1st November, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m., breakfast at 8 a.m., issued with steel helmets and box
respirators, packed up, on parade 9.30 a.m. and at 9.45 a.m. marched out.
Marched about 10 miles, passed through village of Ailly-le-Haut-Cloches
and arrived at village of "Vauchelles -e- Domart" about 1 p.m.
Good day for marching, wind very drying, but had just arrived at our very
rotten billets when rain fell heavily. Practically no sides to building
we are billetted in. Had look round village, very quiet, and turned in
about 6.30 p.m.
Thursday 2nd November, 1916
Up at 6.45 a.m., breakfast at 7.30 a.m. Various small duties to perform
as N.C.O. of A section tent division. On parade at 9.30 a.m. and marched
away at 10 a.m. Passed through several villages and arrived at "Pisquigny"
about 1.15 p.m. having done about 10 to 12 miles, raining all the time
and up to knees in mud. Very stiff march, country hilly and pace very
fast. Billetted in a large vacant residence after considerable trouble.
Paid at 4 p.m. After tea went into town, had cup of coffee and Sgt. Chisholm
(my pal) and I had walk in country till 8 p.m. when turned in for night.
Country very beautiful, all autumn shades of brown etc.
Friday 3rd November, 1916
Reveille at 7 a.m., on parade at 7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. Breakfast
8 a.m. Number of our chaps obtained leave to visit "Amiens".
Usual small duties fixing up some of our chaps who are not too well Page
58 of 69 and at 10 a.m. Capt. Furber took me to house to treat old lady
who had been knocked down by motor cycle, knees badly cut. Dressed and
fixed them up. Parade 2 p.m. Gas and steel helmet and boots inspection.
Nothing further till 5 p.m. when visited old lady again and dressed her
injuries. After tea went out for cup of coffee and in bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 4th November, 1916
Reveille 7 a.m., parade, roll call and orders at 7.30 a.m. Breakfast 8
a.m. At 10 a.m. visited and dressed injuries of my old lady patient. Various
small duties before dinner at 1 p.m. This afternoon managed to get couple
of letters away, also fixed up for one of my men to attend on Major McGregor,
our present O.C. who is not well and has taken to bed. Went down to our
transport on cycle for drugs etc. off our wagon. After tea had stroll
and turned in 8.30 p.m. Harry went on leave for day to "Amiens".
Sunday 5th November, 1916
Reveille 7 a.m., parade 7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. Breakfast 8 a.m.
and at 10 a.m. visited and dressed my patient whose husband took my photo
as a souvenir and promised me one. Major Welch, acting O.C., took rest
of men for church parade which did not come off so gave them some drill
instead. After dinner received letter from my brother Fred in camp at
Geelong. Very quiet day. 15th Batt. moved out from here this morning,
expect to move ourselves in day or so. Turned in about 8 p.m. Pisquigny
Monday 6th November, 1916
Up at 7 a.m., parade 7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. Parade full marching
order at 8.45 a.m. and inspection by A.D.M.S. I missed it and at 10 a.m.
went and dressed my patient. Had leave to visit "Amiens" today.
Leave inspection by orderly officer 10.30 a.m., marched to station and
caught train at 11.20 a.m., arrived "Amiens" about 12.15 noon.
Went straight and had good dinner then visited Cathedral, now reckoned
finest in the world. Very beautiful. Had look round town as far as time
would permit, then had good hot bath, finishing up with good tea. Very
fine city, train back 6.18 p.m. Back at billet and in bed 8 p.m.
Tuesday 7th November, 1916
Reveille 7 a.m., on parade 7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. At 10 a.m.
visited my patient, dressed injuries which are doing splendid, left material
to go on with as we are leaving tomorrow. Old gent gave me half doz. photos
of myself as souvenir and also had to have glass of wine. Various other
small duties before dinner. This afternoon busy packing and loading some
extra drugs and medical stores ready for morning. Some of 16th Batt. left
here today. Rained very hard this afternoon and evening. Had yarn after
tea and turned in 8 p.m.
Wednesday 8th November, 1916
Reveille 6.30 a.m., parade, roll call and orders 7 a.m. Breakfast 7.30
a.m. On parade again in full marching order at 8.45 a.m. Raining heavily,
moved up road at 9 a.m. behind our infantry Brigade. Put on huge motors,
a great column of 118 of which were ready to take us on. Column moved
at 11 a.m., passed through St. Poch, Amiens, Buire and lots of other villages
and arrived at Ribemont about Page 59 of 69 2.30 p.m., having done about
26 miles. Put into very rotten billets, ours is canvas hut, framework
all broken down in middle of sea of mud, about 20 men in it. Very cold
and wet so turned in 7 p.m.
