Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Green diary, 14 August 1915-3 March 1919 / James Green
MLMSS 1838/Item 1

[Page 2]
Mr J. Green
260 Lib Liverpool

Pte J Green No 2658
6th Reinf 17 Batt
Liverpool Camp Sydney

Enlisted 14th Aug 8.15 age 28 yrs. Training was brief for one thing, not suffice rifles, and equipment, on guard to day rifle’s sup being without bolt and bayonet being held on by a bit of string to day Oct 3rd being supld with pick and shovels marched to trenches, outside of camp & instructed by Eng Lieut in the art of trench warfare, other training consisted of rifle practice & ceramonial drill, just having the rough edges taken off us so to speak

[Page 3]
2nd Nov 11.15 embarked on board HMAS Euripides as trained soldiers for the front. Had a splendid voyage, largest number of men ever left Sydney in one transport, branches from all parts of the service.
Time on board being spent in a little rifle & bayonet exercise, fire guards & also submarine guards consisting of machine guns which where placed on conspicuious parts of the deck. After supper had concerts & boxing contest we arrived at Suez 2nd Dec being exactly one month from leaving Sydney
We lay off Suez untill the 4th Dec in the early morning disembarked and left in trains for Helioplis the journey being uneventful except when the train stopped, there would be a large crowd of Natives selling fruit and calling for buckshees However after a long ride we arrived at our destination Helioplis which is situate 3 miles from Ciro. Not being recognized in camp for twenty four hrs we explored our surroundings boarded and electric car for Ciro visited the Sultans palace the accent

[Page 4]
Pyrmids a few miles from the City returned back to camp in time for tattoo roal call the usual military diciplane being carried out & got back again to camp life. Was formed into a 5th training Batt Egypt being in a state of war we was’nt allowed too much freedom outside of camp, our time being taken up in route marching, with packs up with physical jerks in between A great hobby being the decoration of our lines as the sand with a little water mixed with it formed a kind of cement

of which we made fancy walls around our tents and put the finishing with coloured pebles found in the sand. After a very brief training in Helioplis & Abbassia Camps FRI 4th 1916 left Helioplis by train arrived Ishmalia 3.30PM crossed the Suez Canal by pontoon bridges being to much exhausted to proceed any further bivouced at Ferry Post for the night between the 7th Bridgade lines revellie 5.30 AM to day Sat 5.2.16 served with Iron rations and water bottles being filled, left Ferry Post 10.30AM to join Batt at Gundagi Post 12 miles march

[Page 5]
Gundagi Post
across the desert, arrived at our destination 5.30PM being about three hundred strong, where told off for different Coy’s. Today Sun 6th 2.16 paraded 6.30 AM for drinking water & washing water combined which wasn’t to plentiful being allowed one dixie full per man. Our Transport consisted Camels and not being a large one did fairly well with the exception of water in fact our ration’s where more plentifull here, than the whole time of our service in france which seems rather strange when you compare Camel transport with our up

Gundagi Post
to date service in France The supposed Turkish line being thirty miles away where busy constructing trenches. each coy taking a turn. Each man was served out with 120 rds of ammunition, one coy on trenches the other three instructed in desert warfare with an occasional route march with full packs up after our days operations, each Coy would do its turn of outpost, the order was to fall in battle order 7 30PM with 4 rds in the magazine and one in the chamber with safety catch up pack blanket and waterproof sheets

[Page 6]
Gundagi Post
Outpost being situate two miles from camp linked up with the 18.19.20 Batts which formed the 5th Bridgade a coy from each batt six men to a post, each post being a hundred yrds apart duty being one man observing the other five laying down for a rest each man taking turn about. There was nothing to mention w horthy of note. The only action we took part in was the shooting of a camel which got astray from our patrols, coming towards our front was taken for the enemy, thereupon we opened fire, found out

Gundagi Post
afterwards it was an un-fortunate camel we shot Today the 14th Feb 2.16 warned off to proceed to Ciro  Cairo on a Court of Inquiry as a witness in a raid made by the Military Police at the Pyrmids Hotel on the night of 21st Dec 1915. Left Gundagi Post 7.30 AM in company with Pte Brown another witness arrived at Ferry post 4PM crossed the Canal and proceeded to Ishmalia a distance of about three miles, boarded the train for Cairo arr 9.30PM put up at Shepheards Hotel for the night left early the

[Page 7]
15.2.16 Cairo
fowolling morning to report at the 5th training Batt. H Quarters and put on the strength while the enquiry lasted. 16.2.16 Reported to Major J.T. Lazarus President of Court of Enquiry at Luna Park Detention Barracks at 9.30 AM on the 15th instant

Case for Enquiry
At the Pyramids Hotel on the night in question a raid was made by a number of Police four arrest where made the culprits where Pte Green Pte Scott, Pte Hodges and Pte Brown on a charge for gambling. where driven in a Motor to the Luna Park Detention Barracks. Having been thoroughly searched, money and vauables taken from us, was then ordered to remove our boots where then placed in a cell measuring roughly 17 x 20 feet with cement floors money taken from us Pte Green £37 40 disasters or piastres Pte Brown £49 35 piastres Pte Scott £84 70 piastres pte Hodges £56 20 piastres
At 11PM Police cpl visited our cell and tendered receipts pte Scott was £84 odd and was told that total amount taken from him amounted to £64 odd all request of Pte Scott for a cheque was met with refusal, and

[Page 8]
Enquiry Case
receipt for £64 odd tended by the official for which Pte Scott refused to accept as correct. The official leaving the cell he passed a remark, that !B!s like you ought to think yourselves lucky to have any money at all, 26 men not included in the case where placed in the same ,cell, The cell measuring roughly 17 x 20 feet with cement floor and poor ventilation, was filthy, beyond, description, Whilst the sanitary arrangements consisted of practilly nill A few of the men having just arrived from the

Enquiry Case
Peninsular . A nice place to put men in this cesspool of inequity, without, boots, or blankets, and left to shiver all the night upon a cement floor, Not withstanding that some remained 24 hrs without anything to eat or drink. Enquiry concluded 13th March 3.16 in our favour Capt Worthington being dismissed from A P.M duty also Sgt Major, Cpl and two men dismissed from Police duty Sgt Major and Cpl reduced to the ranks also administration of Police reorganzised replaced by men from the Peninsular

[Page 9]
Moaska Egypt
Left Helioplis 14th March 3.16 to rejoin Batt 15th March 3.16 paraded for rifle practice, Amunition changed for Mark VII as used in France. Under orders to move at any time for France. To day 15th marched down to Bitter Lakes on swimming parade arrived back in camp 4PM. 5.30PM Chat parade to Railway Siding fumiagater to dispose of Live Stock
16th March Patrol Duty  Revellie 5AM fall in 6AM warned off to pack our black bags ready for Shipment for the voyage. Paraded 4PM full packs up Batt inspected by the Colonel. Martin. addressed by Adjutant Capt Johnson said any man who didn’t want to go to France slope Arms, Pte Whalley came to the slope with a click and remained behind was sent to Giza detail Camp bivouaced near railway siding for the night. 17th Revellie 5AM entrained for Alexandra arrived destination 3.30PM Embarked on board the S.S. Arcadia for Marselles left the same evening arrived Marsailles 22 March Headed by Batt Band nick named the Wuzza Band marched through the City to Railway Station, entrained for the Front 5PM

