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A Transcription of the DIARY OF EVENTS from the original diary of Walter Miller, until April 16th 1916 during his time training and abroad during WW1 as part of the 5th battalion Leic. Reg.

He re-enlisted, as detailed, and a diary is known to have been made but it's where location is currently unknown. 

Walter Miller born 1887 (27 years old at outbreak of war)

Father William mother Elizabeth Hollingworth

Sisters Florence b1883 and Edith b1880

Married Edith Etches 1913   July Aug Sept    7a 1086

Son Jeffery born 20th Feb 1914

Daughter Gwen born   January 1917

Lc Cpl Miller Quarter Master’s Stores 5th battalion Leic. Reg

Left for France 26th February 1915

  • June 1914: the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Serbia.
  • 28 July, 1914: Austria declared war on Serbia.
  • 1 August, 1914: Germany declared war on Russia.
  • 3 August, 1914: Germany declared war on France. WW 1 had begun.
  • 4 August, 1914: Britain declares war on Germany.
  • 11 November, 1918: It ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

W.G. Mc Court     52 W/Make st or road  Sheffield

Ian/John Newman G.P.O. staff   Bedfordshire   Luton

D.Co. 7th Battalion R.I.R.   Ballykinlow Camp,  Co Down   Ireland

L. Corporal  w. Hollingworth G. company R.E. st mary’s barracks Chatham


1914

Aug 5th  order for mobilization Arrive Melton 10 am—Loughborough 1am

Aug 11th  left Loughborough 2 pm    arrived Driffield 4.30 pm

Aug 15 th left Driffield 7.30 pm  Arrived Derby 9am. Slept in open without blanket and coat.

Aug 16th left Derby 6 am arrived Luton 1.30—quartered in All Saint Mission Rome at Warwick Road.

Aug 17th-28th  up at 6 am cut up meat by 9 am took fat for sale  bed around 10-11 pm

Aug 29th moved quarters to Inglewood Ashburnham Road. Breakfast 6.30- work 7 to 8.30. Disposed of fat

September 1st promoted to full Corporal

Aug. 30 – September 3 Breakfast 6.30 –cut up meat, disposed of fat and bones daily. Moved meat qyarters from Buxton Road shools to the receation ground Ashburnham Road

Sept.4th K & L companies (non volunteers from foreign service ) sent back to Loughborough with under age men.

Sept 5th usual rations and daily duties.

Sept.10th made application for 48hr pass.

Sept 11th received pass left Luton 10.44 am arrived Kettering 11.30 left Kettering 11.50 arr Notts 12.52

Sept 11th-16th  Duties as usual

Sept 17th troops paraded at Luton Hoo Park( Luton Hoo country house) for inspection by King George  no inspection  rained all the time.

Sept 18th inspection of troops at 9.30 am by his majesty King George in Luton Hoo park.  Inoculated at Wardown Park Luton by R.A.M.C. officer.

Sept 18th -5th Oct. ordinary usual duties.

Oct 6th  started cutting up at 4 am for field cooking breakfast 7 am left Luton on “pass” 8.35 am arrived Nottingham 10.40 Went to Bridgeford and left for Bottesford at 2.43 H.L. station ( high level) arrived Bottesford 3.23

Oct. 7th went with father on Wednesday’s round in the cart.

Oct 8th left Bottesford 6.30pm and Nottingham at 8.22 pm. Arrived Luton 11.25 pm.

Oct 9th -12th duties as usual.

Oct 30th had tooth stopped at dentist in Luton for 2/6

Oct 14th duties as usual

Oct 15th Ditto—Inoculation at 3pm arm rather still and sore bad head and side through effects of inoculation – off duty until 18th ish.

Oct 16-22ordinary duties.

Oct 23 got up at 3.45 company parade 4.45 in Dalton Road with full marching order on route for Warden Hills Rifle Range fired course and returned 1 o’clock cut up meat and left Luton 6.15 on pass arrived Bottesford 10.32

Oct 25th left Bottesford 4.40 pm arrived Luton 10.20

Oct 26th fired section of musketry at Walden hills Range returned 2pm usual duties to finish day.

Oct 27-30  usual duties.

Oct 31st fired course of musketry at same rifle range and returned at 12 o’clock.  Usual duties to finish day.

Nov 1-5th usual duties

Nov 5th breakfast on rifle range eturned 12.30 for dinner

Nov 7-12th duties as usual

Nov 13th left Luton for pass to Bottesford. Arrived home at 6.26 pm

Nov 15th returned to Luton arrived 11 pm went to bed 12 pm

Nov 16th called up 12.45 am and packed up all kit and loaded  up all transport baggage- marched off at 10 am arrived at Ware (distance 28 miles)(Herts) at 1.30 am of 17th(had no sleep)

Nov 17th cut up meat issue and had a day’s rest-got a billet at 6 Priory Road for the night –completely tired out

Nov 18th left Ware at 8am and arrived at Bishop Stortford(Herts 13 miles)at 1.30 pm- both feet badly blistered billeted at the White Horse Hotel. Cut up meat by 7.30pm and went to bed about 10 oclock. Bad cough and cold.

Nov 19th duties as usual- moved billet to Half Moon Inn.

Nov 20th -26th left Stortford about 3pm and arrived Sawbridgeworth (Herts 5 miles) about 4.30

Nov 27-30th usual duties went to church Sunday night very fine church.

Dec 1 -18th usual duties occasional visits to the cinema.

Dec 19th usual duties  2/3rds battalion left for firing at Luton

Dec 20th as usual- got very bad cold

Dec 21st men returned from Luton - my cold and throat not so well- staying in a day or two-doctors orders.

Dec 22-24th my man cut up the meat issue –doctor orderes me to keep indoors.

Dec 25th breakfast 9.30 off pork pie in billetDinner at Mr? Woodgates off turkey ? Tea ditto?

Dec 26th-29th ordinary duties much better

Dec30th Q.M.S. home on sick leave. Wagons packed blankets and kits from companys put in store rooms –taken out again in afternoon.

Dec 31st entraining practice at Harlow station(Essex 4 miles) in morning all blankets(spares) and men’s kit stored as before-taken away again in afternoon. About 14 men per company allowed home on pass.

1915

Jan 1-8th usual duties up to 4th- Ireland’s stores ? and Q.M.S. duties in office and store.

Jan 9th left for firing at Luton at 11 am and arrived at Luton 1 pm billeted at 20 Dallow Road(west of Luton)

Jan 10th no parades

Jan 11th parade 8am arrived Wardown Range 9.30 Fired all practices and returned to billet 5pm Orderly Room 6pm to take scores of firing and receive orders for Tuesday

Jan12th parade of Q.M.s. Staff and Grooms at 7.45 and left Luton m railway 8.18 for Sawbridgeworth arrived 11pm

Jan 13-14th left Sawbridgeworth 8am and arrived Liverpool station 9-metropoliton railways to Kings Cross at 10am and arrived Grantham 12noon left Grantham 12.40 and arrived Bottesford 12.59 Edii and baby met me.

Jan16th helped in the shop and went on the cart round

Jan 17th church in the morning and helped with the stock &c –walk in the evening

Jan 18th fetched pig from Muston and tidied up garden &c at the cot?. Tried for extra day’s leave granted.

Jan 19th helped to joint meat and get side of pig ready for Mr Allcock. Took Edii and babs for a walk and left on the 4.58 for London. Arrived London 8pm and Sawbridgeworth 10.30

Jan 20-31st usual duties

Feb 1st went rabbiting but only caught 2 –lost one ferret.

Feb 2 usual duties

Feb3 general holiday for cup final at Stortford won by 6th /notts and Derby Regiment.

Feb3-18th usual duties and supervision of meat issues.

Feb 19th usual duties- inspection of N.M. Div. by his Majesty the King of Halenbury

Feb 20th left Sawbridgeworth on pass and arrived home 1pm

Feb 22nd left home 4pm arrived Sawsbridgeworth 9pm

Feb 23rd busy with equipment to complete for moving off.


Feb 25th left Sawbridgeworth at 10.30 pm and entrained at Harlow at 12.50. Arrived Southampton docks at 6am

Feb 26th left on the Duchess of Arguille at 10pm and arrived at Harve at about 8.30am


Feb 27th  marched to rest camp under canvas and went to bed 9pm

Feb 28th left harve by train 7pm passed St Omer at about 1.30

March 1st arrived at Arneke (50 kms S.E,. of Calais 8 kms N.W. of Cassel) at 3.30 am marched 5 miles to Hardifork( ESE of Arneke) Q.M. billeted on the schools -bed about 9.30 pm

 

Hardiifork marked map1                            Meteren marked map2 +Bailleul

march 2nd no parades-issued rations at 4pm bed by 9.30.aeroplane passed over at about 8.30pm

march 3rd left with the transport at 5pm- passed through Carsell(Cassel S of Hardifork) where Lincolnshire Yeomanry are billeted also throughCaistre (S.E.) full of motor lorries and through ? Cappel and arrived at Meteren at 12 pm

Hardifork to Meteren approx 13 miles

March 4th  to bed at 2am slept on kitchen floor and got up at 6am .Left Meteren at 12.30 passed through Bailleul and Nieppe and arrived at Armentierres heavy gun fire all night.

