1st January 1916. Nothing unusual-heavy rain at night.
2nd January. Rainy morning-Church Parade 10am.
2-4th January. Usual duties-very mild weather.
5th January. Received orders to entrain on 6th. packed up kit etc after tea-loaded wagons. Bed 9.30.
6th January. Up at 6am.-breakfast 8. Packed kits & loaded up remaining wagons. Marched off from Widdebroucq at 11.30 passing through —
7th January. –Aire, Isbergues & arrived at Berguette station at 1.30. Left at 4.50-passed through St Pove, outskirts of Paris, Lyons & along the Rhone valley–
8th January–arrived at Marseilles about 12.30 pm. ( Richardson of B. company killed through contact with bridge while riding on carriage top-buried at Pierrelatte Stn).
9th January. Arrived at Sante Camp about 4 am, made Mr W’s bed in tent and after seeing day break over the sea (beautiful sight) landed in bed about 6.30. Up again 9.30-beautiful day-went into town at night-enjoyable time-returned 8.30.
10th January. Very cold night but quite warm again in daytime. Pass into Marseille-went to cinema where C. Chaplin was on the film. Returned to camp 9 pm on trains.
11th January. Lovely day again -stayed in camp all evening-issued clothing in the afternoon. 50 men on dock duty unloading a ship. Bed 9.30
12th-15th January. Duties as usual-went into town each evening & returned at 9 pm. Splendid weather. Transport &c arrived on evening of 14th.
16th January. Sunday. Absolutely perfect day-quite hot in the sun. Divine services during the morning.
17th-20th January. As usual- Q.M.S. & I had late dinner for last night before leaving.
21st January. Up at 4,30 am-breakfast packed and loaded sleds-marched off at 7.30 & got on the boat, 21st January. Up at 4,30 am-breakfast packed and loaded sleds-marched off at 7.30 & got on the boat Andiana about 10.30. Had roast beef potatoes & haricot beans for dinner on board. Boat has 4.7 gun mounted on upper decks-I have bunk 161-spring mattress. Had stewed rice and figs for tea. Bed 7.30-very comfortable.
22nd January. Reveille 4.30-breakfast 5.30. Orders to disembark at once-no reason given. Returned to camp about 11.30-walked into town at night & returned 8.45-Bed 9.30.
23rd. January. Sunday. lovely weather again. Stayed in camp all day and evening. Bed 9.30 pm.
24th January. Usual duties-did not leave camp all day.
25th January.January.–do– Notts & Derby Batt’s entrained after tea. Lovely weather. Bed 9pm.
26th January. Usual routine-have a sponge down after tea & change of underclothing-stayed in camp. bed 9.
27th January. Usual duties-billeting party left by train this am. All wagons loaded after tea-inspecting officers kit & laid down early to get a little rest-in my clothes.
28th January. Up at 1.30 am-packed and loaded kit &c-left camp at 3.30 am.-train left station 7.45-comfortable carriages with corridors and lavatory. Had good journey and arrived & detrained at Pont Remy at 9pm on Sunday.
30th January. Marched off and arrived at Yarcourt, Bussus, where we were billeted in an barn- Bed 9.30.
31st January. Very cold after Marseilles-medical inspection of Companies by Doctor. Bed.
Feb. 1st-2&3. Usual duties-weather very cold. Received 85 steel helmets from D.A.D.O.S.
4th to 9th Feb. Received orders to entrain on 6th. Packed up kits &c after tea-loaded wagons. Bed 9.30.
10th Feb. Up at 7-breakfast 7.30. Packed kits and loaded 6 G.S. Wagons . Dinner 12.30 and marched off 1.30. Passed through Bussus and arrived at Gorenflos where we were billeted for the night in an empty house.
11th Febuary. Up at 6.30-left in motor lorries at 9.30 passing through Domart, Berneuil, Montrelet, arrived at Candas about 12.30-raining heavily all day. Billeted in barn with stores opposite MrW’s billet-has his bed. Bed 8.45-tired-slept well.
12th Feb. Up at 7.30-rain slightly all day Battn. on fatigue on construction of Railway. Usual duties.
