William and Charlotte Dahl, with their children Bill and Vera, circa 1911
Australia sent more than three hundred thousand troops to the First World War, a staggering 7% of the population. As the conflict worsened, volunteers included not only young men, but parents too. My great-grandfather was one of these; at the age of 38, he left his wife Charlotte ("Doll") and two young children William and Vera in Bendigo, to fight in the "war to end wars".
After the Gallipoli campaign the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF) had been sent to the Western Front. Battles of human attrition under the Allied command of General Douglas Haig resulted in the movements of front lines back and forth over only a dozen miles.
1916 saw the battle of the Somme across the chalky soils east of Amiens, and 1917 the battle of Passchendaele over the ridges east of Ypres. Thirty foot deep dugouts, machine gun posts, and tangles of barbed wire became a sodden hell under the artillery shells which numbed the mind and reddened the mud. The backdrop was the technologies of modern war: tanks and lethal gases. One in five Australians would never return.
In March 1918 the Germans launched Operation Michael which overran the Allied lines and approached Amiens, nearly separating the British and French armies. Not until August were British tanks supported by Australian and Canadian infantry able to effectively respond. Late September a major Allied offensive pushed the defending army back to the Hindenburg line. This led to the armistice and treaty which ended the German empire, but also underpinned the next and deadliest world war.
The following are my great-grandfather's diaries while serving with the AIF 3rd division during the latter half of the war. The first details his training with the 37th battalion 6th reinforcements and the 66th battalion (while it existed) in England in the first half of 1917. The second and third detail his participation in the actions in France from September 1917 through to April 1918, his hospitalization and convalescence, return to France with the Australian Employment Company in July 1918 through to September, and hospitalization back in England.
Like too many war diaries, this one ends abruptly. Although William survived the conflict, his poor health left him in hospital for many months. His lungs impaired from mining work had been further damaged by the damp conditions and noxious gas which characterized trench warfare, and he succumbed to tuberculosis on the medical ship returning to Australia.
These diaries were transcribed by his grandson Bill Dahl and granddaughter Ruth nee Dahl, and I have revised them to be browser-readable. There is some minor editing for readability, and background comments are mine. Diary images have been scanned by Steven Smith, William's great-grandson.
Glenn McIntosh 2002-2018
Keegan, John. The First World War. Hutchison: London, 1998.
Laffin, John. The Somme. Kangaroo Press: Sydney, 1999.
Laffin, John. Western Front 1917-1918: The Cost of Victory.
Time-Life Books: North Sydney, 1988.
Travers, Richard. Diggers in France: Australian Soldiers on the Western Front. Australian Broadcasting Commission: Sydney, 2008.
travelling from Australia (November 2016 to February 2017)
W. G. Dahl
commenced December 16th, 1916
on leaving Port Melb for England
[In July and August of 1916, Australia felt the loss of a significant
proportion of its 60 thousand soldiers killed in the war, particularly at
Fromelles and on a one mile front at Pozieres. At a referendum on October
31st, a government proposal for conscription was narrowly rejected. The
issue caused heated debate and split the government. William enlisted
two weeks later on the 16th of November, the day after Hughes was expelled
from the Labor party.]
December 16th 1916 Port Melbourne
Left Port Melb in HMS A7 (Medic) at noon. Doll, Willie, Vera, Lin at Pier.
Paid 10/- before we reached the Heads to square up before leaving Aus.
First night out all sleeping in hammocks on bottom deck with port holes
open and sea came in and drenched us. Pte McNiff one of our numbers sent
ashore “Measles” with picket. Sent letter to Doll. Up to
20th usual routine and Jerks. Seen whales and flying fish.
Sea calm on 23rd. Death on board and witnessed my first
burial at sea. The body carried from hospital ship up on Aft deck. All
boat standing at attention while service was read by Chaplain and body
weighted and wrapped in canvas and slid overboard while the Last Post was
sounded on the bugle, the boat being stationary during the ceremony. It
cast a gloom over the whole ship.
December 25th 1916 Indian Ocean
Usual days routine and put in wretched day. Had eggs for breakfast.
Couldn’t eat as they were not cooked. In fact none of meals were.
small book “Cheers Australians” and packet of
cigarettes. Put afternoon in writing home. New Year’s day started
sports on board. Jan 3rd seen boat going home late at
night. Got out of bed to watch the lights. Our company won the tug of war
comp. 10/- per man. On the evening of Friday 5th Jan we sighted
a light which turned out to be the light house at Durban and all
stood looking until we could see the lights of the City. We came to anchor
at about 8.30pm and stayed out from Durban all night
January 6th 1917 Durban
The Pilot came out to see us at 6am and we started to move in getting
alongside of the wharf at 8.30. The first impression of this place was
that it was a very dirty one. The Natives came around the boat asking for
pennies and as they were thrown down to them they crammed them in their
mouth and looked for more. I seen one Nig [sic] put 24 in his mouth and still
asked for more. Of course it was only […] we threw at them (spud,
etc). There was a girl there, a
millionaire’s daughter with baskets
of fruit which she threw us as we pulled alongside. We went ashore at 11
O’clock and marched through the city and back to boat for dinner.
About 4 miles and I was very hot. After dinner we were marched to City
and dismissed. A party of our Coy had to do picket duty. Of course me
included but I managed to have a look around on that and the two
succeeding days. My impressions of Durban were a very pretty and
clean City surrounded by some beautifull scenery and hilly country. The
entrance to the harbour being very pretty. It is about 150 yards wide with
a wall on each side there’s a high hill with a light house on top
and with all the green scrub looks very nice. Some good postcards of this
view. The Natives for most part are dirty. The women’s, and some
cases, only garments is a blanket from neck to knees. They wear ornaments
in ears, nose, on arms and toes, and, they as well carry baskets of fruit
on their heads
and follow a route march to sell. The fruits are bananas,
Mangoes 3d doz and mandarines 3d doz, Pineapples 3d and cocoanuts 3d each.
The Native police dress in blue nickers and tunic and cap and no boots.
They carry a staff like a pick handle. The Kaffir [sic] boys do the housework,
and boys, girls and women work in the fields. Of an evening some of the
Natives used to dress tip-top men in flannels and women in silks but
neither wore boots. These were the better class and the crook women. The
chief mode of traffic about City was “Ricksha” and the Boys
that pull them work hard. They decorate themselves up in all sort of head
gear and bright coloured things around them and are bare about arms and
legs and have designs painted on them. And they jump about and cut all
sorts of capers to show their strength and activity to induce one to ride
in their Ricksha at a cost of about 3d per mile. And they run at a fair
pace with a load. The people of Durban treated us as they treat all
soldiers very well. There were two Huts in the centre of City - YMCA where
at any time we could go and have a rest, write or get a feed Tea
Cocoa, sandwiches, cake, boiled eggs 1d each and fruit salad free. At the
Westley hall when one went there a cup of tea and tomato san was brought
to you free. And there was always entertainment going on at both places.
The Authorities placed the Electric trams at our disposal and we could ride
anywhere on them free and we took full advantage of them to see the places
of interest. the best being along the Musgrann Road route a circular line
about 6 miles long. It wound around the hill through what I suppose was
the Aristocratic part. All the houses were Bungalow style with red tile
roofs. The sides of the road was lined with trees with a pretty red bloom
and looked well although we were too late to see them at their best. The
private grounds have beautiful gardens, lawns, statuary and
conservatories, and soldiers are invited in. The view from top of this
hill is splendid with all the red tile roofs and the racecourse at bottom,
then the City with beach and lighthouse and ocean background.
Then we came
to the zoo The gardens etc were lovely but the collection of annuals was
nothing to rave over. We next went the Umbilo road this was around the
bay, and the sides of the road in most places was thick with trees with
leaves like the silver wattle, and they were covered with a thick creeper.
Out at end of track there was a large nursery with some lovely blooms and
a lot of lovely ferns. Along the route the mangoes are growing wild. These
are about the size and shape of a big lemon and taste something like a
rock melon. We next took the Buliver Park tram but were disappointed as we
expected to see a good garden. No but there was only a big park that
couldn’t come up to the reserve. This district was occupied by the
middle class people. We the took the Beach tram and what a pretty sight it
was there with all the places of amusement etc. One thing that I liked was
a paddling pond built on the Esplanade of rock and sand on the bottom.
There was caves and grottos build in and it looked well. The Beach
appointments reminded me of St Kilda. Altogether we spent a good time
here. The population is 30,000 whites and 9000 black. Sent letter to Doll,
Mother Lin, G Hay, Maude, Aunt Sarah, Curnow and Mick. We left
Durban on Tuesday Jan 9th at 12.00am in lovely
weather and after three days sail around the coast and sighting one boat.
We reached Cape Town on Friday Jan 12th early
morning The clouds were half way down Table Mount so we couldn’t see
it too clearly. Cape Town is built at the foot of the mount which
rises so sheer that one wonders it doesn’t fall over and bury the
City. It is very bare and looks mostly rock. We got alongside the wharf at
8am and it wasn’t until 1.30pm that we got off the boat and marched
into the City and dismissed at 2.30. The road from the dock to the City
is fairly wide and dirty.
There’s a ragtime railway runs along (open)
and a little way down from the boat there’s a platform built on the
side of the road. We were warned before getting off the boat about going
near the immoral part of the place as it was particularly hot. Well when
we were dismissed in a garden and my mate A. McIntosh went out to the
“Castle” a fortified barracks but couldn’t see through
it. We picked up a mate of Mac’s and went with him to his house, a
Mr Williamson. From there to the estate of Mr Cecil Rhodes. This was a
beautiful place. Approaching it from the road we went through a long
Avenue of Oak trees at the end of which we came to a beautiful garden of
all the blooms out. One part in particular ½ acre area was nothing
but Hydrangea in full bloom. The house itself is of the Bungalow style
containing about 40 rooms all well
furnished and I wish I could describe
it as it should be. The walls and floor were all oak and most of the
furniture also. In the hallway relics of the different wars connected with
the history of S. Africa’s events. A dirty and stained flag that was
carried from Cape Town to Cairo in the early wars. I handled a walking
stick that belonged to General Botha. There was also a novel clock, it
told the Month, day, date, and time. Also gave the time of Sun and Moon
rise, and set and indicated the temperature and weather, and it stood
about 10ft high. In the billiard room the walls were hung with old rich
Dutch Tapestry and there were also a lot of curios in here. The bed rooms
were furnished in keeping with the rest of the place with beds of oak and
quaint chests of drawers with several drawers. The bath room walls floor
ceiling were all marble and the back wall of one of the upstairs rooms was
of oak frames with panes of glass 6" squares
let in thus making the wall one big window.
In most of the rooms we would sink in the carpets and
the others just the plain oak floor. We went from the house along Avenues
of Popular, Oak, Acorn and Silver leaf trees to the Zoo which was equal to
the one at Durban. From there on to the Monument erected in memory
of the late Mr Cecil Rhodes. This was a splendid piece of work covering
about ½ acre of ground and stands 60ft high and all granite. From
the foundation there are 14 steps up to the 1st level and
there’s a big statue of a man on horseback then from there
there’s four more lots of steps leading up to the place the pillars
start. From there are about 40 of these supporting the top from which we
got a splendid view. There was a three times life size statue in bronze of
the late owner. We left by another entrance and got back to friends place
at 6.45 and sat down to the best feed I’ve
Cape Town from the harbour
had since leaving home
and after a long talk of Bendigo and Bendigonians left for the City
loaded with fruit and books. We reached City by train at 10pm and as we
had to leave for the boat at 10.30 we didn’t see much of the place
but what we did see of some of our lads was enough to make one ashamed of
the uniform he was to wear when they were wearing the same. We left the
wharf the next morning and anchored out in the bay for three days so had
ample time to view the Mount from distance and beach about 1 mile away.
There’s very little of the beach given up for pleasure resort.
Mostly taken up with wharfs for shipping. At the bottom of City’s
principal St. there’s a lovely pier. There are three Mountains
Devil’s Peak on the left, Table Mount with its long flat top, and
Lions head. Further to the right are some smaller ones known as the 12
Apostles. I believe there was a line running out to Camp bay along which
there was some beautiful scenery. I couldn’t make this trip as we
couldn’t go ashore. We left Cape Town on Tuesday
16th at 1.45 accompanied by H.M. Cruiser “Cornwall”
and 5 other Transports and while sailing out nearly every house in City
was using a Hailograph apparatus and signalling to us but we
couldn’t read their messages.
January 26th 1917 South Atlantic, equator
Up till today no break in the usual routine. Morning parade and afternoon
sports on board. Another boat joined us the “Brontes” the
others were “Berima”, “Osovar”,
“Mendi”, “Kannilworth Castle” and “Pt
Lyttleton”. So we were quite a fleet sailing in two lines with the
Cruiser leading in the centre. Since leaving the Cape our tug a war
team pulled a teampicked from the rest of ship (combined) and were
defeated by 1 ½ inches and the 5/-. Bouts were introduced and any
two lads who had an argument would put on the gloves and fight it out. The
winner receiving 5/- and satisfaction.
There was also a singing competition
10/- each for 1st Sentimental and Comic and a prize of 2/6 for
the worst item. 8 out of every 10 won the 2/6. On the morning of Friday
26th there was a Scotch concert on board in memory of Bobbie
Burns and eulogy delivered by Mr Bean sec of the Y.M.C.A. and very
interesting. The afternoon taken up by a Neptune court held similar to a
court of injustice. A prisoner would be charged with a crime such as
growing a ticklish Mo, etc and after a medical examination given a dose of
medicine all spit out. Then sentenced to a shave or haircut (burlesque)
and ducked in a canvass of water this was for the benefit of those
crossing the line for the 1st time. After the court all went
mad (water) and if any one had any dry clothes on that was a sign for a
ducking no one was spared. The Chaplain fared the same as the rest of us.
A lot let their clothes dry on them. (colds).
January 27th 1917 South Atlantic
Morning concert A.N.A. It rained all
last night and continued all day very
heavy and as we can’t always get fresh water I stripped to my pants
and washed my clothes on the deck in the rainwater. my pants I soaped and
rubbed well and then slid up and down the deck until they are clean.
Having a shower at same time. I was warm in spite of the rain .
Sunday January 28th 1917 South Atlantic
Rained all night. Slept on deck wrapped in waterproof sheet etc. Cloudy
but no rain during day and after Church parade sighted a boat going SW a
long way off.
January 29th 1917 Freetown
Sighted land at 7am and at 10.15am arrived at anchor in harbour of
Freetown, Sierra Leone. The entrance to the Harbour is about
5 miles from point to point with a hill on South point running down to
water’s edge and the North point which is rather pretty has a
lighthouse and a nice sandy beach and behind a background of tropical
foliage Palms, Banana trees etc. This stretches around the beach about 4
miles to the edge of the Town. On the hill behind this is a big gun which
commands the entrance and after it is fired disappears from sight as we
seen it as once during the time we were anchored here. On another hill
nearer the Town we could see a big camp. The Town itself we couldn’t
see much of as we were about 2 miles out. But it didn’t look any way
inviting. There are no wharfs here and all boats have to anchor out. The
pilot boat was a ragtime affair. It comes out to mark the channel and when
it flys all the signal flags one can’t see any boat. The Harbour is
circular only wanting to close in the entrance to complete circle. There
are several Battle ships and cruisers here the HMS Sutley and a French
Battleship “Alebar” and armoured Cruisers
“Highflyer”, “Swiftsure”, “King
Alfred”, “Kent” and “Donegall”.
used to bring boat loads of fruit etc out from the Town and do a big trade
with the boys. Bananas or Plantan as they are called from 1/-doz, oranges
6d doz limes 2d and cocoanuts 3d each. We could also get Leopard and Lion
skin dressed for 10/- each but it wasn’t safe to get as there are
such a lot of rogues on board. Another class of Natives used to come out
to the boat in canoes about 12ft long pointed both and about 3ft at widest
part. They were cut out of the solid tree (Loquat) all in one piece. The
Natives copper coloured sit or kneel and only use a paddle each side
alternately and they go at a good pace. They dress real well considering
the heat, wearing a hat and a smile. One of them used to overdress as he
wore a loin cloth. The heat is solid. (to go down on our deck is like
going down to a furnace). These crowd are very dirty in their habits. They
pick the bread and scraps of meat out of the water after it has been
through the slop shoot and eat it and they
do anything for money. The
water is always calm here. Just outside the Harbour is a ship that’s
been on the rocks since 1904 and it looks like as if it were riding at
anchor and in good condition.
February 2nd 1917 Freetown
Morning parade as usual still very hot. Last night was the finale night of
the competition took form of waltz and barn dance competition prizes of 1
£ for each. I didn’t compete. Sailed from Freetown at
2pm in lovely weather and clear day. We could still see the mountains of
Freetown at dusk.
February 3rd 1917 North Atlantic
Morning lifeboat parade. Afternoon free. Seen several Porpoise.
Sunday February 4th 1917 North Atlantic
Church Parade and another funeral on other boat. Death after operation.
Seen a big school of flying fish for 3 hours. We are now under light
restrictions no light allowed after
sunset. Not allowed to smoke on deck.
February 5th 1917 North Atlantic
Morning and Afternoon drill from this on. Early morning seen boat going
February 6th 1917 North Atlantic
Two parades drill Another boat going opposite way and orders to wear life
belts continually from this out. Very uncomfortable. At 4.30 on D deck a
lecture on life in the Navy.
February 7th 1917 North Atlantic
There was nothing unusual. In afternoon parade Advised to get all our
washing done at early convenience.
February 8th 1917 North Atlantic
Morning parade and afternoon on duty from 2 till 6 guarding universal kit
bags which were brought up from the hold and stacked on our deck. I missed
a mock trial which was held and I believe was very funny.
February 9th 1917 North Atlantic
On duties breaking up and burning cases as since leaving Cape none to be
thrown over. Had 7 ½ hours of this and then got down the stoke hole
and put in an interesting afternoon. There were 4 boilers with 2 furnaces
each end to fire and each man has 5 fires to look after. I put in 3 hours
firing and don’t think the work as hard as mining. The heat taken
all round was not as bad as on the bottom deck. There was a concert given
by Pioneers which I missed but was satisfied down below. A letter box
placed on deck. Lecture by the Doc “Hornybrook”.
February 10th 1917 North Atlantic
Lecture last night on his experience in India and S Africa and very
interesting. Put in another shift down stoke hole and afternoon got our
kit bags and put all spare clothes in, out of our sea kits. Went into long
trousers as it is colder. The dress since leaving Cape has been shoes,
short pants, singlet and hat. I am sunburnt.
Sunday February 11th 1917 North Atlantic
Early morning sighted smoke of boats out East and there was a rumour of
the destroyers coming out to meet us but we seen nothing of them. In
evening we were having a sing song on our deck below, and we got an alarm
and we had to get on deck ready for the boat and lifebelts.
February 12th Feb 1917 North Atlantic
On morning Parade we had to fix up our web equipment and the crew are
fixing all the derricks on board and general clean up of the boat. Held a
dance in the afternoon.
February 13th 1917 North Atlantic
Usual routine. Our web Eq examined. Afternoon a concert by
8/60th. Rotten. Brought letter up to date to Maude, Lin, Mick
February 14th 1917 North Atlantic
Raining. Morning Parade. Afternoon concert by members of the Green room
(Professionals) a good turn out especially an acrobatic turn.
altered their positions sailing with the Cruisers going Zig Zag in front.
At night lads playing tricks letting hammocks down etc.
February 15th 1917 North Atlantic
Real cold windy weather. No more drill for the trip. In morning we had an
inspection of our kit bags and a lot of things that were missing came to
light that had accidently got into the wrong bags. At night high pranks as
usual. One chap Morton had his lip split and two teeth broken through
putting his head in front of a boot. Another threw because we shaved his
mo off - we were all reported.
February 16th 1917 North Atlantic
On first thing in morning we noticed that there was only one boat with us
the Berima and at Dinner time a Destroyer “58” came alongside.
This was about twice the length of an ordinary tug and stood about 8 feet
out of the water and in moderately rough
water appeared to be awash. The
funnel was only as high as our deck. It looked such an insignificant thing
but it had speed and darted around and away from us like a motor bike
around a steam roller. After noon seen another going out with a Collier
and we were given our pay books and a days rations as we expect to be in
port at any time.
February 17th 1917 Celtic Sea
Heavy fog. Our destroyer only 60 yards away and we could just distinguish
her outline and we were just crawling along, the siren going every two
minutes and every now and again we could see buoy that marked the channel.
We could hear several other whistles quite close but couldn’t
distinguish any boats. We handed our Blankets and Hammocks in
dinner the fog lifted a little and we came into the Harbour and anchored
at Plymouth at 2 o’clock. The entrance here is about ½
mile. One point is the land a small hill. Ground and rock of a Grey
colour. The other point is formed by a long Breakwater built out and a
lighthouse on end of it. Just inside the wall is a circular fort built out
of the water. It is built of stone (grey) with iron work around it.
It’s about 20ft in diameter and has a searchlight and what looks
like a gun mounted on it. Both commanding entrance. The hill at other end
of Breakwater is also fortified. The Harbour “Plymouth Sound”
is very pretty and dotted with small islands. There were a lot of boats in
here. Transports and we counted 23 torpedo boats and destroyers, several
mine sweepers, 1 submarine.
and in the distance what looked like a
Seaplane. The place was very busy and the boats were so many ants. There
was a lot of gulls flying around. We got news of an American liner being
sunk on our track about 80 miles behind us. Also that it is reported in
Aust that “Medic” was sunk. The City from the Harbour looked
pretty all the big buildings of a grey colour same as natural ground.