March 5th up at about 7am- our neighbourhood shelled all day-A company’s quarters struck-enemies guns silenced in 2 quarters by our guns-no gun fire heard tonight up to bed time-very heavy firing by big guns all night –A&C in trenches.

March 6th up at about 6.30 am- heavy gun fire all around us- continued all day but no shells dropped near us- Lieutenant Aked and Pte Porter killed and Cpl Green and Pte Foster wounded. A&C return to billets and were relieved by B&D at 5.30pm

March 7th nothing of note guns very quiet B&D relieved by A&C tonight. B&D no casualties.

Armentieres marked  map 1+2         Sailly marked map1 plus Bailleul 1+2

March 8th usual duties- very little gun fire today-A&G no more casualties. Preparations to move.

March 9th left Armentieres 7.30 and passing through Bailleul-  Dutensteen? We arrived at Strazeele about 3pm billets very poor and scattered.

March 10th arose at 7am breakfast at 8am saw meat issued at 10 am bed 10 pm

March 11th up at 7am left Strazeele 2pm passing through Merris(shell passed through church spire) and arrived at Sally at about 12pm bed at 1am (nr Sailly-labourse)

March 12th rose at 6.30 and had catch breakfast at 7.30 usual duties orders to move cancelled armoured train gun (4.7) burst no killed

March 13th up at 4.30 breakfast 6am standing by all day ready to move bed at 9pm heavy gun fire all day

March 14th Sunday- up at 7am breakfast 8am gun fire quick (quiet) upto 3pm when heavy firing

recommenced on our right (La Bassee area)

Sailly marked+La Bassee NE map1               Estaires marked map2+  Outersteine &Bailleul N        

Armentiere to Strazeele 14 miles travelling WNW   just south of Bailleul

Strazeele   to Sally approx 31 miles by road SE

Received cigs from home also first gift of tobacco with cigarettes from England –everything ready for an hours notice to move. Bed 9.30 pm

March 15th up at 6am breakfast 7-all kit packed and loaded to move –order cancaled- bed 11.15

March 16th up at 6.30 and breakfast at 8am-left Sailly at 10.30 and arrived at Cul-de sac (Estaires) which is 13 miles north . Estaires is 10 miles South of Bailleul

About 12 noon food at QM’s billet-sleep woth Q.M.S. in bed at cottage near by heavy gun fire all night in direction of Estaires trenches about 5 miles away.Billious attack not much sleep.

March 17th stayed in bed until 11 am –feeling better-received letter and photo from Tom bed 9.30pm

March 18th up at 7-breakfast at 8.30 kit &g loaded up left Cul de Sac about 12.30 passing through Le Doulieu we arrived at Bailleul (suburb)  about 2.30 billeted in farm house. Bed at 10 pm

March 19th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30. preparing dinner all morning snowing heavily all morning bed 10pm

March 20 up at 7.15 –breakfast 9am- numerous airplanes over through the morning-usual duties bed 10.15

March 21st Sunday up at 7.30 breakfast 9am Church parade 1120-watched English airoplane fly over German trenches where it was shelled but got away safely. A.Ashes sent to Hazelbrook  Hospital with measles

March 22nd up at 6am breakfast at 7.30 received four fresh saddle horses watching airoplanes through field glasses German aero attempted to fly over our way but returned at sight of English aero. Cox cycled over to see me. Received cake &c from mother-contents soon demolished-cake extra. Bed at 8.45

March 23rd up at 7am breakfast at 8am-innoculation for men who had not been done in England. Mr Worley rode  to Merris ( 5 miles south )with interpreter bed 9.30pm

March 24th up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30am-usual duties –had a smoking concert ? in the back kitchen 7 to 9-bed 10pm

march 25th  up at 6.30 breakfast at 8am nothing of note excepting ordinary duties –received two tins of cigarettes from J.Price of London-bed at 10pm

march 26th up at 7.30 and breakfast at 8.30-letter from home –usual duties bed 9.30

march 27th  up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30am German aeroplane passed over us chased by 2 English –too high to watch results.Had my first lesson in riding on Mr Wortley’s horse for 1 and half hours with Gibbons-usual duties bed at 11pm

march 28th palm Sunday –up at 7.30 breakfast at 9.30 am English aeroplane crashed close to our billet-slightly damaged but pilot unheart.-usual duties-received tobacco from Lincoln-letter from Mac?-bed 10pm

march 29th  up at 7 breakfast at 8- aeoroplanes been scouting German trenches and were heavily shelled without result-a little sing song in office-bed 10.30

march 30th up at 7.15 breakfast at 9.30-received parcel soap(shaving) cigs and lighter from wife-Bishop of London preached at Oultersteene (4 miles S) at 6pm-celebrated shrove Tuesday by having pancakes for dinner-better late than never.bed 10pm

march 31st wakened up about 3.25 by our Bishop of Lincoln at Bailleul(today though shalt be ? ? on parade) aeroplane bomb (German) which dropped 500 yards from our billet and fairly shook the building –no damage done

April 1st. up at 7.30 breakfast at 9am-quiet a sunny day lovely-aeroplanes very active all day. Went to Bailleul at 6pm  with Q.M.S. went into service in R.C. church. Returned returned home about 9-received soap from home and letter-bed 10

April 2nd up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-lovely morning guns very quiet all round-enjoyed a ? to celebrate the occasion. Wagons loaded after tea for morning –bed 9.30

April 3rd up at 7 breakfast at 8-dinner 11.30-marched off at 12.30 passed through Dranouter (Dranoutre) and arrived at Loker(Locre) at 4pm(approx 4miles into Belgium North) slept in barn bed 11pm

Loker marked map1 +Dranouter+Bailleul+ Kemmel

April 4th up at 7 am breakfast at 8.30- billeted with the Royal Welsh Regiment . Our Battalion left billets at 9.30 for the trenches –relieved the Monmouths-Winston Churchill visited Bailleul-bed 10.30

April 5th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-more rain today usual duties –bed 10 pm-heavy gun and rifle fire all night.

April 6th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-Raining almost all day-usual duties –cigs from Langwith –bed 10 pm stil raining.

April 7th up at 7.30 breakfast at 9-lovely morning but commenced to rain after dinner –grand after tea. received parcel from ? and sisters-letter from wife- ( ? pipe, 2 cakes, dates, café au lait, tobacco and cigs) bed at 10 pm.

April 8th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30.Nothing unusual as our Battalion not returning from trenches as Welsh Regiment had not moved off from huts. Walked to Dranouter(1.3 miles) bed 9.30

April 9th up at 6.30 breakfast at 8.30- billeting party took over 5th Lincs billets at Dranoutre in afternoon-watched English aeroplane being shelled while scouting over German lines but returned safely. Our Battalion leaving trenches at 12pm and relieved by 4th Lincolns. Hear of several casualties in our Battalion –details later –bed 11pm- ? and c returned 4am.

April 10th up at 7 and breakfast at 9-nothing of note-usual duties- heavy gun and rifle fire all day and night-bed 9.30.

April 11th (Sunday) up at 6.30 breakfast at 9-areoplanes very busy-2 shelled in the afternoon but returned safely. Sang several hymns at night-bed .Bed 10pm. Spy fired at by transport. Picked but got away.

April 12th up at 6.45 and breakfast at 9- nothing of note-bed at 10-wakened up about 12.15 by rifle fire directed at zeppelin which dropped bombs at Bailleul.

April 13th up at 7pm breakfast at 8-had a bath in a tissant? Tin in afternoon-battalion returned to trenches. Get lash? for Mr Wortley. Bed 10pm

April 14th up at 7.30 breakfast at 9-finished the yellow patches on Mr Wortley and Lieutenant Burnett’s coats. The 4th Lincs Q.M. and store and transport joined us in our billets-heavy by artillery on our left (towards Ypres) for about an hour. Loker to Ypres 7.5 miles

 Ypes marked on map + Bailleul and Armentieres

Company Sergeant Major Kerrick wounded-bed 10.30

April 15th up at 7 breakfast at 9-splendid morning –large convoy of ambulances passed by to Bailleul-aeroplanes busy scouting bed 10

April 16th  up at 6.30 breakfast at 8.30-nothing to note all day-bed 9.30

April 17th up at 7 breakfast at 9-big move of artillery and our men due out of trenches but ordered to stay in-terrible bombardment by our artillery commenced at 6.30-intervals of heavy rifle fire. Bed ready dressed 10.30.


April 18th Sunday. up at 6.30 breakfast at 9-parcel of cigs from Belvoir-much activity of aeroplanes especially at  dusk –our men leaving trenches tonight- bed 10 heavy firing

April 19th men reached billets about 2,30-up at 7 –German Taube passed over us and was heavily shelled by our aircraft guns but it got away-too high up-total casualties for the five days in trenches-3 killed 12 wounded-bed 10

April 20th Up at 8 breakfast at 9 nothing to note all day bed 10pm-heavy bombardment by our artillery with continual rapid rifle fire all night.

April 21st up at 7.30 and breakfast at 8.30. General cleaning up for inspection of store by the Colonal at 12am-nothing of note all day-bed 10pm quiet all night

April 22nd up at 7.30 breakfast at 9-heavy guns-the French 75’s active most of the day. Battalion returned to the trenches at night –bed 10pm

April 23rd       Up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-nothing of not all day- bed 9.30 heavy bombardment all night long with volleys of rifle fire in direction Mersenes?(Mese?) and Hill 60.

