Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Norman Lee Pearce World War I diary, 1 January - 8 November 1916
MLMSS 8587

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Christmas In Paris Change Times By A Press Correspondente
London Graphic 29th Jany 1916
Photo of 5th Field Ambulance Camp on Gallipoli Rest Gully

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[Printed calendar, in French, for six months - January to June 1916

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January 1
Very cold today with wind and rain In the afternoon it cleared up and we went over to Condia Village. When we arrived back in camp we got orders to be ready to move off on Monday morning. Lemnos Island from the Harbour presents a very barren appearance but really contains some very fine vine growing land. Grapes are usually cultivated to a large extent.

January 2
Nothing much happened today. Held church service this morning and nearly froze but fortunately the parson cut his sermon short. The old windmills for crushing grain present a very quaint picture as does the whole Island and inhabitants. Mudros West stretches away in a volcanic stony undulation for about two miles from the Harbour when it becomes very rough and mountainous.

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January 3
Up at daylight this morning and went aboard troopship "Maniton" about lunch time. 20th Batt. 5th Engineers some English troops on board beside ourselves also about 600 horses. It is interesting to watch them being loaded. There are also about 30 prisoners on board including some women {(20/1/16) I have since found out that these prisoners included some consuls arrested in Salonika}

January 4
The food is very good but sleeping accommodation limited. I am sleeping with the horses. I have seen the "Aquatania" (47000 tons) and "Brittannic" (53000 tons) in the harbour now both Hospital boats. I havenít had any official war news for weeks but rumours are plentiful if not reliable I have seen Mick Heraghty a number of times on board and also on Anzac. He is a S.B. in the 20th.

January 5
Left Lemnos harbour about daylight this morning. We catch a glimpse occasionally of an escort The seas in this part are very dangerous on a/c of submarines I forgot to mention previously that I ate more oranges and chocolates on Lemnos than I ever ate before in my life We got some delicious blood oranges there.

January 6
We have been passing through numbers of islands since we started ideal places for submarines to hide. The "Persia" and "Geelong" I understand were sunk about here recently. (9/1/16) I have heard since on reliable information that an escort sighted a submarine and gave chase but it was lost among the islands. These Islands are apparently uninhabited and appear very barren.

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January 7
All land is now out of sight and we are in the middle of the Meditterranan. It is beginning to work up rough tonight

January 8
Arrived in Alexandria harbour this afternoon Had a bad bout of seasickness this morning but am alright again now. There is nothing much to see in the harbour and one canít see much of the City from here. I should like to have a look round but I donít expect to say here at all, and we donít event know our destination

January 9
Disembarked about 11 a.m. this morning and entrained almost immediately hoping for Cairo but we were sadly disappointed. We passed through Zaq-a-Zig and arrived here (Tel-el Kebir) about 7.30 p.m. We had some tea of a sort and then pitched our tent.

January 10
We got our Xmas mail today and had day off to rest. I got about 20 letters and numbers of cards. Our parcels havenít arrived yet but a number of cases are in Cairo for us and I suppose will turn up in a day or two.

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January 11
Started on the same old routine of drill &c. This is an ideal training camp but most uninteresting. I went round tonight and saw Bill Clark and Ron Hindmarsh. Both well. A big crowd of Parkes chaps were round to see Bill the same night including McElvoque, McDermott Mick Heraghty and some others. This place has rather an historic interest being the only place where
January 12
the famous British square was ever broken commanded by General Wolsey and Kitchener was a subaltern. We are not allowed to mention in our letters where we are nor anything in regard to the evacuation
January 13
Some very interesting curios have been found round here. I have a few old cartridges picked up on the old Tel-el-Kebir battlefield that will be interesting. I also have some very pretty pieces of stone which are petrified wood. Most of these deserts were forests originally. There is a very interesting little Cemetery a couple of miles away where some of the fallen heroes are
January 14
buried, who died in the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir or Kassassan in Aug and September 1882. It is a very pretty little ground with nice shade trees palms and firs &c, Some of them died of thirst on the march from Ismalia

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January 15

13th B.A.C. 5/4/16 Ė 6 & 16
Sherlock Diar 7/4/16
Firth NZ Hosp V.D.
Frost Rheum Ė Nil 6/4/16 7/4/16
Clark Ė Eye
S Kurrie 6/4/16
Richter
Sauer
Standring
Hahn NZ Host P.U.0.
Cook 7.4.16 teeth
Rice 7.4.16 Chafe

Pynegar 7 4 16 Headache
Bryson 7.7.16 Constip
Gunn 7.4.16 Diar
Richards 7.4.16 Ankle
Westlake teeth
Liston
Moffit
McMaster teeth 7.4.16
Faithful teeth 7.4.16
Ricketts

January 16
Furze 7.4.16 Cold
Caattinote 7.4.16 Headache
Clyne 7.4.16 Diar
Smith L.H. Ė Testicles

January 17
50th Batty 5.4.16
Bligh
Willey 6/4/16 tonsilitis
Blackley lump groin 6/4/16
Gorte
Caldwell
Luttock
Aspinall
Cousens
Rogers 6/4/16 Pains back
Fallon
McDonald
Thomas

January 18
Scott 6/4/16 Diar 7/4/16
Walker 6/4/16 Cold
Kenmore 6/4/16 Cold
Jackson 7/4/16 Constip.
Gibson 7/4/16 ear
Hosking 7/4/16 Headache

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49th Batty. 5/4/16

January 19
Matheson
Long 6/4/16
Lee 6/4/16
Leslie Rheumatism 6/4/16 Ė NZ Hosp 7/4/16
Jefferson
Trott 6/4/16
Mathis 6/4/16
Halles N.Z. Hosp 6/4/16
Maroske 6/4/16
Cavanagh N.Z. Hosp. 6/4/16
Bailey 6/4/16

January 20
Philips 6/4/16
Nicholls 7/4/16 Cold
Grimley 7/4/16 teeth
Bott 7/4/16 Mumps Hosp

51st Batty.

January 21
Gunn 6/4/16 Diar
McRae 6/4/16 Diar
McKenzie 6/4/16 Cold
Gleeson 7/4/16 Sore eyes
LeBrock 7/4/16 Sore neck
Currie 7/4/16 Diar
Fisher 7/4/16 Cold
Scanlon 7/4/16 Diar
Matthews 7/4/16 Diar
Moodie 7/4/16 Cold

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52nd Batty

January 23
Henderson 6/4/16 Ė 7/4/16
Walker 6/4/16 Piles
Selway 6/4/16 V.D. Hosp.
Miller 6/4/16
Sanders 6/4/16
Smith J.A. 6/4/16 N.Z. Hosp. ingr? toe nail 7/4/16
Doyle 6/4/16 teeth
Clyde 6/4/16
Ogg 6/4/16
Waters 7.4.16
Palmer 7.4.16 Diar
Stokes 7.4.16 Hosp.

January 24
Simmons 7.4.16 Diar

We played the transport cricket this afternoon and beat them by a few runs. I only made 2. We have a holiday every Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday except for Church parade.

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January 27
April 8th. I will show an instance of military inconsistency. In my Brigade a man was given 2 days C.B. for being absent without leave. In the Howitzer Brigade a man was given 28 days ([indecipherable] for the same offence. The Colonel of the Howitzer is an old tartar (Cox. Taylor) He likes to see men crimed and says it denotes negligence on the part of the NCOís and officers who lay the charge He also gave a man 7 days for wearing his cap on the back of his head.

January 29
Played Sergeantís cricket this afternoon, and beat them by an innings. I made second top with 14 not out

January 30
Had leave and went into Cairo today, with Bob Arthur, Dug and Sgt. Downie. Had a splendid lunch at St. Jamesí. Bought some scarves &c and sent home. Spent most of day driving round in garret with Dug. Had tea at Cafť de la Paix. Arrived back about 11 p.m. Bob is trying for a transfer into his brotherís battalion. Mrs Hindmarsh and Hilda were out at Tel-el-Kebir today.

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[The diary on the following three dates contains a continuation of the entries for June 24-25]
June 24+
I never saw such an unusual growth of vegetation as I have seen today. We havenít had much to eat the last 24 hours and no money to buy anything. We have a twilight here until about 9 p.m. So far I havenít been particularly struck with French feminine beauty. There are some awfully pretty girls, but on the whole donít come up to Australians. Most of them are in mourning and of course looking sad but bearing up brightly. For a while after leaving Marseilles we seemed to be coming through Lake country but they were really inlets although I couldnít make out the entrance. We got into Valences about dusk, I suppose this is where the famous lace comes from

June 25 Ėwas the most beautiful I have seen. We stopped at a place named Leo Lanimes Alesia for picnic lunch. The girls gave us a great cheers. Since leaving there it has been raining continually. Later on we passed through a place called Tonnerre the quaintest little town I have ever seen. About 7.30 p.m. We are now in Sens. We had tea at a place called Monterau

June 25
The Parson has just told me that about AD 375 there was a meeting of all the Bishops of the world in Arles so it must be at least 1600 years old. I overheard a chap who was leaning out of the window admiring the country say in a stage whisper as though he was ashamed to admit it and the acknowledgement seemed to be forced out of him. "Well this country knocks the Hawkesbury into a cocked hat" one thing is very noticeable here and that is that the war so far doesnít seem to have prevented the country from getting its crops in Another noticeable fact is the orderliness of everything. I suppose France has the best engineers in the world. Nothing seems to be out of place everything being done with a system. We are getting great receptions along the whole route. One little girl asked us if we liked to be going to the front and we were able to give a responsive "Yes" whereupon she informed us that "vous Ítes grands hommes et bravos".

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February 3
Most of the 2nd Division has gone away down to the Canal. I donít know what we are going to do but all leave to Cairo has been stopped for the present, so we will probably be on the move again soon. I hope so at any rate as action is preferable to this

February 5
We played the 6th Fld Amb. cricket today and beat them by a few runs. Went to pictures tonight. Very fair program. Prices 1st Class 5 pt. 2nd class 3 Pt. and 3rd Class 2 pt.

February 6
I understand Mrs Hindmarsh and Hilda were out today to see Ron and they sent me a note asking me to have lunch with them but it didnít arrive. I was awfully sorry to miss them. Aubrey had lunch with them

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February 7
Left Tel-el-Kebir this morning about 10 a.m. Reveille went at 4 a.m. and we were kept going packing and loading until we left. (3.30 p.m.) Have been loading & unloading all day. Nothing to eat since 6 a.m. We are now at Ismalia on the Canal and are going over about 10 miles on Asiatic side Ismalia seems a fine town with some beautiful buildings & gardens. one of our ambulance waggons went over the Pontoon Bridge across the canal but the horses and drivers were fortunately saved. Our Brigade is again in the first line of trenches, but we donít expect much fighting. The days are very hot lately. The Canal is very narrow here not more than 100 yards. We came on about a mile on Arabian side of canal and camped.

