1st October, 1916
Nothing doing again all night, got a sleep and before breakfast cleaned
and tidied the dressing station. At 9 a.m. assisted Capt. Furber at sick
parade and afterwards sent cases admitted on to C.C.S. and D.R.S. Off
duty at 12 noon. Had sleep this afternoon. Our Amb. played a football
match this Page 52 of 69 afternoon (Aust. game) and won. German plane
brought down on fire, a Belgian observation balloon and our planes brought
down on fire two German observation balloons. Planes very active this
evening. Turned in 7.30 p.m. On duty midnight. Had church service tonight.
Monday 2nd October, 1916
Nothing doing at all again last night so got a sleep again. Tidied up
before breakfast and assisted at sick parade at 9 a.m. Inclined to rain
and pretty cold. Off duty at 12 noon. More big guns went up again today.
Special orders issued today re carrying gas helmets. Rained pretty sharp
this afternoon but went for walk to get a paper to see the news. Received
parcel from home. Tea at 5 p.m. and was in bed before 6 p.m. Lay reading
for about an hour and half before going to sleep. Up and on duty at midnight.
Tuesday 3rd October, 1916
All quiet again last night, no wounded came in. Our planes very active
about 5 a.m. Tidied up before breakfast and at 9 a.m. assisted at sick
parade. Rained sharply all morning but eased off after dinner. Off duty
12 noon. At 1 p.m. went out with couple of mates for walk towards "Dickiebush",
very muddy. Passed couple of big guns over which canvas houses painted
to look like brick had been erected to screen them from enemy planes and
observers. Back at 4 p.m., had short sleep. Tea 5 p.m. and in bed 6.30
p.m. Up and on duty 12 midnight.
Wednesday 4th October, 1916
Had three slighly sick patients in last night, otherwise quiet. Tidied
up before breakfast and sent patients to D.R.S. at 8 a.m., at 9 a.m. assisted
at sick parade. Wet again today, weather seems to have broken up for the
winter now though it is not very cold yet. After dinner took a walk up
the road to get a paper. Arrived back at billet about 3 p.m. and had a
sleep till tea time 5 p.m. Did some writing after tea then turned in about
7.30 p.m. Up and on duty at 12 midnight.
Thursday 5th October, 1916
Seven sick and three wounded in during night, fixed wounded up and sent
them straight on to C.C.S. The sick sent to D.R.S. at 8 a.m. Tidied up
before breakfast and at 9 a.m. assisted at sick parade. Very dull and
heavy again today with showers at intervals. Off duty at 12 noon. On parade
at 2 p.m. while orders were read out, then dismissed. Spent afternoon
writing and overhauling my kit. Tea at 5 p.m. and in bed before 6 p.m.
Lay reading for an hour, then to sleep, up and on duty midnight.
Friday 6th October, 1916
Half a dozen sick and about same wounded last night. One man died, our
first death here, a 16th Batt. man named "Andrews". Spent rest
of night writing. Tidied up, had breakfast and assisted Capt. Bentley
at sick parade at 9 a.m. About 10.30 a.m. went with patient on motor to
C.C.S. Went through town of "Popperinghe" which has been heavily
shelled, houses shattered and in ruins, others with bullet marks all over.
Passing up a main street saw newly made patches in roadway, showing where
shells had fallen. Back for dinner, slept this afternoon, tea at 5 p.m.
Turned in again 6.30 p.m. and up and on duty at midnight.
Saturday 7th October, 1916
Page 53 of 69 Five sick cases and no wounded at all last night. Beautiful
in the early morning but very dull and showery after breakfast. Sent patients
to D.R.S. at 8.30 a.m. and assisted at sick parade at 9 a.m. Admitted
four cases and sent two each to D.R.S. and C.C.S. respectively. Capt.
Furber sick (rheumatism), sent for me to rub him with liniment. Off duty
at 12 noon. After dinner lay down and read for an hour before going to
sleep. Tea at 5 p.m., in bed at 6.30 p.m. and up and on duty at 12 midnight.
Sunday 8th October, 1916
Couple of sick cases last night, sent them to D.R.S. Lovely early morning
again but went dull and wet later on. Sick parade 9 a.m. Very little doing
so had game of cards (bridge). Off duty at 12 noon. After dinner went
on bike for ride into Reninghelst to our Hdqrtrs. Back at Ouderdom at
2.30 p.m. and played cards till tea-time. Very heavy bombardment going
somewhere round this sector, heard Germans were shelling Belgians to the
north of us. Had church service at 7 p.m. then turned in and was on duty
again at midnight.
