Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Charles Monaghan diary, 1917
MLMSS 7478/Item 2

[Page 1]
[This and the following nine printed pages are not transcribed.
Other pages with no entries have not been photographed]

[Page 11]
Jan. Monday 1 1917

The first day of the new year. What does it hold for each of us?
The past year has been fraught with incidents of great moment. On Mar. 21st we set sail from the homeland Landed in Egypt on Easter Sunday. Left there on May 10th &. arrived France seven days later. Saw action at Poziers for first time July 22nd
Now we are at Longueval in our 4th. stunt.
The new year was ushered in by continuing bombardment on both sides. We have been in the firing zone 5 weeks & are listed for 1 week more.

[Page 12]
1917 Saturday 6 Jan.

For the past few days our bearers have been going back to rejoin unit at Buin in fives &. sixes. The last of us leave today per motor ambulance; the 15th F. A. taking over at Longueval. Have a good ride back as far as Meaulte where car breaks down. Finish the rest of journey on foot. 3 miles. Arrive tired but happy to be away from the guns for a while.

[Page 13]
Jan. Sunday 7 1917

Ridgeway , Rob & self are put on the Patients’ Mess Tent with 4 light duty men as staff. Chaos we find reigning. Being senior am put in charge! Now the worries commence till we get the thing in working order.

[Page 14]
Jan. Thursday 11 1917

Rob. Ridg. & self get leave to Amiens. Up at daylight, walk to Ribemont 3 miles catch car on way. Get off at Lahoussye. cup cafe & biscuits. On to Querrieux . breakfast of eggs & cafe. On to Amiens per motor trolly at 11 a.m. Board tram into centre of city raining & cold. Dinner, poke round, cathedral. Pastry tea, & other things. Miss train. Bob & the Banque Nationale.
Leave about 5 p m. tram to Barrier. No lorries, long wait in cold. about 30 gather. Rush for car. Talkative 2nd. Lieut. shikered. Home & dry 8.30

[Page 15]
Jan. Monday 15 1917

Bob meets with accident, run down by motor ambulance on road. He & Jock Heylin walking to Vaudeville, very dark, car not observed, woosh! He received a nasty cut on head & much bruised arm & chest. Ridgeway, Reid & self had gone on before & knew nothing of the mishap till our return. by then Bob had been evacuated to C.C.S.

[Page 16]
1917 Tuesday 16 Jan.

I go to see Bob at Heally after breakfast. Found him safely in bed. very sore but nothing more serious. On the whole he was fortunate, & could consider himself lucky. He will probably be evacuated in a day or two to a Gen Hosp.
A heavy snow fall last night transformed the country. It is now buried under inches of a soft white mantle. Indescribably beautiful, especially to us unfamiliar to the sight. Great snowballing going on & hare hunting over the frozen paddocks.

[Page 17]
Jan. Sunday 21 1917

Receive good mail (an extra per America) dated up to Dec. 4th, also 3 parcels through the week from, Miss Bullen, Mrs. Wheatley, & Mac-T’s. (Balaclavas.)

[Page 18]
1917 Monday 22 Jan.

Work as usual. The 14th F. A. is taking over today & our unit moves bag & baggage to Albert en route to where (?) The frost still holds mud & water in an iron grip, a few weeks ago since a thaw.
We do not leave till morning. Crowd of us go to Merricourt to Vaudeville Show. Barney with the Tommy guard. Find a queue ¼ mile long waiting to get into show. Drift down to the entrance & after manoeuvering slip in & get fair seat. Huge building seating nearly 2,000, such a crush & hundreds unable to get in. Wouldn’t Fritz have got a haul till if he dropped a few bombs. Show good & poor. Fine 13th Batt. Band though. 'Twas good to hear dinkum music again. Quips & unvarnished compliments.

[Page 19]
Jan. Tuesday 23 1917

Late on parade. Put on fatigues as punishment with ½ the unit. The coldest night on record. about 30 degrees of frost. Winter with a vengeance. All water etc is inches thick roads & everything coated with ice. Many falls & spills.
We move off at 10 a.m. & after a couple of halts reach Albert & billet in school house facing the ruined cathedral. The day is cloudless first of the winter, but consequently the air is the colder. Icicles hang on the men’s moustaches. I never experienced anything like it. Get hot soup at Church Army Hut. Parade with sore feet, new boots. Back to billet & fire.

[Page 20]
1917 Wednesday 24 Jan.

Another cold day. Slept warm tho’. Rheumatics trouble me in the arms every night for some time past. Gas helmet parade in the cold. A few more reinforcements float in. Ryder & Sutherland from Etaples. Parcel arrived for Bob yesterday from Mrs. Gibson London, lollies & cake, also small one for me from Nurse Swiney (handkerchief & mouth organ Go for short stroll round ruined town with Ridg. Maloney & Heylin. Secure few souvenirs & tea at station.
The past 2 days have been the coldest in the history of the country for 20 years. Ice has bound everything in a grip of iron Streets are slippery & unsafe to walk on – an experience to be remembered.
"Australians must be kept warm" We deplete the schoolroom of desks & forms to make fuel.

[Page 21]
Jan. Thursday 25 1917

We left our school house for the line at 11a.m. B & C section bearers left 9 a.m. Their "sisters" come up with us, we marched up thro’ Pozieres & Contalmaison such a change has come over the scene since last we were here. Railways & hutments are now over the site of our recent varied experiences. We stay the night at M.D.S. Bazentin le Petit. Go up the line tomorrow. Given a squad for this stunt. Skating rink in a shell hole. Rumoured we are in this stunt for "40 days & 40 Nights".
Impromptu concert round brazier --- Rum loosens tongues

[Page 22]
1917 Friday 26 Jan.

A day of varied experiences. We left our main dressing Station at 10 a.m. walking along tram-line to Miller’s Post. Frost still holding & surface slippery as glass. Left our packs at M.D.S. taking only our blankets & tucker. Arrive at Edward’s Post after 3 narrow escapes from bursting shells. They all lobbed too close to be healthy & smothered us with clods & dirt. Shrapnel too. Shortly after leaving Edward’s Post for relay stations further forward 6 Shells in rapid succession lobbed all round us. One of our chaps hit on shoulder. Ridg. & self render first aid. My squad & Reynolds selected for farthest post forward. Dubious honour,? Waiting for one of my squad new man, lagging behind we miss the others & get lost in sap. Ultimately arrive at our possie safely. Deep dugout, terribly overcrowded tho’. Make the best of it. Almost immediately have a carry down to next relay. A lucky "dud" lobbed just beyond us once.
Anniversary Day! I wonder what they did at home?

[Page 23]
Jan. Saturday 27 1917

Our dugout last night had to shelter 20 men in a floor space of 8 ft x 20 Literally lying on one another. Anyhow the night was not too bad, warm enough tho’ the snow lays thick outside. All shell holes with water are frozen hard. The shells explode with great noise & with much more effect on the frost bound soil. Scrape for breakfast. cannot light fire for fear of Fritz observing smoke. we are only 400 yards off his line. A squad of snipers share half this dugout & are changing posts all night. 'Tis interesting to hear them relating their experiences on their return. They spy on Fritz’s lines too & gather valuable information

[Page 24]
1917 Sunday 28 Jan.

Last night passed without a call We did not get up till 9a.m. Nothing doing, but to get breakfast & sit in dugout all day.
Got 2 carrys today one for each squad. Ours came on after dark just before tea. Exhaustion case. Machine gun fire makes us duck once or twice. Get back safely. Several shells lob on top of dugout but no damage. Ridg & I go for water. Write home letter No. 28 & one to Mrs. Grant.

[Page 25]
Jan. Monday 29 1917

Nothing of moment happened today We did not get breakfast till about 11 a.m. What’s the use in getting up when we can’t go outside dugout. A couple of walking cases only for the day.
Letter from Mrs. Wheatley & Cecil Cold & frosty on our noses

[Page 26]
1917 Tuesday 30 Jan.

Visit from Major Wilson, Capt. Hunt & Lieut Neve. We are to be relieved this aft. Bert Reynolds & I cut who have to go. I lose, so we pack up & report back to Edwards Post. Leaky dugout & odious Flynn
Sergt. Cliff visits us.

[Page 27]
Jan. Wednesday 31 1917

My squad go to Bazentin for rations Exciting trip. Fritz chases us with H.E’s. Receive latest letters & 2 parcels Mary Mitchell’s & Miss Wilsons. Return trip meet Tony brief yarn. Get spell off truck, jumped points, get bang in small of back which lays me out. very sore. Hobble back to post M.O. paints spot & reports no bones broken. Reynolds squad back.

[Page 28]
1917 Thursday 1 Feb.

Put in sleepless night with back. Very painful to move crawling in & out of bunk half hours work.
Fritz puts over several shells round about mid-day no damage results. A bit of a hop over by 4th Brigade last night.

[Page 29]
Feb. Friday 2 1917

My old back give me pie especially at nights. Showed it to M.O. again McLelland from Homebush 3rd F.A. "Merely superficial bruise" Little cad! I’d like to have the satisfaction of meeting some of these upstart officers in civil life, just to tell 'em off --- the bounders.
Perishingly cold. Heavy frosts each night. Snow still covers the ground.

[Page 30]
1917 Saturday 3 Feb.

Troops did not wake till nearly 10. a.m this morning. Hunt roared up Sergt. Flynn & sent him up to next aid post, bringing Sergt. Clifton here - a welcome change Bright clear day & considerable aerial activity. another frost makes the snow dry & crisp like fine salt. Get back treated with liniment for first time Not much better yet. Receive May’s parcel of sweets & find them so good. So do the other boys. Also "Sun" from Mary.

[Page 31]
Feb. Sunday 4 1917

Nothing of import happens. The usual shelling takes place. I’m put on to help in Dressing Room as far as back allows. Still sore & painful to move about. More changing over of posts. Remainder of B Sec. changed places with A.
Heavy frosts still continue, this possie is a cold miserable hole. The dugout is wet & our rations scarce.

[Page 32]
1917 Monday 5 Feb.

Some more bombard – again last night.
A couple of infantry through victims to snipers, one in leg & another lucky devil with just the skin broken on the apple of his throat, caused by a bullet – a near shave. Yet another with slight scalp wound in front of head. Just taken his helmet off to scratch head when shell fragment hit him. Many peculiar things happen at times. Raid by 4th Brig. successful last night. capture 80 prisoners & hold Fritz front line.
I take up duties as day dresser in dressing room. Back not so bad, yet achy. Letter from Bob, going to Blighty.
Wrote to Bob & Mrs. Gibson.

[Page 33]
Feb. Tuesday 6 1917

Nothing of great import occured. On duty all day in dressing room. A few cases through. Feet wash at night of all the strength. Preventive of trench feet & frost bite. -- Scrubbed with certain kind soap, dried & rubbed with camphorated powder. – Result colder feet than ever. Still orders have to be carried out.
Braised steak for dinner, some class.

[Page 34]
1917 Wednesday 7 Feb.

On duty as usual, kept going pretty well all day.
Sapper Marony on sandbagging the walls. A couple of stretcher cases come in midst of the confusion. "One thing you must not do, let the fire out." A rush of 5 patients no excuse. Ridgy gives Tony his balaclava from me. T. not too good. General beggar up.
Rum issue & song, Rumours of big raid shortly.
Wrote to May & Miss Wilson

[Page 35]
Feb. Thursday 8 1917

At work in dressing room, squeezing boils etc. Made my first Anti Tetanus injection on case yesterday. Expect court martial in few days. Big bombardment going on on our right all morning. A spirit of restlessness & feeling of something big about to begin in the air. Getting up plenty of blankets & stores from base. No one looks forward to these hopovers & raids now.
Dream Uncle James very sick

[Page 36]
1917 Friday 9 Feb.

Duties per usual. Still clear & frosty. A few sick, a few lame through during day. old sergt of the --- R. Emery got a scalp wound after tea at Dump a short distance away. Capt Hadyn dresses it. A long job on account of haemorrhage. Faints.
Off duty at 9.30 p m. pretty tired. Wrote letters to Mary Mitch Glad Robbins.

[Page 37]
Feb. Saturday 10 1917

D.D.M.S & Col. Williams up at 6.30 a m. on way to inspect all aid posts & dressing stations in anticipation of an offensive shortly. Satisfied with things here.
A raid is anticipated tonight by our side. Extra squads sent up & all preparations to start ready. Ridgway & Brown with 2 new men sent up to front line for night.

[Page 38]
1917 Sunday 11 Feb.

The rush is over.—Raid began punctually at 8 o’clock. First wounded arrived about 10.30 p.m. & told a tale of ghastly failure. The 4th & 5th Batt. raiders went over 4th found the artillery hadn’t cut the wire & retired to their own lines, 5th got across & found Fritz’s line empty & soon as they got in he opened on them with bombs & trench motars. Casualties came thick & fast & out of 100.00d men only about 40 returned unharmed 12 were killed. Had 35 stretcher cases thro’ here, nearly all with ghastly wounds 2 with legs & feet blown off, others fracture & head wounds, back laid open etc. We were kept hard at it dressing till 5.30 a.m when the last case was cleared. So much for the long talked of raid! Fritz evidently was waiting for it.
To bed at 6 a.m & slept till 1.50 relieved Hayman at 2 & continue on all night taking up the night shift for a week.