Tuesday 8th Ė today we are packing up preparatory to moving on to firing line. We are preparing each Section separately so we will probably separate. We have been pitching tents all day

February 9
Same old routine drill again today. The Colonel left us for good to-day. He is now D.D.M.S to the 1st A.A. Corps. We donít know his successor yet but we will certainly have old bumble-footed Chapman for our Major. Today is a half-holiday as usual. No sign of us moving for a bit yet.

February 10
I was included among a few picked out today to learn semaphore signalling. I am getting along alright with it and it is very interesting work. I understand Major Phipps is now our Lt. Col

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February 11
I am on latrine picket today. Very easy job can read and write all day long. Have sent a few P.Cís away. Boat going to Australia on Sunday. Mail expected today The weather here is simply perfect. One can be on the sand in the Sun all day. There is no sign of the Turks coming so far. An aeroplane goes out every morning and afternoon. General Sir Archibald Murray is to inspect us on Sunday.
[In side margin a note Ė Swimming parade in Canal today.]

February 12
Easy day. Resuscitation lecture and swim in Canal this morning. Sent 2 films by L/C Saddington to be developed. Mail came in today but nothing for me. Sergeant Banner left us today to take up duties at Headquarters as Colonel Rothís clerk I suppose Private Robertson will take his place as he has been in the orderly room for some time.

February 13
Sent 3 films by Private Franklin to Ismalia today. Held Church parade this morning. General Maxwell expected this afternoon to review us. 5 % leave allowed into Ismalia every day. Wrote home and another mail in, including one from home. I must try and get a photo of a large boat going through the Canal. We got our ambulance waggon up alright from the Canal with no damage done.

February 14
On leave in Ismalia today. Beautiful drives, gardens and European residences but nothing much else to recommend it. Lunched at Hotel des Voyageurs. In the afternoon we drove all round for an hour in a [indecipherable]. Altogether we had a good day but rather too much walking. A good deal of drunkenness mostly N. Zealanders Went 12 stone on scales today, about a stone more than when I enlisted

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February 15
Today we had what we call a field day (C. Section only). We struck camp and marched out a few miles onto the desert with all our gear and ambulance waggons &c Pitched camp a couple of times and practised collecting wounded &c. Drizzly rain all day. Very interesting day. The ground is awfully wet for sleeping on tonight but we have to chance that.

February 16
Much stricter regulations coming out in regard to censorship. All we can say now "I am quite well and trust you are the same" Canít even say "we are sleeping on the sand" It may mean that we are moving again shortly, I hope so. Half holiday today. Must write some letters. Norm Robertson made acting Sergeant Clerk instead of Sergeant Banner Raining again today

February 17
Went into Ismalia on duty today for a fumigator or "lice killer". Lunched at Hotel des Voyageurs. A. Section had their field day today. Got letter from Hilda Harnett from Cairo. On night picquet tonight, from 3 to 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. We generally make ourselves some cocoa. Got two films developed. Very poor. I donít think I shall make a photographer.

February 18
A good many "furfies" flying around today that C. Section is going to make up part of a new ambulance. C Sections of the 4th & 6th, I understand are going to do this. Had a swim in Lake Timsah again today. It is going to be a daily thing evidently an old letter of Louís turned up today.

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February 19
I am writing this on the shores of Lake Timsah. We are down for a swim but I didnít go in today To windy. Erzurum has been take by the Russians from the Turks. A very important capture and should influence Roumania in our favour. Just got word through that C. Sect. from here and C Sect. from 8th Fld. Amb. are forming a new ambulance under Major Moseley. All the ambulances are being split up similarly. We will get away from here very shortly.

Sunday 20th Ė B Section went out to the trenches today and we are moving off tomorrow to form the new ambulance I think to Tel-el-Keber and then on to Zietoun. Wrote home to Maud and Hilda today. General Birdwood made a very fine speech to the men at Church this morning and asked all commanding officers to go more among their men and find out their wants and complaints.

February 21
It is almost certain we are going to France in the near future. Nothing much of importance on today. We are still holding ourselves in readiness to move off at any time. Sergeant Banner is back again with us. We are able to get leave into Port Said or Suez instead of Cairo now. I will go into Port Said on my next leave. Kit inspection today.

February 22
Did practically nothing all day. Went down for a swim in the morning and had Q.Mís fatigue in the afternoon.

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February 23
Had full marching order parade this morning being the way we will march off when leaving here. Major Moseley is really the only officer who looks after us. Half holiday this afternoon. Got word to be ready to move off in the morning.

February 24
Up at 5 am this morning. Got into Ismailia about 9 am. Had lunch in Ismailia. Train leaving at 2 p.m. Arrived in Tel-el-Kebir about 4.30 pm Major Moseley is Lt. Col. in charge. He came round last night to ask how we were getting on. Aubrey was round tonight. We have C Sect. of the 8th with us. Very decent chaps (S. Australians)

February 25
Getting camp into order all day. I was surveying the camp all afternoon. We are in a very good Camp here close to railway station, shower baths laid on. Canteens handy, also picture show Went to latter with Aubrey. Very good program with band in attendance. I donít care much for the officers and non-coms of the 8th. We have very fine officers with us. Major Moseley Capts Davenport and Frazelle.

February 26
Pitching tents all day. Making provision for Hospital again. Major Moseley is not going to be O.C. after all worse luck. He is acting O.C. just now and Major Ross from 7th Fld. Amb. is coming to take command. Indulged in shower bath this afternoon Went to pictures again tonight with Bob Jack Dexter and Gordon Proctor.

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February 27
About 40 patients being admitted this morning. Received letters from home, Iris & Miss Montague. Several cases of small pox about. Will have to undergo vaccination again. Would like to get out of A.M.C. into an active Unit Ė either engineers or artillery, but we are not allowed to change unfortunately. Mrs Hindmarsh and a Mrs Connor were out today. I saw them for about an hour.

February 28
Did practically nothing today. We started our leave into Cairo again today. I also wrote 8 pages ready to send home. Sent 9 films into Cairo by Otto Peters. They are trying to make us into a swank unit again but any of us who have been on Anzac donít trouble much. Our uniforms are nearly worn out and they wonít give us new ones. Going to pictures again tonight.

February 29
Have been doing nothing much this morning. Sent letters home by man going to Australia. Heard of vacancies in details of 4th Division Artillery and as Crop & I went to see if we can get in. Will know in a day or so. I only hope we can get it. We are beginning to get fairly comfortable now. Mess sheds to have our meals in, shower baths picture show and canteens very handy. I understand our pay is being reduced to 1/-per day as we will probably be going to France and it will bring all soldiers on a similar footing.

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March 1
Crop. Peter, Otto and myself paraded before Major Moseley this morning asking for permission to transfer and he agreed to recommend us. Peter & Otto have since drawn out and Bob and Jack Dexter are going to parade in the morning asking to be substituted in their places. We are having very strenuous physical exercises every morning. Pain this afternoon.

March 2
Awfully oppressive day. Been erecting a cook-house all day with Austin Davis. Bob and Jack paraded for their transfers this morning and were recommended. Had beautiful bath tonight.

March 3
Hot and windy again today.
Nothing doing. Erecting tents mostly.

March 4
Holiday today to make up for half holiday missed on Wednesday. Nothing so far about our transfers. Sgt Black acting W.O. I have been promised a stripe here with probable chance of more if I stay.

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March 5
On picquet today. Had 9 rolls of films developed in Cairo. Some very good photos among them. Will send some home as soon as I am able but we are not allowed to send through post just now.

March 6
Nothing heard of our transfers yet. We have been seeing a good many officers trying to get them to put in a word for us. Great rumours flying round about going to France and I think we will eventually.

March 7
46 men and some officers have joined us from the 4th L.H.F.A. Col. Howe is now in charge of us. We are going in on leave to Cairo tomorrow, but we intend catching tonightís train in. Got into Cairo about midnight and took cab to Khedevial Hotel 5/- bed & breakfast os Cropley and myself

March 8
Enjoyed a beautiful rest between sheets. First since leaving home. How splendid hot bath and breakfasted. Went out to Ghezireh. They are all packed up with orders for France. Called in and saw [indecipherable] & Mrs. Connor for a few minutes. Lunched at St Jameís. Went and saw Hilda and afterwards some shopping. Dined at Petrograd and caught train at 7 pm for camp.

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March 9
Captains Davenport & Frizelle left us yesterday, and Major Moseley is leaving shortly probably for Australia. We will be under new officers. Notified to be ready to parade before General Howse in regard to transfer tomorrow.

March 10
General Howse didnít see us after all. There are other applications than our own and Col. Barber is selecting. We are doing absolutely nothing just now. Sent some photos home and a letter.

March 11
On Q.Mís fatigue all morning. Sent long letter home in afternoon. Nothing doing. Went to pictures at night with Jack Dexter.

March 12
Spent nearly all day writing long letter home from time we left Australia to the evacuation. Also got some more photos ready and sent some photos to Miss Montague. Aubrey came round to see me tonight. Am studying French diligently. Cabled tonight for 20£ for Bob and myself and also wrote Cookís per favour of Aubrey.

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March 13
On line picquet today. The 5th Field Amb. is embarking tomorrow presumably for France.

March 14
Got word of our transfer tonight Am now Corporal in A.M.C. detail 5th Division Artillery, but I donít know yet when I shall start there.

March 15
Building washing place all day otherwise nothing doing. General Birdwood and Lady B. and some friends drove round Tel-el-Kebir this afternoon in one of our ambulance waggons, and had tea in the trenches. He offered Joe Lang who was driving him 1£ but Joe refused it saying he had too much respect for him.

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Sent a long account home today by Staff Sergeant Wilson who is leaving for Australia tomorrow night. St Patrickís Day. Capt Pat Higgins gas mask and entertains Private Murray

March 18
We have to report at Artillery tomorrow and will take up our duties on Monday I suppose

March 19
We reported at 5th Div Artillery today Went back now had blow out with the boys at night.

March 20
I am attached to 13th Bge. Bob to Howitzer Bge and Crop. to 14th Bge Jack to D.A.C I have no M.O. so far but am helping Crop at 14th under Capt Marshall. Went to pictures tonight.

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March 21
We put through about 60 inoculations today. My job is an easy one on the whole Ė sick parade at 7 a.m. and nothing much to do after that Ė I am getting along well with Capt. Marshall. He is rather quick tempered though He has the poor beggars that way that they are too frightened to go on sick parade. Of course there are a lot of malingerers and he has to be careful.

