1st July, 1916
Reveille 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. At 7.45 a.m.
fell in in full marching order and at 8 a.m. marched out. Went about 9
miles to our new position which is about 2 miles past Erquingham and about
2 1/2 miles from firing line. Billetted at a brewery which is still working,
brewing part out of bounds to us. This place is called Fort Rompu. Arrived
about 11.30 a.m. and general fatigue work took up rest of day. Fine hospital
here and not bad quarters. We are about 6 miles from Neuve Chapelle. Turned
in tired out at 9 p.m.
Sunday 2nd July, 1916
Our guns bombarded furiously last night, the building we are billeted
in shook as if going to come down. Our troops raided section of enemy's
trenches successfully. Up at 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m. B. section doing
night duty this week and my section (A) on day duty. On duty 8 a.m. 19
slightly wounded cases came in during night and 1 serious one. Cleared
patients to C.C.S. at 11 a.m. Splendid day. Saw W. Hill yesterday and
today, had tea together, looking fine. Our planes very busy. Turned in
9 p.m. Shrapnel from anti-aircraft guns fell on our billet this evening.
Monday 3rd July, 1916
Up at 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders. Heavy guns going
all night, shake our billet like an earthquake. On duty 8 a.m. About 20
wounded brought in during night, evacuated them this morning and did sick
parades etc. Our boys made another raid on enemy's trenches last night.
News of British and French offensive further south, very good. Beautiful
day, aeroplanes fairly active. Rather quiet this afternoon, so did some
writing. About 9 p.m. our guns started firing heavily again. In bed 9.30
Tuesday 4th July, 1916
Up 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., on duty 8 a.m. About 40 or 50 wounded
came in during night and about dozen more between 8 and 9 a.m. One man
died. Enemy made raid on our trenches last night, one of our Batt., 14th,
caught it pretty hot, but enemy while returning to own trenches, caught
with enfilade fire from N. Zeal. troops and terribly punished. Very busy
all morning. After dinner went with Capt. Furber to Bac. St. Maur to arrange
about operation for appendix on young woman. Back for tea. Very quiet
tonight so turned in 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 5th July, 1916
Up at 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders. Very busy all
morning getting instruments and dressings etc. ready for operation this
afternoon. Left billet in motor with all necessary things and one of our
chaps to help me at 1.30 p.m. for Bac. St. Maur. Sterilized and arranged
instruments and room ready. Capt. Furber and 3 others of our officers
arrived 3.45 p.m. and operation commenced about 4.15 p.m. finishing successfully
and without a hitch about 6 p.m. Cleaned up and packed away all our gear
and left for billet in motor about 7 p.m. Capt. Furber complimented and
was very pleased with my work. Very tired, turned in 8.30 p.m.
Thursday 6th July, 1916
Page 36 of 69 Awakened by our gas guard at 12.30 midnight, had to don
our gas helmets as enemy had discharged gas up "Plug St" way.
Sat with helmets on till about 1.30 a.m. then took them off and went to
sleep again. Wind took the gas past us without it getting over as far
as us. Up again 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders, on
duty 8 a.m. Cleaned and packed away instruments used yesterday during
this morning. Very quiet all day till 6 p.m. when enemy put few shells
over us and all round our billets without hitting them. Our O.C. very
much perturbed. Turned in about 9 p.m.
Friday 7th July, 1916
Awakened 12 midnight, enemy letting gas loose again, had to sit with our
gas helmets on till 12.40 a.m. Gas did not reach us. Up at 6.30 a.m.,
on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders, on duty 8 a.m. Dull wet day again.
Good news of British and French offensive further south. Sick parade etc.
during morning and this afternoon did a little writing. Very few wounded
coming in. Linton Lethlane of 2nd. Eng. came to see me this afternoon,
looks well and is a Warrant Officer. Turned in about 8.30 p.m.
Saturday 8th July, 1916
Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders. Breakfast
7.30 a.m. and on duty at 8 a.m. Very little doing, better day today, sky
cleared this afternoon and aeroplanes were about. Did some washing after
dinner. Still good news of our offensive in Somme region. Received orders
this afternoon to be ready to move off at two hours notice, don't know
where we are going. Evacuated our few patients. Rather quiet this evening,
enemy shelled our planes, did not see any effect. Turned in 8.30 p.m.