[Page 10]
A pleasant journey in the train which lasted three days Guards fall out at every stop we made. Treated more like convicts than soldiers. One of the principle towns we passed LLyons, passed around the outskirts of Paris arrived at billeting area Thiennes a small village 80 miles distant from firing line
25th March Billets consisted of stables and cow sheads with a litter of straw on the floor. Instructed in the new mode of warfare, being supplied with Gas Helmets and Goggles. Fri 31 Mar Batt went through a Gas test trench with helmets on also through tear Gas at a place situate near Steinbeck
Sat 1st April 10 mile route march other days being passed in rifle exercises and routemarching 6th April lecture on trench warfare
7 April left Thiennes for firing line. Marched passed General Goffre & staff outside of Steinbeck covered 15 miles the first day billeted for the night Sat 8th moved off again being a 9 miles march arrived at fresh billets about 3PM Sun 9th moved off again for Erquingham a village 3 miles from firing line Here we could

[Page 11]
France Erquerkheim April
hear the distant roar of big guns. This village having been the scene of street fighting in the early part of the war some houses being barricaded with sand bags. A big jute factory , still working, was noticeable for its shell torn appearance. Few inhabitants still remaining and move about as in every day life. The women being noticable wearing black
10th April our aeroplanes busy over enemy lines a Taube being in sight our Air Craft get busy Tuesday 11th 4.16 Left billets for the trenches Taking over from the Northumberland

April France Bois Grenier sector
Fusiliers. arrived in the firing line 10PM being very quiet with the exception of an Artillery Duel now and again. Enemy trenches being 450 yrds in front of our Batt. The Sallient graduating to 45 yrds in front of 19 Batt on our right7th Bridgade Sallient still closer about 75 yrds where raiding parties operated from
Wed 12th exchange of a few rifle shots and Machine Gun fire. A house in vicinity receiving special attention from Enemys 5.9 Guns 13th Raining and very cold told of for water fatuge to Jocks Joy an old Farm House named after the Royal Scots

[Page 12]
France April
here 200 Germans where ambushed and bayoneted, to avenge one of their comrades whom the germans too had taken prisoner and crucified to a tree 14th Germans drop a few shells in our trenches. One Sig killed and two men wounded Owens name of signaller B Coy Still raining 15th left for billets to day night after a four days soujourn in the trenches, lose seven more men, on leaving the trenches , heavy bombardment in the Yepres direction. Our rest in billets outside the firing line consisted of plenty of fatuge to and fro from the firing line each night, carrying, duck boards, and A pieces

France April (Billets)
etc, which where used in construction of better trenches, This work being carried out by infantrymen, but the engineers used to get the credit for it. 16th Sun A little artillery fire on both sides otherwise quiet 17th Went to Erquingham Swimming Baths full change of under clothing other gear fumagated. 7.30PM Fatuge to trenches. 18th Very cold winds and showery. Fatuge again to night wet or fine its all the same 19th Sill showery. Preparing to leave billets for trenches again. Moved off for trenches 7 PM arrived in firing line
11PM Everything seems as

[Page 13]
France Bois Grenier Trenches April
quiet as the grave. 20th Sill raining and cold. Rations doled out to us where scanty. Very quiet to day our aeroplanes hover over the enemy lines all day to night a little rifle and machine gun fire
21st No alteration in the weather Rum issued a mess tin full between a Coy which when measured out ran about a spoonfull each. Nothing doing to day. 22nd Weather fair. No alterations in rations the usual rum issue 23rd Trench bombardment on both sides. The Mad Major is having a game with Fritz Air Craft Guns using a

France Bois Grenier Trenches April
considerable amount of shells but fail to bring him down. The Mad Major so termed because of his daring, was an observer for his own battery. Used to fly so low, he angered the Hun gunners as each time he went over The Huns would finish up shelling our trenches 24th Arrived back to billets late last night. Both sides open up a bombardment shells drop close to billets 25th To day weather fine. Bath parade and clean change of clothes this morning.
Huns continue shelling thinking they are on a Gun

[Page 14]
France Bois Grenier Billets April
position a 4.7" Battery close by which as been annoying of late. Their fire however is ill directed Their shell begin to rain in on our billets and farmhouse, and eventually set fire to the place and Farm house, cows and horses being burned alive. Managed to get a few of them loose, had to leave the others to their fate, a stowage of bombs and amunition caught fire And being in danger ourselves was ordered to abandon everything a great deal of equipment being lost. That night was spent in finding fresh billets

France Bois Grenier Billets April
26th Visited our old billets to only a skeleton of the place remained. Met the old people belonging to the farm, one of the girls in tears telling us of the loss they sustained also having to find a new shelter or home which wasn’t easy to get. 27th Left billets for trenches again 7.30PM Our Batteries opened fire on german position, they also replied on our position for half an hour. Gas and infantry attack signalled 28 all calmed down again arr in firing line 10.30PM 28th To day weather fine and everything quiet, except usual rifle and machine gun fire

[Page 15]
France. Bois. Grenier. Trenches. April
29th Quiet up to noon being a fine day was payed our money which was due every fortnight. A heavy bombardment in Armeinteres previous to Gas attack which lasted two hrs. The town of Armienteres laying about 2 ½ miles to our left. The New Zealanders holding that part of the Sallient 30th Splendid day. Artillery duel during the day also snipers very busy. 1st of May a fine day to. Bombardment by germans during afternoon snipers also busy. Can hear a band playing in germans lines demonstrating another
France Bois Grenier Trenches May
victory which was very unusual unusual for them. At night time we can hear them singing also dog’s barking. 2nd To day fine. Artillery duel at 1PM left for billets again 9.30PM
3rd arr billets 2AM this morning Bath and clean clothes again fatuges party from 7.30PM till 2AM 4th Billets No improvement in rations. Not to leave billiting area 400 yrds being the limit £38 Coys Debt for shortages paid by men for articles we haven’t received 5th Weather Fine. Huns bombard the village Fatuge party to trenches arr in Reserve trenches 10PM Germans launch an attack on our trenches

[Page 16]
Frances Bois Brenier Billets May
This attack being made on sector 20 Batt was holding awaiting orders to move up in support carring 4 bombs and two bandoliers extra each man. Fire on both sides died down at midnight 6th
Result of german raid on our trenches. germans take a few prisoners and a trench mortar killed and wounded 100 men mostly 20 Batt. Fatuge to trenches had to return at the expense of someone blundering after getting drenched to the skin in pouring rain. arr back to billets 1AM 7th Rain ceased again Tobacco and cigarettes

Frances Bois Brenier Billets May
issued rations still continue the same fancy a tin of Mackonicies between 13 men of course we settle that by a toss of the penney 8th May Fatuge to trenches as usual from 7PM to 2.30AM things quiet in firing line 9th Very wet and cold tucker as before no alterations
10th Fatuge to trenches nothing to relate of importance 11th Bath parade to Erquingham and change of clothes 12th Arrive back in trenches again after our brief spell went over to night working on barb wire, with a covering party, in case of a surprise from the enemy. On being

[Page 17]
France Bois Grenier Tranches May
ordered to come in. One of our men was found shot through the head. Pte Hallet the bullet passing through his steel helmet he died shortly after we carried him in. There is a lot of talk of the 6/ a day we get. But theres nothing said about us being starved. If it wasn’t for the few extra shillings I don’t know how we’d get on The rations being very light at times. It a case of toss the penney’s (Heads I live, and tails you starve
13th To day germans bombard Armienteres. 14th Water fatuge to Jocks Joy.
Weather continues to keep fine

France Bois Grenier Trenches May
Fritz sends a few Iron Rations over to our left. Rum issued to day, a large amount of three spoonfulls 15th Very quiet to day rum issued again to day, must be winning. 16th To day a little shelling on both sides. On observing post, filling sandbags and renewing parapet where it is weak in places. 17th Artillery firing on both sides, Lose a Lieut to night, whilst out on patrol supposed to have been shot by one of our men firing from the parapet, he died before we brought him in by name Lieut Spiers.

