened another frame
which is broken pretty badly, have not material or tools to patch it. Very frosty
morning, believe fritz planes in this vicinity during night. After tea had a yarn
song round stove, pretty cold and frosty, turned in about 9 p.m.
Friday 1st March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., very frosty and white. Went down to work at 8.30, built up engine
this morning and watched a lot of artillery (light field) being inspected. Developed
into a real March day, windy and cold. After dinner took back some tools to store
and as nothing more to do went back to hut and had wash and yarn before tea.
Very cold tonight and hut draughty so sat round stove talking and singing till
when turned in.
Saturday 2nd March, 1918
Very cold night and up at 7 a.m., bitter cold day, strong freezing wind and light
covering of snow. Went down to yard at 8.30 a.m. but no work for us so made
brazier and got fire going in a dug-out then sat yarning till dinner time. Did
out after dinner as no work to do and a wild blizzard on, cold enough in hut so
yarning round stove. After tea cleaned up my kit, had a yarn and into bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 3rd March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, covering of snow but wind not quite so strong,
still keen and very cold. Called out at 9 a.m. to erect a bow hut for officer's
very very cold to hands and feet. Worked till dinner time, thaw set in and
everywhere very muddy. Got cleaned and changed after dinner and had a read till
tea time after which three of us set out to see if we could find a place where
church service was held, found one at C.C.S. Aubigny, then returned home, wrote
letter and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 4th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., very cold wind blowing, raw and bleak. After breakfast went down
yard and brought our tools back to camp, then went back to yard again and
unloaded a big hut off a broad gauge truck, got it off shortly after dinner. Got
camp and cleaned before tea. Went to concert this evening given by the ...
squadron Aust. Flying Corps, spent very enjoyable evening. Rained tonight and
cold so turned in about 9 p.m. Received a letter and a bonzer parcel from Dais.
Tuesday 5th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., not quite so cold this morning but still bleak, got finer after
Went down to yard after breakfast and fixed up a leaky lead plug and helped to
some engines that are to be tested. After dinner filled some boilers up ready
firing in the morning, no tools and conveniences very poor. Called for my washing
on way back to camp and had cup of coffee. After tea spent evening writing letters,
was paid today. Into bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 6th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down to yard, took out some plugs on top
engine boiler so they can be filled up. Rather nice morning and came out nicer
day went on. This afternoon played my first game of Aust'n. football against flying
corp (Aust.) We were beaten easily. After tea wrote letter and some picture post
cards of Aubigny to Dais. and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 7th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down to yard. Fixed up a leaky plug and
Capt. Duncan sent me on another job loading control huts on trucks. After dinner
took some screw jacks etc. to stores, loaded more huts and unloaded them at our
camp. Finished work at 5 p.m. and went into Aubigny for walk after taking my
washing out. Been nice day but little cloudy. Turned into bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 8th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down yard and continued loading control
till dinner time. Very nice day and lot of our planes about. After dinner went
and started unloading six inch Howitzer ramps used for carrying guns on light
trucks, very heavy work, lot of our chaps getting sick leaving us short-handed.
tea did some writing and turned into bed about 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 9th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down yard, unloading gun ramps all day,
heavy, and tired tonight. All but one of us (six in all) are transferred men,
to be carrying the rest on our backs. Good deal of discontent on account of few
us doing all the work as it is not good enough, and expressions are being freely
made. Very fine day, lot of troop trains goind up towards line, also lot of tanks
transport, looks like an offensive. Writing tonight and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 10th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. Time was put forward one hour at midnight last night. After breakfast
went down, unloading more gun ramps till dinner time. Lot more troops and tanks
going up line today. Half holiday this afternoon, lovely warm sunny day so took
by myself to village of "Mingerval" about 2 miles away. Back for tea
and found some
more of our men arrived from Ypres front, Will Hill among them. After tea Will
and I went for walk through Savy to Aubigny, had some eggs and chips and into
Monday 11th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down unloading more gun ramps, finished
dinner time. After dinner working stacking up the ramps on our camp site ready
when required, heavy work and hot as a beautiful day and sun quite hot. Finished
by 4 p.m. and had a bath in the open field in petrol tin for bath. After tea went
washing and then Will Hill, some pals and I went for walk through Aubigny, Savy
home. Wrote letter and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 12th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast started erecting a Nisson (Bow) Hut, worked all
on it till 5 p.m. and have got good deal of it up. Was frosty this morning but
out lovely day, sun quite hot. Our planes busy, a chap from this Aerodrome, 2nd
Aust. Squadron told us their pilots brought six fritz's down today. Things very
with us. After tea wrote to Mam and Dais. then had yarn and turned into bed 10
Wednesday 13th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went on erecting hut, very nice day again. Finished
hut about 4 p.m. and knocked off for day. After tea Will Hill and I went out for
and had some eggs and chips for supper. While I was out was wanted for a
breakdown but gang had to go out without me, an engine badly derailed. Back at
camp 9 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 14th March, 1918
Called out at 6.30 a.m. and went down and loaded fifty sleepers in wagon. Back
breakfast at 8.15 a.m. and had to go out with break-down gang at 8.30 a.m. Engine
derailed little way past "Ville-Chatel" about 6 miles from depot, nearly
Worked hard and got it on by 2.15 p.m., solid work and very hungry, had no tucker
with us. Back to camp by 3.15 p.m. and had dinner. Feel tired, not up to real
days work now, the life tells. Had tea at 5 p.m., lay on my bed all evening resting
and turned in 9 p.m.
Friday 15th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down to yard. Tried to fix up lead plug
crown plates, got threads torn off, not successful. After dinner took off badly
guard iron and bracket, straightened bracket and put it on again. Very nice day,
shining but not strong. Plane crashed in aerodrome here, engine broke clean away
and was about 15 yards from wreckage. Pilot practically unhurt. Had yarn and read
and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 16th March, 1918
Up 7 a.m. and went down to yard about 9 a.m., took off guard iron and put it on
another engine. Very nice day, fritz plane dropped some bombs near here last
night, after aerodrome, great concussion. Fell asleep on bunk just after dinner
did not wake up till 2.30 p.m., too late to go down yard. After tea Will Hill,
chap and I went out for walk, went to village of Bethonsart about 2 1/2 miles
just small cluster of houses and farms, very quiet. Our planes busy tonight. At
camp and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 17th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down yard, tapped safety plug hole in crown
plate this morning. Half holiday this afternoon, so as beautiful day Will Hill,
of pals and I went out for walk, went through Savy and walked about 4 1/2 miles
village called Penin, very small place, had look round and tea at farm, had eight
eggs each for tea. People mistaking us for Yankees. Back to camp and in bed 9.30
Monday 18th March, 1918
Harold married today.
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast down to yard to work straightening an engine
a number of which are bent. Glorious day and our planes very busy, a fritz plane
somewhere, could hear anti aircraft gun going but could not see plane. Feel tired
tonight, had letter from Mam. After tea did some writing, wrote to Mam, very difficult,
some of boys singing and some arguing and jumping about. In bed about 9 p.m.
Tuesday 19th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down to work. Started raining about 7.30
and rained fairly heavily all day. Straightening engine frame all day out in rain
got it finished about 4 p.m. pretty well wet through. Went to hut and changed
tea. Feel a bit stiff and tired tonight, think it is from getting wet. Wrote a
Dais. then got into bed and had read, went to sleep about 9 p.m., still raining.
Wednesday 20th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down to work, bolted on front footplate
went brakesman on a P.E. shunting in yard till dinner time. After dinner took
front footplate and straightened the top corner of a 40 H.P. tractor. Cold and
this morning, but cleared up this afternoon. After tea Will Hill, some pals and
went to Aubigny for walk, went to Church Army hut and bought cigarettes. Back
camp and in bed 10 p.m.
Thursday 21st March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work after breakfast straightening engine frames, fixed up
engines today and put on a guard iron. Nice day today. Guns were going heavily
last night and fritz has got broad gauge Rly. hung up, line blown out I think.
feel too brilliant today, wetting I got the other day seems to have got my bones
they ache today, especially my left arm, it aches badly. Guns livened up again
evening. Wrote couple letters, had read and in bed about 9 p.m.
Friday 22nd March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went down to work, took down front plate etc.
engine, one side of frame broken through. Went back to camp for some tools that
have just arrived, sorting them out till dinner time. Fritz plane over. Getting
tools after dinner, beautiful day, guns very busy, sounds like big stunt. Rumours
floated through of British set back and of advance of Fritz of 5 miles on 45 mile
don't believe it. Went for walk to Mingoval after tea, about 2 miles. Back at
and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 23rd March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., took tools down to work and started repairing broken frame, have
drilling and everything by hand. Glorious warm day. More rumours of fritz
advancing 15 miles along front from St. Quentin to near Lens, don't think it is
but some of our chaps very windy. Guns going heavy all the time. After tea took
walk with some pals to Bethonsart about 3 1/2 miles. Back at camp 9 p.m. Lot of
fritz planes about bombing tonight, also lot of ours. Rumour now has it that instead
of Fritz having victory we have taken 25,000 prisoners. Had letter from Dais,
Sunday 24th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went to work, drilling an engine frame by hand
morning. Very fine day. Half holiday this afternoon. Will Hill and I with some
went for walk to Penin, troops on move towards line. Had tea in Penin, six eggs
each. Set out for home about 8.30 p.m. Lot of fritz planes about, could hear them
very low, dropping bombs over St. Pol way. Lot of rumours about. Home at camp
and in bed 10.30 p.m.
Monday 25th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m. When woke up found some of men had left hut
at 1 a.m. as Fritz plane was over then bombing but did not drop any near. Drilling
again today all day, colder and cloudy, looks like rain. Rumours of big Hun success
but don't believce it. Some of chaps here got wind up. It seems that fritz has
huge atttack and gained some ground at tremendous sacrifice and the huge battle
still raging. Writing tonight, received letter
from Dais. and turned in 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 26th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and went to work at 8.30 a.m., took out safety plug and refilled
drilling engine frame till dinner time. Fine day but cold. After dinner straightened
guard iron and put it on, finished patching engine frame and re-erected front.
of engines going out tonight carrying troops. No definite news of Hun offensive
the carnage according to unofficial rumours must be awful. Wrote to Dais. then
yarn and turned in 9 p.m.
Wednesday 27th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m. About 11 p.m. last night fritz planes were
and dropped number of bombs near here. Seemed to be after Rly. A baby was
killed in house about 300 yds from our hut. Very busy this morning on number of
small jobs as all engines had to be out running at 12 noon. A bit chilly today,
wind. Helped Blacksmith to make iron safety plug after dinner and went back to
for tea at 5 p.m. Wrote letter home this evening and in bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 28th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. Fritz did not trouble us with his bombs last night though ours were
going over. One of our bombing planes came down with engine trouble and was
wrecked near here late last night, pilot injured, not seriously. Went to work
tapped safety plug hole and put in new plug. Rather cold and windy after dinner,
much doing, examined some wash-out and safety plugs and back for tea 5 p.m.
After tea did little work on a souvenir ash-tray and was called out at 8.30 p.m.
breakdown, raining heavily and cold.
Friday 29th March, 1918
40 H.P. tractor took us out to breakdown about 6 miles from here on way to
"Barline". No. of trains held up. Two trucks and two engines derailed,
put them on
and stood in siding to see rest over safely. Three more engines came off, put
on and set off back for camp. Got in about 4.30 a.m., had cup of stale tea, a
macconnachie and into bed 5 a.m. tired out. Slept till dinner time and got into
again. Sgt. Grant called for me for job but told him I wasn't getting up. Our
very short so went out after tea and had eggs and chips. In bed 9 p.m.
*1 Additional entry at beginning of diary.
Getting little news of German offensive and our retreat. Have full confidence
lick him though he has gained some territory. Rumours that we may have to get
Saturday 30th March, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very wet morning, fixed up couple of safety plugs
and took off some guard irons that were damaged. All our engines going for all
are worth conveying troops and ammunition, only have time to do temporary repairs.
After dinner took a spark arrestor out of Baldwin smokebox while engine shunting,
rotten job but necessary. Knocked off about 4.30 p.m. After tea did little work
souvenir and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 31st March, 1918
Slept in till 7.45 a.m. and got to work about 8.45 a.m. Refilled a safety plug
9.30 a.m. had to go out to a breakdown near Haystack not far from Mont St. Eloi.
Two engines and a truck off track, put them on and back for dinner about 1.30
Had wash and sleep this afternoon and after tea went for walk to Mingoval. Our
tucker very short again lately, 1 loaf to 4 men, teaspoonful of jam for 24 hours
about 1/2 oz. butter (Margarine) now and again, not feeling too full on it. Back
camp and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 1st April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took off guard iron bracket, helped Blacksmith
straighten it and put it on again, took out two safety plugs, examined and replaced
them. After dinner took wash-out plugs out of 3 engines, washer outs unable to
them out, didn't try too much. Much nicer day today and our planes very busy.
Flying Corps left here. Chaps in hut woke me aboout 4 a.m. this morning making
row because fritz plane over, dropped bomb about mile away. Wrote letter to Dais.
and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 2nd April, 1918
Our planes were very busy during the night but was not troubled by fritz. Up at
a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m., took out a spark arrestor and took off three damaged
guard irons. After dinner took out and examined a lead plug, replaced it and fixed
up a smoke box door that was drawing air. Rather nice day, bit windy and inclined
rain tonight. Wrote some letters tonight, at 9.15 p.m. was paid. Sounds like heavy
barrage going over tonight. In bed at 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 3rd April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and went down to work at 8.30 a.m. Sgt. Grant did not turn up,
probably drinking, pay day yesterday, fortunately not much doing. Examined some
wash out plugs. Did nothing this afternoon and went back to camp at 4.30 p.m.
Showery all day, typical April weather. Cleaned and shaved after tea and went
walk to Bethonsart for feed of eggs and chips, our rations are very poor and we
not getting enough to eat. Back at 9 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 4th April, 1918
Was kept awake till 11 p.m. last night as several chaps came home drunk. Up at
a.m. and at work 8.30, showery again today. Fixed up two smoke box doors that
were drawing air and put in some new fire bars. Sgt. Grant down for about an hour,
did not come at all after dinner. Nothing doing after dinner, just examined another
smoke box door, our engines running ammunition up. Had half a loaf issued today.
After tea settled down and wrote letters till 9 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 5th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m., inclined to rain again today. Not much doing
this morning so returned to hut at 11 a.m. After dinner took out a spark arrestor
Cooke engine, dirty job and took me some time. After tea got shaved and cleaned
and W. Hill and I went for walk at 6.30 p.m. to Bethonsart and had good feed of
eggs and chips, 4 eggs and two plates chips each. Returned to camp at 9 p.m. and
in bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 6th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m., looks like nice day. Fixed up two sets of
bars and put in spark arrestor on Cooke engine. Lot of Yankee railway workers
arrived here today and camped close to station, about 2,000 I believe. Our planes
very busy this morning but came over cloudy after dinner. Not much doing this
afternoon so helped the petrol electric fitters who are busy. Wrote a letter after
and had yarn and read and in bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 7th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., not much doing down yard. Took out safety plug,
examined and replaced it. Fixing up an air blower for straightening frames till
time. Half holiday, rained pretty hard so did not go out. Guns going pretty hard
today. Just after tea order came out for all engines and tractors to be brought
yard to our camp here at once, various rumours about it. Understand this is now
head for this sector. Had read and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 8th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and went down to yard at 8.30 a.m. and brought tools back. Raining
again today, everywhere muddy. Not much doing for us. Fell asleep at dinner time
and did not wake up till 3 p.m., no work to do so stayed in hut out of sight of
Fritz planes over about 2 a.m. this morning but did not hear them, slept too well.
Rather cold this evening and a damp mist. Read for a couple of hours after tea,
expect to move into another hut tomorrow. Turned into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 9th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., changed set of fire bars and finished fixing
blower before dinner. This afternoon had to transfer into new hut 60 ft. long
more sheltered place, 42 of us in it. Took lot of moving as have accumulated lot
gear. Got moved, put some shelves up and almost fixed before tea, after tea wrote
to Dais. and Mam and turned in about 9 p.m.
Wednesday 10th April, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., have to fix up some leaky tubes. Got engine
pit and took down brake gear and fire hole casting. After dinner took down ashpan,
Sgt. Grant and I working together. Was very nice first thing this morning but
out drizzly and dull, still our planes fairly busy. Had shave and cleaned after
went in to Church Army hut Aubigny for cigarettes. Back and in bed 8.30 p.m.
Thursday 11th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m. Started beading tubes, drove in ferrules first
then on instructions hammered tubes over. Turned out very fine after dinner and
planes were very busy. Guns sound to be very lively all along front. After tea
for a walk to Bethonsart and had feed of eggs as our tucker is not too plentiful.
at camp and in bed at 9.30 p.m.