Sunday 9th July, 1916
Up at 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders. On duty 8 a.m.,
fair number of slight cases in this morning, many others arrived during
day, evacuated them all. Obtained pass to visit Armentiers this afternoon,
it is about 3 1/2 miles away. Large town, suffered severely from shell
fire and is periodically shelled yet. Fine large church in utter ruin,
had look inside, people still remain in most of houses and shops open.
Bought 2 souvenir brooches. Saw 6 enemy planes over town, quickly driven
off. Back at billet 6.15 p.m. and in bed 8.30.
10th July, 1916
Reveille 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders. On duty 8
a.m., sick parade etc., one or two slightly wounded came in this morning.
Very busy all morning, when not attending other duties packing our drugs
and medical stores. Finished and loaded on wagon by dinner time. This
afternoon very quiet so played cards, cannot post letters till after we
have moved. Tea at 5.30 p.m. After tea stood talking and watching enemy
shell our aeroplanes which seem busy tonight. Turned in 9 p.m.
Tuesday 11th July, 1916
Reveille 5.45 a.m. and on parade 6.15 a.m., roll call and orders and steel
helmets issued to all of us. Evacuated patients who came in during night
then proceeded to farm halfway between "Erquingham" and "Bois-Grenier",
arrived dinner time and awaited orders. Could see enemy's shrapnel bursting
about mile away. Our artillery very active, guns close to us. Stood ready
till 5 p.m. when marched out without tea and kept going till 8 p.m. when
we arrived at farm at Stenje, few miles from Bailleul, having done about
15 miles today. Had bread and jam and drink of water and turned in in
a loft, dead tired. Page 37 of 69
Wednesday 12th July, 1916
Woke at 7.30 a.m. and on parade 8 a.m., instructions issued for us to
stand ready to move at any minute, while waiting to rest as much as possible.
Had parade again and had our gas helmets inspected at 10 a.m. then had
walk up the road. Very dull day, saw couple of our aeroplanes up. After
dinner lay down and slept till 4 p.m. Very quiet after tea, rained a little,
just stood yarning about the fine country. Rumours of early departure
in morning so turned in 8 p.m.
Thursday 13th July, 1916
Slept in my clothes last night as did not know what time turning out.
Roused at 4.30 a.m. Breakfast 5 a.m. and marched out at 6 a.m. Arrived
at siding (Rly) at Bailleul West at about 7.30 a.m. having done about
4 miles. Entrained in brake vans and moved away at 10.30 a.m. Arrived
at "Doullens" in the Somme valley about 3.45 p.m. Marched from
station at 5 p.m. and arrived at "Surcombes" at 1 a.m. close
to "Domart", having marched since 5 p.m., somewhere close on
20 miles. My tucker for the day was little bacon and bread at 5 a.m.,
at 10 a.m. one small piece bread and butter, about 2 p.m. dry bread and
at 6.30 p.m. two pieces bread, jam and cheese.
Friday 14th July, 1916
Arrived at large farm and chateau about 1 a.m. and billetted, getting
to bed about 1.45 a.m. thoroughly tired out and hungry. Slept sound until
10.30 a.m. when got up, washed and shaved which I needed very badly and
had cup of tea. Had look round before dinner. The Chateau is a fine old
place, the country round about lovely with a very small straggling village
about a mile away. We are about 15 miles from firing line, but expect
to move on again at any moment. Wrote a letter this afternoon and after
tea took a stroll in one of the woods. Turned in at 8.30 p.m.
Saturday 15th July, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m. and breakfast at 8 a.m., cleaned up our billet and parade
and general inspection at 10 a.m. Heard that British and French have met
with considerable more success in their offensive along the Somme. The
name of our present billet is the "Chateau de la Haye". Given
permission to go and pick red currants in the garden for ourselves which
we readily did. Lay out on lawn this afternoon and wrote a letter. After
tea we held a concert among ourselves on lawn in front of Chateau and
spent a very nice and enjoyable evening. Turned in about 9 p.m.
Sunday 16th July, 1916
No early morning parade again so did not get up till 7.30 a.m. and breakfast
at 8 a.m. Expect to move today so packed up and got everything prepared.
Had dinner early and paraded and marched out about 1 p.m. Got about 400
yards down road when motor stopped us with orders to return and stay at
billet Chateau de la Haye till further notice. Took a walk about 2.30
p.m. to a village about 2 miles away called "Brucamps", had
tea, eggs and bread and butter then back to camp. Very good concert tonight.