March 22
The Prince of Wales made an inspection of the Camp today. He is very tiny but a pleasant face. We put through another 100 inoculations for paratyphoid again today. Scarcity of water up this end. I think the Prince is inclined to be wild but I understand his nature is very like his Grandfathers, so if he turns out as well he will do

March 23
The days are becoming very hot but nice cool evenings. At present we are only half strength, but will be filling up from infantry and Light Horse in a few days.

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March 25
One great advantage in these detail positions is that we are treated with much more consideration by all combatant ranks, officers and men alike. The only officer we are accountable to is our Medical officer All other officers have absolutely nothing to do with us Ė Our M.O. censors our letters, grants our leave and in fact have full control over us

March 26
There would be a great opening here for enterprising Australian firms in the fruit industry Ė We have to pay about 1/8 a tin for inferior American stuff and a tremendous lot of it is consumed. Most of the troops have been marching to Ismailia lately and quite a number have died Ė This is a crying shame as numbers of empty trains go down every day. Somebody in charge should be told off for causing these unnecessary deaths. It is a case of history

March 27
repeating itself as most of the deaths in Tel-el-Kebir Cemetery were caused from thirst in 1885. Nine deaths occurred in one battalion alone including one officer and a brave one. He found one of his men nearly dead and he gave him his water bottle and horse and shot himself Ė Most of the younger officers now have been through the ranks and know how to treat men, unfortunately a good many others donít know.

March 28
Today our Brigades were completed out of the 5th and 6th L.H. regiments. I donít suppose there are more than 10% old artilerymen these Brigades so you can understand they will take a good deal of training to become efficient I am still without an M.O. and likely to remain so as medical men are scarce. We are about the only ones left in Tel-el-Kebir just now, and Tommies are taking our place.

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March 29
Today is simply awful in regard to heat and quite a number of chaps have gone out to it, and been sent away to Hospital. The sooner we get out of Egypt the better Iíll be pleased. I thought this would be an easy job but lately it has proved otherwise. Tomorrow the new drill order is coming into force. No parades through the heat of the day. The 15th Fld Amb moved off today to Ismailia.

March 30
We have been very busy again today and short handed as os crop has gone into Cairo. A tremendous lot of venereal cases are being sent away from the L.H. men. A good many of the troops have been marching to Ismailia. This is a crying shame in this heat as numbers of empty trains go down every day and I understand quite a number have died on the way down and one man committed suicide.

March 31
We had a tremendous sick parade again this morning 70 odd and I had to get away from the dispensary for a while as I am going to spend the day in the Y.M.C.A. writing letters. I had to go without breakfast this morning Capt Marshall told me to put up on extra stripe so that I can have the privileges of the Sergeantís mess. He is fearfully exentric and absolutely without tact. Went to pictures tonight.

I have a few more aspersions to cast on officers in general. When in Camp in Heliopolis several Canteens were erected on our ground (5th Fld Amb). Something like 40£ rent was collected which was supposed to go to the Unit. It went instead into the Officerís mess. Also in our last Camp in Tel-el-Kebir (15th Fld Amb) about 10£ a week was collected which also went into officerís mess.

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April 1
Aprilís Fool Day. I wish someone would perpetrate a joke on me and make me laugh. I donít feel much like it myself lately. Yesterday I had a walk through the Camp and was surprised to see how few were left. It is going to be filled up by Tommies, in a few days. Some General was round inspecting the Camp today. It is always made specially clean and tidy for these events Ė Had afternoon tea (cocoa) at Y.M.C.A. again with Jack Dexter. Leaving here on Monday.

April 2
We have been packing up all day ready to move off in the morning. I am staying behind till the end with Capt. Marshall only a few hundred Australians will be left in this Camp then Ė all Australians have to be out of Cairo by Mercredi. I think my Brigade is going to Moaska on this side of the Canal about a mile from Ismailia Ė I am still without an M.O. Moved down to Station and slept there

April 3
Left Tel-el-Kebir about 7 am. Drove round Ismailia with Capt Marshall - He took a great liking to me and shouted one all round town. Went into Camp at Ferryís Post. Saw the boys of 15th Fld Amb tonight. Made me feel quite homesick. Slept with Crop tonight. Iím very much afraid I would much rather be back with the boys Ė Itís a jolly hard matter to leave them and one gets to know a man thoroughly on active service.

April 4
Rejoined my Unit at Moaskar this morning walking 6 miles with all my pack. Saw Russ & Edric today They are in the D.A.C. and only about 100 yards away. This is an awful camp No water or anything. I am helping Capt Robinson M.O. of the 15th Bdge at present. A very nice little Doctor.

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April 5
Bob and I went into Ismailia today and had a good dinner at Hotel des Voyageurs We had to tell the guard that we were going in for medical stores to get through. We had a very acceptable swim in the public baths in the afternoon and afternoon tea at some Church Canteen run by English ladies. It was a treat to talk to an English women again. Had to be back by 7 p.m. to dress Major Caddyís arm.

April 6
Very busy sick parade this morning Went for a swim in Lake Timsah this afternoon. All the New Zealanders are moving off to France from here lately only a few left. The few left their mark by burning all canteens to the ground tonight It started by the proprietor of a wet canteen doubling the price of his beer. He thought he could ask anything as they were leaving, but they had swift retaliation drinking all the beer first and then burning the Canteen. Of course all other canteens

April 7
had to go once they were started. I dare say a good many Australians were mixed up in it too. Nearly all these occurrences take place under some provocation. The N.Zís left their Camps in filthy condition. I must say all Australian lines are left scrupulously clean when leaving and our sanitary arrangements are always perfect. I have an A.M.C. Cpl to take my place if I can arrange to get into a battery. More canteens are being burnt tonight.

April 8
I saw Major Cuddy today about getting into a Battery and he promised to let me in as a gunner if the A.D.M.S. will approve. Today a man came on sick parade complaining of pains in the back, and got pack drill. At lunch time he reported to me that he had done pack drill all the morning and had to do so again this afternoon - He was running a slight temp so I informed the Dr. and got a note exempting him. I gave it into his orderly room and his Lieut. told me that he had only done this pack drill in the morn & and wasnít going to do any more in the afternoon after my running round for him for an hour

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April 9
Bob Prior Wynne Arthur and myself are spending today in Ismailia. Lunched at Hotel des Voyageurs after enjoying a very pleasant swim in the public baths. We are sitting in the gardens at present and intend going for afternoon tea at the canteen run by English ladies which is the only place I have struck in Egypt where one can obtain home made cakes. About 6 we intend visiting the cinema for about an hour and then dinner The gardens here are simply [indecipherable] especially as they are made right on desert ground.

April 10
Reveille at 5 a.m. this morning and we started packing up in preparation to moving off to Ferryís Post. We had to pass through Ismailia on the way so I had some tea and cake at the Canteen run by N.Z. ladies. We had our camp going fairly well by night. I had to bustle round to make my arrangements for taking my sick parade. The 14th Fld. Amb turned me down but Capt. Marshall has arranged to take it

April 11
Had a very large sick parade this morning Ė Poor old Crop. and Marshall are having tremendous rows and Crop has applied to go back to the Ambulance as a stretcher bearer. I have my application ready to put in to go as a gunner and will be well pleased if it comes through. Capt. Marshall asked me to go with him but I refused it. My M.O. is expected any day now.

April 12
My smallest sick parade this morning since being here, only 26. Late this afternoon a tremendous dust storm blew up and lasted most of the night The sand and grit were something awful. I thought I had seen some storms in Australia but they were nothing to this one. I had to be down for a while in the desert while it was blowing

[Page 32]
April 13
Inoculation report made out, to send to A.D.M.C. The storm has continued today. They say one becomes used to it in a week It is supposed to last a fortnight so the second week should be fairly pleasant. The natives call it by the name of Khamaeen. I put my blankets outside this morning but I had to dig them out tonight. I hear an old N.Z. lady (who is in charge of the Empire Club Canteen I mentioned run under the instigation of Lady Maxwell)

April 14
expressing very strong views a few days ago. She said it was a criminal shame in the first place to bring our boys to Egypt "Can you wonderí she said "at the number of chaps being sent back home in disgrace when they are longing for a sight of their own women folk and none to see except black women who throw themselves at them" Capt. Mapleston M.O. of the Howitzer Bdge took my sick parade today. The storm seems to have blown away after a very heavy fall of rain

April 15
Capt Mapleston is taking the Howitzer Bdge 13th Bdge and D.A.C. at present so Bob Jack and I are working the dispensary together I was on duty last night. Today the A.I.F. canteens are opening as the nativeís contracts have expired. We might get our things a little cheaper now. It has taken the Govt about 18 months to find out that we should have our own Canteens and I suppose we shall all move off as soon as they get properly going. Had 2 letters today, one from Adelaide Smith and another from the lady who sent my Xmas [indecipherable] from S.A.

April 16
I went round and saw Russ & Edric today and went for a swim in the Canal with them. We tried the new A.I.F. canteens and found them as dear as the natives and much harder to get near. My transfer into the Battery has been recommended and sent on so I expect to be a gunner any day now. I shall be very backward in regard to drill but should soon pick it up.

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April 17
I was swimming and sitting on the banks of Lake Timsah alternately most of the morning. Bob and I went over and saw the boys in the 15th Fld. Amb for a while tonight. When I came back I got orders to report to 51st Battery tomorrow. I was given a choice of 4 batteries and accepted this one. all those who were on Anzac had their names taken today for bars. Red and blue for those who were in the

April 18
landing and plain blue for those who arrived after. Anzac Day (25th) is a holiday and we are holding sports. The Prince of Wales and all his entourage were round again this morning. I reported to my Battery this afternoon and will start tomorrow. I am in a tent with Bombardier Dunn (a friend of Bobs) a very nice chap out of C.S.R. I am pretty nervous for a start but I daresay I will get along alright after a time. Got 2 champions and a Sunday times a few days ago.

April 19
Started in battery this morning. Squad drill for 1 Ĺ hours before breakfast. Fill in again at 8.30 and got orders to fall out with specialists. I am on the range finding and observing staff and as far as I can see I am going to have an easy time of it. This afternoon I got orders from the Adjutant to report back to the M.O. who arrived this morning and help him Ďtil another Corporal arrived. I was very disappointed as I am very keen and every day lost makes it harder for me to make up.

