January 1917

Monday 1st January, 1917

Slept better, up 5.30, gave hand to fix up hall for tonight, had practice song. On duty 2 p.m., early tea for patients and at hall 5 p.m., nice spread. New O.C. Col. Follet present. Sang in two quartets, "Sweet and low" and "O who will oe'r the downs", also sang "My little grey home in the west". Evening closed 8 p.m., went to billet and played bridge. Turned in 10 p.m.

Tuesday 2nd January, 1917

Slept well and up 8.30, did some washing. Orders out for us to move tomorrow, got my equipment ready. Did some writing before dinner. Packed panniers etc. this afternoon and loaded them on G.S. Wagon. Cleaned up and fixed everything for early start in morning. Very quiet evening and turned in 8 p.m.

Wednesday 3rd January, 1917

Slept splendidly. Reveille 6.30, rolled blankets, had wash and breakfast 7.15 then loaded blankets on Amb. Wagon. On parade 8.15, marched out 9 a.m. Passed through Fresselles, Villers-Brocage and Rainville to Cardonette, 10 miles. Arrived 1 p.m., billetted in old barn, very muddy marching. Had game bridge and in bed 8 p.m.

Thursday 4th January, 1917

Reveille 7.30. Breakfast 8 a.m. and on parade 8.45, marched out 9. Passed through St. Gration and had dinner in road at Quersiere about 12.30 then marched on to Ribemont about 12 miles, arrived about 4.30 p.m., rained all the way and terribly muddy. Lots of German prisoners roadmaking. Billetted in large mill. After tea went to good concert. Back and in bed 9 p.m.

Friday 5th January, 1917

Reveille 7 a.m. After breakfast had shave and good wash in River Anen. General parade at 9 a.m., roll call and orders, our section (A) for duty. Detailed men to assist at sick parade then went to cafe and had coffee with some of the boys. After dinner Lieut. Kirkland, 4th bgde Machine Gun Coy asked me to play for his team (soccer) against Anzac Hdqtrs, did so and we won 4-0. Back to mill for tea then had game of bridge and into bed at 7.30 p.m.

Saturday 6th January, 1917

Reveille 7.30 a.m. and on parade 8 a.m., roll call and orders then issued again with gas respirators and steel helmets as will be moving tomorrow. Dismissed and walked to Buire about 3 miles and had bath, back for dinner. Parade 2 p.m. and dismissed. Sent Harry and another man as guard on G.S. Wagon to Becordel. Had game bridge before tea, then arranged kit for morning and in bed 7.30 p.m.

Sunday 7th January, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. Parade 8 a.m. and marched out 8.30 a.m. Arrived Becordel 1 p.m. and put in marquee. Busy afternoon fitting up tent for dressings, operations etc. and turned in 9 p.m. Very muddy and cold.

Monday 8th January, 1917

Up at 7.30 a.m. and on duty 8.30. Completed arrangements in dressing tent, only two wounded cases today but number of dressings. Very cold and squally day, miserable. Relieved and went off duty 8.30 p.m. and turned into bed 9.30 p.m.

Tuesday 9th January, 1917

Up 7.30. Breakfast 8 and on duty 8.30. Cleaned and tidied for inspection at 10 a.m. No. of dressings, did not have any wounded in all day. Very cold, feet wet all day, camp very badly laid out. Posted my photo's home, wrote couple of letters and off duty 8.30 p.m., in bed 9.

Wednesday 10th January, 1917

Up 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30. Got everything fixed up for inspection at 10 a.m. by O.C.'s. Good no. of dressings today, only one wounded case, very severe compound fracture skull. Bitterly cold again today and place a sea of mud. Wrote couple letters tonight. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9.

  Thursday 11th January, 1917

Was woke this morning at 7 a.m. by very heavy gun fire on our left, lasted about hour. Up 7.30 and on duty 8.30, had wounded case in night away, only one dressing etc. Wrote some letters. Spoke to Major Bentley re my promotion and wrote application to O.C. Col. Follit. Little snow, very dark tonight. Off duty 8.30, in bed 9 p.m.

Friday 12th January, 1917

Up 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30, dressings etc. and 3 wounded cases. O.C. sent for me re my application for promotion. Shifted our panniers as someone has been at them. Guns going pretty solidly at intervals. Were paid this afternoon. Finished duty 8.30 and turned in 9 p.m. Received 2 letters.

Saturday 13th January, 1917

Up 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30 a.m. Quiet day again, only one wounded case, dressings etc. Very cold and little snow fell but melted at once. Wrote letters this evening. Off duty 8.30 p.m., in bed 9 p.m.

Sunday 14th January, 1917

Same as yesterday, one wounded. Snowed a little and very cold. Not got promotion I applied for.

Monday 15th January, 1917

Up 7.30, breakfast and on duty 8.30, very frosty and cold. In full charge of tent sub. div. again. Went through panniers and refitted them again. Dressings, foments and one wounded case. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and turned in 9 p.m.

