1st October. Friday. Usual duties-packing up stores etc. ready for removal. Battalion returned to Billets also – Bed 10.30.
2nd October. Picked up Mr W’s kit, my own too-cut up 400 lbs meat for men to carry individually in mess tins. Left Billets with transport 2.30. Passed through Locre, Bailleul, Vieux-Berquin and stayed for night at Neuve-Berquin. Slept on kitchen floor of farm house. Bed 11 p.m.
3rd October. Sunday- up at 5am.-washed shaved and breakfasted. Saw to Mr Worley at 6.30-breakfast 7.30. Moved off 10am.Passed through Merville 12.30 and halted outside for 1/2 hour for dinner-pontoon. Passing through Challows-sur-la-Lys, Robecq, arrived at our new billets. Billeted in out house or farm where Capt Burnett & Lt. Worley are. Cut up meat for issue Bed 9.30-very comfortable. Letter waiting from wife.
4th October. Up at 6.45-cleaned Billets out after breakfast-nice day with occasional showers. Received leather wallet from Nellie in memo of Mrs P. with photo pcs of each. Cut up the meat in the afternoon. Companys on route march. Only just hear gun fire from here, feeling better for quiet and rest. Bed 9 pm.
5th October. Usual duties-received orders to move tomorrow. Bed 9 pm.
6th October. Up at 6 & packed kits before breakfast. Left Bellerive at 10am. passed through Gonnehem, Chocques, Labeuvriere, Fouquereuil, Gosnay and arrived at Hesdigneul about 12.30 had lunch and prepared dinner for 1.30. Dirty billets slept on top of the winnowing machine in the barn. Mr W. & Capt. B. in room of house. Bed 10 pm. Blankets and stores arrived later-former issued.
7th October up at 7-breakfast with Transport 7.30. Nice day-heavy bombardment still on towards Arras. Bed 9.30.
8th October. Usual duties-aeroplanes very active. “Stand to” order at night on account of German attack at Loos with 3 battalions 12.30pm. order cancelled through attack being repulsed with very heavy loss to Huns.
9th October–nothing of note except inspection of Arm of all Battn. rifles
10th October. Sunday. Usual duties-Church parade 9.30. Heavy bombardment still continues.
11th October. Duties as usual. 4 German Aeros brought down, 2 brought to Aerodrome here in good condition except bullet holes which broke the crank of one.
12th October-up at 5-breakfast and packed kit. Left Hesdigneul at 10 am with limber of necessary stores in charge of Mr W. Passing through Vaudricourt, Verquin, Noeux-les-Mines, Le Bourse, Verquigneul and Sailly-Labourse we split up rations in a field near Vermelles. Battalion arrived 6 pm, had tea and left for trenches 9.pm. Put up Mr W’s Bivouac and slept out in open with remainder of staff. Capt. B. billeted in Vermilles-gun fire fairly heavy all night.
13th October. Up at 5.15- Mr W. and staff left at 5.45 to draw rations at Brewery Dump. I collected up all loose S.A.A. left on ground by Battn. Dinner (M&V rations) at 12.30. Left for billets in Vermelles (Rue-de-Particulier) at 1.30. Bombardment started at 12 am and was terrible-German shells dropped just on outskirts of village-several lots of horses withdrawn form village for safety. The attack commenced about 2.10 pm-no definite news received-largest of wounded brought down in cars-gun fire by our artillery continued all night-no sleep.
14th October-up at 6.45-artillary still active. Very foggy-wounded still coming in. News from trenches of heavy losses in Officers and men through all the Division-Nottm & Derby’s last casualties being on fatigue. Rations arrived about 4 pm.-sent up with C.Q.M.S.’s to Battn. in Lancashire Trenches. Got to bed for good 2 am. on the (15th)
15th October. Hear that the M.G. redoubt & trenches captured are still in our hands. Very foggy again today -8th Royal Scots arrived this am. and billeted in Vermelles. Left Vermelles at 3-rode Mr Wollaston’s horse back to stores. Received rain coat from my wife.
16th October. All packs issued and those of killed and wounded dismantled. Total casualties Officers Killed 4. Wounded 5. Men Killed 30 Wounded 150.Bed 10 pm.
17th October. Foggy all day-nothing of note. Usual duties-took inventory of Capt. Hasting’s Valise with Mr Worley. Church Pde. 10am. an inspection by G.O.C. at 3pm. on D Coy’s Parade Ground. Issues of pants and vest for winter. Took inventory of & packed up some Officer’s Kits. Bed 10pm. Heavy gun fire.
18th October. Gunfire still continued all day. Busy all day on deceased and wounded Officer’s Kit.
19th October. Gun fire heavy all night. Still busy with O’s kits most of day. Nothing of note.