April 20
Have been trying to get a dispensary going today and also working my head to get a Corporal in quickly. My officers are O.K. Lieut Prior in charge and Lieut Cullen (second in charge) All the officers in this Brigade are good. Capt Wilkinson is the new M.O. an awfully nice chap Tomorrow is Good Friday and a holiday. I daresay there will be another full dress parade for the Prince of Wales or some such celebrity. It is an awful farce in my opinion. Had a swim in the Canal this morning.

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April 21
We had a whole holiday today. Russ and I went down for a swim. Edric couldnít get away as he was on duty. I am in a tent with a good many R.Cís, so I had a good old feed of meat for once. I am trying to study artillery work every opportunity and if I see a chance will go into an officers school of instruction for a few weeks. We are going to practice firing next week. Iím afraid it will be an awful showing as very few know anything about the gun.

April 22
I have been out with the directors all day. I understand we have to do guards and fatigues on Sundays and holidays as they argue that we have an easy time through the week and it is only fair the others should have a spell. Young Bunting a friend of the Daltons and also out of A.B.C. Bank, Forbes is with me on the instruments. I donít go much on him, but it gives us a little to talk about

April 23
Iím very lucky to have missed fatigues today as all the others got let in for something There is a Church parade at 9 oíclock. I went round and saw Russ & Edric this afternoon. They are coming round after tea and we are going to see if we can get something to eat at the Canteen. A tin of pears or something. It is too hot for chocolates and the beer is simply abominable. I am as keen as mustard to learn this artillery work. We will have a great day on Tuesday (Anzac Day)

April 24
Have been out range firing again all day. It is very interesting work and not too hard. Two more canteens are being established quite close here which will be handy. We had a medical inspection of our Brigade today. Major Moseley conducted it. We just marched by him naked. I am just beginning to get a glimmering of the gun. It seems disheartening at first but I suppose I will pick it up by and bye. Church parade tomorrow. If we have a good speaker he should be interesting.

[Page 35]
April 25
Anzac Day Ė We were presented with colours today on parade by the O.C. of the Battery Lt. Prior. Plain blue for those who were on the Peninsula and red and blue for those at the landing. I am mess orderly of all things. I felt quite proud to be one of a dozen out of the whole Battery. They are practically all "deep thinkers" as we call them. I went to a splendid concert tonight given by the 8th Brigade.

April 26
Today has been almost unbearable, and consequently nothing much of interest has occurred. As a matter of fact it is too hot for one to do anything. I donít know how the troops are going to stand the severe training they are having at present if this weather continues.

April 27
Today we went to an awful lot of trouble and put in some hard work to be ready to be inspected by General Godley in charge of 2nd A. A. Corps. He was in charge of the N Zealanders on Gallipoli. We had to stand out in a baking sun for about an hour and a half and then he gave us about 3 minutes of his valuable time. However we might get to France quicker if he sends in a good report. Got two letters today from France, one each from Moll & Liz. Also box of chocolates from unknown address.

April 28
Today we are having another inspection by a Major General Long-Smyth or it may be just plain Smith. I hope it is any rate as he will be more likely to put in a good word for us.

[The following is a note added at the bottom of the diary entries for the 26 and 28 April]
A drunken soldier was travelling in the train from Cairo the other day and opposite him sat an Army Chaplain. The soldier wished to start an argument so he said "I donít there is a Heaven" The parson reading the "Egyptian mail" took no notice so the soldier repeated his remark. Still no notice. The soldier snatches paper away from Parson and repeats his question "Well" says the Parson "go to Hell and be quick."

[Page 36]
April 29
We are going to try some practical work today with the guns and on Tuesday we will have some proper target practice. Our ranging turned out fairly well but the signallers couldnít get our messages through. The 14th Brigade had some target practice today but the shooting was abominable I hope we can do better at any rate. We will probably be leaving this Camp next Friday another stage towards France. We will get there eventually.

April 30
Just got official news through that General Townsend with 2000 Tommies and 6000 Indians have been captured by the Turks in Messopotamia Ė another instance of British cocksureness and optimism. Never enough men. It was the same in S.A. and on Gallipoli. Write to Mollie Messenger. The 49rth Batty starts their shooting tomorrow and ours on Tuesday.

May 1
We have been watching the shooting practice by the 49th Batty all the morning and it was jolly good shooting too. We were also watching some bomb throwing by the Infantry. The 50th Battery is shooting this afternoon. We must try and beat them as we are the only two Batteries doing indirect laying. The 49th and 52nd are doing direct laying. Major-General Christian is in charge of our Division and is taking notes in connection with the shooting

May 2
We have finished our firing and as far as I can judge we have come out best. I havenít heard anything more about us moving this week although a few days ago our O.C. Mr. Prior told me himself that the latest orders were we were to move on Friday. Am writing home today and also several other letters if I have time. I donít think I will have much chance of advancement where I am unless several of the officers get knocked while on active service and I donít.

[Page 37]
May 3
We are being paid tonight and it will come in handy as I am stony again in fact I never seem to be anything else lately. It has been an awful day Tons of dust seems to be flying round. I have been doing practically nothing all day. Took a few observations with one of our Subalterns this morning. He doesnít know anything at all about Artillery work.

May 4
Half holiday today. Wrote long letter to Adelaide Smith in reply to one from her.
Also wrote Liz Williams yesterday. The pay has been deferred until tonight I understand I could easily get home as unfit with my deformed toes. Lieut Cullen was out with us this morning. He doesnít know much about Directors work. I got very wild with him telling me I didnít know much about it and, considering it is very like a theodolite and I was instructing him I didnít like it

May 5
Nothing much has happened today. A new man named Stevens is our the Duirector with us now making 5 of us. Gunners, Burting, Bourke, Hilder, Stevens and myself. Went round and saw Russ and Edric tonight and we had a supper at the Canteen consisting of tin peaches and biscuits. We will probably be having a bit of a go at the Turks again in a few days as they are only 2 days march away Ė I understand summer parade hours are coming in soon.

May 6
A lot of troops have been going out to the trenches this morning so evidently something is brewing. Lt Cullen has gone out with a couple of guns. It will keep us here a little longer worse luck. We should have been away by now to keep to the schedule. A few boat loads of Chinese have gone through lately to France to work as labourers in the field. Russian troops have also gone through towards Suez.

[Page 38]
May 7
Today has been one of the worst in my experience so far. I suppose I felt it more being on guard. We do 24 hours 2 hours on and 4 hours off. It is most trying. Finished at 1800. Went round and saw Russ and Ross. They had some mail a couple of days ago. I wish I could get some myself as I need something to buck me up. A good change away from this place will do us all the world of good.

May 8
Another scorcher. They have made the 49th Battery into a Mobile Battery, and they are moving out to the trenches tomorrow. They are taking all our Directors, and signalling instruments &c so I donít know what we will be doing. Have raised a fine blister on my foot. Went round and saw Bob tonight and got some photos from him. The nights here are glorious fortunately in fact cold. Got word of a big advance in France yesterday by the Allies and only hope it is true.

May 9
Watched a Brigade of Infanty and Battery of Artillery move off this morning towards [indecipherable]. Had 6 letters tonight and by jove I must say I was glad to get them, one from Mother Feby 27th, Pater 13th Feby, Lou 16th Feby Moll Man 5th, Mill 28th Feby and Ethel 2nd Mar. I spent a good deal of time reading and rereading them. It is evidently only one mail as all the dates are within a week of one another practically

May 10
We got a Corporal in charge of us today from details. Went down for a swim this afternoon with Jack Burke and saw Russ for a few minutes. A good many were inoculated today. Tonight I went round to the opening of the Y.M.C.A. by General McCay in charge of our Division. They gave a very good concert, and the General stated his opinion that we would all be in France very soon.

[Page 39]
May 11
Sent letter home enclosing 22 photos also wrote Adelaide and Mrs Pryor. Have been swimming mostly all day. There is great talk of us moving off but we canít get any definite news. Went to a concert in Y.M.C.A. and heard my name being called as soon as I got into Camp. Three of us had to go into Ismailia as escort for a prisoner.

May 12
Got back from Ismailia with our prisoner at 1 a.m. Have a bad attack of influenza today. Saw Russ at Canal today when I was having a swim. Both he and Edric are Corporals now, but so far are only acting.

May 13
Have been fairly sick all day with the influenza. Bill Hilder was made a Bombardier today. I was expecting it myself as I am more competent than he in every respect but he knows more about the actual gun work as I havenít had any at all. However I donít begrudge him his stripe as he is a fine chap in every way. All leave has been stopped even into Ismailia.

May 14
We are having a very severe heat wave just now and it is about the hottest weather I have ever experienced.

[Page 40]
May 15
We are having more shooting today. 40 rounds each Battery. The Director men were supplied with a horse each. The first time I have been on one since leaving Australia. We put in some excellent shooting with indirect laying even better than our direct shooting, a few days ago The weather is still fearfully hot. One simply swelters during the daytime in tents.

May 16
We have reveille at 4 a.m. now Breakfast 4.30 Fall in 5 till 8.30 and then we are off until 5 p.m. but unfortunately one canít sleep during the day. The flies and sand are simply awful. I havenít taken any photos for ages. The light here is splendid for photography too but no subjects

May 17
The Howitzer Brigade have to be embarked by the 24th so I donít suppose we shall be long after. 11/6/16 What misleading rumours one gets. According to the above the Howitzer Brigade should have been in France. They are now to be embarked by the 15th so I will probably have another note to add later on.

[Page 41]
May 19
Talking about "stars and stripes" an Irish friend of mine once said "When a man is no good as a private they give him stripes. When he is no good as a non-com they give him a Commission" All the stars have fallen over here now As for me I would prefer to see a Crown fall (the Kaiser) the sooner the quicker
Our daily menu par excellence. Breakfast 4.30 am Rush like mad with about 30 other fellows at two dixies one containing tea, the other "pig" By

May 20
by a miracle they are never capsized and I have given up expecting that to happen. If one is lucky enough to be among the first 20 he might get something otherwise not If "not" he is very lucky if some bread and marmalade happens to exist in the "tucker" box otherwise it exists only in his imagination and he has his fill. Lunch Ė 3 tremendous blasts by the Orderly Sergeant at 12 30 pm Unnecessary blasts I can assure you as we are all waiting expectantly

May 21
Two courses (tea and tea) bread and marmalade as a filler up. Dinner 6.30 pm another ungodly rush for tea and stew cap it off with the remaining remnants of bread and marmalade left over from lunch. This has been my daily routine in regard to the food problem for 29 days and nights. The marmalade has never been varied except in the brand and dog biscuits sometimes substituted for bread. On rare occasions

May 22
we may get a little burnt rice.
In regard to all privates being prohibited from the high class "Continental" brothel it has lately transpired that the whole establishment has been arrested as spies after getting good information out of the officers. They discovered a small wireless plant on top I also heard Shepherdsí is in the same predicament, and some officers have also been arrested there.