[Page 39]
Feb. Monday 12 1917

No cases through last night. Stay up till 2 p.m. then call relief. Hunted "chats" for 1½ hours casualties heavy.-217. We have no chance of securing a change so have to endure the beggers.
Go off duty at 9.30 a.m coming on again at 8 p m. Sleep & read & get up for meals during day. Pott’s fracture through tonight Lucky man! He’ll be out of this mess for some weeks at least

[Page 40]
1917 Tuesday 13 Feb.

Nothing of import happens during day.
Duty as usual at 8 p.m. Hayman my relief has developed a boil on his neck. They are very prevalent due to lack of vegetables. "Chats" have us in their power. The dugouts are alive with them & we cannot get a change of clothes.
A Fritz aeroplane brought down one of our this afternoon about a mile away. Both our chaps were of course killed. Some of his planes are faster than ours.

[Page 41]
Feb. Wednesday 14 1917

A fairly busy night. 6 or 7 cases through. Sprains due to the slippery ice common.
A squad of 6 men go up to a sap to make a relay shelter tonight.
Word has just been brought that Capt. Teague has been killed up the line --- a fine man gone.
Dope Drummond & the case of the man with the broken leg due to a fall.!
Receive parcel from Mary. Biscuits, socks & balaclava.

[Page 42]
1917 Thursday 15 Feb.

Not much sleep last night Make up for it today.
Gas alarm blown tonight but only a little lachrymatory noticed.
Received late letters from base from Evelyn Emery, Rube, Bert Edwards, Miss Bullen & Arch.
A few extra cases thro’ during night. Fritz is towelling up our front lines mostly with pineapple bombs. Our artillery also pretty active.

[Page 43]
Feb. Friday 16 1917

The thaw has set in in earnest all the snow is melted & now slush & mud are everywhere. Rain has set in again too. T There is a green tinge appearing over the ground, the young grass shooting.
A furious bombardment on our left began about 4 a.m. last night, probably a hop out by the Tommies
Three weeks in the line today

[Page 44]
1917 Saturday 17 Feb.

Another fairly busy night about a dozen cases through Fritz killed about 6 besides poor chaps.
Trench feet are appearing again now 'tis so wet & muddy

[Page 45]
Feb. Sunday 18 1917

A quiet night last night, only one case & mumps through, kept him till morning.
'Twas one of the darkest nights I’ve ever experienced - a thick fog with rain added to the blackness.
With 2 others I go back to the R A. P. Factory corner in the morning.
Several get sick here, the damp; smelly dugout is responsible I think. There’s about 6 inches of mud on the floor from the dripping roof.

[Page 46]
1917 Monday 19 Feb.

Set off after breakfast for Factory Corner with Brown & Cassin. Arrive without incident but plenty of mud in hours time. 5th Batt changing over to the 7th Batt.
The 7th M.O. Capt. Barlow makes things uncomfortable. Inexperienced & youthful. I take on cook for day. Make up bully & cheese hash for dinner & cut up bonser leg mutton for tea, cutlets & thick gravy. Pronounced best ever. Fortunately no carries during night.
Incident of mistake with the tea water instead of tea. by previous mob.

[Page 47]
Feb. Tuesday 20 1917

Put in a most rotten night & find this morning myself very much out of sorts. Hot turns & cold shivers vomiting & pains all over body. Stay in bed all day in the beastly old dugout. How we’re beginning to hate the stink of these foul holes.
Two shrap bursts not far away late this evening get two men, killed one & severely wound Sergt. Hennessy in head.
Brown & the M.O. tell each other off. Brown to be removed for insolence. Storm in tea cup.
The boys have couple of carries in dark. I’m unable to lift my head. An awful journey over the mud & shell holes in the black darkness. The game’s "no bon."

[Page 48]
1917 Wednesday 21 Feb.

Not much improvement last night & today. Its a crook place to be crook in. This is when one misses home The boys attention is rough but kindly. My bingy rejects all food.
The Doc. has a look at me on the afternoon orders me back to Edward’s Post. Ticketed Gastric Enteritis.
Arrive back at Edward’s Post about 4 p m found Ridgway & Sergt Clifton had been sent down to Bazentin. Hunt keeps me here & doses me up.
Turn in to bunk in dugout & put in most joy.

[Page 49]
Feb. Thursday 22 1917

Stay in bed all day. not much change either way.
Word comes that Harry Dingle has died of wounds received from bomb./ There, both poor old Phillips & he have gone. The two I carried with during the Pozieres stunt, where they got their M.Ms. The pity of it all. The futile waste of fine manhood.

[Page 50]
1917 Friday 23 Feb.

Somewhat better this morning but bingy objects to duty.
Do nothing all day. Except relieve Hayman who goes to Bazentin for bath & change. Some kind friend, Ridgway I think sent me up new complete change.

[Page 51]
Feb. Saturday 24 1917

The long expected & talked of 9th & 11th Batt, stunt comes off tonight.
No one knew anything of the time till 6 p.m. & great was the hurry. A feeling of tenseness is in the air as if we were on the eve of something big happening. Many fresh squads have been hurried up from Bazentin. I am unable to go being weak as a chicken. Go to bed but cannot sleep for nervous strain.

[Page 52]
1917 Sunday 25 Feb.

We are all puzzled. When the infantry went over last night they found Fritz’s trenches evacuated even to the 3rd line. They are still pushing on & only encounter a few odd enemy men. Have advanced over 1 mile so far. A heavy fog is helping to shroud our movements.
The fog lifted after dinner & Fritz began to shell our men. The difficulties of getting the wounded back such distances are awful. Every available bearer is pressed into the service. The wounded are coming down in a steady stream.
An awful happening at the [indecipherable] a little way along the line tonight 3 shells came over & lobbed into a mob killing 11 & wounding 15. The sight was dreadful.

[Page 53]
Feb. Monday 26 1917

Working in the dressing room all day. Wounded streaming along all day. Capt. Drummond carrying on day & night.
Troops on hill advancing . We are wondering what Fritz’s move & how far he is going back….our possies are slight compared to the area gained.
Snipers & guns get many.

[Page 54]
1917 Tuesday 27 Feb.

On duty per usual.
News came today that poor old Ridgway’s brother Jack was killed yesterday.
Ridg. himself came down from the line later. He’s very much broken up besides being unwell. This cursed killing & maiming of good men is damnable, but such is the cost of victory as we really are making great progress.
Got some Australian mail today after a month’s famine.
Letters from Ethel Mac. Stan & Eas H.

[Page 55]
Feb. Wednesday 28 1917

A slackening of casualties last night & today. back to normal.
Capt. Drummond promoted to major, also Capt. Stack.
< indecipherable/> Hastings [indecipherable] in the line I saw him the other morning. Sergt. Clifton back again.

[Page 56]
1917 Thursday 1 March

Nothing of great moment happened today. Took a sick report up to Turks Trench in afternoon & then do a poke round some of the old trenches, examine the old "tank" across on the opposite hill.

[Page 57]
March Friday 2 1917

Something doing again early this morning. Fritz counter attacked to capture some of our men. Our chaps met him fair & square. Gave him a great [indecipherable] line up capturing about 40. half of those who came over.
We were kept very busy all day 7 stretcher cases of Fritz [indecipherable] tho" & about 9 walking cases, also some of our own boys. One with right-foot blown off. Had to hold it while M.O. dressed stumpy.
Interesting talk with prisoners – a corporal who spoke English very well. Receive 15 letters some of the late ones arriving telling about Xmas. My mouth watered that much over description of dinner that I had to get up & chew some dry biscuits.

[Page 58]
1917 Saturday 3 March

Nothing of great moment happens. Hayman & Maloney go up the line souvenir hunting but return with only 2 Fritz caps.
I take a stroll over the hill towards Secrow[?] Elms, old Fritz trenches, rubbish, Howitzer shells, bullet caps etc.
Took wash at night Word is brought that our colonel Williams died at the C.C.S. last night. Further 1st Field bad luck added to also by Corp McDonald being knocked on head by fragment of shell at the entrance of his dugout at No 2. Relay, -- serious.

[Page 59]
March Sunday 4 1917

Another Sunday in the line. One cannot discern any difference from other days. There is none here. Turned cold again.
Very slack, few wounded through. Thank goodness that the killing has slackened off even for a little while.
Poor old McDonald who was hit yesterday died. This war is a holacost, one after the other pass out, friend amp; foe, comrade & combatant. We are weary of the awful waste.

[Page 60]
1917 Monday 5 March

Furphies are flying round that we are to be relieved in a day or two.
The good news is confirmed. The 2nd division is taking over tomorrow, & we should all be out in a day or two. The 2nd & 3rd Field Bearers are all being withdrawn from the relays & going out tomorrow. 1st Field bearers are to carry on by themselves till relieved. Hayman, Maloney & self 3 dressers at Edward’s Post had to go up to Factory Corner, after tea for duty. Hayman & self put on Gas Guard. I doing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. H. 2 to 6 a.m. Up in a possie in the sap not much protection. 18 pounder battery barks just a few yards away now & then enough to give anyone shell shock. Wrote home letter. [indecipherable]

[Page 61]
March Tuesday 6 1917

No further word has come as to when we are to go out. All the 2nd & 3rd bearers have gone, but the 1st have been temporarily attached to the 2nd Div.
Stayed in bunk nearly all day nothing else to do.
The battery overhead pulled out tonight so we’ll have a bit of quietness

[Page 62]
1917 Wednesday 7 March

On guard from 2.a.m. to 8. The old dugout makes one sick & dopey.
Beaucoup shelling & bombard over on our right last night. 3 Walking cases all that came through tonight. The front is fairly quiet on both sides.

[Page 63]
March Thursday 8 1917

No word yet of when we are to be relieved; on the other hand we have been attached to the 2nd Div, pro tem. Looks like as if we are in for some days yet.
All are thoroughly tired of the long spell in the lines, no opportunity of a bath or change of clothes, & the constant strain of being under fire tells on the strongest nerves.
On duty at 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Nothing much doing.

[Page 64]
1917 Friday 9 March

Guard at 2 a.m. to 8. Woke Capt. Hunt & Keil to go up line at 5.30 a.m.
Nothing doing of moment.
Good news came along after tea, Runner came & told us we were to be relieved tonight Packing up of gear, blankets etc Relief comes up about 10 p.m. We P. O. about 11& arrive back at Bazentin at midnight Moonlight. Rum, hot tea, get giddy, shikered no, to bed & not much sleep.

[Page 65]
March Saturday 10 1917

Up 8 a.m. Meet lot of the other boys who came down from other relays. B section remains at Bazentin. A & C go back to Becordel by train at 12.30 p m. Arrive Becordel in hour. & attached to 7th Field for duty at Rest Station. Hayman, Johno & self go to Meaulte for bath. 1st for 6 weeks. back for tea, turn in early.
Sergt. Clifton puts Ridgway & self over wards—an easy job nothing to do only supervise.

[Page 66]
1917 Sunday 11 March

On duty all day. Hayman & self go into Albert after tea to church service. Rev. Talbot. English service, good address.

[Page 67]
March Monday 12 1917.

Rain last night.
Reg turns up & meets me. He is only about a mile down the road. Took me along to see Ern. Murray who is staying a few days at a collecting post preparatory to going to Amiens about his eyes.
'Twas great to meet them. Had not long for a yarn, but Reg invited us down to tea Wed. evening.
Also met Netherly & Bill Johnston.
Receive big mail 18 letters. Baghdad fallen.

[Page 68]
1917 Tuesday 13 March

Duty all day.
Ern Murray comes up for yarn in afternoon.
Party of us go into Albert to Anzac Entertainers in afternoon. Harold Williams performing.
Wrote home letter No 32 & posted it. also cards to Glad R. Carmen H. Joan Doherty & Jan MacT.

[Page 69]
March Wednesday 14 1917

Easy day.
Ern M calls for me at 4 p.m. & we go on to Reg’s for tea. Sago & milk staple diet. Introduced to his dugout & mates. Yarn till 9 p.m. then home after perusal of "Daily Mail".

[Page 70]
1917 Thursday 15 March

Still advancing on Bapaume. Ern, Reg & self go into Albert to Entertainment. Very good. Have a look at disabled fighting plane outside Albert. Engine trouble.
Beano. in A. Sec. tent. come in for latter end. Champagne, biscuits, dates & tinned fruit. Sergt Clifton, speech. F. Malony tanked Bill Field & Pemberton also.

[Page 71]
March Friday 16 1917

Busy all morning putting down floor in tent.
Reg brings along horse in afternoon. Have a ride, first since leaving Australia. Good & willing cob. mouth as hard as iron.
McBurney over to see me. Cartwright’s post card. Write to same tonight.
Send T. cheque.
Ern. Murray up after tea. Going back to Company in morn. Eyes better & M.O. would not send him, on. He works hard & conscientiously important & responsible position Interesting to talk to about Egypt.

[Page 72]
1917 Saturday 17 March

Mail closes today. put in morning writing to Rube, A.G. Mary & Cis note. <2 indecipherable/> to May. Mrs Wheatley Post card to Bob.
Go along to see Reg not at home, go on into Albert to get daily paper. T. Gill waiting too, go along to Church Army hut where a concert is in progress. St. Patrick’s Day. Good band music & fair comedian.
Reported occupation of Bapaume. 2nd & 5th Divs. of Australians with some Tommies enter at daybreak. Fritz sets fire to the place & evacuates.

[Page 73]
After Baupaume

[Page 74]
18th March 1917, confirmation of the fall of Bapaume. At last that great objective has been gained. We’ve been held up before it since last November – 6 months. Our artillery & troops forced Fritz to give way in the end. But at what a cost!