Madame and some friends attended. Turned in about 9.30 p.m.
Monday 17th July, 1916
Page 38 of 69 Reveille at 7.30 a.m. and breakfast 8 a.m. Rained all night
and dull and wet this morning. Colonel who has been away this last two
days returned last night. Had very quiet morning. After dinner some mail
arrived and I received four letters. News rather scarce just now, but
what little we get is all in our favour. Played cards most of afternoon.
After tea we were unexpectedly paid. Bought couple of postscard views
of the Chateau and had a yarn before turning in about 8.30 p.m.
Tuesday 18th July, 1916
Rumours about last night that we were to be up at 4.30 a.m. to get away
early, but did not come off, so lay in bed till 7.30 a.m. and breakfast
at 8 a.m. On parade 9.30 a.m. and had our gas helmets inspected after
which had game of bridge on the lawn. Able to post letters today for first
time since been here. After dinner I watched our section (A) play C. section
at Rugby football, was very unscientific but funny to watch and ended
in a pointless draw. Had walk up lane this evening and in bed 8 p.m.
Wednesday 19th July, 1916
Some of chaps came home last night late, the worse for drink, and made
lot of noise. Reveille 7.30 a.m. and breakfast 8 a.m. Parade ordered at
10 a.m., roll call and orders. In future reveille to be at 7 a.m., parade
7.15 a.m. and route march till 8 a.m., also all men to be inside billet
by 10 p.m., result of row last night. Could hear artillery booming heavily
in the distance this morning. Parade at 4.45 p.m., returned one of our
smoke helmets and received better style. Wrote letter and in bed 8 p.m.
20th July, 1916
Reveille 7 a.m. but was up and washed half hour before. On parade 7.15
a.m., roll call, orders and went for route march till 8 a.m. in direction
of St. Omer. At 10 a.m. Capt. Furber gave us lecture on fractures and
their treatment till dinner time. Gen. Cox looking round this afternoon.
Six patients arrived which we have kept, rumoured we are to be divisional
rest station which is pretty rotten. Artillery going this evening long
way off. Had game of cards and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 21st July, 1916
Was up at 6.30 a.m., washed and shaved before reveille at 7 a.m. and on
parade at 7.15 a.m., roll call and orders. Did not go on route march this
morning as have half dozen patients to attend to. At 10 a.m. Capt. Furber
continued his lecture till dinner time on fractures and their treatment.
Could hear big guns rolling today again. Nothing doing this afternoon
again so played cards on the lawn. Beautiful day but time getting very
monotonous. Smoked and yarned after tea till turned in 9 p.m.
Saturday 22nd July, 1916
Reveille 6.45 a.m. and on parade 7.15 a.m., roll call and orders. Still
got six patients in hospital but during day sent four to Casualty Clearing
Station. Lecture at 10 .m. by Capt. Furber, same subject, very interesting.
After dinner settled down and wrote couple of letters. Saw largest British
aeroplane I have seen yet fly over our billet today. Guns booming heavily
in distance at intervals. Beautiful day. Turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 23rd July, 1916
Page 39 of 69 Reveille 6.45 a.m. and on parade 7.15 a.m. Only two patients
today. Beautiful day. Cleaned up for inspection of billet by O.C. and
then played cards on lawn till dinner time. After dinner wrote letters
till tea time. Aeroplane went over again, one of our latest Farman battle
planes. Could hear guns booming at intervals but cannot get much news.
Various rumours as to our staying here. After tea had sing-song, yarned
and turned in 9 p.m.
Monday 24th July, 1916
Reveille 6.45 a.m. and on parade 7.15 a.m. Went for route march till 8
a.m., then breakfast. Very quiet day, sent our two patients away to C.C.S.
and did an odd dressing or two for some of our own chaps. Played cards
afterwards till dinner time. After dinner did some washing. About 4 p.m.
received orders to be ready to move sometime tomorrow. After tea loaded
the panniers we had been using on G.S. wagon. Guns booming. Heard rumour
some Aust.'s have had it hot. Turned in 9 p.m.