[Page 42]
May 23
We had some more shooting today, with very good results. Had letters from Lou and Miss Montague. Charley has rejoined his Unit in France My black Kit bag which has been at the base in Cairo seems to have gone astray as it has been sent for and reported as missing. I am making up another one gradually.

May 24
Had letter from home enclosing photo of Mater Lou and Helen. They look awfully well and Helen seems a fine Kiddy. The weather is keeping passably cool and if it continues we should soon be out of it. Another Egyptian restaurant started here this morning and I spent my last 10 piastres on a feed this afternoon. We have been too busy lately to get down for a swim.

May 25
We are leaving here for Moaskar before Sunday. It was mentioned on parade by Mr. Prior yesterday so it is the fair dinkum oil this time. I donít suppose it will be long before we are on the water now. A big inspection of the Division again this afternoon by General Murray.

May 26
We had another shoot this morning and tomorrow I suppose we will be packing up as we move to Moascar on Sunday pending entrainment for Alexandria. We have to get rid of all cameras in some way. I am trying to sell mine as I am sorely in need of cash but so far have been unsuccessful. They donít like buying as it will probably be confiscated in France.

[Page 43]
May 27
Lieut Cullen, [indecipherable] Hilder, Gunners Burke, Gorman and myself went to Moascar today on horseback to mark out our new camp. A Tommy Artillery Brigade was camped there and we arranged to exchange Camps which saved us making a Camp out. We had a very enjoyable ride anyhow and had tea at the Ladies Canteen going back.

May 28
Today the Brigade moved off to Moascar The Spooks were left behind as rear guard and we had a pretty hard day of it. Had some tea again at Ladies Canteen. We are having another inspection on Thursday and will probably entrain next day. I understand we have to be embarked by the 6th June. Went for a swim after tea and Y.M.C.A. after

May 29
We are going to do nothing but clean everything up preparatory to embarking We were issued with our saddle equipment today and I was all day cleaning mine up and greasing. Went for a swim after tea and spent a very pleasant hour in Y.M.C.A. after. There are not many troops camped here but it is gradually filling up. Sent letter home today.

May 30
Cleaning harness still. We have been offered a prize of 1£ for the best turned out saddle so I am having a try for it. However I donít stand much chance as my saddle is a very old one We had an awfully good concert tonight in Y.M.C.A. given by New Zealand Hospital Glee Party. Some wonderfully good artists among them. This Camp has improved a good deal since our last camp here. Plenty of water and much better tucker.

[Page 44]
May 31
I am just suffering the torture of my last days in Egypt. I am absolutely fed up with it and its dirty niggers As full as the lamb that said "I am so full I cannot pull another blade of grass Bah! Bah!" We must really be leaving for France soon as witness the fact that after fully equipping us a few days ago they have now called in everything except that in which we stand meaning clothing of course Our next issue I understand will be "somewhere in France" probably "Ypres" which means "I look forward to" It is also stated as an excuse that on a/c of the large number of enemy vermin and such like crawling things contracted during transportation it is necessary that we should travel as lightly as possible. Military again! They issue an awful lot of unnecessary stuff for a place like Egypt and travel as lightly as possible to a cold place like France thereby making us the unwilling victim of frost

June 1
bite and others! By the way they have contrived some sort of arrangement like the following for the others. One comes up to a long barn-like building containing fumigators, disrobes, walks naturally (after being told to pass on) down a sort of corridor I presume to the other end of the building dresses himself in new second-hand clothes fumigated for the chap before him and comes out smiling doubtfully (the next fellow gets mine) He gives a few twitches to his

June 2
neck not being sure you Know! but eventually comes to the conclusion that it is alright and thereby gains confidence and goes home in a brisk soldier like manner. This performance takes place about once a week. Thatís the way you get your new equipment in France. Everything is done on a system in the military except promotions These have been made indirectly by America having her "stars and stripes" torn up - Had our final inspection today yesterday.

[Page 45]
June 3
Wrote Lou and Will Thomas, today. This morning we went out again for a route march and Battery manoeuvres with borrowed guns. Found out where Bruce and Clive Elliott are and went across and saw them. Clive is in the 14th and Bruce 15th Engineers There is a rumour that we move off tomorrow and also that we are going to be formed into a Howitzer Battery. Went over to 15th Fld. Amb for mail but nothing doing. They forwarded me

June 4
two parcels a couple of days ago which havenít yet reached me. I am taking the Elliotts round to see Russ and Edric tonight.
Sunday Ė Sent letter Home and PCs to Miss Montague and Ada Jones. Church parade this morning. Sang "For those in perils on the Sea" and also prayed for them which looks as though we go soon. Another Khamseen blew up again this afternoon. Going for a swim after tea.

June 5
Very little doing today. An awfully trying day, with plenty of sand Got news of the North Sea Battle mostly in favour of Germans. Went round and saw Edric for a few minutes tonight as we are supposed to be leaving tomorrow. The 8th Brigade Infantry which we cover has all its stuff on the train ready for moving

June 6
Our moving has been postponed again. They called in our blankets this morning and had to give them out again. The 8th Brigade had to unload all their stuff. I think they must fear that German boats have got out. We were paid today, fortunately and are not supposed to be leaving now until the 15th We are all greatly disgusted naturally.

[Page 46]
June 7
The Canteens were all raided again last night and are consequently now [indecipherable] again today. On gun drill this morning and buzzer this afternoon. Have put in for leave into Ismailia tonight. Wandered round Ismailia for a couple of hours had some tea and cake at Empire Club and had a look through the native bazaar but didnít stay long as I was on my own and it isnít particularly safe

June 8
All the Staff have to learn buzzer work thoroughly now so we are going to do nothing else at present. Went into Ismailia again today on yesterdays pass with Jack Burke. Had tea at Empire Club and wandered round town for a bit. Went to pictures at night. Russ and Edric were round to see me but I missed them. There is also a letter for me at 15th Fld Amb.

June 9
Kitchenerís death has been a great shock to us all. On Tuesday we are holding Divisional Sports it being a Holiday. We held some preliminary ones this afternoon to pick out the most promising. I saw Russ & Edric tonight and also Bruce. We are all going into Ismailia together on Sunday. We are holding classes in the buzzer I have advanced one class every day so far that is I am now in the 3rd class or 8 words a minute

June 10
Held our usual "buzzer" class this morning. Can just get 8 words a minute comfortably. Another severe knock for the officers A Russian cruiser picked up a wireless message which was later on discovered to come from Shepherdsí Hotel as a small wireless plant has been discovered there. The message gave information as to the personnel and whereabouts of the 4th Australian Division and its intended movements. The men have been accused of letting out information

[Page 47]
June 11
and it appears now that it really comes from officers as men are not allowed in Shepherds. Went to usual Church parade again this morning. Wrote letter home and saw Russ and Bruce. Studied French all afternoon. Bob Prior was round for a while this evening. Lt. Prior is now Capt. He is altogether too young in my opinion only 22 and not particularly smart either. Sports on Tuesday.

June 12
Had our usual buzzer parades from 6.30 to 10.30 am and 4 pm-6 pm. Mr Prior announced that we have marching orders for Wednesday. I wonder. The Austrians are making wonderful progress on their fronts lately. Packed my saddle away this afternoon preparatory to moving off. Went for a swim to-night. We have beautiful moonlight nights and it is perfect in the water

June 13
Fearful day. Dust and sand blowing about We had a V.D. inspection today and are going to a Memorial Service for Earl Kitchener at 5.30 pm. We handed our spare blankets and helmets in this morning. The Sports have been postponed until tomorrow morning. Am still learning French assiduously.

June 14
Sergeant McMullen told me today that I was very foolish to join the Staff and should have been on the gun instead as I would have had a much better chance. Saw Russ and Edric and also Bruce Elliott tonight and said good-bye to them

[Page 48]
June 15
Had an awfully busy day. Packed up this morning also had a Kit inspection and an address by General Christian on our conduct in France. Packing up most of the day but managed to get down for my last swim in Lake Timsah during the afternoon. We leave at 11.50 tonight Some of them have gone already We left Camp about 10.30 and left Moasca about 11.30 p.m.

June 16
Had a very uncomfortable and crowded trip in a cattle tuck. Reached Alexandria about 8 a.m. and embarked almost immediately on "Tunision" About 2800 troops on board very crowded so Iím afraid our trip wonít be too pleasant. Had a cup of tea and some iced coffee and cake at Y.W.C.A. on wharf. We drew away from the wharf and anchored out in the Bay for the night Very crowded on board but good food. Very hard to get sleeping positions.

June 17
Got under way about 8.30 a.m. Scout cruiser of "Arathusa" class escorting us. The escort is changed every few hours. There are no baths unfortunately but plenty of washing dishes. I played "eucre" most of the morning. We also fell in for "assembly" We had a medical inspection for measles this afternoon and have also been allotted boats in case of accident. The "Hororata" and Rhesus are now in sight behind us. We get any amount of bread and butter and jam. Beautiful bread

June 18
We held a Church parade this morning Our old parson is rather monotonous and always has the same sermon and hymns it seems to me. We have passed a good many boats during the day a good many of them being war boats. We passed between two Islands about midday which is supposed to be a bad place of submarines as I understand several boats have been sunk in the same locality. I wish I knew the names of the Islands for future reference. I believe we are making for Malta. Crete Island we passed.

[Page 49]
June 19
Beautifully cool and calm today and we should be in Malta today or tomorrow. I think I can go through without becoming sea-sick. We only lost sight of Crete this morning. I never imagined it was so big 45,000 inhabitants mostly Greek and Turks at present under the control of Greece formerly Turkey. We have been passing numbers of boats and small Is. The coast line of Greece was in sight this morning so we are not far from Salonika. The Sunset was absolutely glorious today and the ocean like glass without a ripple.

June 20
Nothing of any importance happened today. We passed a good many boats but no land of any description We only have one general assembly in the morning so we are enjoying a fairly good rest. We held a very good concert on board tonight before dark. Some very fair artists with 29th Battalion band as orchestra We are in an awfully slow boat only averaging about 7 or 8 Knots. A very large boat with 3 escorts passed about sundown.

June 21
We passed by Malta about 2 a.m. this morning but of course we were all sleeping. I will probably strike a guard of some sort tonight. Passed Pentigos Is. off Sicily about 9 a.m. and also about half a dozen trawlers doing patrol work and several large vessels. The band plays every morning on the officers deck to break the monotony. The weather has become considerably cooler today in fact a little chilly. We expect to reach Marseilles on Friday night or Saturday morning.