Thursday 9th November, 1916
Reveille at 7 a.m., on parade 7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. Breakfast
8 a.m., very cold and the place is just a sea of mud, boots and feet wet
through. Our planes very busy. German airmen came over in one of our machines
they had captured, but were spotted and our guns brought the plane down
in our lines, it still had our markings on. Parade again 1.30 p.m. and
roll call. Had walk up the village but it is practically all troops. After
tea turned into bed to keep warm and read. About 9 p.m. enemy planes were
about but our guns beat them off.
10th November, 1916
Could hear heavy bombarding last night and could hear buzz of planes at
intervals though could see nothing in the dark. Reveille 7 a.m., on parade
7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. After breakfast unpacked little material
for use while here. Very nice day today, dozens of observation balloons
up, also aeroplanes. Parade at 1.30 p.m. after which had kick at football
for half an hour, then wrote letters till tea-time. Turned in shortly
after tea about 6.30 p.m. Can hear very heavy bombardment going on tonight.
Saturday 11th November, 1916
Woke about 12.30 midnight by guns, bombardment terrible, worst I've heard,
ground was shaking, also could hear aeroplanes and anti-aircraft guns.
Enemy planes dropped bombs on "Amiens" and on Corps Rest station
causing about 50 casualties among staff and sick, about dozen killed.
Reveille 7 a.m., on parade 7.30 a.m., roll call and orders. My section
(A) for duty today. Busy all morning with sick parades. This afternoon
we played soccer match with Royal Engineers who beat us 3 goals to nil,
pretty hard game. Bombardment proceeding all day but more intense again
tonight. Had stroll after tea and in bed 8 p.m.
Sunday 12th November, 1916
Bombardment going all night, various rumours afloat. Was too foggy last
night for aeroplanes. Reveille 7 a.m., on parade 7.30 a.m., roll call
and orders. On parade again at 8.45 a.m. when marched to Divisional baths
at "Hailly" about 3 miles away. Had bath and back for dinner.
Guns still going all day without break. Received letter this afternoon
then watched a soccer game for about an hour. Sorted my kit out ready
to move tomorrow and after tea went to Y.M.C.A. service in a barn. In
bed 8.30 p.m.
Monday 13th November, 1916
Heavy shelling again all night but tremendous at about 4.30 a.m. till
5.30 a.m., continuous all day. Reveille 7 a.m., on parade 7.30 a.m., roll
call and orders. After breakfast reloaded our wagon, some of our stores
being put in dump. Busy till dinner time at 12 noon on various duties.
On parade in full marching order at 1 p.m. and marched out following our
brigade. Marched about 4 miles, mud above shoe tops. Passed some of 1st
division on way out, saw Stan Cohen. Arrived at "Dernan Court"
about 4 p.m., had tea 5 p.m. and turned in 6 p.m.
Tuesday 14th November, 1916
Page 60 of 69 Reveille at 6 a.m. Breakfast 6.30 a.m. Was packed up and
aboard a motor Amb. at 6.45 a.m., left "Dernancourt" about 7
a.m., travelled to "Albert" through "Fricourt", Mametz",
Montauban to "Longueval", about 3 miles behind firing line and
just in front of some of our heavy guns. Took over dressing station from
2nd Field Amb., arrived about midday having done about 16 miles but having
to push motors a long way as up to axle in mud. Very busy getting fixed
up and good number of wounded coming in, up to knees in mud everywhere.
Turned in in dispensary about 9 p.m. Had no proper meals today.
Wednesday 15th November, 1916
Up at 5.30 a.m. and on duty at 6 a.m. Very cold, guns roaring all night
all round us, two big naval guns about 100 yds. behind us. Had number
of wounded in and went off duty at 12 noon. Worked all afternoon in dispensary,
mud something shocking. Enemy shell road about 100 yds. above us. One
shell killed 4 men and 1 horse and wounded about 10 men seriously, went
out and brought in last man. Our present position is situated between
(Devils) Delville wood, Bernafray, Troncs and Mametz woods which are now
only masses of broken stumps. Turned in in a tent, 10 of us, at 6 p.m.