Friday 12th April, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and at work 8.30 a.m., very fine day. Finished tubes this morning
and after dinner put ashpan up and fire bars in. Put set of fire bars in another
engine before 5 p.m. Our planes about in very great numbers today, also one or
fritz were over but very high up. Various rumours afloat again today. Haven't
meal today, just had a mouthful at each meal. Wrote letters tonight and in bed
Saturday 13th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. Fritz was hovering about a lot last night but did not hear any bombs
dropped. At work 8 a.m., Sgt. Grant sick today. Went down to yard for an engine
with bent frame and got everything ready for getting it hot and straightening
it by 3
p.m. Had a shave and shower bath, bath only fixed up today from an injector. Went
for walk at 5 p.m. and walked to Penin, had six eggs for tea with bread. Back
camp and in bed at 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 14th April, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Sgt. Grant at work again today. Blowing a
hurricane and very cold, sky very heavy with clouds. Got engine frame hot and
straightened it by 11.30 a.m. Half holiday today, too stormy to go out so got
and changed and sat by stove reading and talking till tea time. After tea had
and read again and kept stove going, awfully draughty in hut. Turned into bed
Monday 15th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., wind still blowing violently. Hammered up a couple
of stays in firebox and then started to straighten a broken frame. Got good heat
but frame broke clean off, was cracked so badly. Cut couple of patches and marked
them off for drilling. Wind eased a little but still strong and cold. After tea
read and yarn and turned into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 16th April, 1918
Guns going solidly all day.
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., put fire on other side of frame which is only
and straightened it before dinner. After dinner started drilling frame for patch
hand, got two holes through before tea. Rumours of British and French success.
Twenty-one of our men going to "Rouen" tomorrow for some work or other.
reinforcements arrived today. At tea time received seven letters, 2 from Dais.,
from Mam. Wrote a letter to Dais. tonight and in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 17th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took out, refilled and replaced a safety plug,
drilling frame and fixing patches up for it all day. Capt. Duncan and 21 N.C.O.s
men left this afternoon for Rouen. Weather clearing a bit today, were paid this
afternoon. Sound of very heavy gun fire all day a little to the south of us, few
planes about. After tea was writing letters till bed time when I turned in at
Had letter from Harry today.
Thursday 18th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. Disturbed last night, number of men came home drunk, had been
fighting with Tommies, some wanted to go back with revolvers, mad drunk. At work
8 a.m., very cold morning, strong wind. Did not do much as have no mate and Sgt.
Grant stayed in bed, he is sick after being horribly drunk last night. Drilled
a hole in
a patch and partly made a fasten for my kit bag. After tea wrote some letters,
very cold and draughty, making it rotten writing. Turned into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Friday 19th April, 1918
Bitter cold night, got up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Snow and hail falling at
intervals, melted as it fell with short breaks of sunshine but bitter strong wind.
Finished drilling frame before dinner and filled lead safety plug. After dinner
erected front part of engine drag plate buffer beam etc. Wind died down a little
tonight. After tea wrote letters till 9 p.m. when turned into bed.
Saturday 20th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., sharp frost, ground white over. At work 8 a.m. Came out very nice
day. Fixed up a smoke box door and a fire hole door, then did small job on a tractor
before dinner. This afternoon took out set of broken fire bars while engine under
steam and put new set in. All engines not in use being sent away on a/c of enemy's
activities. Went for my washing at 4 p.m., had a hot shower bath. After tea had
loafing evening talking in hut, had read and in bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 21st April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. very frosty again, at work 8 a.m. Turned out very fine day and pretty
clear, our planes very busy. Very little work this morning so finished making
to lock up my kit bag. Half holiday this afternoon, Will Hill and I went for a
round Bethonsart, Mingoval and home for tea. After tea Will and I went for short
walk and had supper, eggs and chips at 8 p.m. Back at camp and in bed 9 p.m. Lot
of chaps here very windy, afraid fritz will break through. Got no heart.
Monday 22nd April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., nice morning. Few R.E.s around last night,
advance party to take over depot from us. Took off damaged step and stanchion,
fixed them up and replaced them. Took my washing out. Rumours we are leaving
here in few days. After dinner took off damaged guard iron and put good one on,
then lay down in hut. Went for walk with W. Hill after tea and had feed, eggs
chips. Back and in bed at 9 p.m. Guns going solidly tonight.
Tuesday 23rd April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., very nice day, no work for me today. Don't know
exactly what is doing, expect move very soon. Helped Blacksmith to make some
tools to pass time away. Our planes very busy. After dinner looked round to see
job in, then went back to hut and had lie down till tea time. After tea wrote
Dais. and Mam, read the newspaper which a chap had managed to get, then had a
yarn and in bed 9.30 p.m. Guns going heavily again tonight.
Wednesday 24th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., very damp fog and rather miserable morning. Went down to work at
a.m., nothing doing so helped the blacksmiths again. We were paid again this
morning. After dinner had read and lie down, then went for my washing. Seven
R.E.s badly wounded by accidental explosion of an old fritz bomb. After tea wrote
letter and had a read, feel a bit off colour. Heavy rain and thunder storm started
8.30. Turned into bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 25th April, 1918
Anzac Day, three years today since the memorable landing on the Gallipoli
Peninsula. Up at 7 a.m., went down to work but nothing doing. Overhauled my kit,
parcelled up some souvenirs and gave it in to be posted home. Had a read and
sleep this afternoon, got extra rations to celebrate the day. Wrote a letter after
A lot of our men drunk last night, an estaminet smashed up and wild doings, have
get leave to go out of camp now. More men beastly drunk today, believe there will
be trouble, into bed at 9 p.m.
*2 Additional entry at beginning of diary
The two men directly concerned in smashing windows etc. at estaminet got off with
reprimand, one has been cautioned before more than once. It is the way of things,
had it been a steady man who made a single slip he'd have been clinked.
Friday 26th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., nothing doing again today, just have to stand by in case am wanted.
Our chaps are making things very bad round here through playing up. Some
bicycles stolen by some of our men today from Cyclist Battalion, bikes were found
our camp making things bad for us. Got cleaned up before tea and Will Hill and
went into Aubigny for a paper and had some eggs and chips. Back at camp 8.30
and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 27th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., nothing doing again today. Don't know when we are moving, am tired
of hanging about, can't go out till after tea in case am wanted. Rather dull day,
full account of landing by Navy at Ostend and Zeebruge. Glorious affair and will
buck the boys here up a lot. They say the navy's splendid and are quite excited.
After tea Bob Sargeant and I went to Aubigny for paper, called at Y.M.C.A., back
8 p.m., had read and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 28th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast had look round but nothing doing so at 10.30
went back to hut and got shaved and cleaned. After dinner went for walk round
Savy and Aubigny, bought paper and back for tea. Lot of our men leaving on
Tuesday, believe I have to remain behind attached to R.E.s. Received letter from
Harry, quite well. Heavy bombardment going on on this front this afternoon and
tonight Will Hill and I went to a quiet house, had eggs and chips and in bed 9.30
Monday 29th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took spark arrester out of Cooke engine, took
about an hour. List of men up who are leaving tomorrow, am not among them.
Received four letters just after dinner, one from Dais. and one from home. Nothing
doing this afternoon so lay down, have not felt quite in the pink this last few
After tea went out for paper, back and in bed at 9 p.m. Rained very heavily tonight,
seems thundery so close.
Tuesday 30th April, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Refilled a safety plug and put in new set of fire
this morning, wet and miserable day. Most of our Co'y left here this afternoon,
they are going near Etaples, don't know when we will follow. Took over a chap's
dugout after he left, was busy all afternoon cleaning it and making it comfortable.
Much better than in hut, quieter and more private. After tea wrote letter to Dais.
Sargeant cooked some eggs and chips for supper and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 1st May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Changed set of fire bars from one engine to
another, took down bonnet and baffle plates out of a smoke box and examined
tubes before dinner. Nothing doing after dinner so went to my dug-out and wrote
couple of letters. At 4 p.m. got shaved and cleaned and after tea W. Hill and
for stroll, back at 8 p.m. and Bob Sergeant and I cooked some eggs and chips for
supper. One of our chaps got run in last night. Turned in 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 2nd May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast at work refilled a lead plug and had fire bars
another engine. Really not much work but they seem to take me as the charge
hand. After dinner put in baffle plates and bonnet and put on smoke box front.
nice day and our planes busy. Been getting real good tucker this last two days,
hope it continues. After tea W. Hill, two pals and myself went to Aubigny for
buy a paper and cigarettes. Back at camp 8.15 p.m., had read, fritz planes over
p.m., no bombs, in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 3rd May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast, had look round but no work in for me so went back
to dug-out and overhauled my kit in case have to move any time soon. Nothing
doing again after dinner so lay down, had a read and sleep. Nice day again, things
seem to have quietened again up the line. After tea wrote some letters, had a
and read and in bed at 9 p.m. Our planes were busy again today being fine.
Saturday 4th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., rather damp morning but cleared up and came out very nice day. At
work 8.30 a.m., refilled a lead plug and fixed up some wash out plugs. Nothing
doing after dinner so had a nap. After tea went up to a shooting range near here
and had some rifle and revolver practice, am a fair good shot. Called for my
washing and back at camp at 8.30 p.m., our guns going heavily.
Sunday 5th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., wet morning and rained off and on all day. Trying to get some wash
out plugs out this morning, have no tools to work with so makes things difficult.
half holiday today, got shaved and cleaned and had a nap before tea. Am getting
tired of things here, want to be doing something worth doing. After tea went out
W. Hill for his washing and had some eggs and chips, back at camp and in bed 9.30
Monday 6th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took out and refilled couple of safety plugs and
examined couple of engines. Wet again this morning, but cleared up about 4 p.m.
and came out nice. Nothing doing this afternoon so had a read. Of course have
be ready in case job comes in. Most of our men were to leave here tomorrow, only
two of us stay behind, but orders have been cancelled, don't know what is doing.
Wrote to Dais. tonight and in bed 10 p.m. Guns going very heavy about 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 7th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and went to work 8 a.m., raining pretty sharp, no work in this morning
so returned to dug-out and read. No work again after dinner so had bath in a tin
wrote letter home, was paid also this afternoon. Cleaned up about 5 p.m., one
our planes nose-dived close by and crashed, pilot killed. Went for walk after
W. Hill, a Scotty told us our chaps had hopped over on this front early this morning,
hope they had a success. Back at camp, had yarn and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 8th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., very nice morning and came out lovely day. Very little doing in
work, renewed a set of fire bars before dinner. Very heavy gun fire last night
early this morning, believe fritz is expected to attack on this front. Nothing
afternoon so lay down and read a magazine. After tea took my washing out and had
cup of coffee, returned to camp, wrote a letter and in bed at 9.30 p.m. The night
clear but not much moon, wonder if fritz will be over.
Thursday 9th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., renewed a set of fire bars, nothing else doing
engines are working. Very fine day again. Nothing doing after dinner so wrote
couple of letters and got cleaned before tea. Planes busy today and guns going
fairly heavy at intervals till 8 p.m. when were pounding away in great style.
chaps expect to move from here
Monday, two of us B'makers to stay behind. Went
out for eggs and chips this evening and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 10th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., rather dull this morning. At work 8 a.m. but very little doing.
has arrived for the 20th R.E. Co'y. The guns going in spasms this morning. Sun
came out after dinner, but cool wind blowing. Had a nap then got cleaned. After
Bob Sergeant and I took a walk to Aubigny Church Army hut for some cigarettes.
Bought some postcards and back at camp at 7 p.m. Wrote postcards (10 of them)
and sent them to Dais., had a read and in bed 9.30 p.m. Rather cold tonight.
Saturday 11th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Did not go to work as don't know if moving
tomorrow or not, had a read and yarn. After dinner went to Lieut. Foster to see
was to stay here, said I would be going with the others tomorrow. Had shave and
clean up and after tea went out for walk and had some eggs and chips. Guns going
pretty constantly this evening, weather very close and sultry. Saw several trains
troops going up line. In bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 12th May, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and packed up my kit as expect to move today, not
till 11 a.m. if I was to be left behind or not. After dinner had a parade and
and at 3.30 p.m. went to Savy station. Train left with us at 5.15 p.m. and we
at Beaurainville about 8 p.m., detrained and put in huts. Busy getting our kits
beds to camp and getting fixed up for night, was late when we finished and was
p.m. before got to bed.
Monday 13th May, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and paraded for breakfast at 7 a.m., little burnt porridge.
Marched back to camp and had to fall in on parade again at once when were
marched off to work unloading broad gauge trucks. Rained all day and pretty
miserable. Had to work dinner hour and no dinner was kept for us (10), went to
Capt. and ordered cooks to cook steak for us so had good dinner. Fatigue work
afternoon carting huts about and loose timber. After tea made things comfortable
hut and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 14th May, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and breakfast 7 a.m. On parade 7.45 a.m. and marched to Rly.
siding. Laid big floor of sleepers and unloaded six wagons of coal, marched back
camp 12 noon. On parade again 1.30 p.m. and dismissed. Tea at 4.30 p.m., on
parade 5 p.m. and marched to train, unloaded seven wagons, rails, girders, pipes
and timber. Finished 8 p.m., got washed and went out for some eggs and chips.
Nicer day today and wrote couple of letters this afternoon. Back at camp and in
Wednesday 15th May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast 7 a.m. On parade 8 a.m., ordered to stand by
and then dismissed to huts. Not called out all morning. After dinner wrote letter
Dais. Very hot day, had tea at 4.30 p.m. and on parade 5.30 p.m., marched off
unload trucks, waited till 8.30 p.m. and trucks did not arrive so went back to
and dismissed. It is reported we are to go through a musketry and machine gun
course and be armed accordingly. Had a wash and yarn and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Several train load of Yankees gone up towards line today.
Thursday 16th May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. had breakfast and on parade 7.45 a.m. Marched to work, busy all
morning carrying heavy timber, 20 men to each baulk. Knocked off at 11.45 and
marched back for dinner. Paraded and marched to work again 1.30 p.m., train in
way so could not do anything. Loafed about till 4 p.m. then had dip in river close
very hot day. Back to camp 5 p.m. Will Hill sent away to hospital sick. Great
number trains of French soldiers going up line. In bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 17th May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. breakfast 7 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., some fatigues detailed
off then rest of us dismissed with orders to stand to for work at any minute.
hair cut by a pal and had a read. Nothing doing after dinner, very hot day again.
French and Yankee troop trains going up line all day. Ordered at 5 p.m. to be
for parade 5.30 p.m. but train did not come in so took my washing out and watched
an R.E. fishing in river for trout. Back in camp 8 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 18th May, 1918
Up at 6.15 a.m. and breakfast at 7 a.m. On parade 7.45 a.m., general fatigues
off and rest of us dismissed to stand by. Very hot day again, huts very close
Tea at 4.30 p.m. as train came in to be unloaded. Paraded at 6 p.m. and marched
to work, unloaded fourteen wagons of sleepers and four of light gauge rails. Worked
hard and knocked off at 10 p.m. as got dark. Had some bread and bully beef and
bed 11 p.m. Fritz dropped some bombs near here about midnight.
Sunday 19th May, 1918
Up at 6.15 a.m. and after breakfast on parade 7.45 a.m., marched to work and
unloaded remainder of train by 11 a.m. Very hot day again. Remainder of our
company arrived this morning. After dinner Bob Sgt. and I went for walk along
bank, lovely country and plenty of trout fishing. Back for tea then went for walk
again along river, really beautiful, fine hills all round us, enjoyed the walk
Back at camp and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 20th May, 1918
Have a bugler now, getting military.
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., detached into various parties and
marched to work, carrying heavy girders till dinner time. Dinner 12 noon and on
parade again 1 p.m., went back to same job but marched back to camp at 2.30 p.m.
for pay. Did not go back to work again till 6 p.m. when paraded and unloaded a
of pig iron, rails and other heavy stuff. Finished 9 p.m., marched back to camp
in bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 21st May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., detaileld off into parties, our party
to go on
at 3 p.m. so went out for walk to Compagne village about 1 1/2 miles away. Very
day, country lovely. Back for dinner. On parade 2.45 p.m. and marched to work,
pick and shovel digging out and grading for light railway track. Tea 5 p.m. to
then back to work till 9.30 p.m. Worked hard and cut lot of ground out, marched
back and in bed 10.30 p.m., not a drink of tea even. Very hot day.
Wednesday 22nd May, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll called and marched off to work,
moving heavy girders all morning till 12.15 noon. On parade again 1 p.m. and
marched to work again, unloading wagons and a 2 H.P. tractor this afternoon off
broad gauge trucks. Worked hard till 5.15 p.m. when had tea and on parade again
p.m. and marched to work unloading more wagons till 9 p.m. when knocked off and
turned in without anything to eat or even a drink of tea. Getting very strict
bed 10 p.m. Very hot day.
Thursday 23rd May, 1918
Fritz was over bombing again late last night, did not drop any near us. Reveille
a.m., on parade 7.45 a.m. and to work. Unloaded off broad gauge a 40 H.P. tractor,
then loading sleepers on narrow gauge wagons. After dinner loaded more sleepers,
then carried them from wagons also rails and put them down for new track we are
laying. Heavy work as O.C. is trying to make a record and is chasing us up, one
our chaps fined 7 days pay for being late on parade. Knocked off 5 p.m., wrote
Dais. and in bed 9 p.m. Cooler today, wind strong tonight.