Monday 9th October, 1916
Had a dozen sick men in during night, got them away to D.R.S. pretty early
as had to thoroughly clean out, some of the "heads" coming to
have a look round. Had everything in perfect order but "Heads"
didn't turn up. Sick parade at 9 a.m. and off duty at 12 noon. Went into
Reninghelst on bike at 1.30 p.m. and played Soccer football with our Amb.
against a motor convoy team, made draw 2 goals each. Back for tea at 5
p.m. after which played cards till 8.30 p.m. when turned in. On duty 12
midnight. Capt. Bentley went to England today on leave.
10th October, 1916
Did not have a single patient in all night so got a little sleep. Tidied
up before breakfast and assisted at sick parade at 9 a.m., then sent three
patients admitted to C.C.S. Heard news of further British and French advance
on the Somme. Off duty at 12 noon. After dinner played cards for couple
of hours then had a sleep till tea time 5 p.m. Made my bed and lay reading
till 7.30 p.m. when fell asleep. Up and on duty 12 midnight. Very nice
day but clouds threatening and wind rising tonight.
Wednesday 11th October, 1916
No patients again last night so did some writing and had a sleep. Tidied
up before breakfast and at 9 a.m. assisted at sick parade. After dinner
went to Div. Baths at "Reninghelst" and had good hot bath. Unexpectedly
met W. Hill and we had half an hours yarn. Back at "Ouderdom"
about 3.30 p.m. and was warned right away by Capt. Furber to be ready
to go to "Bedford House" sometime tomorrow. "Bedf'd H'se"
is an advanced station, used to be residence of Rosenthal murdered in
America, police graft scandal. His son was shot here as a spy. Turned
in about 7 p.m., up and on duty 12 midnight.
Thursday 12th October, 1916
Five sick cases last night, one diphtheria. Cleaned up and sick parade
9 a.m., few dressings etc. Off duty 12 noon. After dinner packed up ready
to move off at 6.15 p.m. After long wait left Ouderdom in car at 9.15
p.m. As got nearer firing line evidences of shell fire became numerous,
terrible scene of desolation. Passed through "Ypres", it has
once been a lovely city, now totally in ruins, great pity. Page 54 of
69 Arrived at "Bedford House" about 10 p.m., it has been awfully
knocked about by shells. Worked till 11.30 p.m., turned in on a table
Friday 13th October, 1916
Was up at 7 a.m. and had a wash in the moat that runs round the house.
Went on duty at 8 a.m. Set the dressing station out, it is a large dug-out.
Am in charge of dressing station and have to do dispensing etc. Couple
of slightly wounded and about 8 sick in during day. Had look round grounds
this afternoon. It has been a fine place but house is a total wreck, even
the cellars having been penetrated in places, not a room left untouched.
Part of grounds have been made into a cemetery. Guns all round us. Got
a bunk tonight in room in cellar. Off duty 9 p.m. All round star shells
making night into day. Turned in about 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 14th October, 1916
Up at 7 a.m. and on duty at 8 a.m. Busy all morning arranging things and
fixing up for supplies we are short of. Only had two wounded and about
eight sick through today. This morning two of our planes flew over very
low, fritz shelled them ineffectively. Some of his shells burst only few
hundred yards from us. Batteries of guns all round us firing at intervals
all day. About 8.30 p.m. our guns fired solidly for half hour, star shells
going up lighting the whole country side up. Brother Harry out to see
me. Off duty 8 p.m. Turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 15th October, 1916
Up at 7 a.m. and on duty at 8 a.m. Cleaned dressing station out, had few
sick patients in and couple of wounded up till 8 p.m. when 7 or 8 badly
wounded were brought in. Shell had burst among a crowd some distance further
back from us. Reciprocal shelling at intervals all day, the trees round
about are nearly all shattered. Saw shell hit a tree, fine big one, came
down like a match stalk. Rained this evening, was very busy with wounded
who came in and it was 11.30 before I was free to turn in for a sleep.
Monday 16th October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on duty at 8 a.m. Cleaned out and tidied up, only
one slightly wounded man up to dinner time. Majors McGregor and Welch
came round this morning. Fine day but cold. A few sick cases this afternoon.