There’s a lighthouse built on beach and some pretty sights. Pen Post
Sunday February 18th 1917 Plymouth
Revellie at 4am and breakfast at 6am Prepare to dissembark at 8am 16 of us
from same mess table had to parade at Ship hospital as one of the lads was
in with Meningitis and we had to go into isolation. All the rest of the
lads went ashore in launches. We had to climb over the side down a hanging
ladder after all
the others had left (33/14, 6/37, 6/38, 12/29, 8/39,
8/58, 8/59, 8/60, Pioneers, ASC and Cycle corps) We were taken off in a
dirty coal barge and went up to a place opposite Devonport We had
to stay down amongst the coal dust most of the time and only allowed on
the top when we passed the admiral of the Harbour’s dwelling, three
old time battleships fastened together. Well we arrived at Torpoint
a small village right on the water with old fashion houses with slate
roofs overgrown with moss and got off the barge and had to march inland
about 4 ½ miles through another small and old English village
called “Antony” and on to the fort. This was through
hilly country along a narrow winding road from which we got some fine
panoramic views of the surrounding Country.
The roads are very narrow in
this part (Cornwell) When marching along this road there’s no room
for any one to pass. There’s a wall on each side of the road moss
covered and overgrown with Ivy. We arrived at “Scraesdon
Fort” at 3pm and had to erect tents etc and get our beds, tables
and it was 5pm before we got any tucker. This fort was built in 1875 by
convict labour and cost £2,000,000 for material alone. Inside the
inner wall the area is about 3 ½ acres and oval shape the wall is
about 50ft and 25 ft between. There are rooms built in between these walls
and remainder filled in with earth thus giving a wall 25ft thick.
There’s a slope outside this to another wall about 20ft high at the
bottom of which (outside) runs a moat filled with
water 20ft wide. All
underneath the inner walls were dungeons and there was also a passage
leading right under the moat. At the gate there’s an old fashion
drawbridge which when lifted closes the opening of the gateway and leaves
the fort surrounded by water. There are some good views of the surrounding
country from the top of these walls. The week that we were here was a rare
holiday. We had one morning drill at the start. We didn’t have too
much food but after we fared well. We were just settled comfortably when
we had to move out. During the week we had I day duties, two football
matches and altogether an easy time. Had swabs taken twice and I finished
letter No 2 to Doll and Maude to be posted later. Things very dear here.
Days rations = 5 ½ pe man.
February 24th 1917 Plymouth
Revellie at usual time 7am and got word to pack our kitbags ready to move
off ½ hour after breakfast, and had just got them ready when we had
to move off without breakfast. We had a forced march with full pack on.
Crossed by ferry from Torpoint to Devonport and another rush
of 1 ½ miles to the railway station only to miss our train. We then
marched (ordinary) to another station and had to wait nearly an hour for
another train. We were told off in squads for refreshments but there were
only two girls there and by the time we got in our train had arrived and
we had to board it. We were given a 7lb tin of bully beef and two loaves
of bread between 8 of us and when the train started we had our first feed
for the day 11.45am. I got
some good P.C. views of Plymouth at this
station. We had a fast ride to Dinton a distance of 150 miles in 4
½ hrs. through Cornwall and Devon with a stop at
Exter for refreshments. Posted letters from here to Maude and Doll.
We passed through some very pretty country, old buildings and paddocks
divided by hedges and all irregular. Also High Viaducts and rivers etc at
Samford Courtney. The railway is along the side of the hill with
the Town down in a hollow and look pretty. When we arrived at
Dinton we waited for a cart to take our kit bags etc but in vain We
then went over to a hut for refreshments. Tea 2d and 4 biscuits 1d. Left
our kits and started out on a 5 mile march to our camp in a drizzling
rain. We passed 2
villages on the way, the first Fovant where there
was a big camp. (all old buildings) and about 2 miles further on we
reached our camp at 4pm wet cold and hungry We got a feed at the canteen
and got our blankets and bed etc Then there was a feed ready at the
cookhouses. We got 5 blankets a palliase of straw and have a coal stove
going all night.
Sunday February 25th 1917 Fovant camp
Revellie at 7am breakfast 7.45 after that took a handcart and marched in
to Fovant for our luggage but it hadn’t arrived so we had to
go back empty handed. We got good meals today and in the afternoon posted
letter No 8 to Doll and Lin also P.C. views of Fovant and
Plymouth to Maude etc. Some of the lads walked to other camp at
where our company mates are and they brought our mail over.
Received 1st letter and Paper from Doll and M
February 26th 1917 Fovant camp
Revellie at 5.30 breakfast at 6 to enable a Coy to get away on leave.
Paraded to Headquarters and a party detailed to go to Dinton to see
about kits. We had to hand in our pay books to be sent to London.
We then had to go to Fovant again to meet the train at 12am but had
to wait till 3pm. We put most of time in at YMCA alongside a stove and had
refreshments. We got back to camp at 4.30 and had dinner and tea in one.
After tea an aeroplane came into the camp and away again. It was a lot
bigger that the one we seen in Bendigo. Put night in writing letters etc.
February 27th 1917 Fovant camp
After Breakfast fell in at 8.45 and drill and Jerks until 12.30 no Smok Oh
After dinner at 1.45 fell in and from the parade ground went on route
march through back of Swallow Cliffe circled round through
Fovant and back to camp at 4.30 about 5 miles. After tea writing
February 28th 1917 Fovant camp
Both Morning and Afternoon Platoon drill on parade ground. After tea
finished and posted letter No 2 to Doll, Sophia, Aunt Sarah, Mick, M and
March 1st 1917 Fovant camp
Morning usual Afternoon route
march through Swallow Cliffe. An old
church on side of road and ground right to foot path. No fence and graves
alongside. Houses all thatched roofs an old historic
Pub. Bill Inn (Post
C) and turned to left off road for Tilbury and went through
”Ansty ” another old Village in which an old church is
turned into a blacksmith shop - also a cress pond. A nice warm day
(unusual). We circled round and came back through Swallow Cliffe to
camp. On arriving an inspection of feet. (Hot shower).
March 2nd 1917 Fovant camp
Usual 2 parades. Squad drill. Sore feet.
March 3nd 1917 Fovant camp
Parade sick strain tendon of heel. At dinner time the 38th and
rest of 37th came into camp. Met Mac, Geo Mooney [Charlotte's cousin]. Went with Mac
to Y.M.C.A. and got grabbed for picket at Bell Inn about ½ mile
from camp. Got back at 9.30 Cold.
Sunday March 4th 1917 Fovant camp
Walking around camp on morning
and had to go on bike to Hurdcot
with some papers.
Got back in time for dinner. On roadside a very unique
refreshment hut. An old railway carriage with wheels and undercarriage
taken off and tables put in. In afternoon the only one of our hut left in
camp. Writing. Snow.
March 5th 1917 Fovant camp
Joined our own company at drill and mess - all day. Snow fell during night
while coming from Y.M.C.A. I got covered with it. On getting up it was
thick on the ground and on window sills. Rained during day and had lecture
on explosives. At night finished and posted letters and cards to Doll No 3,
M, Bill, Claude, S.M. Card.
March 6th 1917 Fovant camp
Morning parade and 1 case of Mumps. Again in Isolation in our hut.
march. Evening in hut, meals and all there. Writing. All
others received mail except me.
March 7th 1917 Fovant camp
Paraded sick bad cold. The weather is very cold and a biting wind blowing.
We in our hut sat around stove all morning but had to go on parade in
afternoon except one Lowers. He washed some clothes in afternoon while we
were on route march (Ansty and Swallow Cliffe) and hung them
on wire fence to dry. After tea he went to bring them in and they were
frozen like boards (ironed). Letter No 3.
March 8th 1917 Fovant camp
Snow thick on ground and taps all frozen. Paraded with overcoats on
although sun was shining. Snow fell (light) at 10am sun at same time.
Doing Company drill.
Afternoon route march over hills behind the camp and
had some rear guard work. A good view from top of hill. Some girls working
on a hay stack, and seen site where Cromwell mounted a gun to blow up
Kardour Castle. Evening received 3rd letter from Doll marked
5th - writing.
March 9th 1917 Fovant camp
On rising snow 9 inches in places on ground and still falling. No drill.
Afternoon parade in huts with pay 1 £ and lectures. Received
Bendigonians from home. Pay owing to date £2-5-6. Evening soup at 8
every evening. Writing posted card to Ev and letter to Tom B.
March 10th 1917 Fovant camp
Morning raining Mess duties no parade. Afternoon still raining done my
washing and stayed in hut at night (cards and draughts).
Sunday March 11th 1917 Fovant camp
Morning raining. Stayed in hut writing. Also afternoon and night raining
slight. Went to Forvant. First night away from camp and names taken
out of Isolation
March 12th 1917 Fovant camp
Raining. Morning parade lecture on being out and drinking etc. Jerks.
Afternoon route march to Swallow Cliff and came back, then to
Forvant and back. Tea and shift quarters and a picket placed over
March 13th 1917 Fovant camp
Paraded sick, bad cold and heel. In hut writing cards to Doll etc. Have to
dine in big hut all together. Everything except 1 table taken out. Lads
came in from long march to Kardour Castle 10 miles.
March 14th 1917 Fovant camp
Sick all day in hut. Light duties. Eat nothing
March 15th 1917 Fovant camp
Sick. Light duties
March 16th 1917 Fovant camp
Sick. Light duties cleaning up a dirty hut etc. eat plate of Porridge for
March 17th 1917 Fovant camp
Parade for medicine. No breakfast. Have to drill though very weak.
Finished at 12am. No dinner. Afternoon a football match 38th
and 37th. Won by 38th easily. Had tea at YMCA. Bed
Sunday March 18th 1917 Fovant camp
No parade. Beautiful day. A game of soccer in afternoon. In hut.
March 19th 1917 Fovant camp
Morning parade. Sick parade. Improving. Drill. Afternoon raining In other
hut lecture. Heard “Osovo” (mail) torpedoed but beached. One
Corporal Low and S.C. lost stripes for breaking isolation. Capt Chap rev
Tregear calls in every evening to see if any letters to post.
March 20th 1917 Fovant camp
Revellie at 7. Feeling better. Morning rain at parade. Went to hut while
jerks in one of huts. Snow falling. Afternoon nice and warm. Route march.
All well. Night in hut cards and draughts etc.
March 21st 1917 Fovant camp
Morning parade and Jerks. Snow falling near dinner time. Nice after Parade
on parade ground. Heavy snow 3pm. 4pm Paid £1 leaving balance of
£2.3.0. Evening writing and games.
March 22nd 1917 Fovant camp
First thing 6” snow on ground lovely day. Issued with cape. Received
letter from Doll (missing one). Route march through Fovant along
back road nearly to Tisbury and back to Camp (slushy roads). Heard
that we go to Hurtcott Sat morn.
March 23rd 1917 Fovant camp
Fine morning but cold. Company drill in morning. Good meals. Afternoon
extended order drill. After tea a parade to let us know that we had to
shift to Fovant camp early in morning. Night packing up.
March 24th 1917 Fovant camp
Revellie at 6.30. prepare to move out. Every thing ready in our own lines.
Parade 9am. Had to clean up other lines and left at 11.30 for
Fovant. Got there and had dinner at 2pm ( pack and rifles). Then
had to carry buckets, dishes etc ¾ mile. Tea and drew palliases and
fill with straw. Made up bed and going to bed when I was detailed for
Guard 6.30 till 8.30, 12.30pm till 2.30am, 6.30am - 8.30, 12.30 - 2.30pm
Sunday March 25th 1917 Fovant camp
Forvant. Camp. Morning misty cleared up after
dinner. Guarding camp
water supply from which one gets a good view of Dinton down in
hollow. Designs of different regimental badges cut out on side of hill in
chalky soil to serve as landmarks and look very neat. Lots of birds
(rooks) similar to, though smaller than our crow. Afternoon wrote cards to
Doll. Evening got our corporal to parade us out and went to YMCA for 1
March 26th 1917 Fovant camp
Parade as usual in snowstorm. Jerks and company drill. Mess Orderly No 7
hut. Good breakfast and dinner. Afternoon fatigue duty cleaning up huts.
Snowing. Rest went route march through Dinton and a small village
called Telford. A very pretty and ancient place. One cottage had
1680 on it and there was a place called Manor house where Chares
1st was said to have lived. Also a fine place like a
a big park which were lawns and streams of water and a fine conservatory.
On getting back we were told that on account of fresh cases the whole camp
was under isolation for another 24 days. Wrote letter to Maude and went to
bed very cold.
March 27th 1917 Fovant camp
Parade as usual and the whole Coy on Fatigue duty cleaning up huts and
carrying spare blankets (high) tables, forms, etc which took full day. For
breakfast porridge good and stew. Dinner Meat and Veg, and Plum pudding
very good but not enough. A canteen opened in our lines and a very good
stock kept. Sago 2d plate, coffee Biscuits 1d and are doing good trade
with that as well as beer etc. Went up again in evening. Bed.
March 28th 1917 Fovant camp
Revellie as usual. I was hut orderly and didn’t go on parade untill
10.15. Morning bayonet drill. After a good dinner rifle drill. Weather
cold. At 4.45 got word to go over to Officers Mess. Waiting and after late
tea shifted all belongings there. Didn’t get finished and in bed
March 29th 1917 Fovant camp
Got up at 6am to prepare dining room for breakfast. Now have same food as
the Officers. The tea is enjoyable milk and sugar. Constant work but not
hard. Five Officers to wait on. Supper at 9pm.
March 30th 1917 Fovant camp
Rise 6am. Lovely sunny day. Three bonza meals with tea in between.
Finished at 7pm. Good job if only last. Got another chap
to help us. He
looks after the scullery and bring in the coal etc. I’ve only got
the Dining room and Officers cutlery etc to look after now. Nothing to do
outside that. Went to bed at 10pm.
March 31st 1917 Fovant camp
Heard late last night about how lucky we were to get in safe to England
(from reliable Authority) on the day we were supposed to arrive
13th. The cruiser got a wireless that Subs were about so that
explained our waiting about and travelling very slow and in Zig Zag
course. We went over 80 miles back on our course one night and on
13th there were seven German Submarines accounted for at and
near Plymouth. 3 sunk with guns from the
land and 4 captured so
they were after us allright and my informant said if I knew what he knew
when we arrived we would have slept so comfortable and that American Boat
I wrote about being torpedoed 80 miles behind us our crowd got her
Wireless message S.O.S.
Sunday April 1st 1917 Fovant camp
Got up at 8am. Breakfast at 9. Usual routine. After noon done all my
washing as it was a good opportunity and plenty boiling water. Dried at
April 2nd 1917 Fovant camp
Got up 6am. It was a very wild night wind and snow. The wind blew my
window open and I got 1 inch of snow all over my bed before I noticed it.
Had to shake it all off. The window of Dining
room also blew open and I
had 3inch of snow to shift off the floor before breakfast. Seen 14 German
Prisoners at work under escort. Got several badges. Didn’t get our
lights on till after 9pm. Snowing.
April 3rd 1917 Fovant camp
Usual routine. 3 good meals. Went down to store and got belt for badges
also buttons for tunic and Greatcoat. Seen Coy with gas helmets on. Snow
April 4th 1917 Fovant camp
Usual routine. During the night my window blew open and the snow came in
the room and all over bed. Got a pass out and went down to YMCA. A concert
on and couldn’t get in. Crowded. Came home and to bed.
April 5th 1917 Fovant camp
Raining. Heard that we all have to go to Lark Hill 18 mile march
join our training Batt. Got paid 1 pound and got all washing done and dry
ready to pack up. Order cancelled for 24 hours. Writing.
Good Friday April 6th 1917 Fovant camp
Good Friday got up to get breakfast ready for 9am. Received letter from
Doll. After tea packed Kit bag ready to move off in the morning.
April 7th 1917 Fovant camp
Revellie at 6.30. Breakfast over and fall in at 8.30. Moved off for
Lark Hill 18 miles at 9.30. Passed through Barford Hilton a
fairly large town with good street and large shops etc about twice as big
as Eaglehawk, South Newton and the outside of Salisbury and
on through country to Lark Hill. Best weather we’ve had since
we landed here. Bonza day. When coming
near the camp passed
Stonehenge of Historic fame and seen eight aeroplanes.
5 o’clock and got fixed up and bed.
Easter Sunday April 8th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie at 7am but all slept in as clocks were put on an hour during
night. Got up at 20 to 8 breakfast at 8. Church parade 10. Parade for
inspection and lecture 11.45. after dinner free. Canteen and YMCA. Writing
after tea Doll, Bill and Claude and went to bed .
April 9th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie at 7 but we were up at 6.30 and got ready. 1st Parade
at 8.30 went out on parade ground. A nice day but bitter cold wind
blowing. Started on our musketry instruction and went to the miniature
range a well setup one with imitation landscapes and a trench to fire
from. After the elementary stage
is passed. dismiss at 12.30 and dinner.
Afternoon parade at 1.30 and had a slight med examination (teeth and short
arm) then a lecture on Saluting and discipline and a demonstration on
putting web equipment together. After tea attended a musketry school and
later went to YMCA to a concert. Fair. Had coffee and cake and came back
to hut and to bed. (Snowing). Two letters from D.
April 10th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie and morning parade as usual. Cold winds. Changing from one drill
to another in the platoon from 37th to make composite squad.
Had to parade at 6.30 to fit up our equipment. After visited the YMCA,
Canteen and Church of E Inst. Very poor meal.
[The battle of Arras in the Somme had advanced the Allies quickly on April
9th, though with 20 thousand casualties just in the first two days. An
attack at Bullecourt on the 11th was death for most of the Australian 4th
Brigade, who had been trapped against uncut barbed wire in the snow.]
April 11th 1917 Lark Hill camp
At morning parade judging distances. Squad drill and Jerks afternoon.
Squad A wild night (last) wind and rain. The parade ground
up to ankles in
mud. Composite squad parade at 6.40pm received P.C. from Eve and dismissed
at 7.15 and have to stay in camp as we might be called out at anytime with
full marching kit. Pack filled with set of clothes, shaving kit etc and
blanket and oilsheet around it. Stayed in hut.
April 12th 1917 Lark hill camp
Revellie as usual. Had to parade to dentist and there all morning. Teeth
allright. Snow and later on sunshine (cold). Dinner. Afternoon parade for
inspection then lecture on construction of trenches. After tea parade for
boots. Went to Canteen and there had a big feed. Later on to Church of E
Institute. Coffee and cakes. Card to Ev.,
April 13th 1917 Lark hill camp
Breakfast at 7am. Morning parade as usual. Jerks, squad drill and
Musketry. Afternoon squad drill tea etc. Paraded 6.30 Issued with gloves
later. Supper salmon in hut.
April 14th 1917 Lark hill camp
Morning parade erecting tents in readiness for troops coming in for Royal
Review. Afternoon same, raining, finished early on account of rain. More
to put up. After tea wrote to Aunt S. and went to YMCA to post. An
entertainment. Conjuring, a ventriloquist and thought reading by
“Eugeno” very good. Home to bed. Photo Stonehenge.
Sunday April 15th 1917 Lark hill camp
After breakfast on cook house fatigues. Clean up and swab out. Wheel in
coal. At 11am an Aeroplane went wrong when up a good height and the poor
chap was killed by falling to earth and machine smashed. Finished our work
at 2.30, writing till tea and after haircut writing again to Sophie and
April 16th 1917 Lark hill camp
Morning and afternoon parades practice
review drill in readiness for Royal
Review tomorrow. Had to come off parade and go to our hut at 2.30 on
account of rain. Cleaned rifle and started writing untill tea which was
early to allow a lot of troops that came in to get their tea. Received
letters from Doll, Claude and Maude. Wrote card. Australia to Mother. Went
April 17th 1917 Lark hill camp
Revellie at 6am. 1st parade at 7.15 to prepare for the big
review. We had lunch in haversack a big sano and a hard boiled egg, and
marched through Bullford a big military Village connected with the
railway. There’s a big convalesant hospital here. Also a big
military camp with a lot of buildings like the Loco sheds I believe for
the motor transport wagons as well as a big camp of huts. It’s a lot
King's review at Bulford
the camp at Lark Hill and I thought that a big camp.
Well we waited on the big parade ground with long strings of troops
marching on. At about 11am the King arrived and accompanied by several
Officers inspected the troops (on horse back) a beautiful black. Then
there was the march past which was a magnificent sight. First of all a Coy
of cavalry followed by 3 companies of the cyclists, then a big lot of
Field Artillery and then came the infantry or “mud trampers”
followed by the Army service corps with their mule drawn wagons. I
estimated all told on parade to be about 30,000 so you can form an ides of
what a sight it was that’s not including a big
“Tommies” a lot of Convalesants, a big lot of girls in uniform
of Karki carrying Haversacks and a crowd of spectators from the
neighbouring Towns. It was fine weather but very cold in the morn but the
afternoon was actually warm. We got back to camp at 3.30 and had to fall
in for guard at 4.30. I had a good frost on duty inside the guard room and
was on from 8 till 10pm. Slept all night and on from 11am till 1pm next
April 18th 1917 Lark hill camp
Got up when revellie sounded at 7am and had to fall in for inspection (3
Min). after 1pm had to remain in guard room untill 4pm when next guard
came on. Went to Durrington part of camp at night.