Thursday 16th November, 1916
Up and on duty at 12 midnight. Enemy put shells over at intervals in darkness
and an enemy plane dropped a bomb on other side of valley killing a 13th
Field Amb. man and wounding two other chaps. Had about 18 wounded in and
went off duty at 6 a.m. Very frosty and cold, turned in about 7 a.m. but
could not sleep, enemy planes about and guns making deafening row. Got
up about 10.30 a.m., had my first wash and shave for four days. Our guns
going all day. Enemy put few shells near us. Went on duty 6 p.m. and were
pretty busy until relieved at 12 midnight when turned in.
Friday 17th November, 1916
Got up about 7.30 a.m., very cold and ground hard with frost, sun made
attempt to get out but strong easterly and biting wind nullified it. Had
to walk about to keep myself warm. Our planes about in great numbers,
enemy planes tried to get over but our guns and planes beat them off every
time. German plane brought down yesterday, pilot wounded, was in our dressing
station. On duty 12 noon and kept pretty busy till relieved at 6 p.m.
Good number of men going sick through cold and exposure. Had tea after
6 p.m. and turned into bed before 7 p.m.
Saturday 18th November, 1916
Up at 5.30 a.m. this morning and on duty at 6 a.m. Snow on ground this
morning and driving sleet coming down which turned to rain and the whole
place turned to a mass of mud. Only had few wounded but had huge sick
parade. Kept busy till relieved at 12 noon. Spent very miserable afternoon,
cold, and our tent about two inches deep in sloppy mud. The best building
in our area has been commandeered for our officers' mess, they have such
hard times poor dears. Was glad to turn in as soon as tea was over at
Sunday 19th November, 1916
Page 61 of 69 Came on duty at 12 midnight last night. Very cold again
and rained a good deal. Only had few wounded in, but Fritz put some big
shells all round us and into our area, fortunately none of our chaps hit
but two Art'lly men were killed close by. Our guns close by retaliated
and each time they fired our lights went out with the concussion. Off
duty 6 a.m., had breakfast and turned in, my blankets damp and had to
lie in sloppy mud, very miserable. Up for dinner and spent afternoon shivering.
On duty 6 p.m., only half dozen wounded. Fritz put few shells close to
us again but our guns shut him up. Off duty 12 midnight and turned in.
20th November, 1916
After we turned in last night Fritz put over 30 shells round about our
camp, about 10 or 12 failed to burst. Slept well till 8 a.m. when had
a bit of tucker and sat talking till 12 noon when went on duty. Had number
of badly wounded, two dying in dressing station. Several Tommies wounded
by bomb exploding while digging a sap and pick striking it causing it
to burst. Also large number on sick parade. Kept very busy till relieved
at 6 p.m. Had tea and turned in about 7 p.m. Woke about 11 p.m. by some
of Fritz's shells bursting close, mud coming on tent.
Tuesday 21st November, 1916
Up at 5.30 a.m. and on duty 6 a.m. Had about 20 slightly wounded in but
great number of sick men. Kept very busy at various duties, having to
arrange and look after our tent division and supervise the work as well
as work myself. Off duty 12 noon. Just having dinner when Fritz put shell
on road alongside dressing station. Just have to do our work and when
off duty sit in tent hoping every shell will miss our tent. I suppose
someone will catch one sooner or later. Passed the afternoon walking about
in mud to keep warm and turned in to bed at 5.30 p.m. Up and on duty 12
Wednesday 22nd November, 1916
Very quiet shift, only about half dozen wounded so did some washing, of
course guns going all the time, they never cease. Off duty 6 a.m. and
turned into bed sleeping till 10.30 a.m. When got up was rather misty
but cleared this afternoon. Dozens of aeroplanes flying about, also we
had about 30 observation balloons up. There were several aerial scraps,
saw 3 planes come down, one of ours fell 9000 ft., pilot having broken
thigh and observer slight concussion. Wonderful luck as plane toppled
over and over. Believe 3 Hun planes brought down. On duty 6 p.m., very
quiet, couple of cases so did some writing. Off duty 12 midnight and turned
Thursday 23rd November, 1916
Slept well till 10 a.m., had bit of tucker and got ready for duty at 12
noon. Been frosty night but bright and clear day. Numerous aeroplanes
up, nearly all ours, counted over thirty at one time, also lot of balloons.