June 22
I mounted main shipís guard last night at 6 p.m. and go on until 6 tonight. It is the first time I have used a rifle on duty with 50 rounds of ammunition on my bandolier. We are only about a dayís sail from Marseilles now. I thought we would see the coast of Sardinia but must have passed it during the night. We passed another Island this afternoon which I fancy must have been Corsica. I believe we are to go through Paris on our way as it was read out that it must be understood by all ranks that no leave will be granted there.

[Page 50]
June 23
Arrived in Marseilles about 7 a.m. this morning. It looks awfully pretty from the Harbour and I bought a set of PCís from a boy who came on board. You can only see a small portion of the City from the Harbour as it is very hilly. We disembarked at 4 p.m. and marched through the worst quarter of the City for about 1 Ĺ miles to the filthiest camp I have ever been in The earth consists of burnt coal dust from factories which we have to sleep in and one can imaging the state we are in. I have been put on lime piquet again tonight. No leave being granted

June 24
Had a fairly busy morning loading train. Got away about midday in 2nd Class cars very comfortable. We are pulled up now at Orange having lunch about 4 p.m. The people are awfully nice to us. We have passed through some awfully pretty country the garden of France Avignon especially was a beautiful old town. We have also passed through Líestaque, Miramas and Arles. We have been travelling along the Rhone for a long time and the coastal scenery for a time from Marseilles was glorious. Notre Dame shewed out well when we were leaving See Jany 31st.

June 25
We passed through Lyon last night and stayed about an hour but it was too dark to see anything. We pulled up at a small siding about 6 am for breakfast Passed through Chalon. The country is still glorious but much flatter now. We passed through a very pretty place named Beaumiere and also a village appropriately named Fleurville. We are now at Dijon very fine town judging from our limited view of it. The scenery after leaving Dijon see Jany 31st & 4 Feby 1st

June 26
We passed through Paris early this morning but of course couldnít see anything of it. Now at Vernon Had the slowest trip to Havre I have ever experienced landing here about 4 pm. We have unloaded onto a wharf so it looks as though we are embarking for England. We are just going to have something to eat as we have had nothing since last night. About 9.30 p.m. we marched about 4 miles into the outskirts of Havre The Camp is all slush and mud and we are all wet through. We donít get our blankets until 1 a.m.

[Page 51]
June 27
Very good war news this morning victories on all fronts. We are leaving for the front in a few days. This is called Sandwick Camp and is supposed to be a rest Camp It is rotten being stuck here without money I could have had leave into Havre tonight but hadnít a penny. We have very good Y.M.C.A. and Canteens here. It is a jolly shame to think we have been a fortnight without a change of clothing of any sort.

June 28
Nothing much happened today Had some tea and cake &c at Y.M.C.A. and we were all very surprised to get paid tonight 65 francs each at 28 fr to 1£. I was put on guard on Brigade stores tonight.

June 29
I had leave into Havre this morning and had a very pleasant time. It is a fine old city. Bought one or two souvenirs. At night I was put on town picquet in Saint Addresse a suburb, but our beat only consisted of one street near what they call the German Castle Some kind French lady presented us with cigars and cigarettes and beer. We were issued with another set of underclothing today.

June 30

[Page 52]
July 1
We have been very busy again today packing up ready to move off again tonight. I got my permanent horse this morning. Not a bad mount by any means. We have been equipped with everything new. We loaded our Battery on to the train 7 minutes under record time and left Harve about 6.30 pm We were all very sorry to lose Mr Wilson from the Battery. He was the only one who attended to our comfort. He has been sent into the trench mortar

July 2
I was unlucky enough to get into the only 3rd class carriage on the train the others being 1st and 2nd. Very stiff this morning Passed through Rouen last night and Calais and St. Omer this morning. Got to our destination at Steenling about 5 p.m. and went on with our guns about 5 miles to a place near Bleninghem. We got billeted in subsections in farmhouses. I am in a loft in a stable and slept very comfortably on straw.

July 3
We are only about 12 miles behind the firing line here and are going into action any day now. We could see a couple of aeroplanes over our lines this afternoon being shelled but nothing resulted We have most of our time cut out attending the horses. Mine has ringworms and greasy heals. Every farm house seems to be a tavern in this country. Plenty of wine & beer

July 4
There is a tremendous lot of dissatisfaction in the Battery and quite a number are getting transfers into a trench mortar battery. We are to move off tomorrow into the firing line to relieve the 2nd Division . on buzzer work this morning. The left Section is playing the Right Section football today. I am suffering a good deal from piles lately bleeding internally

[Page 53]
July 5
We are having a fairly busy time with our horses just now. A good many are on the sick list including mine with ringworms. Had a stray letter today from Ada Jones and wrote P.Cs. home and to Ada and Moll. Went down into Blesingham Village tonight and bought some pork chops and had them fried with eggs by the woman in our billet and had it with champagne.

July 6
Champagne is sold here at about 4/6 per large bottle. We were issued with gas helmets this morning and some of the Battery were gased to see how they worked. They also used some tear bombs. The mail closes at 9 a.m. tomorrow so I must try and drop a line or two home. Our boys are behaving wonderfully well over here. One French woman informed me that we are too quiet, much quieter than the French and English whom they donít seem to like much, the latter I mean

July 7
Nothing much doing today. We are not allowed outside our billeting areas, so canít see much of the country. Colonel Caddy addressed us today in regard to going into action. We are taking over from the 5th Brigade and so long as our position is not located by the enemy we will have a picnic. All work will be done at night and sleep in day time.

July 8
Had tea tonight with Corporal Bosall, Bill Hilder and Jack Burk at a farmhouse. Beautiful omelette containing 16 eggs. Went into Blaringhem after tea with Bill Hilder for tobacco but could only get cigars at Peach but very good.

[Page 54]
July 9
Had a church parade today out in a very pretty paddock among the trees. One expression the parson used struck me as being worth recording "Lord if I forget thee, do not then forget me. 28 of us have orders to proceed to the firing line tomorrow at a moments notice. Had tea again at our farmhouse of last night. We are taking over from the 4th Division

July 10
Got away from our Camp about 6 p.m. in motor omnibuses. Passed through Haverskenm and Merville and got out at a place called Enquinghem and walked about 3 miles to Bois Grenier about 3 miles from Armentieres. We have a splendid billet here in a farm house which for some reason hasnít been shelled for 18 months, and all other farm houses round about have. There will be no range finding to do here as everything is done by accurate maps

July 11A few shots came over this morning pieces of shell &c. but this place is nothing to Anzac in fact we are going to have a regular picnic. They guns are very well concealed and well covered with earth reinforced concrete bricks and stone, sandĖ bags and more earth on top with grass growing on top. I am on telephone duty for the time being, telephone attendant, linesman or anything that comes along.

July 12
Had a very fatiguing day. We took over finally from 48th Battery on duty telephones from 3 to 6 a.m. After breakfast Bob and I went round some of our communications and up in the firing line 29th Batt. This is called the Nursery. We were shelled very heavily today and several batteries round us had to move. They got very close to our guns. The rest of our boys came along tonight and the left section moved round to their position near Armentieres.

[Page 55]
July 13I am now at O.P. on telephone duties permanently. There are only Bdr Hilder and Gunners Carr Wheeler, Burling and myself here. We have an OK position in a fine old house. Beds, tables chairs fireplaces &c and living in great style. It is a young fortress but we are likely to get shelled out any day with coal boxes and whiz bangs. It has been awfully quiet today Hardly a shot fired

July 14
We were up most of the night firing There was an awful din all night. This morning I walked about 3 Ĺ m. into Enquinghem to get ourselves some supplies as we cook our own food. No sleep again tonight as we have to stand to again Had letter from home. Sunday Ė This is a much hotter part of the front and we expect something big tonight so no more sleep.

July 15
We have to move out again tonight to a new position. We are very sorry to lose this Camp as it is so comfortable. Had letter from home today and also wrote home. A tremendous bombardment going on tonight on our right and that is where we are going. This is the third night I have had without sleep and poor food. I am beginning to feel the strain and my belt has shortened.

July 16
We got away about midnight and landed in our camp about 7 a.m. We have no cover whatever as it is only a temporary camp. We are shooting away barb wire entanglements for our boys to charge tonight. We have 77 guns on 1000 yds front They shelled us badly this afternoon very close to us but so far no damage. It is raining now and very uncomfortable. No sleep for days. We are near Fleurbaix. Had another letter from home. Our boys suffered a number of casualties last night.

[Page 56]
July 17
Things have been very quiet today The Germans havenít been shelling at all. We did a fair amount and unfortunately killed a few of our own infantrymen with one of our shots. I saw Bob Prior today. He is only about 100yards away from me in another billet. Should have a good sleep tonight as Billy Hilder and I have found an old barn.

July 18
Very quiet again today. We have shot away several thousand rounds of ammunition cutting barb-wire. Wednesday Ė Gunner [indecipherable] wounded It was pure luck that I was away as our telephone room was blown in. Our Batty staff is now reduced from 16 to 7 as another man is suffering from shock. We kept up a tremendous bombardment all day and the 8th Brig charged at night and took 3 trenches but had to retire again to the German first line.

July 19
I am really writing this on Thursday as I hadnít any time to do so yesterday. It was the most trying day of my life. In the morning Cpl Bosell, Jack Burk and myself went up into the first line trenches and struck a perfect hell. We got back about 1 p.m. and found our Battery had been badly shelled 7 killed and 2 wounded. 8 of them were the Bty Staff. Gunners Carr, Le Brock, Wheeler Green, Stevens & Builing and Everett killed and

July 20
The boys have been driven back again to their original positions again. We are kept very busy as we are so short handed. All our guns are out of action so we canít shoot. They havenít been hit at all but have been used too much and worn out. Had the unpleasant experience of carrying some of the bodies away to the Cemetery Poor Builing and Stevens were collected and never even made one man. I carried poor Dennie Le Brock.

[Page 57]
July 21
We will probably be moving away again tonight. Our boys were terribly cut up in the last charge and hundreds of dead and wounded are lying between the trenches but are being collected today. I will be glad to leave as the place holds nasty associations. The Germans flooded our boys out of the trenches as soon as they took them and had no ammunition in any case. We got away from Camp about dark and came on to Gris Pot Posted letter home and to Moll.