[Page 18]
France Bois Grenier Trenches May
18th Weather still good. Our Artillery opens up for half an hr bombardment. Building up parapets etc 19th Quiet all day. Got permission to visit the villages to buy bread & butter etc. The equivalent to butter 20th quiet all day. Fatuge, etc a few shells drop close to our bay no damage done.
21st two Naval Cadets visit trenches Staff officer in Charge. Shelling on both sides. German Aeroplane drops bombs on our left killing and wounding six men. Our bay shelled again. 22nd Quiet all day.

France Bois Grenier Trenches May
23rd left again for billets orders not to leave billets on no account, without Gas Helmets 24th quiet up to 7PM Fatuge all night from 7.30PM to 2.30AM and raining. 25th Still Raining and the usual fatuge work 26th Stand 3AM cigarettes sent by oversea club for Soldiers and Sailors on Active Service 27th Utterly exhausted on arrival in billets from fatuge. We are no sooner in billets than we get to sleep with generally an occasional curse of the whole system 2PM ord cpl brings good news fatuge again a 7PM to night

[Page 19]
France Bois Grenier Trenches May
Visited the village this afternoon for tucker And I will state the French charge very extortunate prices for all we buy 28 Arrived back in billets 2PM after a nights hard toil which constituted removing Iron girders from the dump to firing line 29th Very quiet an occasional shell coming over fatuge 8PM 30th Arrived in billets early being worked to a standstill and drenched to the skin in pouring rain 31st Fatuge again to night. A little straffing done during the small hrs of the morning.

France Bois Grenier Trenches June 1st
Fine weather to day. Our Artillery fire increasing every day
6PM One of our observing balloons carried away, Observers leave in Parrachutes. The balloon sails over german line. Our air craft being close handy sets fire to it by dropping inflamable bombs
2nd Weather still good. Fatuge work as usual, carrying timber etc into firing line
3rd left billets for trenches. Reserve lines. Our platoon warned off for perminent guards. Posted on Domino Avenue 4th Heavy Artillery firing on our front line and supports, [Indecipherable] of Naval Battle.

[Page 20]
Reserve Trenches June France. Bois. Grenier
5th Domino Post. Very cold & showery. bombing attack on our right. 6th still showery heavy firing Yepris direction Under cover of our Artillery which opened fire 7th Bridgade raid German taking a few prisoners etc. 7th Germann’s counter attack on our supports our casualties slight 5 men killed and several wounded German raiding party being repulsed leaving prisoner in our hands. 8th Weather fine. Taube passes over line 6.30AM Field battery opens fire on enemy’s trenches German observing balloons up four in number

Reserve Trenches June
France Bois Grenier
9th German shell our lines in the Rear. An estaminet about a mile in the rear being wrecked. One shell exploding amongst the beer barrells. 6PM Our Air men pass over on a raid of the German lines. 10th Areoplanes return after their raid early this morning. Artillery busy on both sides a few 5.9 shells dropping in our supports started to rain making it more uncomfortable in the trenches. The raid on the 6th inst by the 7th Bridgade was successfull. The Germans scattered in all directions our Artillery playing havoc amongst them.

[Page 21]
Domino Post Reserve Trenches June France Bois Grenier
11th Weather very dull and still raining. Enemy made an unsuccessful raid on the 20th Batt lines. but where mowed down by our machine gun fire, where upon they retired leaving several of their dead in barb wire 12th Still raining Our trench mortars get busy to day. Enemy shells our trenches, killed 5 men and wounded three Rum issued this morning 4 spoonsfull light bombardment this evening. Also heavy firing Yepres way 14th Still raining The German band are playing their reliefs into the trenches, rum issued rather good tot 5 spoonsfull

Reserve Trenches June 15th France Bois Grenier

Domino Post. Rum issued 5 AM Our light batteries shell german trenches up to noon Alimon bombards our trenches 1PM 16th Rum issued being a very good one again 6 spoonsful. New Zealanders go over on our left nothing to report from it rum issued again to night. We must be winning? 17th Weather mild Rum issued this morning. Watching a fight between one of our Areoplanes and a German Fockker. The German being forced down. German trenches again raided on our right capturing 1 machine gun a trench mortar also a few prisoners. Leave for billets 9.30 AM in single file

[Page 22]
Billets June 18th France Bois Grenier
18th cigarettes and comforts issued no change in our rations. Germans sending over a few coal boxes, serching for our batteries 19th Weather mild. Raid on our front line last night.

Fatuge work to the trenches 7.30 PM 20th Weather mild. Bombardment during the night, Fatuge to the trenches 21st Bombardment still continues. Fatuge to trenches 22nd No Fatuge 23rd Weather Dull Gas Alert No Fatuge 24th Weather still dull. Visited Armienteres on pass, Gas Alert still on 25th Our Bridgade raiding party go over to night,

Billets June 26th France Bois Grenier
Our platoon, Sgt Mitchell being killed. To night eroplane raid on Fritz balloons three being set on fire, by bombs dropped on them. 27th Weather still good. Bombardment on the whole front Huns make a counter attack on our trenches, but where repulsed casualities 1 killed & small number wounded. Parade to bath, and get a change of clothes, Fatuge to night 28th Weather dull, a little rain last night, Slight bombardment 29th Batt moves off for fresh Billets 10 PM arrived new billets 1130PM

[Page 23]
Billets June 30th France Bois Grenier
30th Parade 7AM psyical jerks and rifle drill etc. July 1st Revellie 6AM psyical jerks and the usual cermonial drill etc 2nd The usual rutine to day 3rd Swiming Parade for bath & clean clothes The same rutine being carried out for a few days 9th Batt moves off for 14 miles march arrived at Hazelbrook 5PM 10th Batt moves off again arr new billets 5.30PM gave in blankets inspection of feet by the Gourka 11th Moved off again 10AM arr St Omer 1PM entrained here destination unknown being packed like sardines in Horse

France The Somme Area
waggons our journey wasn’t to pleasant 12th Billeted at St Sacner. Visited Amiens a town situate 3 miles distant 13th not allowed to leave billets, had feet inspection, and boots seen to. 14th On pass to Amiens for 24 hrs. 15th under orders to move up to the firing line 16th Left billets for the line arr small village 8 miles distant. here we slept in bunks made of wire netting 18th Moved off again arrived at a small village called Ruebumpre distance from last billets being 5 miles turned in being psyically and mentally exhausted

[Page 24]
20th July France Somme Area
Batt moved off again for village 6 miles distant arr 4.30PM Warloy under half an hr notice to move off again 21st Usual clean up A parade including a route march now & again 22nd Batt moves off again for the Town of Albert situate 5 miles distant arrive 8.30PM Here we get news of the 1st Division being in action.
23rd Weather fine Church Parade Germans drop a few shells in the town near our bivouac. The Artillery on this front being terrible the sky being lit up about 1500 Guns firing night &