19th March. Great progress is still going on. Both our troops and the French on the right are sweeping forward on the heels of the retreating Huns. Fritz is pillaging and laying waste the evacuated territory. Villages burned & sacked – Wells poisoned & stock driven off. Go over to Beaucourt, Chateau to get gas helmets tested. Stay in gas chamber 10 minutes. Dribble

[Page 75]
March Sunday 18 1917

Confirmation of the Fall of Bapaume. At last that great objective has been gained. We’ve been held up before it since last Nov. but Fritz thought at that time 'twas impregnable, but the constant pressure of our artillery & troops forced him to give way in the end & so it will be always Bulldog tenacity! But isn’t it costly? Those who have been before it know only too well. Other great advances are in progress too. The revolution in Russia came as a suprise to most. What will be the upshot?
Had to stay in all day & this evening on acc. of all the patients being under observation
Fine & dry.
Kiel & Woollams given Military Medals at parade at Fricourt this morning.

[Page 76]
1917 Monday 19 March

Great progress still going on. Both our troops & the French on the right are sweeping forward on the heels of the retreating Huns. Fritz is pillaging & laying waste the evacuated territory. Villages burned & sacked, wells poisoned & stock driven off. Go over to Beaucourt Chateau to get Gas helmets tested. Stay in gas chamber 10 minutes. dribble.
On return to Becordel. go into Albert. pick up a few souvenirs in shops, tea at Y.M.C.A. no sugar. Meet T. Carpenter. Secure paper, so eagerly sought after. We appreciate the old "Daily Mail".
Call on Reg. on way home for short time. Score from parcel he’d just received from Ethel Erving (Armstrong).

[Page 77]
March Tuesday 20 1917

Send parcel of souvenirs home per registered post. Also send over Bob’s socks to him.
Tommy Gill gets papers this evening Good news still continues. Fritz is slipping back quicker than he bargained for.

[Page 78]
1917 Wednesday 21 March

Cold & windy again. Stay in tent all day. This spell is rejuvenating us all.
Hayman Ridgway & self walk into Albert after tea for papers. Witness the passing through of troops & cavalry. Albert was full of them all hurrying to the front. It was a most inspiring sight. The first time our cavalry has been called on to do anything of moment on the Somme. Indian & British passing on hours at a time. The great panoply of war.—a stupendous organisation truly.

[Page 79]
March Thursday 22 1917

The wind dropped completely last night. & a heavy fall of snow lay on the ground by morning, so soft & lightly it fell. No one had any idea it had settled.
A brilliant morning for a few hours soon overclouded & intermittent snow again all day.
Thirty 2nd Field bearers arrived yesterday to release the 4th Field Bearers who have been here for 3 weeks & are going to Bapaume this morning. I suppose when the 1st Div, goes in again it will be our turn to "impati".

[Page 80]
1917 Friday 23 March

Fritz is steadying up a bit & offering more resistance. Yet both British & French are pressing him back daily.
Went this evening after tea to Fricourt & roamed over that henceforth historical battlefield. It was here that the Huns were deeply entrenched at the beginning of the big push of July 1st last year. Standing there on the brink of the huge shell craters, one could not but be over-awed at the frightfulness of the scene even at this time 9 months later. Ghastly holes a hundred feet deep thousands of ripped & shattered sandbags, long lines of wicked looking rusty barbed wire & most pathetic & moving sight of all, the great group of little white crosses is where our gallant boys were collected & buried on the actual scene of their triumph.

[Page 81]
March Saturday 24 1917

A cold & biting wind, several degrees of frost. The past week has been a mixture of snow rain wind & hail, --the final wrestlings of winter.
Trip into Albert for paper after tea.
Daylight – Saving:- Summer Time comes in tonight. Shift our watches on an hour before morning.

[Page 82]
1917 Sunday 25 March

A beautiful bright sunny day. Such a welcome change to the cold bleak ones we’ve had. One could almost imagine himself back in dear old sunny N.S.W. Tiny finches are appearing in the brakes & hedges chirping of the advent of Spring & the sky-larks are actually carolling high up out of sight in the clear air of the morning as I write. Is the grim struggle going on in all its intensity but a few miles away? Yes! one can hear the dull boom of guns, that can only bear one interpretation, & the tireless air scouts are buzzing overhead in their bright aluminium cages.
Purposed visiting Tony this afternoon but find it is pay day & also there is to be a memorial service in memory of poor Bill Parsons tonight.

[Page 83]
1917 Monday 26 March

The service of last evening was very simple & sincere. Ptes. Clarke & Crowden conducted & spoke well & feelingly of him whom we all honoured & admired in life & now in death mourned a true & loyal comrade gone from our ken.
Had a short stroll this afternoon gathered a few ivy leaves from the moss covered boles of some shattered trees in Becourt Wood. Cold, rainy & snowing again today.

[Page 84]
1917 Tuesday 27 March

Ward emptied today. 4 Transferred to C. Ward. Leaves me free.
Take advantage of afternoon off & journey out to Millencourt & visit Tony. Find the old warrior looking quite fresh & much fatter in face Has had some new teeth in. Not having seen each other for nearly 2 months had a great old yarn. He is evidently very popular now in the unit. Has been making great speeches etc in debates & the like. Mellincourt a huge Rest Camp. Church turned into a hospital all cot cases. The alter a table for medicine bottles & lint. Once it was the spiritual now it is the physical needs of the body that are ministered to within its white walls.
Went to pictures & mesmerism in Albert after on way home. Not much good.

[Page 85]
March Wednesday 28 1917

Mooch round all day, nothing doing. Get Major Conrick to recommend me for leave to Corbie on morrow. Had letter from Mr. Beattie. He tells me Arnold was buried at Davoux a village out of Corbie. Will try & find it for them & leave some memento there on their behalf.
Go into Albert for paper taking Reg with me en route.

[Page 86]
1917 Thursday 29 March

Up at 6 a.m. soon ready for Corbie Train comes along at 6.30. Hayman & Cassin join me on their way to Amiens on leave for the day. Reach Edgehill C.C.S. walk along line to Merricourt, 2 miles. Catch French train to Amiens. Arrive Corbie at 8.40. a.m. Hunt for breakfast. No "mangez’ till 12 hours. At last get into a joint where am served with steak & 2 eggs. Feeling much refreshed catch lorry for Daours. Arrive there enquire for cemetry, walk to it & found Arnold Beattie’s grave. Place snowdrops upon it on behalf of his parents. Back to Corbie per lorry, visit church & places of interest, catch another lorry which lands me back near home at 4 p.m.

[Page 87]
March Friday 30 1917

7th Field bearers arrive back to their unit yesterday.
We get orders to rejoin our unit after lunch.
Move off from Becordel at 2.30 p.m. march by way of Albert to Buire 6 miles with only one stop, full pack & blankets up.
Doss in Recreation Hut for night.
Two big suprises –Les Underwood & young Patterson from Nowra joined up unit while we were away.

[Page 88]
1917 Saturday 31 March

Put up bell tents this morning & shift into them.
Jock Heylin leaves for 2nd A.G.H. tomorrow morning. He takes Underwood & self down village & treats us to --- Walk on to Ville.
Back to camp & bed. Put in applic. for exchange to 2nd A.G.H. Field work’s got too strenuous for me.

[Page 89]
April Sunday 1 1917

"Camp" in a ferment this morning Bugle blew reveille at 5.30 a.m. parade quarter-hour later. Orders out to strike camp & remove it to Aveluy other side of Albert 6 miles distant.
Such a removal means a prodigeous amount of work. All patients (scabies) had to be shifted, tents & marquees pulled down & much heavy loading. Work hard till tea time. Turn in early.

[Page 90]
1917 Monday 2 April

Up betimes continue pulling down tents & loading. Most of us leave for Aveluy in motor ambulances at 10.30. Arrive here at Aveluy Chateau once the residence of Baron Rothchild, a beautiful place, reduced to ruin by Fritz’s shells. We are billeted in stable where I’m writing this, an imposing building with all oak fittings, in the stalls Set to work fixing up tents & marquees. A heavy wind blowing, also heavy fall of snow came about 4 p m. transforming the scene in very few minutes.
Receive parcel from Mary containing all the different Xmas Cakes from dear friends. but hard luck they were all mouldy more or less, but still the good wishes were there, & all was right.

[Page 91]
April Tuesday 3 1917

Put on the bath staff today.
Scabies patients, plunge both 2 to a bath -- one water does 6. Oh Gib-it.
Heavy snow fall this afternoon thaw set in immediately, very slushy
Johnston Malony, King & self go into Albert buy paper & go to Anzac Coves’ concert. 5 Nurses, Audience rose en masse on their entrance, – not from courtesy but curiosity.
Good show. – 1999. Pather.
King the chap who changed Places with Jock Heylin turns out to be one of the Kings from Alstonville.

[Page 92]
1917 Wednesday 4 April

Companions of the "Bath" get to work after breakfast. & put through most of patients before dinner.
The W. O. tells me that I am transferred from "A" Sec bearers to "B" Sec. Tent Division. Sorry to move out of A. Sec. but know I’m not much good for bearing for a while.
MacBurney, Johno’ & self get ride into Albert for paper. Parade the streets & put in evening. News still good from front line.
America about to declare war.

[Page 93]
April Thursday 5 1917

We are to move out of here tomorrow. After getting things fixed up for the Scabies hospital.
Made a tour of the underground passages & cellars this evening – a veritable underground village This place must have been very strongly held & would have been a hard nut for Fritz to crack if he’d attempted to take it from the French.
Carruthers Hayman Johno & self go into A – to Y.M.C.A. joint. 8th Field Amb. "Nightbirds" gave a very enjoyable concert. Madame Melba.

[Page 94]
1917 Friday 6 April

Good Friday – no recognition.
Get our packs fixed for moving off after dinner. Work the baths in forenoon. Fall in at 2.30 p.m. 14th Field arrives & takes over. We move out immediately with full packs & blankets up for Bazentin-le-Petit – 6 miles further up where the Dressing Station was during the late stunt. Have 2 rests on the way. Pass Casualty Corner Pozieres, & thro Contalmaison once agains. Point out the places of history to the new reinforcements. Arrive at destination on 5.30 p.m. tea. Pretty tired.
Receive bundle of papers from Harry – very welcome as no letters have come to hand for a month past for any body some hitch in the postal service apparently.
To bed early & have a good old read of local papers, come upon many interesting tit bits.

[Page 95]
April Saturday 7 1917

No doubt some of the homefolk will be at the Show in Sydney today. Wouldn’t it be "bon" to be there instead of here at old Bazentin. After a beautiful sunny day yesterday, rain set in again last evening. Slight snow fell again this morning.
A. & B. Sec. bearers get orders to move on to Bapaume this morning. I bade goodbye to the boys with the best of luck. Severance.
Pay this morning – good fortune. I was reduced to 1 ½ d.

[Page 96]
1917 Sunday 8 April

Easter Sunday!! Last Easter Day we landed at Suez. What a life-time has been crowded into the last 12 months? New experiences- fresh outlooks. Will we see the expiration of another 12 months before this unfortunate business is ended.
Fatique duty during day.
McBurney & self go for walk after tea to ruins of Martinpuich. Such a scene of desolation? Everything splintered to matchwood. Souvenirs – The old Tank & knockout blow on the forehead. Secure face of its brass clock. Long dead Fritzs & Tommies lying about. 'Twas in Sept. last this area was taken.
A beautiful sunny bright day Symbolical of the day.

[Page 97]
April Monday 9 1917

Duty. The fine weather of yesterday was short lived. Snow fell again & today is raw & cold with strong wind.
McB & I go off on another stroll after tea. Visit High Wood, that place where perhaps the fiercest fighting took place & doesn’t it show it Fritzs Highlanders & Tommies’ bones lie bleaching in the weather. Skulls lying round stark & staring – a gruesome sight. Visit Delville Wood & home again.
We get orders to move up the line in the morning.
Receive 4 letters advance guard one each from Bob, Miss Barbara Alec A & Alice McA.

[Page 98]
1917 Tuesday 10 April

Up at 7.30 a.m. Roll blankets & fix pack. Cold with frequent snow squalls Move off at 10 a.m. on march to Bapaume. Our duck board track thro’ High Wood to Factory Corner, Le Barque & Bapaume Road. Blinding snow squalls used to strike us & wind would blow us off duck boards. Struggle into Bapaume, dead beat, soon recover after cup of tea & some bread. We are not to stay here. Still further on 3rd Field removing M.D. Station to village 6 k.m. out of Bapaume on Cambrai Road. Get lift in C.S. waggon that far & proceed to erect tents etc.
Rumours of great victories along the lines at Arras & [indecipherable] .
Heavy casualties in our 1st Brig. last day or two. They capture 2 more villages.

[Page 99]
April Wednesday 11 1917

3rd Field true to their reputation of being great workers have us up at 6.30! Parade 7 a.m. breakfast & to duties at 8 a.m. our usual breakfast time in our own unit. Erect more tents during day.
A very heavy snowfall again this evening inches deep. The past winter has been declared the severest for many years past & even now in April we have had more cold with rain & snow as to make it almost a record. We should be well seasoned before it is all over. God forbid that we have to go through another winter campaign, but I hardly think either side is able to stand that much less so Fritz.
14,000 prisoners taken at Arras we’re told with much ammunition & guns.