April 24th up at 6.45 breakfast at 9.heavy rifle fire during morning with occasional slots of heavy batteries-bed 10pm-heavy gun and rifle fire all night.

April 25th      Sunday up at 8 breakfast at 9am-beautiful day -out all afternoon with Q.M.S. with field glasses aeroplanes busy scouting-bed 10pm after singing a few hymns. Heavy bombardment all night

April 26th up at 7.30 breakfast at 9 guns busy all day and terrible gun and rifle fire all night. Battalion leaving the trenches tonight. bed 10pm-men arrived in billets about 1.30

April 27th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30 bombardment still going on without a break-direction of Ypes-German attempt to break through for Calais-bed 10pm-had a bit of tench fishing in pond

 Hill 60 marked and Armentieres on main map

April 28th to 30th up at 6.15 breakfast 7.30 –our aeroplanes were shelled heavily while scouting but returned safely –nothing of note for the three days-our battalion returned to the trenches on the 30th at 7.30 pm bed 10pm

May 1st up at 7.30 breakfast at 9-very hot today .Germans shelled one of our (quite 50 shells) but failed to bring it down-firing quiet all day-long letter from wife-bed 10.30

May 2nd Sunday- up at 7.30 breakfast at 8-usual duties –hymns at night –bed 10pm

May 3rd -4th up at 7 breakfast a 7.30 .Heavy gun fire each night –German Taube escorted to Bailleul by 2 British aeroplanes-bed at usual times–

may 5th up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30.sever artillery duel in direction of Ypes-last trench casualties-1 killed 6 wounded-bed at 10.30-called up at 12pm and assisted to cut the meat up-1st line of transport and battalion had to stand ready to march off to reinforce Lincolns(4th) in case of attack. bed again at 2pm-no orders

May 6th and 7th up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-nothing of note other than usual duties. Afternoon of the 7th watched German shrapnel bursting on our right about 2 and a quarter miles away-heavy gun fire all night-letter from wife.

May 8th up at 6.30 breakfast at 9-at 7 our artillery commenced very heavy bombardment in direction of Ypes (7.5 miles) and continued until night bed 10-battalion in trenches

May 9th Sunday-up at 7.30 breakfast at 9-artillary busy all day –about 5 o’clock a German Taube was shot down by guns and an English aeroplane crashed to earth in German lines in front of S14 trenches-heavy rifle and artillery fire all evening and through the night


may 10th up at 6.30 and breakfast (boiled eggs) 8 o’clock-received a divisional order to hold the line of trenches at all cost and keep enemy well occupied so that our troops can be withdrawn from our front line to reinforce elsewhere-our aeroplanes very active in the evening but escaped the shells-heavy firing all night.

May 11th up at 6.30 breakfast at 8-news of heavy losses by 4th Leicesters trench mined and then grenaded-our aeroplanes very busy in the evening and our men relieved by Stafford Regiment bed at 10pm- heavy firing al night-our casualties 2 killed 14 wounded.

May 12th up at 8 breakfast at 9.had blank shell (German) and empty shell case( French) given me very quiet all day bed 10

May 13th up at 6.30 breakfast at 9.heavy gun fire in direction of Armentierres but quiet in our area- A company called out at 10.30 with ammunition and shovels loaded up to assist the 4th Lincs-part of this trench blown up by mortars-bed 9.30

May 14th up at 7 breakfast 8.30-nothing of note usual duties .B,D &C companys went by motor buses to assist for trench digging –had 3 wounded-bed usual- battalion returned 6am

May 15th up at 7.30 breakfast at 9.News of Lincolnshire Yeomanry heavy casualties-Major Barton’s brother killed- heavy bombardment on our right-bed 10pm

May 16th Sunday up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-bilious headache all day-battalion returned to new trenches at 9.30 bed 10.15 church parade conducted by Bishop of Pretoria at 4am

(LONDON, May 25. -- The Bishop of Pretoria, who spent a month at the front in Northern France and Flanders, writes a letter to The Times on the urgent need of national service. After extolling the spirit of the troops, which he describes "amazing," )

may 17th Zepalin sighted over German lines travelling north-up at 7.30 breakfast 8.30-Captain Chapman (shot in head) and Lieutenant Selwyn (shot through thighs) wounded during the night and Corporal Mirkley wounded in “seat”-had a bath and washing cloths after tea-Private Clerke killed in trenches-heavy bombardment in direction of La Bassee all day and rifle fire all night-bed 10.30

may 18th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-raining all day usual duties-bed 10.30- parcel from me –letters form wife and mother.

May 19th p at 7.30 breakfast at 8—still raining usual duties

May20th up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-a trench of the 5th Lincs blown up by mine –R E officer and 5 killed-trench retaken-bed 10-heavy gun fire during night-battalion returned from trenches

May 21st up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-total casualties on last occupation of trenches killed 1 officer 3 men –wounded 1 officer 3 men- bed 10pm –heavy firing most of the night

May 22nd  up at 7 breakfast at 8.30 very hot-bombardment by our heavy batteries on our front from 4 to 7& followed by heavy rapid fire bed 10 pm

May 23rd whit Sunday-parcel from wife- up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-battalion church parade 10.30-Taube over our lines in the evening but was too high for guns-bed 10 –no sleep most of night through gun and heavy rifle fire all night-in afternoon went up Locre hill but except seeing Ypes burning was too hazy.

May 24th up at 5.45-wakened by an aircraft gun which apparently hit a taube very hard as she seemed to drop very quickly-breakfast at 8-usual duties very hot day-aeroplanes very active-Taube shelled in evening bed 10pm


May 25th very hot again- up at 7 breakfast at 8-nast cold in head and chest-nothing of note only usual duties-bed 10pm-some aeocraft passed over about 10.30 nature unknown-12pm a big farm where troops were billeted on fire –details later.

May 26th up at 6.30 breakfast at 8-B cold getting better but head aches badly-very hot again today-Sergent Naden of Melton Mowbray killed in trenches-Taube today again over our lines-heavy shelled without success-bed 10 pm-very heavy gun and rifle fire all night long

May 27th up at 7 breakfast at 8-muck cooler and dull today-air pillow from Maggie McCourt today nothing unusual Pte Saddington wounded. Bed 10 pm

May 28th total casualties-3 killed 5 wounded- up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-had boots soled and heeled-still cooler-fairly quiet all along our front-battalion relieved tonight-bed 10pm

May 29th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-warm again today-sent home two postal orders (£1 each in letter to wife-usual duties –very quiet along our front-aeroplanes active all the morning-bed 10

May 30th Trinity Sunday Capt. Chapman died of wounds in London- up at 7.30 breakfast at 8-washed towel and handkerchief-some of Kitcheners went in trenches with the Staffords for instruction-had a walk to Locre with W.Cox-place was full of Kitcheners-had some hymn singing  in harmony in the evening bed 10pm

May 31st up at 4 am to locate artillery bombardment which commenced at day break-was towards Messinis(Mesen?)-German Taube over our line about 6am-was heavily shelled but got away-went back to bed up again at 7-breakfast 8 –very warm again –battalion and all billets inspected by Colonel Jones this morning-satisfactory-Q.M.S. staff paraded with respirators for instructions-bed 10 bad headache

June 1st- Up at 7 breakfast at 8-feeling very seedy through having no rest-had a walk over the farms to see the tobacco planting-very hot all day but very cold at night-bed 10 pm

June 2nd Up at 7.30 breakfast at 9-feeling much better very warm again-persistent rumours of division being replaced by Kitcheners and returned to England for munitions work etc and garrison duties-battalion returned to the trenches with 2 company of K.R.R.’s for instruction. Bed 10.30

June 3rd Up at 7 breakfast at 8 –very hot again-aeroplanes very busy all day-heavy bombardment all day in direction of La Bassee and Armentieres-bed 10pm

June 4th Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-our trench headquarters shelled at Kemmel-colonel of 4th Lincs killed-colonel Jones badly wounded and his guide(Blackham) and his servant(Baccus) both killed-very hot all day-usual duties –bed 10

 June 5th Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-usual duties-fairly quiet along the front-bed 10 pm

June 6th Sunday- Up at 7 breakfast at 8-very hot again occasional shelling on front-artillery bombardment commenced in direction of Messanes andYpes at 6am-these ceased but started again towards La Bassee-bed 12.30-bombardment continues

June 7th Up at 6.30 breakfast at 8-had a cold bath-very hot all day-heavy bombardment in direction of La Bassee and Armentieres-sent a parcel of shells etc to mother-bed at 10pm

June 8th wife’s birthday- Up at 7 breakfast at 8-cycled ijnto Bailleul with Q.M.S. Stimson to buy several things for Q.M.-very hot bought birthday card for wife-cycle punctured-had wine with Q.M.S. and Ch Sergeant Collins-rode back to Locre in timbered wagon-rough passage-saw train in Bailleul loaded with wounded for Base hospitals-heavy peals of thunder all round back to rain at present-sharp storm around 3pm-battalion returned from trenches –total casualties killed 5 wounded 15 bed 10.30-late getting Mr Worley’s bath emptied-Zeppelin brought down by our aeroplane between Gwent and Brussels.