20th October. Got up with nasty cold and bilious which I could not shake off all day. Finished the remaining kits off- Bed 9.30.
21st October. Feeling much better today-having to move stores-barn required for thrashing moved stores into adjourning barn after trans. had moved out. Bed 9.30.
22nd October. Grand weather again-walked around flying ground. Had a stoll around with Cox and Caloraft at night-bed 9.30. Bateman went on leave.
23rd October. Up at 7-very foggy but cleared off about 9 & was splendid day. Usual duties.
24th October. Sunday. Very cold all day-Church Parade in morning. Duties as usual-Bed 9.30. Raining most of night.
25th October. Still raining and continued all day. Heavy gun fire all day.
26th October. Weather better. Left Hesdigneul about 10 o/c, passed through Vaudricourt and billeted at Drouvin. Mr W and self in cottage opposite stores-bed each-very comfortable.
27th October.Up at 6.30-cooked breakfast-bacon, kidneys & sausage :- dinner-stew & apple & custard. Raining all morning. One Coy. from each Battn. in division paraded for practice for inspection by H. M. the King. Still raining and bed 9.30.
28th October. Still raining-Parade for inspection 8.20. H.M. had nasty fall from horse but not serious. Raining all day and night.
29th October. Brighter weather but cool. Nothing of note-usual duties. Letters from wife & mother-Bed 9.30.
30th October. Usual duties-showery most of day. 200 of Battn. left in lorries for fatigue in reserve trenches at Vermelles at night.
31st October. Sunday. Nothing of note-Bert W. rode over to see me from Noeux-les-Mines. Issue of muffles & mittens gift from Grand Duke Michael. Also received skin jackets from ordnance.
1st November -heavy bombardment about 4.30 am. Up at 7am-breakfast 8.30. Raining very heavily all day and night. Bed 9.30.
2nd November. Still raining-usual duties-still artillery bombardment. Draft of 5 Officers & 120 men arrived in morning -incl? Capt. Fowler. Bed 9pm-still raining.
3rd November. Fine morning but very cold. Stores packing up ready for move. Sent for oil- skin coat from Sgt. Brodribb. Beautiful starlight night-order postponed for moving. Battn. on 2 hrs. notice as reserve. Bed 10pm
4th November. Up at 7-nice morning but become foggy about 8-cleared up and sun came out about 11.30. Heavy bombardment.
5th November. Ordinary duties-fairly nice day again but occasional light showers. Issue of mutton today. Packed up most of Mr W’s and own kit ready for move in the morning. Bed 10.
6th November. Up at 5am-cut sandwiches for journey and breakfast 6.30. Packed on loaded kit on wagon-marched off 7.45-very cold and foggy. Passed through Vendin by Gonnehem, through Robecq and arrived at Calonne-sur-la-Lys about 12.30. Splendid afternoon. Billeted in cottage along with Lt. W. opposite stores-comfortable bed up loft.
7th November. Sunday. Up at 7-breakfast 8.30. Lovely weather again. F. Gilding granted his Commision. Church Parade 11.30 but unable to attend. Bed 10pm.
8th November-usual duties -small issue of Boots Canada from Ord. Had letter and parcel from wife-mittens and letter from Tom. -wrote letters in return-beautiful day-Bed 10.30.
9th November. Up at 7-breakfast 8-usual duties. Division of Guards Rgts. passed through in last two days towards Merville. Turned very rough and sleet -rain about tea-time. Had a warm bath about 7pm & change of under clothing. Wrote to Mother. Bed 10.
10th November. Usual duties-rained all night but fine all day. Bed 10.
11th November. Up at 6-breakfast 7.30. Packed and loaded kits by 8.30.Marched off at 9 through Hinges, Vieille-Chapelle and arrived at Lacouture at 1 o/c. Fixed up Mr W’s billet in small room of farm house with M.G.O. “B” Coy. moved up to trenches tonight. 11th Cont. -cut up issue of meat in lamp light. All the roads on journey were ankle deep in mire. Slept on floor of house (O.R.) but could not get warm all night. Passes cancelled. Bed 9.30.
12 & 13th November. Up at 6-took cup of tea to Mr W &b lighted his fire to hot washing water. Had a good wash and shave 1st since leaving Calonne. Very rough and wet again. Turned out of O.R. for N & D officers mess-slept in stores-Bed 10. Remainder of Battn. went to trenches apres midi.
14th November. Sunday. Usual duties-had Mr W’s billets washed out-washed my own puttees and had a clean up from mud etc. Lovely day-reinforcement Draft of 22 men arrived from Base. Bed 10pm.