April 19th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Usual revellie and parade Bayonet and Company drill till dinner. After a
route march to
Stonehenge back to camp and Paid. After tea went
Durrington YMCA. Sent cards to Doll and Tad family. Nice warm day.
April 20th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Usual drill, Coy Jerks, musketry, dinner. After dentist as plate is
chipped and cuts. Lovely day. Got back from dentist at 4pm so had an easy
day. Evening at Durrington YMCA cocoa 1d chester 2d. sent P.C. to
Mum and Claude.
April 21st 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie 6am. Breakfast at 7 and from parade ground went on route march
through Durrington and Fighelton. Got back 12am dismissed.
([…] Motor Tractors). After dinner we had our railway tickets
issued to us then free.
Sunday April 22nd 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie. No church parade, but medical exam and lecture on Women and
drink while on leave. Dinner and afternoon cleaning up for leave. Evening
April 23rd 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie 6am. Breakfast and left camp at 8am before rest of boys, walked
into Amesbury 3 ½ miles and left by train 8.50. arrived
Salisbury 9.25 and had an hour and half to wait for train so went
around City. Visited the Cathedral which is a very beautiful building the
inside being something magnificent with its beautiful charm and all along
the sides of the building laid with monuments. On walking along one is
walking over the vaults. The flags one walks on bearing inscriptions.
Cannot fully describe the beauties of the building (splendid P.C. views of
interior and exterior. Also had a look around the Town. Very narrow
footpaths but some pretty places. The gateway with a huge gate was or is
now closed. At a certain time of the night closes
the thoroughfare to the
cathedral and the business places are on one side of it and the buildings
on the other side are for the people who have at one time or another have
been in the service of the cathedral. We got back to the station early and
had refreshments. One thing that struck me was the number of lady
officials and girls employed about the station. We caught train for
Portsmouth at 10.48am. On the way passed through some pretty
Country with quaint dwellings and ancient ruins. Also a big fort at
Portsdowne. Seen women working in fields, also a lady hay inspector
and finally arrived at Fratton at 1.30 and found Mac’s
relatives who treated me cordially and asked us to stay there during our
leave. An invitation which we gladly accepted. In afternoon we went for a
tram ride to Portsmouth and seen the
Harbour and Lord
Nelson’s flagship “Victory”. Then walked back through
Portsmouth Town a very busy place with modern shops etc arriving
back for tea at 6.30. Evening in company of Mrs Sambrook went to Kings
theatre “Vaudeville” where a first class program was put on
(it seemed strange coming out of there at 9pm). Walked through
Southsea. home. Supper and bed 11pm.
April 24th 1917 Fratton
Got up and went for walk around part of Southsea, visited St
Mary’s church and St George Hotel, an old historic place as Lord
Nelson left here to go to Spain. “Trafalgar”. Got back at 9
for breakfast and went with Mac to visit his uncle and warmly welcomed.
One part of Southsea filled in with the refuse of the town
(splendid soil) is let by the Corporation at 1/- rd per year and many
residents are cultivating small
holdings and growing vegetables as things
are so expensive in that line. Potatoes are 1d each, peas and beans 1/-
lb, bacon 3/- lb and a piece of roast about 4lb = 4/6. So how the poor
live I don’t know. We arrived back for dinner at 12.30. After dinner
went down to beach to floating bridge and from there along passed garrison
to Clarence pier and along beautiful lawns (ladies mile) to South Parade
pier. Some fine buildings along the sea front and splendid appointments at
base of Pier at South Parade. Along the esplanade met a string of motor
transport over 1 ½ mile long. Evening visited Easney,
Copnor and Portsmouth but disappointed with places.
1st two not a bit interesting and everything restricted. Even
had to have a permit to buy Photo material. Got home at 10pm. Supper and
bed. (Seen Anchor of “Victory” described next leaf)
April 25th 1917 Fratton
Didn’t wake up untill a cup of tea was brought in to us 8am. Then
got up for breakfast and went on tram to Palmerston Rd the Collins St of
place and got things I wanted. Then a look around and back for dinner.
Afternoon went for long tramway ride through Cosham. Passed
Alexandra hospital, fortifications and through a few miles of country.
Passed Portsdown hills lovely scenery and Picnic grounds and home
again. After tea went Apollo theatre. At all places of entertainment men
smoke all through the performance. Got home at 11.30 and supper
April 26th 1917 Fratton
Cup of tea in bed as usual then got up for Breakfast and morning spent in
looking around. Went Canoe Lake a very pretty little place
and miniature boat racing an interesting pastime and swans on lake. A
favourite picnic place. After dinner went out with Children down to Docks.
Crossed in launch to Gosport a commercial town and came back
another route. Passed Town Hall a nice building. There were also fine
shops in this locality and the theatre’s Royal and Hippodrome. We
arrived back for tea at 4.30 and caught train for Salisbury at 6pm
arriving at 7.25 and as we had to wait untill 10.45 for train to
Amesbury. We went for a walk around Salisbury and was fairly
disgusted with the place at night. None of the shops were open and all was
dark. Of course there were plenty of soldiers knocking about. However it
saved us a few shillings as we intended to take a run in to there from
camp but we won’t now. We got back
to our camp at 1am and bed.
April 27th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Had to get up at 6am (different to last couple of days) and put our
equipment together and get ready for parade. We were marched on to Bull
ring and heard that we were to move off to another camp as we were to help
form another division. We then had to go back to our huts for a Kit
inspection and while on this game a Coy that were on the
“Ballarat” (torpedoed and sunk) came into camp. There were no
lives lost but they all lost their kits and they did look breakups. Some
in blues, others in khaki and there were shoes pants and no putties shorts
without hats etc but they were all in good spirit. We were issued with our
leather vests and then had to get a
blanket and pack our full packs ready
for march and parade for inspection at 8pm Believe K. Mumford came in with
the torpedoed crowd but haven’t seen him yet. They were close to
Plymouth when they stopped it and the “Ballarat” was five
hours afloat after she was struck and they ran her within 20 miles of Port
before she went down. The troops were in the boats 1½ hours (the
longest) before they were all picked up. Salisbury Cathedral the inside is
very beautiful especially the part for the choir. The gateway showing
behind the seats is lovely metal work and the oak work windows are
something wonderful. The P.C. showing the Chapter house shows better than
I can describe the beauties of the Oak carvings on the
windows. Received letters from Doll and Alma and
Maude and P.C. (2) Eveline, card to Doll.
Went to bed. at 10pm.
April 28th 1917 Lark Hill camp
Revellie 6.30am had to have our kit-bags packed and at place at top of
lines at 7.15. Breakfast 7.30 Parade 8.30 ready to move off. Left at 9.30
went through Billford Village. The camp here is very large. We
passed first building at 10.59 the last at 11.15. this is a permanent camp
with two storey houses as barracks with married quarters for married men.
At 12.10 we came to Tidworth another big permanent barrack. The
whole ½ town taken up thus and some fine buildings there are there
especially the Hospital. We arrived at our new camp at 3pm and it is only
a new one. We are in tents 11 in each and it’s very crowded. We are
only ½ mile from a little Village called
we went after tea. We didn’t feel inclined to look around much as we
were tired but we found a Café where we had a good feed eggs on
toast, a pot of tea, bread and butter for 1 / 4. Came back to tent and
went to bed.
Sunday April 29th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie at 7.30 but had to prick 2 big blisters on my feet before getting
up. Breakfast at which was at 8am Church parade 9am after which we were
formed up and were to form a new division (66th Battn). Dinner
at 12.45 and Afternoon free. Writing to Doll and printing Photos. Night
down at Ludgershall.
April 30th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 6.30 fall in for Jerks 6.45 till 7.15 breakfast at 8 Parade 9
till 12. Dinner 12.45 parade 2pm route march through Ludgershall.
Halted in field and laid down for 1 hour. 4pm marched back and then
fatigue duty carrying forms. Put night in writing Cards Doll and letter
May 1st 1917 Windmill hill camp
Morning parade as usual had 40 minutes smoke. Afternoon parade lying down
untill 4pm then medic examination and tea after which had to parade with
guard for inspection as I am on fatigue tomorrow. Rest of time writing and
Printing Photos. Met Mannis and J. Doyle.
May 2nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
On I.M. parade. had to report at 9.15 very little to do finished at 4 got
paid. Wrote Doll.
May 3rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Usual routine wrote Mother Salisbury letter card and M. Stayed in camp
May 4th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Usual routine company drill both parades.
Afternoon voted for Victorian
Parliament [actually the federal election].
Evening practice cricket and later on went to
May 5th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early morning instead of Jerks attended N.C.C. school here (Guard drill).
Later usual parade took all morning to detail duties for night and next
day. Had to parade 3.30. Received letters from Bill S. and R. H. McLeod
and J. Williams from France. Had to remain in our lines all day and be in
readiness to turn out at moment’s notice. A very windy and dusty day
and had to turn out at at 7.30 as several tents were blown down and on
retiring had to leave our clothes on. Turned out at 6am on
Sunday May 6th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
No Church parade. About 15 mins fixing tents. Afternoon went in to
Tidworth, a picture
show and looked around Town. A nice compact
town surrounded by hills so that the town is in a well sheltered valley.
There is one principal street of shops quite up to date. Had a feed and
came back to camp.
May 7th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
In morning attended N.C.C. School and went in
9 oclock parade. Afternoon a route march.
Got back early and put in 1 hour drill. Went in
to Tidworth for Photo material seen a look
out build amongst some Fir trees By a wealthy
man of Tidworth and owner of the Manor.
Both places are now taken over by military
authorities the look out, castle for signalling
and the Manor for a hospital. The Soldier's
Tea rooms is ahead of most of the YMCA.
Had a ‘banquet’ and came home.
May 8th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning School and 9 oclock parade practice
at Squad drill. Afternoon route march
over the hills behind Tidworth and over
the Downs about 6 miles night training.
Photos (Aeroplane accident).
May 9th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Both morning parades as usual.
Afternoon a route march through
Ludgershall and along the road toward
Andover and halted at as pretty a spot
as I've seen here. A wood with Fir and
Oak trees and with the new growth on the
trees. Formed an avenue with different
shades of green the ground strewn with
wild violets daisies and Primroses and Ivy
on trunks of the trees. Got back in
good time and after tea wrote letters back
May 10th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning Jerks. 2nd Parade Platoon and Coy drill. Afternoon
fatigue fixing cricket pitch
after tea wrote to Doll.
May 11th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning school. 2nd parade had a squad at drill. After dinner a
very interesting lecture on V.D. then a march through Tidworth back
over the Hills to Perham Downs through that camp and home. Evening
writing to Maude, Alma and May.
May 12th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning squad drill practice at school. 2nd Parade n Dentist
had impression taken for a lower plate. Cleaning up tent then a meeting to
form a sports and Amusement committee. Afternoon a cricket match.
Sunday May 13th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church parade at 9.15am. afternoon taking photos and later went and seen
cricket match. evening writing Portsmouth and Salisbury Letter cards to
Maude and to Claude. Met Reg Williamson
May 14th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
In charge of Fatigue party for A.S.C. Went
to Tidworth got back at
11.45. had to report aft dinner but there was nothing for us to do so had
rest of day off. Wrote letter C to Aunt S and evening went to
Ludgershall a picture show 4d. had a cup of coffee and came home.
May 15th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early morning school second parade didn’t go away. Cleaned up lines.
Medical exam and issue of shortages. Afternoon paraded at Headquarters and
were classified in 6th week of training. Stayed in camp
May 16th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade route march. Second, Jerks bayonet and Platoon drill.
Afternoon care of arms Platoon and Section drill. After tea a cricket
match. C.V.A. won by 18 runs. All good jobs in the ranks. Returned men in
their place. Met G. Saunders.
May 17th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parades delayed through rain
[…] school has fallen through. Waiting out
in rain for pay. Afternoon paid and went on
Parade at 3:30 musketry till 8pm. AFter tea
went into Ludgershall a picture show. Then home
to bed. […] in tent.
Friday May 18th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning short march around parade musketry
and […] had to come in early (rain). Afternoon
musketry and a lecture on Bombs. Very interesting
after tea writing letter to Doll.
Saturday May 19th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning Parade free after dinner went walking
afternoon through Ludgershall on to Appleshaw.
On the way went through a park and everything
in bloom. It was very pretty. The villages is
very pretty and there are some modern houses
as well as old fashion places from there after
in good […] and some Photos. we went on to
Weyhill and back to camp having gone
about 8 miles all told.
Sunday May 20th Windmill Hill camp
Morning. Church parade. Afternoon wet.
Stayed in tent writing a letter to Mick
met G. Carne the Bendigo rifle shot also
Young Fryburg of McCrae St. Late at night
rained heavy and came through the tent.
May 21th Windmill Hill camp
Morning inclined to rain paraded in
overalls. Very closer after dinner cleared
up and we left our great coats in tent. Bayonet and
musketry and bombing. After tea went to pictures.
Got two letters from Doll.
May 22th Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade Tent Orderly second Parade.
Musketry till 10:30 then Dentist till dinner time.
Afternoon Musket Bayonet and Platoon drills after
a […] writing P C to Doll. Stayed in camp.
Secured two cards from Ev and letter from […].
May 23rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning a muster parade. Told off as a bomber for our battalion. Second
parade usual Musketry Jerks and Bombing. Afternoon Musketry Bayonet and
platoon drill. After tea writing in Canteen. Feed and back to bed.
May 24th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning usual routine. Afternoon parade dentist and got full lower plate.
Had to take them out in evening hurting. After tea went to pictures.
Posted cards to Doll, Ev, Lin, M. and M. Sumbler. Had afternoon off and
wrote them. Received book from Church
May 25th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning usual. Also 2nd Parade. Afternoon same. Ricked leg.
May 26th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Paraded sick. 2nd Parade usual musketry, Jerks and Bombing.
After dinner received letter from Doll 2 and one from Mrs J. Gephart (Sis
After tea went with Mac to Pictures.
Sunday May 27th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early morning Parade to duties. Church parade, dinner, then free. Raining.
Wrote to Doll and Sis Gephant (Rownsley). After tea wrote children and T.
May 28th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Usual day. Evening pictures.
May 29th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
1st Parade for exchange of boots not finished. Morning parade
usual Musketry, Jerks and entanglements. After dinner Sports meeting
Afternoon Parade Mus., Bayonet and extended Or. Drill. Issued with service
rifles (7162). After tea writing and draughts in tent. Supper in canteen.
May 30th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
No early parade. 2nd Parade usual. All trained men went with
full marching order on for an inspection to Bullford leaving
at about 11am accompanied by their field kitchen and transports etc. after
dinner snap shot of our tent. Afternoon Parade. Went over to Perham
to go through our bombing practice with live bombs. Got back late. After
tea wrote M. Sumbler, Ev and Bella.
May 31st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
1st parade (tent orderly). 2nd Parade Musketry,
Jerks and building sandbags. Dinner. Afternoon Parade Musketry then came
in to get paid. After tea wrote Maude P.C. and L.C. Andover to
Bill. Supper. Bed.
June 1st. 1917 1917 Windmill Hill camp
1st Parade roll call only. 2nd Parade usual routine.
Afternoon Parade Musketry and two hours Bayonet. After tea writing in
tent. Received parcel from Claude. Sardines, Salmon Paste, chewing gum and
June 2nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
1st Parade as usual two hours bayonet.
Afternoon went out to
Chute had picnic then back to Redenham YMCA a new place.
Cocoa and cakes and back to camp at 9.30. Took a few snaps on the way.
Sunday June 3rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church Parade and afternoon stayed in tent fixing photos and writing home.
Had a game of draughts and bed.
June 4th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Usual routine all parades. Lovely weather. In evening Photos of Grs
Saunders, Camp, Mac and in night sewing.
June 5th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Rain during night and no early parade. 2nd Parade shooting at
miniature range. Afternoon parade usual. Night sewing and mending sox.
Photos in camp.
June 6th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning march through Ludgershall. 2nd Parade usual.
for Brigade sports. Very good. Aggregate cup won by
65th, 66th 2nd, 67th
3rd. Funniest item was the Mule race. They were very obstinate.
Late for tea and went for tea at Ludgershall. Came back to an open
air concert in the camp given by the Tidworth band and boys of the
camp. Very good. Then to bed. Photos of Sports.
June 7th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning Parade as usual. Raining during night now very close. After
breakfast went to Doctor and Paraded to Dentist as new lower plate
don’t fit. Got it fixed up. After dinner went for medicine and no
parade. Wrote Appleshaw cards to Doll and a nice cool day. after
tea in tent writing M.S. and making up parcel for home.
June 8th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade tent orderly. 2nd Parade usual. Good dinner.
Afternoon parade usual. Photo of Class bayonet fighting. After tea in camp
writing. Posted parcel of Badges etc to
Doll. An Aeroplane the chap was a
Marvel with flying side ways, upside down, looping the loop, straight up
and to cap all came straight down, the machine spinning round as though it
was beyond control and when he righted it the cheer from the camp was
deafening. Write and posted Appleshaw Cards to Bill and Photos.
June 9th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Told off for escort to take a prisoner from the camp to Devizes.
Left camp at 7.45 and arrived with prisoner at detention barracks at about
11 O’clock. We then went sight seeing around the place. The ones
that interested us most were 1st St John’s church which
was built in 1156 and it is famous in older times it was here that
[Charles Wesley] sought safety while escaping from Devizes Castle and they tried
to starve him out by surrounding the place but he escaped into Wales. He
was a minister in Charles [George] III time. The walls have some fine tombstones let
in, some bearing the
dates 1316 - 1346 and
in the Burial ground amongst others there was a fine Monument erected in
Memory of Tom Moore “Poet”. The next of interest and well
worth seeing was the Kennet Canal used for carrying Corn etc from
Devizes to Bristol about 40 miles instead of hauling around
the road I would have liked to seen them working the Locks. These I
believe are used to save the water as if allowed to run it wouldn’t
be sufficient depth to float the Barges. The gates are locked and when
sufficient water is in to float the Barge it is brought from one lock to
another. We then made our way up to the Castle passing on the way a big
Munition Factory which we were unfortunately too late to look over as it
closed at 1pm. The Castle stands on the site of the former Devizes Castle
which was famous for its strength and splendour. The present one has the
same fame. It being prettily and strongly built with a splendid
conservatory at the back. The Tower and walls are covered with creeper and
whole is guarded by a wide moat filled with water. around the outside
wall (3). A big convalescent hospital in which were a large number of
Australians there is a pretty roadway leading away from here known as the
(L)ushers walk. We went back to the Town passing a big permanent barracks.
Tommies, and went to the Market place where several streets meet. It is a
big triangular piece of ground similar to Howard Place. There’s a
fountain and a Monument “The Market Cross”. Here on the base
of which is the inscription
The Mayor and Corporation of Devizes avail themselves of the
ability of this building to transmit to future times the record of an
awful event which occurred in this market in the year 1753 hoping that
such a record will serve as a salutory warning against the danger of
impiously invoking divine vengeance or calling on the Holy name of God to
conceal the devices of falsehood and fraud.
On Thursday 25/1/1753
Ruth Pierce of Pottern in this County signed with three other
women to buy a sack of wheat in this market place each paying their due
proportion towards the same. One of these women in collecting their
several quotes of money discovered a defficiency and demanded of Ruth
Pierce the sum which was wanting to make up the amount. She protested that
she’d paid her share and said she wished she might drop dead if she
hadn’t and rashly repeated it when to the consternation and Horror
of the surrounding multitude she fell down and expired having the money
concealed in her hand.
Other nice views of the City were Bath road South church with its Ivy
covered walls and pond, etc and the tunnel. Just at end of Station
platform with a fine house and bonza trees and shrubs on top making a fine
view. The Town itself is a compact busy place with several big shops etc.
The streets are all laid out circular and the footpaths very narrow
room for two to walk on. We had to catch our train when the Market Place
resembled the Mall. Left Devizes 7.30 and arrived at
Savernake at 8.15. We had to wait for our train so went to the
village ¾ of mile away. Very pretty at present time like most of
English Villages. We caught our train and arrived back at camp at about
11pm tired out. Made our own beds and retired.
June 11th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early parade all put into different platoons as the Bullring is finished
with 2nd Parade. Had a Kit inspection after dinner over in
other parade ground. Company drill and bombing. After tea went to
Ludgershall. Back to camp
and murdered a parcel that one of the
tent mates received.
June 12th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
1st Parade marched to parade ground and had orders read out.
2nd Parade Company, Platoon drill and Bombing - Lewis Gun
sections picked out of Platoon. Good dinner and very warm day. Afternoon
Company drill and detailed out in the different sections of Bombers, rifle
grenadiers, Lewis gunners and Bayoneters. After a good tea was told my
leave was granted from 12 o’clock tomorrow. Stayed in camp cleaning
June 13th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade and 2nd as usual marched in at 12am and granted
48 hrs leave. Left Ludgershall at 12.50 arrived at Andover
Junction at 1.20 and had over an hour to wait for train. We walked
through the Town of Andover. There was nothing of special interest
that I could see here. A small sleepy
Town. Left Andover at 2.52
arrived at Basingstoke at 3.30 and had an hour to wait for next
train so had dinner 2/6 and went to ruins of an old Castle close by. This
seemed a larger and busier Town than Andover and I would have liked
to look around it but after having dinner, time would not permit it. I
left Basingstoke at 4.30 and arrived at Winchester at 5.5. I
went for a walk around the Town a real Pleasant and busy little place. Had
tea (5 courses for 3/-) and then secured accomodation at private residence
the home of a Master Mason who treated me as a brother. And again went
around the Town out to Park Road a very pleasant walk and back to theatre.