June 9th  Up at 6.30  breakfast at 7.30-washed shorts pants before wearing –heavy thunder storm-short period of our artillery fire on our front –bed 10.pm

June 10th Up at 7 breakfast at 8-wakened about 5.30 by heavy peels of thunder and rain-heavy rifle fire at day break-cleared up about 7.30 but very heavy heat. Bed 10pm

June 11th Up at 6.30 breakfast at 7-much cooler through rain during night-received parcel with letter and writing pad in from wife at Notts-sharp artillery duel about 7pmon our front followed by heavy rifle fire. Bed 10pm

June 12th Up at 6.30 breakfast at 7.30-warm again-German aeroplane passed over us about 2.30 pm and was heavily shelled by aircraft guns-passed out of sight followed by two of our planes-was tirned by planes and brought down by gun fire near Bailleul.Watched one driven towards our guns in the evening and was damaged but landed in the German lines-battalion returned to the trenches-bed 10pm

June 13th Sunday-S.M.Small-C.S.M. Palmer-Leutenant Vincent-Leutenant Knighton all left Bailleul at 7.30 for leave- Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-ordinary duties nothing of note all day-bed 10pm-heavy gun fire


June 14th Up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-guns on our front continue bombardment-warm again usual duties bed 10pm

June 15th Up at 6.30 breakfast at 7.30-new spuds and green peas for officers dinner’s-had a bath after dinner and washed dirty clothes out –Mr Worley went up to trenches with T.O.and had a warm reception-two trenches of Notts and Derby’s mined at Kemmel-sat up for Mr Worley until 11.30-on his return 32000 rounds of ammunition had to be sent up to Battalion-bed 12.30

June 16th  Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-mistake made over Mr W’s pass-for 17th not 16th –battalion left trenches about 11pm-bed 10.30-casualtys killed non wounded 14

June 17th Up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-usual duties-all leave cancelled by General at 3.30 until further notice-bed 10pm very heavy rifle fire all night.

June 18th German machine heavily shelled about 4.30 but think he got away -up at 8am-cooked dinner and then cycled into Bailleul  for several articles for Q.M. and left note for T.O. as No 2 Coy ASC-had letters from wite at home –warm all day but turned cold at night-sent shell cases to Miss McCourt. bed 10

June 19th Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30- heavy rifle fire most of the night –Mr Worley, Leutenant Marsh,C.Q.M. Sergeant Lovill and Hill left on leave for England. Received parcel from Uncle George .bed 10pm

June 20th Sunday Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-packed Mr Worley’s kit ready to move. Reading Dorothy Vernon(of Hadden Hall by Charles Major) under shady tree all afternoon-kept QMS Stimpson’s birthday(23rd) in evening-Mr Cox bought me waterproof cape –gave him tin of cigs-sang a few hymns at night –bed 12.30 (Albert S Cox born 1898 of Bottesford?)

June 21st Up at 8.30 breakfast at 9- loaded everything up on wagons for full parade and inspection by General at 2.30-all unloaded again after tea-German plane shot down over Lindenhook-news of French gains at Arras and surrounding of German army corps-bed 9pm

June 22nd Up at 8 breakfast at 8.30- packed all my kit ready for moving off-wagons reloaded in afternoon-fall in at rear of transport with store bicycle moved off at 9pm-passed through Locre(Loker?) and Outredown and bivouacked outside the village(Westouter 2 miles?)

got inside luggage wagon to sleep about 1.30 am and off? Again 3.30 –no blankets-very cold-had a cup of tea and bread and jam about 4am and fried bacon at 7.30am-no letters from wife in 4days –sent off a Field Servant-read book and had a sleep in afternoon-bed at 9pm in canvas shed at Q.M.S’s

June 24th Up at 7.30 breakfast at 8-watched Belgium soldiers fell poplar trees on our ground-no letters again from home –tobacco pouch and letters from Mr A –all stores loaded and taken to new stores but through changed orders we had to fetch them all back again-helped to erect frame work and canvas shed for perishable stores and sleeping for 7 of us-bed 9pm

June 25th Up at 7.30 breakfast at 7.30- orders to move at 12.30 but only a short distance-new stores in an old draughty barn –very heavy thunderstorm lasted almost all evening-Mr Worley returned-Mr Worley made application for my Pass to the adjutant for next party from pass and bought me a pipe-he, lieutenant Burnett and Pearson slept in the stores with a screen around them-had letter form wife at last and one from home too-bed 9.30 very cold tonight

June 26th up at 6.30 and breakfast-put up a canvas roofed hut for Lieutenant Worley and Burnett to sleep on-put up Me W’s bivouac for my self outside the store –bed 9.30

June 27th Sunday-up at 7.30 to bath before breakfast at 7-showery all day-quiet on our front-parcel from Mac-sang a few hymns tonight –bed 10.pm-O.C. companies went up to the trenches

June 28th  up at 6.30 breakfast at 7.30-occasional showers-very cold at night –bed 9.30-reinforcemnet of 95 men arriving today

June 29th up at 7 breakfast at 8- helped to issue clothing etc from stores-battalion left for trenches 5.30 pm-order for stores to move cancelled so had to unpack all of ln Worley’s kit-rained very heavily all night so slept in the stores-bed 10.30

June 30th up at 7 breakfast at 8- packed up and made ready for moving to huts about one and half miles away between Oudendon? and Vlamantingel? Arrive at huts about 2pm-bed 9.30-heavy battery in our rear sent over several shells during the night-Sergeant Orton killed

July 1st up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-nothing of note all day-our batteries on our left firing heavily all the evening-Capt Beasley and Lieutenant march wounded by shrapnel but not seriously-slept outside in the bivouac and had a good night’s rest

July 2nd up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-very hot all day-usual duties-heavy artillery fire all evening and most of the night-bed 10pm

July 3rd Sunday- up at 7 breakfast at 8.30-cycled to brigade R.E. dump to enquire about spraying solution and periscope glasses-had a cool bath-usual duties-bed 10pm

July 4th up at 6 and had a cold bath before dressing-breakfast at 8-heavy shelling by our artillery about 7 in answer to some of enemies guns-very hot all day-bed 10pm

July 5th Up at67.30 breakfast at 7.30-much cooler today-made application for 200 £’s(fr’s)of my pay to take home in case of leave-battalion leaving trenches tonight-total casualties in 6 days-killed 7 wounded 25

July 6th Up at7.30 breakfast at 7-nothing of note all day-heavy rain all afternoon and showers most of the night-bed 10pm

July 8th-- Up at 7 breakfast at 8-trenches dug all around the huts for protection against shell fire-enemy sent 7 shells over us in direction of Ouderdam but no danger to us-orders to turn out and get in the trenches tonight on sounding of 3 G’s on bugle –alarm for shell fire-bed 9.30 in the stores through absence of QMS on leave.Heavy gun fire most of the night.

July 9th- up at 5.45 and made tea for Mr W-took him his shaving water at 7for him to draw rations at A.S.C. dump at 8- issued clothing etc  to Coy Q.M. St-bed 9.30

July 10th up at 6.20 –saw Mr W off to the dump for rations –breakfast 8-issuing all day up to up to tea time. Produced a list of all deficiencies required to complete the battalion to Mr Worley-bed 10pm very tired-heavy bombardment most of night

July 11th Sunday up at 7-Mr W went at 7.45 to A.S.C. dump for rations-breakfast 8-received quantity of clothing form ordinance which was issued to companies.A&B compaies went to the baths at Poperinge supposed to receive clean shirts in exchange for dirty ones but those received where “chatty”-had to issue new one’s last thing at night-very cold tonight bed 9.30

Poperinge marked +Loker
july 12th up at 6.30 am went off to draw supplies-cricket outfit received and issued to troops- had a good game in the evening-no letters for 4 days from my wife-2nd offence –bed 9pm

July 13th –up at 7am and draw rations again-received another cricket outfit from the daily express and also some boxes of preserved eatables and chocolate issued quantity of clothing etc to complete companies deficiency list-some shells dropped three fields away on our front-had a game of cricket till dark-heavy bombardment started about eight to the left of Ypes and lasted most of the night

July 14th up at 7.45 breakfast after Mr W went to the dump-loaded company wagons with detailed stored and officer’s kit. QMS back from leave-heavy artillery fire from direction of Dicky Bush with volleys of rifle fire most of the night-bed 10pm

July 15th up at 7 breakfast at 8- had Mr W’s kit washed and cleaned-no letters from wife as expected wrote to see if anything was wrong-usual duties-bed 9.30

July 16th up at 7 breakfast at 8-ord duties-played for Q.M’s staff v transport now 53 against 35-ind score 5 runs-took 5 wickets for 12 runs-heavy rain most of night –bed 9pm

July 17th breakfast etc as usual-cold boiled bacon from England-heavy rain most of day-battalion changed trenches but came back for the night instead of bivouacking in the rain-had two killed and three wounded-heavy sick roll

July 18th Sunday usual duties after breakfast at 8.30-fine again-battalion returned to trenches near Sanctuary wood(Ypes)-had about 50 men fall out going to the trenches –total sick roll about 130-bed 10pm