13-18th Feb. Rain every day. Usual duties.
19th Feb. As usual-received parcel of cake and pie from home for my birthday on the-
20th Feb. Sunday. Up at 6-breakfast. Packed kits and loaded blankets and stores on lorries-Officer’s kits on G.S. Wagons. Started off at 12 o/c- beautiful morning. Passed through Fienvilliers arrived at Bernavillle about 1.30 pm-billeted in barn-very cold.
21st. Feb. Usual duties-fine but cold-snow in the evening with frost later. My papers arrived.
22nd Feb. Snowing heavily-M.G.Section left for new quarters to form M.G. Company.
23rd Feb. Snowing most of the day-sharp frost during the night-sharp frost at night again.
24th Feb. Grand frosty morning but cold wind. Very sharp frost at night. No2 Coy. A.S.C.left us. Rationed by H.Q.Coy.
25th Feb. Very cold commenced to snow at 9 o/c and continued all day.
26th-28th Feb. Usual duties. Battalion commenced on bathing & having all clothing and blankets fumigated. Received orders for move.
29th Feb. (Leap Year. Ed.) Up at 6.30. Battalion and transport left about 10 o/c-I left on lorry with stores at 12.30 and arrived at Doullens about 2 o/c. Billeted in an attic of house with Mr W- raining. Bed 10.30.
1st March. Raining slightly at 7o/c but cleared up after breakfast and was glorious sunny day. Bed 10.30.
2nd March. Grand morning. Market day here.
3rd March. Raining most of day- Sgt. Thornton & draft of 15 men arrived from Rouen. Cooked dinner for Madam and family. (Roast beef & chipped potatoes)
4th March. Heavy fall of snow in the night & continued most of the day. Made pontoon for all family. Had my hair cut by French Coiffure. Bed 9.30.
5th March. Sharp frost during the night-lovely morning but clouded over but clouded over after dinner. Up at 5.30 am -left billet 8 o/c
6th March. Left Doullens with stores in lorries at 9 o/c. Passed through Haute Visee, Bouquemaison, Rebreuviette, Houvin-Houvigneul and arrived at Magnicourt-sur-Canche about 11 o/c. Snowed all the journey- freezing at night.
7trh March. Very cold in barn-very sharp frost but beautiful morning – Usual duties.
8th March. Up at 6 o/c – packed up after breakfast and loaded on the lorries- left Magnicourt at 9 o/c passing through Lignereuil, Savy, Aubigny, Capelle-Fermont, Camblain, arrived at Villers-au-Bois about 12 o/c- Village completely destroyed by bombardment – billeted in stores – all doors and windows out & most of walls down, Slept well at night – kept fire all night. Bed 10.30.
9th March. Heavy bombardment by our guns about 6.30 and continued all day. Issued all trench necessities in morning and left with stores for Cambligneul.-about 3.30 o/c passed through Camblain-l’Abbe and arrived at billets about 5 o/c. Lt. W. in hut-returned from trenches–
10th March. at 2.30 am. Slept in stores. Usual duties.
11th March. Orders to move to Villers Chatel this am.- arrived here after dinner & billeted in good quarters- Mr W. in the house at the farm.
12th March. Sunday. Usual duties – paid a visit to French aeroplane Hangers
– 9 Battle planes.
13th March. Lovely weather again – usual duties.
14th March. Weather still good – German Taube over in morning. French aerodrome moved away today – dropped bombs near Aubigny Station (en- Artois)- brought down by French guns near Bray. Have bad cough and cold.
15th March. Very dull and inclined to rain. Blankets, kits &c. taken down to huts Camblain-l’Abbe ready for Battn. coming out of trenches tonight.
16th March. Grand morning but slight rain after dinner. Draft arrived from base, at Aubigny Stn. & brought through by Mr W. – slight halt at stores and then marched to join Batt. in huts. Trench casualties- Sgt. Thompson (act. C.S.M. of B.) K – 3 men slightly W.
17-19th March. Usual duties. Weather continues very good. 4 men go on leave & 4 T.E. for month.
20th March. Usual duties.