Friday 24th May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. and out to work. Raining and blowing
hard, loading sleepers, fish plates, chairs, spikes, bolts etc. for plate laying
dinner time. After dinner loading sleepers and rails and carrying them to track
for laying, pretty heavy work to keep up constantly. Knocked off at 4 p.m. thoroughly
wet through. Lot of discontent existing as O.C. is rushing things too hard without
thought for the men. Lot of open grumbling going on. Into bed 9 p.m. Wrote letter
to Will Hill this evening at 24th Gen. Hosp.
Saturday 25th May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Was dismissed, cleaned my kit and had
game of bridge before dinner. On parade again 1 p.m. and marched to work
carrying rails and sleepers for light Rly. track, heavy work and not too much
Complained about food but no satisfaction. Knocked off at 4.30 p.m., got cleaned
and after tea went for my washing then for walk to Compeigne, very nice village
lovely country. Back and in bed at 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 26th May, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and breakfast 7 a.m. Holiday today on a/c of heavy work we
engaged on. Took my washing out about 10 a.m. and went for walk along river
before dinner. This afternoon four of us went for walk in the country, went through
"Compagne" and had good walk, bought some nice lettuce, 2d. per bunch,
some eggs and chips for tea and walked home by 7 p.m., had a very nice day.
Could hear guns rumbling in distance. Turned into bed tired out at 9 p.m.
Monday 27th May, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and after breakfast at 7 a.m. paraded and marched to work by
a.m. Carrying rails, sleepers and laying them down all day till 4.45 p.m. with
for dinner. Heavy work. Very nice day again and not too hot. Rumours afloat today
that fritz has recommenced his offensive, nothing definite and no details. One
chaps got 7 days 2nd F.P. for writing a letter home about the tucker and criticizing
the officers. Did some writing after tea and turned in at 9 p.m. Have got bit
from being wet through few days ago.
Tuesday 28th May, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work, putting
narrow gauge trucks together and putting them on track with steam crane, put twelve
on this morning. After dinner put remaining one on and then knocked off. Very
day again but am feeling bit rotten as have heavy cold, think from getting wet
through a few days ago. Received two letters from Mam and one from Dais. After
tea started answering them but head ached badly so knocked off and in bed 8 p.m.
Wednesday 29th May, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work. My cold
better today. Not much doing, was sitting in a crop nearly all day till 3 p.m.
knocked off. Got cleaned and ready for dinner and concert in celebration of 1st
anniversary of this unit's landing in France. Dinner at 6 p.m. and concert 7.30
Both went off very well, closed up at 10.30 p.m. More men sick today, had look
round them and turned in 12 p.m.
Thursday 30th May, 1918
Called up at 1.45 a.m. and kept an eye on sick chaps till 4.45 a.m. when called
another chap and turned in till 6.30 a.m. when up again and got patients, about
some breakfast. Had my own breakfast later and turned in for nap but could not
sleep. Very fine day again, hot this afternoon. Had a read and did some writing.
Don't feel too good again today but not too bad. More men fallen sick, some gone
hospital. It is getting serious. After tea had walk along river and turned in
Friday 31st May, 1918
Called up at 1.45 a.m. and kept watch on the sick chaps till 5.30 a.m., about
them now, called another chap at 5.30 a.m. and I turned in for a nap till 7 a.m.
got up for breakfast. Fritz planes about at 2 a.m. but not near us, could hear
Tried to get a sleep after breakfast but too many interruptions. A doctor came
me about some drugs at 11 a.m., was very nice and he noticed I was not quite up
the mark. Lay reading after dinner. Fritz started offensive again. Wrote letter
tea and in bed at 8.30 p.m.
Saturday 1st June, 1918
Was not called out last night, but did not sleep too well as was expecting a call
time. Fritz planes were about for over two hours hovering about, dropped bombs
some distance away. Up at 5 a.m. got hot water for sick chaps to have a wash then
had my breakfast. Lay down after breakfast again as feel a bit worn out, feeling
better of myself. Hot day, after dinner went out for walk and got my washing.
for tea, had yarn, read paper and in bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 2nd June, 1918
Up at 5 a.m., got some hot water for sick chaps to have a wash. Had shave and
clean up before breakfast. After breakfast made out full list of men sick with
treatment etc. also wrote out an indent for some drugs. Very hot day again. Fritz
planes over again last night. Had a nap this afternoon, seem to be getting done
and tired. After tea went for walk by myself to river and watched chaps fishing.
Back and camp and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 3rd June, 1918
Up at 5 a.m. and got hot water for sick chaps to have a wash then had breakfast
a.m. After breakfast not much doing so took my washing out. After dinner gave
medicines out to sick chaps then borrowed a bike and went about eighteen miles
2 Y.M.C.A.s to buy a writing pad as am out of paper, could not get one. Very hot
and dusty riding. Back for tea and after tea raked up a field service book and
a letter home and one to Dais. In bed at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 4th June, 1918
Up at 5 a.m. and got some hot water for sick chaps, had a cup of tea off cooks.
Breakfast at 7 a.m., had nothing to do this morning but had to keep out of the
inspection of huts was over at 11 a.m. After dinner had read and a sleep. Tea
p.m. then wrote a letter and at 7.30 p.m. went out and had some eggs and chips
a bottle of cider (home made). Back at camp and in bed 9 p.m. Very nice day.
Rumours of an Anglo-French success.
Wednesday 5th June, 1918
Up at 5.30 a.m., got some hot water for sick then had breakfast. Went round with
doctor after breakfast. 48 men on sick roll, lot malingering but doctor smelling
out as they are making it too hot. Arranged for tucker for those really sick.
dinner gave out medicines, rubbed a few with bad backs and drew their tucker.
Took half doz. temperatures after tea. Had leter from W. Hill from Eng. Wrote
to him and in bed at 9 p.m.
Thursday 6th June, 1918
Up at 5.30 a.m., got hot water ready, had breakfast, took some temperatures and
gave out medicines. Went round with doctor at 11 a.m. Only about 25 sick today,
number put on light duties. After dinner gave out medicines again and arranged
light tea. Our chaps started trenching our camp today, orders from Hdqrtrs in
of plane raids, making real good trenches. Had walk along river and some eggs
chips after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 7th June, 1918
Up at 5.30 a.m., got hot water ready and after breakfast took temperatures and
out medicines. Went round with doctor at 11 a.m., most of sick better, only about
now. Have had about 160 altogether, very few have escaped in the camp.
Arranged for light tucker and gave out medicines after dinner. Our chaps made
job of trench for cover for us during air raids. Wrote letter this afternoon and
more after tea. Orders for all of us to be supplied with rifles etc. Turned into
bed at 9
Saturday 8th June, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast 7 a.m. then took medicines round. Most of sick
almost well again. Very nice day with cool breeze. Went round with doctor at 11
a.m., not necessary for him to come again so sick parades will go as usual. Had
various calls for medicine from chaps during day, mostly laxatives. Received parcel
from Cousin Mirrie, some cake, tea and lollies. Had a yarn and read after tea
turned into bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 9th June, 1918
Reveille at 6.30 a.m. and breakfast 7 a.m. Day off today so nothing doing. Was
this morning but threatened later to rain and eventually had couple of sharp
showers, they just laid the dust nicely. Wrote some letters and cleaned up my
things. After tea started out for a walk but had to return as started raining
hard. Spent evening reading and yarning and turned in at 9 p.m.
Monday 10th June, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and breakfast 7 a.m. Nothing doing for me this morning, am
having a rather easy time just now. Washed and cleaned my leggings before
dinner. Received fine parcel from Aunt Edith. After dinner took out my washing
then fixed up a chap's leg, cut and badly bruised through sleeper falling on it.
chaps had to go to work again after tea, fixed up three of them with cut hands,
a letter and into bed 9 p.m., fine day again.
Tuesday 11th June, 1918
Reveille at 6.30 a.m., breakfast at 7 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call
dismissed. Went over to doctors for some gauze and iodine, nothing else doing
about 4 p.m. except parade and roll call at 12.45. About 4 p.m. a chap was knocked
over while unloading wagons and got nasty cut just over the eye. Cleaned and
dressed it for him. After tea wrote couple of letters to Mam and Dais., had hand
bridge and in bed at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 12th June, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and after breakfast on parade at 7.45, roll call and dismissed
duties. Had nothing to do today but re-dress chap's head, but can not leave camp.
Took my new tunic over to an old lady's to have sleeves shortened and colours
on. Wrote some letters. On parade again at 12.45 noon, roll call and dismissed.
Had game of bridge after tea and in bed at 9 p.m.
Thursday 13th June, 1918
Reveille went at 6 a.m. for some of our boys who are going to "Hesdin"
a town about
8 miles away to lay in a light Rly. spur from main broad gauge line to hospital.
of us on parade at 7.45 a.m., roll call, orders and dismissed. Dressed chap's
again and gave out various tablets (drugs). Had sleep after dinner. After tea
concert in a field given by some Canadians, very good indeed. At camp and in bed
Friday 14th June, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m., breakfast and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and dismissed.
Nothing doing today except gave out few tablets. One of our chaps named Logan
was court-martialled yesterday for cowardice under fire, got off. On parade again
12.45 a.m., roll call and dismissed. Had lie down and read this afternoon. Am
having a very easy time just now, but feel I need it so am saying nothing. After
had game of bridge and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 15th June, 1918
Reveille at 6 a.m. and breakfast 6.30 a.m., some of our men on parade at 7 a.m.,
rest of us at 7.45 a.m. Roll call, orders and dismissed to duty. Gave out a few
tablets and kept out of sight of the officers. On parade again 12.45 noon, roll
and dismissed. Had lie down and read this afternoon. Just sat down to tea at 5
p.m. and had to rush away, one of our chaps fell off train coming from "Hesdin",
severely lacerated lip and extensively bruised down left side, fixed him up then
him on motor lorry to hospital near "Montreul", back at 7 p.m., had
tea and in bed at
Sunday 16th June, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and breakfast 7 a.m. Got shaved and cleaned as have to go to
hospital to make some arrangements about chap injured yesterday. Waited till 2
p.m. before car was ready, after seeing chap went on to Montreul but could not
in town as did not have a pass. Back for tea, then went for walk to village of
"Maresqueil" about 2 1/2 miles, walked back along river bank. Have bad
tonight, tied up cut hands for couple of chaps and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 17th June, 1918
Eight years today since our family sailed from England for Australia.
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and dismissed to duty. Very
little to do again today, just kept out of way and fixed up one or two chaps who
bit off colour. After dinner took my washing out and had a sleep. We are having
very fine weather lately, but seemed inclined to be stormy today, but passed over,
hope fritz got it instead. After tea did some writing, had a read and in bed at
Tuesday 18th June, 1918
Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call, orders and dismissed to
Had about half a doz. chaps whis morning with cut hands to fix up. On parade again
12.45 a.m., roll call and dismissed again, wrote a letter and had a sleep. Very
day again. After tea went for walk to Maresquel and bought a writing pad, very
lucky. Walked back along the river and watched the trout rising. Back at 8 p.m.
in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 19th June, 1918
Reveille at 6.30 a.m., on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and orders. One of our chaps
was fined a days pay for being one minute late on parade, read out in orders,
dismissed to duty. Had very little to do today. On parade again 12.45 p.m., roll
and dismissed. Wrote a letter to Dais. An Aust'n mail in but none for me yet,
disappointed but hope to get some tomorrow. After tea some Canadian Jocks came
round and gave us a very nice concert. Turned into bed at 9 p.m.
Thursday 20th June, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and dismissed to duty.
Fixed up a couple of cut hands then took an R.E. to his billet who collapsed in
camp and fixed him up. On parade again 12.45 p.m. Nothing doing this afternoon
so made an aluminium souvenir identity disc out of Canadian water bottle, cut
in shape of Australia and engraved my No., name and unit on it. After tea had
and wrote a letter then turned in at 9 p.m.
Friday 21st June, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call, orders and dismissed
duty. Fixed up a few sore fingers and gave few tablets out. Weather getting a
unsettled, had few showers. On parade again 12.45 p.m., nothing doing this
afternoon so had a read and fell asleep. Chap woke me up at 5.30 p.m. to fix up
fingers which he had jambed. We are not getting too much tucker lately again,
bread being very short. Had read after tea and into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 22nd June, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and orders then
dismissed to duty. Few sore hands to attend to and tablets to give out. Very windy
day and pretty cold. Good news of offensive on Italian front. On parade again
p.m., roll call and dismissed. Wrote a letter and had a sleep before tea. Am taking
things easy as I am feeling a bit weary and done. After tea had a read and turned
into bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 23rd June, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m., day off today so got a pass and three of us went to "Hesdin",
about 8 (eight) miles away. Got there for dinner and had eggs and chips, then
look round. Bought some post cards and service stripes. Very dull and slow place,
but some pretty scenery on the outskirts and along the river. Had some tea and
biscuits at Y.M.C.A. and caught train home at 6.30 p.m. In bed at 9 p.m., called
at 11 p.m., one of our chaps, tight, had fallen and hurt his shoulder pretty badly.
Monday 24th June, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and after parade went on sick parade as my ears are getting
dull and want syringing out. Waited all morning for doctor, then got my ears done,
feel much better. Wrote letter after dinner. Very cold and wet day, not like summer
at all. 1st Canad. Wing came and gave us very nice concert in our mess hut at
p.m., it was very good and as they are about to go back in the line we afterwards
entertained them to a smoke social, very pleasant night and turned in at 11.30
Tuesday 25th June, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call, orders and dismissed.
Fixed up few minor ailments and kept out of way while camp inspection was on.
parade again 12.45 p.m., roll call and dismissed again. Settled down and wrote
letter this afternoon, then sewed my service stripes on tunic, one red 1914 stripe
three blue ones. After tea wrote another letter and had read, have got a rotten
in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 26th June, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call, orders and dismissed
duty. Fixed up few chaps and bathed a toe that is giving me some trouble.
Received word at 11 a.m. to be ready for inspection by Gen. Birdwood. On parade
at 12.45, put into platoons, inspected at 1.30 p.m. The Gen. spoke and chatted
several chaps then made nice speech, dismissed at 2.30 p.m. Am not feeling too
good so lay down till tea time. Went to concert in a barn at 7 p.m. by A.S.C.
In bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 27th June, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Fixed up few chaps this morning,
sore fingers, pills etc. On parade again 12.45 p.m. and dismissed, spent afternoon
writing to Dais. Much nicer day today. Am not feeling really well at all, think
beginning to give out to it, its just a worn out feeling. News getting brighter
papers, more Italian successes and news from Germany more re-assuring for us.
Had read after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 28th June, 1918
Fritz planes over bombing about 1 a.m. but I never heard a sound and did not wake
till reveille at 6.30 a.m. On parade as usual and then fixed up about half a dozen
chaps. Fine day but rather cloudy. On parade again 12.45 p.m., fixed up couple
chaps and then had read and sleep. Our rifles and bayonets arrived today, will
issued to us in few days time. News still better in the papers again today. After
had yarn, wrote a letter then got into bed and read till 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 29th June, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Put foments on couple of chaps
with nasty boils on their faces. Weather fine again and pretty warm. Dug up some
potatoes that are being covered by Rly. track, very small. After midday parade
cleaned the potatoes and got few onions ready for boiling for supper. After tea
out for walk and tried to get in barn to a concert but full up. Had good plate
spuds, onions and bully beef and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 30th June, 1918
Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual but only few chaps wanted,
off for everyone else. Fritz planes were hovering about at from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.
morning and bombs were dropped some distance from here. Hot day today. Fixed
up two chaps with boils this morning. Had a sleep after dinner, feel very weary
longing for home. After tea went for walk along river with couple of pals. Had
mashed potatoes etc. for supper and to bed 9 p.m.
Monday 1st July, 1918
Fritz planes were hovering about for nearly three hours last night and early this
morning, seemed to be going over Etaples way. Could not hear any bombs drop.
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Fixed up boil for a chap and
another chap with crushed finger. Went out for my washing at 11.30 a.m. After
midday parade had a bath in dish in a crop then wrote some letters. After tea
more letters, had read and in bed 9 p.m. Very hot today.
Tuesday 2nd July, 1918
Fritz planes over again last night and early this morning but slept soundly and
not hear them myself. Up at reveille and on parade as usual then did couple of
dressings and had a read of the paper which I went out to get at 11 a.m. After
midday parade settled down and wrote letter to Dais. till tea time. After tea
with some of the boys and a read, at 8.30 p.m. had some mashed spuds that we
bought and cooked ourselves and turned into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 3rd July, 1918
Fritz planes over again but did not hear them. Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on
parade as usual. Did one dressing and then went down to Workshops and saw
chap named Dick Woods from Crewe Boiler Shop. Had yarn with him for about an
hour. After midday parade wrote some letters till tea time. Heard concert on in
village so went and found it postponed then went for walk along river. Back at
had mashed spuds for supper and in bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 4th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Did up three chaps with bad hands
then had shave and clean up and went out for paper at 11 a.m. News still keeping
slightly in our favour. Weather still keeping splendid. After dinner wrote couple
letters and had a read. Received letter from Will Hill who is now at Dartford.
he is pretty good. After tea had read and yarn with the boys then supper and in
Friday 5th July, 1918
A lot of our planes were about last night about 11 p.m. Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m.
on parade as usual then fixed up a couple of dressings. At 11 a.m. went up street
for a paper. News very quiet this last few days. After midday parade dressed a
chaps finger then lay down for a read and fell asleep. Woke for tea after which
for a stroll and back at camp at 8 p.m. No supper tonight and in bed at 9 p.m.