July 19th after breakfast all sick were examined by the M.O. (Col. Bevor)- 11 ordered to trenches 3 seedy and remainder to hospital R.E. works-(several were recommended for England as unfit)-German Daube over after dinner and was shelled when over our billets-transport driver (pack Pony) was wounded in the head by bullet from one of our shells-one shell case buried itself  in the roadside opposite the store hut and was found after being dug out to be harmless-I picked up the nose of one-no letters from home for three days but one from Tom –bed 10pm

July 20th after breakfast I went to Bailleul with C.S.Collins to get medical stores and thread for tailor-landed back at 4.30 all stores moved tonight and new billets about ¾ miles away-bed 9.30

July 21st up at 6.30 picked up all Mr W’s kit etc and my own and loaded up and landed at new billet about 10.30-billeted in a farm for store-lieutenant Lawton, Wynne and Marriott arrived back from England to join battalion-Lieutenant Magee also joined 4th Leicester-bed10pm

July 22nd-up at 7-usual duties-went to ? Lt Magee in afternoon-reserve officers went to trenches at night-rain all evening and night-bed 11pm

July 23rd up at 7.30 still stormy but brighter-some “ oal trees”? burst in fields close to us but little damage was done –bed 10pm-transport under rapid fire on return from the trenches but only one horse hit-our chaps exploded two mines underneath German trenches and they exploded one just in front of our trenches of B coy several men buried but extent of casualties not known at present-killed 14 wounded 31

July 24th up at 6.30 breakfast around 8-still showery but fairly bright –several shells passed over us which drove us into dugouts-one burst in transport line and killed 4th Lincs mule-Mr B sprained his ankle jumping into trench-bed 10pm

July 25th Sunday battalion returned to the trenches –up at 7 breakfast at 8-usual duties-sent two smaller? of loads to new billets recamped by H.A.C.-transport also moved –received order to move to late 5th Lincs billets(huts) instead of H.A.C.’s

July 26th –up at 6.30 heavy storms all morning –moved to fresh billets after dinner-been occupied by 12th Manchesters and been left in very dirty state –usual duties

July 27th up at 7-ordinary duties applied for leave to adjutant personally for weekend and was granted it

28th upat 6 and breakfast at 7.30 gave particulars to Gibbons to see after Mr Worley in my absence-very heavy storm for about an hour but cleared up later. bed 9.30

july 29th up at 6 and breakfast t 7.30 left huts in limber? For Popperinghe (distance to Ypes 6.5 miles) at 11.30 with Sgt Spencer, Ellis and Franks for leave –left by train 1.45 changed at Hazebrooke-arrived Boulogne  8pm boat left at 10 so Folkestone 11.45 train 1am at Victoria 3.30 am Kings Cross 4.50 Hrantham7am Grantham  7.25to Bottesford 7.4 5 –wife and baby met me –had wash and breakfast and change of clothing and went to bed 1pm.Took wife to Belvoir with some meat and Millie came back with us to Capwells. Walked upto Mc Allcocks after baby had gone to bed. bed 10.30

july 31st up at 8 –helped Dad off with the cart and made Mrs H’s account out-went to Notts with the wife on the 1.47 and returned 8.28-called at Bridgeford-bed 11pm

Aug 1st Sunday up at 9.30 took wife and sisters to church in the morning and laid up the field most of the afternoon

Aug 2nd rained almost all day and stopped us hay making and spoilt the Gymkhana

Aug3rd went round friends to say good bye in the morning –left Bottesford at 12.28,Grantham at 1.31, London Victoria at 6, boat left Folkstone at 8.30, train left Boulogne at 10.30 and arrived Hazebrooke 5am on the 4th Aug left at 10am and arrived at Popperinghe at 11.30-billated 1pm –showery all afternoon-bed 9.30

Aug 5th up at 7 breakfast at 8-all pioneers and extra men ordered to trenches so had to start cutting up meal again. felt much more at home with my old work- cracked? In evening-several shells dropped in Popperinghe-bed 10

Aug 6th usual duties letters from wife bed early

Aug 7th up at 7 breakfast at 8.30 showery most of the day usual duties

Aug 8th Sunday up at 7.30 nothing of note –aeroplanes very busy today-small service in field conducted by Capt. Uffen while I was cutting up-lovely day not too warm-bed 9.30

Aug 9th heavy artillery bombardment started about 2.30 am by our guns in Hooge district followed up by attacks resulting in retaking of 3 lines of trenches and recapturing of 1200 yards of our trenches-very quiet rest of the day and very hot-Sgt Thornton sent to hospital; for treatment. bed 9.30

Aug 10th up at 7 breakfast at 8- dull and misty in early morning but extra hot all day–usual duties –A&D left trenches for Ypes barracks-D&C for Zillebeke Lake dugouts(headquarters)(1.5 miles E of Ypes)bed 10

Aug 11th -14th –very hot again today usual duties heavy storm on 13th for rest of the afternoon. bed usual times

Aug 15th Sunday usual duties-divine service conducted by Cart Uffen (nc Chaplin) at 11.45 I was cutting up close by-stormy at times-received parcel from Mac bed 9.30

Aug 16th reinforcement draft arrived at about 12pm including Geeson and Briggs from home-men changed quickly for trenches-usual duties –aeroplanes very active-bed 10-artillary and rifle fire most of night

Aug 17th up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-cut up by 12.30-draft sent up to trenches at 3pm-German aeroplane chase by one of our planes and was damaged by shell fire-had a game of cricket in evening-bed 9.30

Aug 18th up at 7.30 breakfast at 8.30-usual duties –fairly warm no rain-cricket in evening-bed 9.30 heavy firing most of the night

Aug 19th up usual times and duties-letters from wife, Tommy and Jeff-much cooler today-transport inspection in afternoon by Colonel of A.S.C.

 

Aug 20th usual duties in the morning –played for Q.M.’s X1- lost easily-warm most of the day –but cool at night

Aug 21st nothing of note apart from usual duties-walked over with W.Cox tonight to see the Q.M.S. 5 Lincs-returned 9 o’clock-bed 10pm –pioneers returned from trenches

Aug 22nd Sunday up at 6.45akfast at 8-finished cutting up at about 12.30-church parade 12 o’clock by Capt Uffen accompanied by brigade band (!)aeroplane busy all afternoon keeping off German plane aircraft shell case and fragments fell in our field -3 loads of necessary kit etc sent up to Flamatinghe huts ready for battalion tonight left trenches about 10.30 casualties 7 killed 55 wounded

Aug 23rd usual duties nothing of note very hot all day news of a big navel victory by Russians –Germans lost 1 dreadnought-3 cruisers-7 destroyers-4 transport boats full of troops-bed 9.30

Aug 24th very hot again-helped to put tarred felt roof on stores and erected lean to shed for rations-received by consignment of clothing etc from ordinance-bed 10

Aug 25th -26th usual duties-very hot again

Aug 29th cycled over to huts with Q.M.S. to see Sgt. Baun about meat-saw the boys from home except Christmas-returned 9pm

Aug 28th very warm again-Mr Worley went on 7 day’s leave from Popperinghe 1.59-packed tin kit etc for Capt Jeffrus to have his tent? Battalion returned to the trenches-received tuble? Helmets and M.G. belts from A.O.S.

Aug 29th Sunday-much cooler today and dull –cut up the meat by 12.30-pineers went to the trenches except Pte Bradshaws-received issue of beer and stout for diarrhoea patients in trenches-started to rain about 4pm and continued most of night bed 9.30

Aug 30th usual duties-Lieutenants Moss Clay and Stoneham arrived from England-rain occasionally

Aug 31st meat was drawn with first issue-received to new Vickers gun from 4th Lincs and sent up to the trenches at night with beer and stout for M.O.-finished reading Lady Audley’s secretbed 9

Sept 1st Wednesday up at 7 breakfast at 8-one load officer kit and load of stores sent off to billets in Ouderdom-busy packing remaining stores fir morning .bed 10

Sept 2nd up at 6 breakfast 8.30- after loading up the wagon of stores-cycled over to new billets and cut the meat up-returned to Bosseboris? To see finish of loading heavy rain stared about 3 o’clock-finished all stores etc about 6-very tired-bed 10.30 still raining Christmas-Barrend-Geeson all wounded

Sept 3rd –up 7.30-bad headache-stil raining and cold wind –cut up meat –had officers kits overlooked for Lieutenant Williams valet but it turned up at 4 Leicester huts-bed 9.30

Sept 4th up at 6.25 feeling better-grand morning but heavy storm about 2pm-officers kits for G.S. wagons to go to Ypes-issue meat as usual-set Mr Worley’s bed out after tea-wrote to my wife and to Billy Shornton at Bologne-heavy gunfire al night-bed 9.30

Sept 5th Sunday up at 7 breakfast 7.30-still stormy rain-cut meat up as usual-Lieutenant and 3 men on leave today-

Sept 6th -9th ordinary duties nothing of special note. gunfire most nights-battalion returned to trenches from dug outs on night of 8th –warm all day no rain-draft of 50 men arrived at 7.30 of the 9th from base at Rouen –Col Jones also joined our unit earlier in the evening prepared a hot late dinner at 8 o’clock for Col Jones, Lieutenant Worley, Burnet and Hill-slept the draft in our store barn-bed 10.30