July France Poziers
day 24th Breakfast & clean up lines 7 AM under orders to move up at any time Our pack’s being taken from us & equipment to be worn battle order carring haversack & water bottle etc with 24 hrs emergency rations
25th move toward the line 8 AM arrive at a place known as
sausage Gully move up to front line 7 PM met with terrible sights on our way up dead laying all around our 1st Division having been in the thick of it here offing in all directions. The Germans keeping up a continuous barrage fire on our supports

[Page 25]
France Poziers July 25th
Arrived in firing line 11PM made ourselves as comfortable as possible untill daylight gave us a better veiw of the enemys position 26th Being rather warm, the smell from the dead bodies was terrible & a plague of blowflies to help it on. Artillery on both sides was teriffic, The trenches offording very little cover. 1.30PM C Coy of the Royal Welch Fusiliers move up to attack with bomb’s driving the Germans from their position

France Poziers July 26th
The Royal Welsh putting up a splendid fight where hard pressed, having run short of bombs 2PM ordered to move up Munster Alley, each Coy forming a bombing party. Our Batt being supported by the 18th 19th 20th Batts which formed the 5th Brigade. The Royal Welsh being supported by the Tyneside Irish West Ridings. The fight having assumed a very severe character at 3PM Men dropping in all directions. The Germans keeping up a continuous barrage fire on our supports

[Page 26]
France Poziers July 26th

Made it impossible for us to get the wounded to safety, of which there where a considerable number. In fact a great many bled to death. The fighting still  raged the whole of the afternoon Our Mills bombs being a superior missle. Had the telling affect on them About 11PM the germans began to waver. At 1AM they attacked with grim determination but where beaten back again. The attack ceased at dawn The bombs used in this affair amounted to 50,000.

France Poziers July 27th
Having a little spell which was well earned Batt roll being gone through 300 men being either killed wounded or missing Our Artillery still keeping up the same pressure
28th Still in firing line The tommies being relieved after a period of 48 hrs lose a few more men in our Coy with shell fire
29th Capt leaves the trenches through the effects of shell shock Lt. Revelle wd that leaves our Coy with one officer Lt Allen not being relieved, This continous shelling & being practicilly done up is have putting a big strain on our nerves

[Page 27]
France Poziers July 30th
Lose a few more men to day leaving our platoon with six men Dug a trench on our left, in conjunction with the tommies In this operation we lost a few more men one each side of me being put hors de combat & I wasn’t sorry when we where called in. As the Huns had spotted us & we where getting a warm time from their Machine Guns Volonteered to carry water from Contalmaison a mile distant owing to a heavy barrage fire from German 5.9 had to return to firing line again &

France Poziers July 30th
Returning was worse than going. Out of our party only a few of us remained. Being almost choked with sulphor, from bursting shells was in a terrible plight. Lost our guide which made things worse. Caught like rats in a trap We gave up hope of ever getting out alive & trusting to Providence. Which came when the germans eased down a bit, made a bold dash for it The sights I met on my way back I’ll never forget The mangled forms of what used to be men & the groans from the wounded was terrible

[Page 28]
France Poziers July 31st
Inprovised stretchers where hastily put together & the supply of stretcher bearers was less than the demand The Germans having eased up there barrage. The men wounded where got out the best way possible. Received a good nobbler of rum from HQ 5AM. Was also reported as Wd & missing. Was very thankful to be alive After having a good breakfast was told to have a rest which was imposible under this continous bombardment & carring a large number of live stock on our cloths, which almost eat us alive.

France Poziers July 31st
In conversation with a Tommy officer of the D.L. Infantry The topic being Aint they going to relive you. Stating it was a dam shame to leave men in the firing so long In the condition that we where in phsyicaly & mentally used up. 2PM German Artillery give us a warm time, knocking a few more men out leaving only six in our Platt 1st Aug our Col reported to H Quarters that for our part of the line if anything he would not hold himself responsible if anything happened Our total then being reduced a little over 100 men

[Page 29]
France Poziers Aug 1st
After our Col’s report on the state of things Where relieved about 4PM Arr in kind of Reserve trenches 8PM The rest we got here was little, couldn’t have been in a worse place Right close up to a battery of 5" Guns keeping up a continous fire night & day 2nd Aug after a good wash in a shell hole close by made an attack on my clothes for chats. Being the first wash & chat parade for 7 day’s 3rd Aug The Guns on this part of the line almost wheel to wheel every calibre from 18 pdrs to 12" inch Howitzers

France Poziers Aug
firing night & day. A coal box dropped in the trench we left last night killing 8 men. Fatgue party carrying rations & ammunition to firing line through barrage fire 4th Premature expolosion from one of our 5’ inch wdg 5 men near kitchens 6th Brigade take another ridge under cover of heavy bombardment 5th Fatuge party to new line new officers taking charge got lost on our way up & almost walked into german line After getting out of this difficulty assembled back at HQ
6th Moved off again to find the place, we ought to have been in last night

[Page 30]
France Poziers Aug
After a few narrow escapes arrived in Munster Alley & commenced digging to the new line, which was necessary. As owing to the Huns fire it was impossible to get food to the men in new line without having a cover of some kind. However having done some fifty yds was ordered back as our division was relieved by the 4th Div. Batt formed up in Sausage Gully or what of it. Bivoucked on Yarra Hill overlooking Albert Here the 5th Brigade formed up & were inspected by Gen Birdwood & praised for

France Poziers Aug
our services rendered in holding Poziers In his address he stated, that we had a harder task than the 1st Div who took Poziers Batts moved off separately for billets 7 miles in the rear & warned to be ready for a 15 mile the following day 8th Moved off again being a fine day had a pleasant march bivoucked between a avenue of trees 9th Moved off again for Halloy a distance of 7 miles arrived in billets 5PM Estaminets being closed to all troops was unable to get necesarys in the shape of food, Had to be content

[Page 31]
France Poziers Aug 10th
Revellie 6AM rifle inspection Swimming parade 2PM here received clean under clothing new tunics & trowsers etc. 11th revellie 6AM physical jerks & Lewis Gun practice 2.30PM extracts read from brig H.Q. stars & bars falling in galore 12th Machine Gun drill etc carried out all day had a look rd the village 5.30PM Extracts from Brigade HQ read by Capt Mannfield two tommies being shot for being away from their post during bombing attack not saying much for Himself considering

France Haloy Billets Aug
he feined shell shock himself & was sent back into the line again. 13th Aug Revellie 6AM breakfast 8AM Church parade 1030AM issue tobbacco & cigarettes. tin helmets exchanged for old Hats 14th Swimming parade & machine Gun practice etc 15th Being a nice day held Batt sports which consisted of boxing wrestling on horse back & cycle racing etc concluded 5PM 16th Batt moved off again for firing line after a brief spell bivoucked in pouring rain 7 miles away 17th Revellie 6 AM Batt moved off again

[Page 32]
Poziers France
Moving in line again Only being a 12 mile canter Almost dropping out through exhaustion our tucker was getting very scandlous.
18th To day being spent in Machine Gun practice
19th Raining fall in for pay Machine Gun practice. 20th Left billets again for trenches issued with two days rations consisting of bully beef & buiscuits Arrived at Albert 4PM Fatuge 8PM to trenches 21st Trenches Fatuge work in Reserves line. 1st Division take two more lines of trenches 22nd Fatuge work to new lines carring rations & amunition etc 23rd C Coy leave for a new position near the cook house

Poziers August
24th Weather fine. Wizzbangs drop near our transport kills 2 horses wounds three men also a dog which loses a leg Germans fir sending over Gas shells forced to use our helmets 25th Filling in shelling holes on the Albert – Bapaume Rd 26th One of our Aeroplanes come to greif killing the pilot & wounded the observer our plat told of to clear the wrecked machine & bury the pilot.
27th Weather very dirty Orders to pack up again for the rear. Bivoucked on suicide Hill a few shells dropping during the night 28th Batt moved off again for billets nr Albert arriving 4PM.