Tuesday 16th January, 1917

Very cold night. Up 7.30, on duty 8.30, very frosty again. Washed and oiled panniers this morning, dressings etc. One wounded case this evening, had game of cards and wrote letter. Off duty 8.30 p.m., in bed 9 p.m.

Wednesday 17th January, 1917

Up 7.30 and on duty 8.30 a.m. Snow fell during night, three or four inches deep this morning and more falling. Had two wounded cases today and usual dressings. Fixed up and re-arranged basket panniers today. Off duty 8.30 p.m. Had to stay on duty tonight.

Thursday 18th January, 1917

Lay down in operating tent about 2 a.m. and was woke at 5, two wounded coming in. Had 6 wounded today in. 14th Field Amb. arrived and relieved us at 7.30 p.m. Pretty busy in various small ways today. Turned in about 9 p.m. Sleeping in theatre to look after our instruments etc.

Friday 19th January, 1917

Up at 7.30, had breakfast and on duty 8.30 at preparatory tent cleaning wounded and putting them into pyjamas. Very cold, snow still on ground, only 2 men and myself on job. Harry in dispensary only had 3 cases and relieved at 8.30 p.m. by C Section. In bed 9 p.m.

Saturday 20th January, 1917

Up 7.30 had breakfast and on duty 8.30. Kept fairly busy today, had good no. of cases, heavy bombardment going on. Very cold again. Off duty 8.30 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.
  Sunday 21st January, 1917

Same as yesterday, not so much doing. Frosty and very cold, had bath at Fricourt, think caught chill, feel very sick tonight.

Monday 22nd January, 1917

Had rotten night, vomited and strained heavily. Up at 7.30, feel as if torn to pieces. Little more snow and bitter cold. Saw Charlie Price a friend in 14th Field Amb. who left us today. Passed very miserable day and went on duty in charge operating theatre 8.30 p.m. Feel anyhow, nothing doing up to midnight.

Tuesday 23rd January, 1917

Did not have case in and went off duty 8.30 a.m. Got into bed, feel sick. Fritz plane over this morning, guns bombarding heavily all day. Very frosty 36 degrees below freezing point can't get warm. Up for tea and on duty 8.30 p.m. Nothing doing up to midnight.

Wednesday 24th January, 1917

Two cases early this morning, one died, amputated his arm, worked at him for two hours. Wrote birthday letter to Dais and off duty 8.30 a.m. Bitter cold again, feel little better but not too good. Fritz plane over again this morning very high. In bed 10 a.m. Up for tea and on duty 8.30 p.m. 2 slight cases. Enemy planes over just before midnight.

Thursday 25th January, 1917

Had no cases after midnight, off duty 8.30 a.m. Very frosty again. Enemy plane over 10 a.m. Made grate for stove in officers' mess and put new lense in Col's pinz nez. Turned in about 1 p.m. slept till 8 p.m., on duty 8.30 p.m. Had row with Sgt. James, threatens orderly room in morning. No cases up to midnight.

Friday 26th January, 1917

No cases came in and off duty 8.30 a.m. Very cold and frosty. Fritz aeroplane over about 10 a.m., driven off by gun fire. Sharp heavy bombardment on our left early in morning. In bed 11 a.m., up 8 p.m. and on duty 8.30. Still very cold. Electric installation failed, one captured from Germans.

Saturday 27th January, 1917

Had no cases at all in and went off duty 8.30 a.m. Fritz plane over again 10 and 11 a.m. Saw Capt. Furber re tucker which is very bad, made no headway. Dinner 12.30 and in bed 1.30 p.m. Up 8 p.m. and on duty 8.30, two cases before midnight, very windy and frosty.

Sunday 28th January, 1917

No cases after midnight, off duty 8.30. Fritz plane over. Turned in after dinner. On duty 8.30 p.m. 3 cases before midnight.

Monday 29th January, 1917

No cases after midnight and off duty 8.30 a.m. Still frosty and cold. Fritz plane over before dinner. Turned in 1 p.m. and up again 8 p.m. On duty 8.30 p.m. Shells passing over us from enemy guns bursting "Albert". Fritz plane up about mile away, heavy explosions. Had four cases before midnight.

Tuesday 30th January, 1917

No more cases in, off duty 8.30. Four of us walked to Albert, saw where bomb dropped close to road, very big crater. Snowed a little today and wind very sharp. Turned in after dinner till 8 p.m. On duty 8.30, our guns going solidly. No cases before midnight so did some writing.

Wednesday 31st January, 1917

One case at 2 a.m., did some more writing and off duty at 8.30 a.m. About two inches of snow this morning but not so cold as wind has dropped. Had breakfast and turned in 10 a.m. Slept most of day till 7.30 p.m. when got up and went on duty 8.30. Guns going sharply at intervals. Had five cases in before midnight.