July 22
I am on duty today at the Headquarters of the Battalion whom we are to support. Wye Farm it is called about 2 miles from the Battery. We havenít fired a shot here so far and are moving back again to our last position tomorrow. They wonít allow us to get settled in one place more than a day or so and consequently we canít make ourselves comfortable and our rations are messed about Bombardier Prior left us today for H.Qs. and has been relieved by Bombardier Connors

July 23
Have been on duty on telephone all day at Wye Farm and expect to be on until we move off sometime tonight. The Tommies left any amount of tucker behind them. They are much better catered for than we are I donít know why. Our troops are awfully badly fed and clothed. The 56th Battalion are stationed here at present We got away from Wye Farm about 9 p.m. and went round to the Battery and we all came round into Camp near Fleurbaix again.

July 24
This morning Capt Prior sent 24 Gunners and 3 spooks back to the Horse lines for a weeks spell. I was one of the Spooks. We have nothing to do at all so we will have a good rest and plenty of tucker. It will give me plenty of time to write letters anyhow. I have had two from Dorrie lately and wrote to, Tom.

[Page 58]
July 25
We are about 3 miles behind the firing line here and are comparatively safe except from an occasional shell. I have been reading all day "A Soldier of the Legion" by CN Williamson and it is very good altho I have read it before. There are one or two very fine girls here in this billet, but we have to be very careful with them as all these persons are suspected spies. It is a noticeable fact that some billets are shelled and other not

July 26
We were called out of bed late last night and had to report back to the Battery and this morning we had to go up to the first line on duty at F.O. We had an easy day as we didnít fire. Another Battery killed another of our own men in the trenches. This unfortunately is a very common occurrence and might easily be avoided Later on the O.C. of this particular Battery was wounded and I wasnít a bit sorry for him.

July 27
We have two new reinforcements for our reduced staff. Got back from F.O. about 9 a.m. Nothing doing today. On duty on telephone from 3 to 7 p.m. Hardly a day goes bye without a gas alarm but nothing ever seems to come of it. There is to be another stunt of some time tomorrow and I understand we are moving camp again. They seem to like keeping us on the move General Christian was round today.

July 28
Lieutenant Cullen has proved an absolute failure and been sent back to waggon lines. Lieut Gatcliffe has also applied for a weekís leave which is pretty rotten considering he only left Sydney this year and only 10 days in action. The week in trenches and week out published in papers is all a myth when one gets here, except that they put them in for a few days in one place and then move them to another.

[Page 59]
July 29 Am up at forward observation post again today but had a very quiet day. 40£ and a monthís furlough are offered for a German sniper dead or alive who is operating on our side of the trenches. 40£ is also offered any man who can capture a live German star shell. They are much superior to ours and fired by compressed air.

July 30
Got back this morning about 9 a.m. and found cablegram in regard to money waiting for me. I was on duty tonight and managed to write some letters. I understand we are in our winter quarters here now. The position might be better and might be worse. I daresay we will settle down comfortably though. Our aeroplanes are very active here always one or two up.

July 31
On Saturday the 29th the Germans blew down a large Church in Fleurbaix about a mile from here. They had been after it for a long time but didnít seem able to get the range. We fired about 40 shells into a German anti-aircraft battery this afternoon and forced them to move their position. Posted letters home, Mrs Fountain Arthur Preston, Charley Montague and Dorrie. The Germans use some most peculiar shells sometimes, especially delayed action shell designed to penetrate dugouts or gun pits before exploding. They caught quite a number of our coves at first as they would think they were duds and rush over to dig them out and get caught in the explosion.

[Page 60]
August 1
Just heard tonight that Bruce Elliott was simply blown to pieces during the last attack I must try and look Clive up as they were very much attached to one another Romania has declared war on Turkey and Russians have again taken Lemberg. Our boys have also taken observations Hill on the Somme one of the most important positions on the whole front and the Tommies have tried for months in vain to take it.

August 2
Posted long letter home. Going into Fleurbaix this afternoon. Jack Burke and I spent a very pleasant afternoon in town. Had a good meal of eggs and chips. I never saw such beautiful eggs as one gets here, much larger generally than any one sees in Australia. Fleurbaix must have been a fine little town at one time and I canít understand why civilians remain the place as it is shelled severely every day.

August 3I was on duty at 30th Batt H.Q. today at F.O.O. So far the 8th Brigade has been disappointing. Fritz has them bluffed. They donít like us shooting at all as Fritz retaliates, but the moral effect of his shells is much greater than the actual damage he does. They asked today for a certain number of men to volunteer for a raid in 3 weeks time but couldnít get them. However I donít believe in this volunteer business at all as all the best men volunteer and the other donít.

August 4Got back about 10 a.m. from F.O.O. The boys managed to get some eggs for us for breakfast. Slept all day as I never had a wink all night as I was on duty from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and have to go on again tonight. This continual night work plays on one so we will welcome reinforcements. The last few days we have been preparing our winterís quarters about ľ mile down the road and will have everything ready before moving in this time

[Page 61]
August 5
Did nothing much today Wrote home and to Iris. On duty again tonight. They are plenty of broad and French beans coming along fine in the fields now and I noticed some of the boys with some today. The 8th Brigade Infantry to whom we are attached so far have proved a lamentable failure. This is the Brigade claimed to be the best that has ever left Australia.

August 6Had a cruise round on bicycle today looking for 15th Fld. Amb. but all the boys were away Ė I also had a look for Bob Prior and Clive Elliott but they were both away. There is some rumour of us going down to the Somme shortly. Business is fairly warm in that quarter I understand.

August 7
One or two aeroplanes have been brought down on either side lately, about two on either side I fancy. Itís a wonder we donít lose more as about 10 of our planes go over the German lines every day and German planes are seldom seen over our lines. Acknowledged letter from Commonwealth Bank London in regard to money

August 8
I was up at 7.oo again today but had a very easy day of it. I have let the diary run down the last few days as it has been so quiet and nothing to mention. Our boys did some good work lately in Egypt and also on the Somme. I always seem to be in some part where nothing is doing but I suppose we shall all have a turn later Got 3 champions today

[Page 62]
August 9
The Guns have moved down again to another position about 300 yards down the road but we are remaining here until a strong position is built for us before we go down. Had a good sleep tonight as I wasnít on duty. Norm Tayt and I collected some fine stewing plums today which the Cook is stewing for us and they were beautiful.

August 10
The boys at F.O.O. today had a lively time today. We made a considerable bombardment and as usual Fritz retaliated and shells fell all round them. Bill Hilder and I were up in an O.P. near the front line and bits of stuff from 5.9 in shells fell all round us but did no damage Gorizia has at last been taken by the Italians after a very long uphill struggle.

August 11
I understand King George is going to make a statement in the course of a few days that will "delight the Australians and surprise the whole world". I wonder what it is Lloyd George has been advocating the withdrawal of all Australiana troops on the grounds that we are losing too many fine men for a young country and he is not far wrong. I donít think we can make

August 12
up more than one division out of the four that came over here originally
Wrote to Lou, Iris, and Uncle Jim today and also F.S. card to Lorna. Itís a hard job even to keep these small sheets of diary filled up here.

[Page 63]
August 13
I was on F.O.O. again today and had a very quiet day. I picked and took a sack of pears up to the infantry headquarterís men as they always treat us well when we go up. Sergeant Kennedy was hit by a machine gun bullet tonight at the Battery 3 inches from the spine so he was fairly lucky in some respects. Mail in today but none "pour moi".

August 14
I was down at waggon lines today and some of them reported having seen King George. Had a good feed of steak and fried onions there for dinner. We are going to try and send 3 at a time down for a weekís holiday. Called in at Engineers coming home to see Clive Elliott but he has been wounded by a bomb in the legs. Came back through Fleurbaix and had fried eggs and chipped potatoes On duty tonight so wrote home, and to Ada Jones from whom I had a pair of sox

August 15
Evidently our objective on this Sector when we advance will be Lille. At present I suppose we are about 5 miles from there and a fairly good ridge to cross in between which in my opinion will take some taking We are able to get papers delivered here every day published only the day before so we are just as well off as you all at home.

August 16

[Page 64]
August 17
Posted letters home, Lou & Iris, Uncle Jim, Ada Jones, Moll, and P.C. to Lorna. Had 3 from home, Moll, Eva in England) Mr. Wallis, Chas, Montague, Lizzie and Ethel. I am mess orderly today and am going into Fleurbaix soon to get some tucker as we only have dry bread and tea on issue.

August 18
Wrote Lizzie, Mrs. Fountain, Eva Owen Wallis, & F.S. card home. Had another letter each from home and Ethel and wrote home. Am on F.O. duties tomorrow and am going to waggon lines for a week on Sunday. I saw the best bit of manoeuvring I have ever seen in my life this after noon in an aeroplane driven by the mad Major.

August 19
Had to go up to F.O. again today and we had rather a lively time of it as we had several stunts during the day and Fritz retaliated rather severely but did very little damage considering the quantity of ammunition he used.

August 20
Got back from F.O. about 11 a.m. Jack Nethersole and I came down to the waggon lines tonight for a weeks spell and landed here about 11 p.m. I was hit on the arm by a flying piece of shell on the way down but it only bruised me slightly.

[Page 65]
August 21
Am having a fairly good rest here doing nothing at all except patrol the line occasionally in case of breaks. Went for a ride this morning to water. Cpl Bovell is going on the guns next week but will control the staff as well. Several other promotions have occurred in the Battery Copl Warred made Sergeant. Bdr Nethersole Cpl and Gun. Pottage Bdr.

August 22
Loafed about all day. Cpl Bovall and Connors came down about dinner time and I went to Fleurbaix to tea with them and I got into conversation with a Hillston chap and he told me Ian Fullarton was in his Battalion so I went round and found him. Ian who is a Sergeant and I had a great old yarn. He is an awfully nice chap and we have arranged another meeting next week. Had a letter from Ad. Smith and Liz Williams

August 23
Wrote to Adelaide Smith. Went to Dentist and had tooth filled. Had a good look through Bac Saint-Main and coming home met young McDermott who is in the A.S.C. One of the Freebairns is in it also. McDermott said he hadnít had any mail from home for months. Had a cup of tea and cake in the Boc-St. Mann

August 25
Took a walk to D.A.C. to see Russ & Edric. The latter went to Div. Rest Camp this morning and Russ had some trouble about not posting a guard and was asked to give in his stripes and then went into trench mortars Sailly is a fine little town on River Lys about 3 miles from Estaires. Sent letter home and got word to go back to battery tomorrow and Dick Lyons is taking my place.

[Page 66]
August 25
A good many new appointments have been made lately. Both Wanods are being made Sergeants (disgraceful shame) Cpls. Waring (popular) and Dunne (very unpopular being made Sergeants. Sgts McMullen and Brown being made Lieuts and several other minor promotions. Mr. Cullen is recommending Jack Burk and me for promotion and to be put on the gun.