Saturday 6th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Nothing doing today. Went for
paper at 11 a.m., news very quiet. Rumours of us moving down the Somme area.
Half holiday for the boys today on a/c of Canadian sports. Had a sleep this
afternoon. Am feeling weary of myself and will be glad when things are a bit more
active again. Hope it will all soon be over as am feeling done up and not myself,
game is telling, but I'm not sick yet. Turned into bed after supper at 9 p.m.
Sunday 7th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast then had clean up and yarn and went
for paper at 11 a.m. Just before dinner received five letters, 2 from Dais., 2
Mam and 1 from Cis., tray bon. After dinner a pal and I went out for walk, walked
Compagne and had cup of coffee then home for tea at 5 p.m., very hot and sultry.
After tea had read and yarn, helped to get supper ready, mashed potatoes and bully
beef and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Monday 8th July, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Tied up a chaps finger and had
read. Went out for paper at 11 a.m., started making a souvenir match box case.
Spent the whole afternoon writing letter to Dais. Very hot and sultry again, lot
planes about today. After tea engraved my name and unit on match box cover and
had read and yarn. About 8 p.m. had heavy thunder shower for half and hour, vivid
lightning, cleared the air and much pleasanter. Had supper and into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 9th July, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual, roll call and orders, all men 40 and over
have to hand in names and details of service to orderly room. Nothing doing this
morning. Went out for paper at 11 a.m. After dinner wrote a couple of letters
had a yarn. Paraded after tea to Capt. Duncan and got leave to go to Etaples on
Sat. to see Miss Ada Potter, an old friend. Rained heavily again tonight, thunder
showers. No supper, just had cup of cocoa without sugar, into bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 10th July, 1918
Did not get to sleep very early last night as all the chaps in another hut were
and kicked up a terrible row till 3.30 this morning. Up at Reveille at 6.30 a.m.
parade as usual. Nothing doing again this morning so kept out of way while
inspection of camp on and went for paper at 11 a.m. After dinner spent the time
making a new kit bag from some brown canvas I have got, have good bit done by
tea time, wants eyelets in now. Had read and talk after tea. Fine all day but
this evening. Into bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 11th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Nothing doing today, spent
morning putting eyelet holes in my new kit bag. After midday parade painted my
name etc. on kit bag and then did some engraving on a souvenir match box case.
orders today that all 1914 men to parade tomorrow at 6 p.m. to orderly room and
give in name, date of enlistment and embarkation and particulars of service. Looks
like something doing for a trip home. After tea got some spuds and mashed them
for supper and in bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 12th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Rained heavily all night and
heavy showers all day, thundery. Spent morning reading and yarning. After midday
parade wrote letter, had read and sleep till tea time. Weather clearer after tea.
Gave in particulars of service etc. to orderly room at 6 p.m. then went up road
motor column that runs to Etaples to make arrangements for ride in in the morning.
Back at camp, had read and yarn, fried biscuits for supper and in bed 9 p.m. Called
up at 9.15 p.m., chap ill.
Saturday 13th July, 1918
Chap had epileptic fit, developed into mania, took 6 of us to hold him. Got Amb.
and took him to hospital, had 5 1/2 hours solid struggling with him. Doctor gave
morphia to quieten him, arrived back at camp at 4.30 a.m. and lay down till 5.30
when got up and cleaned and caught motor lorry to Etaples. Arrived at 10.15 a.m.
and met my friend Miss Potter, W.A.A.C. at 11.45 a.m. Walked to Paris Plage, a
very nice seaside resort, sat on sand then had tea (eggs and chips, the inevitable)
got tram back to Etaples and went to concert in Base Camp given by N.Z.'s Kiwis,
very good, orchestra lovely. Came out 8.30 p.m., left my friend 8.45 p.m. and
and got room and bed at house, very nice place. Kiwis gave sketch entitled Y go
Sunday 14th July, 1918
Left entertainment before it was over last night as W.A.A.C.'s have to be in camp
9 p.m. Went straight to sleep last night as was very tired, awoke by anti-aircraft
barrage at 1 a.m. as fritz planes over bombing, din from guns was terrific. Fell
asleep again before firing finished and awoke at 6.30 a.m. Got up and cleaned
had breakfast 7.30 a.m., eggs and chips, then read newspaper till 8.45 a.m. when
went to station to catch my train at 9.20 a.m. Rained this morning, back at camp
a.m. having had a pleasant change. Received a parcel from Peggy, loafed the day
away as still a bit tired and turned into bed 9 p.m. Paris Plage is awfully nice
was not finished when war broke out and has not been touched since.
Monday 15th July, 1918
Slept very sound last night, believe guns were going very heavily but I heard
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Fine day again today. Rumours of heavy
fighting again but cannot get to know at what part of line or with what results.
Troops etc. passing here on train, also lot of cavalry moved towards line yesterday.
Had very little to do today so wrote couple of letters, went up street for paper
had a read. After tea some of our chaps played cricket match, had a look at them
and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 16th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Had thunder storm during night
still close and sultry. Nothing doing for me today so wrote a couple of letters
and Home. Rumours of heavy fighting still but can get no real news of any kind.
Movements of troops and materials going on along this line past us. Some of our
men went away today, don't know for how long. No news in the paper. Had read
after tea and into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 17th July, 1918
Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual, nothing doing for me, very
indeed today and most uncomfortable. After midday parade wrote a letter, had a
read of paper, first news of new enemy offensive in paper, then had nap before
After tea went down to river for a bath and swim, water pretty cold, heavy lightning.
Back at 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m. after cup of cocoa.
Thursday 18th July, 1918
One year today since Fred was killed. Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade
7.45 a.m. Wrote three letters this morning and had a read. Received a parcel from
Aust. Overseas club, good parcel except that biscuits in it were the same as Army
issue which upset the boys. After midday parade went up street for paper, little
more news of offensive, fritz not doing much good. Had a nap before tea. This
evening watched some of our chaps playing cricket, had cup of cocoa and in bed
Friday 19th July, 1918
One year today since transferred to this unit. Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on
as usual. Wrote some letters before dinner and tied up a couple of cut fingers.
dinner went out for my washing and the paper. Strong rumours of Franco-American
success, but nothing in papers yet, hope it is true. Had a sleep before tea. After
watched a cricket match between two mugs teams of our Co'y, very funny indeed.
Had supper of mashed potatoes and cocoa and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 20th July, 1918
Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Fixed up chaps toe, been rather
badly crushed. Nice morning but later heavy thunder storm broke. Put some new
Aust'n buttons on my great coat before dinner. After midday parade took my
washing out and got paper. News of Franco-American advance of eight miles, no
stated number of prisoners, but rumours of about 20,000 and 300 guns, hope it
true. After tea lay on bed and read till 8 p.m., had cup of cocoa and in bed at
Sunday 21st July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast. Very windy day otherwise fine. Loafed
the morning away and talked about the French American counter offensive. Got the
paper shortly after dinner, gives prisoners at 17,000 and guns 360. Great joy
the boys. Went for a walk around Compagne district at 2 p.m., called at farm and
had cup of coffee made of milk. Back for tea at 5.15 p.m. Lay on bed and read
evening, had cup cocoa and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 22nd July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Had read this morning and got
of way while inspection on at 10.30 a.m. Waiting patiently for paper. After midday
parade got paper, prisoners stated at 20,000 and guns 400, very good but hoping
better. Did some writing before tea. After tea watched cricket match between some
of our chaps, couple of full hospital trains went by, one was U.S. Rumour of British
offensive up this Arras front. Started raining 8.30 p.m., had cup cocoa and in
Tuesday 23rd July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m., fixed up one or two chaps who are sick after dismissed
parade, then did some writing before dinner. After dinner wrote letter to Dais.
wet and miserable day and strong wind blowing. The Allied Forces still knocking
back, things looking pretty good. After tea wrote letter home and then had yarn
the boys. Fried some biscuits for supper and had cup of cocoa then in bed at 9.30
Wednesday 24th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual, nothing doing this morning. At
10.30 a.m. was told off for job caulking pipes (a water main, lead joints). Am
Mjr. Jackson told the Capt. I was having an easy time with nothing to do, the
are very sore over it. On parade 12.45 p.m. and marched to job in a paddock over
mile away, got some tools and was caulking all afternoon till 4.45 p.m., then
marched back to camp. Went for walk along roads after tea, back at 8.30 p.m. and
in bed at 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 25th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work
caulking pipe joints all day. Heavy showers at intervals this morning, but lovely
between whiles. Fritz planes over last night, dropped bombs not very far from
but I never heard a sound, slept too well. News in papers still good for our side,
small push by the French on Amiens front, everyone in good spirits. American
troops passing here on Rly, large numbers of them. Turned into bed 9 p.m.
Friday 26th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m., not on parade till 8.15 as raining hard. Roll call and
marched to work, very muddy and sloppy, rained at intervals all morning. Got wet
through and up to the eyes in mud from lying down in trench caulking joints. Stayed
on job and had our dinner sent out to us, small piece meat and one small potato,
much for hard work. Digging in trench and mauling heavy pipes (about 5 cwt. each)
all afternoon. Gave us biscuit and piece cheese at 3 p.m. Knocked off 4.45 p.m.
and back to camp. Rained hard tonight, sat and yarned after tea and into bed at
Saturday 27th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and marched to work,
caulking and general navvying. Rained at intervals, was wet through and dried
again several times, as no shelter here. Dinner brought up to us in motor. Rained
again this afternoon, finished as far as we could go by 3 p.m. so Capt. told us
knock off. Went back to camp wet through and mud up to neck from lying down in
muddy trench. Good news in paper. Wrote letter after tea and into bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 28th July, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast, day off work today. Had a shave and clean up
then had nap before dinner, have got slight cold. Did not rain today but very
After dinner took out my washing and got paper, still good news for our side,
Germans being steadily beaten. Sat yarning till tea time. After tea Bob Sargeant
and I went for bit of a walk, back at camp at 7.30 p.m., talking with some of
had cup of cocoa and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 29th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work.
Same class of work, general navvying and caulking pipe joints. Nice day today,
quite a treat after broken weather. Back to camp for dinner at 12 noon and on
parade again 1.45 p.m. Worked till 5 p.m. then back to camp for tea, were paid
p.m. A fritz plane over, chased by four of ours, very high. Wrote letters to Dais.
Mam, had cup of tea and in bed at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 30th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., very foggy this morning. Roll
and marched to work, working near prisoners compound now, about 500 Hun
prisoners in working about here. Turned out very nice day again, plenty of work
kept going. Dinner 12 noon and on parade 12.45 p.m. and back to work, knocked
at 4.45 p.m. and back to camp for tea at 5.15 p.m. Wrote a letter this evening
sent 5 pounds to my a/c in bank at Crewe. Had cup of tea and into bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 31st July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and marched to work,
same work in prisoners compound. Very hot day indeed, knocked off for dinner at
12 noon and on parade again 12.45 p.m. and to work again, the heat roasted us
afternoon and when we knocked off at 4.45 p.m. I went in river for a swim. After
watched a cricket match, one of our chaps had heavy fall, broke his nose and got
pretty severe concussion. Sent him to hospital and then had cup of tea and into
at 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 1st August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. Had stuff like Neaves food for baby's for breakfast and
bacon which was bad and uneatable. On parade at 7.45 a.m. Roll call and
marched to work, same navvying work only a bit nearer camp now. Very hot again,
especially after dinner. News in papers still in our favour and strong rumour
Turkey severing with Germany and making separate peace. Our tucker is not very
substantial for the heavy work we are doing. Had read after tea and in bed at
Friday 2nd August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and marched to work,
out of pipes at 9 a.m. so had to do some digging. Rained pretty hard and got wet
through, sent us to camp at 10.30 a.m. Rained very heavy at midday so did not
out till 1.30 p.m. Digging a trench two foot deep for small water pipe all afternoon,
nasty drizzly rain. After tea had a shave and cleaned some spuds for supper then
into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 3rd August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Digging a trench about 2 feet
and a foot wide for some small water pipes. Knocked off for dinner at 12 noon,
parade again at 1.45 p.m. and marched to work, digging big trench about 3 foot
deep and 2 foot wide for main water pipes. Very heavy digging as ground is so
solid. Weather cleared this afternoon and we knocked off at 4.45 p.m., feel pretty
tired. After tea went out for my washing and into bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 4th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. 4th Anniversary of declaration of war by Britain. Had
compulsory church parade at 9.30 a.m., back at camp for dinner. Very nice day,
had game of cricket this afternoon and for a little while after tea, our side
lost by ten
runs. Good news in papers again, Germans retreating and French have regained
Soissons. Rumours of even better news, main Rly line past here exceedingly busy
all day, troops etc., many singing and waving flags, in real good spirits, beginning
think Fritz is nearly done. Had spuds for supper and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 5th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and marched to work,
digging trench all day, ground very solid making it hard work. Knocked off for
at 12 noon and on parade again 12.45 p.m., roll call and marched to work till
Very showery day. Good news in papers again, everybody in good spirits. Wrote
letter to Dais. after tea, hard work writing and chaps jumping about hut. Had
cocoa and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 6th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work,
trench digging, ground getting a bit easier. Rained fairly constantly and hard
dinner so we knocked off at 4.50 p.m. Feel dead tired after doing a day at this
but otherwise alright. News in papers still keeps good. After tea finished letter
Dais. and wrote one home, had yarn with some of the boys and into bed at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 7th August, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work.
Still digging trench but looks as if we have nearly finished this one so did not
hard. Dinner at 12 noon and on parade again 12.45 p.m. and back to work.
Knocked off about 4.30 p.m. and went to huts and kept out of way of officers.
nice day today and did not rain for a wonder. After tea had a shave and wrote
couple of letters, read the paper, news still good. Had drink of tea and into
bed at 9
Thursday 8th August, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade at 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to
still digging away, much nicer day again. Dinner at 12 noon and on parade again
12.45 p.m., roll call and to work again. Not being rushed so much now on our job,
taking it easy. Knocked off at 5 p.m. and after tea read the paper and wrote couple
of letters. News quieter today. Had cup of coffee and in bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 9th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and to work digging
ballasting light Rly. track this morning. Rumours of fine British offensive and
success, eagerly awaiting confirmation. On parade again 12.45 p.m. and off to
work, more digging till tea time 5 p.m. Spent the evening fixing up my leggings,
them down and re-sewed straps on, not quite finished. Had cup tea and in bed 9.30
Saturday 10th August, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade at 7.45 a.m. All N.C.O.'s were issued with
rifles and given rifle drill today. Sappers went out to work as usual, put on
job, but still pick and shovel, grading a slope for railway track, very hot day.
Knocked off for dinner at 12 noon and at it again at 12.45 p.m. till 5 p.m. First
of British offensive splendid and all in tip-top spirits, looks as if fritz is
on his last legs,
hope we can keep it going. Into bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 11th August, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade for breakfast 7 a.m., day off today. Very hot and
sultry so did not go out till after tea. News of British Offensive getting better
really fine. Some of our chaps got some Aust'n mail so it is kicking around. After
tea Bob Sargeant and I went for walk across some fields and returned through
village of Compagne, back at 7.30 p.m. Made some tea and had piece of bread and
in bed at 9 p.m.
Monday 12th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and sappers marched
to work. N.C.O.'s getting rifle drill. Finished our grading this morning and this
afternoon started laying track. Very hot day again. News getting even better and
fritz getting towelled up. Were paid at 4.30 p.m. More Aust'n mail in today but
none has arrived for me. Issued with service chevrons today. I received one red
and three blue ones. Mashed some spuds for supper and into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 13th August, 1918
A number of chaps drunk last night and several brawls in our camp. Up at reveille
6.30 a.m. N.C.O.'s rifle drill and hard work for the few sappers, more pick and
shovel this morning till dinner at 12 noon. On parade 12.45 p.m., this afternoon
carrying sleepers (broad gauge) and heavy baulks of timber about 1/4 mile to saw
mill. Heavy work and tired when knocked off at 5 p.m. Very hot day again. News
papers keeping tip-top. Boiled billy and into bed at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 14th August, 1918
More of our chaps drunk and brawling in the village last night, looks like trouble
all of us instead of culprits being punished alone. Up as usual this morning and
work with pick and shovel grading a new light Rly. track, very hot day again.
lecture at midday parade by Lieut. Maher, Acting O.C. about conduct in village
liquor. Finished work at 5 p.m. Just after tea brawl broke out in camp, couple
fight, pity they hadn't pluck enough to fight the Huns instead of among themselves.
Into bed at 9 p.m.