Sept 10th  up at 6-kidneys mushrooms and bacon for breakfast & officers too-cut up first issue of mutton and prepared dinner for officers viz roast grouse, potatoes and cauliflower-Col Jones and draft left in afternoon for trenches-several German aeroplanes scouting over our billets and district during the day –were heavily shelled-received parcel of cake and sweets from my wife-W.Cox called for tea-bed 9.30-sept 11th nothing of note usual duties

Sept 12th Sunday very hot again but nothing more than the usual duties-bed 9pm

Sept 13th as usual

Sept 14th cut up meat as usual –packed up necessary kit for Mr Worley and self-had early tea and left on limber for dicky bush huts-slept in hut with Sgt Major Small-battalion arrived from trenches about 1.30

Sept 15th up at 7-after attending to MrWorley I left for stores in Ouderdom to cut meat up-returned after dinner-very hot again and pestered with flies bed 10pm onions and cheese for supper

Ouderdom marked

Sept 16th up at 7 and breakfast later-cut up meat at stores and brought back several deficiencies for company’s and in limbered G.S. wagon-went down again in ration wagons for cycle and further items-returned after tea and wrote to my sister E. bed 10

Sept 17th usual duties aeroplanes very active all day-bed 9.30

Sept 18th duties as usual-artillery fire most of the day and heavy during the night-very little sleep all night

Sept 19th  Sunday get up very tired and with bad head-duties as usual –strayed for dinner at stores and returned tp huts about 2.30-heavy firing all day again-one of our aeroplane cause to descend near the Indian encampment at Koustraite but machine was all in hand-very cold at night bed 9.30

Sept 20th –usual duties-cycled down to stores and cut up meat-returned and packed up Mr W’s kit-took it down to stores on Limberand set it out in his room-assisted to move stores over the way to barn-battalion returned t trenches

Sept 21st-23rd- usual duties

Sept 24th as usual-“C” cpo heavily shelled in trenches having 6 killed and 23 woulnded-2 of wounded have since died

Sept 25th -26th Sunday duties as usual-heavy bombardment still on since last night towards La Bassee-rained all night-Lieutenant Burnett promoted Captain

Sept 27th battalion left trenches for dugouts for Knustraate and Capt Jefferies killed on the way out-total casualties 12 killed 43 wounded-

Sept 28th usual duties had a ride in afternoon round Dickybush? Huts-rained very heavily all night-S.M. returned to us for a rest-drank Capt B’s promotion and health on champagne-draft of 40 arrived from base about 9pm-rained all night-issued rum to all arrivals

Sept 29th usual duties-rain most of the day-assisted Q.M.S. to issue deficiencies to Cop’s in dugout in afternoon-took inventory of  and dispatched Capt Jeffries kit-bed 10

Sept 30th-usual duties-had letter from my wife to say I may reengage for period of war-put my kit in order ready for moving –German aeroplanes scouting over our billets but were driven off by shell fire-bed

Oct 1st Friday-usual duties- packing up stores etc ready for removal-battalion returned to billets also-bed10.30

Oct 2nd-packed up MrW’s kit-my own to-cut up 400lbs meat for men to carry individually in mess tins-left billets with  transport 2.30 pssing through Locre,Bailleul,Vieux-Berquin and stayed for the night in Neuve-Berquin-slept on kithen floor of farm house-bed 11pm

Robecq marked+Vieux-Berquin +Bailleul

Oct 3rd Sunday-up at 5am-washed shaved and breakfast-saw to Lt Worley 6.30-breakfast 7.30-moved off at 10am passed through Merville 12.30 and halted outside for ½ hour for dinner0pontoon-passing through Challons-sur-la-lys, Robecq- arrived at              our new billets-billets in outhouse of farm where Capt Burnett and Mr Worley are-cut up meat at tea for issue bed 9.30 very comfortable-letter waiting me from wife

Oct 4th up at 6am –cleaned billet out after breakfast-nice day with occasional showers-received leather wallet from Nellie in memo of Mr P with photo pics of each-cut up the meat in afternoon-cop on route march-only just hear gun fire from here feeling better for quiet and rest-bed 9pm-

Oct 5th usual duties –received orders for move tomorrow bed 9pm

Oct 6th up at 6-packed kit before breakfast left Bellerveue, at 10 pm passing through Gonnehem, Chocques, Labeuvriere, Fouquereil, Gosnay and arrived Hesdigneul(-les-bethune) about 12.30-had lunch prepared dinner 1.30-dirty billets slept on top od the ? machine in the barn-Mr W and Capt B in the room of house bed 10pm-blankets and stores arrived later-former issued

A BE2c of No 2 Squadron prepares to start off on a reconnaissance mission, Summer 1915, Hesdigneul, France.
Oct 7th up at 7am-breakfast with transport at 7.30-nice day-heavy bombardment in progress towards Arras-bed 9.30

Poperinge to Hesdigneul 50 miles
Oct 8th usual duties aeroplanes very active-“stand to” order at night on account of German attack at Loose with 3 battalions -12.30 pm order cancelled through attack being repulsed with very heavy loss to Huns

Oct 9th nothing of note except inspection by Arm of all  Batt. rifles

Oct 10th Sunday usual duties-Church parade 9.30-heavy bombardment still continues

Oct 11th duties as usual-4 German aeros brought down 2 brought to aerodrome here in good condition except bullet holes which broke the crank of one-bed 9.30

Oct 12th up at 5-breakfast and packed kit-left Hesdigneul at 10am with Limber of necessary stores in charge of Mr W-passing through Vaudricourt, Verquin, Noeux-le-mines- Lebourse, Verquigneul and Sailly-labourse we split up rations in a field near Vermilles-battalion arrived 6pm had tea and left for trenches 9pm-put up Mr W’s bivouac and slept out in the open with remainder of staff. Carp B billeted in Vermelles-gun fire fairly heavy all night

Sailly-labourse marked to Haillicourt 7.5 miles + Vermelles

Oct 13th up at 5.45-Mr W and staff left at 5.45 to draw rations at brewery dump-I collected up all loose all S.A.A. by battalion-dinner (M&V rations) at 12.30-left for billets in Vermilles (Rue la Particulaire) at 1.30-bombardment stared at 12 am and was terrible –German shells dropped just on outskirts of villager- several lots of horse withdrawn from village for safety-the attack commenced about 2.10-no definite news received-? Of wounded brought down in cars-gun fire by our artillery continued all night –no sleep


Oct 14th up at 6.45 artillery still active-very foggy-wounded still coming in –news from the trenches of heavy losses in officers and men through all divisions-Notts and Derby’s last being on fatigue-rations arrived about 4pm-sent up with C.Q.M.S. to battalion in Lancashire trenches-got to bed eventually at 2am on the 15th

Oct 15th heard that the MG redoubt and trenches captured and still in our hands-very foggy again today-8th Scots arrived today and were billeted in Vermelles-left Vermelles at 3-rode  Lt Wollastons horse back to stores-received rain coat from my wife

Oct 16th all packs issued and those killed and wounded dismantled-total casualties officers killed 4 wounded 5 men killed 30 wounded 150-bed 10pm

Oct 17th Sunday foggy all day-nothing of note –usual duties took inventory of Capt Hastings valise with Mr Worley –church parade at 10am-and inspection by G.O.C. 3pm on D coy’s parade ground-issue of pants and vests for winter-took inventory and packed up some officers kits-bed 9pm-heavy gun fire

Oct 18th gun fire continued all day –busy all day on deceased and wounded officers kits-bed 9.30

Oct 19th gun fire heavy all night still busy with O’s kits all day-nothing of note

Oct 20th got up with nasty cold and bilious which I could not shake off all day-finished the remaining kit off bed 9.30

Oct 21stfeeling much better today having to move stores-barn required for thrashing-moved stores into adjourning barn after transport men had moved out-bed 9.30

Oct 22nd grand weather again-walked around flying ground had a stroll around with Cox and Caloraph at night-Bateman went on leave

Oct 23rd up at 7-very foggy but cleared off about 9 and was a splendid day

Oct 24th Sunday very cold all day –church parade in morning duties as usual bed 9.30 raining most of night

Oct 25th still raining and continued all day-heavy gun fire all day

Oct 26th weather better-left Haillicourt about 10 o’clock and passed through Vaudricourt and billeted at Drouvin(le-Marais)-Mr W and self in cottage opposite stores-bed each-very comfortable

Oct 27th up at 6/30 cooked breakfast-bacon kidneys and sausages-dinner stew and apples and custard-raining all morning-one company from each battalion in division paraded for practice for inspection by H.M. hicking?-still raining bed 9.30

Oct 28th still raining –parades for inspection 8.30-H.M> had nasty fall from horse but not serious-raining all day and night

Oct 29th brighter weather but cool –nothing of note usual duties letter form wife & mother-bed 9.30

Oct 30th usual duties-showery most of the day-200 of battalion left in lorries for fatigue in reserve trenches in Vermelles tonight

Oct 31st Sunday nothing of note –Bert W was over to see me from Noeux-les-mines-blankets sent up to Vermelles-issue of mufflers and mittens gift from grand duke Michael also received shin jacket from ordnance bed 10pm

Nov 1st heavy bombardment about 4.30 am-up at 7am breakfast at 8.30-raining very heavy all day and night bed 7.30

Nov 2nd still raining and usual duties-still artillery bombardment –draft of 5 officers and 120 men arrived morning including Capt Fowler-bed 9pm –still raining