Shelling at intervals by both sides, some of enemy's shells burst quite
close to our place. An enemy plane came over about 4.30 p.m. but was soon
driven off by our anti-aircraft guns. Off duty at 8.30 p.m. and turned
in about 9 p.m.
Tuesday 17th October, 1916
Up at 7 a.m. and on duty 8 a.m. Very fine morning, our planes very active,
fritz's guns trying to drive them away but to no purpose. The day got
very chilly after dinner, and things were very slack with us till 5 p.m.
when four wounded were brought in, two very badly hit kept us going till
7.30 p.m. when got my tea. Our guns opened up about 4.30 p.m. for about
half an hour. Hear we are likely to be leaving here soon, perhaps tomorrow.
Finished work at 8.45 p.m. and turned in 9 p.m.
Wednesday 18th October, 1916
Page 55 of 69 Up at 7.30 a.m., rather nice morning, few sick cases this
morning. At 1 p.m. went with some stores etc. to Reserve trenches at "Sunken
Road" for R.M.O. right at point of salient (Ypres). Came back by
way of the "Bluff" just before reaching which got a view of
Fritz's trenches in front and behind me about 1 to 2000 yards away. From
the Bluff to Spoilbank on the canal and then to King Albert of Belgium's
Chateau which is in total ruins, had just left Chateau when enemy put
couple of shells into it. Busy this evening. Off duty and in bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 19th October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m., rained heavily all day. Few sick cases in. At 11 a.m.
section of 4th London Field Amb. arrived to take over from us from tonight
at 8 p.m. Packed as much as could before tea and showed R.A.M.C. officers
round place. Rain drained into cellars and floor about 4 inches deep in
water all over. No patients at all after dinner so just before tea packed
almost everything up. About 7 p.m. left Bedford House in motor dragging
wheels for stretchers behind, got covered in mud. Passed through Ypres
and "Vlamentinghe", arrived Ouderdom about 9 p.m.
Friday 20th October, 1916
Did not get to bed till 3 a.m. this morning, very cold night, slept in
dressing station. Up at 8 a.m., had breakfast. 20 German prisoners on
sick parade this morning. Parade at 11 a.m. and were paid, also registered
our votes on Referendum re conscription in Aust. Voted for conscription.
Dinner at 12.30 p.m. and then walked to Reninghelst and had hot bath.
Bitter cold all day. Back at Ouderdom 3.30 p.m. and received couple of
letters. Took charge of dressing station from 6 to 9 p.m. then turned
Saturday 21st October, 1916
Very cold night again and when I got up at 7.30 a.m. everything was white
with frost, but turned out lovely clear day. German planes very active
today, about 6 coming over at intervals. Our gun fire beat them off, two
of our planes cornered one and after a fight which was fine to watch on
account of superb flying by all 3 machines, drove it down in our lines.
Expect to move about
Tuesday, think down to Somme again. Gave a send off to Major Welch tonight.
Last of our old officers to leave us. Turned in 11 p.m.
Sunday 22nd October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m. and on duty at 8 a.m. Cleaned up in dressing station and
then sick parades which kept us busy till dinner time. Number of Hun prisoners
come for dressings etc. under guard of course. Enemy fired a mine in this
sector today under our trenches but gained no advantage. Had kick at football
this afternoon to warm myself as it is very frosty and cold again. Harry
was sent out last evening to "Voormigeele" for day or two. Turned
in 8 p.m. Up and on duty at midnight.
Monday 23rd October, 1916
Very quiet night but very cold, had six patients in for night. Tidied
up before breakfast and afterwards had sick parades, very busy till dinner
time. This afternoon Capt. Furber told me to take charge of tent division
and said he had recommended me for the permanent job. Would not accept
only it would ruin every chance of any future promotion. Have been treated
so inconsiderately that I hardly care. Page 56 of 69 Bearers moved to
Reninghelst this evening. On duty till midnight, 24 hours been on duty.
Packed up ready for morning.
Tuesday 24th October, 1916
Up at 6 a.m., fixed up my equipment and saw to everything being right
for moving after breakfast. Breakfast 7.30 a.m. Left for Reninghelst at
8.15 a.m. The whole corps marched out of Reninghelst about 9.30 a.m. I
went with transport. Did about 8 to 10 miles and arrived at "Godewaersveldte"
in France and put into billets, 12 of us in loft behind a shop. Went out
and had eggs for dinner. This is a fair sized place and very nice in parts.