21st March. Busy all day received stores back from huts – also Officers Kits & Blankets. Battalion left for trenches for 18 days tour.
22- 23rd March. – Nothing of note. Received news of Capt. Farmer’s death from German ” Sausage “.
24th March. Heavy fall of snow all day & night. 6 men of A Company buried by “Sausage” 3 killed.
25th March. Grand morning but very bad getting about through snow melting. Usual duties – had a bath.
26th March. Sunday. Washed my dirty cloths.
27th March. Battn. left trenches for dugouts – very wet.
28th March. – Nothing of note – took inventory of, packed up & sealed Capt. Farmer’s Kit & took to station.
29th March. Beautiful day.
30th March. Left stores at 11 o/c with Collins in mess cart for Aubigny Stn. Reported to R.T.O. at 12 o/c. Train left 3 pm-put in charge of 8 other ranks. Changed at St. Pol & also at Abberville where we arrived at 12 pm. Slept outside but very cold.
31st March. Breakfast 7 o/c-tinned sausage and bisuits and hot tea (T). Lovely day-reading a book in the sun. Dinner 1 o/c- bully and bought bread. Tea at Y.M.C.A. Left by train at 10.30 am and arrived in Rouen on April 1st 9 o/c am.
1st April. Marched upto camp. In tent with C.S.M. Garrett and 4 others. Parade for medical inspection at 2 o/c & also for blankets from store with Sgt. of Royal Scots. & 50 men. Meals very nice in mess huts. Drawed my 3 blankets at 5.30-wrote to wife and read books. Bed 8pm. – very tired.
2nd April. Sunday. Lovely morning-up at 6.30-medical inspection 7.15-breakfast 8-bread & cheese & bully. Parade 10.10 for storing all clothing and bathing. Sun very hot all day. Bed 8.30.
3rd April. Foggy morning but sun came through about 9 o/c. Had a walk round part of camp-Dinner 1 o/c. Had a pass for Rouen–cancelled. Corporal of Guard.-fell in 5.15 & took over duties at 6 o/c-posted relief’s each 2 hours.
4th April. Woke the cooks up at 3 o/c. Hot tea 4.30-breakfast 7.30. Visited by Colonel 10 o/c. Dinner 12.30. Tea 5 o/c. Relieved 5.30-Bed 8.30.
5th April. Lovely morning-no duties-had a walk around camp. Applied for pass-not allowed. Went to lantern lecture at Y.M.C.A.
6th April. Very dull and cold- applied for pass again for tonight. Left camp with C.S.M. Garrett at 5 pm. -looked round Rouen & called to see Sgt. Hanson at 3rd. Echelon and returned by taxi 9 pm.
7th April. Parade of T.E. men at 9 o/c to Colonel for re-engagement if willing. Went to bed at 6.30 not feeling well-pains in the groins.
8th April. Applied for sick report but too late to see the Doctor-orders to report in the morning. Not able to walk with ease-lovely day. Scaby parade 1.30-tobacco parade 2 o/c. Parade 3.15 and marched to docks. Went on board the Viper at 5.30 and left Rouen at 7 – dropped anchor about 11.30 through fog – had a fair night’s rest.
9th April. Up at 6 o/c – washed & bread, jam & tea breakfast. Fog lifted about 10 o/c. Weighed anchor 11 o/c – dropped French Pilot at Le Harve about 12.15 and resumed our journey. Saw 5 steamer wreaks outside Havre, sunk about a week ago by submarine. Lovely day and fast travelling – 22 knots per hour. Took up pilot outside Southampton at 5 o/c & disembarked at 6. No train for London so marched up to Rest camp (about 3 miles) for night. Had some hot tea & bread & cheese at 8.30 – drew 3 blankets and went to bed 9 o/c.
10th April. Up at 5 o/c – breakfast 6 o/c & marched off 6.50 & reached docks 8 o/c. Entrained 8.50 & arrived Waterloo 11 o/c. Took underground to Pancreas and left for Loughborough at 12.15. Arrived 3.30 – reported to Drill Hall and were given cheap rate Warrant Home 7 o/c.