Nov 3rd fine morning but very cold –stores packing up ready for move –sent for oil skin coat for Sergeant Brodrib-beautiful starlit night-order postponed for moving battalion on 2 hours notice as reserve-bed 10pm

Nov 4th up at 7-nice morning but became foggy about 8-cleared up and sun came out about 11.30-heavy bombardment and progress on our right front-lovely starlit night-bed 10.15

Nov 5th ordinary duties-fairly nice day again but occasional light showers-issue of mutton today packed up most of Mr W’s and own kit ready for move in the morning bed 10

Nov 6th up at 5am cut sandwiches for journey and breakfast at 6.20-packed and loaded kit on wagon-marched off at 7.45-very cold and foggy-passed through Verdin,(les-bethune) by Gonneham, through Robecq, and arrived at Calonne-sur-le-lys about 12.30 splendid afternoon-billeted in cottage along with Mr W opposite stores-comfortable bed up loft

 Lacouture marked

Sailly-Labourse to Calonne-sur-le-lys (marked)   14 miles north

Nov 7th Sunday up at 7 breakfast at 8.30 lovely weather again-F Gilding granted his commission-Church parade 11.30 but unable to attend-bed 10pm

Nov 8th usual duties and small issue of boots Canada for ordnance-had letter and parcel from Wife –mittens and letter from Tom- wrote letters in return-beautiful day-bed 10.30

Nov 9th up at 7 breakfast at 8-usual duties- division of guards Rgts passed through in last two days towards Merville-turned very rough and sleet rain about tea time –had a warm bath about 7pm and change of under clothing –wrote to mother bed 10

Nov 10th usual duties-rained all night but fine all day

Nov 11th up at 6 breakfast at 7-packed and loaded kit by 8.30-marchrd off at 9 past through Hinges, Vieille Chapelle, and arrives at Lacouture at 1pm-fixed up Mr W’s billet in small room of farm house with M.G.O. –B coy moved up to trenches tonight –cut up issue of meat in lamp light all the roads on journey were ancle deep mire and rained most of day and continued all night-slept on floor of house (O.R.) but could not get warm all night-[asses cancelled bed 9.3

Nov 12th  13th  up at about 6 took a cup of tea for Mr W and lighted bonfire to hot washing water-had a good wash and shave(first since leaving Calonne) very rough and wet again-turned out of O.R. billet for N&D officers mess-slept in stores bed 10-remainder of battalion went to trenches ???

Nov 14th Sunday-usual duties had Mr W’s billet washed out-washed my own putter and had a clean up from mud etc-lovely dad had a reinforcement draft of 22 men arrived from base-bed 10

Nov 15th up at 7 roads hard from sharp frost-grand dat again-aeroplanes very busy-has a lad of about 16 years in store all night and sent to Brigade headquarters as he wasn’t able to give a good enough account of himself-turned out to be a Belgian refugee staying at Robecq with relatives-four men went on leave-marched to La Gorgue -8 miles- due in London 4.30pm bed 10

Nov 16th usual routine of duties-prepared lunch for Major Toller, Café and Bessley  & Q.M.-pontoon with potatoes carrots onions and peas-jugged hair cheese tea-splendid day today-rather heavy artillery fire bed 10

Nov 17th nothing of note-news of B Hickson’s death on transport mercia by shell fire from German submarine-frosty night bed 10.30(Arthur B Hickson Arthur H,Sarah K abt 1894 of Bottesford)?

Nov 18th duties as usual –wrote letter of condolence to Mrs Hickson-fine weather but some bad artillery along our front bed 9.30-S.M.Small Major Tolley on leave

Nov 19th artillery very active today-Mr W rode to A.O.C. fine day again-usual duties-bed 9.30

Nov 20th Mr W rode to La Gourge-heavy artillery duel in progress towards La Bassee-usual duties bed 10pm-freezing sharply inspection

Nov 21st Sunday very sharp and cold in morning-after breakfast  ? all outstanding indents for Mr W-very heavy artillery duel on our front and towards La Bassee-duties as usual

Nov 22nd -23rd duties as usual

Nov 24th packed up all kit cleaned billet out and took kit to new billet in Limber-large kitchen with cooking stove& two beds-comfortable-stores too small for stock-Qm and QMS and I slept in kitchen on camp bed-bed 10.30

Nov 25th usual duties-had block made and grid to lay meat on –very cold and showery

Nov 26th frosty morning which turned to rain and heavy snow storms later cleared up in the afternoon and commenced to freeze early-Battalion left trenches and billeted in the trench area-Capt Shield stayed with us until time to go to La Gourge on leave-made soup for him-12.30 bed

Nov 27th ordinary duties-heavy snow storms in am-very sharp frost at night-bed 11pm

Nov 28th Sunday-very sharp frost freezing all day-aeroplanes very active all day also heavy artillery firing-oilskin arrived from wife for Sgt Brodriff-21/-bed 9.30

Nov 29th –Dec 1st raining most of each night-aeroplanes and guns very active in day time-usual duties

Dec 2nd usual duties-Battalion returned to trenches in heavy rain which continued all night and on 3rd all day

Dec 3rd orders for complete move tomorrow to Merville district-battalion left trenches tonight and went to late billets-sent up blankets and officers kits-all new officers recalled from leave-packed up as much of kit as possible-bed 10.30

 

Merville marked
Dec 4th had to get up at12,30 and 2am to receive orders for morning –up at 4.45 and had breakfast-packed all kit and loaded up wagons-marched off at 10.30 am raining heavily-passed through

Lacouture, Lestrem, Merville, Lescarte, and billeted at farms in district –Mr W in room of house-still raining very cold bed 10.30

Dec 5th – 8th  Sunday usual duties only-returned all surplus kit and stores after issuing to A.O.C. on 6th –officers and men allowed to leave-rain most days cold-

Dec 9th sent off £9.20 to wife and 2 parcels-inspection of Battalion by G.O.C. heavy rain

Dec 10th - 12th Sunday usual duties church parade on 12th cancelled on account of flooded parade ground –rain most days

Dec 13th inspection by brigade General-grand morning usual duties

Dec 14th -18th usual duties rain most days-Mr Worley went on leave 12pm

Dec 19th Sunday up at 6.45-packed up stores and blankets-Battn left 9am-I stayed behind with three men to load remaining stores etc onto 2 wagons-left 10am and joined A.S.C. train near La Sark and arrived at Haverskerque about 1 o’clock –marched all them way 7-8 miles-lovely day –poor stores but slept very well on straw-bed 9pm

Dec 20th -24th usual routine Mr W returned

Dec 25th xmas day kippers for breakfast and pie afterwards-stew plum pudding and seet for dinner –salmon cake etc for tea-sing song at night bed 11.30

Dec 26th Sunday-usual duties very wet

Dec 27th marched off with baggage wagons at 1.30 passed through Thiennes, Widdebroucq and arrived at Boeseghem around 3pm billeted in room with Mr W very comfortable

 Boeseghem marked-Bailleul top right

Dec28th -30th nothing of note

Dec 31st usual duties-commenced inoculation of battalion

1916

Jan1st nothing unusual heavy rain at night

Jan 2nd -4th usual duties very mild weather

Jan 5th received orders to entrain on 6th packed up kit etc after tea-loaded wagons-bed 9.30

Jan 6th up at 6am breakfast at 8-packed kit and loaded up remaining wagons-marched off from Widdebroucq? at 11.30 passing through  Aire(sur-la-Lys) and Issberrgue(Isbergues?) and arrived at Bergette(Berguette?) station 1.30-left 4.50 passing through St Pov (outskirts of Paris), Lyons and along the Rhone valley

Jan 8th arrived at Marseilles at about 12.30-Richardson of B Cpy killed through contact with bridge while riding on top- buried at  Pirre Lat? station

Jan 9th Sunday arrived at Sante camp about 4am-made Mr W’s bed in tent after seeing day break over sea (beautiful sight-;landed in bed 6.30 up again at 9.30 –beautiful day –went into town at night-enjoyable time-returned 8.30

Jan 10th very cold night and  quite warm again in daytime-pass for Marseilles –went to cinema where C.Chaplin was on the film-returned to camp 9.30 on trains

Jan11th lovely day all day stayed in camp at evening –issued clothing in afternoon-50 men on dock duty unloading ship –bed 9.30

Jan 12th -15th usual duties-went into town each evening and returned 9.30-splendid weather-transport arrived on evening of 14th

Jan16th Sunday-absolutely perfect day-quite hot in the sun-divine services in the morning

Jan17th -20th –as usual –QMS and I had late dinner for last before leaving

Jan 21st up at 4.30 breakfast and packed and loaded kit-marched off at 7.30 and got on boat (Indiana) at 7.30-had roast beef potatoes with haricot beans on board-boat has 4.7 gun mounted on upper deck –I have bunk 161 spring mattress-have stewed rice and figs and bread and butter for tea-bed 7.30 –very comfortable

Jan 22nd revelle 4.30 breakfast 5.30 –orders to disembark at once-no reason given –returned to camp 11.30 –walked to town tonight –returned 9.30

Jan 23rd Sunday-lovely weather all day –stayed in camp all day and evening-bed 9.pm

Jan 24th usual duties-did not leave camp all day

Jan 25th ditto-Notts and Derby entrained after tea-lovely weather bed 9 pm

Jan 26th usual routine had a sponge down after tea and change of underclothing stayed in camp bed 9

Jan 27th usual duties-billeting party left by train this am –all wagons loaded after tea-occupying officers kit-laid down early to get a little rest-in my cloths

Jan 28th up at 1.30 am-packed and loaded kit and left camp at 3.30-train left station 7.45 –comfortable carriages with corridors and lavatory –had a good journey and arrives at Pont Remy at 9pm on Sunday

Jan 29th marched off and arrived at Yaucourt (Bussels) where we were billeted in ad barn bed 9.30

Jan 30th very cold after Marseille medical inspection of companies by Dr

Yarcourt marked +Pont-Remy+Gorenflos

Feb 1st-2nd-3rd –usual duties weather very cold –received 85 steel helmets from D.A.D.O.S.