[Page 100]
1917 Thursday 12 April

Fatigues per usual. another cold day with wet underfoot due to the snow of last night thawing.
Rumour of a reverse in the 4th Div. line. Fritz counter attacked we captured a village & secured some prisoners & a couple of tanks. A heavy bombardment on our left this evening, view it from a distant hill.
Full mail arrives this evening.
Letters from Mary, Cis, May, Harry, Wall, Ess, Ethel Mac & Miss W, Nurse Swiney. All so welcome after a month’s silence.

[Page 101]
April Friday 13 1917

Duties per usual.
Roam up the village street in evening. Such a desolate scene, not a house left standing either burnt down or blown up, & all trees etc. cut down or hacked about. Fritz even levelled every telegraph pole, cutting them off about 5 ft from the ground with some explosive & systematically smashing every insulator with a hammer. The local church of Beugny (this village) he left in absolute ruins, blowing it sky hight.
'Tis reported that the last ground of the 4th Div. has been retaken. Great victories reported round Arras thousands of prisoners & many guns.

[Page 102]
1917 Saturday 14 April

Sanitation duties today.
The 3rd Field are terrors for work we have breakfast immediately after parade, then to work at 8 a.m. till 12 noon. 1.00 pm to 4 & often after tea more jobs.
Tucker is very scarce too the difficulty of getting up sufficient supplies from Albert being the cause. Bully & biscuits our main stay when everything else fails.
Fritz has an immense cemetry up in the village. Hundreds being buried there. He keeps the graves very nicely & each has a large wooden cross, with name, age etc fully printed thereon. Two graves of "Englanders" well kept too one with 2 wreathes on it.

[Page 103]
April Sunday 15 1917

A terrific barrage fire broke out at dawn something must be doing up the line. Our surmise was correct. Fritz counter attacked, coming in under white flag. 12th Batt. fare rather badly. He advanced over 1,000 yards. Later. His victory was short lived. All the ground has been recovered & several prisoners taken. He what is familiarly called by the troops, came a "Gutser".
Fritz had several balloons up this morning, next thing we knew he was sending over high velocity shells, several came very close, one handed up in the village I saw fragments of horse blown high in the air. visiting the spot later, saw a horrible sight. Two limbers with horses attached were fairly struck. Both poor brutes were blown to pieces fortunately the drivers escaped.

[Page 104]
1917 Monday 16 April

Duties as usual. Roadmaking round Dressing Station. bricks from fallen walls
Finer, today
Active cannonade all along front. We miss the "Daily Mail" up here feel quite lost without it. Hear scraps of news from one source or another.
Get more letters from Mary 18th Feb. Margot. Wall & Jessie, Nurse Murell. A Comfort Depot & Y.M.C.A. open up in the village. Both most opportune as rations very scarce & often one wishes for something to chew between times. If one can get in early he is fortunate to get chocolate, biscuits & tinned fruit.

[Page 105]
April Tuesday 17 1917

Heavy rain last night, also continuance of heavy bombardments. Duties as usual.
A very cold raw windy day. When will the weather take up? Here we are in the middle of April & tis as cold & wet as at Xmas. Sunny France --- where is it? Its the sorriest, dreariest place in the universe just now at any rate here at the front.

[Page 106]
1917 Wednesday 18 April

"Blarst", the weather! Colder & still colder, wetter & still wetter but all the same 3rd F. haul us out to do fatigues. Erecting big marquees covered in mud, with wet ropes fine fun in the icy rain. but we could be worse off. The poor old infantry in the front line have an infinitly harder time They are the ones to whom we should taking our caps off2.
Tis rumoured that Fritz is massing troops on our front. Something doing shortly if that is the case.
Big howitzers going up all day. A big welcome suprise; just as we’d turned in letters & parcel from Mya & Wall came in. A bonnie cake which we soon sampled. It was so opportune as rations have been short for some time & every little helps.

[Page 107]
April Thursday 19 1917

No rain today!
This 3rd Field beats all creation. They are forever putting up tents & dragging them down again without apparent reason. We fall in for the job. At it all day today, but its not too dusty while fine. Fritz shells the village this morn – a doz. over in quick succession. Such a scatter!! The village was emptied in no time & pioneers working on the tram line scattered like sheep.- the best thing to do. A couple of horses careered down the road wounded - gaping holes in their flanks & sides. 10 men were wounded one died here at the M.D.S.
B. Reynolds & self walked to next village Fremicourt after canteen. Saw French cemetery where some Fritzes were buried. Vault. smashed open by a shell. exposing 3 coffins, one with lid smashed in, of long buried Messieurs.

[Page 108]
1917 Friday April 20 April

Continuing fine. Quiet night. More tent pitching. Quite expert at the game. Frtiz shells some more this evening. 3 casualties. Tis wonderful how quickly the engineers lay down the light & heavy railways. have them right up here now, & pushing them on farther every day. More heavy guns have gone up.
We can’t get water to wash here 'Tis so scarce. Fritz poisoned all the wells & only a couple bre bored by the R.E’s supply all the troops in the area.

[Page 109]
April Saturday 21 1917

Still fine.—the 3rd day in succession much milder too. The leaves are bursting the pod & fields are quite green. Fritz strafes again. In & around the village. Troops scatter everywhere. None came very near the M.D.S. 'Tis laughable to see everyone going for his life. It has its humourous side, though 'tis "no bon" all the same.
Rumoured we are "toot sweetin" out of this area in a few days & going North as at first intended before the big push started beginning of last month Aerial activity overhead this evening. 'Tis always an interesting sight watching these air combats.

[Page 110]
1917 Sunday 22 April

Sunday no. 2 beyond Bapaume.
Duties per usual. The camp is wearing quite an imposing appearance. D.D.M.S. Col. Manifold. visited today & expressed great delight at the improvments effected.
All day long there continued great aerial activity Fritz was across frequently at midday. a Taube swooped down out of the clouds on to one of our balloons close by. missed it had a go at another missed it, shot away & encountered 3 of our planes. Anti aircraft fire nearly caught our own planes & forced them down. Fritz whipped back to the last balloon & dropped an incendiary bomb. on it. In a few minutes it went up in smoke & Fritz soared off home. A brilliant feat of his & worthy of admiration.
Service at Y.M.C.A. at 6.30 p m. in hay-loft novel. end open to the sky where still blew it out half the roof with it. Tiny organ & hearty singing Big guns a few hundred yards away belching out shell & smoke. Fritz lobbing return rations at top end of village. Truly a service under novel conditions

[Page 111]
April Monday 23 1917

More aerial combats. ’Twas Fritz’s day yesterday. Ours today. We brought down 2 of his planes early. A piece of shrap. from anti-aircraft whanged on to the tent today but fortunately glanced off. Gen Birdwood expected today. All Australian troops to be relieved from this front this week, by Tommies. We expect to go today or tomorrow. Later it is. We left Bequy at 6 p.m. Just as we left. Fritz started to shell, heard subsequently that one lobbed near our tent. wounding a transport driver & horse. We arrive in Bapaume about 7 p.m. Go out immediately after finding billets in a tumbledown 2nd story building, to explore town. Not a house is left standing intact. Such destruction. Where the town Hall was is a gaping hole. ’Twas estimated 200 were buried under that debris. Visited wreckage of the once fine church. A vault under the floor caved in & exposes dozens of grinning skulls apparently buried there in years long past.
Bapaume is a very ancient city.

[Page 112]
1917 Tuesday 24 April

Do not move off till midday. Put in morning exploring huge underground tunnels & vaults hewn out hundreds of years ago. Fritz evidently used them during bombardments as there are ample evidences of his occupation in the shape of empty bottles, beds etc. These tunnels go down into the bowels of the earth, inky black, damp, dark & tortuous. One easily recalls brigands & their loot, dark deeds & foul crimes committed in their corridors.
Leave Bapaume for Pozieres C.C.S. at 1 p.m. We get our packs carried, "tres bon" arrive by main road about 4p.m. 8 miles – a bit footsore over the stony road but happy – Pozieres – who’d have thought that we would be camping on this spot a few months ago. The place is almost unrecognizable.
Johno Reynolds & self walk over the old areas after tea & visit the spots where our late comrades lie. Their crosses stand out white & clear against the brown clay background. There are not many graves marked considering the hundreds that fell & lay buried there. Two huge memorial crosses have been erected for all

[Page 113]
April Wednesday 25 1917

Anzac Day!! Tis to be celebrated by a bath, dinner & concert. Sanitary duty in morning.
In aft. 3 of us ride into Albert while the mob walk for the bath. It was bonsor first for 5 weeks, also first time we had our clothes off for same period. Return in time for dinner in evening. 6 courses no less. – Pea soup, fowl, & chicken broth, cold mutton & vegetables, plum pudding & custard, then jelly & rice – some tuck in you bet best yet. After tea we repair to concert tent, where stage had been erected & piano hired. A splendid programme very funny in parts. Sang a song. Entertained after by Operating centre at supper – the performers.
A huge mail for me 23 letters & 5 parcels including one for Bob.

[Page 114]
1917 Thursday 26 April

Up for breakfast at 8 a.m. tis hard to take (?) Duties for an hour, clean up & free for rest of day. Over to Y.M. C A for cup of cocoa & to write this & letters. Write all afternoon & read.
After tea, A.Carruthers, Bert. R. "Johno" Ridgy & self walk over to Thiepval & view the ruins & massive German defences --- truly the taking of that post was a magnificent piece of work for the British troops. Such a wilderness of shell holes & wreckage. Thiepval Chateau all that’s left of it, a few bricks, underground passages, Tank, dead Fritzes, Duds. Ugh! such grusome sights, make very little impression after all these months. Life’s held very cheaply.

[Page 115]
April Friday 27 1917

Duties for an hour or two, all the rest of day free.
Kit inspection in forenoon.
In aft. I go for a ramble over old Pozieres ground back toward Casualty Corner. The Toms grave. After tea A. Carruthers, "Johno", Reynolds & self go into Albert to "Anzac Coves". Andy & Johno" fail to catch the motor lorry. Jack’s hat falls off & "ma feesh". We miss them in A. Good entertainment. Home & mutual recriminations.

[Page 116]
1917 Saturday 28 April

Duties during morning.
Inoculation T.R.B. Result everyone has stiff arms & sore. A.C. Johno & self visit La Boiselle crater. – a huge gaping hole like an extinct volcano. "Tis hardly credible that it was caused by man’s agency. fully 100 yards across by 200 ft deep.
Papers from Jan Mac. & bundle of locals from Harry – Show doings
Good old read for rest of evening.

[Page 117]
April Sunday 29 1917

Up for breakfast at 7.45 a.m. Easy game these last few days. We vote for Federal Elections today. Think Nationalists have overwhelming majority.
Quite the warmest day yet. Coats off. quite summery in fact. Our winter clobber we are beginning to discard for less & lighter wear.
A party of us walk over to Oliviers to see the 15 in "dud". Find two in fact. quite the biggest shell any of us had seen. stands up to one’s armpit & one can only comfortably embrace it. "Tis wonderful how these mighty things can be propelled so far. They weigh about 15 cwt. Cordite & amateur mine explosions
Visit Y.M.C.A for service.
An exchange to 2nd A.G.H. came thro’ for McBurney & self today. Notable. We leave the Amb. within the next day or two.

[Page 118]
1917 Monday 30 April

Mac. B & I leave today for 2nd A.G.H. by Amb. car at 4.30 p.m. for Amiens Major Frizell leave. Train to Bolougne Frenchies & the "mangez." Arrive B. 11p.m. Go to billets with chaps for Blighty leave. huge store, every convenience, take up your bed & walk. Breakfast. Hoist our packs & get let out. Board tram at the Docks &

[Page 119]
May Tuesday 1 1917

Slept in the Leave billet last night. Breakfast wash, hoist our packs get let out & board our tram at Docks for Wimeraux. A beautiful morning blue sky & bluer sea. sun glittering & countless shipping coming & going to & from Blighty. Tram skirts the sea coast. for 3 miles. so pretty. Arrive at 2nd A.G.H. report Orderly Room business, carry patients to & from X Ray theatre for rest of day. Wimeraux a vast hospital No less than 6 near each other an ideal spot for convalescents.
Meet Cartwright. ∓ Jockey, Freda Hewlett.

[Page 120]
1917 Wednesday 2 May

Tent duty today.
After tea walk along cliff & beach with Mac, Jock & Carty. Yarn to further orders.

[Page 121]
May Thursday 3 1917

Transport duty. Walk into Bolougne after early breakfast. a beautiful bright morning. The English Channel looked lovely. Donnellan, Clothing. Salvage. 4 trips back & forth in motor. Get spill on one trip out of lorry, sprain wrist. Boulogne docks the heterogenous collection of people & types. Cockleshell gatherers, fish women, sailors, garcons. Hot baths at any hour here, every convenience good tucker.

[Page 122]
1917 Friday 4 May

Put on Mess Room staff – light duties. Parade to Dr. with wrist Feeding the multitude.
Down the village with Jock & Cart. Coiffeur. Chocolate & pastry. Mac. Coal transport.
2nd Div. patients in hospital this morning.

[Page 123]
May Saturday 5 1917

Mess Room duties. Not bad. Jerry & his grievances. Tommy helpers. Down the village with MacB. after tea. Shave & supper. Khaki girls.