[Page 33]
moving from Somme Aera Aug
29th Aug proceed to Warlou 7 miles distant arr 12 o’clock noon fall in for pay 2PM Having lost pay book signed up for 40 frs in Sgts Brown’s pay book
30th Weather wet & dirty Revellie 6AM breakfast 7AM Canadiains pass through village on their way up to the trenches, Having come from Yepres 31st Gen Birdwood inspects Brigade 9AM Move off again for billets 15 miles distant arrive 7.30PM weary & foot sore name of village Rosette.
September 1st Weather fine Inspection of Gas Helmets & rifles Certain houses out of bounds to troops
2nd Sep Gas helmet lectures 930AM parade dismissed for dinner 12 noon

Poperinghe Sept Somme Area
3rd Sun Church parade 1030AM Bridgade muster 4th Sept Parade for lecture 10AM 5th Sept left for Doulong Entrained for the north 830PM Arr at Poperinghe 6PM this town being 7 miles from Yepres billitted in building opposite station 6th Sept Usual rutine General leave granted to Batt to visit town 7th Sept Same rutine being carried out helmet & rifle inspection & leave to the town etc 8th Sept Revellie 6AM Under orders to leave for firing line again Fall in 830PM boarded a train for Yepres 3 miles from front line. Marched from Yepres station, or what was once a station to Reserve line called the Bond in Corrougated Iron huts

[Page 34]
Yepres. Trenches. Sept
This town being the worst ever visited, only a skeleton remains of one of the finest towns in Belgium. The Cloth Hall a fine piece of structure is partly demolished. 9th Trenches not allowed to loiter about in day time snipers being very busy around this quarter.
Warned off for guide for the 20th Batt from station to trenches
10th Sept Reported back from guide 11PM Told off for Listening post 400 yrds from our line from 9PM till 4.30AM 11th Arr from listening post 4.30AM 12th Sep move out to listening post 9PM 13th Arr from listening post 5AM

Yepres Trenches Sept
14th Sept Arr in from listening post 11PM Being relieved by the 6th Brigade left trenches for billets in Belgium Barracks, Yepre Belgium Barracks
15th Sept The usual parades & gas guards etc 16th Sept Ditto 17th Church Parade gas alert 4.30AM 18th Fatuge 2PM cleaning bricks near Cloth Hall for trench purposes. Gas Guard etc. 19th Gas Helmet inspection fatuge to trenches to hill 60 fill in crater 20th Rifle inspection etc Coy parade before doctor Sent away to Hazelbrook. 23 Left Hazelbrook to rejoin unit again Arr in Belgium Barracks 11PM 24th left here this morning 8AM for firing line arr 5PM Warned off for wiring in front of trenches started 10PM finished 2AM

[Page 35]
Yepres Trenches Sept
25th Sept Artillery bombardment started 3PM With Minewerfer’s Went out with wiring party 10PM Came in again 1AM 26th Sept Stand to Arms 5AM Weather fine Germans put a few more Minewerfers over Went out wiring again 10PM Arr in 12PM 27th Sept Weather fine Germans bombard our part of trenches & blew part of our sap away 28th Sept Stand to Arms 5AM went out wiring 10PM Relieved by 19th Batt Arr in billets 12.30AM 29th In Barracks again money payed 2PM Artillery opens up 12PM Raiding Party go over 12.30AM But find nothing only two dead germans

Yepres Trenches Sept
30th Sept Usual rutine rifle & gas helmet inspection Fatuges to trenches etc. memoranda This Barracks being fitted out with hot baths. We had a clean change of clothes each time from the trenches.
1st Oct Returned off fatuge from Mount Sorrowful 2AM 2nd Oct very quiet to day 7PM fatuge to trenches carrying duckboards etc untill midnight up to our necks in mud & also pouring with rain 3rd Oct Arr from trenches 2AM Had som coffee & comforts at the entrance to town The Big gates. 4th Oct Fatuge again to Mount Sorrowful with Stokes bombs this time.

[Page 36]
Yepres Oct Trenches
5th Oct Our Artillery opens fire 12PM previous to a raid by 19th Batt. Fatuge party to trenches widening a trench, 19th Batt raiding party successful a few prisoners being taken, casualities being light, 6th Oct breakfast 9AM Under orders to move a few miles to the rear. Relieved by the 25th Batt 8.30PM Entrained at Yepre siding for Sitinworth just beyond Poperinghe Left the train here for 8 miles march to billets. Losing our way the whole batt slept on the road until daylight. being bitter cold & raining it was no joke 7th Ordered to move off again 5AM arr - in billets 7.30AM

Yepres Oct Moving Back to Billets
The blame being laid on the billiting staff over getting lost In that joke we carried full packs, two blankets, waterproof sheet, & 120 rds ammunition. 8th Oct Still raining Revellie 6.30AM Clean rifles etc, Church Parade in overcoats belts & bayonets, 9th Oct Still showery Inspected by the Col on the voting for Referendum. rest of day being passed off in billets 10th Oct out for physical jerks & rifle exercises. 11th Oct Usual parades & physical jerks, also a rumour of moving back to Poperinghe 12th Lef billets for Poperinghe 11 miles distant arr 1PM payed money 3 oclock billeted in Huts

[Page 37]
Poperinghe Saw Mill Oct 13
Left huts for Saw Mill 7.30 two miles nearer to Yepre arr 9 AM told off for transport waggons for loading timber etc at Bele about 11 miles from here getting back with our load about 4.30PM 14th Oct Breakfast 7.30AM leave again for Bele at 9 arr back for dinner The waggon I was attached to having a trip to Hazelbrook so we had an afternoon off 15th Oct Leave for Bele again after dinner, do one load & finish for the day, 16th Oct Left again for Bele 9AM do one load befor dinner & another after dinner finish 5PM also received orders to pack up again

Moving away to Somme Area
Poperinghe Saw Mill Oct
Coy moves off 9PM to rejoin Batt arr in new huts 1030PM 17th Move off again for Steinvoorde 2PM under half an hours notice to move again. 18th Oct Arroused up 5AM for breakfast move off 6AM for Arneki a village 8 miles distant Arr 3PM 19th Remained in billets leave granted to visit township 25 percent only Told of for picket duty 20th Parade 2PM to cast our votes on the Referendum 21st left billets again 7.30AM Arr new billets 4PM 15 miles distant Weather getting very cold
It was nothing to wake up in the morning & find ice on the blankets