 Feb 4th -9th usual duties-occasional rain-heavy fall of snow during night of 8th- sharp frost on night of 9th

Feb 10th up at 7 breakfast at 7.30 packed kits and loaded 6 G.S. wagons –dinner 12.30 and marched off 1.30 –passed through Bussus and arrived Gorenflos where we were billeted for the night in an empty  house-bed 9

Feb 11th up at 6.30 left in motor lorries at 9.30 passing through Domart(en-Ponthieu), Berneuil, Montrelet, and arrived at Candas at 12.30 –raining heavily all day-billeted in barn with Harris opposite Mr W’s billet has his bed-bed 8.45- tired-slept well

Feb12th up at 7.30 rain slightly all day-battalion on fatigue on construction of railway –usual duties

Bussus to Candas on Somme     17 miles Candas to Bailleul 70 miles NE

Feb 13th -18th rain every day usual duties

Feb 19th usual-receved parcel of cake and pie from home for my birthday on the 20th

Feb 20th Sunday up at 6 breakfast-packed kits and loaded blankets and stores-on lorries-officer’s kits on G.S. wagons-started off at 12.30 –beautiful morning –passed through Fienvillers arrived at Bernaville about 1/30 –billeted in barn –very cold

Feb 21st usual duties-fine but cold –snow in evening with frost later-my papers arrived

Calais on 2nd map to north  +Bailleul and Lille----Bernaville marked—

Feb 22nd snowing heavily-M.G. section left for new quarters to form M.G. company

Feb 23rd snowing most of the day sharp frost during the night-sharp frost at night again

Feb 24th very frosty morning very cold wind-very sharp frost at night-No 2 Cpy ASC left us-rationed by H.Q. Company

Feb 25th very cold commenced to snow at 9 o’clock and continued all day

Feb 26th -28th usual duties battalion commenced with bathing and shaving all clothing and blankets fumigated-received order to move

Feb 29th up at 6.30 battalion and transport left about 10-I left on lorry with stores at 12.20 and arrived

At Doullens about 2 o’clock (distance of 10 miles East) –billeted in attic of house with Mr W-raining bed 10.30

March 1st raining slightly at 7 o’clock but cleared up after breakfast and was glorious sunny day bed 10.30

March 2nd grand morning market day here

March 3rd raining most of day –Sgt Thornton and draft of 15 men arrived from Rouen-cooked dinner for Madam? And family-roast beef and chipped potatoes

March 4th heavy fall of snow in the night and continued most of the n9ght-made pontoon for all the family-had my hair cut by French coiffeur-bed 9.30

March 5th sharp frost during the night-lovely morning but clouded over after dinner-up at 5.30 left billet at 9 o’clock

March 6th left Doulens with stores and lorries at 9 oclock and passed through Haute-Visee, Bouquemaison,  Rebreuviette, Houvin-Houvignuel,  and arrived at Magnicourt-sur-Canche about 11 oclock-snowed all the journey freezing at night

Distance Doullens to Magnicourt-sur-Canche 13 miles

March 7th  very cold in barn very sharp frost but beautiful morning –usual duties

March 8th up at 6 packed up after breakfast and loaded up 4 lorries-left Manicourt at 9 am passing through Lignereuil, Savy, Aubigney, Cappel Fermont, Camblain, arrived at Villiers-a-bois about 12 o’clock-village completely destroyed by bombardment –billeted in stores-all doors and windows and most of walls down –slept well at night-kept fire all night-bed 10.30

 

Sars-le-Bois near Manicourt

To Villiers-a-Bois to the NE

13 miles
March 9th heavy bombardment by our guns at 6.30 and continued all day-issued all trench necessaries in the morning and left with stores for Cambligneul about 3.30(only few miles NE)-passed through Camblain-l’Abbe and arrived at billets at about 5 o’clock-Mr W in hut-returned from trenches

March 10th at 2.30 am –I slept in stores-usual duties

March 11th orders to move to Villers-chatel ( 2 miles) this am and arrived there after dinner and billeted in good quarters-Mr W in the house at farm

 March 12th Sunday usual duties-paid a visit to French aeroplanes hangers-9 battle plains

March 13th lovely weather again usual duties

March 14th weather still good-German Taube over in the morning –French aerodrome moving away today-dropped bombs near Aubigny station (50 miles South)-brought down by French guns near Bray-had bad cough and cold

March 15th very dull and inclined to rain-blankets and kits taken down at Camblain-l’Abbe ready for battalion coming out of trenches tonight

March 16th grand morning but slight rain after dinner-draft arrived from base at Aubigney Station and brought down by Mr W-slight halt at stores then marched to join battalion in huts-trench casualties Sgt Thompson(act CSM of B) killed- 3 men slightly wounded

March 17th -19th usual duties-weather continues very good-4 men go on leave and 4 TE  men for a month

March 20th usual duties

March 21st busy all day and received stores back from huts –also officer’s kits and blankets-battalion left for trenches for 18 days tour

March 22nd -23rd nothing of note –received news of Capt Farmer’s death from German sausage

March 24th heavy fall of snow all day and night-6 men of A Cpy buried by “sausage” 3 killed

March 25th grand morning but very bad getting about through snow melting –usual duties-had a bath

March 26th Sunday- washed my dirty cloths

March 27th battalion left trenches for dugouts-very wet

March 28th nothing of note-took inventory of, packed up sealed Capt Farmers kit and took to station

March 29th beautiful day

March 30 left stores with Collins with the mess cart for Aubigny station-reported to RTO at 12 o’clock –train left at 3pm-put in charge of 8 other ranks-changed at St Pol(Paris) and also at Abbeyville where we arrived at 12 pm-slept outside but very cold

March 31st breakfast at 7 am-turned? Sausage and biscuits and hot tea(?) reading a book in the sun-dinner 1 o’clock bully and bought bread-tea at YMCA-left by train at 10.30 and arrived at Roue on April 1st at 9am

April 1st marched upto camp –in tent with CSM Garrett and 4 others-parade for medical inspection at 2 pm and also blankets from store with Sgt of Royal Scots and 50 men –meals very nice in mess huts-drawed my three blankets at 3.30-wrote to wife and read books-bed 8pm very tired

April 2nd lovely morning –up at 6.30-medical inspection 7.15 breakfast 8-bread cheese and bully –parade 10.10 for storing all clothing and bathing-sun very hot all day-bed 10.30

April 3rd very foggy morning but sun came through bout 9am-had a walk around park of camp and dinner 1 o’clock-had a pass for Rouen-cancelled Corporal of Guard-fell in 5.15 and took over duties at 6 o’clock posted relief each ? hours

April 4th woke up the cooks at 3am-hot tea at 4.30 and breakfast at 7.30-visited by Colonel at 10 o’clock-dinner 12.30 tea 5 relieved at 5.20- bed 8.30

April 5th lovely morning no duties had a walk around camp applied for pass-not allowed-went to lantern lecture at YMCA

April 6th very cold and dull –applied for pass again tonight –left camp with CMS Garrett at 5pm-looked around Rouen and called to see Sgt Hanson at 3rd Echelon-returned by taxi 9pm

April 7th parade of T.E. men at 9 o’clock to Colonel for reengagement of willing. went to bed at 6.30 not feeling well –pain in groins

April 8th applied for sick report but too late to see Doctor-orders to report in the morning –not able to walk with ease-lovely day –scaby parade 1.30-tobaccco parade 2.pm –parade 3.15 and marched to docks-went on board the Viper at 5.30 and left Rouen at 7-droppes anchor at 11.30 through fog-had a fair nights rest

April 9th up at 6 washed and bread jam tea for breakfast-fog lifted around 10-weighted anchor 11dropped French pitot at Le Harve about 12.15 and resumed our journey saw 5 steamer wrecks outside Harve sunk about a week ago by submarine-lovely day and fast travelling-22 knots an hour-took up pilot outside Southampton at 5 o’clock and disembarked at 6-no train for London so marched up to Rosh camp (about 3 miles) for night-had some hot tea and bread and change at 8.30-drew 2 blankets and went to bed at 9 o’clock and ?  ?

April 10th up at 5 o’clock breakfast at 6 and marched off at 6.50 6.50-entrained 8.50 and arrived Waterloo at 11-took underground to ? and left for Loughborough at 12.15-around 3.30 reported to drill hall and were given cheap rate warrant home-arrived 7oclock