[Page 124]
1917 Sunday 6 May

1st Sunday out of the line! What a difference to the life up there. A brilliant beautiful morning. Duties during forenoon Afternoon off. Have a "snifter job in mess room. Finish up by 10 a.m. & in afternoon by 2. Two afternoons out of three – off at 2 p.m. I shan’t quarrel with it.
Got a new rig out since coming here, some class again. Jock, Carty, Mac & self into Boulogne per tram. Continental Sunday. all shops open & crowds of people out promenading. French style, everything so interesting & entertaining.
After tea go to English Church. ancient building. Church estab. in it 1858. Miss the last tram to Wimereux, after sprinting half mile along street much to delight of petit garcons.

[Page 125]
May Monday 7 1917

Usual duties. Mac.B. put on ward F. Pans & pills. 1300 patients accommodated in this joint. They represent some work for the staff. I suppose I’ll come a "gutser" (soldier parlance) & have to do a term as ward orderly some time. After tea Cart. takes me to the home of some French friends. Nice people. daughter plays splendidly. Great old singsong, solos & duets. Quite a little bit of home. After long months in the line this release is like a dream.

[Page 126]
1917 Tuesday 8 May

Morning duties. Afternoon off Tog up & go into Boulogne. Plenty to interest one round the docks, troops arriving hospital ships leaving for Blighty, submarines, & destroyer escorts – a busy & everchanging scene. Boulogne is the main artery connecting France & England.
Jock Heylin joins me later & we go to French Cinema at the "Theatre Municiple" a pretty little theatre it proved to be. Spent an enjoyable 2 hours there then home in time to sign off at 9 p.m.

[Page 128]
1917 Thursday 10 May

Duties as usual, my day in. Harry & Jerry have a row. Concert in Y.M.C.A. after tea. Not bad but insufferably hot inside. Jock & I over to canteen for cooler & then on to cliffs for a blow for half hour. Post card from Bob.

[Page 129]
May Friday 11 1917

Afternoon off. Bath. Go down Wimereux beach write letters. a lovely afternoon.
Tea at cafe omelette tres bon.

[Page 130]
1917 Saturday 12 May

MacB & self beach. French kiddies stroll round & tea same place as yesterday.
Letter from Ridgway. Big scrap up line. He wounded in abdomen, also Sgt. Clifton, Hayman, Gibson, Maddox, Leask killed & others wounded

[Page 131]
May Sunday 13 1917

My day on duty in aft. Finish up 6.45. Repair to Y.M.C.A. Praise Service. Well known hymns & their composers. Yarn to Freda H &. Sister MacDonald.

[Page 132]
1917 Monday 14 May

Duties. In aft. Jock Heylin & self walk out into the hills. Wimille. Hunchback nails me. French lesson Country lanes, hedges. Garcon & wayside water spring. Column. A magnificent view. Cafe. Three in one. Home by easy stages. These rambles are fine. Boulogne & its surroundings are very picturesque.

[Page 133]
1917 Wednesday 16 May

Day fine. Concert at Y.M.C.A at 6.30. Jock & Mac. help me clear up after tea to get away in time.
Army Pay office – The Strafers.
A good company. Pierrots. Cross-eyed joke. & postcript.

[Page 134]
May Thursday 17 1917

Afternoon off. I go into Boulogne Get Kipling’s Barrack Room Ballads for Andy Carruthers. Leave coat at Merridews. Visit At Boulogne "Haute Ville". An absorbingly interesting place. Ramparts, Belfrey, Cathedral etc. Home 7.30.

[Page 135]
1917 Friday 18 May

Jock, Mac & I go for a walk in afternoon to Souverain Moulin a most enchanting time The beautiful hills, fields & all loveliness. Wimille. Snapshots. Cafe & inquisitive Sister. Eggs & chips. Chateau. Mac’s in rhapsodies. Jockeys broken wind. Our search for Happy Valley. Home at 9 p.m.

[Page 136]
May Saturday 19 1917

Duty all day. Finish up 6.30 p.m. Over to cliff edge.
Write letters to G.R. & p.c’s to. Ess H. Miss Grant, Alice, &
Receive parcels from G.R. & Alice.

[Page 137]
1917 Sunday 20 May

A fine joyous day. Duties per usual. Afternoon off. Bath then sleep a little, read. Jockey sick Wait on him.
Over to cliff after tea & write up diary. Back to Y.M.C.A. to evening service. Tis when we sing the peerless old hymns of our church & childhood that the longing for home & kindred rushes upon one to be once more back to the old house haunts & faces. How this heart cries out in longing for it all. That this awful slaughter & [indecipherable] be stopped. That at the wickedness that stalks abroad open & unashamed. War develops the beast in human beings to a shocking extent. Is the war to be one of extermination? The Almighty’s way of purging the race --- if so there are many to fall yet.

[Page 138]
May Monday 21 1917

Jock Heylin put into hospital last night under observation for appendicitis.
MacB & I go into Boulogne afternoon. Hunt for Coiffeur. Mac crabby. good feed sets us up. Visit old Boulogne within the Ramparts Absorbingly interesting. Walk the Boulevards! [indecipherable] Chateaux Calais Gate [indecipherable] Cathedral.
Tea at English shop. The girls.

[Page 139]
1917 Tuesday 22 May

Duties per usual.
Beautiful days with showers of rain now & then freshen everything up & all is green & flourishing
Letters from Mrs W. N. Bullen , Johno Johnston.

[Page 140]
May Wednesday 23 1917

Pay day. Afternoon off. Go into Boulogne , tea, Cinema, & home.

[Page 141]
1917 Thursday 24 May

MacB & I have afternoon off Walk along sea beach to Ambleteuse & Audresselles. A beautiful afternoon. Long promenade between Ferry 10 yards to cross to Ambletuse Fishing villages & former a watering place fine houses. Promenade Sea walls. Con. camps.
Audresselles sleepy little fishing village. Nets drying in sun. Fish women, Souvenirs. Cafe 4 oefs. Pick a back. Ambleteuse ferry. English kiddie in shop. tea at cafe. Home at 9 p.m walk about 8 miles.

[Page 142]
May Friday 25 1917

Came an awful "gutser" today! Just as we finished up at 10.30 a.m. Sergt. comes along & says I have to report at Officers’ Mess. D--- & B---. Went straight way to W.O. barneyed with him but no go. Then saw Orderly Officer promised to do what he could failed. Now behold me waiter in Officers Mess. Ye Gods The ways of the Army are past finding out. Spill the soup drop the spoons, upset the tea, do anything now till I get out off this job, no good to this chick:
Went down to Wimereux in afternoon & had tunic fitted.

[Page 143]
1917 Saturday 26 May

Duties start seven a.m. P.z--- Juggle bowls & porridge plates. Again P ---.
Off from 2 to 6 p.m.
Loose my fountain pen somewhere. Believe it pinched out of my shack will feel the loss of it

[Page 144]
May Sunday 27 1917

Still doing these elevating tasks. Take afternoon off from 2 p.m. to 9
Mac Radford & self set off for walk to Valle de Denacre or Happy Valley. Wimelle. Drink at Corner Parlez 3 Damoiselles. Narrow tree shaded path Vaches [indecipherable] Happy Valley Pleasure Resort. Swings, Jock & his swing. Flemish women with their quaint headgear & jewellery.
Back through Colonne, Tea of salad eggs etc Cafe. Home through

[Page 145]
1917 Monday 28 May

See the Orderly Officer with view to get me taken off my job. Sees the W.O. Eddington - a miserable beer soaked cad. Get what I want & put on general duties not back to my old job.
After tea go with Radford into Boulogne book seats for self & Mac for "Madam Butterfly" 5 francs.
Stroll on Plage & enjoy watching French people --- the fog cloud

[Page 146]
May Tuesday 29 1917

Transport duty today. Early breakfast & walk thro’ fog into Boulogne at 7 a.m. Motor lorry load of goods & medical stores. huge bulk stores, Lunch in town at canteen
off duty at 2 p.m. for rest of day. Read a bit & write a few letters

[Page 147]
1917 Wednesday 30 May

Transport duty today. Nothing much to do. Finish at 1.30 p.m. for day. Down to Wimereux for tunic not done. Blast.
Do men’s mess for Jerry at tea, crook with inoculation. Mac & I tog up & go into Boulogne to see Opera Madam Butterfly. Did not start till 9 p m Principals good, others very ordinary. [indecipherable] Good seats Second act, an hours interval while they fix the stage. Do not finish till 12 30 p.m. French very casual & take everything calmly my rude remarks, did not know she compreed English Brisk walk home The search light on the waves, an indescribably beautiful effect.
Harry B & the bed board joke 1 a.m.

[Page 148]
May Thursday 31 1917

General duties. Parade Summoned for Orderly Room mistake

[Page 149]
1917 Friday 1 June

Gen. duties. Wire mending round camp
MacB & I down to beach after tea Mac put on night duty for month Has to shift into another shack.
Letters from Mrs. Gelling Alice MacA, Mrs Tony

[Page 150]
June Saturday 2 1917

General duties all morning off at 3,30 p m.
Jock & I go down Wimereaux I for tunic at tailors not done, blast him had it a week already. These French are the most casual crowd I’ve ever met
Tea of omellete & bread butter, took ¾ hour to serve us. Caught tram into Boulogne. Pictures, Cinema, Pastry supper, so long. Heavens, took several home, Catch motor back [indecipherable] & arrive only ¼ late. Fix it up, & bed.
Letters from Bob & Johno.

[Page 151]
1917 Sunday 3 June

Nabbed for Guard on gate. Duties start 2.30 p m morning free.
Take book & go down Wimereaux Beach for mornings quiet & read A beautiful fresh morning it was Back to dinner at 12.30 of roast meat, potatoes & rice pudding. Duty at 2.30 p.m. & easy tho’ monotonous job. good chance for read & write principal duty is to strike a gong at hour & half hours.
MacB & the chats
Kelly arrives from 1st Field

[Page 152]
June Monday 4 1917

Duty again at 6 a. m to 2.30 p.m. Off now till 2.30 tomorrow. Jock & I go down W. rouge vin & sweets. Plage. Visit old fort, tide rises rapidly nearly catches us. Y.M.C.A for drink & sup. Past few days quite hot.

[Page 153]
1917 Tuesday 5 June

Sleepin till 7 a.m. After breakfast go out all morning Seek a shady green dell away from everyone & enjoy a lovely old laze. Read & write. A beautiful quiet & peaceful morning. Flowers, butterflies, birds, frisky little foals. War seemed an unheard thing.
Back to dinner. On duty at 2.30 till 10 p.m.

[Page 154]
June Wednesday 6 1917

Duty at 6 a.m. again. Relieved of my job after breakfast. Back on to Gen. Duties. Do nothing much all morning. Stretcher bear at Irish Evac & a gen. one after.
Pay this afternoon. Leave from 2 p.m.
Jock & self out. Crowded tram & officious Tommy Corp – Jock "we are Colonials & dont you forget it" Wimereux & back into Boulogne. Jock haircut & shampoo – 2 francs shocking robbery. America Cafe luncheon. 1/6. Steak & eggs mounts to 2.58 fr. each – more robbery. Entente Cordiale not much among business people & us. Old Boulogne. Storm approaching Catch tram home & storm catches us. Such deluge of rain, get home dry tho’. Y.M.C.A. drink & bed.

[Page 155]
1917 Thursday 7 June

Transport duty, 7 a.m. Walk into B. after breakfast. Everything fresh & beautiful after the wash of last evening.
Two trips in & out before dinner. One long trip 4 miles out of B to Mont something for kerosene. Pretty scenery. Late for dinner, cold.
Away again first to Wim - & then to B – again. fill up with clothing etc. finish about 5.30 after heavy day. Mac & self out on to cliffs for brief stroll.
Letters from Frank M & Tony.

[Page 156]
June Friday 8 1917

Coal transport today. 4 of us shift 20 tons, - a new role. coal lumper
Egyptian & Chinese coolies.
Finish 3.45 p.m. Shower, tea & down to Wimereux blowing.
Great British offensive being carried on near Ypres, Wycheate & Missines. Wounded beginning to come in, in large convoys operations in the line are always reflected here

[Page 157]
1917 Saturday 9 June

Stretcher bearing today. Evacuations to Blighty.
After tea go into Boulogne. Visit Eng. tea shop. long yarn to [blank]
Home by convoy of Fritz wounded Some of mid-age boys making themselves nuisances, they are not worth their salt here or up the line Got 2nd Field punishments meted out to them

[Page 158]
June Sunday 10 1917

Stretchers again Morning tea with Jockey in J. Ward.
Parcel form Cis, (the returned one with 1st socks) What a journey its had. On duty till 4 p m.
After tea church in Y.M.C.A. Rev. Hume Robertson. The dear familiar hymn tunes bring on homesickness. They always do

[Page 159]
1917 Monday 11 June

Have a turn in Orderly Room. Collecting Classification States from Wards. etc. Good job but only temporary. Have to go into B – on pass – with letters & [indecipherable] D D M S. R.T.O. Base Commandant

[Page 160]
June Tuesday 12 1917

Still another change. Back to Gen. duties Cement mixing all morning.
Major Wilson down to visit hosp.
Once more a change. Have to go on night duty in P Ward at 8 p.m. off till then. Go up with Jock & lay down in ward. After tea J & self down Wm. Photo snaps.
Beach back to tea at cafe.
Go on duty at 8 p.m. First time on ward. Some bad cases Williams & [indecipherable] [indecipherable] Sister Sinclair Wood S.A. & self night shift
Start sponging down about 3 a.m. Relieved at 7.30 Note from Bob. Dislocated thumb in a scrap.

[Page 161]
1917 Wednesday 13 June

Turn night into day & vice versa –
After breakfast go to bed & stay there till 4.30 p.m. Sleep indifferently due to all the different noises & distractions. After tea go out for a blow on cliffs.
Duty again at 8 p.m.

