1st July, 1918
11th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Nothing doing today, spent morning putting eyelet holes in my new kit bag. After midday parade painted my name etc. on kit bag and then did some engraving on a souvenir match box case. In orders today that all 1914 men to parade tomorrow at 6 p.m. to orderly room and give in name, date of enlistment and embarkation and particulars of service. Looks like something doing for a trip home. After tea got some spuds and mashed them for supper and in bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 12th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Rained heavily all night and in heavy showers all day, thundery. Spent morning reading and yarning. After midday parade wrote letter, had read and sleep till tea time. Weather clearer after tea. Gave in particulars of service etc. to orderly room at 6 p.m. then went up road to motor column that runs to Etaples to make arrangements for ride in in the morning. Back at camp, had read and yarn, fried biscuits for supper and in bed 9 p.m. Called up at 9.15 p.m., chap ill.
Saturday 13th July, 1918
Chap had epileptic fit, developed into mania, took 6 of us to hold him. Got Amb. car and took him to hospital, had 5 1/2 hours solid struggling with him. Doctor gave him morphia to quieten him, arrived back at camp at 4.30 a.m. and lay down till 5.30 a.m. when got up and cleaned and caught motor lorry to Etaples. Arrived at 10.15 a.m. and met my friend Miss Potter, W.A.A.C. at 11.45 a.m. Walked to Paris Plage, a very nice seaside resort, sat on sand then had tea (eggs and chips, the inevitable) got tram back to Etaples and went to concert in Base Camp given by N.Z.'s Kiwis, very good, orchestra lovely. Came out 8.30 p.m., left my friend 8.45 p.m. and went and got room and bed at house, very nice place. Kiwis gave sketch entitled Y go crook.
Sunday 14th July, 1918
Left entertainment before it was over last night as W.A.A.C.'s have to be in camp at 9 p.m. Went straight to sleep last night as was very tired, awoke by anti-aircraft barrage at 1 a.m. as fritz planes over bombing, din from guns was terrific. Fell asleep again before firing finished and awoke at 6.30 a.m. Got up and cleaned and had breakfast 7.30 a.m., eggs and chips, then read newspaper till 8.45 a.m. when went to station to catch my train at 9.20 a.m. Rained this morning, back at camp 11 a.m. having had a pleasant change. Received a parcel from Peggy, loafed the day away as still a bit tired and turned into bed 9 p.m. Paris Plage is awfully nice but was not finished when war broke out and has not been touched since.
Monday 15th July, 1918
Slept very sound last night, believe guns were going very heavily but I heard nothing. Up at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Fine day again today. Rumours of heavy fighting again but cannot get to know at what part of line or with what results. Troops etc. passing here on train, also lot of cavalry moved towards line yesterday. Had very little to do today so wrote couple of letters, went up street for paper and had a read. After tea some of our chaps played cricket match, had a look at them and in bed 9 p.m.
Tuesday 16th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Had thunder storm during night but still close and sultry. Nothing doing for me today so wrote a couple of letters to Dais. and Home. Rumours of heavy fighting still but can get no real news of any kind. Movements of troops and materials going on along this line past us. Some of our men went away today, don't know for how long. No news in the paper. Had read after tea and into bed at 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 17th July, 1918
Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual, nothing doing for me, very sultry indeed today and most uncomfortable. After midday parade wrote a letter, had a read of paper, first news of new enemy offensive in paper, then had nap before tea. After tea went down to river for a bath and swim, water pretty cold, heavy lightning. Back at 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9.30 p.m. after cup of cocoa.
Thursday 18th July, 1918
One year today since Fred was killed. Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Wrote three letters this morning and had a read. Received a parcel from Aust. Overseas club, good parcel except that biscuits in it were the same as Army issue which upset the boys. After midday parade went up street for paper, little more news of offensive, fritz not doing much good. Had a nap before tea. This evening watched some of our chaps playing cricket, had cup of cocoa and in bed at 9 p.m.
Friday 19th July, 1918
One year today since transferred to this unit. Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Wrote some letters before dinner and tied up a couple of cut fingers. After dinner went out for my washing and the paper. Strong rumours of Franco-American success, but nothing in papers yet, hope it is true. Had a sleep before tea. After tea watched a cricket match between two mugs teams of our Co'y, very funny indeed. Had supper of mashed potatoes and cocoa and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 20th July, 1918
Up at reveille at 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Fixed up chaps toe, been rather badly crushed. Nice morning but later heavy thunder storm broke. Put some new Aust'n buttons on my great coat before dinner. After midday parade took my washing out and got paper. News of Franco-American advance of eight miles, no stated number of prisoners, but rumours of about 20,000 and 300 guns, hope it is true. After tea lay on bed and read till 8 p.m., had cup of cocoa and in bed at 9 p.m.
