1st December, 1917
11th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Got steam up on Merryweather pump and tested my tubes, all were correct. Had engine put on pit again, refilled and replaced safety plug and put ashpan up in its place again, very awkward job, but managed it by 5 o'clock. After tea did some writing and after a yarn turned in at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 12th December, 1917
Up 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., washed out boiler and filled it, built up smoke box again and off duty 8 p.m., into bed 9 p.m.
Thursday 13th December, 1917
Woke about 2 a.m. with severe pains in stomach, got up 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Took guard iron brackets off two engines and fixed them up. Not feeling at all well so knocked off at 11.30 a.m. Our Capt. on leave to Paris and New Zealand Lieut. in charge shaking things up. Lay down and had quiet afternoon. Spent quiet evening and in bed 9 p.m.
Friday 14th December, 1917
Slept fairly well and up at 7 a.m. feeling rather washed out so saw Lt. Byers and got leave to lie up for day, very nasty drizzly and cold day. Took things quietly with Dad in the hut and kept warm. Am expecting my leave every day now so want to be well. Turned into bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 15th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., slept middling, did not feel fit for work so had to go on sick parade, otherwise had to work. Saw Yankee Doctor, don't think much of him, thought I had appendicitis at first. Just my stomach upset by either bad water or dirty cooking. Marked Light duty but did not do anything. Turned in 9 p.m.
Sunday 16th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. feeling better but did not go to work and did not go to doctor. Went out for coffee, out of the way. Back for dinner, had lie down this afternoon, very cold and miserable, tried hard to snow. Went out for coffee with Dad and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 17th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very cold and inclined to snow. Run in some stays in Huntslett and cut them off. After dinner rivetted stays on inside of box, very awkward. New Zealand officer trying to make things willing. My head very crook tonight. Wrote three letters, made cup of tea and in bed 9 p.m. Our guns booming.
Tuesday 18th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Very frosty and cold with sharp wind. Rivetted stays on outside of fire box and started taking safety plugs out but had to knock off for lack of tools. Sky clear but cold all day. After tea wrote letter to Dais. made cup of cocoa and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 19th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., took out plugs at front of boiler and got some kerosene on to safety plugs which are very tight. After dinner washed boiler out again. Not a bad day, very frosty and sharp, but no wind. Guns roaring all the time very heavily. Wrote letters tonight, went with Dad for coffee and into bed 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 20th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., very sharp and heavy white frost. Order up stopping us from getting coal on penalty of forfeiting 12 months leave. Made lead washers for mud hole doors and put one up. Fixed up chaps chin, badly cut by falling on ice, had to have three stitches. Put on two guard irons this afternoon. Went for coffee with Dad after tea and in bed 9 p.m.
21st December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., put sling plates on boiler and damper doors for ashpan. Very frosty and cold, heaviest frost so far, also came in foggy tonight. Wrote two letters and had a yarn. Hard to keep warm so turned into bed about 8.30 p.m.
Saturday 22nd December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Put wash out plugs in and assisted Blacksmith to weld up a box spanner I am waiting for. Not so cold today but still frosty. After tea went with Dad for coffee as our friends are leaving tomorrow. Turned into bed at 9 p.m.
Sunday 23rd December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m., heavy frost and very cold. Took out two lead plugs. Half day off this afternoon, too cold to go out, sat shivering in hut, could not get warm. Fritz plane bombing 6.30 p.m. Into bed 9 p.m.
Monday 24th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Wet frost this morning and cold. Re-tapped a safety plug hole in Huntslett. Sleet and rain inclined to fall. Refitted lead plug. Number of men pretty drunk this afternoon so not much work doing. Had diarrhoea today pretty bad but little better tonight. Wrote letter home tonight and turned into bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 25th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and at work 8 a.m. Feel sick today so knocked off at 10 a.m., got diarrhoea bad. Half holiday this afternoon, big no. of men in liquor. Will Hill had tea with us. Spent most of day in my bunk. Feel very rotten tonight, turned in for night at 6.30 p.m. First real fall of snow was on Xmas day.
Wednesday 26th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m. and went on sick parade at 9 a.m., snowing hard and strong wind. Back at 11 a.m. Had nothing only boiled milk all day. Dad has to go away tomorrow to the C.C.S. on his way to the base and perhaps to Aust. Feel little better tonight. Wrote letter to Dais. and turned into bed 8.30 p.m.
Thursday 27th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., snow still on ground and pretty cold. This is third day have had nothing to eat, just little boiled milk from farm. Went on sick parade. Dad left at 11 a.m. for the base, hope he gets back to Aust. Spent day reading, news of first British reprisal raid on Mannheim. Guns up forward bursting out in spasms. Wrote two letters home and in bed 8 p.m.
Friday 28th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., feel better this morning. Very keen and cold, ground still covered with snow. Went on sick parade and back at 11 a.m. Fritz planes over about 11.30 a.m., soon driven off. Spent afternoon reading, started to blow very strong this evening, had little bread and margarine for first time in four days. In bed 9 p.m.
Saturday 29th December, 1917
Up at 7 a.m., guns been booming heavily all night, snowed a little. Received word this morning to go on leave at midnight tonight. Went to doctors at 9 a.m. for chat (vermin) and scaby free ticket. Packed up my gear this afternoon and got ready. After tea cleaned myself thoroughly and set out for Popperinghe station at 10.30 p.m.
Sunday 30th December, 1917
Caught train 1.30 a.m. and arrived at Boulogne at 11.30 a.m., went on boat and crossed to Folkestones, then to London by 8.30 p.m., reported at Hdqtrs and caught train 11 p.m. for Middlesboro.
Monday 31st December, 1917
Arrived at Middlesbro' station at 6.30 a.m. and went to Uncle Dan's, had breakfast then went out for hair cut and bath before dinner. Pretty tired so spent a quiet afternoon indoors and after tea Uncle Dan went round with me to Uncle Charlie's and we spent a pleasant and quiet evening, getting home and to bed at 11 p.m.