August 26
Dick Lyons came down this morning but not to relieve me as I thought I borrowed his bicycle and went down and saw Edric He has synovitis in the Knees and will probably be laid up for some considerable time with it and perhaps have a trip to England as well. Bob Bovell and Jack Burk came down this afternoon and I went as far as Fleurbaix and had tea with them

August 27

The Battery was shelled badly again yesterday, the cook-house [reference to cook-house may have been crossed through?] being razed to the ground. Mr Cullen went to pieces again and is consequently down here for another spell. He had a personal yarn to me this morning and said I deserved promotion and he would do what he could for me. Had parcel from Ö. home today sent in June. Unfortunately the pipe was broken at the stem. Sent letters home Am going back tomorrow night.

August 28
Wrote to Mil & Harry and Dot Pike. Went down this morning and had another hot bath before going back to guns tonight. Came back through Bac-St. Mann Cullen has gone back to Waggon Lines for good as he is an absolute failure under fire and got severely censored for a certain act of his. Got back to the Battery about 9 p.m. and at 11 p.m. another big bombardment was started by us and the boys made a raid

[Page 67]
August 29
We had every one of our lines broken last night by shell fire and have been out on them all day. It rained cats and dogs all the time and we got wet through. The raiders lost them salvos going over but all came back safely. Russ came round to see me this afternoon and had to go back in pouring rain

August 30
Poured all day again and we were out in it again running emergency lines. Havenít a dry thing left to wear. Hungry as a hunter and not a thing left in the larder. There never is anyway. Have to go to F.O.O. again tomorrow. Everybody seems to be preparing for mortar now building third line with five dugouts. Romania is now officially in with us.

August 31
It turned out a beautiful day to day and I went to F.O.O. Had a very quiet day. Nothing doing at ll. I saw a taste of humour today. Some of Fritzís shells donít explode but simply bury themselves in the ground. Then a notice is put up by us "Blindshell" I came across one today and on the notice board was a bully-beef tin with a slit in the top
"Remember the Blind" Capt Prior sent my name in today for a school but I said I was anxious to go on the gun with Jack Burk He gave us the necessary permission but said I will have to go to the school as they couldnít change the name. He said if we had asked to go on the guns a month ago we should both have been non-coms now.

[Page 68]
September 1
Got back from F.O. this morning and had a very quiet day. Had letter from Pater with draft for 20£ enclosed.

September 2
Materís Birthday. Got paid this morning and while we were away getting it our billet tumbled in so we were jolly lucky. I am also mess orderly today

[Partly written under Sept. 2 entry] Sept 3rd Jackson and I went and had lunch and afternoon tea in Cassell. It is a fine old Town and we wandered into all sorts and of back streets and aired our French We even wandered into une bonne fete and it tried to explain it was mine also and greeted Madamoselle with "[indecipherable] vous [indecipherable]une bonne fete" Slept in a marquee and it was fearfully cold.

I only got word last night that I was to report at D.A. this morning at 6.30 to go to a Signalling School. Slept at waggon lines last night. Got into motor omnibus and came into Steenwecke where we took train to Hazebroek changed trains and on to Cassell. Entered another ominbus and came on here (Zupteene) about 2 miles from Cassell. In the afternoon [continued under Sept 3rd entry entered above.]
September 4

The bigger part of us are in an old Chateau. I am undergoing a linesmanís course. A very good recreation room and wet and dry canteen is here, also library. We get war news daily by wireless and I fancy we get news before the papers. My course is going to take a month. The wireless course takes 3 months. We went through all kinds of different cables and wires today

[Page 69]
September 5
It has been raining fairly constantly since coming but fortunately our work so far is indoors. We were on jointings today and about an hour on buzzer. Had a lecture on electricity by an officer this afternoon. Wrote to Bob.

September 6
This morning we were all taken into Hazebrouk per motor omnibus for a bath. We got a complete change of underclothes Hazebrouk is a fine City but as usual we saw little of it. This afternoon on jointings and buzzer again. Wrote home. The food here could do with some improvement but I suppose we will manage somehow. Reveille at 6 a.m.

September 7
Breakfast 7 a.m. Parades 8 to 10.30 and 11 to 12.30 and 2 to 5 p.m. We are then at liberty until 9 p.m.

[Page 70]
September 9
[The following entries have been made written across two pages]
Have been suffering lately from a severe attack of tonsilitis and it is still very sore I have been keeping going with my work but it is hard as I am living only on milk biscuits bought at canteen as it has been almost impossible to eat hard rations. Went on sick parade on Sunday and Dr gave me some tabs to suck and some calomel but they gave me little relief It is difficult to keep a diary going as it is a very monotonous routine
The Kaiser has an old palace in Cassell where he occasionally visited

[Page 71]
September 13
Last night I used the old bread poultice remedy and am almost O.K. and am eating heartily. Nothing to record on Sundays we always have a regular scrubbing out but are free from about 11 a.m.

[Page 72]
September 21
Went for a ride in a motor lorry to Ypres for some goods tonight over in Belgium.

[Page 73]
October 1
Left the School this morning and caught 8 a.m. train. Got to Hazebrouk about 9 a.m. and had to wait for next train at 6.26 p.m. and not a brass farthing. A beautiful old town too. Got back to Div. Hdqrs. about 9 p.m. and found Bty. had moved to Armentieres, about 8 miles away. Went as far as 52nd Bty. near Fleurbaix and slept there.

October 2
parcel of chocolate and biscuits from home. Armentieres is or was a glorious old City at one time We have any amount of beds crockery and furniture in our billets and I would be satisfied to winter here if need be. Capt Prior has gone away with appendicitis and Lt. Kennet is in charge.

[Page 74]
October 3
Went round to baths this morning and had bath and change. The Battery is split up again one [indecipherable] being about 2 miles away. Was out all afternoon establishing communication to there out near Le Bizet a village absolutely in ruins. Armentieres is knocked about a good deal in places and 50 civilians were killed a day or two ago.

October 4
Jackson, Dutch and myself came down to F.O.O. today for 3 days with Mr. McMullen. We are at Batt Hdqrs in what is left of a fine old home. The place was evidently left with all furniture as pieces of it are strewn everywhere As soon as the Bty started firing today Fritz got onto them and Norman Tayt was wounded and 2 engineers near by killed.

[Page 75]
October 7
Came back to Battery from F.O.O. and went down for a bath in afternoon

October 8
Out on Waggon Lines nearly all day

October 9
On LX line all day

October 10
On waggon lines this morning

[Page 76]
November 7
Left Section moved out for the Somme tonight
Sent parcel containing handkerchief satchet and table centre and a few odds and ends.

November 8
We have been packing up all day and are leaving tonight on route pour la somme from Armentieres The New Zealanders are taking over from us. The infantry are already on the Somme and also all other Australian divisions.

[Page 77]
[List of names, dates/goods and amounts of money (French francs) not transcribed]

[Page 78]
List of clothing left with Q.M.

1 pr trousers. 1 shirt. 3 prs Socks.
Disinfecting Ė Cotton and linen goods
By boiling, but must be soaked first for Ĺ an hour in 1 Ĺ ounces fluid cresol to 1 gal. water.
Blankets Ė Same procedure or else fumigated by steam.
Mattresses & pillows Ė Spray with 8 fluid ounces formalin to 1 gallon water; then fumigate by steam. The formalin solution is also used for leather goods and they are afterwards aired in the Sun.

Miss Adelaide Edwards-Smith
"Bunator"
Hornsby.
NSWales.

Mrs M.C. Prior
Lipson St
Pt Adelaide

Notes

Abbreviations for signalling.
Bty. A.N.G. 162" RT. A,S. angle of sight 1" 15í
EL. 15í. C.O.L. C.O.R. 142 collective convector 3300, 3500 Stop 350. G.o.m. ECH.COR 140
[indecipherable] convector. O.R.D. Bty.
115 MRT 210í M.L. X.F. Sections fire 10"
Stop GLWT. Gun limber waggon trains.

Bay Horse branded offside Lines Roof AC 70
Near side front loop No 1

[Page 79]
C/- Mrs. Wright
Maison Coronel
14 Sharia Abon[indecipherable]
1 Towel, 3prs Sox, 3 handkerchiefs
1 pr pyjamas / undershirt
6/10 x Sub base = Base in 100 %
Apex L

[Figures not transcribed.]
Haircut. Brush & comb. Boot polish

Mrs W.I. Bovell
C/- M.J. Bovell Esq
Commonwealth Bank
Perth. W.A.

Mrs. D Hilder
184 Old Canterbury Road
Summer Hill
NSWales

[Diagram and measurements not transcribed.]
Mrs W. Burk
206 Bathurst St
Hobart
Tasmania

Miss Eva Thomas
"Olantye"
Weybridge
Surrey

[Page 80]
There was an old man of Madrid
Who went to an auction to bid
The pick of the load was a bedroom commode
But pooh! when he lifted the lid.

[List of names not transcribed.]

[Page 81]
HE HAD GOT OUT OF IT] THREE OR FOUR TIMES TERAGAIN ST AND WITH A FURIOUS FORFINGER WAGGED ALL HER EISDEEDSIN THEN FAC HE SAID DASH IT ALL
YOU CANT LEAVE A GIRL SQUATTING SQUATTING DOWN AGAINST A WALL WITH HER HEAD IN HER LAP AND SHE CRYING HANG IT SAID HE YOU FEEL AS IF THERE WAS WATER ROUND YOUR LEGS AND YOU WILL IF YOU DO

Thompson & Porteous
Tobacco Manufacturers
Edinburgh

Got Mr Cullenís shoes
Tell Capt Prior mineral oil & mineral jelly went up on Sat night.
More oil going tonight.
Tell Harry [indecipherable] send down boots to Johnston

[Printed calendar for months of July to December.]

[Page 82]
[List of names and amounts of money and goods not transcribed].

Owen Wallis
144 Alexandra Rd
Southend on Sea
or 61 High St.

Rev. Mr. Kirkwood
Kelso
George Portesus
Dalkeith
(7 miles from Edinburgh)

Madame Barrier
Market Place
Pontchartrain
(near Parkes)
Boazinanís of Kelso

Madame Levre

C/- 43 Sq. Amb[indecipherable]
Brussels
Brownís of Plymouth

John Brown
8 Queenís Gate
Plymouth

Enquire about his sister Eliza and give her Unaís love.

[Page 85]
Pass. No 2977 Gnr. Pearse N.L. who is on Signals Duty

Permanent
Attached 48th 11/7/16.

[Transcribed by Rosemary Cox, Adrian Bicknell for the State Library of New South Wales]