[Page 162]
June Thursday 14 1917

Busy night. Patients need a lot of attention. Have one ward surgical & other medical. Former takes up all our time. They are all chest wounds & in almost all cases pneumonia follows as in a [indecipherable] sequence. Medhurst, Pittams, Skinner & Williams all very bad.
Rather like work of attending tho tis very constant. Sister Wood a good sister & considerate.

[Page 163]
1917 Friday 15 June

Of at 7.30 a.m. Breakfast. Bed. Busy night as usual. Some were evacuated yesterday to Blighty They all from this ward are sent across as they are able to stand journey.
Supper each night at 11. to 11.30. draw from cook house. Cocoa 4.30 a.m. Relieved just on breakfast time. Convalescents do all washing up in kitchen etc.

[Page 164]
June Saturday 16 1917

Duties per usual last night. Medhurst somewhat better. Skinner & Pittums much same. Williams very ill. Foreign bodies still in several of patients.

[Page 165]
1917 Sunday 17 June

Trotting round as usual all last night. Some more evacuated & some fresh admissions. Get up at mid-day & in afternoon. Mac. Jock & I go into Boulogne. Tea at English shop. thence board tram to Le Portel fishing village. Stink never was there anything like it. Portuguese officers & --- Old fish wives & men. Jock takes couple snaps of beach & plage. Back to B – tea at Soldiers & Sailors Home. Wire taken a "jerry" to French Cafes & shops with their exorbitant prices. Buy a 10 fr. watch Invicta. Home in time for duty at 8 p.m.

[Page 166]
June Monday 18 1917

A mine blew up a trawler this morning just off the coast. Heard the report plainly. Also in aft. a French torpedo Destroyer struck one & was severely damaged. Towed into Boulogne Harb. Fritz has been making some during daylight raids over London too. Killed 100 day before yesterday.
Pittams passed his crisis last night. 'Twas a touch & go with him. He should do well now. Others much same. Fuller strap on aorta.

Williams very ill still. Awful stench arises from his wound in lung. We had to put him outside much to his distress. Poor kid. It is here in the hospitals one sees all the horrid sordid results of this war. The maimed & broken manhood all so futile & worthless.

[Page 168]
June Wednesday 20 1917

Duty on ward much as usual. Heavy torrential rain this evening. Water does not lay long on account of sandy nature of soil. Williams operated on again but no improvement. Afraid there is very little hope of his recovery. Gangrene set in.

[Page 169]
1917 Thursday 21 June

Poor boy Williams died 10.30 last evening. Just quietly slid from all his pain. He wrote a pathetic little note in lead pencil to his mother only a few hours before, asking her to send over a big cake for his afternoon tea – One of the many thousands of like incidents which occur every day.

[Page 170]
June Friday 22 1917

An easier night on the ward. Only traversed 15 miles last night.
Jock Mac & self went for trip to Le Portel this afternoon. Fishing village with plenty stink. Jock takes couple snaps.
14 letters arrive from up the line also parcel socks etc from Wilsons.

[Page 171]
1917 Saturday 23 June

MacB & self down Wimereux Nothing of great moment to record.
Draft come from Base to Hosp. 11. Bob not one tho,

[Page 172]
June Sunday 24 1917

A beautiful brilliant day. Jock & self go to Hardleot in aft. A lovely tram ride of 1 hr & quart. thro’ woods over hills, change at Pont a Briques. Hardelot Plage fine beach. Convalescent Hosp. No 25. Kaffir sports endless stream hospital blue. Frenchy & the girl.
The pantomime on tram coming home. Quite casual trippers. Voluable Frenchy Make up lost time. Tea at. S & S Club R.C. Held up again on tram half hour, overcrowded. Driver refuse to start, at last gives up in desperation. Late for parade at 8 p.m.

[Page 173]
1917 Monday 25 June

A fair night, Pittams quite recovered. Skinner & Medhurst almost out of wood, also Plant, Farrow new admission bad case & KELLY. A typical Irishman, an awful worry, high querelous voice calls 'orderly’ incessantly. Bunny hug.
Lena Ashwell gave concert but had to leave after first 2 items

[Page 174]
June Tuesday 26 1917

Plenty doing with fresh admissions etc. All patients much the same. A few of the better ones sent to Blighty. They all go ultimately from this ward all them being serious cases +& taking a long while to recover
Mac & I walk to Wimelle & stroll around the pretty lanes Generally too tired to go far. Sleep generally from 8 a m to 4.30. p m. or at least try to. There are too many noises & distractions to sleep soundly in the day

[Page 175]
1917 Wednesday 27 June

A few more letters to hand up to middle of Apr.
Patients much as usual. Farrow our worst case now. Hepatite not too good. Chorus of groans all night long.

[Page 176]
June Thursday 28 1917

Another batch 14 letters up to Apr. 31st. Good oh!
It rains nearly every day now mostly shortlived thunderstorms.
Mesopotamia scandals revealed

[Page 177]
1917 Sunday 1 July

Finish night duty. Came off at 8 a.m. Slept till 12.30. on duty at 1 p.m. again to 8 p.m. solid going. Sister C.W. "no bon". I get her measure straight away.

[Page 178]
July Monday 2 1917

Day duties more varied than night. More running round but it was heaven to get a decent sleep in last night. Have three hours off this afternoon.

[Page 179]
1917 Tuesday 3 July

Duties per usual.
My afternoon off from 2 p.m. Every 3rd afternoon full every second a split, 3 hrs between self & other orderly, Squires.
Go into Boulogne, Cinema.

[Page 180]
July Wednesday 4 1917

Nothing happens out of ordinary. American Independence Day. On duty till 8 p.m.
Pay day Mc.Burney called for draft stiff luck.

[Page 181]
1917 Thursday 5 July

Queen Mary visits the hospital at mid-day stays 3 minutes. No fuss made. French hang out flags thats all.
Jock MacB & self go for walk after tea to Happy Valley & Hidden singer, hoeing cabbages. We have a little impromptu operatic duet. 3 in one refreshment.
A beautiful calm evening & a most enjoyable stroll. Call at Mde Hunch at Wimille raspberries & sugar.

[Page 182]
July Friday 6 1917

Duties much the same. Letter from Ridgway Better. On leave in Edinburgh.
Also one Bob. he is once more with 1st Field.

[Page 183]
1917 Saturday 7 July

On duty all day. Patients much the same. Farrows people go home. He will get better I think. Taylor our worst case now bad wound in back & displaced heart. Wife over to see him.
More air strikes on London. When will our men wake up

[Page 184]
July Sunday 8 1917

Taylor operated on this a.m. Very bad. Not expected to last the night. Poor little wife I feel sorry for.
Jocky Heylin ill again. Belly ache. Hume Robertson service in Y M. C A. after tea.
Write letters

[Page 185]
1917 Monday 9 July

MacB goes on night duty fires
Carty ditto on theatre.
Dont go out my day off.
Taylor pulls round much to our relief & wife’s delight. still seriously ill.

[Page 186]
July Tuesday 10 1917

Duties per usual.
Jock getting better. Receive birthday cake from home. 'Tis a beauty & so welcome. French can’t make cakes

[Page 187]
1917 Wednesday 11 July

Treat sisters in ward & others to cake at morning tea. all delighted.
Afternoon off. also Jock.
We repair to Boulogne the old part. Jock takes some snaps secretly. Cathedral. Bearded Lady. Dilboy in window.
Board tram tea in Wimereux. 3½ francs – 3/-, for 3 eggs & cup of tea. That’s how the froggies charge. Stroll on beach. meet Sisters Wood & Blake. Miss Schute cuts. [indecipherable] cake.
Taylor very ill again. Exhaustion

[Page 188]
July Thursday 12 1917

Half afternoon off. Write letters. On duty again at 4.30 till 8 p.m. Taylor no better. Afraid its a case with him.

[Page 189]
1917 Friday 13 July

Full day on duty. Usual work. All day Taylor continues demi delerious. Calling wife etc. I fear he will not last the night. Full day is rather trying.

[Page 190]
July Saturday 14 1917

As expected poor Taylor died last night at 1 a.m. Thus the toll mounts.
Jock, Carty & self go into Boulogne Mac’s on night duty & disinclined for jaunt. We get our phizes taken. Visit old Boulogne. French National Fete Day. Everyone in holiday attire Buy favours. Listen to band on Esplanade. Wimereux to. Tea at C.W.L. & then to Kursaal. Cinema Home walk. Shikkered Aussies. Tony supposed to go on leave to Blighty today.

[Page 191]
1917 Sunday 15 July

A brilliant morning. Would like much better to go out instead of going on graft.
Half afternoon off from 4.30 p.m. Carty & self walk to Column. C’s confidences. Back to church at Y.M.C.A. Eng. Ser. Major. ordinary. Walk out to cliffs after.

[Page 192]
July Monday 16 1917

Usual duties. Full day on. Nothing special of interest.
An open air concert in grounds after tea to patients. Very much appreciated.

[Page 193]
1917 Tuesday 17 July

Usual duties to mid day.
Afternoon "off". Jock Cart & self into B – to get photos. Oh horrors. They are atrocious. Tear mine up. save one for curio. Back to tea. Concert & play in Y.M.C.A. in evening. "Miss Honey’s Treasure". Cliffs. Meet Misses ---- Blast 9 p.m. roll call.

[Page 194]
July Wednesday 18 1917

Raining last night & continuing this morning. Half afternoon off & Loaf. Pay day. Get destination for leave taken.
Skinner goes to Blighty.
Meningitis broken out in M & N Ward. Boisterous weather.

[Page 195]
1917 Thursday 19 July

Medhurst & Hall marked for Blighty too. Good to see all these bad cases so much improved. but
Sister White leaving ward for night duty. Sister Simpson succeeds.
Army Pay Corp. "Frivolities" give a first class concert in Y.M.C.A.
Afternoon "off". Jock H & to W--- fool round back to Canteen & concert.
No more convoys to come in for 10 days. Clearing hosp. in anticipation of coming big stunt.

[Page 196]
July Friday 20 1917

Sister Simpson takes command. 4th Div. Band gives open air concert this afternoon. A beautiful calm evening. Band first class & gave us all a treat. Off at 5 p.m. Receive parcel from Mac. T. Jock also gets one from home. Supper in his ward. Write up "Australia in War" to send home.

[Page 197]
1917 Saturday 21 July

Plant & old Jock Dempsey sent to Blighty also

[Page 198]
July Thursday 26 1917

Usual duties. Split evening Spell all afternoon

[Page 199]
1917 Friday 27 July

Afternoon off. According to arrangement Jock & self meet Miss S – at gate 2 p.m. J. late as usual. Miss tram catch next. Land Le Portel by tram. Incident of collision cart & tram shaft narrowly missing Miss S – head smash window behind. Roam over fields knee deep in grass, a regular summer idyll.
Reach Equiham camp about 6 p.m. - tired but happy. Meet Miss Smith. Tea at chalet. Walk home cool of evening My discomfort. Gharry – Horse falls. more excitement. – Late home.

[Page 200]
July Saturday 28 1917

Leave starts again 3 go off today two tomorrow.
Duty all day.
Ward turned into general cases. Gassed cases recovering.
Mrs. Longridge gives a 'Soiree" at Y.M.C.A. at 8. Very enjoyable. Music.

[Page 201]
1917 Sunday 29 July

Heavy thunderstorm & rain this a.m. Clears toward noon.
Afternoon "off". Just preparing to go out when Bill Kell, Toby Barton, & Harold Nick arrive from 1st Field on their way on leave to Blighty. Get all Amb. news Div. moved up North again.
Went to church at Wimereux in aft. Pres. First dinkum old Pres. service since coming to France Scotties in kilts.
Walk on sea front. Meet Bob Abernethy above all others. He was at No. 14.B. Gen. with small shrap. Wound in cheek. Has been through Messines stunt. 9th Brig. Last time we met was at Liverpool the night of riot. He’s the crack rifle shot of his Batt.

[Page 202]
July Monday 30 1917

Ward duties till 5 p.m. Eye cases transferred to No. 25. Hardelot. Still raining.
Out with Carty & Buckley. "Gukes" Kharki girls. Look up Abernethy in his hospital. Yarn till first-post. He away to con. camp in morning. Exchange addresses. Wonder where & if we’ll meet again. He’s a good sort.

[Page 203]
1917 Tuesday 31 July

On duty all day. Weather still unsettled & frequently raining. The big push up north between Ypres & the sea is being interfered with. Wounded bring reports of hideous shelling of unequalled fierceness each succeeding stunt gets more diabolical. Gassed cases are many. This continuous rain adds to the beastliness of it all.
Wall’s birthday.
No mail yet.

[Page 204]
August Wednesday 1 1917

Pay day & medical exam for classification.
Still raining. Push proceeding Fritz evacuating in places: but heavy casualties are being inflicted by him.
Col. Powell examines my heart. Slight something or other.
Mac B & I into Boulogne. after 4 p.m. Cinema. Miss tram. I come an awful spill in dropping off travelling motor. splosh into mud.

[Page 205]
1917 Thursday 2 August

Afternoons off cut out till "push" is over. Beaucoup work. Nabbed for funeral party this afternoon. Six buried in Wimereux cemetery. 1800 buried there. Two deep. packed in long trench like sardines.

[Page 206]
August Friday 3 1917

Full day duty. More & still more rain. The big push is seriously interfered with.
Pte Andrew Paton. Scot. Slightly gassed. Rather chummy.