Busy while on duty fixing up new dressing station and made a grate for
stove to heat it. Had fair number of wounded in about 4 p.m. Guns on our
left opened up for about an hour furiously. Enemy put few shells over
and to rear of us. One or two enemy planes over but driven off. Off duty
6 p.m. and in bed 7 p.m.
Friday 24th November, 1916
Page 62 of 69 Up at 5.30 a.m. and on duty 6 a.m. Had wash and general
clean up, then was very busy with further improvements in dressing station.
Breakfast 8 a.m. followed by huge sick parade from regiments round about
this area which kept us very busy till we were relieved at 12 noon. Only
had about 4 wounded in, one of which died. Had little rain this afternoon
and turned very cold, lit a brazier for tent then did some writing till
tea-time at 4.30 p.m. Turned into bed about 5.30 p.m., up and on duty
12 midnight. Artillery been comparatively quiet today though still noisy.
Saturday 25th November, 1916
Did not have single patient in all time on duty so managed to write 4
letters. Off duty 6 a.m. Fritz put over few big shells not far from us,
but mud spoils a lot of their effect, a quantity of which was thrown on
our tent. Up about 11 a.m., rained fairly sharp and tent leaks badly,
the bottom of it is about two inches deep in mud and slop, very rotten.
Spent very miserable day and went on duty at 6 p.m., Had two minor wounded
and a 59th Batt. chap on stretcher, had had drink and was trying to work
his ticket to base. Acted delirious and very violent, gave him rough time.
Our 6 inch naval guns close to us going tonight, concussion nearly knocks
us over. Off duty 12 midnight and turned in.
Sunday 26th November, 1916
Rained hard all night and when got up about 11 a.m. my blankets and clothes
were wet through and my steel helmet full of water. Tent leaks badly and
floor is a filthy puddle. Paraded to Major Welch about it, hope to be
in a hut tomorrow. Fritz put few shells over. On duty 12 noon, fair number
of wounded and big sick parades. Had trouble with Cpl. who is hospital
cook, but settled him pretty sharp, making himself good fellow at expense
of my men. Off duty 6 p.m., had tea and in bed 7 p.m.
Monday 27th November, 1916
Up and on duty 6 a.m., not much doing before breakfast. Sick parades started
about 8.15 a.m. and was kept very busy till relieved at 12 noon. Have
always plenty of small jobs and details to attend to myself, also to see
that others are working right, to supervise and direct our tent division
and supernumaries. Just after dinner saw one of our planes come down on
fire, magnificently handled and both aviators escaped. Unfortunately had
been caught while tackling a Fritz, by our own shells. Two Fritz planes
hovering about. Went into a hut today, turned in 7 p.m.
Tuesday 28th November, 1916
Up and on duty 12 midnight, only had couple of slight cases so had good
clean up and wrote a letter. My 26th birthday today. Relieved by B. section
at 6 a.m. Very cold. Turned in but could not sleep, cold so intense. Very
miserable but we make the best of it and knock a bit of fun out. Got a
brazier alight and warmed the hut up this afternoon. On duty at 6 p.m.
but things were very slack, cleaned up and arranged things in dressing
station again. Off duty at 12 midnight when turned in.
Wednesday 29th November, 1916
Very frosty this morning and awfully cold so lay in bed to try and keep
warm till 11 a.m. On duty at 12 noon and kept fairly busy, but not rushed.
Was told I would be going on leave on Sunday Dec. 3rd-16, but half an
hour later was told all leave to England cancelled till further notice.
Fritz put four big shells over, landed just above our position near prisoner
compound, one Fritz prisoner killed. Some Tommy Page 63 of 69 transport
had very narrow escape. Our bearers came in yesterday, look very knocked
up. Off duty 6 p.m. and turned in 6.30 p.m.
Thursday 30th November, 1916
Up at 5.30 a.m. and on duty 6 a.m. Very quiet till after breakfast when
sick parades came on and we were kept busy till dinner time, only one
or two slightly wounded. Very cold again and Fritz put few shells on ridge
just above us again without doing any damage at all. Off duty 12 noon,
was told this afternooon that my leave to England is right again. Lit
a brazier in our hut as it was perishing cold. Tea 4.30 p.m. and turned
in 5.30 p.m. Fritz put few more shells round us. Up and on duty 12 midnight.