15th November. Up at 7-roads hard from sharp frost. Had a lad of about 16 yrs. in stores all night and sent to Bde. H. Qrs. this morning as he was not able to give satisfactory account of himself-turned out to be Belgian Refugee staying at Robecq. Four men went on “leave”-marched to La Gorgue-8 miles-due in London 4.30 pm. Bed 10.
16th November. Usual routine duties-prepared lunch for Major Toller, Capt. Beasley & Qr.Ms.-pontoon with potatoes, carrots, onions, peas-jugged hare-cheese-tea. Splendid weather today. Rather heavy artillery fire-Bed 10.
17th November. Ordinary duties-nothing of note. News of B Hickson’s death on Transport Mercia by shell fire from German submarine. Frosty night. Bed 9.30.
18th November. Duties as usual. Wrote letter of condolence to Mrs Hickson. Fine weather but roads bad. Artillery active along our front. S.M.Small Major Toller on leave. Bed 9.30.
19th November. Artillery very active today. Mr W. rode to G.O.C. Fine day again. Usual duties-Bed 9.30.
20th November. Mr W. rode to La Gourge. Heavy artillery duel in progress towards La Bassee. Usual duties. Bed 10pm-freezing sharply in open.
21st November. Sunday. Very sharp and cold in early morning. After breakfast summarised all outstanding indents for Mr W. Very heavy artillery duel on our front and towards La Bassee. Usual duties. Bed 9.30.
22nd and 23rd November. Duties as usual.
24th November. Packed up all kit, cleaned billets out and took kit to new Billets on Lumber-large kitchen with cooking stove & 2 beds-comfortable. Stores too small for stock. Q.M. & Q.M.S. in beds and I slept in kitchen on camp bed. Bed 10.30.
25th November. Usual duties-had block made and grid to lat meat on-very cold and showery.
26th November. Frosty morning which turned to rain and heavy snow storm later-cleared up in the afternoon and commenced to freeze early. Battn. left trenches tonight and billeted in the trench area. Capt. Shields stayed with us until time to go to La Gourge on leave & made soup for him.-12.30 bed
27th November. Ordinary duties-heavy thunderstorm on a.m. Very sharp frost at night. Bed 11 pm.
28th November. Sunday. Very sharp frost-freezing all day. Aeroplanes very active all day-also heavy artillery firing. Oil-skin arrived from wife for Sgt. Brodribb-21/-. Bed 9.30
29th November to 1st December. Raining mostly each night. Aeroplanes and guns very active in day time. Usual duties.
2nd December. Usual duties-Battn. returned to trenches in heavy rain which continued all night and on 3rd all day.
3rd December. Orders for complete move tomorrow to Merville district. Battn. left trenches tonight and went in late billets. Sent up blankets and Officer’s kits-all men & Officers recalled from leave. Packed up as much of kit as possible.-Bed 10.30.
4th December. Had to get up at 12.30 & 2 am to receive orders for moving. Up at 4.45 & had breakfast. Packed all kit and loaded up on wagons. Marched off at 10.30 raining heavily. Passed through Lacouture, Lestrem, Merville, Lescarte and billeted at farms in district. Mr W. in room of house. Still raining and very cold. Bed 10.30.
5th to 8th December. Sunday. Usual duties only-returned all surplus kit and stores after issuaing to A.O.C. on 6th. Officer and men allowed leave-rain most days-cold.
9th December. Sent off £8.2.0 to wife & 2 parcels. Inspection of Battn. by G.O.C. Heavy rain.
10th-12th December. Sunday. Usual duties. Church Parade on 12th cancelled on account of flooded parade ground. Rain most days.
13th December. Inspection by Bde. General-grand morning-Usual duties.
14th -18th December.–do–rain most days. Lt. Worley went on leave. 12pm.
19th December. Sunday. Up at 6.45-packed up stores & blankets. Battn. left 9pm-I stayed behind with 3 men to load remaining stores etc on 2 wagons-left 10am. joined A.S.C. from near to La Sert and arrived at Haverskerque about 1 o/c-marched all the way 7-8 miles-lovely day. Poor stores but slept very well on straw. Bed 9pm.
20-24th December. Usual Routine-Mr W returned.
25th December. Xmas day-kippers for breakfast & pie afterwards. Stew plum and dumpling & sweets for dinner. Salmon cake etc for tea. Sing song at night-Bed 11.30.
26 December. Usual duties-very wet.
27th December. Marched off with baggage wagons at 1.30 pm- passed through Thiennes, Widdebroucq (k) and arrived at Boeseghem about 3pm. Billeted in room with Mr W. Very comfortable.
28-30th December. Nothing of note.
31st December. Usual duties-commenced inoculation of Battalion.
1st January 1916. Nothing unusual-heavy rain at night.