[Page 38]
Oct 22nd
moving to Somme Area again

22nd Oct Winter coming very fast. Breakfast 8 AM Church Parade 10.30AM Visited by our late Gen Paten during service. 23rd Oct Steel & Gas Helmet drill also inspection of rifles etc, Shifted billets further down the road to make room for the 6th Bdg 24th Raining Moved off again Entrained in horse boxes packed liked sardines 32 men to a truck In French 32 Hommes &  or 8 Chevions. Hommes for men & Chevions for horses 24th Arr 10PM B Coy of our Batt warned off to unload Divisn Transport Waggons finished unloading 4AM to day 25th Arrived in new billets at farmhouse which was in a filthy condition

Moving to Somme Again Oct
Not even straw to lay on 7 AM 26th Oct Left here in pouring rain & marched 4 miles & stood in the road for two hours waiting for Motors or London busses which arrived 1PM After a few hours ride in the Motors arr – at Durnancourt 5 miles from Albert 27th Turned out this morning to find theres no rations excepting a little bully beef & a loaf between 8 men 28th Breakfast 8AM Rifle & Gas Helmet parade Raining and very dirty roads, being up to our knees in mud. 29th Still raining Church parade in pouring rain overcoats belts & bayonets The overcoat itself weighing about 40lbs issued with rainproof coats. One between 2 men

[Page 39]
Oct Somme Area Billets
30th Oct A little dryer to day Usual parades. Gas & Rifle etc
31st Weather fine usual parades one in the morning & again in the Afternoon sheep skins issued.
Nov 1st paraded to baths 2 miles distant which was a great relief not having one for some time The baths was once a factory for making cheese being now commadeered for Divl Baths Nov 2nd Left billets for Amunition dump Fricourt Wood was lost in fog on our way slept in railway siding 3rd Moved off again 7AM It  for the Dump arr 9AM all the rations we received was a drop of tea.

Nov. Fricourt. Wood. Dump
4th Nov Started to load 4.5 shells on G.S waggons for front line Remainder of our Batt moves past here for the front line The traffic on this road is enormous transports of every description, horses covered in mud. While on this fatuge we slept in a German Dugout about 40 ft deep which was fitted up with bunks as left by the Germans came in handy especially in wet weather
5th Nov Loading 4.5 shells all day. Our Rations here was scanty even German prisoners working on the road getting better treatment than we are The Germans even went on strike for a loaf of bread between 2 instead of one between 3 & won.

[Page 40]
Fricourt. Wood Dump Somme
Nov 6th Rations issued to day one loaf between 8 men a bit of cheese & bacon boiled Still loading shells German Areoplanes raid over French lines & drop bombs on a big amunition dump 7th Nov No fatuge to day bread issue 1 loaf between 13 men & they wonder why we growl. Even had to bum our tucker from Tommy camps Nov 8th No fatuge to day, go out fossicking for tucker 9th Fatuge 9AM restack empty cartridges cases 4PM fossicking for tucker again 10th Nov breakfast 9AM fatuge work repair roads etc 50 men from 27th Batt arr to relieve us.

New Camp Carlton Camp
Fricourt. Wood Camp. Somme
Nov 11th Breakfast 9AM got ready to move up to Batt Left 2PM Arrived in camp 6PM being in tents was frequently shelled by germans 5.9 batteries The batt or what was left having been in the trenches for three days. The men having suffered terribly with frost bite & trench feet besides a number of killed & wounded 12 Nov After a hearty breakfast of tea & dry bread Batt move off for Mametz. Wood casulities & sickness being to great to put Batt in the line again Covered in all over in slime arrived in camp Huts 6PM

[Page 41]
Nov 13th Mametz. Wood. Huts. Somme
Breakfast 7AM. Ordered to have a general clean up of equipment Bath parade to Fricourt Wood. Bath & clean shift of clothes etc.
14th Nov Left huts for fatuge 7PM arrived at a saw mill nr Durnancourt found out we wasn’t wanted. Things like this being a general occurrence Anyway we slept their for the night 15 Nov Left saw mill 7AM for another fatuge section From there ordered to proceed to Batt H.Q. Arrived back to Mametz Camp 10AM 16th Nov. To day shifted to Montaban Camp, here I was attached to H.Q. L Gun Section C Coy mending roads near Carlton Trench German’s Commenced shelling the roads wounding several men in our Coy & a number of Horses.

Nov 17th Montauban Camp Somme
Rations being a little better on account of some losing a few men L Gun practice 2PM Ordered to pack up for firing line again in Battle order. Rum being issued to us for the last four days. 18th Nov Breakfast 7AM Moved off in battle order for the line arr in front line  Carlton trench 11PM After a long march of about 7 miles arrived in front line completely used up If the Germans had come over It would have been Berlin or pushing the daisy’s up. Being wet through & mud from head to foot & a few of our Gun Section had to be dug out or left to die of exposure being bogged up to their armpit & many a man that is reported missing died through exposure being lost & nowhone to help them

[Page 42]
Fless.Trenches.Somme Nov 19th
19th Weather very cold. Got busy cleaning Lewis Gun & making ourselves more comfortable. Heavy shelling continoues on both sides which stands all the nerve tests a man’s got Water to being scarce. Had to crawl out on our bellies at night time to shell holes for water dead bodies laying all around us & stand the risk of getting potted. As the germans where only 75 yrds away Could hear them talking & digging in for their lives. German Areoplane bombed one of our hospitals in the rear on the 6th Nov killing & wounding a large number of men. Eventually he was brought down before he got back & promptly shot

Fless Trenches Somme Nov 20th
Foggy to day. Heavy shelling still continues on both sides, orders to keep strict observation, in the event of a surprise attack. The german’s also being on there pins expecting an attack from us at any time. Tuesday 21 Nov 10 PM Relieved by the Sussex Regiment Artillery still continues the same pace, Whisling like bullets over our heads. German Artillery shells their own trenches, which was a common occurance in this part of the line Being close together if they shelled our trenches they where as liable to get knocked as we where Which they signified by their grand display of flares of which they had a great variety

Page 43
Leaving Trenches for Carlton Camp
22nd Nov Warned to get back to Carlton Camp the best way possible. Being foggy got lost & slept in shell holes the biggest part of the night waiting for daylight. Mud up to our necks, both weary & foot sore & cursed the day I was born to go through such torture. I must say we looked a weary lot of wretches & almost gave up hope of ever getting back to camp again. An officer of 18 Batt got in front of a Field Gun Battery line of fire & was blown to pieces 23rd Nov Being hardly unable to walk after the previous night’s experience. Reported myself

Leaving Trenches for Carlton Camp
to a dressing station close by & received attention in the shape of revivers, hot tea bread & jam & a good stiff nobbler or Rum Examined by the Doctor & sent to a Rest Station near Albert with Rehumatism or Myalgia.

24th Nov D.R. Station
Temp taken 96.2 The blankets issued ar damp dirty & full of lice. Arrived in here from trenches covered in mud from head to foot Can’nt even get a warm bath or a change of clothes & expected to get fit again. A young Tommy doctor visits every morning. 25th Nov R.A.M.C orderlys turn us out 7 AM to wash 1 bowl of water being supplied for 12 men, the last man, could stand up in the water, being that thick with dirt

Page 44
D R Station Near Albert Nov 25
Other men in this tent suffering from different diseases lay down in this condition untill they develope a serious di condition. Then they are sent away to another place for better treatment & very lucky if they pull through
26th Nov Asked to be discharged, as my unit was out for a spell still carring a low temperature Telling the M.O. it wasn’t fit for a dog let alone for a human being. The man in question being no more than 22 years of age out here for experience & spoke very nasty at times to the tommies. Of course he had no time for Australians. Discharged from here 2PM & proceeded to Belvue Farm 2 miles away 27th Nov Rejoined the Unit at Durnancourt.