Thursday 15th August, 1918
The row last night was caused through jealousy of a chap who had been in the
Infantry. There is some feeling shown by some of this crowd, the younger chaps
against the few of us who have been in the real stunt. Up and at work as usual
grading Rly. track this morning and digging trench for water pipes this afternoon.
Received two letters from Mam and one from Dais., news of arrival home of Dad,
glad to hear it. Very hot day again and news still good. Wrote letters tonight
into bed at 9 p.m.
*3 Additional entry at beginning of diary
The row was caused by a young chap of this unit picking at a chap who had been
stretcher bearer and who is a bit simple. This simple chap has been wounded five
times and gassed once and is unable to hold his own end up so a chap who has
been in the infantry took his part and had a go at the other cove. The brawl was
stopped, honours so far being with the infantry chap who thoroughly deserved them.
Friday 16th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., all hands are at work again,
time for rifle drill. Roll call and orders. Two of our chaps got 7 days 2nd field
yesterday for being caught asleep instead of at work and another got 14 days 2nd
for riotous drunken behaviour, two more are remanded. Digging trench for water
pipes all day, very monotonous. Very hot and sultry day again, have bit of headache
with the sun. After tea did some writing, boiled the billy and into bed at 9 p.m.
Saturday 17th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and at work as usual digging trenches for pipes still.
windy today also dull, looks like rain. After roll call at midday parade a number
men were called out and some enquiries were made about a brawl in the village
few nights ago, our men caused it while drunk. Knocked off and had tea at 5 p.m.,
went out about 7 p.m. for my washing and the French woman and husband made
me have supper, soup and rabbit, coffee and glass wine. Back and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 18th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast at 7 a.m. Loafed the morning away
reading and yarning. After dinner cleaned my boots and leggings and got dressed,
took out my washing and gave Madame's husband a little tobacco, he was awfully
pleased as civilians find it hard to get. They are an elderly couple with 3 boys
an orphan nephew, the eldest 16, and are refugees from between Lens and Loos.
Back at camp for tea after which wrote several pages of letter to Dais. and in
Monday 19th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and orders. A lot
chaps on rifle drill today. Our party out digging again, but did not do a great
as getting a bit fed up with it. Weather looks like breaking again. News in paper
slightly in our favour and rumour today of British offensive on Arras front. Knocked
off and had tea at 5 p.m. After tea spent the whole night writing my letter to
Boiled the billy and into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 20th August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual, roll call and marched off to
still digging water pipe trenches, were at it all day, but are taking it much
Dull and inclined to rain, but did not do so. More Hun prisoners working here,
of them only captured this month. Little news in paper of our offensive near Bailleul
and rumour tonight that we have taken that town. After tea wrote letter home and
Vic. Hill and into bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 21st August, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m., had rained a little during the night. On parade and
as usual, still digging. Turned out very clear day and this afternoon and evening
a real roaster, too hot to do anything. News in papers pretty good again and it
as if fritz will have to go back some distance before long. After tea had shave
clean up then wrote a letter, boiled the billy and into bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 22nd August, 1918
Fritz over bombing last night. Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade and to work
usual, still on same job. A real boiling hot day, feel properly cooked. Just after
knocked off this evening went to R.E. camp and had bonzer hot and then cold
shower. News very good again today. Sudden orders this evening for 100 men and
2 officers to move tomorrow up line somewhere, all have to take rifles etc. Am
amongst party to go but rest of us expect to follow in few days. Awfully close
tonight, boiled billy and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 23rd August, 1918
Up at Reveille 6.30 a.m. and to work as usual. Mixing concrete today for a big
dam, capacity 30,000 gallons, very heavy and laborious work. Very good news in
papers again today. After knocked off tonight issued with rifle etc. and two of
orders to be ready to leave tomorrow. Went to get my washing and spent evening
packing up some of my gear. Everything upside down, our unit is scattered in about
six different directions. In bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 24th August, 1918
Up at reveille and after breakfast finished packing my kit, had hair cut and got
ready for journey to Marquise. After dinner wrote couple of short letters then
my kit bag and blankets over to station, reported to R.T.O. at 3.15 p.m. Train
p.m., changed at Etaples and arrived at Boulogne about 7 p.m., left kit bags on
station and went to rest billet with rifles and equipment then went out and had
and chips. Lay down to sleep in rest billet at 9 p.m. Awoke 11 p.m., fritz over
Sunday 25th August, 1918
Fritz gave us a bad time, dropped number of bombs, some so close we heard them
falling and heard pieces swishing about in street outside billet. Only got about
hours sleep and called up 4 a.m., had breakfast and went to station to catch train
a.m. Train late and did not get away till 10 a.m., arrived at Marquise 11 a.m.
to our destination and reported. Put into crowded huts, camp looks dirty. Broad
gauge depot. Had clean up and then my mate and I went for walk up town and a
feed, looks clean town, back and in bed at 9 p.m.
Monday 26th August, 1918
Got up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast then went over to start work at 8.30 a.m. Usual
hours of work here are 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., 8.30 a.m. to 12 noon, 12.45 p.m. to 5
not much good. Don't know how we are going to get on yet. Was stretching some
tube ferrules today. Sgt. Boilermaker seems nice chap, a regular time serving
soldier. Tucker today was not too good or too plentiful, room for improvement.
Ridiculous restrictions but chaps are real good. After tea started letter to Dais.,
could not finish it. Turned in 9 p.m.
Tuesday 27th August, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and over at work 6 a.m. but did not do anything first quarter
don't intend to do much as do not get a bite or drink of tea till breakfast 8
at work 8.30 a.m. Cut some lead washers out this morning for mud hole doors.
After dinner 12 noon till 12.45 got in firebox, took down brick arch and caulked
steel stays that were blowing badly indeed. Knocked off at 5 p.m. and had tea.
Finished letter to Dais. and one to Mam. Tucker not too brilliant yet and regulations
very strict. Had yarn and in bed 9 p.m. Lights out 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 28th August, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and over at shed 6 a.m., did nothing before breakfast at 8 a.m.
work again 8.30 a.m., had a look round with Sgt. Boilermaker and caulked some
studs before dinner. After dinner took off broken fire hole door and put new one
also fixed up an inspection door and cover. Knocked off at 4.30 p.m., tea and
at 5.30 p.m., they gave me 20 Francs. Rained heavy during day. After pay my mate
Harry Beech and I went for stroll along lanes outside township, back at 8 p.m.,
read and in bed 9 p.m., lights out 9.30.
Thursday 29th August, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., loafed first quarter. After breakfast at 8
8.30 a.m. had look round engines then started to repair hinges on lap plate between
Tender and footplate, construction of Engine made it an awkward job and all jobs
have to be done against time, so necessarily are rough. Managed to get two new
hinges made and put on by 5 p.m. so engine could go out tonight. Good news in
paper today. Wrote a letter after tea, had read and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 30th August, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing first quarter. After breakfast
had a look at repair book and as engines for repairs are all out but one went
one. Started to take down ash pan, it is a North Eastern Engine, Fire hole ring,
Foundation ring, studs and nearly all the stays blowing, awkward job getting ash
down. Got one half down by 5 p.m. Had walk up village after tea and back at 8
p.m., roll call 9 p.m. and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 31st August, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and on duty 6 a.m., nothing doing first quarter. After breakfast
on getting down remainder of Ash Pan on N.E'n engine, got it down by 6 p.m.
tonight. Orders come out have to work now till 6 p.m. Great dissatisfaction, all
of petty restrictions, can't have anything to eat in hut, officers treat men as
After tea went out with couple of R.E.'s and had game of French billiards. Back
camp at 8.30 p.m., roll call 9 p.m. and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 1st September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing first quarter. After breakfast
hammering stays in N.E. Engine, nearly all leaking badly. Knocked off at 12 noon,
most of men had to work on but I took no notice and just knocked off. After dinner
got cleaned and went for walk round village of "Rinxant", the Belgian
round the State stone quarries, had nice walk and back for tea. Had walk this
evening up Marquise, had eggs and chips. In camp at 9 p.m. and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Monday 2nd September,1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing till after breakfast. Engine been
collision, cut off part of footplate, got it hot and levelled it and put it up
again, had to
work straight on till 7 p.m. to get it rivetted up as engine is wanted, worked
Very windy but fine day, coal dust from stack near by made me as black as a nigger.
Saw a dinkum Yank plane today. After got washed made my bed and lay on it
reading as feel tired. Turned in 9 p.m.
Tuesday 3rd September, 1918
Took the first quarter off and did not turn out this morning till 8 a.m. Have
hammering up leaky stays all day in N.E.'n engine, did about 200 single handed.
Did not work on till 6 p.m., just knocked off at 5 p.m. and had my tea, too long
till 6 p.m. without a meal and tucker is not too plentiful at any time. After
a letter to Dais., could not finish it before lights out at 9.30 p.m., when went
Wednesday 4th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing before breakfast. Hammered up
about 150 more copper stays today, did little caulking on foundation ring and
biggest part of ash pan up again before knocked off at 5 p.m. Nice day and air-ships
out of shed alongside of us were out, there are three of them, all French. Did
more writing after tea and posted my letters. Turned in at lights out 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 5th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., sat in Blacksmiths shop till breakfast time.
Started again at 9 a.m., hammered up some stays and did bit of caulking before
dinner. This afternoon was caulking studs round fire hole door patch, work very
interesting as it is mostly new to me. Knocked off at 5 p.m. and went for a walk,
of us to a village about 3 miles away, got pocket full of beans out of field and
them. Back at camp 9 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Friday 6th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing before breakfast. After breakfast
finished caulking studs and rivets round firehole, caulked corner seams and patch
round firehole. Put in fire bars and caulked round crown plate. Put on new fire
door and finished up the job by 4 p.m., knocked off at 5 p.m. Fire alarm went
p.m. but I dodged it. Went for bath at Munitions Works in village, very fine baths
enjoyed it. Back at 8 p.m., had yarn and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 7th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., nothing doing first quarter. Have breakfast
from 8.30 to 9 a.m. Our Sgt. not at work this morning so am in charge. Hammered
up about 50 leaky stays in Firebox, fire had just been drawn so it was a hot job
engine wanted in a hurry. Nothing doing after dinner, just cut some lead washers
and knocked off at 5 p.m. Got cleaned and went to concert in dining hut, not bad
show, over at 9 p.m. Made my bed and into it 9.30 p.m. Thunderstorm tonight,
news still very good.
Sunday 8th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., nothing doing first quarter. After breakfast
chipped out smoke box door ring and put in a new one, had to work hard to finish
dinner time. Very stormy day so did not go out this afternoon, wrote some letters
before tea. Had a walk out this evening but the weather threatening, came to camp
early, had a yarn and read and turned in 9 p.m.
Monday 9th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., sat by Blacksmiths fire till breakfast time,
much doing this morning, engines booked for repairs being out. After dinner cut
a step that was badly bent, 16 rivets. At 4.30 p.m. got my tea and caught light
engine to Beaulieu at 5.5 p.m., about 20 minutes run up the state quarries. Had
expand tubes in Merryweather pump, finished 9 p.m., got engine back, had supper
and got to bed near midnight.
Tuesday 10th September, 1918
Got up for breakfast 8 a.m., had wash and shave and turned into bed again and
slept till dinner time. Up for dinner and went to work 12.45 p.m. Very wild and
stormy day again. Put new joint ring in smoke box front plate of N.E.'n engine.
in papers still keeps good for us, but seems to be quietening down a little. After
wrote letter to Dais. and one home. Into bed 9 p.m., lights out 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 11th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., very cold and stormy again today. Sgt. B'maker
went to be inocculated today so have job on my own. Cut off damper on Baldwin
and put new hinges on and after dinner started caulking roofing stay bolts in
Baldwin, all leaking very bad. Very dirty and rotten job. Knocked off at 4.30
it is pay night. Got my pay 6.30 p.m., had walk up street, back again 8 p.m. and
bed 9 p.m. Lights out 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 12th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., had quiet first quarter. After breakfast had
at repair book and set out work for chaps. Went into firebox of 1706 and caulked
3 cracks in mouthpiece, hopeless job and very hot as fire just drawn, then went
81 just as hot and took out safety plug, had to cut it out, then took out two
plugs out of 770, part of fire still in, almost smothered with smoke. Finished
p.m. after a trying day. Four years today since enlisted. Had game billiards and
camp 8.15, lights out 9.20. Roll call 8.30 p.m. tonight and after, and lights
Friday 13th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing first quarter. After breakfast
work, examined some engines and caulked few more roofing stay bolts in 70. After
dinner Sgt. started work again, straightened a badly bent step off 1851 and fixed
set of fire bars in 773, examined a Baldwin 663 for leaky tubes. Sgt. wanted me
work tonight and fix them up but I wouldn't. After tea got cleaned and had quiet
night. Good news of American offensive and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 14th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., made a petrol and flint pipe lighter out of
German cartridge before breakfast. Very rotten day, rained the whole time. Did
couple small jobs this morning and went on caulking more roofing bolts. Kept at
4.30 p.m. when knocked off as there is a concert on tonight. After tea went down
French munition works and had a good bath. Back in camp at 8.15 p.m., roll call
8.30 and lights out 9.20 p.m.
Sunday 15th September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. and at work 6 a.m., did nothing till after breakfast when had
repair book then put new joint on an inspection cover. Knocked off at 12 noon,
cleaned and went for walk along main Boulogne road, turned off through some fields
and back to camp for tea at 4 p.m., gathered and eat a lot of Blackberries, tons
them. After tea had walk to place called the "Valley" by the boys, B.E.F.
there. Went for some smokes, very hard to get tobacco here. Back at 8.15 p.m.
and in bed 9.50 p.m.
Monday 16th September, 1918
Had air raid alarm just before midnight last night but fritz plane did not get
Up at 6 a.m. and at work but did nothing first quarter. After breakfast fixed
inspection cover that was leaking, also nine caps on top of firebox, put new joints
did fair days work. Quite nice day again, good news of our offensives. After tea
wrote a letter to Dais., gets dark early now. Roll call 8.30 p.m. and lights out
Tuesday 17th September, 1918
Air raid alarm again at 1 a.m. this morning and had to go out in trenches adjoining
huts, no bombs dropped near us. Did not get up till 7.30 a.m. as were in trenches
3.30, supposed to get up as usual. Fixed up firehole door, put in some firebars
put step on, then caulked some steel stays. After dinner hammered up some rivets
in tender tank and knocked off 5 p.m. Got fifteen letters today. Wrote to Mam
in bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 18th September, 1918
Up at 6 a.m. and strolled over to work 6.30 a.m. Got air raid alarm about midnight
last night but Fritz did not come our way so did not have to get up. After breakfast
put new firehole door on and caulked some steel stays. After dinner took off a
damper door that had jambed and fixed it up. Rained a little tonight. After got
cleaned settled down and wrote seven letters in answer to some I got last night.
call at 8.30 p.m. and lights out 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 19th September, 1918
Did not turn out till 7.30 a.m. this morning though supposed to be out at 6 a.m.
breakfast 8 a.m. to 8.30 put new pair of hinges on Damper door and fixed it up
Baldwin engine then straightened the step which was badly bent. An officer from
food control here at dinner time, believe he made a noise about insufficient rations.
Not much doing this afternoon. Knocked off 5 p.m., dodged fire parade, wrote letter
and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 20th September, 1918
Turned out this morning again at 7.30 a.m., refilled a lead plug. After breakfast
examined a Baldwin, blowing badly under lagging, stays appear to be broken. Not
much doing after dinner, went down in motor car to Haut Banc about 4 miles away
the quarries. A French stationary boiler gone wrong through bad and dirty water,
steel fire box, crown plate dropped, to be re-tubed and firebox caulked also roofing
stay bolts. Started on job, back at camp 6.30 p.m., had tea and a read and in
Saturday 21st September, 1918
Up at 5.45 a.m. had breakfast 6.15 a.m. and got tools made and ready for job at
Haut Banc. 10.30 a.m. before we got away in motor car. Started on job right away
and caulked all round firebox, had dry bread and cheese for dinner. This afternoon
Lieut. Gearing came down and we asked him about tucker, he arranged for us to
have it at Quarry Headquarters. Had bread, butter, jam and tea at 5 p.m. then
worked on and had tin of Macconnachie and tea for supper at 10 p.m. after which
went on with job, still going at midnight.
Sunday 22nd September, 1918
Worked hard and got job finished by 7 a.m. Had breakfast, cold ham, bread butter
and tea, then caught store train and arrived back at our depot 9 a.m. Went straight
to munition works for bath and turned in at 11 a.m. Slept till 4 p.m. when had
tea, had to go to orderly room at 4.45 p.m. and was told am leaving to join up
own unit tomorrow. Had shave and went out for walk at 6 p.m. Came back to camp
7.30 p.m. as weather is inclined to be stormy. Turned in 9 p.m.
Monday 23rd September, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast then packed up my gear and went to orderly
room to see what time leaving. Went for walk till dinner time and picked lot of
Blackberries. Had yarn with the chaps and caught train at 1.30 p.m., cattle truck
train but not too crowded. Went through Boulogne, Etaples, and to Abbeyville where
reported to R.T.O. Put back on train and told to report R.T.O. Romescamp. Very
slow train and getting weary of ride, no chance of sleep.