A Comedy entitled “Jane”: Got back to bed 11.30.
June 14th 1917 Winchester
A nice fine day got up at 6.30 went sight seeing around the Town. The
places of interest were 1st the Cathedral a beautifull place
far ahead of anything I’ve seen yet. Especially the interior
West Gate, Winchester
its great height of oak carvings, and the Crucifix there is a piece of
work well worth going a long way to see. All the beautifull work is shown
in the Post Cards. The college is another fine building but the tree
surrounding it stopped our view. Also the St Cross hospital and the
Barracks just outside the Town. Another interesting place is the Westgate
which in olden times cut off the approach to the Town from that quarter.
It was the point where all the soldiers of the Tudor times were wont to
gather when an alarm was sounded. From the top of this a fine view of the
Town is obtained and in the rooms are a fine collection of ancient
articles all bearing on the past history of England. The latest date of
any exhibit being 1803. One of the oldest being a model of a Viking boat
built from some of the planks of King Alfred the great’s Viking boat
which was sunk in 877 and raised out of the water in 901. A huge horn
weighing 12lbs 12oz which in olden times was sounded as an alarm
to call the soldiers together for battle. It could be heard for a distance
of several miles and over 700 years old. Also a pair of boots that were
worn by King Charles II and a big oak coffer bound with iron which in
olden times was used for storing money in instead of the banks of modern
times. This bears the date of 1581. There were several more exhibits but
these will suffice. Under the floor of this room is the debtors prison and
persons in debt and couldn’t pay were put in there without food. The
only means they had was by putting a basket out of the window and beg of
the passers by for assistance. At the other end of the City is a very high
hill and another splendid view of the City can be obtained from here. The
City itself is quite modern and one can get anything there that is to be
had in London at the same price (5 course dinner 3/-)
but the streets are
narrow compared with our own. In the main street there’s a fine
statue of King Alfred. In the streets are very few horses most of the
traffic from the heaviest to the lightest is by motor same as other parts
of England. (Plymouth)
June 15th 1917 Winchester
Got up at 7am had breakfast and went around the City shopping. Caught
train at 9.48 and arrived back to Ludgershall at 11.30. had dinner
and returned to camp on time. Afternoon parade Musketry and Pay (very
acceptable). Evening in tent writing letters.
June 16th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Hot. 1st Parade dropped our tents and cleaned boards (spring
cleaning). 2nd Parade detailed for guard to mount. Sunday
evening and Guard drill. Afternoon stayed in camp writing to Maude and
Doll. Evening picture show at Ludgershall.
June 17th, 18th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church parade. Weather very hot. Afternoon stayed in camp writing etc and
cleaning up for guard. Nearly all our boys of C Company were transferred
to B Coy and an equal number came in to C Coy. Had to parade to B C to
stay in C with Mac. Fell in at 5.45. Mounted Guard at 6.30 and had to
stand still 6.45 practically two hours standing at attention. I was on the
second releive and had to do from 8.30 till 10.30 - 2.30 till 4.30 -
8.30 - 10.30 and 2.30 till 4.30. dismounted guard at 4.20. stayed in
tent. Posted letters to Maude and Doll.
June 19th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning Parade. Again picked out the sections of Bombers, Machine gunners,
rifle Grenadiers and Bayonet fighters. Changed company’s. I am still
in C. wrote letters to M. S. afternoon had early dinner and went over to
big rifle range to shoot off my Musketry but too big a crowd
there and I
never fired. After tea stayed in tent sewing… bed early.
June 20th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie at 5.30. Paraded at 6.30 to go to rifle range again but only
those who didn’t complete their musketry yesterday went over. I with
others were mess tent orderlies today and didn’t go on parade untill
3pm and then only for an hour. Alloted to different tents in our Sections.
Table centre to Doll.
June 21st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade. Short route march over hill and laid down. After breakfast
the usual parade musketry. Early dinner and went over to the range again
but didn’t fire. I was on fatigue handing out ammunition. Raining a
treat got wet through. After tea stayed in tent writing cards home. Bed.
June 22nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie at 5.30 left camp for rifle
range at Perham at 6.30. On
fatigue handing out ammunition. Had dinner early and got back to camp
about 1.30 and dismissed for the day. Wrote cards to Willie, Vera and
Doll. Played draughts in tent.
June 23rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning sick parade (indigestion). 2nd Parade full marching
order for 1st time in this camp. Got a letter from Maude from
Ballarat. Afternoon played cricket against 67th and got beaten.
After match met W. Teasdale and C. Martinelli in camp and went down to
Ludgershall and there met Walter Rawnsley. Raining.
Sunday June 24th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church Parade and afternoon stayed in and the boys came over to get a snap
taken but it was too dull. Stayed in at night writing to Mother and Claude.
June 25th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade most of our lads sent over
to the range. The rest of us went up on hill and laid
down till dinner time. Good dinner. Afternoon
Parade. Lectore on bombing. Musketry and Jerks
Duff for tea. For 1st time after tea […] tent
June 26th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning dropped tents and clean up before breakfast. After erected tents
and went over to Perham and went through gas of both sorts with
helmets on. The first was most deadly and as the (Cloride and Phosgene)
this is what is sent over in the K2 shells and its affect is to paralyze
the heart and lungs and also affects rifles and ammunition by corrosion
and unless cleaned immediately after a gas attack are useless. A good
remedy is to
cover both the rifle and ammunition with oil and clean off
when gas has cleared. The other gas used called [probably the tear gas T-Stoff, xylyl bromide] affects the eyes only
causing them to smart and run profusely. Similar to although stronger than
onions this has a pleasant smell resembling pineapple. It is always after
a bombardment with these shells T or tear shells that the “K2” are sent over
as the smell of pineapple hides the smell of the more deadly gas. The
“K1” shell is the same as the T and also affects the stomach
causing vomiting but are not deadly. We were told to remove our helmets
when in the tear gas to show what protection they were to eyes etc and
wasn’t there some crying then. After dinner we went over to Trenches
and had to practice in Trench warfare - Advancing in trenches behind a
barrage of artillery fire etc. Back to camp. As a rear guard to main body
and then detailed for inline picket. Stayed in tent talking to W Teasdale
and Westgarth also met Leo Joseph and Edgar Reid. Bendigo .
June 27th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 5.30 and left for Bullford range at 7.30 arrived 9am and
started our musketry. I’d fair success at early stage. Put in the
day there and got back to camp at 5.30pm. tired and stayed in tent.
June 28th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie at 5.30. and after breakfast fell in for Musketry but were
dismissed to our tents on account of rain. Cleared up at 9.30 went to Bull
ring musketry practice. Afternoon same. Evening in tent writing Maude,
May, Alma and Mrs T. also started cards to (Hym). Doll heard Mongolia sunk
with all mails on from early May till few days ago.
June 29th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Raining hard. Didn’t get up untill 8am. Breakfast and back to our
tents. After a little while went and got paid followed by lecture in big
Mess tent. Afternoon another lecture. Stayed in playing draughts evening.
June 30th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Usual parades on parade ground. Musketry practice , advancing under fire
and wire entanglements. Afternoon and evening playing cricket.
Sunday July 1st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church parade and inspection of lines. Afternoon went into
Tidworth. Home early through Perham camp. Received 3
July 2nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Nice weather. Usual parades on ground. Mac went to school at
Tidworth. Evening in tent sewing colours on and mending etc.
July 3rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Musketry at Perham range all day. Scored
29 out of possible 40.
Evening writing. Got 3 letters and Photos from home P C from Eve and
letters from Claude.
July 4th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Raining. Did not get up untill 7.45 then put in all day in mess tents
listening to lectures on Outpost work etc. After tea in tent writing and
W. Teasdale and H. Martinello came over and had a yarn. Will expects to go
over the water shortly. Had a feed and went to bed. Still raining.
July 5th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade after breakfast at 8am. Went over to rifle range shooting 5
rounds rapid. 5 rounds application at 300 and 5 app and 10 rapid at 400
and 5 rounds rapid prone position. Came home and stayed in tent writing.
July 6th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Got up at 6.30. Fell in for roll call. Breakfast 7.30. parade 8.15 marched
to range fired 5 applications
5 rapid fire at 400. Then a series of
lectures untill Dinner time (Meat and water stew). Afternoon the same
untill 4pm then went out for 1 hour drill. Evening in tent writing home.
July 7th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 6am and left camp for range to fire the classification shots. For
prizes have to score 115 to 125 for 10/- and 125 and over for 1 £
prize. Up to date I’ve got 39 out of a possible 60 made up as
follows 5 rounds application at 400yards 15 out of 20, 10 rounds rapid (4
5sec) at 400 yards 24 out of 30. Came home for dinner then played cricket
in afternoon. Met young Bright from Hargreaves St. Posted long letter to
Doll. Received one from M.S.
Sunday July 8th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Raining no church parade. In tent writing. Heard of big air raid in London
nearly 40 Aeroplanes and Zepps took part. Said to have dropped bombs on St
Pauls and G.P.O. Evening writing Mother.
July 9th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Light drizzling rain. Went over to range all day firing. Lost a lot of
points. Fired at 400 5 rds Application and mad minute (15 rounds rapid
fire). Evening went to Village.
July 10th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Nice day. Finished Musketry fired 5 app and 5 rapid at 300 with gas
helmets on. And 5 snap shooting at shilluck target. Done fairly well.
After we finished Musketry, Infantry in attack drill. Evening went to
Tidworth to see Mad J. Wilde boxing. Had nothing to extend him.
Julu 11th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early Morning paraded sick (indigestion). Second parade on parade ground
Bayonet drill, Musketry practice and firing rifle grenades. Afternoon
played cricket against 65th and evening 6pm mounted duty as
B.B.R. runner. All the companys in Batt went out on a night stunt
returning at about 1am. I finished at 9.30pm. Bed.
July 12th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Had to report at B.O.R. at 6.30 and carried out duties
“runner” all day. Dismounted from duties 6.30. Received
“Parcel” from home. Stayed in tent “picnic” on
Pudding and Cocoa.
July 13th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 6am. 1st parade short march. 2nd Parade
usual. Bayonet drill. Infantry in attack drill and rifle grenade firing.
Afternoon Outpost lecture and work. Had a lot of writing cards
Winchester to Doll and Children and letter to Lin also letter M.
July 14th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Good weather. 1st parade told off for duties and struck tents.
2nd Parade Battn drill. Came in early to put up tents again.
Afternoon in tent. Mate got a parcel. Murdered it. Brigade sports on
sports ground. Didn’t go as had to mount duty Colingbourne
picket till 9.30pm.
Sunday July 15th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 7am. Church parade 9am but heavy thunderstorm caused it to be
abandoned ½ way.
Got a road pass for Romsey and went 20
miles bike ride. Splendid abbey. Got back to camp at 1am.
July 16th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early parade. Issued with blanks and after breakfast out on the hills
practicing Open Warfare. Pay.
July 17th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
No early parade. Had to report at B.O.R. for target fatigue at 8am. Same
as yesterday all day. Evening started a long letter to Con. Then bed. Rain.
July 18th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Raining hard and coming through tent. Did have to turn out early parade.
Breakfast as usual. Went out at 10am in light rain to again go through
stint of Infantry attack in the open. Returned and had dinner at 2pm.
Still rain. Was warned for guard and had to mount at 6pm. Wet night.
Received letter from Con readdressed from France dated 16/4/17.
July 19th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Anniversary of Fromelles. 9000 put out of action in 11 hours. Still
wet. On guard duty all day. Relieved at 6.30pm and had to go on parade at
8.15pm untill midnight. Route march. got in at 11.45 then supper and bed.
(26 pages to Con).
July 20th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Breakfast 8.30. both parades 10am. Afternoon Pwo. Outpost work.
Evening in tent writing.
July 21st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie as usual. Struck tents and Battn drill. Came in early put up
tents. In tent writing Home. Posted cards of Romsey - Home and
Sunday July 22nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church Parade out in open. Lovely weather. Inspection and
Brigadeer’s insp. Afternoon in tent playing cards.
July 23rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Breakfast at 6.30. Left at 8am a 20miles route march through
Andover about 1 mile other side, had dinner and at 2pm started on
homeward march. Went through the streets of Andover
having a good
look at the place. About as big as Winchester. Fine buildings and
some wide streets. There is a lovely fire station, military barracks and
Park. Of course we only seen the outside of these. We got back to camp at
6.30. tea and then had to parade at 7.30 for inspection of feet. Posted
London night to Maude, May and Alma.
July 24th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Good weather. Arms sore from sunburn yesterday. Morning parade.
2nd attacking an enemy position in a wood. Afternoon lecture on
rear guard for 2 hours and bombing 1 hour. After tea writing letter to Mrs
July 25th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
1st Parade I fell out. 2nd Parade went over to
bombing ground and slept. Came in for dinner and went out again in
afternoon. Fired two grenades (good). Caught in showers. Came
home and got
ready for long march.
July 26th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Cloudy weather. 1st Parade fixing pack. Breakfast 7.30 and at
8.30 left for a 20 mile route march through Weyhill,
Thuxton, Grately, Shipton and Tidworth and got
back at 5pm with sore feet. Paraded to Doctor. Too tired for anything so
stayed in tent.
July 27th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Fine day. Sick parade (feet) on no duties. Wrote to Ev, Bill, Claude and
Mother. Rest night stunt. […]
July 28th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Got up at 6.30 Sick parade. No duties. Paid £1-5-0. Afternoon in
tent. Mac came back from school at Tidworth. Some talk of us going
over any time now. Wrote to Tom B.
Sunday July 29th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church parade and inspection of lines and afternoon playing cards in tent.
After tea had to mount duties. I.M. fatigue […] wrote to […]
July 30th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 6am. parade 6.30 for M.C.B. class. After breakfast Q.M. fatigue.
Wrote Salisbury letter to J. Leaney and Doll. Finished duties at
5pm. Raining hard. Night in tent.
July 31st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie at 6.30 but we didn’t get up untill breakfast time (raining
a treat). Morning in YMCA tent - lecture on the Lewis machine gun
interesting and instructive. After dinner again lecture in tent. Received
letter from Maude “Corio”
August 1st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Raining. M.C.G. class again. Morning parade Y.M.C.A. tent lecture on Wood
fighting. Afternoon infantry practice taking strong position in wood.
Light rain. Night cards in tent.
August 2nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Raining all night. No class. Morning Y.M.C.A. Lecture on billets and
Behaviour when in billets. Received letters and cards from Doll and
20, 24 and 26-5-17. Also letters from Tom Hardiman and M.
Afternoon Infantry in attack in open country.
August 3rd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade out in light rain. 2nd parade Infantry attack on
farm. Afternoon bath parade at 4pm and after tea 6pm went out on night
stunt on Outpost work. We went out on the Downs near Everleigh
passing on the way a pack of hounds out exercising. On the Downs were
several high mounds where in olden times the ancient Druids were buried.
It was the custom in the days of Pontius Pilus when any of them died to
embalm the bodies and at certain periods of the year to bury them and
erect the mounds which were put there 2500 years are still in good
condition (of course they are never touched up). We got back to camp at
12pm in drying rain. Had supper and turned in.
August 4th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Didn’t get up untill breakfast after which we went on a route march
at 9am through Colingbourne
Kingston, Colingbourne Ducis and
toward Chute then back to camp in light rain getting back to camp
at 12noon. Only having 5min spell for the march. Cards in tent - after tea
went down to Ludgershall. Pictures posted. Sent letter c to Maude.
Sunday August 5th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Rain stopped but ground muddy. Church Parade. Issued with boots to break
in for front and all clothes, hat etc exchanged. Afternoon in tent writing
to Doll, Tom, Mr Fadersen. Evening pictures.
August 6th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie usual. Breakfast at 6.30. fall in 6.45 on big Brigade stunt.
During the night my equipment stolen so I didn’t go on Parade to try
and find it. I spent most of time in YMCA writing to Mr and Mrs Maude, May
and Alma, Bill, Aunt S, Ev, Mother and Claude. Evening in tent.
August 7th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning fine weather. Both parades same
as yesterday. Afternoon borrowed
equipment and out Bayonet fighting and came back to our lines to prepare
for duty. Piquet at Colingbourne Kingston. A quiet time got into
bed at 10o’clock.
August 8th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Very foggy. Early morning parade as usual on parade ground. After
breakfast rain came on and delayed 2nd parade. We didn’t
go out untill 10.45 then went to Ludgershall. Our platoon acting on
defence of the Village. The rest of Coy and 65th attacking. All
the village people out to see it. After late dinner we had a lecture on
rough plans and sketches by scouts and plan reading. Very interesting.
After tea rain. In tent writing home and put in application for
London leave for Sat.
August 9th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Morning parade as usual. On parade
ground company drill. Weather showery. 2nd Parade Musketry
practice and free order, Bombing and Bayonet fighting. Dinner. Afternoon
Practicing Infantry attack in the open on Everleigh Downs. Got
caught in rain and got back to camp at 6pm. After tea raining wrote to Ev.
Lud P.C. and letter to Mack.
August 10th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Early Morning parade on Parade ground Company drill. Second Parade.
Bombing, Bayonet and extended order drill. Afternoon recaptured
Ludgershall. Same stunt as Wed morning only this time our Platoon
were acting as a reserve Coy. We were lying down all afternoon. After tea
we had to fall in at 9.30 and went out on night stunt. It was very dark.
We went out past where we had the last one at Everleigh and took a
high hill. Flares being used when we were charging. Got back to camp at
3am. Supper and bed.
August 11th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Got up at 8am breakfast and preparing to go on leave. Med examination etc.
caught 12.20 train from Ludgershall and arrived at Waterloo Station
at 3.25pm and went direct to Strand and arranged for accomodation at the
Aldwych YMCA. Had dinner and started on a sight seeing tour vsiting
some of the main thoroughfare. Trafalgar Square, Leicester Sq., Strand
embankment etc. Had tea and went to Strand theatre (Three weeks) getting
back to YMCA 11pm had supper and bed.
Sunday August 12th 1917 Aldwych
Got up at 8am. Breakfast at YMCA ( Porridge, eggs and Ham, Coffee, bread
and butter). this place is just the thing. Every attention shown to the
boys and so clean and cheap. A good bed being available for 9d and meals
at same cheap rate. On Sunday morning mate and I went for different bus
and train rides going to Euston, Regent Park,
Whitechapple (the coster quarter), King’s Cross and Strand,
Cheap side Trafalgar Sq, Leicester Sq, Rottrn Row, Hyde Park and Mall. The
last named are the Aristocratic parts but there isn’t the Style one
would expect to see there. At Trafalgar Sq stands Nelson’s Monument
a very high column with a big statue of Nelson on the top of it. There are
several of these monuments in different parts ie Cleopatra’s needle
on the embankment, Victoria Monument the Mall and at the other end of Mall
the Admiralty Arch and at Hyde Park corner Marble Arch. We seen all of
these in our travels on Sunday Morning. Afternoon went to the along
embankment as far as London Bridge and back to City, and Girl Guide (Young
Lady) took us in hand to show us around and went to zoo. Getting back to
Aldwych for Tea after which we
wandered around. Supper and bed.
August 13th 1917 Aldwych
I was up at 7am and after good breakfast went with lady who took me to
best places of interest. I should have returned to camp by train leaving
Waterloo at 9am but hadn’t seen principle places so over stayed my
leave. Arrived at Westminster Abbey at 9am. A Beautiful place with all the
splendid Monuments of famous People (as per Post Cards). In the East
Portion is the part for holding high service. Here are beautiful carvings
as in other parts of Chapel and banners are hung each bearing a crest and
the Lord or Knight always occupies the place thus donated at service, his
“Main” squire occupying the place directly above in gallery.
The chairs of Royalty, Thrones Reorgintions and State chairs are splendid
pieces of work and the decoration work in the part is beyond description
but can only term it most
beautiful and the work in the Jerusalem Chamber
is equal if not better than the others. The tombs and Monuments are also
splendid esprcially the tombs in Sanctuary and the Monument of Gen Wolfe,
as also is the statue of Gladstone. But the Poets corner is most Beautiful
the way the monuments are grouped etc. The P.C. Views show better than I
can describe the places. From here we went along the Embankment to
Waterloo Bridge where we caught tram for Tower Bridge and were fortunate
in seeing it work to allow a boat to pass under. We crossed and visited
London Tower Built by William the Conquerer. It covers 18 acres that is
inside the walls and the buildings look gloomy surrounded by a moat which
in olden times was always filled with water but is now dry and used as a
parade ground for the troops. Just opposite there’s a building with
broken out and front shattered by a bomb dropped by German
Airmen during the big raid about 3 weeks ago. There are many buildings all
over London the same and in one of the small wooden buildings where the
warders clean up etc are holes up to 4 inches where fragments of bombs
came through. So they got close enough to getting the Tower. The Bloody
Tower was the first part shown to us at being the scene of the murder of
Edward V, his brother Duke of York and Henry VI and it was here that Sir
Walter Raleigh was imprisoned. The ropes and windlass for raising the
massive Portcullis which is now replaced by a wooden one. From there we
went to the Jewel Tower where the Queen’s Jewels and regalia are on
show and a fine show it is the best in my opinion being the crown used in
coronation of Edward VII. It then contained 2818 diamonds 297 Pearls and
many other Jewels weighing 39oz 5dwt.