[Page 207]
1917 Saturday 4 August

Still dull & showery. Quite a record for this time of year. Seriously spoiling the crops.
Usual duties

[Page 208]
August Sunday 5 1917

Half afternoon off. Spend it in good rest. Glad of the chance.

[Page 209]
1917 Monday 6 August

Bank Holiday. Rain per usual. Nothing of moment to report. Usual actions up the line. Mud & slush unheard of in its awfulness. Men waist deep in it Worst possible conditions imaginable.

[Page 210]
August Tuesday 7 1917

Usual duties.
Afternoon off.
Meet "Shuteny" at 3 p.m & walk to Wimille. No luck back tea to Wimereux & yarn on sands. Trouble over who pays the piper. Mrs. Speckldbally the ogress. Active service conditions

[Page 211]
1917 Wednesday 8 August

My birthday! Hm, wonder how many more I’m to have? The good years slip away.

[Page 212]
August Thursday 9 1917

Poor old MacKenzie died rather suddenly last night. A fine old Scotchman, gassed, alone.

[Page 213]
1917 Friday 10 August

Afternoon off. Jock & self into Boulogne. Buy some lace for Guyers weans. Home early. good concert at night.

[Page 214]
August Saturday 11 1917

Usual duties.
Paton goes to Blighty.
Gave me a pressing invitation to visit him at Glasgow.

[Page 215]
1917 Sunday 12 August
Duty all day. A beautiful afternoon. Wish for the time that one can do as he likes.

[Page 216]
August Monday 13 1917

Usual duties. Beaucoup work, but I do not mind attending to the poor old chaps. They all appear very grateful for whatever is done. One bad patient. Forster paralysed. Very querelous & hard to put up with

[Page 217]
1917 Tuesday 14 August

Afternoon off. Jock Mac & self jaunt off.
Good concert on in evening.
Received parcel from May containing tinned goods, biscuits, prunes cream etc. tres bon.
Attend practice of male choir at 8 p.m. Capt. Archdale conducts.
Farrow sent to Blighty today. 7 weeks we had him. We’re very proud of his "save". He should have been dead a dozen times, but he fought well & finally pulled through.

[Page 218]
August Wednesday 15 1917

Nothing special doing

[Page 219]
1917 Thursday 16 August

Patient named Cormack, Scottie, in piece of shrap embedded in heart. A good chap, "You’re a good fellow Jock"? Take to him straight away, an interesting case, of course can’t operate upon him, piece removed from his side however.
Got rid of Forster this morn.

[Page 220]
August Friday 17 1917

Down Wimereux, Jock & self [indecipherable] . home early. Meet "Shutey" & walk home with her.

[Page 221]
1917 Saturday 18 August

Duty all day.

[Page 222]
August Saturday 19 1917

A fine beautiful day. Religious festival in Boulogne.
Jock Mac & I walk into B – Esplanade. Listen, to Band & ogle the lassies. Home to tea. Down to Wimereux after to celebrate Jocks birthday which we do with due ceremony. Walk on beach. Catch two Khaki ----- Future appointments.

[Page 223]
1917 Monday 20 August

A poor old Frenchy & his little granddaughter fell foul of a Mills Bomb this morning just alongside ward. They were mowing the crop when the old man struck a live bomb which had evidently been thrown into the crop by a patient. Result it exploded & wounded both the old man in a dozen places & little girl on leg. Both treated at hospital.
Busy with full ward. one poor youngster of 19 with leg blown off Jocks mother over to see him a typical poor old Scotch lady.

[Page 224]
August Tuesday 21 1917

On duty all day. Heavy fighting up around Ypres & along line to coast. Many wounded coming through. Casualties very heavy.

[Page 225]
1917 Wednesday 22 August

A record number of chest & penetrating lung wounds in the ward. 40 I’d say nothing of the doz. sick. Busy no name for it. Run off our feet --- Jock & self hasty meet & walk along beach. Dot & Carry one.
Poor old Mc. Carrol died this morning. It seemed a crying shame to have such old men in the firing line he must have been 50.
Meet Billy Seeming in Wimereux. Looking well.

[Page 226]
August Thursday 23 1917

Still more cases in some ghastly wounds. Two cases of paralysis thru’ shots in spine. Fine types of men lying like logs. No hope of recovery. Oh it makes one long for the end of this insensate slaughter & maiming. I verily believe this war is indeed the Armageddon. There seems no hope of its early conclusion & the slaughter on both sides ever day is beyond the comprehension of people not in it.
A poor lad Stewart died at mid-day. His father & mother arrived too late to late to see him except as a corpse.

[Page 227]
1917 Friday 24 August

Jock gives me bundle of letters from post. An extra mail from May 28 to June 6 Letters from Mary J. Alec. Emmie J & 8 others.
A heavy day. Tired.
At last our names appear on Leave List
Mine No. 15.

[Page 228]
August Saturday 25 1917

Usual duties. My afternoon off. Nabbed for funeral no less than 4 today. Two squads go out, also two buglers & buried altogether including a Fritz. Over 100 have been buried in this (Wimereux) cemetery during the past 3 weeks. Stewarts father & mother at his burial. The Last Post. Its terrible to see the grief of their relatives.
Heylin self to walk to Wimille to Sea which we have very dauntily set out at Madame Duchossoy’s A lovely evening & beautiful views. Stooked wheat on the uplands. Meet our lassies & walk. arranged visit to Column tomorrow after five.

[Page 229]
1917 Sunday 26 August

Usual work. Receive parcel of pr. socks yesterday from Joan & Kathleen Doherty. Threatened rain at 5 30. still we went met -------- walk Column. Rain set in. Refreshments under . plumpudding cream etc parcel from May.
Heavy rain get soaked. Home early.

[Page 230]
August Monday 27 1917

Duties per usual. Full day on. Heavy work. Tumble off to bed as soon as relieved. Some very bad cases in ward. Likely to be some deaths in a day or two.
A fine specimen of a Londoner, Diss, by name lies like a log with a fractured - spine. He is one of the finest built men I’ve ever seen only 23 too. The waste & pity of it.

[Page 231]
1917 Tuesday 28 August

Afternoon off. Take it easy read write & sleep a little Terrific gale of wind & rain raged all day.
Great excitement about tea time. A sailing vessel blown ashore on rocks below cliff. Thousands watch her being pounded to pieces. 4 of the crew rescued after great difficulty. Rockets & life line. Wind blowing hurricane force.
Chat at YM.C.A. Win to Miss P--

[Page 232]
August Wednesday 29 1917

Still stormy & windy. Conditions up line must be indescribable.
Stokes very ill all day, also Diss & East.

[Page 233]
1917 Thursday 30 August

A day of horrors. Stokes died last night. Poor Diss followed at 10 a.m. & this afternoon at 3p.m. East breathes his last. Poor chaps!! There’s nothing to say. It gives one the hump. East’s bro. with him over from England. This week has been a record for no deaths at this hosp. 15 all told.

[Page 234]
August Friday 31 1917

MacB & I into B ---- take my tunic in to get fitted. Refreshments at C. W. L. Back to hosp for tea. Jock & self down to W to meet ---- come a big "gutser" no appearance of the fair ones. To Y M after consoling ourselves with Dux Porto.

[Page 235]
1917 Saturday 1 Sept.

Duties. Have to start night duty to night for month.
Go off at midday.
Jock & self to Wimereux after tea also Carty. Meet the sisters. I have to cut back in time for parade.
Night duty.

[Page 236]
Sept. Sunday 2 1917

Fairly easy night, most of the bad cases either dead or evacuated. Sister Stiggins – Carty & inquisition Beautiful moonlight night Conway of 3 in at 3 a.m.
Sleep soundly from 8 a.m. to 2 pm. Up & go to church at W. Good old Pres. service. & communion. Arrange walk with Miss S. tomorrow. Home to the [indecipherable] . Walk down village with Frank C. & Lyle – Malaga & Porto. 5.25 francs.

[Page 237]
1917 Monday 3 Sept.

Lights switched out 10.30 p.m. – Enemy aeroplane raid. Bombs dropped on Boulogne but more near here.
Took the lassie to Wimille tea at Madame’s thence walked to Happy Valley back to Madame’s for omelette. arrive back Y.M.C.A. 7 p.m.
Duty at 8.

[Page 238]
Sept. Tuesday 4 1917

Another bright moonlight – night. Fritz aeroplanes over Calais again.
He also visited us & dropped several bombs in Boulogne killing 12 people.
Heard he got 80 convalescents at Calais last night – dropped bombs right on camp - These nights are ideal for attack s. He is also attacking coast towns of England.

[Page 239]
1917 Wednesday 5 Sept.

Yet another brilliantly clear night. as anticipated Fritz planes over again. Several more bombs dropped & some damage done. They flew right over the hospital. We almost had "Wind up". Great activity of anti air craft guns & search lights in vicinity. Nose caps fall in grounds.

[Page 240]
Sept. Thursday 6 1917

Large air raids over Chatham & London. A good deal of damage having been caused. 'Tis very hard to prevent these moonlight raids. The air’s a big space & night time helps.
Our airmen also make similar raids over his country, but it is a rotten mode of warfare, but has been forced upon us.

[Page 241]
1917 Friday 7 Sept.

A cloudy night. Fritz never plagued us with this at [indecipherable]
Patients fairly well.
Pathenden & Burt only two seriously ill.
Former developed pneumonia but is a splendid patient & is fighting well.
Parcel from Jessie neice of sox & booklet from J. Hunt –
Also received Alice’s parcel few days ago.

[Page 242]
Sept. Saturday 8 1917

Nothing of special incident
Patients in & out.
Conditions awful up the line. That Ypres sec tor is a triple Hell.

[Page 243]
1917 Sunday 9 Sept.

Got up at 2 pm. Went to Pres. Church at Wimereux at 3 p.m. Called on "Shutey" at the Marmaille. Aft. tea & stroll. Encounted Khaki lass. Games up.

[Page 244]
Sept. Monday 10 1917
Down W with Jock meet K. Lasses. Situation strained. Indefinite time of next meet.

[Page 245]
1917 Tuesday 11 Sept.

Nothing special.
Stomy of Hun block house. 12 ft. walls thick. captured by some Tommies. 6 ft water in it. Dead Huns afloat. built staging one end. Stayed in there a whole platoon for 3 days & nights. French fire & patient no wonder.

[Page 246]
Sept. Wednesday 12 1917

News of Russia’s impending civil war – the tragedy of a nation gone wrong. Story of the 4 Warwicks found stuck in mud up to their necks, only head showing. 3 days in that plight. rescued after 4 hours work – Incredible privations.

[Page 247]
1917 Thursday 13 Sept.

In to Boulogne with Jock. Cinema. Call at Tailors for my tunic, took it to be altered slightly.
Wanted to change 15 frs. Refused to pay it & left tunic there. Exorbitant price & an English firm too. He got his character detailed to him by me.
Bought Hugo’s French Course Good issue of pr. books from Q.M.

[Page 248]
Sept. Friday 14 1917

Down village after tea.
Jock tricked out in new tunic & strides. Khaki links disappoint. night work
Patient in today. Wounded 10th Aug. lay out till next day crawled into shell hole & there a month subsisting on biscuits collected from dead comrades.

[Page 249]
Sept. Sunday 16 1917

Y.M.C.A. ladies invite J & self to tea. Very enjoyable. shirk church & pinch out for walk

[Page 250]
Sept. Thursday 20 1917

The big push beyond Ypres to start this morning as anticipated fro some days past.
Preparations for big no of wounded.

[Page 251]
1917 Friday 21 Sept.

7th Field chap in ward sick. Tells me of a calamity happening to 1st Field bearers. 20 knocked out by one shell 5 being killed. First thought is whether Bob was in it. & will be anxious till I get news from him. Wounded beginning to come in. operations successful but it all costs many casualties.

[Page 252]
Sept. Saturday 22 1917

Usual work all night long.

[Page 253]
1917 Sunday 23 Sept.

Jock & I to Wimilee to tea. Maimoelle rushed. Tea served upstairs. These French are the limit.

[Page 254]
Sept. Monday 24 1917

A note arrives from Bob. Sure enough he was among the 20 & got 8 wounds in leg arm & bum. all slight fortunately. In Etaples hospital. Expects to go Blighty. He is a lucky dog, but it’s a great relief to know he’s out of it again. Fighting very heavy & hosp filling rapidly

[Page 255]
1917 Tuesday 25 Sept.

We expect our leave next week.
Jock & self go down to W. Y.M.C.A. & have game tennis with Miss Moore an Irish girl.

[Page 256]
Sept. Sunday 30 1917

Another Gutser. Leave list revised & we are put back to 7 & 9th Carty went this morng. & Jock was due tomorrow. I on Thursday. Some dirty under hand work going on. Oh the rotten Army. There’s corruption every where. Is it any wonder it takes so long to win the war. The Army is rotton throughout. [indecipherable] conscientious one is the greater fool.

[Page 257]
1917 Monday 1 October

Change on to Day Duty again still on P. Ward. Squires takes my place & I his. Sleep all morning on duty again at 2 p.m. till 8 p.m.

[Page 258]
October Tuesday 2 1917

Usual duties.
Afternoon off.

[Page 259]
1917 Thursday 11 October

Afternoon off. Jock Mac B Wilson & self into B – walk Jock late as usual. Call at D.D.M.S. office & find I am next for leave probably Sat or Sunday. Buy Xmas cards.
Payne, the gassed case evacuated in Blighty – a good save.