21st July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast. Very windy day otherwise fine. Loafed the morning away and talked about the French American counter offensive. Got the paper shortly after dinner, gives prisoners at 17,000 and guns 360. Great joy among the boys. Went for a walk around Compagne district at 2 p.m., called at farm and had cup of coffee made of milk. Back for tea at 5.15 p.m. Lay on bed and read this evening, had cup cocoa and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 22nd July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual. Had read this morning and got out of way while inspection on at 10.30 a.m. Waiting patiently for paper. After midday parade got paper, prisoners stated at 20,000 and guns 400, very good but hoping for better. Did some writing before tea. After tea watched cricket match between some of our chaps, couple of full hospital trains went by, one was U.S. Rumour of British offensive up this Arras front. Started raining 8.30 p.m., had cup cocoa and in bed 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 23rd July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m., fixed up one or two chaps who are sick after dismissed from parade, then did some writing before dinner. After dinner wrote letter to Dais. Very wet and miserable day and strong wind blowing. The Allied Forces still knocking fritz back, things looking pretty good. After tea wrote letter home and then had yarn with the boys. Fried some biscuits for supper and had cup of cocoa then in bed at 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 24th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade as usual, nothing doing this morning. At 10.30 a.m. was told off for job caulking pipes (a water main, lead joints). Am told S. Mjr. Jackson told the Capt. I was having an easy time with nothing to do, the boys are very sore over it. On parade 12.45 p.m. and marched to job in a paddock over a mile away, got some tools and was caulking all afternoon till 4.45 p.m., then marched back to camp. Went for walk along roads after tea, back at 8.30 p.m. and in bed at 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 25th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work caulking pipe joints all day. Heavy showers at intervals this morning, but lovely between whiles. Fritz planes over last night, dropped bombs not very far from here, but I never heard a sound, slept too well. News in papers still good for our side, new small push by the French on Amiens front, everyone in good spirits. American troops passing here on Rly, large numbers of them. Turned into bed 9 p.m.
Friday 26th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m., not on parade till 8.15 as raining hard. Roll call and marched to work, very muddy and sloppy, rained at intervals all morning. Got wet through and up to the eyes in mud from lying down in trench caulking joints. Stayed on job and had our dinner sent out to us, small piece meat and one small potato, not much for hard work. Digging in trench and mauling heavy pipes (about 5 cwt. each) all afternoon. Gave us biscuit and piece cheese at 3 p.m. Knocked off 4.45 p.m. and back to camp. Rained hard tonight, sat and yarned after tea and into bed at 9 p.m.
Saturday 27th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and marched to work, caulking and general navvying. Rained at intervals, was wet through and dried again several times, as no shelter here. Dinner brought up to us in motor. Rained again this afternoon, finished as far as we could go by 3 p.m. so Capt. told us to knock off. Went back to camp wet through and mud up to neck from lying down in muddy trench. Good news in paper. Wrote letter after tea and into bed 9 p.m.
Sunday 28th July, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. and had breakfast, day off work today. Had a shave and clean up then had nap before dinner, have got slight cold. Did not rain today but very dull. After dinner took out my washing and got paper, still good news for our side, Germans being steadily beaten. Sat yarning till tea time. After tea Bob Sargeant and I went for bit of a walk, back at camp at 7.30 p.m., talking with some of the boys, had cup of cocoa and in bed 9 p.m.
Monday 29th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., roll call and marched to work. Same class of work, general navvying and caulking pipe joints. Nice day today, quite a treat after broken weather. Back to camp for dinner at 12 noon and on parade again 1.45 p.m. Worked till 5 p.m. then back to camp for tea, were paid at 6 p.m. A fritz plane over, chased by four of ours, very high. Wrote letters to Dais. and Mam, had cup of tea and in bed at 9 p.m.
Tuesday 30th July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m., very foggy this morning. Roll call and marched to work, working near prisoners compound now, about 500 Hun prisoners in working about here. Turned out very nice day again, plenty of work and kept going. Dinner 12 noon and on parade 12.45 p.m. and back to work, knocked of at 4.45 p.m. and back to camp for tea at 5.15 p.m. Wrote a letter this evening and sent 5 pounds to my a/c in bank at Crewe. Had cup of tea and into bed 9 p.m.
Wednesday 31st July, 1918
Up at reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7.45 a.m. Roll call and marched to work, same work in prisoners compound. Very hot day indeed, knocked off for dinner at 12 noon and on parade again 12.45 p.m. and to work again, the heat roasted us this afternoon and when we knocked off at 4.45 p.m. I went in river for a swim. After tea watched a cricket match, one of our chaps had heavy fall, broke his nose and got pretty severe concussion. Sent him to hospital and then had cup of tea and into bed at 9.30 p.m.