It has since been altered to allow
large oblong Diamond “Star of Africa” being inserted weighing
309 3/16 carats and for the new arrangement 2 saphires 56 Brilliant and 52
rose diamonds were used. It would take too long to describe all the
Crowns, Orbs, coronets, Sceptres, Maces, Baptismal font and various other
things on view and on leaving the Tower we came to the White Tower, which
was used as the Prison and Dungeons of which such a lot has been printed
and in this part of the Building is the Armoury showing the different
Armour worn at different times in the early wars of England. The Armour
worn by Henry VIII in his later years weighed 81 lbs and for horse 70 lbs.
Add the weight of the King and the horse had to carry approx 400 lbs or
about 3½ cwt. There is a big collection of armours from various
dates also the cannons, guns and pikes, 16ft lances, swords and everything
used in the
early wars and every instrument and weapon used in wars right up to the Boer war.
In the Beauchamp tower are the records of the prisoners dating from 1430.
Also the rack and Thumbscrew and other instruments of torture and in
seeing over this place one gets a creepy feeling. Although interesting,
from here we made our way to St Pauls the highest building in England and
all the beautiful work in architecture can be seen in this building. The
work on the ceilings and walls in Marble, Oak and gold and brass is
splendid. Also the Monuments along the side walls but in the Crypt where
all the Tombs are. It is something to be long remembered especially the
Tombs of Nelson and Duke of Wellington and others. Outside the Building
there were thousands of Pidgeons. We made our way to Strand where had
dinner. Afterwards going out to Hamstead for Afternoon returning
6pm. Had tea and went to Theatre (Three weeks) after which supper and Bed
YMCA. The people of London especially Girls do all they can to make
the time enjoyable for boys and go out of their way to show us around. It
is just as well the decent people do this as there are any amount of the
other class ever ready to stop our boys in most cases one can see disease
written all over their faces.
August 14th 1917 Aldwych
Got up at 7am. breakfast and done some shopping (P.C.) and caught 8.50
train to Andover getting back to camp at 11.30 or 24 hrs over
leave. On reporting back was put under open arrest which means not to
leave the lines. Didn’t go on any Parades.
August 15th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Turned out at 7am and appeared before G.C. and remanded to C.O. put on
Dinner time. Appeared before C.O. and sentenced to 2 days RW
and 6 days A.A. [and docked 8 days pay] afternoon usual parade Bombing Bayonet. Night writing in
August 16th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Revellie 6am. Parade Dr disentry. Put on S Duties. Detailed Sergeants
mess. Good meals. Night had to hand Pay books in.
August 17th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Rev usual and parade Doc and Dentist (fit). Was again innoculated ready
for overseas. I believe we all have to join our original Batt
37th 3rd division. Later dental Parade and
classified as fit for service. Busy writing.
August 18th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
No duty but were pottered about. Most of time writing and handing pay
books etc. Had to fall in Afternoon and were
detailed for inlying piquet
which is contrary to rules as when warned for draft we’re exempt
from duties like that.
Sunday August 19th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Church Parade and later on fall in to be checked and received orders about
returning our kits. Afternoon drew our overseas boots which were returned
to Q.M. after a weeks wear and returned all issue except 1 suit, change of
underwear, shaving materials which is to be carried in pack. Evening went
with Mac to Ludgershall for tea and Pictures.
August 20th 1917 Windmill Hill camp
No early Parade. After breakfast paraded Dentist finale exam and dismissed
10am. Had to fall in for Pay. Got tired of waiting and left. Were finally
medically examined. Fit. Had tea and put in the evening writing. Posted
letters to Doll and Bill.
August 21st 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Got up in time for breakfast. Shaved, etc and Packed our Packs and our
equipment together ready for leaving. Dinner. Had to fall in at 3pm for
Kit inspection and sign no. shortages. Dismissed at 4.45 told not to leave
the lines and hold ourselves in rediness to leave any time. After tea we
were told we wouild not be leaving tonight. Stayed in tent. Cards.
August 22nd 1917 Windmill Hill camp
Got up at 8am. Breakfast. Parade for another Kit inspection and once again
ready to leave. Taking advantage to post this now. We leave at 2pm.
W. G. Dahl
postcard to Doll
February 25th 1917
Posted from Sutton Manderville. No 1 Doll, Lin and P.C.
Fovent and Plymouth to Maude and Doll.
Received. No 1 and Bendigonians from Doll and M
February 28th 1917
Posted. Letters Sophia, Aunt S, Claude, Mick M. and No 2 to Doll.
March 5th 1917
Posted. No 3 to Doll, Bill and Claude S.M. card.
March 7th 1917
Received. No 3 from Doll.
March 6th 1917
Received No 5 from Doll and 2 Bendigonians
March 9th 1917
Posted. Tisbury P.C. to Ev, Mother. Letters to Tom B, Lin
and No 4 to Doll and booklet of Tisbury church.
March 10th 1917
Posted. Tisbury P.C. Mrs Fadvisen and P.C. Maude, May, Alma.
Fovant P.C. to Con Vip.
March 12th 1917
Posted. Card silk and letter to Mick M.
March 13th 1917
Posted. Tisbury P.C. and No 5 to Doll
postcard to Doll
March 20th 1917
Posted. No 6 and Forget me not card to Doll
March 22nd 1917
Posted. No 7 to Doll and Bill. Card silk to Lin.
March 25th 1917
Posted from Fovant Tisbury P.C. to Doll. Letter to Maude.
March 30th 1917
Posted. Letter No 8 and Silk card “With Love” to Doll
and letter to Mick M.
April 3rd 1917
Posted. Letter No 8 to Doll.
April 5th 1917
Received. Letters from Willie and Vera and No 5 from Doll.
postcard to Doll
April 4th 1917
Posted. Cards to Doll, Maude, May, Alma.
April 5th 1917
Posted. Fovant and Tis P.C. to Doll and P.C. to Lin,
Bill and J. Williams.
Received. No 6 from Doll.
April 8th 1917
Posted from Lark Hill No 9 to Doll and letter to Claude and P.C. to
Received. No 7 and 10 from Doll and P.C. from Ev.
April 12th 1917
Posted. Cards to Ev and Doll and letter to M.
April 15th 1917
Posted. Letter No 10 to Doll and letters and card to Aunt S, Sophia.
Received. No 9 from Doll.
April 16th 1917
Received. Letters No 8 from Doll, Maude, May and Claude.
April 18th 1917
Posted. No 11 to Doll. Maude and P.C. Will and Vera.
April 19th 1917
Posted. Cards to Mrs F., Maude, May, Alma and Silk Thinking of you
April 20th 1917
Posted. Cards to Mother and Claude
After leave Received. Letters from Ev, Maude, Alma and No 11 from Doll.
April 29th 1917
Posted from Windmill Hill P.C. and letter No 12 to Doll.
April 30th 1917
Posted. Salisbury P.C. (snow) to Doll, Will and Vera. Letter
May 2nd 1917
Posted. Salisbury L.C. to Mother and May. No 13 to Doll.
May 5th 1917
Received. Book from Sunday school. Letters from Frank, Bill
(£1) and R. McLeod, J. Williams
May 6th 1917
Posted to Bill, McLeod.
May 9th 1917
Posted. Letter to Evilin and Mick M.
May 10th 1917
Posted. Letter No 14 and snaps to Doll and P.C. of Southsea
to Will, Vera and Doll.
May 11th 1917
Posted. Salisbury L.C. to Maude
May 12th 1917
Posted P.C. to Mrs F., May, Alma and Portsmouth L.C. to
May 14th 1917
Posted. L.C. to Maude and Claude.
May 18th 1917
Received. Letters 13 and 14 from Doll and Photos.
Posted. No 14 to Doll.
May 20th 1917
Posted. Letter to Mick M.
May 21st 1917
Posted P.C. to Aunt S and Maude.
May 22nd 1917
Posted. P.C. Views of Westminster and London to Doll
and Table Centre.
May 23rd 1917
Posted. Letters to M.M. Sumbler and Salisbury P.C. to Lin
May 25th 1917
Received Letters No 16 and 17 from Doll and Sis Gephant.
May 27th 1917
Posted. Tidworth L.C. to Will and Vera and No 15 to Doll.
P.C’s to Tom Hardiman.
May 30th 1917
Posted. P.C’s to Bella and Ev.
May 31st 1917
Posted. P.C. Southsea to Maude and L.C. Andover to Bill.
June 1st 1917
Received. Parcel from Mother Claude.
June 3rd 1917
Posted. Letter No 16 to Doll
June 7th 1917
Posted. Appleshaw P.C. to Doll
June 8th 1917
Posted. Parcel containing badges, regalias, Handkerchiefs to
choldren. Appleshaw cards and Photos to Bill.
June 10th 1917
Posted. Devizes L.C. to Doll. Letter to M.S. Winchester.
June 14th 1917
Posted. Winchester book of views to Doll
June 16th 1917
Posted. Letters No 16 to Doll and Maude.
June 19th 1917
Received. Parcel from Doll.
Posted. Letter to M.Mc.
June 21st 1917
Posted. No 18 to Doll.
June 22nd 1917
Posted. P.C’s. to Will and Vera. Card (verse) to Doll. Snaps
Received. 2 Bendigonians.
June 23rd 1917
Received. Letter from Maude 29/4/17
June 24th 1917
Received. Letter No 18 from Doll 8/4/17
Posted. Letters to Mother and Claude.
June 28th 1917
Posted. Letter to Maude and cards to Mrs F. May and Alma.
June 30th 1917
Posted. Plymouth cards to Doll
July 1st 1917
Received. 3 Bendigonians and Table Talk.
July 3rd 1917
Received. 3 letters dated 17th, 23rd, and
30th/4/17 from Doll, 1 from Claude and P.C. from Ev
July 5th 1917
Posted. No 18 to Doll
July 8th 1917
Posted. Letter to Mother. M.
July 11th 1917
Received. Parcel from Doll and May.
July 13th 1917
Winchester cards to Doll and letter to Lin and M.S.
July 18th 1917
Received. Letter from Con Vap 16/4/17
Posted. Letter to Con.
July 19th 1917
Posted. Cards Romsey and night time London to Doll
July 22nd 1917
Posted. P.C’s London to Alma and May. London
and Plymouth to Maude.
July 24th 1917
Posted. Letter Mrs McIntosh.
July 27th 1917
Posted. Plymouth C’s to Claude and Mother.
Winchester C’s to Ev. Romsey and Plymouth
C’s to Bill.
July 28th 1917
Received. Two Bendigonians
July 30th 1917
Posted. Letter No 19 to Doll. J. Leaney and Salisbury C to
July 31st 1917
Received. Letter from Maude 28/5/17
August 2nd 1917
Received. Letters from Doll 20th, 24th,
26th/5/17. Letters from Tom Hardiman. M
August 5th 1917
Posted. Letter No 20 to Doll and P.C. Tom Har., Ludgershall
L.C. to Maude.
August 6th 1917
Posted. P.C’s to Mr and Mrs Maude, May and Alma.
Salisbury L.C. to Aunt S. and P.C’s to Bill, Ev and Claude.
Letters to Mother and Sophia.
August 8th 1917
Posted. No 21 to Doll and cards.
August 9th 1917
Posted. Ludgershall L.C. to Ev. Letter M.
August 15th 1917
Posted. Letter No 22 to Doll and Abbey and Tower P.C.
August 16th 1917
Posted. Letter to Lin and M.S.
August 17th 1917
Posted. P.C. of London to Claude, Maude and Mother.
August 18th 1917
Posted. P.C. London to Doll Will and Vera.
August 19th 1917
Posted. P.C. to Mr and Mrs Maude, May and Alma.
L.C. to Con. P.C. to Ev.
August 20th 1917
Posted. Letter to Doll No 23 and Bill.
August 21st 1917
Posted. Letter to H. Curnow (nigger).
Places of Interest in London
West of the House of Parliament. Erected during the reigns of Henry VII,
Edward I and Henry VIII and completed by the addition of the Western tower
in more recent times by Sir Christopher Wren. Style Early Gothic except
Henry VIII Chapel which is late Gothic - commenced in 1245. The Abbey is
416 ft in length. The Western Towers being 225 ft high. The Monuments to
Eng greatest men are to be found here. Among the most notable are Dr
Johnson, Shakespere, Gladstone, Dickens, Campbell John, Gay, Lord
Palmerston, Gen Malcolm, Gen Wolfe and Sir Robt Peel.
St. Pauls cathedral
Is Wren’s masterpiece built in 1710. Built entirely of Portland
resembles St Peters of Rome. The Western Façade is
flanked by two Bell towers. In the south one of which hangs “Great
Paul” the largest bell in England its weight is 17 tons. The immense
dome is the most imposing feature of the Cathedral. Around the Interior of
which runs the renowned whispering. gallery. there are some beautiful
works of art in here most notable being the Tomb of Nelson.
Tower of London
Stands at the Eastern end of City and dates back to William the Conquerer.
Has been used as a Fortress. a Palace and a prison and is now one of the
sights of London. It contains many objects of historical interest among
the Royal Jewels and the different sets of armour worn in the
early wars of England.
Runs from the Tower of London across the Thames to Rotherhithe.
Opened on June 30th 1894. The special feature is the two
Bascules which form the centre span which in the ordinary way form the
road for wheeled and foot traffic but are raised to allow the passage of
fountain at Trafalgar square
The Nelson Monument faces Parliament St, erected 1843, height 145 ft. the
Battles of Nile, Cape St Vincent, Copenhagen and Death of Nelson are
represented by 4
bas reliefs at the Base. The great bronze lions at each
corner were modeled by Sir R. Landseer and the cost of Nelson statue was
£28,000. Also in the square are statues of George IV, Sir Henry
Havelock, Sir Charles Napier and General Gordon.
Situated opposite Albert Hall, St Kensington erected by Queen Victoria and
her people to the memory of Albert Prince Consort as a tribute of their
gratitude for a life devoted to the public good at a cost of £120,000.
Standing on Victoria Embankment between Waterloo and Westminster bridges.
It originally Stood before the great temple of Heliopolous, is 68 ½
ft high and weighs 180 tons
and was brought from Egypt in 1878
The residence of H.M. the King. Situated West end of St James Park. The
national Monument to Queen Victoria stands in front of the main gates.
Between Kensington and Bayswater. Area 361 acres. Contains
an artificial lake “The Serpentine” used for bathing, rowing
Area 470 acres contains Artificial Lake and the Zoological gardens and on
the S.E. are the Botanical gardens.
Running under the Thames between
Blackwall and Grenwich
opened in 1897 at a cost of £150,000 length 200ft and diameter 23 ft.
Situated opp Bank of England. Contains some beautiful Frescoes by well
known artist and several statues. An equestrian statue of Duke of
Wellington occupies prominent position in front of building.
Bank of England
Situated in heart of City at one of busiest parts of London. Founded in
Westminster. A superb specimen of Gothic Architecture. Attached to
building is a clock Tower commonly known as Big Ben.
One of the oldest buildings in London
dating from 1097. Richard II rebuilt
it in its present form and in 1399 received his Christmas guests within
its walls numbering 10,000 per day. Dimensions of the great hall length
300 feet, width 70 ft, height 100 ft. A remarkable feature is the single
span wooden roof.
Hampton Court Palace
16th Century. About 11 miles out of London. Built by and
presented to Henry VIII by Cardinal Wolsey. The state appartments,
beautiful gardens, maze and celebrated grape vine (now about 150 years
old) tram or bus from Hammersmith.
Kew will appeal strongly to horticulturists. The gardens beautifull laid
out are no less attractive as Palm house and Museum.
Manchester Sq. W. contains the Wallace
collection of pictures, furniture,
Porcelain and Armour. Ought to interest a connoiseur.
S. Kensington. One of the largest concert halls in the world capable of
seating 10,000 people. Built 1867-71 as a Memorial to the Prince Consort.
The large organ in here has nearly 9000 pipes.
Marks the limit to the ingress of large ships up the Thames. At the north
end stands the Monument, a column 200 ft high and by ascending a circular
stairway 300 steps a good view of London can be obtained.
Full Diary from date of leaving Australia untill leaving England for
France in Aug 1917 already sent home and received there.
Having lost the one with accounts of doings up to Jan 1st 1918
am writing from memory so may not be accurate.
I left England from Southampton about the end of August [and was transferred back to the 37th Battalion]. It was
there I seen the sister boat to Luisatana [torpedoed two
years earlier], the Aquatana, a very big one being fully three
times as large as any I had seen before. The trip down gave us glimpse of
some very pretty places and we Anchored waiting for the night to cross
over. We were aboard the Paddle Boat La Margurita. Arrived at Havre
early on the morning of September and at about
9am with full packs etc. It
was very hot and seemed a long way about 5 miles we had to go.
Havre is a fairly big and busy place, but very dirty after England.
I’ve since been in Towns and Villages in France that would put many
pig stys in the shade for filth and now consider Havre a cleaner
place. We however didn’t see much of it as we took a back road. All
traffic in France is opposite to ours as instead of keeping to the left of
the road its to the right. We seen some novel sights however. Hawkers
carts drawn by dogs are common and fruit etc is very expensive. Oranges 3d
each then, now ½ France (5d). We had some spells on the roadside
and it was then we were pested with the dirty Kids cadging “Boolee
Beef”, “Biskee” and “Penee”. They are
champion cadgers and from
what I’ve seen of them since in every Town
or Village I’ve been through. I really believe it’s the first
words they learn. Another sight which caused amusement and evoked cheers
from our Boys happened at Harfleur. A French Man coming along the
street with a Lady on his arm stopped at what turned out to be a urinal
just a niche in the wall and with her still in his arm got to work. This
so amused the Boys they heartilly cheered him. It was so novel to us but
it is a common practice here. Another noticable thing was fine stamp of
horses working in the streets and we were told it is on account of
horseflesh being used for consumption. Only the best are kept for working.
We finally arrived at Aust. Inf. Base Dep where we went through the usual
routine of drawing blankets and medical and dental inspection etc. We
stayed about a week here having to march every day up the steep hill about
3 miles to the Bull ring where we went through a
course of training
including Bayonet fighting, Bombing, Gas drill and Jerks. We were well
catered for in the way of Picture shows, concert, reading and writing
rooms and canteens etc to put in the evenings. We left fully equiped for
front line. Blankets and ammunition added to our already big load and
entrained at Havre for a 20 hour train ride 36 of us in a cattle
truck. Passing through some fine agricultural country. The French people
cultivate the Land more extensively than any other Country I’ve been
in and their impliments are crude and primative not like Eng with their
motors and steam ploughs etc and the women old and young do their days
work in the fields. We arrived at Lumbre and from there went in
motor wagons to Blequin where we joined our Battalion. I went into
a Lewis gun section in A Coy and we put about 3 weeks there training for
hop over during our stay. Here we had fun trying to make ourselves
understood and understand the French people where we were billeted. I
shall never forget the first billet I
was in, the fowls were roosting
overhead and I thought how fortunate I was that cows don’t roost.
The houses in the Villages all have a big manure heap in the centre of the
yard and all sides slope to the centre and as there’s always water
there you can imagine the stench. The well from which drinking water is
drawn is usually 12 ft away from this and must get some drainage. While
back here we went one day to the coast between Calais and
Boulogne to a place called Wissant and indulged in Bathing
and watching the shipping of which there was plenty with destroyers for
convoys. We seen a Submarine U25 that had been drawn ashore about 3 months
previous and destroyed. We returned next day after a good time which was
all too short. We were next inspected by Sir Douglas Haigh that sterling
Soldier and General, and two days after moved out and nearer the lines. We
had 4 days march stopping each night in a Village the names of which
I‘ve forgotten and I developed some lovely blisters. The last
½ day I rode on a limber. We then had two days rest to
4th Oct stunt at Broonscinde Rgd Tinnebeck. I was
sent to Morbeck in reserve (The stunt was a great success with few
casualties). I met Mac here having left him in Eng and while here went in
to Hazebrouck twice, views of which I have sent home. This place
received considerable attention from Fritz Bombing planes and here I first
seen anti-aircraft guns in action. We left here on 4-10-17 and trained to
Poperinge and a few kilo’s march brought us to our camp. Mac,
Bradly and myself managed to get lost that night and found our cookers
early next morning.
view east across from Broodseinde ridge
After a couple of days here we moved up near the lines
and camped in dug outs and on the night of 11th moved up and
early on the 12th went over the top. Our objective was
Paschendaele but mud as well as shells, Machine gun fire and
snipers stopped us and it was perfect hell described in letters home. That
night I was carried out by stretcher bearers of the 40th Bat to
where we hopped over and I made my way out from there. Several times being
stuck in mud well above my knees.
[During late 1917 the Allies launched three separate attacks at Ypres in
Flanders. Though the objective of Passchendale was eventually reached, it
cost many lives. The first of these attacks involved the New Zealand and
3rd Australian Divisions. On October 15th they had been forced to retreat
in soft mud, and thousands were killed.]
However from dressing
station I got
motor ambulance to 3rd Div dressing station where I was put to
bed on stretcher [with pleurisy] and next day conveyed to C.C.S. at Poperinge per
Motor and sent from there to 29th General at St Omer
where I was well looked after and on being discharged from there sent to
No 7 Convalescent Dep at Boulogne where I stayed a fortnight going
one day into City to have a look around but was not impressed with it.