[Page 260]
October Friday 12 1917

Wind & rain.
Billy Leeming arrived at hospital in I ward. Shrap. Wound thro. Arm into abdominal wall, not penetrating fortunately. He is doing well.
Lightowler very much worse. He will not last long I’m afraid.
Make final preparations for my leave. Cartwright arrives back from his.

[Page 261]
1917 Saturday 13 October

Great wind & rain storm raging all day. Awful weather the past week. Big pushes up at Ypres sector greatly hampered. Impossible feats performed by our troops. Big convoys in day & night. Wards full to overflowing. Beaucoup work. Lightowler somewhat better.

[Page 262]
October Sunday 14 1917

Parker sent on leave today. My turn it should have been. Am wondering why it was altered.
Afternoon off. MacB & I out for walk. tea in Wimereux. Met Jock. Malaga & Porto. Back church. [indecipherable] Billy Leeming in I ward. Marked up for Blighty tomorrow.

[Page 263]
1917 Monday 15 October

Great suprise. MacB & I warned for leave at 11 a.m. to get ready in hour’s time. To go across at attendants to mental cases. Desperate haste to get ready, Do it report Boulogne 12.30 p.m. Meet 2 Tommy A.M.C. Segts. also of guard. Through some hitch in warrant papers, miss our boat. Just have time to scramble aboard last boat of convoy – away to Blighty at last. – St. Denis, St Andrew, Mail Packet, 2 first hosp. ships. Ours St Andrew. Shown over ship by A.M.C Corp splendidly fitted up. See Billy Leaming on board. Quick trip across escort torpedo boats. Arrive Dover 5 p.m. Takeover mental cases. 2 Fritzs. 18 walkers & 1 civilian. Mac & I take charge of civilian & escort him to London. First step on Blighty soil. Dover cliffs. Folkestone. All so bright. Our leave does not commence till we hand our patient over. Our ward – attempted suicide Melancholia. Hosp train.

[Page 264]
October Tuesday 16 1917

Arrive London (Charing Cross) midnight Hand patient over after a wait of 1 ½ hrs. Deserted Strand at 3 a.m. Mac & I strike Eagle Hut. book beds for night. Breakfast. Aldwich Hut – meet Woodcock. Shave near Charing Cross. Mac’s 4/3 cut. Go to Greenwich by train to see Mac’s friend Thornton. then Woolwich Arsnel. Lunch at Y.M.C.A. huge undertaking Woolwich Park Garrison secure pass to visit the Arsenal. Tour of inspection. 10,000 workmen on [indecipherable] works. Big gun casting, hammer 40 tons, press 3,800 tons, blast furnaces. Devils work [indecipherable] Greenwich Observatory & Park. Naval Institute. Queen Elizabeth’s tree. Back to City. Secure room at Shaftesbury Hotel & we book seats for Romance Lyric Theatre, Doris Keene. Best dram I’ve seen. Maggie.

[Page 265]
1917 Wednesday 17 October

Up 8.30. Breakfast at hotel. Meet Thornton at Horseferry Road. Report headquarters get fixed for leave & pay. Leave starts from today on strength of coming over on duty pass, up on 27th. Good oh. 13 days. Visit Westminster Abbey. Cloisters. Tombs. Poets Corner. Great Statesmen. St Margaret’s. St Martin in Fields. Trafalgar Square. Piccadilly. Regents St. Strand. Whitehall Horse Guards, Cannon St. Fleet St. After lunch bus to Tower Bridge & the Tower. Visit latter Armoury, Crown Jewels, Bloody Tower, Raleighs bell, Anne Boleyn beheaded site, Traitors Gate. Back to City. Catch train for Durham, by skin of our teeth due to dopey officials & independent taxi drivers. Arrive Durham 11.30 p.m. Mrs. Tony Tather & sister to meet us. Made very welcome at 8 Atherton Street. Sisters 3 very pretty.

[Page 266]
October Thursday 18 1917

Mac goes to Stirling friends. Mrs. Tony takes me round Cathedral & castle. River walks. History of castle. Norman Chapel 1076. think of it? Neville’s Cross.
Stroll round town .
Sing song at night all the girls sing & play nicely.

[Page 267]
1917 Friday 19 October

Take the girls to work. [indecipherable] round. Statue Marquis of Londonderry an atrocity. Purchase watch for myself. [indecipherable] another very pretty walk with Mrs. T in forenoon. Observatory Hill etc. Afternoon. motorbus ride through country for 16 miles to Bishop Auckland. Mrs. T & Edith accompanying. Mining country. 6d Tea all we could purchase. Back . More song & story. Intended leaving for Inverness at 10.40. went to station all girls accompanying. Farewells.
Wait for train till 1 a.m. no appearance. Air raid stopped it. Stiffness. Back to [indecipherable] till morning. (Difficult to write in train).

[Page 268]
October Saturday 20 1917

Catch train for Newcastle at 9.50.a.m. Change there into "Flying Scotsman" in half hour. slipped out & saw a bit of Newcastle. Stephensons statue. Rocket. Tyne Bridge.
Via Berwick. (border) Tweed River. Dunbar. Bass Rock mouth of Firth of Forth.
Arrive Edinburgh 2 p.m. Fine day. Scotch laddie takes me in tow & conducts to Overseas Club. Warm welcome by ladies Mrs Jackson. Dinner & yarn. Tour round the City. Edinburgh Castle. Holyrood. Scott Memorial etc. Tea. Amusement. Bed noise.

[Page 269]
1917 Sunday 21 October

Leave E - at 6.25 for next stage of journey north to Inverness. Pass thro. Stirling. Wallace Monument & Castle, Allan Water Perth. - breakfast. two Jocks. Getting into Highlands, viewing beautiful autumn tints. Bannockburn. Allan Water. an Aussie & New Zealander bound for Inverness also. Climbing the Grampians Snow, Burns. All so beautiful. Dinwhinnis Highland moors, acres of heather Colladon Moor. Arrive Inverness 1.50 p.m. Conducted to Boarding House rotten, dinner, Mr. Spiers from Mrs. M.D. looks me up. Out to Nairn by motor car 15 miles. Mrs. Matheson & Mr. D. small rooms 2. Tea. fish, visit some friends. I’m quite a curiosity

[Page 270]
October Monday 22 1917

Leave Nairn for Inverness 9.30 a.m. by train. arr. Wet & windy. Visit places of Interest. Castle, Flora McDonalds Statue, McBeth cottage, Cathedral Ness, Suspension Bridge & Cattle market. Highland cattle & sheep. Leave Inverness for Glasgow at 4 p.m. arr. G - 10pm. Stay at Y.M.C.A. for night. Go out to Jordan Hill after breakfast to McB’s friends – Drummonds. Mac arr. half-hour later from Stirling. Go out with Geo. D. before dinner celebrate. Back lunch
Into town with Mr. R. D. in afternoon, rain, visit Municipal Building [indecipherable] staircase finest in world. Cathedral etc. Tea at restaurant. Back for evening & whist. Home comforts.

[Page 271]
1917 Tuesday 23 October

MacB. Drum. & Self to Loch Lomond by tram electric. Foggy cold morning. Clyde Bank & celebrated ship building yards. Dumbarton Rock & Castle. Loch Lomond. Ballock. Park Rabbit, Arvie half. Mac & lassie in train. Fun on the Bristol Arr. back Glasgow for lunch. Browns Restaurant. Good O. Get photos taken, fire light. Cinema rain heavily. Home for tea. Mrs. D a very nice hostess & kind, fine tea. I leave G--- at 10 p.m. for Birmingham arr. B—at 7.10 a m.

[Page 272]
October Wednesday 24 1917

Go out to Rednal to see Bob Long way first by tram Selly Oak Bus to Long bridge & Shanks Pony rest of way no breakfast. Find old Bob nearly right again & looking splendid Had good yarn for couple hours. Told me about Major Hunt being killed & loss of several other old comrades. See Jack Bishop. Back to B— by 12.30. dinner arcades.
Leave B-- for London 2.30 p m. arr. Euston 5 p.m. Shaftesbury Hotel tea. Letters from Durham & Miss Therke. Go to Durham Place after tea. Miss S & her Mother Lady Murray left on acc. of air raids. Back to Hotel. Go to Zig Zag revue. Good.

[Page 273]
1917 Thursday 25 October

Tea in bed. Breakfast. Hyde Park.. pick up Guide. Rotton Row, Serpentine Pall Mall, Piccadilly, Colonial Exhibition, Indian Royal presents – superb. Hampden Court, Putney Fulham. Wimbleton Common Ascot. Kingston, Coronation Stone. Richmond. Kew Gardens, Shaftsburry tea.
Opera Kovantchina at Drury Lane in evening. Russian Opera. Heavy. Get lost going home no unusual occurrence.

[Page 274]
October Friday 26 1917

Mac B. arr. before I’m up from Edinburgh. After Breakfast. meet Thornton. at Parliament buildings. Horseferry Road report, leave extended to tomorrow.
Visit Buckingham Palace Marlborough House, St James Palace etc. St Paul’s Cathedral. Saw where bombs had been dropped in Piccadilly last air raid. Meet Thornton’s fiancee at Charing Cross. Lunch at Popular Cafe Piccadilly. Took nearly 2 hours to serve us with 4 courses. made me late for Elijah at Royal Albert Hall—damn. Reach Hall in time for 2nd half. Magnificent performance. 500 voices 150 orchestra. Led by Sir Henry Wood. Ken Davies one of principal singers. Meet Mac & Thornton in Piccadilly & go to French Restaurant in Soho. for tea. After down to War Chest Club for packs then to Y.M.C.A. at Victoria Stat. Dump packs. Go then to Vaudeville in Vic. Street. Rough as bags. Part from Thornton & turn into bed for last night in London Town.

[Page 275]
1917 Saturday 27 October

Up at 5 a.m. breakfast. Entrain at Victoria Station with a thousand others all returning from leave. Heavy frost. fog. uneventful trip to Folkestone. all troops rather despondent on returning to France from their several homes disinclined to talk except to strafe the war.
Make good trip across to Boulogne arr. 12.30. Dine in B & report back at Hosp about 3 p.m. Here endeth our 14 days of as bonnie a time as one could wish

[Page 276]
October Sunday 28 1917

Back to duty again on old P. Ward. Things had not been going too smoothly & they were glad to see me back. Squires not too well. Put into hospital today in lower ward. Run down.
Jock Martin, Low & Patterson still patients in ward. all doing well. Two deaths whilst I was away. Lightolber & forget name of other.

[Page 277]
1917 Friday 30 Nov.

I have not been able to keep my diary going the past month. Had a big rush of cases through the recent heavy fighting round Passchendaele. Y.M.C.A. temporarily turned into ward.
Our average of daily deaths in hosp was the largest since it was established. There has been gigantic casualties. If our people at home knew all they would go mad: and the situation at the present time is very grave. The internal trouble & unrest of Great Britain will bring about our downfall if it is not checked Strikes & revolts are too common Russia is finished & Italy hard pushed. If we can only hold together till America puts her weight into the scales.

[Page 278]
December Saturday 1 1917

Received a big mail yesterday Xmas greeting from 18. Also parcel from Elsie Gollan, Emmie Gulliford, Nurse James & Mrs. Wheatly. Wish I had plenty time to reply to all at length.
Our ward a Maturnity Home for the hosp cat today.
Heavy gales & rough seas usual these days.
Met Geo Aldous yesterday. A patient in hosp. convalescent.

[Page 279]
Dec. Monday 3 1917

Given up Diary for time being

[Page 280]

Lady Murray
St Martins House

Mrs. E.W. Patterson
P.O. Aitkenvale
No. 257 L. C/l, W.C.

Pte M Dallas
Earl Cottage
New Road

[Page 281]

Mr. Arthur Thornton.
155 Church Lane

Mr. Geo. Drummond.
2 York Avenue

Mrs Mattnson
2 Chisholm Pds
Water Lane

[Page 282]

Mr. H.W. Symes
39 Inman Road
London. N.W.

Wine time Willesden Junc. Liverpool St. Stat.
Tube railway runs from Waterloo to Willesden Junc. arrival there walk up steps & turn right. Enquire Craven Park Junct.

Liverpool Stat. alternative. Underground rail to Baker St. change Bakerloo Tube to Willesden Junc.

C. Shute
1 Durham Place
Ormonde Gate.
Chelsea. S.W.
Near Royal Hospital where Chelsea Pensioners are.

[Page 283]

Cash – Payments (old Pay Book)

[Not transcribed]

[Page 284]

Mrs. Oliver Paul
Ashley Villas
Clapham St.
Co. Derry

Dr. Matthews

No. 8784 Pte. W. J. Johnson
27 Guthrie Street
(Next Museum)

No. 1703 "Riddy" E.D.

[Page 285]

No. 1586 [indecipherable] D. Watts
12th Reg.
[indecipherable] . A.L.H. Brigade

Miss B. Crisp
Broadfields Road,

Sister Murell
Alexandra War Hosp.

Mr. T. Wilson,
11 Meadow View

Mrs. D. McDonald,
Lock-garth side

[Page 286]
Personal Memoranda.

Name Chas. V. Monoghan
Private Address Brundee, Via Nowra. N.S.W. Australia

[Page 287]
[This and the following two pages are printed containing a 1918 calendar and an advertisement for "Walker’s Diaries".]
[Transcribed by Helen Monaghan for the State Library of New South Wales]