Tuesday 24th September, 1918
Arrived Romescamp at 3.15 a.m., reported R.T.O. and told to stay in B.E.F. canteen
till called, place full up so stayed on verandah. Very cold and no sleep. Warm
day wore on, expect leave to Aust. soon from what I hear. Sent for and caught
ration train at 2.45 p.m., came through St. Roch and Amiens very badly smashed
about, saw large number of captured German guns. News in paper very good,
Bulgaria being hit up. Arrived at Miraumont after passing Albert and other places
about midnight, whole place a scene of desolation.
Wednesday 25th September, 1918
Was rather a bright night so could see fairly well, train stopped at Miraumont
hour, eventually arrived at Rocquigny 3.30 a.m. No one about so stayed in van
7.30 a.m. when found our camp close by. Reported, had breakfast and set about
looking for dug-out to live in, the place is a wilderness. Two of us re-erected
dug-out and got it ship shape after hard work by 7 p.m. Received half doz. letters,
one from W. Hill, says Vic reported missing, also two I wrote Vic returned to
make enquiries. Very tired so turned in 8.30 p.m.
Thursday 26th September, 1918
Was not too warm last night, Fritz planes were over and good deal of gun fire.
6.45 a.m., had breakfast and over at repair shop 8 a.m., not big lot doing, repairing
captured fritz light Rly trucks all day. Very nice day and hundreds of our planes
about. Fritz plane got 2 of our balloons about 5 p.m., tried for more later but
off. Did bit more at dug-out till 8 p.m. when told am leaving for base tomorrow
route for Aust. Packed my kit and in bed 10 p.m.
Friday 27th September, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and finished packing up my kit, had a yarn with some of the boys
and watched some fritz shells bursting about mile away through glasses. Our
passes came through about 3 p.m., four of us going home. Went from Roquigny to
Bapaume on Light Rly truck, no train till morning so caught motor lorry to Achiet-le-
Petit and then another to Achiet-le-Grand where got goods train to Candas, arriving
9 p.m. Got some eggs and bread and set out to walk to Doullens.
Saturday 28th September, 1918
Arrived at Doullens about 3 a.m. after walking about 7 miles, big struggle with
kit and felt done up. Sat in small humpy with four Tommies alongside fire till
a.m. when had wash and went into town for breakfast, got steak and mashed
potatoes. Went to station to catch train at 11.20 a.m. but it did not arrive until
p.m. when got aboard and after a rotten ride arrived at Boulogne at 9.30 p.m.
were marched to a rest camp and lay down about midnight.
Sunday 29th September, 1918
Called up about 4.30 a.m. but could not get near for any breakfast, such a crowd.
Fell in and marched to the boat about 2 1/2 miles at 8 a.m. Got aboard after some
difficulty and crossed the channel, arriving at Folkestone, very nice crossing.
seat in train and started for London, arriving just after midday. Reported and
passes for the night and orders to report at Horseferry Rd. at 9 a.m. in morning.
Miserable rainy afternoon and night, got good bed at Opera (Temperance) Hotel
into it at 10 p.m.
Monday 30th September, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m., had hot bath and breakfast. Went to Aldwych Y.M.C.A. hut and
boots and leggings cleaned, then had haircut and shave in the Strand and an
electric massage of the scalp as my hair is scurfy. Report at Hdqrtrs 9 a.m.,
number of men there, kept standing about and dodging from room to room till 1
when got fixed up and had dinner in Y.M.C.A. close by. Afterwards went to Euston
Station and caught 3.45 p.m. to Crewe, had pleasant journey arriving at 8.30 p.m.
Went to my cousins, had yarn and in bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 1st October, 1918
Up at 8 a.m. and had breakfast then went up street with Mirrie, called and saw
and Mrs. Rhead, also Mr. and Mrs. Potter of Hightown. All were very pleased to
me. Went round and saw Jesse Morgan and her husband and 2 children then back
for dinner at 1.30 p.m. Went out again 4 p.m., met numerous friends in streets
went to Joe Lewis where had tea, afterwards to Charlie Walkers and then round
Sam Walkers, left at 10 p.m., arrived back at 10.20 p.m. Had cup of tea then across
street to Mrs. Leach's where am sleeping tonight.
Sent Cable to Dais. also wired Grandmother and Peggy when going to see them.
Wednesday 2nd October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and caught 8.15 a.m. to Winsford to see Grandmother. Found her
pretty well, had another breakfast and yarned with Grandmother and Mary and had
some fun with young Frank who is a real trick. Had a quiet day talking and resting
and caught the 6.25 p.m. back to Crewe. Found Mirries Aunt Polly at Fanny's place,
went to concert in Town Hall by myself, programme given by children from Hightown.
Saw a good number of my old friends, back and in bed at Mrs. Leach's at 11 p.m.
Thursday 3rd October, 1918
Up at 5 a.m. and caught 6.22 a.m. Crewe to Preston where I arrived at 9 a.m. and
found Peggy there to meet me. Got local train to Bambers Bridge and walked to
Peggies place at Higher Walton. Very old fashioned place in nice country district.
Peggies Mother and Father very, very nice and homely, made me feel quite at ease,
had breakfast and did lot of talking. Turned out too wet to go out so sat talking
day, Peg's sister in during afternoon, spent lovely homely quiet day. Peg and
came to Preston with me and I caught 10.30 p.m. to Crewe, arriving 12.15 midnight
and to bed at 1 a.m.
Friday 4th October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had loafing morning, having clean up and bath just before
dinner. After dinner Mirrie and I went to see Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Holdsworth and Mrs.
Clarke, also saw numerous friends in the streets. Bought a wrist strap for watch
pair sandshoes for boat and back for tea at 5.30 p.m. After a yarn went out to
Cosey as I had promised to do. Had supper with three Miss Potters and a yarn,
at 10.15 p.m. and home at 10.45 p.m. Packed up, did some writing and odd jobs
while waiting for time for train.
Saturday 5th October, 1918
Set out for station at 3.30 a.m., Mirrie and her Mother coming with me. Caught
a.m. to London, arriving at Euston 7.30 a.m. Got motor bus to Smith St. and walked
to Horseferry Rd. Had breakfast at Y.M.C.A. and at 9 a.m. reported and was given
more days leave. Kept till 11 a.m. getting my pay book then went to tube station
got back to Euston Station, caught train for Crewe and 2.10 p.m. and arrived at
p.m. feeling very tired. Went out and bought pair sox and then back and into bed
Sunday 6th October, 1918
Did not get up till 9.30 a.m., had bath and change then Mirrie and I went for
Coppenhall and called on the Badrocks and Barleys, back for dinner. Aunts Fanny,
Pollie and Cousin Mirrie and I went to Choral Service at Hightown at 2.30 p.m.,
nice indeed and enjoyed the singing immensely. Went again in the evening and had
nice Service by Dr. Kirtland. Saw numerous old friends, had supper and a yarn
turned in about 10.30 p.m.
Monday 7th October, 1918
Up at 8 a.m. and wrote letters to Mam and Dais. then took Aunt Pollie out to do
some shopping, back for dinner. This afternoon went down to see Mr. Lewis and
stayed to tea, Mr. Standring was there and we had a fine old yarn. Weather is
miserable and wet. This evening Aunt Fanny and Cousin Mirrie and I went to
Hightown to hear lecture by Dr. Kirtland on the "Soul of France", very
Had supper and into bed 11 p.m.
Tuesday 8th October, 1918
Up at 8.15 a.m., got cleaned had breakfast and caught 9.25 a.m. to Winsford,
Grandmother surprised to see me. Had a walk up Winsford with Grandmother
before dinner and sent wire to Peggy. This afternoon walked over to Moulton and
saw Uncle Jabez and Aunt Annie. Had walk out with Aunt Annie to see
Grandmothers sister, then had tea. Cousin Ellie arrived home from school 7 p.m.
after which had some music and singing then walked back to Winsford and turned
into bed about 10.30 p.m.
Wednesday 9th October, 1918
Up at 5 a.m., had breakfast and caught 6.30 a.m. to Preston, arriving 9 a.m. Peggy
met me at station, raining hard, got to Peggie's home and had another breakfast
after which sat talking till dinner time. After dinner Mr. Barnes and I tried
gramaphone, did not finish it, too wet to go out so sat talking and passed time
pleasantly. After tea Peggy took me to see some friends of hers where we had
supper, returning home and into bed at 11 p.m.
Thursday 10th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. cleaned and had breakfast, still raining, did bit more at gramaphone
with Mr. Barnes. After dinner Peggie, her sister and myself went for walk nearby,
was going to Preston for look round but commenced raining so home 4.30 p.m. and
sat talking. After tea had a yarn then played dominoes and enjoyed ourselves
quietly, too wet to go out. Good news in papers. Had supper and talked till 11
when turned into bed.
Friday 11th October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, read papers and had yarn then put gramaphone
together again, can't fix it up to work, spring broken. Very nice day so at 2
Peggy and I caught motor bus to Preston, visited several of her friends and had
round, very nice place indeed and had enjoyable time. Caught bus back at 4.30
p.m. and had tea, after which had game of dominoes, read evening papers (good
news), and talked. Peggy and sister took me to station at 9 p.m. (Bamber Bridge),
came to Preston with me and got train 10.30 p.m., arriving at Crewe 11.55 p.m.
Saturday 12th October, 1918
Got to Cousin Fanny's Lawton St. at 12.15 midnight, had cup of cocoa and lay down
on sofa. Woke at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast then went out for walk and saw
several old friends. This afternoon went to Mr. Sam Potters, spent couple of hours
and had tea, left at 5.45 p.m. and met Iles Hughes at 6.15 p.m. and we walked
the "Cosey" at Haslington together, had game of whist with the Potters
supper and started to walk to Crewe 11 p.m., arriving 11.30 p.m. and then into
Sunday 13th October, 1918
Up at 8 a.m., had breakfast and went to Church at 10.30 a.m. News in todays paper
of Germans acceptance of President Wilson's terms as basis towards Peace.
Everyone elated and in some places flags are flying. Looks like a speedy end to
war. After dinner Mirrie and I went and called on Joe Lewis and spent an hour
talking to him. Back at Cousin Fanny's for tea and at Church at 6.30 p.m. Beautiful
day again and fine starry night, looks like frost. Sat up doing some writing till
Miss N. Gee came to see me today for a few minutes.
Monday 14th October, 1918
Writing and packing up, had cup of tea and some tarts and caught train for London
at 4 a.m., arriving 7.45 a.m. Reported at Horseferry Rd. at 9 a.m. and after being
fixed up went to Paddington Station via Tube Rlys and entrained at 1 p.m. Had
great ride through fine country, passing through Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Bath,
Taunton and Exeter and arrived at St. Budeaux about 8 p.m. near to Devonport.
Marched to very nice camp about a mile away, given tea and five blankets each,
turned in tired out at 10 p.m.
Tuesday 15th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., had wash and shave and then breakfast. Fell in on parade at 9.30
a.m., roll call and dismissed. Rained this morning, about 1 p.m. walked to tram
terminus and went on car into Devonport. Had dinner and a look round and then
took car to Plymouth, had nice look round and sat down on Promenade then went
for tea, very busy place and very nice. Went into fish and chip shop for supper.
Austin Milne in Plymouth, caught car back to camp and turned into bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 16th October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m., had wash and breakfast. On parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and were
sorted out into Coy's then dismissed. Met Will Hill and had good yarn till dinner
After dinner Will Hill, Austin Milne and I took tram into Plymouth, had walk round
Promenade and afternoon tea on pier. Had tea at 6 p.m. in town, met Linton
Lethlane and had yarn then got tram to Devonport where we went to a dance, had
nice time, had three dances myself. Left at 10.30 p.m. and walked home, into bed
Thursday 17th October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and after breakfast fell in on parade at 9 a.m. Sorted out into
again and put into different huts, then dismissed and shifted out gear into new
After dinner went over and saw Will Hill who is on town picket today, then went
store and got number of new things, boots, clothing etc. Rather cold today, after
saw Will Hill again, then fixed up my kit bag and sea kit, after which had yarn
into bed 8 p.m.
Friday 18th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and went for breakfast for the hut, then on parade 9 a.m. Roll call
issued with Gallipoli Book showing photos of peninsula then dismissed. Went mess
orderly at dinner time then met Will Hill, Austin Milne and another chap and went
Plymouth on car. Had tea at restaurant and then had general look round, started
raining about 6 p.m. so at 7 p.m. went and had feed of fish and chips then caught
our car home and into bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 19th October, 1918
Our hut for duty today so went mess orderly to escape doing guard. Up at 7 a.m.,
got breakfast and then cleaned up hut, spent rest of morning reading. On parade
2 p.m. and put into coy's for submarine guard then dismissed. Went round and saw
Will Hill and then took tram to Plymouth and met Austin Milne. Had tea and returned
to Devonport and went to dance. Austin left at 8.30, dance finished at 10.15 p.m.,
Will and I escorted two girls who were awfully good to us part way home and then
returned to camp at St. Budeaux and in bed 12 p.m.
Sunday 20th October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and after breakfast on parade 9 a.m., roll call and dismissed.
Hill, Austin and I went to Y.M.C.A. in camp and had cup of tea and biscuits. Tucker
very poor in camp. Parade again at 2 p.m. then dismissed till another parade at
p.m. Had a sleep during afternoon. At 5.30 p.m. caught car to Plymouth and met
Will Hill who had been on duty at docks. Went and had tea then a walk round
followed by feed of fish and chips then got car home to camp and in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 21st October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast. Parade was not called at 9 a.m. this morning
just sat in hut reading and talking, weather getting pretty cold now. At 4 p.m.
and I went into Devonport, had tea at Salvation Army Cafe then went on to Plymouth
and went into some pictures. Out again 7 p.m. and had some fish and chips then
walk round and coffee and cakes at Goodbody's soldiers and sailors cafe, after
which caught 9.20 p.m. tram back to camp and into bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 22nd October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, no parade at 9 a.m. but called out at 10.30
and had to go through fumigating room and then medical inspection before dinner.
On parade at 2 p.m., got my pay book and was paid a couple of pounds. At 4 p.m.
W. Hill and I went to Devonport, had tea at Sal. Army then went on to Plymouth
went to the "Palace" variety show. Came out at 8.30 p.m., had fish and
coffee and cakes and a walk round and caught 9.20 p.m. back to camp and into bed
at 10 p.m.
Wednesday 23rd October, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m. Sorted into Coy's again, then went for route
march till 11.15 a.m. after which kept standing on parade ground till 12.30 p.m.
Camp Commandant spoke few words to us and dismissed 1 p.m. Had to move into
hut 24 after dinner. Met W. Hill at 5 p.m. and went into Plymouth where we met
another chap and went into some pictures. Came out at 7.30 p.m. and had fish and
chips then coffee and cakes. Had walk round then caught 9.20 p.m. tram back to
camp and into bed 10 p.m.
Thursday 24th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Our hut for duty today, am in the guard myself.
Took over guard duties at main entrance at 9 a.m., had to stay in guard room all
day. Guard called out for inspection by orderly officer at 10.30 a.m. Very quiet
took over No. 1 Post at 7 p.m. and was on guard till 9 p.m., after which slipped
canteen and had game billiards for an hour. Sat yarning till 11 p.m. when all
quiet then turned in for a sleep.
Friday 25th October, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and took over the No. 1 Post at 7 a.m., relieved while I had my
breakfast at 7.30 a.m., then back on guard till 9 a.m. when new guard took over
us and we went back to our huts. Did not go on morning parade. Muster parade at
2 p.m. and then dismissed. Went to see W. Hill and he had gone out so had some
sleep till tea time after which went in to Plymouth, had fish and chips and coffee
cakes and back to camp at 8.30 p.m., into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 26th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m. Went for route march round by Saltash
passage and back by 11 a.m. Dismissed so went into Y.M.C.A. and had cup of tea
and a cake. A muster parade again at 2 p.m., roll call and dismissed, after which
Hill and I went into Plymouth. Had a good dinner at Sailors Home and very cheap.
Had a walk along the Hoe and had tea on the pier, caught tram back to camp at
p.m. and into bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 27th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast, such as it was, and on parade 10.15 a.m. and marched
to Church near here. Service ended at 12.15 noon and back to camp for dinner.
This afternoon W. Hill and I went into Plymouth by car, had walk round town then
the Hoe and met Austin Milne. Went on the pier for tea, then had another walk
round, lot of ships in harbour, hope will be going soon. Back to camp 8 p.m. and
into bed 9 p.m.
Monday 28th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m. and went for short route march, back at 11
a.m. and had cup of tea in Y.M.C.A. before dinner. Had muster parade at 2 p.m.,
roll call and dismissed. Will Hill and I went to Devonport and had good hot bath
tea at Sailors Rest then went into Plymouth and met Austin Milne and another chap.
Had walk round and then fish and chips and at 8 p.m. went to a dance. I had one
dance, left at 10 p.m. and caught tram to camp and into bed at 11 p.m.