There are only two places of interest. I seen an old Cathedral a fine
building in olden times with a wall around. In closing a little City which
was I believe was the Boulogne of early days and a splendid
Monument erected in honour of Napoleon on the Coast where he was supposed
to have rallied his grand Army. This is in the form of a high column
resembling Nelson’s Monument at Trafalgar Sq. Visitors can reach the
platform near the top by means of a spiral stairway where on a clear day
the Cliffs of Dover can be seen. From there after a fortnight I was
sent to No 9 Con Camp at Ecault a cold bleak place on the Coast
where I stayed a week which
was quite long enough there and then went on
to Trouville a very pretty place the finest I had seen then or
since seen in France. The camp is on a high hill about 4 miles out from
the City and is reached by a light Railway which when loaded the small
engine puffs and grunts enough to strain every rivet in its construction
and reminds one of the miniture railway on view at the Fair at Easter
time. At the foot of the hill is the prettiest racecourse I’ve ever
seen, with splendid grand stands etc and being small reminds one if the
M.C.G. it is here the big race of France is run “Grand Prix”.
The front is the St Kilda of France with its places of amusement, bathing
boxes etc and splendid Pier Promenade, fine buildings etc. The Sporting
club take up a large area with numerous tennis courts, bowling greens etc
and of the Buildings I’ve never seen anything to compare or equal
the “Casino” a fashionable club patronized by the Heads of All
Nations in peace times. The City rises away from the sea front and is very
good views sent home). I was only a week in this place and in
City once and then sent onto Buchy - Monterollier where I
spent a very enjoyable time for two weeks. We had very little to do and
there was always something to put in the evenings at Concerts, Boxing
bouts, whist drives, dances etc. Spent Christmas day and the Winter there
and from then till New Year as by Diary which I copy now.
[An Australian referendum in
December again rejected conscription, despite censorship of opposition.]
January 1st 1918 Buchy
Cold Morning. Employed in Dining hall. Afternoon concert by Lena Ashwell
party. Evening Whist drive at Red X. Won sweep. Writing.
January 2nd 1918 Buchy
Not so cold morning. Only employed in Dining hut. Afternoon and evening
cards. Wrote to A. Mumford.
Sunday January 4th 1918 Buchy
Cold. Sleeping afternoon. Night Whist night.
January 5th 1918 Buchy
Thawing. Afternoon football good game. Night cards and writing.
January 6th 1918 Buchy
Freezing hard - around fire all day. Sunday.
January 7th 1918 Buchy
Cold but warmed during day. Afternoon raining received and answered
letters from Doll. Paid 20 F. Night Red X draughts and Billiards with
January 8th 1918 Buchy
Very cold. Heavy fall of snow. Writing and bath night. Red X Billiards and
January 9th 1918 Buchy
Freezing during night. Cold. Classified B and 5 days medicine. Night wrote
January 10th 1918 Buchy
Warmer later raining. Afternoon cards in hut. Night concert by camp Party
January 11th 1918 Buchy
Rain all day. H. Joyne left early morning. Night Boxing tourney. Chummed
up with Wally Wilson (R.S.).
January 12th 1918 Buchy
Cold and snow (new hands in dining hall). Evening Concert at Red X.
Received parcel from Prahan - Scarf, Sox, Balaclava etc.
Sunday January 13th 1918 Buchy
Raining all day and night heavy. Cards in hut.
postcard to Doll
January 14th 1918 Buchy
Cloudy, mild. Afternoon sewing and cards in hut. Writing to Doll (silk).
Night Concert good.
January 15th 1918 Buchy
Rained all night. Afternoon in hut cards. Night writing and received
letter from N. Joyne (Base)
January 16th 1918 Buchy
Raining. Afternoon and night writing.
January 17th 1918 Buchy
Cloudy. Cards in hut “Poker”. Night Concert by Camp Concert
party. New talent good.
January 18th 1918 Buchy
Cloudy. Afternoon Lena Ashwell party “Jock on roof”. Evening
writing Toyne 54 Seige Baby.
January 19th 1918 Buchy
Cloudy. Poker in hut.
Sunday January 20th 1918 Buchy
Cloudy. Sleeping all day.
January 21st 1918 Buchy
Cloudy and rain. Parcel (Xmas cake). Writing Ev. Pay day. Night What
happened to Jones Camp Party.
postcard to Doll
January 22nd 1918 Buchy
Fine. Paraded Dr (ingrowing toenail) painted with Iodine. Washing and
writing home. Cards in hut.
January 23rd 1918 Buchy
Raining. Afternoon Classified B. evening Red X games and writing. Received
sox from Doll.
January 24th 1918 Buchy
Cloudy “Poker”. Night concert camp party.
January 25th 1918 Buchy
Fine “Poker”. Night Anniversary of Burns concert. YMCA wrote
home cards to Children.
January 26th 1918 Buchy
Very cold. Around fire all day and evening.
January 28th 1918 Buchy
Fine. Bath and cards. Night concert not so good as usual.
January 29th 1918 Buchy
Fine. Afternoon “Poker”. Night concert and Freezing.
January 30th 1918 Buchy
Fine and colder. Afternoon parade. Night Whist 152 win 160.
January 31st 1918 Buchy
Nice day. Classification Dr. Recommended for board. Received two reg
letters 55 and 57 from Doll. Evening and letters from Home and Toyne
February 1st 1918 Buchy
Cold. Warned and left for Base at 11am arrived at Harfleur 5pm. Met
Blue Agar at Dencrauxt YMCA.
February 2nd 1918 Base Havre
Not so cold. Revellie 6.30. Morning Dr inspection. Shortages and
exchanges. Afternoon dental. Evening pictures and after a concert at Y M.
During afternoon lodged enquiries concerning Les Bailey and M. Mumford.
Sunday February 3rd 1918 Base Havre
Sunday. Cold. No parade. Big draft went out. Writing.
postcard to Vera
Mild. On fatigue pumping water. Dinner time told off guard. Drew
equipment and rifle. Concert at Sal hut. Left ½ time. Supper at
canteen with Blue Agart.
February 6th 1918 Base Havre
Left camp at 7.30 marched to 39th General 6 mile out guarding
Fritz compound (V.D.). Raining and cold during night
February 7th 1918 Base Havre
Relieved at 10am. Back to camp at 1pm. Afternoon received parcel from
Mother. Blue left with draft.
February 8th 1918 Base Havre
Raining. Warned for ¼ guard drill. Draft came in from Blighty. Met
L. Arthur. Mounted guard (clink) at 3.30pm. Cold during night.
February 9th 1918 Base Havre
Cold and rain. Relieved 3.30. Dem on draft. Writing.
Sunday February 10th 1918 Base Havre
No parade. Bath. Warned for 39th guard. Afternoon escort draft
to Havre, free at 3.30. photo taken - visited Rue de Gallay. Women
naked. Had tea in town. Waitresses depend on tips for wages. Back at
February 11th 1918 Base Havre
Left camp 8am. Mounted guard 10. 1st relieve.
February 12th 1918 Base Havre
Cold. Returned to camp 1pm. Sleeping afternoon. Evening pictures poor
program and supper at YMCA.
February 13th 1918 Base Havre
Cloudy and light rain. Mounted ¼ guard (clink).
February 14th 1918 Base Havre
Cloudy. Relieved 3.30. Pictures all war films. Riot
February 15th 1918 Base Havre
Fatigue in dining hall. Afternoon Poker. Evening sewing and pictures.
Freezing. Warned for 39th guard
February 16th 1918 Base Havre
Very cold. Mounted at 39th at 10pm.
Sunday February 17th 1918 Base Havre
Returned to camp 1pm. “Poker” and Pictures.
February 18th 1918 Base havre
Cold but fine. Digging fatigue. Warned for draft. Afternoon full marching
February 19th 1918 Base Havre
Parade 8am marching orders. Inspection and moved off for Havre train. Left
at 2pm arrived at Buchy about 7.15pm. Stayed hour for tea. Slept
rest of journey. Arrived Hazebrouck 8am.
February 20th 1918 Hazebrouck
Had breakfast and wash and arrived Castrea at 10am. Marched about 1
mile to reinforcement camp. Afternoon gas parade. Met F. White. Raining.
February 21st 1918 Caëstre camp
G fatigue in cookhouse. Afternoon Dr inspect (chronic bronchitis). Told
try to carry on.
February 22nd 1918 Caëstre camp
Cookhouse. Parade full marching order 10am. Afternoon cookhouse. Evening
Castrea quiet. Up all night dysentry
February 23rd 1918 Caëstre camp
Left in motor transports at 10. Went through [Fletre?] and
Bailieule to [Ploegstreet]. Arrived at Red Lodge 3pm. In dugout in
side of hill. With Bradley up most of night dysentry. Wrote to W. Wilson.
catacombs at Ploegsteert
Sunday February 24th 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Got up 10am, detailed for tunnelling at Catacombs.
February 25th 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Afternoon shift and started work on P.C. Sleeping in
February 26th 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Fine. Got up 12. Writing Toyne and home. Worked 4 till 7.30. Left
(shelling). Received papers from home and Bill
February 27th 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Breakfast 7.30, work 8. Fine day. Received parcel Aust. Pat society re
Miss K. Mulcahy sister of Sgt Mal 37th.
February 28th 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Fine day. Shift carrying. Later snowing. Wrote Con, Ev.
March 1st 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Cold and rain. Day shift. Received mail home Bill, Maj, Maude, Alma Ev.
March 2nd 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Very cold wind. Afternoon snowing. Day on C.P. Received letters Con. Big
raid tonight. Talk of moving tomorrow Wrote Home and Bill.
Sunday March 3rd 1918 Catacombs Ploegsteert
Cold. Worked till 2pm. Forgotten. Picked up in hurry rest of party gone.
Had to walk to Canteen Corner 4 miles. Met Mac now Drum Major of Band. Got
letters from Doll and Maude refrees from Con.
March 4th 1918 Canteen Corner
Left 10am marched to Steenweck entrained. Reached Lumbre 5pm
and marched to Billets at Colomby 8 Kilo, 3 hours. Raining all time
and straight to bed.
March 5th 1918 Coulomby
Got up 8. General clean up, shortages etc. afternoon parade ½ hour
and dismissed. Went short walk with Cec - sewing. Received letters Claude
and W. Wilson R.S.
March 6th 1918 Coulomby
Revellie 6.30. Parade 8.45 to 10.30 dismissed to scrub
equipment and clean
up. Afternoon free walked to Blequin (8 Kilos) to see old billet.
Well received got back at 9.30 tired (lost our way).
March 7th 1918 Coulomby
Parade 8.30 till 12.30 - 2 till 4.30. Mostly games. Evening writing -
March 8th 1918 Coulomby
Parades usual. Fine day. Evening reading and yarn Mac.
March 9th 1918 Coulomby
Morning Parade Musketry till 11. Washing. Afternoon Football match and
Cricket practice. Letter Toyne
Sunday March 10th 1918 Coulomby
Church Parade and 5 mile march. Afternoon cards.
March 11th 1918 Coulomby
Fine day warm. Bath parade and games evening. Cricket. Night with Mac.
Received 2 Bendigonians
March 12th 1918 Coulomby
Morning Parade Machine gun and Bombing. Afternoon Jerks and relay run.
Received Parcel Tom and Bella and Bendigonians
March 13th 1918 Coulomby
Morning Musketry and Lewis gun. Afternoon games. Evening writing Maude.
Received Times. Warm weather.
March 14th 1918 Coulomby
Morning Musketry and Rifle grenades. Afternoon games. Evening writing
home. Raining. Cec went on leave.
March 15th 1918 Coulomby
Cold. Fine. Bath parade. Afternoon Jerks and games then Officers Mess till
8pm. Received 45 letters and 2 papers.
March 16th 1918 Coulomby
Day devoted to Battn sports. Good program and keenly contested events.
Mule race ¼ mile time 20 min record. Prize for Character costume
won by book-maker. Very good. C. Coy won aggregate. A. Coy second.
Sunday March 17th 1918 Coulomby
Church parade and route march. Afternoon sun bath. Nice warm day. Writing.
March 18th 1918 Coulomby
Early parade. March 4 kilo to gas demonstration of projectile attack now
used. Fine hot day.
March 19th 1918 Coulomby
Wet. Marched to Semelier[?] 10 kilos to compete in hop over. Made a
farce of it and back wet through and tired
March 20th 1918 Coulomby
Breakfast in bed. Wet morning. No parade. Afternoon marched 2 kilos to
40th Parade ground and defeated them in football. Writing and
March 21st 1918 Coulomby
Fine day. Morning bath. Afternoon football team V rest. Writing.
[The German operation 'Michael' began this day, with their divisions
regaining the Somme battlefields that had seen the costly struggle of
1916, and overrunning the 'Red Line'.]
March 22nd 1918 Coulomby
Morning warned to prepare to move out. Afternoon full marching order and
inspection of kits. Cards
March 23rd 1918 Coulomby
Revellie 4am. Moved out 5 and rested outside Lumbre till 12.30.
Train arrangements bungled very bad. Then set out for Wizernes 10K
arrived 3pm. Entrained 5.30pm reached Blendeux[?] and marched to the
Wardreux [?] 3K. got there 9pm (billets). Dog tired. Bed.
Sunday March 24th 1918 Wardrecques
Very warm. Morning swimming in Canal. Afternoon cards (Poker).
March 25th 1918 Wardrecques
Morning cleaning ammunition, rifles, etc. afternoon Parades lecture and
distribution of prizes won at sports Sleeping and left 9pm reached St Omer
March 26th 1918 Mondicourt
After 12 hours travelling reached Mondicourt where we met Tommies
(wind up) and French Civilians getting back. Heard Fritz broke through and
was about 5 Kilos away. Dumped packs and into fighting order. Scouts sent
out. Resumed packs and marched to Luchelles [Lucheux?] 15K. detailed for out
post 2K further on. Had 1 hours sleep - some fun with a frog.
March 27th 1918 Lucheux
6am Marched after main body to Carson [?]. Halt for breakfast and motor
bussed to Franvillers. Dinner. Marched to Heiley. Went in
reserve (A Coy). On march of morning met W. Bassett with tunnellers. Last
of Lincons cleared out burning everything. We managed to salvage a supply
of rations. The 40th went over 4pm. Cut up a treat. Later we
moved nearer where front line established
37th Battalion headquarters at Treux
March 28th 1918 lines near Treux
Stand too. Quiet. Back to dugout. Afternoon Burring party. Night carrying
rations to front lines. Raining a treat. Advanced a bit.
Good Friday March 29th 1918 lines near Treux
Night under cover of a Machine gun and Rifle grenade barrage. Took a wood
in front of 40th trenches. ( No prisoners ). Went through and
covered 40th while
they dug trench. Fritz opened out with
Machine gun but over head into Wood. Got back at 1pm. Cocoa. Bed.
March 30th 1918 lines near Treux
Breakfast 5am back to bed till 10. Got up cleaned rifle etc. Raining all
day no shelter. Fritz shelling, few casualties. Received Bendigonians and
moved to front at midnight loaded with ammunition 450 each.
Easter Sunday March 31st 1918 lines near Treux
Fritz came over seven waves without a Barrage. Cut up a treat. Clear day.
Relieved and went to billets 10.30pm
April 1st 1918 lines near Treux
Still in front line but comfortable in a Village named Treux (too
true). Carried rations and after tea detailed for Patrol no man’s
land. Last shift 2am untill daylight.
April 2nd 1918 lines near Treux
Came off Patrol. Breakfast. Living on Poultry and Pork Afternoon wrote to
Home, Claude, Lin, Mrs F. Again on Patrol. Wind up with dead Fritz. Some
[Near disaster led to an Anglo-French conference which took place in
Doullens near Amiens between the French President and Prime Minister, the
British War Minister, and the chiefs of staff. This led to Field Marshall
Foch being given a coordinating role for the Allied armies from April the
April 3rd 1918 lines near Treux
Came in at daylight. Cloudy. Got ready to move. Plucking fowls all day.
Moved out at 8pm to reserve line trenches loaded as usual and poultry
extra. Raining all night. No shelter. Ground too sandy
April 4th 1918 lines near Treux
Raining. Erected a covering over part of trench. Sniper busy but
unsuccessful. A few shells. Looking over in turns all night. [On this day, a counter-attack by the Australian Corps
prevented Amiens being taken, with the German army held at
Villers-Bretonneux and Dernancourt. Operation Michael was discontinued.
Both sides had lost around 250 thousand wounded or killed.]
April 5th 1918 lines near Treux
Raining. Shelled during day few casualties. Letters from Bendigo, Con and
Mrs Mac. Cec back off leave. Night out wiring in front of trenches.
April 6th 1918 lines near Treux
Fine day. Nothing unusual. Heard Truex shelled and destroyed. 6pm
good fight in air between 4 enemy and 3 our planes one of which driven
down 20 yds behind our lines then heavy shelling. Left 8.30 for front
lines. Relieved 40th. Knee deep in water all night.
dugouts at Marett wood
Sunday April 7th 1918 lines near Treux
Cleared up during day. Got outer clothes dry. Quiet.
April 8th 1918 lines near Treux
Fine. Bailed trench and dug in. Relieved at 9.30pm. Went back to reserve,
sleep in dugouts. Raining leaked through.
April 9th 1918 lines near Treux
Slept till dinner time. Laid about afternoon. Dried our clothes, clean
sox. Left again 9.30pm front line. One shift on a listening post and two
looking over during night. Came back to reserve at Ribermont.
April 10th 1918 Ribermont
Slept till dinner time. Afternoon dried clothes and changed underwear.
Afternoon salvaging German Plane brought down in Village. Spent[?]
Night out digging trenches. Feeling crook. Bed 12.30.
April 11th Cloudy 1918 Ribermont
Got up at 10 reported sick marked Bronchitis and sent per motor back to
XII Aust. field Ambulance at Heiley and from there to
at Pequiney near Ameins then on to
58th C.C.S. at Longpree. Got there at 9pm (bed). On the
way down coming through Corbie saw one of Aussie planes brought
down by enemy.
April 12th 1918 Longpré
Fine day. Again examined by M.O. improving. Fritz over bombing
Ameins during night. Write Claude, M. Wilson. Not overfed here.
April 13th 1918 Longpré
Early morning misty cleared later. Left at 1pm train for Rouen.
Arrived 12.30pm. Taken by motor to No 3 Gen hospital established in big
church. Bath and bed.
Sunday April 14th 1918 Rouen
Again examined by M.O. Card taken away. Put on general diet
Saint David hospital ship
April 15th 1918 Rouen
Up early and left at 6am and on board St David at 7. Arrived Havre
at 2.45 and waited till night to cross over.
April 16th 1918 Southampton
Arrived Southampton early morning but didn’t get off boat
till 4pm then layed on stretcher. On Platform 1 ½ hours. Entrained
at 6pm and arrived at Birmingham 12. Motor seven miles. Bath and
supper. Very cold. Snowing. No 1 Southern General Monyhull. Sect
Block E. [admitted with severe bronchitis]
April 17th 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Woke at 6. Quiet day. Plenty food four meals.
April 18th 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Wash 4am. Fine day writing
April 19th 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Woke up 6am. Very cold hard frost fine and later snowing. Wrote to Bill,
Con. Good food.
April 20th 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
6am. Fine day. Usual menu Porridge, Egg, bread - Meat and Veg Pudding
- Bread and Jam - Soup. Writing and cards in bed.
Sunday April 21st 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Cold snowing all day. Reading and writing. Cards.
April 22nd 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Got up afternoon for 2 hours. Fine day. Marked for Convalescent. Writing.
April 23rd 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Got up at 6am. Fine. Making beds and helping in ward. Afternoon went to
Birmingham. Dirty and smoky didn’t have time to look around.
Had to ride six miles. Tram free each way and had to be back at 6.30. Very
nice along road.
[Meanwhile Villers-Bretonneux was again taken from the British amid a haze
of mustard gas.]
April 24th 1918 Monyhull Birmingham
Up at 6am and drew clothes etc [discharged on furlough]. Left Birmingham 11.25 arrived
Euston 2.30 then by tube and motor to H.Q. Got away 5.45 on
Furlough. Tea YMCA Aldwych. Pictures and supper.
April 25th 1918 Aldwych
Got up at 7. Fine day. Visited Masonic hall where I seen a splendid
collection of old and modern jewels and regalia dating from 1774. The
Regalia of King 1911 being splendid and sword of gold. Afternoon went to
and Rotton Row till 4pm then visited City of London
National Guards lodges. Well received and later went 2nd house.
Holbun Empire vaudeville.
[Back in France, Villers-Bretonneux was retaken by the Australian 5th
division. There were 15 thousand casualties.]
April 26th 1918 Aldwych
Cloudy. Slept till 8. Went to Sth Kensington and ride around
London. Afternoon Hampton Crt. Night Oxford (Bairnsfather
Better ‘Clo). Bed 12pm turned out for 1 ½ hours Air raid
warning. Went to Tube station. Crowds there in all style of dress. Great
excitement till all clear
April 27th 1918 Aldwych
Raining, later fine. Early morning Convent garden market busy scene.
Afternoon Bus ride to Farnborough. A very pretty place. Went
through East End (low life) slums of London. Night Vaudeville at
Sunday April 28th 1918 Aldwych
Up early and went to Petticoat lane, Houndsditch. Afternoon met
Milne 37th. Went to Regents Park. Evening concert at
Aldwych YMCA and caught express (Flying Scotchman) 10.30 for
April 29th 1918 Edinburgh
Arrived 8am and went straight to League Club, booked up room and visited
Mrs Wilson. Afternoon tram ride around City then home to Jock McGregor.