Durnancourt Billets Somme Area
28th Nov Whilst here in billets. The usual rutine being gone through Rifle & Gas helmet parades & Lewis Gun Practice. 29th Nov the same Rutine to day 30th Nov To day got fitted up with shortages etc. Also issued with Brasso The reason being we couldn’t get fitted up with Australian clothes. Was issued with tommies instead. The brasso being issued to polish the buttons on our tunics. Leave Durnancourt for Cardinet a village 12 miles distant
1st Dec very cold day, polish our buttons & equipment, for a Gen Inspection by Legge 2nd Dec Freezing very hard, Parade 9.30AM for inspection. Stood shivering for an hour waiting for G & Staff who arrive 10.30

[Page 45]
Cardinet Dec 3rd Somme Area
3rd Dec Weather Cold & Frosty Church parade 10.30 AM. The usual ceromony. Two men going out to & carried away on stretchers to A.M.C quarters 4th Dec Cold & Wet Lewis Gun Practice. Special leave granted to Amiens a town 10 miles away. 5th Dec Cold & Wet Lewis Gun Practice Etc 6th Lewis Gun Practice 7th Dec Brigade inspection by Gen Holmes who is leaving the Brigade for Div Commander. He addressed us on the work we had done & said he was very sorry that he had to leave us almost in tears at the same time As a brigade Commander he treated us fairly well & where sorry to that he was leaving us.

Cardinet. Dec. 8th Somme Area
Weather Cold & Wet. Lewis Gun Practice & phsyical jerks etc 9th Dec Still raining & very cold Lewis Gun stripping & assembling draw new magazines from Q.M. store 2PM 10th Dec Cold & Raining Church Parade 10 30AM. 11th Dec Lewis Gun Practice & fill magazines ready for the line again 12th Dec Weather Snowing to day Route march, Afternoon no parade 13th Dec very Wet & Cold. Lewis Gun Practice 2PM Brigade exercises for stunt purposes 14th Dec Brigade exercises for stunt purposes in waves of Artillery formation. Our transport being used for barrage work 15th Dec Order to pack Lewis Guns on limbers ready to move up again

[Page 46]
Moving In The Trenches Somme
16th Dec Breakfast 8AM Batt moved off again for firing line. To a village 6 miles distant. The owner of this particular ramshackle place called on a French interpreter & charged us with burning wood which belonged to billet. Another incident that happened in this Area previous to the last one is The Flemmish people have taken away the pump handles or locked them up so that we could’nt get any water. & as regards to fraternizing as the papers say its all rott. Of course there is good & bad every where But the bad are in the majority here

Durnancourt Billets Somme Dec 17th
17th Dec To day unloading Guns off limbers & ammunition of. 18th Dec Paraded before Dr. sent away to Field Ambulance. 19th Dec The Batt moved up to the line. 20th Dec Hot water Bath & change of clothes which came as a great relief 21st Dec Anzac R Camp in tents being supplied with brazier & a little coke made our miserable life happy our tucker here was pretty fair. 23rd Dec inspection by M.O 11 AM. A gale of wind & rain sets up, blowing a few tents down. 24th Dec Weather Very cold & windy. Having had a crook night with dysentry heavy bombardment on this Front last night. also raining. 

[Page 47]
Anzac R Camp. Somme Area
25th Dec So being Christmas Day it wasn’t to pleasant especially with those that or in the trenches. Still crook with Dysentry 26th Dec Still raining Was paraded to M O for treatment for dysentry & almost down & out with it. 27th Dec Weather bitter cold. A continous bombardment on this front. 28th Dec The usual routine being carried out M.O attending each morning 29th Dec Bath & change of clothes. 30th Dec nothing of importance 31st Dec The usual rutine being carried & must say the tucker here was exceptionally good.

Somme Area Jan 1917
Rejoined Batt was attached to H.Q Lewis . G.S. & after a brief spell was ordered in the line again this time to the right of poziers Arr in the trenches 25th Jan doing 4 day in front 4 dys in reserve & 4 days on fatuge to front having a brief in between each term in Huts provided for us Moved out in Febuary 17th for another spell behind the lines & back to Durnancourt again where we had hot water baths & change of clothes Moved closer to the line again on 27th Feb had two days brief in Huts near

[Page 48]
The Butte le Warlencourt Martinpuish Somme Area Mar 3.17
Martinpuish. Left here for Trenches again Arr in trenches on the 1st March 10PM to night raid the German trenches capturing a few prisoners including an officer having sprung a surprise on them they left behind cigars & conigac in their water bottles, 4 30 AM Mar 2nd Germans counter attack in force – receive a shrapnell wd in L knee & fall to the rear arr at D station Martinpuish 8AM from there to C.C.S operated on the 3rd March left C.C.S by H Train for Etaples left Etaples on the 7th for Le Harve

England March 9th
Arrive here Southamton on the 9th 3.17 left Southamton by train for Bristol arr 4PM proceeded by Motor Ambulance to Beaufort War Hospital In Hospital till 15th June was feeling a bit frisky & asked for leave which was granted Reported back to Hurdcott camp 7th June. Being seven days over leave was parade to C.O & remanded for further evidence from R.A.M.C Dr & Dental Surgeon in Newcastle on Tyne. Case concluded 28th Stoppage of pay 6 days R.W. Transfered to B1 A 4 Coy on the 9th July Dental parad 10th for a new plate fitted with plate on the 20th July

[Page 49]
Over Seas Training Batt 21=8=17 Perham Downs
A Coy soft Training. Put through Gas 23=8=17 Transferred to Medium Batt. 25=8=17 / 27=8=17 Men in Draft Batt strike for better tucker. 28=8=17 owing to wet weather, Ordered to stand by in Huts. 29th=8=17 went on strike cause insufficient tucker. A extra half hour’s drill. On leave 24 hrs from the 3rd to the 5th=9=17 Raid on Chatham Royal Naval Barracks killing 200 men & wd 78. Left London 4-45PM for Newcastle on Tyne. Via Euston station. X
Left Perham downs for Southamton 17th Oct=9=17 embarked for le Havre 18th disembarked 11 AM 19th Oct & marched 5 miles to Base camp. Equipments issued to us on the 20th Oct Had bull ring practice & gas helmet drill being several other regiments here it looked as if we where at war again. Finished bull ring on the 25th Oct 17 & warned for draft left Havre for firing line 5.30PM in full marching order & 150 rds ammunition Oct 26 Arr Rouen and camped 4 miles from station to await further orders, Moved off again 6PM entrained for etaples arr 27Oct left again 8PM for Abele arr in camp 10PM Batt having a spell out. After a casual glance around, was surprised to find a lot of the old hand missing or gone west. To day 29th leave for