Tuesday 29th October, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and got breakfast for hut as am mess orderly today with another
chap. Breakfast over, we washed up and cleaned out hut ready for inspection. At
midday received orders to move into another hut. On parade 2 p.m. and put into
Platoons, am in No. 2 Ptn. 4 Co'y. After being fixed up were dismissed. Stayed
camp till after tea then went into Plymouth with W. Hill, had a look round and
fish and chips for supper then home at 9.30 p.m. and into bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 30th October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and then went for route march till
when dismissed. Had cup of tea in Y.M.C.A. and then dinner. A muster parade at
p.m. A new officer, Col. Woods has come down from London to take charge of us,
he made a speech and said he would imrove tucker for us, then dismissed . Rained
a good bit. Will Hill and I went to Palace theatre this evening. Variety show,
bad, came out 8.30 p.m., had supper and back to camp. In bed 10 p.m.
Thursday 31st October, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders. An officer told us 22
men had died since we have been here. Had little ceremonial drill this morning
our Co'y. No. 4 is to attend the funeral of three of our chaps this afternoon.
parade again 1 p.m. and marched to Hospital at Devonport. Drum & Fife Band
firing party supplied from the Devons. Marched to Cemetery after the Dead March
had been played, about 8 miles to cemetery. After service over marched to trams
and dismissed close to Plymouth. Went in and met W. Hill, had tea and look round
and back at camp and in bed 10 p.m.
Cemetery at Higher Compton.
Friday 1st November, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and on parade 9 a.m., detailed for town picquet.
Marched to tram terminus and stayed till relieved at 1 p.m. by new picquet. Very
and cold morning so slipped in restaurant and had morning tea. Relieved at 1 p.m.
by new picquet and had dinner and at 4 p.m. Will and I went into Plymouth, started
to rain very hard so went into a restaurant and had pasties and coffee, the people
had a piano and asked us to have a tune, played a few pieces then went back to
camp and into bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 2nd November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, tucker is much better this last few days. On
parade at 9.15 a.m., kept on parade ground for couple of hours then dismissed.
parade again at 2 p.m., roll call and marched to medical hut and was inocculated
against this new epidemic of influenza and pneumonia. After tea Will and I went
town, met Austin and had a yarn and Will and I went to a dance at 8 p.m. I did
dance but went as Will is very keen on it. Left and back to camp and in bed 10.15
Sunday 3rd November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast. On parade 9.15 a.m., roll call and orders,
chaps expecting to go aboard ship soon now. All the chaps who dodged
inocculation yesterday were done this morning, the rest dismissed at 10.30 a.m.
Had game of bridge till dinner time when received a couple of letters from Mam.
After dinner Will and Mitch and I went into Plymouth, had afternoon tea on pier
a walk round and I caught tram at 6.45 p.m. back to camp, got in 8 p.m. and into
Monday 4th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m., raining very hard, did not go on parade this morning as rained
hard so wrote a letter to Dais. On parade for pay at 2 p.m., still raining, got
after waiting nearly two hours. Stormier than ever after tea so made up my mind
stay in. Wrote a letter to Mam, washed couple of pairs of socks and had a read
p.m. when made couple of rounds of toast and then turned into bed at 9 p.m., lights
out 10 p.m.
Tuesday 5th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.15 a.m., our Co'y for duty so was dismissed parade
after roll call. Changed some socks and got new pair riding breeches at Q.M.'s
morning. At 2 p.m. had to go on Q.M.'s fatigue and carry rations to cook house,
us on it, got finished before 3 p.m. so got cleaned and went into town with Mitch.
Had tea in town and then met Will who had been on duty. Had walk round then
dropped into some pictures and caught 9.20 p.m. to camp and into bed at 10 p.m.
Wednesday 6th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. but had been wakened at 6 a.m. by an officer who called roll,
to catch chaps staying out all night. Caught quite a number. On parade 9.15 a.m.,
roll call and sorted out again, nominal roll taken, kept standing till 11 a.m.
marched to medical hut and had medical inspection, dismissed 12 noon. On parade
2 p.m., roll call and went for route march till 4 p.m., no leave till 5 p.m. when
leave. Went into town at 6 p.m. and met Mitch and we had some "Cousin Jack
Pasties", then a look round and back to camp and in bed 10 p.m.
Leave from 2 p.m. stopped today through chaps staying out all night and not doing
their fatigue jobs.
Thursday 7th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.15 a.m., roll call and went for route march till
a.m. On parade again 2 p.m., number of men called out as submarine guards on
boat going soon (160 men), am not amongst them. Rest of us went for route march
and back at 4.30 p.m. About 5 p.m. whistles and hooters started to go and some
guns were fired, told that fritz had signed the Armistice on our terms. Went into
with Will and Austin, the town packed with people and great excitement, can't
confirmation officially of the news. Back at camp and into bed 10.30 p.m.
Friday 8th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.15 a.m., was detailed for four days cookhouse
fatigue with several others. Reported at cookhouse and told nothing doing, come
back at 11 a.m. Went again 11 a.m., still nothing to do, went again 2 p.m. and
couple of hours cutting up onions for stew. After tea had read then had game of
billiards in Army and Navy Canteen, then went in to concert in Y.M.C.A., after
went to hut and after a yarn and shave turned into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 9th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and went on sick parade 9 a.m. as I want to see dentist, told
to report Monday morning. Did not go to cookhouse as no-one knows whats what and
its just a nuisance. Received letter from Dais, two from Mam and one from Peggy
who has been delayed from sailing. Had read this afternoon, handed in our blankets
and had them re-issued. After tea went into town with Will and friends, went into
some pictures, then had fish and chips followed by sausages and spuds and back
at camp and in bed 10.30 p.m.
Sunday 10th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.15 a.m., roll call and had short route march and
then medical inspection after which dismissed for dinner. This afternoon Will
went into town, intended to have bath but could not get one today. Had tea and
look round, feel a bit miserable with nothing to do, so caught car home about
Walked part of the way to pass time away and got back to camp and into bed 9 p.m.
Another lot of 1914 chaps arrived here last night.
Monday 11th November, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. shaved and had breakfast then got pass and went to Devonport Military
Hospital to see dentist. On the way in buzzers, whistles on our ships all started
blowing, terrific noise at 9.10 a.m. It was the news come through of signing of
Armistice terms by Fritz, great excitement. Saw dentist and had tooth filled and
away by 11 a.m. Stayed in Devonport for little while then went on to Plymouth,
called in restaurant for dinner and was given glass of port wine and had dinner
The place a seething mass of people all gone mad. Caught 10.30 p.m. tram and in
bed 11 p.m.
Tuesday 12th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.15 a.m., nearly got pinched over my four days
cookhouse fatigue that I didn't do. Had roll call and went for route march, back
dismissed 11.30 a.m. when had cup tea with Will in Y.M.C.A. On parade again 2
p.m., roll call then route march and after that a 2nd inocculation against influenza.
From what the Major told us on parade, believe we will soon be getting aboard
Went into Devonport and wired bank for some money as am broke. Back and went
to concert in Y.M.C.A., very good. Into bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 13th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and orders then dozen of us
down to station on fatigue work unloading vegetables from Rly truck into G.S.
Wagon. Finished at 12 noon and had dinner, then got pass and went into Plymouth
to the Bank but found my money 4 pounds had not arrived so went back to camp for
tea as had not enough money to get it in town. Spent a very quiet evening and
turned in 9.30 p.m. W. Hill in camp hospital with Tonsilitis.
Thursday 14th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and then marched into Y.M.C.A.
hut and heard lecture by Capt. Thomas Imp. Army on our strategy during the war,
was very intensely interesting and we were sorry when it was over at 12 noon.
parade again at 2 p.m., roll call and then marched to a field near by and watched
football match, soon slid off to hut as it was too cold. My money arrived today
after tea went into town and had good feed and a yarn at restaurant and back at
camp and to bed 10 p.m.
Friday 15th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and went for route march till
a.m. Will is much better so took him to confectioners near by and we had morning
tea and cakes, very nice. On parade again at 2 p.m. and went for route march till
4.30 p.m. when got cleaned and as was feeling very hungry went straight into town
and had couple of eggs and some lovely bacon with scones and tea, a bit expensive
but was worth it for once. Back to camp and into bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 16th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and went for short route march
10.30 a.m. Had dinner early, 11.45 a.m. and was on parade 12.30 noon and
marched to field near by where Y.M.C.A. had arranged some sports. Sports did not
prove great success, not enough interest so went back to camp. Wrote letter and
after tea went into town and met Will and Austin, had feed again then a walk round,
all the shops lit up now. Had fish and chips for supper and at camp and in bed
Sunday 17th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had just had breakfast when was warned to be on parade for
picquet at 8.45 a.m. Went on parade, had roll call and dismissed till 8.30 p.m.
Spent the day in writing letters and keeping warm as it has turned very cold this
few days. Did not leave camp till went on picquet at 8.30 p.m. at tram terminus
Budeaux. Supposed to stay till 11 p.m. but left at 10 p.m., nothing doing and
Monday 18th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and then route march round Saltash
till 11.15 a.m. when dismissed. Did some washing before dinner, very cold day
again. On parade at 2 p.m., roll call and were dismissed at once. Expect to go
aboard some time during next three days. Parade at 2 p.m. and dismissed. Will,
Mitch and myself set out for town at 4 p.m., lady living near camp stopped us
asked us to tea. Had nice tea, also had a good hot bath then played cards till
supper time after which went to camp and into bed 10 p.m. Mrs Daymond, lady's
Tuesday 19th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and some men picked out for boat.
Had lecture from Col. Woods and told all leave from camp stopped, then went for
route march. On parade again 2 p.m. and had sham kit inspection, all a farce,
kept hanging round parade ground, evening leave open again. Will, Austin, Mitch
and I went to town and had tea, then had a walk round. The others went to supper
at friends of Austin's so I went back to restaurant, the people of which are very
to me, and played whist, had supper and into bed at camp 10.30 p.m.
Wednesday 20th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9 a.m., roll call and after standing about for a
were dismissed. Sat reading till dinner time. On parade again at 2 p.m. and after
short lecture from Col. Woods were dismissed to huts while the officers came round
and checked the names of all the men. Got shaved and cleaned and went into town
and booked seat at Palace Variety Show, went to first house at 6.40 p.m. It was
pretty good and I enjoyed it, came out at 8.30 p.m., had supper and went back
camp and in bed 10 p.m.
Thursday 21st November, 1918
Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Our Co'y for duty, 12 of us warned for guard for
next 24 hours. Relieved old guard at 9 a.m. and I took first 2 hours on No. 2
Finished at 11 a.m., had to stay in Guard Room all day and went on for my second
shift at 7 p.m., finishing at 9 p.m. and turning in. While doing 7 to 9 p.m. shift
2 Post spent nearly half of it in Y.M.C.A. as there was nothing doing and it was
bitterly cold night. Have been put on D.29 Boat Roll today.
Friday 22nd November, 1918
Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast then we cleaned Guard Room out before being relieved
at 9 a.m. by fresh guard. Went to our hut and sat round stove talking till dinner
On parade at 2 p.m., roll call and kept waiting about for an hour then dismissed
p.m. Went into Devonport and had bath at Sailors Rest then went on to Plymouth,
had tea and met Will and we went to pictures for couple of hours. Came out, had
supper and back to camp and bed by 10.30 p.m.
Saturday 23rd November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and then sorted and checked
boat rolls. Am on D.29 with Will, told we will be leaving
Monday. Dismissed at
11.30 a.m. and had cup tea at Y.M.C.A. No parade this afternoon so wrote some
postcards then got cleaned before tea. Met Will and Mitch at 6 p.m. and we went
into town to some pictures then had supper and went to station to catch 10.5 p.m.
train, could not get on it as it was packed so got 10.30 p.m. and got to camp
bed 11.15 p.m.
Sunday 24th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, raining very hard so did not have a parade.
unofficially that our boat, D.29 is cancelled. Had letter from Peggy saying going
aboard today. Miserable wet all day till 6 p.m. when saw Will and Mitch and we
into town. Will and Mitch went to some friends and I went to a restaurant where
people were very nice to me and sat talking when met Will and we caught 9.30 p.m.
Monday 25th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m., not going aboard as we thought. Our Co'y for duty, was given
on mail fatigue and had to go with mail orderly to Post Office at 9 a.m. to bring
the mails, finished at 10 a.m. On parade 2 p.m., roll call and dismissed, had
of Bridge then got cleaned and Will, Mitch and I walked into Plymouth. Rather
nice night, had tea and cakes at Salv. Army, Devonport. Came home by car at 9
p.m. and into bed at 10 p.m.
Tuesday 26th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., raining again today, roll call and kept
hanging about till 10.30 a.m. when dismissed to huts and a record taken of all
utensils. Had game of bridge till dinner time, getting real fed up with this place.
parade again 2 p.m., roll call and kept hanging about again, then dismissed and
cup of tea in Y.M.C.A. After tea went into town with Will, had walk round and
and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 27th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and route march till 11.15
dinner 12.30 noon. On parade again at 2 p.m. and another route march till 3.45
p.m. Weather very damp and getting cold. After tea went into town, had a feed
then went into some pictures for couple of hours, returning to camp by 10.5 p.m.
train and into bed by 10.30 p.m. Getting awfully monotonous.
Thursday 28th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m. My 28th birthday today. Kept hanging
about on muddy parade ground till nearly 11 a.m. then dismissed. Same thing again
on 2 p.m. parade. After tea Will, Mitch and I went into town, had a look at some
pictures then had supper in honour of my birthday, rolls and coffee, very elaborate
indeed, but cash not too plentiful. Back to camp and into bed 10.30 p.m.
Friday 29th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m. Our Co'y for duty, was detailed off for
town picquet so wrote letter to Dais. this morning. Went on picquet at tram terminus
at 12.30 noon and relieved about 4 p.m. Caught car into Devonport and had bath
then had tea at Salv. Army after which had hair cut and went to some pictures.
Came out, caught tram to St. Budeaux and into bed at 10 p.m.
Saturday 30th November, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., roll call and route march till 11.15
Had cup of tea and sandwich at Y.M.C.A. Half holiday this afternoon so wrote letter
home. After tea went into town and met Will, afterwards met some friends and was
invited to supper at Torpoint at house of retired merchant service Capt. Spent
pleasant and quiet evening, invited to dinner tomorrow. Home at camp and in bed
11 p.m. Torpoint is on other side of river Tamar and is in Cornwall.
Sunday 1st December, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast, did not have parade this morning, camp open
from 12 noon so walked to Devonport, caught ferry across river and went to my
friends at Torpoint for dinner. Had a lovely dinner and sat yarning all afternoon,
misty and miserable day. Had a splendid tea and left at 8.45 p.m., caught 9 p.m.
boat and back at camp 9.45 p.m. with a large Cornish Pasty and some jam tarts
my pocket for breakfast in morning. Into bed 10 p.m.
Monday 2nd December, 1918
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 9.30 a.m., a muster parade, boat roll for D34 called
out, am on it. Kept standing in rain till 12 noon then had dinner and on parade
2 p.m., roll called and marched off for medical inspection which lasted till 4.30
Went into town after tea and met Mrs. Blake and her sister, the friends I had
and tea with yesterday, and as a little return took them to the pictures. A very
night, saw them to the ferry and caught tram to camp and into bed at 11 p.m.
Tuesday 3rd December, 1918
Reveille at 6 a.m. and breakfast 6.30 a.m., handed in blankets and big kit bags
on parade with sea kits at 7.45 a.m., roll call and sorting out and started on
docks, headed by a band of the Devons at 9 a.m. Reached the docks at 10 a.m.
and after being checked over got on board, our ship D34 the S.S. Port Hacking,
a very large boat but seems pretty comfortable. Had good dinner and tea on board,
issued with hammocks and blankets and started to settle down. Had a read after
tea and into my hammock at 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 4th December, 1918
Still alongside the wharf, got up at 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast at 8 a.m. then
round deck, very dismal wet day. Dinner 12 noon and at 12.15 pulled out from wharf
and anchored in sound just off Plymouth Hoe till 6.30 p.m. when steamed out. Boat
pitching a good bit, but don't mind as have started for home and those I love.
800 of us on board, quarters not bad and up to present tucker is very good.
Y.M.C.A. put a piano on board just before we sailed. Had a read this evening and
into my hammock at 8.30 p.m. Saw U126 as we steamed out.
Thursday 5th December, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had wash before the rush then on deck, saw three steamers,
one very large supposed to be the "Leviathon" late "Vaterland".
Our boat rolling
heavily and not getting along too fast, lot of the boys sea sick. Feel a bit thick
head, but not sick at all. Believe we reached Bay of Biscay today. Tucker very
good. Was warned for guard tonight but managed to slip out of it. Had game of
cards after tea and then into my hammock at 10.30 p.m.
Friday 6th December, 1918
Up just after 6 a.m. and up on deck, still dull weather but milder. Didn't see
smoke of one steamer today very long way off. Lot of the boys still sick. Ship
much worse today, plates, tins etc. flying all over the place. Paraded and were
shown our boat stations in case of accident or fire, also were issued with overalls
and deck shoes. Had a sleep and read in my hammock after dinner. Reading again
and a game of cards after tea and in my hammock for the night at 10 p.m.