Tuesday 25th July, 1916
Reveille 6 a.m., breakfast 6.30 a.m. Got kits together, cleaned up billets
and on parade in full marching order at 7.15 a.m. Little odds and ends
to attend to and moved away at 8 a.m. Passed through St. Omer and went
almost due east just inclining slightly to south. Marched till 12 noon
when we halted for dinner, having done just 12 miles. Started again at
2.30 p.m. Just as finished another 4 miles met Gen. Cox who complimented
us on our march. Came to the end of our journey for today at 5.15 p.m.
when we reached "Herrisant" having done 20 miles. Carried my
full pack all the way. Had wash and clean up, tea and turned in about
8 p.m. pretty tired.
Wednesday 26th July, 1916
Had restless night, slept in old barn on straw, not too clean, and in
the main street. Motor supply wagons, horses and men helped to keep me
awake, but mainly I think I was over tired as all night my body ached
and could not sleep. Up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast did little fatigue
work, cleaned billet etc., surroundings of which are filthy. Fixed up
a temporary dressing station in a school room. Had quiet afternoon, place
full of troops, British and Aust. Had concert tonight. Heavy bombardment
proceeding. News of Russian success in Armenia. Turned in 9 p.m.
Thursday 27th July, 1916
Was soon sound asleep last night. Awakened at 3 a.m. by N.C.O. Told special
despatch arrived for us to move off this morning. Up at 5.45 a.m., breakfast
6.45 a.m., packed our kits and moved off at 9 a.m. following the 4th Brigade
towards the firing line. Halted and had dinner in field at 12 noon having
done about 5 miles. Went on again, 2 p.m. another 1 1/2 miles to "Warloy-Baillon"
and billeted at farm. Cemetery alongside us opened few days ago, about
400 buried already. Saw about 20 Aust.'s buried. Guns booming fiercely.
Saw remnants of 1st Brigade arrive back from "Poseries" which
we have taken. Place full of troops. Turned in 10 p.m.
Friday 28th July, 1916
Slept well and up at 6.30 a.m., on parade 7.15 a.m., roll call and orders.
After breakfast gas helmet inpsection at 9.30 a.m. after which did some
washing. Troops here in great spirits, boys from trenches bringing back
German helmets and trophies galore. All seem to consider the Germans utterly
beaten. Aeroplanes very active and guns going like a continuous roll of
thunder. First, 2nd and 3rd field Amb. Page 40 of 69 suffered heavily,
prospect of us going forward tomorrow. This place like a hive, motor cycles,
cars and wagons of all kinds going for all they are worth. Received notice
to be ready to go further up, stood by till 10 p.m. when turned in.
Saturday 29th July, 1916
Reveille 6.30 a.m., on parade 7.15 a.m., roll call and orders. Breakfast
8 a.m. Spent morning watching our aeroplanes and observation balloons,
big guns not going so heavily today. After dinner had walk up the street
to see what was doing. Ambulances bringing in wounded from last night's
charge. Believe 2nd division got it pretty hot. Just before tea our stretcher
bearers received word to be ready to go out but order cancelled. I made
application tonight for transfer to Batt. at Regimental Medical detail.
15 balloons and innumerable planes of ours up tonight. Turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 30th July, 1916
Was up at 6 a.m., washed, shaved and cleaned up before breakfast at 7.30
a.m. At 8.30 a.m. went to other end of village and took over 1st field
amb. dressing station, working as C.C.S. in grounds of large house. Had
lot of cleaning up to do and had good number of wounded in to fix up,
mostly 2nd division men. Kept very busy till 8 p.m. when B. section took
over from us for the night. Very amusing to hear our officers who have
not done field work before discussing how it should be done. They have
lot to learn, but we have to suffer while they learn. Turned in 9 p.m.
Monday 31st July, 1916
Up at 6.30 a.m., breakfast 7.30 a.m. and on duty 8 a.m. Had no fresh wounded
in up to dinner time but were kept busy and buffetted from pillar to post
by our officers who want the place fixed up as though for a garden party.
Our corps has absolutely no organization at all and our officers who should
be striving to hold the men together are instead, fostering a spirit of
jealousy between sections. All our officers are at loggerheads with each
other. Got our first gas patients about 4.30 p.m., three machine gunners
gassed by gas shell, worked hard at them till 9 p.m. but all died, did
all we could. Doctors say new kind of gas, not chlorine. Had tea 9.15
p.m. and turned in 10 p.m. Had to sleep under bushes last night.