Evening Pictures with them and M. Watt.
April 30th 1918 Edinburgh
Up at 7.30. Bath and morning visited the Castle a fine old historic
building dating back to It stands on a high rock, the walls being built
right on the edge of the sheer side and looks like a construction of some
4000 ft above surrounding Country. There are many interesting sights
inside and resembles the Tower of London. Afternoon tram ride about City.
Night Pictures Jock, wife and children. M. Watts.
May 1st 1918 Edinburgh
Morning visited Holyrood Palace the former home of Queen Mary of Scotts.
Built at foot of high steep hill known as Arthur’s Seat. Parts of it
are now ruins but one part open to visitors are on view. The original
furnishings of Queen Mary and King Charles Bedrooms, Audience Chamber,
reception hall and Banqueting hall and Bedroom of Lord Darnley. There are
many relics of olden times to be seen there. In the Royal Chapel Now Ruins
are the Tombs of many Scotch Nobles. The grounds surrounding the Palace
are well laid out and cared for. Have already sent detailed books of this
and other Castle homes also views. Afternoon
went out to Portebello
a pretty suburb but of no historical interest. Came back to Carlton
hill at end of Princess St and seen Observatory, Nelson National and
Burns Monuments the latter a fine piece of work. Night theatre (damaged
May 2nd 1918 Edinburgh
Fine. Visited St Giles Cathedral, Museum and Parliament Hall and Law
Courts. Afternoon Royal Scottish Academy and Art Gallery. Tea at Mrs
Thompson’s and Night visited Edinburgh St Andrews Lodge. Well
received and had a splendid time.
May 3rd 1918 Edinburgh
Fine. Went to Forth bridge about two mile motor ride. A triumph of
engineering art. This took seven years to complete its massive girders
being firmly rivetted. It stands feet above water level, the central span
¾ mile. Views and details sent home. From the Bridge as far as we
could see there were ships of the fleet. A grand sight. Among them being
Queen Elizabeth and our own HMS Australia. Had dinner out there and on way
back visited Craigmiller Castle (ruins).
Another residence of former Scotch Royalty.
card to family
May 4th 1918 Edinburgh
Raining. Stayed home writing all morning at Club. Ramsay Lodge the home of
Allen Ramsey Poet. Afternoon called on Mrs Wilson still no definate news
of her Son.
Saturday May 5th 1918 Edinburgh
Fine. Morning around City. Afternoon Zoo. Evening raining visited Mr and
Sunday May 6th 1918 Edinburgh
Fine. Went to Roslyn Chapel. Afternoon Craigmiller Castle through Meadow
Braid hill and Golf links. Evening Theatre.
May 7th 1918 Edinburgh
Fine. Morning went to top of Arthur’s seat. Splendid view. Afternoon
went through the infirmary. Later pictures with Jock Wife and Children and
they came to station. Caught 9.30 express to London
I place as the second best City I’ve ever seen. The people are
sociable and generous and the City is hilly and so steep that at places it
seems a two storied City particularly about the station which is in a deep
Valley which is bridges at three points giving the Station the appearance
of an underground.
The Park is a very pretty one though small and at the
foot of the Castle rock in the Valley. Princess St runs alongside and is
said to be the finest in the Empire straight and wide with very
fine gardens laid out on one side while the other is all fine shops and
Buildings. The best being the Caledonian station and London and N.W.Hotel.
the Art Gallery is in this St and the crowning piece of work is the Sir
Walter Scott Monument standing 180 ft high. The City is divided by the
Bridges Old and New. In the Old City are some very old sights and one St
in particular much prized by the people on account of it containing some
of the houses of Olden time Scotch celebrities is there. Known as the
Royal mile it extends from Holyrood Palace to the Castle and is any thing
but majestic being narrow, dirty looking and broken down. A very pretty
spot is Deans bridge over a very deep There is a morbid legend connected
with this place refering to a sailor throwing himself over on account of a
love affair and
it is said the place has a fascination for anyone
contemplating suicide and to look over inspires one to jump. This has
become so general that the authorities have had the walls built higher and
at one time placed a guard each end of bridge. However Edinburgh is
a fine City and an enjoyable time I spent there.
May 8th 1918 Aldwych
Arrived at Kings Cross at 7.30 and breakfast at Aldwych. Reported
at H.Q. at 11pm and entrained at Waterloo for Dinton at 1pm. Went
on to Fovant 4.20 marched to Hurdcott. Had tea. Dr exam (s
a) [bronchitis] then bed.
May 9th 1918 Hurdcott
Morning dental Parade and classification B1 A2 Innoculated. No duty 48 hrs.
May 10th 1918 Hurdcott
All day in hut writing and cards. Evening met Jim Gates recovering from
wounds received in Feb raid. To be decorated M.M. on 24th.
May 11th 1918 Hurdcott
Parades dentist to have teeth drawn. Writing and cards all day. Evening
YMCA met J. Day and Jack Ennis wounded on 4th Oct and marked
C.3 (in Sgt Mess)
Sunday May 12th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Church parade. Cards and writing.
May 13th 1918 Hurdcott
Raining. Jerks in hut. Afternoon fatigue till 3 to prepare to mount fire
piquet 6. Evening pictures in YM. Free.
May 14th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Classification and guard drill till 11.30. afternoon guard drill 3
mounted at 5.30. Posted in guard room. Paid 13/-.
May 15th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine day. Guard relieved 5.30. Bed early.
May 16th 1918 Hurdcott
Clothing parade full issue. Digging till 3. Writing. Bed early.
May 17th 1918 Hurdcott
Morning on fatigue cleaning hut. Afternoon detailed Canteen. Piquet 7pm
till 9pm. Wrote Bendigo and Mac. Met “Snow” Jenkins
May 18th 1918 Hurdcott
Morning muster parade (short a ). Put on Isolation diptheria. Sports at
Sunday May 19th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. In hut all day writing and cards.
May 20th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. In hut all day. Letters to Condy, Mac, Doll
May 21st 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. In hut all day. Letters to E. Bartell and J. Ianson.
May 22nd 1918 Hurdcott
Fine during night. Big air raid over East Kent. 161 Casualties 4
Bothas down and account praising Australians for their fighting at
Villiers Bretneux. Wrote Mrs Wilson.
May 23rd 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Isolation lifted. Changed blankets and full issue. Afternoon cleaned
and fumigated hut and cards. Night pictures. Good show 3d.
May 24th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Classified same. Route march.
May 25th 1918 Hurdcott
Warm morning. Short march. Afternoon Sleeping. Pictures and then Concert
YM. Met P. Style 37th.
Sunday May 26th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Warned for Piquet P.C. Mounted 8.30pm.
May 27th 1918 Hurdcott
Relieved 8am Warm. Sleeping all morning. Big draft left for
Weymouth for Australia. Afternoon March through Barford.
May 28th 1918 Hurdcott
Jerks all morning. Classified B3. Evening writing and received Dolls, Con,
May 29th 1918 Hurdcott
Morning digging fatigue. Afternoon Cricket. Top score and in form. Paid
May 30th 1918 Hurdcott
Warm. Warned P.C. Piquet. Mounted 5.30 got off odd man. Cricket meeting
elected on committee. Cards and bed.
May 31st 1918 Hurdcott
Fine hot. Morning off. Route march nearly to Fovant. Evening cricket and
pick team to play 9th T.B. at Fovant.
June 1st 1918 Hurdcott
Morning parade short arm. YM. Fatigue cigarettes, tea and cake. Afternoon
[Command of the Australian Infantry Forces was transferred to
Lieutenant-General John Monash.]
Sunday June 2nd 1918 Hurdcott
Church Parade. Afternoon writing. Fine.
June 3rd 1918 Hurdcott
Morning Jerks. Afternoon off. Mounted P.C. Piquet. Received batch of Jan
June 4th 1918 Hurdcott
Morning off writing. Classified same. Cricket and pictures.
June 5th 1918 Hurdcott
Morning Jerks schemed off. Cricket match A&B v C&D. lost by 12 runs. LBW
June 6th 1918 Hurdcott
Hot. Digging. Schemed off. Afternoon missed writing letters. Sleeping open
June 7th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Escort duty orderly room. Raining. Jerks in rifle range shed. Cards
June 8th 1918 Hurdcott
Short A and fatigue. Afternoon depot sports. Some good running and boxing.
Night Poker. Received another mail.
Sunday June 9th 1918 Hurdcott
Raining. Missed parade. Writing, washing.
June 10th 1918 Hurdcott
Raining. Missed parade. Both. Cards and writing.
June 11th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Classified A3 available for draft. Off afternoon sleeping. Night
cards and writing.
June 12th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Missed morning. Afternoon cricket v A.S.C. Won easily 59 and keeping
well warned for draft.
June 13th 1918 Hurdcott
Fine. Clothing parade. Afternoon S.M.6. Night Concert and pictures good.
June 14th 1918 Hurdcott
Dull. Handed in extras. Left 11am marched to Wilton and entrained.
Reached Warminster at 1.20 reached Sandhill Camp [Longbridge Deverill] C.T.B. at
2.40. After tea fatigue carrying forms to theatre. Poor show.
June 15th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Reveillie 6. Parade 8.15am. Fatigue cleaning hut. Aftternoon Canteen
writing. Evening met H. Olsen and J. Gates. Concert at YMCA.
Sunday June 16th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Handed in extra clothing and issued with equipment etc. Mounted guard 2pm
June 17th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Relieved guard 4pm. Night pictures and Sal Army.
June 18th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Morning march about 3 miles. Bathing parade at a fine lake (Longleaf
Park). A very pretty place. The park surrounds a very fine old mansion
Longleaf House, a former Squire residence. Afternoon Medical and dental
parades. Evening lecture by Mr Norwood S.A. (dry). Raining.
June 19th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Dull. Marking at Butts and on coming in detailed for Officer’s Mess.
Good food and five meals a day. Finished 7.30. Supper 9.30. Bed.
June 20th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Light rain. Got up 8. Easy day. Met Art Hocking barber in camp. Received
Reg letter from Doll Eva and Cec. Concert YM. No good. Home early.
June 21st 1918 Sandhill Camp
Raining. Usual day. Afternoon muster parade for M.O. lecture. Night
pictures. Letters from Mac and Cec (near Ameins).
June 22nd 1918 Sandhill Camp
Fine. Usual day. Evening good concert at YMCA. 3rd Brigade Party
Sunday June 23rd 1918 Sandhill Camp
Breakfast hour later. Washing and writing.
June 24th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Parade and transfer to B coy and went through gas. Applied for leave. Met
Brown and went to lecture at YM, A Frenchman’s impression of
England. Very good.
June 25th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Fine. Usual day. Mate on 4 day leave. Paid.
June 26th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Fine. Usual day. Washing. Night pictures good.
June 27th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Fine. New chef and staff. Writing and pictures.
June 28th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Cloudy. Mate back. Lost money belt 17/6 in coin.
June 29th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Fine. Parade. Transfer to C Coy. Leave refused. Letter Watt. Afternoon
went to Warminster. Full of harlots. Got news and home for tea.
Concert later supper and send off in Mess. Big night.
Sunday June 30th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Usual day (in scullery). New hands take over. Afternoon writing and
getting things together.
July 1st 1918 Sandhill Camp
Parade with draft Coy. Swill fatigue all day. Night Concert by […]
Sir Barnet. Party good.
July 2nd 1918 Sandhill Camp
Morning march to Longleat. Bathing and boating. Afternoon live bomb
practice. Night pictures.
July 3rd 1918 Sandhill Camp
Went to rifle range. No musketry came back to parade ground, bayonet and
gas drill. Afternoon answered roll call and ducked. Received letter from
Mrs Wilson no news. Night lecture around the World. Very interesting
especially New York (details sent home).
July 4th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Morning usual games, Jerks and Bayonet drill. Afternoon sports at
Sutton Vinney to celebrate Yanks day. Big day in London. Big
push near Ameins. Good work by Yanks and Aussies.
July 5th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Warm. Guard drill all morning. Afternoon parade for O.C. inspection. Boots
have disc Etc. Mounted guard Bgd H.Q. at 4pm. Very cold. H. Olsen left for
Machine gun school at Grant.
July 6th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Warm day. Relieved 2pm. Writing and Concert YM. Received mail from home.
Sunday July 7th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Warm. Missed parade. Writing and meals at Officers Mess
July 8th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Usual games and Jerks. Afternoon Kit inspection. Paid 1 £. Pictures.
July 9th 1918 Sandhill Camp
Cold morning missed bath parade. Afternoon off. Raining. Fall in 4pm moved
off at 8.20 entrained and left Warminster at 11pm. Travelled all
night. Train crowded
July 10th 1918 Folkestone
Arrived at Shorncliff at 5am and marched about 1 ½ miles to
Folkstone. A very fine place with fine residential buildings. A big
block taken over by war department and used as a rest camp. We had
breakfast and rested and embarked at 10.15. arrived at Boulogne at
11.30 and marched up a very steep hill to camp. Sleeping all afternoon.
After tea went into Boulogne but away from the Beach. It was dirty
and unattractive. We were interested in manouvers of a seaplane. Back to
camp early and attended a concert given by Yankee troops. Good.
July 11th 1918 Boulogne
Breakfast 7.30. marched to train. Left Boulogne. Usual 30 odd in
truck. Shook a can of cream at one station. Living high. Reached
Harfluer at 3am next Morning.
July 12th 1918 Harfleur
Marched from Station. Raining. Got blankets and turned in. Revellie at
6am. Morning free.
Afternoon Gas parade at old Bull ring. Got back at 6.30
too late for anything. Writing home.
July 13th 1918 Harfleur
Morning Med parade and shortages. Afternoon Red X comforts got cigarettes
and reading. Parade 3pm for inspection and marched out at 4pm, entrained
at 6 but didn’r leave Havre till 9.30. seen Airship over
R.T.A. camp at Harfluer. Travelling all night.
Sunday July 14th 1918 Pernoise
Arrived at Pernoise at 11.45 and marched back to St Leger
(raining) to reinforcement Wing. Afternoon fine. Dr parade complained of
state of my lungs and was examined and detailed for Medical Board next
day. Marked M.D.
July 14th 1918 St Leger
Fine. Parade 7.30. breakfast. Morning off. Afternoon Board A.D.M.S. marked
Unfit and detailed for Base. Taken off draft. Met M. Butfield and
July 15th 1918 St Leger
Raining. Cleared later. Rest of draft moved out to join Batt. Afternoon
sleeping. Night Concert by Cooees 3rd Div party. Good. [The German army mounted an offensive, crossing the Marne
against the French.]
July 17th 1918 St Leger
Volenteered for Baggage guard. On from 9 till 8.30. Hot all day
thunderstorm at night. Account of German attack
on a 50 mile front. Broke
down great slaughter at Rheims. Met H. Williams.
July 18th 1918 St Leger
Morning no duty. Afternoon escort ½ hour. Evening Cooees. Yanks and
French holding Fritz. [The French, with American
divisions, counter-attacked at Villers-Cotter&ecaret;ts, resulting in a
July 19th 1918 St Leger
Cloudy. 9.30 Baggage guard till 12. Parade at 1.30 moved out and entrained
St Leger at 2.30. arrived at Roma Camp at 9pm and slept at
Canteen till 2am. Left at 2.30. Crowded train 40 in truck as far as
Rouen. 250 prisoners on also.
July 20th 1918 Harfleur
Arrived Harfluer 10.30am. Reached Base for dinner. Raining.
Afternoon report to Adj. Evening pictures and Pathescope. Met Bill Simpson
Sunday July 21st 1918 Harfleur
8.30. Col address re rout at Havre. Leave stopped. Dr Parade and
shortages. Evening Service in glen. Padre’s “n” Stunts
July 22nd 1918 Harfleur
Fine. Board B2 to P.B. Afternoon writing. Night pictures. Raining.
July 23rd 1918 Harfleur
Revellie 6. Writing and billiards and meeting mates. Night pictures then
July 24th 1918 Harfleur
Fine, later rain. Morning writing. Afternoon billiards and writing.
and later lecture by Padre.
[The command-in-chief of the Allied forces decides to initiate a full
July 25th 1918 Harfleur
[transferred to Australian Employment Company]
Rain. Warned to prepare to move out. Afternoon Dr Parade. Moved out 4.15.
Motor to Havre (no rifle or ammunition). Several seaplanes about.
Entrained at 10pm left 12.15. big stack of comfort fund stuff at station.
Got cigarettes (salvaged).
July 26th 1918 Rouen
Arrived at Rouen at 7.15am and marched about a kilo to rest camp at
Bonsecours for breakfast. Dumped equipment on roadside laid down
till dinner time. Interested in barge traffic on Seine. Got 4 hours leave
and went into Rouen First of all seeing through Cathedral at
Bonsecours. Some splendid work there both inside and out. The Oak
carvings and tombs being splendid. Then into Rouen. A nice City
with Seine running through it. There are three fine bridges over river,
the 1st one being very high out of water to allow foreign
shipping to come up to wharves. There’s a novel ferry here being
from the high platform of bridge and conveys Vehicular traffic as
well as passengers across being clear of water. The City is the same as
any other with its Modern shops and the usual market square where
anything, mostly rubbish, can be bought cheap. The Custom in vogue in
France is not to pay the waitresses any wages in Cafes. They depend on the
generosity of Patrons for there living. There are notices on the walls to
that effect. Away from Central part of City is the same dirty places seen
anywhere in France. The Brothels are run openly and are advertised by
special lights. The thing that struck me most was the large amount of
Barge traffic and was interesting to watch. Barges would be loaded till
there decks were nearly water level then a tug would take as many as 7 or
8 in tow and away they would go and every Barge seemed to have a
board. So it would be a cheap living. Well after seeing what we could of
the place (Views sent home) we got back to camp in time for tea and had to
put up with the usual horde of dirty cadging kids with there plaintive
cries of Boolee Beef, Biscee etc Laid down then to sleep but rained and we
sought shelter in Y.M. leaving our packs out covered with our
groundsheets. We left at 11pm and entrained this time fortunately 5 of us
in a carriage so with one sleeping on the floor the others could stretch
out comfortable and sleep while travelling. We eventually arrived at
Pernoise (next station to St Leger) at 9.15am. So I
had again travelled the same line.
July 27th 1918 Pernois
Showery. A party of us went to Bertocourt ½ way to St Leger
for gas lecture and got back for dinner. Lying about afternoon during tea
I heard the Batt Band were at station so went over and seen
others. They were going to Corps School at Rue to play for a month.
We had a long yarn etc. they left at 10pm and I went to Billet and Bed.
Sunday July 28th 1918 Pernois
Breakfast at 7.30 then went to Motor lorries and left at 8.30am going
through Halloy, Havernas, Wargnies, Flescelles
(big place) on to Bertangles arriving in time for dinner. Reported
to O.C. “Major Berry” and after being told to report for duty
next day was shown to Billet. After Tea the 3rd Pioneer Band
played a program of music in Chatrau grounds. Met G. Hunt playing with
July 29th 1918 Bertangles
Reported at 9am detailed for Sgt Mess it being a good job and indoors.
Finished at seven and then went to Aerodrome close by and was interested
in the flying. Some of the pilots were very clever. It was here I seen
some splendid work in the air. Some of the Machines doing more than the
birds can do, such flying on back, side slipping etc
July 30th 1918 Bertangles
Rise at 7 Breakfast 8. Usual day three meals average nine at Mess.
Finished at 7 with about two hours morning and Afternoon. Evening
Aerodrome and Pictures.
July 31st 1918 Bertangles
Usual day. Evening watching planes and later YMCA tent writing. Seen
Chateau from outside the grounds. A fine big building
August 1st 1918 Bertangles
Fine day warm. During Night dropped bombs next Village. Evening Planes and
Concert by Smart Set (4th Div Party). Very good. Met J. Ingram
from High St formally worked at Nankervis.
August 2nd 1918 Bertangles
Raining all day. Evening writing at Y.M. Hear long range Gun close by.
Believe it is in Ameins about 4 Kilo. Heard H. McColl (Major) is in
August 3rd. Sat 1918 Bertangles
Raining again. Evening Aerodrome (clear). Banking slipping etc. Chance to
go up (not for mine). Later Pictures.
Sunday August 4th 1918 Bertangles
Same usual work. Morning muster, gas parade, test mask. Evening Band and
seen several of the guns taken by 3rd Div.
August 5th 1918 Bertangles
August 6th 1918 Bertangles
Showery. Usual work. Washing, Big push and good progress all along line.
French advance six miles between Soisson and Rheims. Evening
August 7th 1918 Bertangles
Fine usual. During afternoon Fritz over but very high. Driven off Anti Air
C. Evening at Aerodrome and Y.M.
August 8th 1918 Bertangles
Fine. Big offensive 5 Aus Divs. Good reports. Early first objective before
time. Light Cas. By evening all objectives taken and over 3000 prisoners
and several heavy guns. Y.M. draughts. [The 2nd and 3rd
divisions made a surprise attack at 4.20am in heavy fog, protected by
artillery. By 7.30am, they had taken the front German trenches, and
the 4th and 5th divisions passed through. British Mark V tanks were
followed up by the Canadian and Australian infantry, with most of the
Somme being taken within four days.]