Saturday 7th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m. had a wash and up on deck for a blow before breakfast, sighted two
tramp steamers long way off. Breakfast at 8 a.m. Parade at 10 a.m. and orders
read out, just to keep us all on deck while inspection below, not allowed below
between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Spent afternoon reading and walking round deck, saw
another tramp steamer, passed pretty close to us. Had game of cards after tea
into my hammock at 10 p.m. Rolled very badly today.
Sunday 8th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m. and had wash and on deck for blow before breakfast. Sighted two
more tramp steamers at 10 a.m. Fell in on parade and had a Church service for
an hour. Sighted another tramp steamer this afternoon, passed close to us and
rolling heavily. We are not rolling quite so much today. Altered our course at
and went due west. Had a quiet read till tea time when warned for guard. On guard
on troop deck 10 p.m. till midnight when turned in.
Monday 9th December, 1918
Got up at 5 a.m. and had a nice cold salt shower, enjoyed it fine, had clean change
and on deck 6 a.m. Land in sight on both sides, running into straits of Gibraltar.
Sighted Tangiers on Morrocan coast and when in sight of Gibraltar were ordered
by Torpedo boat, did not go alongside wharf but had good view of "Rock".
came alongside and asked lot of questions and gave skipper instructions after
we steamed on our way. On guard today on deck, did four hours. Lovely day and
saw schools of porpoises. Lay on deck this evening and turned in at 10 p.m.
Tuesday 10th December, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m., had wash and on deck for blow before breakfast. After breakfast
got a job in the Red Cross store room, better than doing guards. Was busy
unpacking cases till 11 a.m. and getting a list of books for Hospital use. After
did some washing and tied it on ships rail to dry, sitting near reading so I could
no one pinched it. Not so warm today though very nice and sea quite calm. Sighted
land on Starboard this afternoon again, part of African coast. Had an impromptu
concert on deck this evening and into my hammock 10 p.m.
Wednesday 11th December, 1918
Got up at 6.30 a.m. and had a blow on deck before breakfast. At 9.30 a.m. went
see if wanted in Red Cross store, but nothing doing so spent morning reading,
caught sight of land in the distance, African Coast I believe. Saw couple of
steamers a long way off. After dinner had game Bridge till tea time and after
again played auction Bridge and learnt Will the game. Been blowing hard today
sea choppy making boat roll a good bit again. Turned into my hammock at 10 p.m.
Thursday 12th December, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had blow on deck before breakfast. At 9.30 a.m. went to Red
Cross store in Aft Hold and opened a case and got some flannel bandages out for
use in hospital then had game of 500's till dinner time. After dinner played Auction
bridge till tea time. Very blowy today and sea fairly rough, shipped some seas
some of boys got a free bath. Altered our course and run before the wind making
ship ride easier. Believe we are passing somewhere round Malta, saw lighthouse
distance. Wrote letter this evening and in hammock 10 p.m.
Friday 13th December, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had a blow on deck, weather not too warm and strong wind
blowing. Nothing doing at Red X store this morning so sat on deck reading till
time. This afternoon watched a boxing contest between one of our chaps and a
ships fireman, not bad, our chap won in fifth round, couple of preliminary bouts.
game of cards till tea time after which had turn on deck, then another read and
my hammock at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 14th December, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on deck for a blow, very nice morning but we ran into a rain
squall about 10 a.m. Had nothing to do this morning so sat reading. Turned out
lovely afternoon so slung my hammock and went to sleep till tea time. Time is
beginning to drag a bit but hope to reach Port Said tomorrow or day after which
liven things up a bit. Concert on deck tonight but did not go as it has turned
and is too cold to stand. Wrote a letter and turned in at 9 p.m.
Sunday 15th December, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on deck for a blow. AFter breakfast did a bit of straightening
for half an hour in Red X store. Had a Church Parade on aft main deck at 10.15
a.m., weather a bit squally, rain at intervals. This afternoon did some letter
ready for when we reach Port Said. After tea sat down below reading and singing
hymns till 9 p.m. when got into my hammock and asleep at 9.30 p.m.
Monday 16th December, 1918
Thunder and lightning pretty heavy early this morning and wind very high, also
rained heavily, sighted a steamer on Port side. Nothing doing after breakfast
reading till dinner time. Siren blew boat stations at 2 p.m., only a practice
after which put up my hammock and lay reading, rained very heavily for an hour
before tea. Expect to reach Port Said in morning. Had game cards this evening
9.30 p.m. and then turned in.
Tuesday 17th December, 1918
Up at 5.30 a.m., very squally on deck and ship going dead slow, does not want
reach Port till a bit light I think. Rather rough this morning, saw three shps
been sunk just outside Port Said, masts showing. Anchored in entrance of Canal
12 noon. S.S. Somerset had arrived few hours ahead of us, left England after us.
Bought oranges etc. from boats alongside. Somerset left at 5 p.m. Saw two
Japanese destroyers. Got our headlight on and got away again at 11 p.m. and I
then turned in.
Wednesday 18th December, 1918
Up at 5 a.m. and on deck, moving through the Canal. Passed Serapeum at 6.30
a.m., strong breeze and rather chilly. Muster Parade at 9.30 a.m. as some chaps
sneaked ashore last night and have missed the boat. Saw some fine flying by
aeroplanes just before we reached Suez. Anchored off Suez at 12 noon and got
word 70 Light Horsemen (1914) were coming on board. Turned out a lovely day. 70
new chaps came aboard at 6 p.m., taking on stores and water when I turned in at
Thursday 19th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m. and had a walk round deck, took on more stores again this morning
and eventually weighed anchor and got away at 10 a.m. The new chaps on board
have made the boat pretty full. Got very warm today and the boys started casting
their clothing. Ship seems to be making good speed. Read and loafed the day
away. Beautiful after tea, nice cool breeze so sat talking on deck till 9 p.m.
went below and turned in.
Friday 20th December, 1918
Up at 5 a.m. this morning and had a Salt shower (cold) and a rinse with fresh
then a turn round the deck before breakfast. Very warm again today, sat on deck
reading all morning and part of afternoon. Had a debate on the White Aust. Policy
at 3 p.m., not bad at all. Put up a record of speed today for the trip so far
in the past 24 hours). After tea had walk round deck, saw couple of ships pass,
talked on deck till turned in 9 p.m.
Saturday 21st December, 1918
Up at 5.30 a.m. and had a shower bath and trot on deck. Saw schools of porpoises.
Very warm day again but nice breeze sprang up later. After dinner watched some
boxing bouts and then lay on deck in shade and read a book. Did two miles more
on days run today then yesterday. Sat yarning after tea in cool of evening and
slung my hammock on deck and turned in at 10 p.m.
Sunday 22nd December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m., too many waiting to get a shower this morning. Had a roam round
deck before breakfast. Sat in shade reading all morning. Sun very hot but pretty
strong breeze blowing today. Slept and read the afternoon away. Four years today
since left Aust. After tea wind rose to nearly a gale but I slung hammock on deck
again and turned in at 9 p.m.
Monday 23rd December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m., did not get a shower again this morning. Passed the islands known
the 12 Apostles before breakfast (Barren Rocks in the Red Sea). Blowing a gale
today and sheets of spray sweeping over the boat. Saw three large steamers before
dinner. This afternoon watched the boxing for the competition, two good bouts.
Sighted and passed between two islands after tea known as Hells Gates, also saw
large passenger steamer, still blowing very hard. Turned in at 10 p.m.
Tuesday 24th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m. and had a turn round deck then breakfast, tucker still keeps very
Spent morning reading on deck, very nice day and breeze beautiful. Just after
Major MacPherson, O.C. of troops on ship, shot himself through the heart in his
cabin. Thrown a gloom over ship as he was very well liked, only young chap of
very sad indeed. Spent quiet Xmas eve. Paraded at 8 p.m. and at 8.30 p.m. ship
stopped and the burial of the Major, our late O.C. took place. Turned in at 9.30
Wednesday 25th December, 1918
My 5th Xmas from home. Up at 5 a.m., had salt shower, turn round deck and then
lay down again till 7 a.m. Breakfast at 8 a.m., had chops. Ship stopped about
a.m. for about an hour, small breakdown in Engine room. Given a pipe, card and
Cigarettes each from ship. Had very good dinner, soup, Fresh Pork, Vegetables,
Duff, nuts, Dates, Oranges, got bursting full. Had to lay down and have a sleep
afternoon. Just after tea passed island of Socotra, beautiful day again. Had church
service at 10.45 a.m., very nice one. Turned in at 10 p.m.
Thursday 26th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m., made myself a cup of tea and had turn on deck. Spent whole day
reading and yarning till tea time. The breeze keeps steady, rising a bit at night
but making the heat more bearable. After tea had game of cards and a blow on
deck before turning in at 9.30 p.m. The trip is beginning to get dull and
Friday 27th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m., had a shower, made cup of tea and a walk round deck before
breakfast. Was reading on deck all morning. After dinner we had some boxing then
had a nap till tea time. After tea played cards and had a blow on deck. Looks
rain tonight, also wind is rising pretty strong. Turned in at 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 28th December, 1918
Up at 6 a.m., had a shower, made cup of tea and had walk round before breakfast.
Reading nearly all morning. After dinner had a sleep in my hammock. Saw some
flying fish today. Wind pretty strong all day. Am geting very tired of this trip,
glad when we reach our next port of call "Colombo", expect about
Sat on deck talking after tea and turned in at 10 p.m.
Sunday 29th December, 1918
Up at 6.15 a.m. and went on deck, terribly stuffy and hot below, not sufficient
ventilation. Had cup of tea and walk round before breakfast. Church parade at
10.45 a.m. Spent rest of day till tea time reading and talking on deck. After
yarn on deck and then played cards down below till turned in at 9.30 p.m. Not
for us all to sleep on deck.
Monday 30th December, 1918
Up at 5.30 a.m., had a shower and on deck and made cup of tea. Suffocating down
below last night, will try and get place on deck tonight. At 10 a.m. had pay parade
and got 2 pounds. Gave my name in for proposed trip to Kandy when we get to
Colombo, about Wed. night next. Did some washing after dinner while boxing bouts
on. Very hot, quite wet through with perspiration. After tea had game cards and
blow on deck and turned in 10 p.m.
Tuesday 31st December, 1918
Up at 6.15 a.m., made cup of tea and had walk on deck till breakfast time. Spent
morning reading and after dinner had a nap till 3 p.m. when listened to a debate
on the Prohibition question, very interesting. After tea had blow on deck and
then played cards till turned in at 10 p.m. Entered on Cash Memoranda page of
diary; Opened account with the United Counties Bank (Barclays) at Crewe on Friday,
Jan. 11th 1918 11th Opening amount notes 15. 0. 0 April 18 From France (Postal
Notes) 5. 0. 0 ________ 20. 0. 0 Withdrawals For Harold 10. 0. 0 For Father 1.
0. 0 ________ 18 Total to Credit 9. 0. 0 July 31st From France (Postal Notes)
5. 0. 0 ________ 14. 0. 0 Oct. 13 England (1 pound notes) 5. 0. 0 ________ 19.
0. 0 Nov. 14 Withdrawal By Telegraph 4. 0. 0 ________ 15. 0. 0
Wednesday 1st January, 1919
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on deck as usual, spent both morning and afternoon playing
cards, sighted a steamer after dinner. Expect to reach Colombo tonight, very windy
and rained hard this morning. Anchored in harbour Colombo about 8 p.m. and
started coaling at 11 p.m.
Thursday 2nd January, 1919
Coaling and taking on water etc. all day. Very little sleep last night on a/c
Place quarantined so cannot have our trip to Kandy, very disappointing. Very hot
day, turned in 11 p.m.
Friday 3rd January, 1919
Coaling all last night and part of this morning. Steamed out at 12 noon, very
again, hardly any breeze. Played cards and read all day and turned in at 9.30
Saturday 4th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., had bath and on deck. Very hot day again, geting near equator.
Reading this morning. After dinner cut down my slacks into shorts, sewed them
and put pocket on. Had game cards after tea and turned in 10 p.m.
Sunday 5th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., had shower and walk on deck. Was reading all morning, played cards
after dinner and had an impromptu concert this evening. Lot of the boys were
ducked in large canvas bath as we crossed line today. Turned in at 9 p.m., very
Monday 6th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., very stuffy down below. Sat reading this morning, rained quite sharply
and cooled the air a bit. Played cards after dinner and after tea washed my overall
coat and shorts then turned in at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 7th January, 1919
Up at 5.30 a.m. had shave and bath and on deck. Much cooler and pleasanter
today. Reading most of morning. Played cards this afternoon and same after tea,
turning in at 10 p.m. Trip very monotonous.
Wednesday 8th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck reading and playing cards all day, concert this evening
into bed 10 p.m. Weather getting much cooler.
Thursday 9th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., had heavy rain during night. Played cards this morning, boxing tourney
after dinner and cards after tea again, into bed 10 p.m.
Friday 10th January, 1919
Up at 5 a.m., shaved, had bath and on deck. Had game cards after inspection.
After dinner had read in my hammock then a sleep. Played cards after tea and into
bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 11th January, 1919
Up at 5.30 a.m. and had bath and on deck, sea got bit of roll on and boat rocking.
Had quiet day reading and talking and turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 12th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck, boat tossing pretty wildly. Did some packing in Red
store this morning, got into my hammock and read after dinner, yarning all evening
and in bed 10 p.m.
Monday 13th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck, ship rolling worse than ever. Packing stores up after
breakfast till midday. At 2 p.m. all Vict'ns had photo taken for our paper the
"Hacking Cough". Did little more packing before tea. Lay in hammock
tea and fell asleep 9 p.m.
Tuesday 14th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck after breakfast. Was packing stores in Red X store till
dinner time. Had sleep after dinner and after tea played cards and read till 9
when turned in. Weather rather chilly and boat rolling.
Wednesday 15th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck, rather cool, turned out lovely day. Packing stores all
morning. Had sleep and read after dinner and had concert this evening. 450 miles
from Albany at 12 noon. Turned in 9 p.m.
Thursday 16th January, 1919
Up at 5.30 a.m. and on deck, sighted West coast Aust. about 10 a.m. Packing
stores all morning. Had sleep after dinner and played cards after tea, turned
Friday 17th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., dropped anchor in bay at Albany at 6.30 a.m. W. Aust'ns disembarked
at 10.30 a.m. and at 12 noon we steamed out again for Melb. Weather rather rough
and boat nearly rolling over, some fun. Played cards after tea and in bed 10 p.m.
Saturday 18th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., sea rather rough and boat rolling badly all day. Spent day packing
Red X store, reading and playing cards and turned in 10 p.m.
Sunday 19th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m., still rough, more packing till dinner time. Sewed rosettes issued
on my tunic after dinner then had sleep. Played cards after tea and in bed at
Monday 20th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and had a look through my kit. Boat still rolling heavily. On parade
p.m., orders issued, played cards after tea and into bed 10 p.m.
Tuesday 21st January, 1919
Up 6 a.m. and on deck, weather calming a little, quiet morning. On parade 2 p.m.
and had kit inspection till tea time. Played cards after tea and in bed 10 p.m.
Wednesday 22nd January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck. Finished packing up today. Medical inspection at 10
a.m., also sighted coast line. Pay parade at 2 p.m. and about 7 p.m. sighted Port
Phillip Heads, passing through the Rip about 8 p.m. and anchoring off Quarantine
Station Portsea. Turned in 11 p.m.
Thursday 23rd January, 1919
Reveille 5.30 a.m., up, packed kit together, handed in Blankets, Hammocks etc.
and paraded on deck for Quarantine Officers inspection. After a deal of trouble
we are put in Quarantine tillMonday for some reason unknown as sickness on board
has been practically nil, very disappointed. Saw Hygeia go by. Issuing Red Cross
fruit etc. this afternoon and played cards after tea. Turned in 10 p.m. Blanketless
for good reasons. Sent wires.
Friday 24th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck. Dais's birthday. More fruit came today, very busy
distributing it. Received couple letters, wrote one home and turned in 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 25th January, 1919
Up at 6 a.m. and on deck. More fruit etc. came aboard after breakfast, kept pretty
busy. A great amount of gambling going on and some big sums changing hands.
Was glad when bed time came and I rolled off to sleep about 10 p.m.
Sunday 26th January, 1919
Up at 5 a.m. and on deck. After breakfast sorted out some fruit and issued it
boys, packed up a few things that are to remain on board. Had a sleep after dinner
and after tea had bath and clean up ready for morning. Turned in at 10 p.m.
Monday 27th January, 1919
Reveille at 4.30 a.m. Steaming up bay, got all ready to disembark and had
breakfast at 6 a.m. Paraded on deck at 7.30 and had roll call and orders. Alongside
New Pier at 7.45 a.m. Disembarked at 9 a.m. and taken to Sturt St. in motor where
met Dais., Mam, Dorothy and Frank. Got fixed up and went home.