Arranged with lady of house to cook dinner for 10 of us at 5 p.m. Had
splendid spread, 2 Belgium Hares, potatoes, cakes and coffee, cost about
1/3d. each. In orders today I am promoted to L/Cpl.
Wednesday 25th October, 1916
Slept well last night in the loft and was quite warm. Rained during night
and everywhere is very muddy. Up at 7.30 a.m. Got bacon for breakfast
from cooks and got Madame to cook us some eggs. Cleaned and tidied billet
for inspection at 10 a.m. Loafed about till dinner time, rained pretty
sharp all day and very cold. Dinner at 12.30 noon, after which wrote a
letter ready for when post opens. Madame cooked us a dinner again tonight,
two splendid chickens and plenty of potatoes and coffee. Cost us (12 men)
1 Franc and 3d. each (1/1d). Turned in about 8 p.m.
Thursday 26th October, 1916
Up at 7 a.m. Breakfast at 7.30 a.m., packed our kits ready to move and
cleaned up billet. Moved to transport lines about half mile away at 9.30
a.m. From there whole corp got under way and we marched about 5 miles
carrying equipment, full packs and blankets to "Caestre". Rained
all time and terribly muddy. Had dinner on roadside in the mud and entrained
about 2.30 p.m., horses unloaded from boxes and we got in. Went through
"Hazebrouck", "St. Omer", Calais and Boulogne and
arrived at "Pont Remy" about 1 a.m. in morning. Very cold and
very rotten journey but expected it to have been a longer one.
Friday 27th October, 1916
Humbugged about at siding at "Pont Remy" till 4 a.m. this morning
when we marched away in the darkness. Everywhere pitch black, could not
see a thing, raining all the time and up to boot tops in mud, wet feet
and generally feeling miserable. Marched about four miles to village of
"Montflieres" where we arrived about 6 a.m. just beginning to
break light. Billetted in a stable on hard brick floor, very cold and
got our wet boots and socks off. Breakfast at 8.30 a.m. then turned in
and I slept most of the day. Rained all time, up for tea and in bed again
Saturday 28th October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m. and breakfast at 8 a.m. Parade at 10 a.m. re shortage
of clothing etc. Was pretty busy during morning arranging various small
things and fixing up couple of our chaps who are sick. General leave after
dinner so walked into Abbeyville 3 1/2 miles away. Rained and very muddy.
Had look through the very fine old Abbey and went to Y.M.C.A. and wrote
two short notes home with Xmas Greetings. Fair sized town and some good
shops but very expensive. Had chips and eggs for tea and returned home
and went to bed at 7 p.m. Page 57 of 69
Sunday 29th October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m., breakfast at 8 a.m. Cleaned up billet for inspection
and on parade in full equipment except packs at 10.15 a.m. Major McGregor
gave out several congratulatory cards for work done on our last visit
to Somme. An instance of how honours are awarded. After parade had little
work to do for some of our chaps before dinner. After dinner although
raining did some washing. Don't know how am going to get it dried. Had
a read before tea. Been very cold today. After tea did little writing
and held church service in our stable billet. Turned in 9 p.m.
Monday 30th October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m., shaved, cleaned and had breakfast at 8 a.m. Parade, roll
call and orders at 9.30 a.m. Our (A) section for duty today so had to
arrange sick parades etc. Kept very busy till dinner time with Battalion
sick parades, and sent 14 cases to hospital at Abbeyville. An odd case
or two this afternoon so did some writing. Rained hard all day, terribly
muddy, feet have not been dry since arrived here. Number of our chaps
suffering from severe colds. Wrote again after tea and turned in 8 p.m.
Tuesday 31st October, 1916
Up at 7.30 a.m. and had breakfast at 8 a.m. Parade, roll call and orders
at 10 a.m. Spoke about getting further promotion as this job is well worth
it. Got pass and at 1 p.m. paraded for leave inspection and then walked
into Abbeyville. Had good look round, went through various churches and
at 5 p.m. had good dinner, having previously had good hot bath. Wrote
number of Field Service cards for Xmas and was back at billet at 7.30
p.m. Turned in 8 p.m.