August 9th 1918 Bertangles
Fine. Usual day. Good reports of Yesterday stunt 7000 prisoners 160 guns,
machine guns, transports etc. Advanced seven miles at furthest point. Line
now includes Chipelly, Framerville, Caise Boucourt
and Plessier. The tanks doing great work getting through the
infantry and among the supply Columns and Motor Cars. Evening Pictures.
August 10th 1918 Bertangles
Fine. Usual. Still good reports slight advance. Total now 17000 Prisoners,
over 200 heavies and Red Cross train complete. Cavalry doing good work.
Aust flag hoisted on German H.Q. at Harboniers. Line now
Chipelly, Pirrepont, Rosieres and near big railway
Junction at Chaubnes. Our batteries commanding it
Sunday August 11th 1918 Bertangles
Fine. Washing and Gas lecture. Tested mask. Night Band at Chateau. Several
guns, Trench morters, machine guns and anti tank rifles all 3rd
Div captives brought in to Chateau. Heard 37th were cut up.
Maj Knox-Knight killed. Talk of moving to Glisy [The offensive is now to be ended, after heavy casualties with
the divisions becoming caught up in the rough ground of the Somme
battlefields.]King George arriving to knight General Monash
August 12th 1918 Bertangles
Fine. About 100 Captured guns at Chateau. King visited 2pm. Big ceremony
Gen Monash knighted. Boys still going ahead. 37th Casualties
August 13th 1918 Bertangles
Breakfast at 6 then packed up ready to move. Got transport at 11am. Rode
on wagon through Pouilainville, Ameins, Camon and
Blagney to Glisy. Arrived at 3.30pm. House to outselves two
August 14th 1918 Glisy
Warm. Slept well. Fritz over bombing near by during night. Many search
lights and anti Air craft going. Received letters from home (3), Mrs Mac
August 15th 1918 Glisy
Hot. Usual day and cleaning up. Received reg letter from home Children and
[…] Lodge card. Prisoners to date 28000, guns 600. Fritz over again
August 16th 1918 Glisy
Cloudy later fine. Pay day 40F Transferred from 37th. Crook
diahrea. The Red Cross train taken from Fritz brought through. No advance.
August 17th 1918 Glisy
Cloudy but kept fine. Now hard pressing Roye and Chaulnes.
Writing home and lodge. Fritz quiet.
Sunday August 18th 1918 Glisy
Fine and cool. Fritz over day time high up. Writing.
August 19th 1918 Glisy
Cloudy light rain. Still crook diarhrea. Fine clear night. Heard heavy
Bombarding towards morning.
August 20th 1918 Glisy
Hot. Usual day. Heard of successful French offensive on 9 mile front N of
Soissons. 1700 Prisoners since Sunday.
August 21st 1918 Glisy
Hot Usual work. Crook with Dioreahear. Reports favourable of French (taken
Royes). 3rd Army doing well around Albert. [The British and French armies had mounted a major attack in
the Bapaume area near Albert.]
August 22nd 1918 Glisy
Very hot all day. Usual work. Afternoon swimming (Ausy drowned cramp).
Evening washing. Fritz planes over during day and night. Heard Aust Gns
were going over the top.
August 23rd 1918 Glisy
Fine not so hot. Very heavy Barrage at 5am. Later at 9 heard
3RD Div got a cutting up taking objective twice. French 2 mile
August 24th 1918 Glisy
Fine and cooler. Usual day. Night writing home. Several Planes over. Heavy
Anti Air Barrage and tracer bullets. Bombed Bertangles Aerodrome
got Petrol dump and few machines. About 50 casualties the Boys at a
concert. Aust troops took Bray capturing 2500 prisoners. The line
now from the bank of Somme at Bray includes (Carlliers,
Thrapvale, Grancourt) by Welsh division and on outskirt of
Bapaurne. (New Zealanders).
Sunday August 25th 1918 Glisy
Fine. Cool. Fritz over early. Quiet day. Line now getting close to
Bapaurne, Grandcourt to Bray, Chaulnes etc.
August 26th 1918 Glisy
Fine. Fritz over during day turned by Anti A Craft. Nothing unusual. Bed
early. Fritz over again during night. Heard 10 bombs.
August 27th 1918 Glisy
Cloudy and showery all day. Good reports from the line. Advanced S. of
Albert to Marmet nne and N of Roye at
Goyencourt. Bed early.
August 28th 1918 Glisy
Raining. Showers all day. Reports of big advance from Albert to
near Roye. Now taking in Curlu Guillemont Fay Estre. Two
miles past Chaulnco and taken Nesle. No reports of further
South. During afternoon 25 planes went over Poor Fritz.
August 29th 1918 Glisy
Cloudy fine usual day Received letter from Mac and answered it. Boys still
advancing. Captured 11” and 15” Guns that were shelling
August 30th 1918 Glisy
Dull but kept fine. Rumered Aust taken Perrone line now along S
bank of Somme from Curlu to Pargny and East of
Nesle. No reports from French further S. Talk of H.Q. moving nearer
line now 22 miles. Visit by Brownie.
August 31st 1918 Glisy
Usual (dinner early). Packed up ready to move further up. Motor transport
at 2pm through Blangy, Tronville, Villers Bretonneux ,
Le Hamel, Morcourt to Merricourt.
Knocked about, very few
good roofs and some leveled to ground. All doors
etc taken off. After tea up till bed time (late) blocking up holes in
walls and doorways etc and making the place comfortable.
map of the Australian corps campaign in the Somme, 1918
Sunday September 1st 1918 Merricourt
[On September 1st, five Australian brigades attacked Mont Saint Quentin.
Infantry with their Lewis guns and grenades survived a rain of artillery
and a counter-attack by the German Guards division.]
Usual. Had to carry water rations, etc. Salvaging
September 2nd 1918 Merricourt
Dull, showery. Salvaging. Looking around afternoon about 2 prisoners
came here. Peronne cleaned out by 3rd & 5th Div
September 3rd 1918 Merricourt
Usual day. Fine. Washing. Fritz over during night. Any amount of
searchlights. Evening went through cemetery, church, etc. Not much
damage. Vaults looted. Hundreds of [-] buried.
September 4th 1918 Merricourt
[-] Filed mess all back. Since [-] well through old Hindenburg S.E.
of Arras 1/2 way between Bahumes & Car[-] & well E of Peronne
& about 2 mile E of Nesle Rumours of breaking the Mess up.
Writing Mother, Claude
September 5th 1918 Merricourt
Usual day. showery & during tea rained heavy coming through
everywhere & drove us down the cellar night. Fixing up cellar for
September 6th 1918 Merricourt
Fine all day. Usual work. Evening finished early went over the German
H.Q. [-] of hill. Fixed up well. Everything carted from village &
they were very comfortable [-] houses [-]underground. 1st Div went
September 7th 1918 Merricourt
Nice day. Fairly hot afternoon. Usual day. In swimming at river.
Moving up nearer the line. Got letters from Con.
September 5th 1918 Merricourt
Sunday September 8th 1918 Merricourt
Fine. Usual day. Evening writing. Bed early
September 9th 1918 Merricourt
Fine. Hear we are to move further up tomorrow & mess to break up.
Writing & bed early. Raining a treat.
September 10th 1918 Merricourt
Cold & showery. Usual day. Heard we move up tomorrow but as yet
nothing official. No report of advance Fritz. Hearing all sorts of
dirty traps,etc. Not safe to souvenir.
September 11th 1918 Merricourt
Cold. Usual day. Heard moving tomorrow. Writing, etc. Latest mining
stunt of Fritz nailing live cat to a door & when nails are pulled
September 12th 1918 Merricourt
Cloudy. Breakfast & lunch as usual then packed up & got motor
lorry at 2pm through ChengnollesChuignesDompere & Ausvilleres
to camp on hill [-] huts (German). Dumped our gear with Sg to Mess
letter [-] [-] at [-]. Madden Wingate missing. B[-] blind.
September 13th 1918 Assevillers
Showery. Reported at mess offside to Slushie out in the open washing
up etc. Not much to do. Went walking over hill. Many German dugouts.
No souveniring. Latest German trap mining dead Fritz.
September 14th 1918 Assevillers
During night Fritz over. Four brought down by Anti A.C. Seen one in
flames to ground. Fine. Had to report afternoon at S.O.C. mess for
work offside to cook. Easy but long hours. Carrying water.
Sunday September 15th 1918 Assevillers
Easy day. Fine. Not much to do.
September 16th 1918 Assevillers
Fine. Usual good meals. Not feeling too god. Ted Hogan went on leave
to Blighty. On coming back to take charge of mess.
September 17th 1918 Assevillers
Fine. Storm during night. Received mail from [-] Doll, Claude. Con
& Edinburgh. Writing. Not well.
September 18th 1918 Assevillers
Usual day. Working kitchen & writing letters.
September 19th 1918 Assevillers
Raining. Usual work. Heard of Ausies hopping over. Writing.
September 20th 1918 Assevillers
Rain, showery. Usual. Received letter Cec Condy now Lance[?] Jack[?] Ern
Sgt Jack gassed. Cpl.
September 21st 1918 Assevillers
Finer. Usual work. Received parcel from home. Claude. Washing
Sunday September 22nd 1918 Assevillers
Fine. Usual. Writing
September 23rd 1918 Assevillers
Finer. Usual work during day. Several planes over very high. Night
September 24th 1918 Assevillers
Fine. Barrage continued all night & day. French offensive on our
September 25th 1918 Assevillers
Rain. Nothing unusual.
September 26th 1918 Assevillers
Raining, showery. Writing to Edinburgh
September 27th 1918 Assevillers
Showery. Crook chest. Received letters from Mac & Cec[?]
September 28th 1918 Assevillers
Cloudy. Heard [-] [-]. Crook during evening. Lot of planes [-] over.
Big Ausie offensive tomorrow.
[The following day saw the allies break through the Hindenburg line
at St Quentin Canal despite heavy fighting.]
Sunday September 29th 1918 Assevillers
September 30th 1918 Assevillers
Snr cook visit during lunch. Fine day. At night hearing barrage.
Rumours of 37th being split up. All object. Won't work.
[The 37th battalion had gone on strike after their commanding officer
was dismissed for formally questioning the order to disband. The order
was suspended until October 12th.]
October 1st 1918 Assevillers
Morning 2nd 3rd 5th Ausies hopped over with Yanks on Sunday. Yanks
leading overan Germans in tunnels nearly disastrous on account of
Fritz getting between them.
October 2nd 1918 Assevillers
Fine day. Visit Sir Gilbert Parker novelist. Usual went to M.O. &
receiving treatment for Bronchitis.
October 3rd 1918 Assevillers
Usual day. Feeling crook
October 4th 1918 Assevillers
Usual day. Feeling no better. In bed all afternoon. heard Ted back
off leave. Bulgaria surrendered unconditionally.
October 5th 1918 Assevillers
Cold day. Went to Sgts. mess. [-] Ted Hogan. Heard that Turks want
peace & Germany want a 14 day Armistice to discuss peace terms.
Sunday October 6th 1918 Assevillers
Reported sick & evacuated per motor to Peronne 20th CCS
October 7th 1918 Peronne
At CCS. Fair meals. Left at 4pm motor at [-] at peronne. Left at about
7 pm & travelled all night. Arrived at Rouen at 8.30am
October 8th 1918 Rouen
Rouen reached 6. General at 12. Poor meals & had to ask for extra
blanket. Very cold.
October 9th 1918 Rouen
Woke up at 5am to wash. Breakfast 7. Very poor grub. Writing Ted &
October 10th 1918 Rouen
Shifted into a different ward & instead of Bronchitis marked for
Nephritis & put on milk diet.
October 11th 1918 Rouen
Starved. Wrote to Mack. Told by one sister a cert for Blighty. Wrote
to Base to hold up my mail.
October 12th 1918 Rouen
Usual day. Wrote to Doll & Mother. Held back long letter to Doll.
Sunday October 13th/14th 1918 Rouen
Usual starvation. Germany except [sic] peace terms [-]. Still fighting
going on. Believed to be a trap of Germany. No armistice. Still
October 15th 1918 Rouen
Usual day. Dr visit & marked for Blighty. Expect to leave tonight.
Still on light diet. Big convoys every day coming and going. Few
Ausies [-] Tommies & Yanks.
October 16th 1918 Rouen
Convoy left last night. Missed. Usual day. Light diet. Wrote Mrs
Wilson. Told be leaving during night. Woke up at 12 to get ready.
October 17th 1918 Rouen
Usual day. Left at 2 [-] for [-]. First on boat at 11 A[-] Panama. Left
at 1 pm & after 1 hour sail anchored [-] at [-]pm. Good meals
October 18th 1918 Southampton
Reached S'hampton early morn. Anchored [-] & reached docks at 12.45.
Disembarked at 1. Entrained at 4. Arrived Bath 9 pm (Boat Panama)
October 19th 1918 Bath
Woke up 5 to wash. Still on light diet but better than in France.
Plenty fresh milk.
Sunday October 20th 1918 Bath
Usual morn. Dr examined Bronchitis Nephritis.
October 21st 1918 Bath
Wrote Mrs Wilson. Base, Usual day. Wrote Ted & No 84 Doll. Got a
badge Ausie to work in silk. Concert in ward evening.
October 22nd 1918 Bath
Wrote Mother. Started badge. Good meals etc.
October 23rd 1918 Bath
Wrote Mac & working on badge. Paid 3/6. Taggart of B. Coy 37th came
into ward. Feeling no better.
October 24th 1918 Bath
Usual day. Working on badge. Wrote to Ern.
October 25th 1918 Bath
Usual day. Nothing unusual. Still talk of peace negotiations
October 26th 1918 Bath
Not feeling too well. Slight pains in chest.
Sunday October 27th 1918 Bath
October 28th 1918 Bath
Usual. Wrote Doll 88. Examined by Dr. Severe pains in chest. Bronchitis.
Rubbing liniment Urine test worse.
October 29th 1918 Bath
Still crook. Plasters, hot water bottles. Received personal property out of
Pack. Back 3 Bendig'ns
October 30th 1918 Bath
Feeling better. Pains not so severe. Rumours of peace with Turkey
& Austria. Wrote Lin
October 31st 1918 Bath
Usual. New offensive by French & Italians in Italy & British
in Flanders. Big success in Palestine.
November 1st 1918 Bath
Turkey surrender unconditionally Dardanells open to Allie fleet.
Italian success Austria [-]ing
November 2nd 1918 Bath
Usual. Examined again by M.O. lungs still crook. Still advancing on
Western front. Received batch of mail, more to come.
Sunday November 3rd 1918 Bath
November 4th 1918 Bath
Usual day, cold morning. Reported surrender of Austria unconditionally.
November 5th 1918 Bath
Usual. Surrender informed officially. Flu epidemic at its height in
Scotland Ireland & Eng.
November 6th 1918 Bath
Received rest of mail. nothing unusual
November 7th 1918 Bath
Australian coat of arms needlework
Finished badge. Talk of Armistice on Western Front. Germany in revolt.
Mutiny in Navy
November 8th 1918 Bath
German envoys visit to Foch H.Q.. No armistice granted. Courier sent back
with peace conditions.
November 9th 1918 Bath
Lord Mac[-] show in London said to be best ever seen. People in high
spirit on account of [-] Peace.
Sunday November 10th 1918 Bath
Cold. Sleeping all day
November 11th 1918 Bath
Cold morning. Wrote Bell, Claude, May[?] Armistice signed by Germany.
November 12th 1918 Bath
Great excitement in London over Armistice. People out of hand in West
End. Practically peace. Health improving.
November 13th 1918 Bath
Bonfires in Trafalgar Square. Australians set fire to travelling
workshed and took hose of firemen & turned it on them. Received
mail from home. Nurses gave party in ward.
November 14th 1918 Bath
Very cold & frosty. Still improving. Big crowd of our Boys left
for Harefield. Writing Doll 87
November 15th 1918 Bath
Cold. nothing unusual. Germans evacuating France & arranging to
hand over fleet to be interned N of Scotland.
November 16th 1918 Bath
Not so cold expect to get up next week. received parcel from home.
Bendigonian Cigs etc. also letter written to Mac returned marked not
Sunday November 17th 1918 Bath
Cold usual day. Evening singing hymns
November 18th 1918 Bath
Usual day working badge KCLI
November 19th 1918 Bath
Usual. Nothing startling. Getting up afternoons weak & shaky.
November 20th 1918 Bath
Beaty[?] met representatives of German Navy 20 Subs interned. music prog.
November 21st 1918 Bath
Ceremony in N.Sea cream of German boats handed over. writing home 88
got new badge
November 22nd 1918 Bath
Cold. pains in chest. up to date 49 subs interned in S of Eng. turned
out nice sunny afternoon
November 23rd 1918 Bath
Not as bad still very cold working on badge
Sunday November 24th 1918 Bath
November 25th 1918 Bath
Major around marking out patients.
November 26th 1918 Bath
Warmer got up in afternoon as usua.l Several Ausies marked for
November 27th 1918 Bath
Raining. ADMS[?] from Horsferrie Road around clearing hospitals for
November 28th 1918 Bath
Rain light. All Americans left for Devon. Writing PC views of Bath to Doll
November 29th 1918 Bath
Papers taken to Officer marked out. Don't know where yet. Printing
November 30th 1918 Bath
Cold. Asked Dr to examine my lungs (lot of Bronchitis). Not allowed to
knock about, keep warm when out of bed. Printing Photos.
Sunday December 1st 1918 Bath
Royal Scots regiment needlework
December 2nd 1918 Bath
Raining. Up all day. Finished Scots badge, got two to work on boat
(Suffolk & ASC) marched Harefield on Thursday. setting[?] case
December 3rd 1918 Bath
Showery, not too cold. Medicine changed. Severe bilious attack, in bed
all day. Doing badges for (sharps[?]) mother.
December 4th 1918 Bath
Just same all day in bed, eating nothing at all. Sick, blame medicine
December 5th 1918 Bath
Improvement. Knocked off medicine. Up Afternoon. Concert in ward
evening good, especially dancers Received letter Wilson
December 6th 1918 Bath
Raining. Up nearly all day. Change of diet. Fixing drinks. Medium[?] in
Holland on way home (invitation)
December 7th 1918 Bath
Raining all day. Usual day. Working on badge (Stafford) for people of
lad that died here.
Sunday December 8th 1918 Bath
Fine. Usual day. Singing hymns night.
December 9th 1918 Bath
Cold. [-] Wed for Dartford draw. Coat, boots and hat (setting case)
December 10th 1918 Bath
Cold. Drew rest of clothes ready to go. (Strecher case) Finish badge.
December 11th 1918 Bath
Raining. Wouldn't let me go s[-] of Boys. Another week, then Harefield.
Well satisfied, bed all day.
December 12th 1918 Bath
Mild, raining. [-] during afternoon. Started on Suffolk badge. Wrote
to Wilson and Blue Brennan.
December 13th 1918 Bath
Mild weather. Usual day.
December 14th 1918 Bath
Cold. Usual day. Heard no ones to leave for Harefield till after Xmas.
Sunday December 15th 1918 Bath
Usual. Waiting for mail
December 16th 1918 Bath
Up most of day. Received letter from Medium[?]. Home again. Started on
December 17th 1918 Bath
Up early. Cold. Received mail from home. Photo by McBennet. Bed early,
tired. Wrote to Medium[?] . News of Mac.
December 18th 1918 Bath
Usual day. Writing 91 Doll (Papers) again return and marked Harefield
and off next week. Paid 3/6
December 19th 1918 Bath
Cold. examined again by Dr. Bronchitis (dry) & Nephritis [-]
wrote Cec for particulars Mack.
December 20th 1918 Bath
Nice day. Usual
December 21st 1918 Bath
Cold. Billious attack. Decorating ward for Xmas.
Sunday December 22nd 1918 Bath
December 23rd 1918 Bath
Usual. Cold, fines up afternoon. Still biliious. Decorating
December 24th 1918 Bath
Cold. In bed all day. Concert and games afternoon & night. Better.
Xmas stocking - handkers, wallet, fruit, etc.
Christmas Day December 25th 1918 Bath
Fine but no sun. Dinner turkey, veg, Pud. fruit, nuts, lollies,
drinks, cigars and big afternoon & night concert & games
till late. Tea cakes, etc. Ausie X boxs.
December 26th 1918 Bath
Sleeping all morning. Cold. Afternoon concert & party - cakes,
pies, coffee. Night games. Got 2lb of jam Miss (Grooms[?])
December 27th 1918 Bath
Cold & raining, similar yesterday. No [-]. Party games, etc.
December 28th 1918 Bath
Cold. Up all day by fires. Received letter & card from Medium[?].
Wrote No 92 Doll. Dr examined & recommended Ausy direct.
Sunday December 29th 1918 Bath
Very cold. Bed all day.
[On January 4th he was transferred to the Australian Military Hospital
in Sutton with bronchitis, and then on the 16th to the Australian General
hospital with nephritis.]
[William was repatriated back to Australia on the 31st of March
prior to his battalion,
on HMAAT Wandilla from Southhampton. He died on April 20th
1919 of tuberculosis before they reached Colombo, and was buried at sea.]
Brig General H.E.E. Elliott
C.B. C.M.G. D.S.O. D.C.M. Brigadier General Elliott at Samer
Major General Sir J. J. Talbot Hobbs
K.C.B. V.D. 5th Division A.I.F. Major General Talbot Hobbs at Ham-sur-Heure
Major Gen Sir J. Monash K.C.B.
V.D. 3rd Division Major General Monash at Glisy
Memories commemorative scroll