[Page 50]
Halifax camp arr 7PM to day 31st Oct, warned off for fatuge work to front line. 1st Sept attached to Lewis Gun section, out on target practice & drill etc, finished 4PM. Stow our packs away & proceed to Belgium Barracks a mile distant from here leave here on the to day the 3rd Sep for support line. Tues 9th Sep 5th Bgd Hop over taking objectives casualities being rather heavy, out of a total of 87 men who went over in our coy only 30 men came out casualities among officers being heavy relieved on the morning of the 10th Sep for Steinvoord. After a spell of six weeks, we moved to Houpline, on the Armintiers sector, left camp for the line 15th Jan 18 Having transfered to 5th M.G.C arr in our positions just to the left of Armintiers practilly all the surrounding country being under water, caused by overflow from the river Lys, Having to move about in punts so many lagoons being formed, a rather funny feature was the wild ducks of which where numerous relieved on the 26th Jan & leave for Bonanza Camp for a short spell Spent Christmas & New year in Pillbox Ploegsteert Sector, considering thing where rather quiet we made the best of thing, went out in search of some poultry for Christmas diner, our luck being in arrived with a couple of ducks our team consisting of 5 men quite a nice party, Cooking

[Page 51]
under difficulty, we made a lovely dinner including pudding made from crushed buiscuts in fact I think everything was tip top also champyne to wash it down, would’nt have fared better at home.
This being our longest time in the line 42 day’s & not a bad position either, inside the Pill box where beds & a cooking stove, which where provided by Fritz of course untill we got hold of it, their front line being about 700 yds from here & to let us know they where still there, would send over a few 5.9 After a short spell here, we removed to Messinnes Ridge remaining 7 day’s. About this time we heard, that fritz had started his offensive on the Somme & our Army being a mobile coloum was despacyhed down to the Somme in good time, to arrest fritz advance on Amiens at Villiers Brettoneaux It was here I was blew up Machine Gun being damaged, also Sgt Thomson being killed two wd, I am sent out suffering from concussion hemorhage in ears & wd in left knee breaking out again also general debility However arr at Abbeville Aust. Gen. H on the 9th April evacuated on the 10th for England, not reaching there untill 10th of June, after passing two Medical Boards & Class B.3. Arr in England by the SS St George entrain for

[Page 52]
Weymouth, Class on the 11th Jan C.2. at Westham Camp transfered to Littlemoor & examined again on the 12th June leave Littlemoor for Monte Video camp 14th June addmitted to Hospital on the 15th before General Ryan 21st June bringing me a thud from C2 to B1 B.R.C, discharged from Hos on the 25th June started Remidal Course same day, no improvement showing was taken off & sent before Ryan again, he being a man with a bad reputation in the A.I.F for bringing Gutzers he is nicknamed the Gutzer King See Ryan again on the 2nd July & he refused to deal with us classification remaining the same
Leave for Westham Camp on 15 Aug a purpose for draft for Hurdcott, arr there on the same day
Proceed on 10 Dys special leave to Newcastle on Tyne 31st Aug 18 left Warminster 8th Jan for Liverpool 4 30AM
Left Liverpool for Ausy on the 9th Jan 1st 19 for Port Said 19th 1=19. Take in 500 ton of coal at Suez. Left Suez for Colombo on 21st-1-19 & pass the Kanowna H ship on her way home. Pass Aden on the 25th Jan due to arr – in Colombo on the 31st. crossing arr in the Indian Ocean or Arabian Sea, Sunday 26th Jan 19, passing C Guardito African coast.
Pte William Matthew Currie VC 53 Btn

[Page 53]
To day Jan 27th-19 Court Maritial held, the accused being a Cpl Newell. E.J. 5.0 5 6 9th Batt filled in reparation forms 1PM Skipper gave a song entitled There are smiles that makes us happy. To night Fancy dress given by the passengers, Fancy dress Parade started 8.30PM two prizes being give a Lady dressed as peace & Gent as a swagman. A very funny incident happened, when it became known who the swagman was, being the O.C of troops Major Irvine & he wasn’t a popular man with the troops either so you can imagine their feelings about the result
Sat 1st Feb 2 19 arr in Colombo this morning, leave to go on shore for a few hours not being granted, Men took advantage of coal lighters & where pulled on shore by the niggers, in all about 600 men got on shore of course a few men played up in town looting silk shops & jewellers to the value of fifteen hundred pounds also two treasuers , small idols, company commander gave out in orders that we wasn’t to be paid untill they could trace where these idols went to. So that means 13,000 men having to suffer for the few that played up.

[Page 54]
After the ship finished getting water & coal, slipped her buoy at 10PM leaving a few men behind, who couldn’t get on board in time I  4th feb 2=19 Idols having been found money was paid to day, Heavy tropical rain falling, & very sultry due to arr in Fremantle on the 10th Passed Cocus Island on the 8th feb, looking for the Emden but failed to see anything of her, of course may have been salved. To day the 9th burial of a little girl 2 mths old at sea mother being a saloon passenger [indecipherable] Sunday 10th Church service arr Fre to day. 12th Feb at Quarantine for three days & Left Fremantle for 13th arr 14th Volunteers asked for to take in coal owing to a strike with the lumpers left Albany for Adelaide on the 15th arr adelaide 18th & left in the evening for Melbourne arr Melb 20th arr off Portsea with quarantine flag hoisted, passengers & men for Victoria disembark. 5PM proceed to Williamstown to coal & water. Fri 21st left Williamstown for Tasmania. arr Sun 23rd & leave again noon Arr Sydney North head quarantine stn 25 Feb No wonder the Argyles men marched off from here, rusty knifeves & forks & plates
3rd Feb leave Quarantine Camp for Anzac buffet 3PM

[Page 55]

[Transcriber’s notes:
Page 9 - Moaska is Moascar
Page 10 - Erquingham is Erquinghem
Page 11 - Erquerkheim is Erquinghem
Page 12 - Yepres is Ypres
Page 15 - Armeinteres is Armentieres
Page 16 - Mackonicies is McConachys
Page 21 - Alimon probably meant to be Allemagne
Page 22 - A coal box was the World War 1 term for any German artillery shell causing a lot of black smoke
Page 23 - Hazelbrook is Hazebrouck
Page 23 - St Saever is Saint-Saeveur
Page 23 – Ruebumpre is Rubempre
Page 24 - Warloy is Warloy-Baillon
Page 25 - Several lines of the diary obscured
Page 35 - Minewerfer was a big trench mortar shell
Page 35 – Mount Sorrowful is Mount Sorrel which is very close to Ieper and where a major battle was fought in June 1916
Page 36 - Sitin worth is most likely Steenvoorde
Page 37 - Bele is most likely Abele which is approximately 4 km south west of Poperinghe
Page 37 - Steinvoorde is Steenvoorde
Page 37 - Arnecki is Arneke]
Page 38 - Gen Paten is Major-General John Paton
Page 38 - Durnancourt is Dernancourt
Page 41 - Montaban is Montauban-de-Picardie
Page 44 - Belvue Farm is Belle Vue Farm or Bellevue Farm
Page 44 - Cardinet is Cardonnette
Page 44 - Legge is Major General James Gordon Legge
Page 47 - poziers is Pozieres
Page 48 - Martinpuish is Martinpuich
Page 49 - Date sequence incorrect 17th Oct – 9-17 should be 17th Sep
Page 49 – Page 50 - Date jumps from Sep to Oct back to Sep etc. Second mention of Sep probably November
Page 55 - whole page smudged out – could not be deciphered

[Transcribed by Colin Smith, Judy Macfarlan for the State Library of New South Wales]