July 1917

Sunday 1st July, 1917

Routine as yesterday, rained lightly. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.

Monday 2nd July, 1917

General Holmes killed. Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital. Beautiful day again. Several fritz planes over but soon driven off. Can hear our guns in distance booming very heavily, guess fritz is having a bad time. Off duty 7 p.m., had yarn and into bed 9 p.m.

Tuesday 3rd July, 1917

After getting to bed last night fritz planes came over about 10.30 p.m. and dropped number of bombs in neighbourhood, not heard of any damage. They also fired their machine guns over us. Reveille 6.30 and parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders. Routine of rest of day as usual. Beautiful day. One fritz plane shot down. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.

Wednesday 4th July, 1917

Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital. Usual daily routine, very monotonous. News of Russian offensive and hopes of a speedy end of war. The King somewhere in this vicinity today, good number of our planes about. Little rain, otherwise good day. Off duty 7 p.m., had a yarn and in bed 9 p.m.

Thursday 5th July, 1917

Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital, usual routine. Had elderly Frenchman in badly knocked about by a motor car. Very fine day. A fritz plane over very high this afternoon, our planes active, fair amount of gun fire to the north. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.

Friday 6th July, 1917

Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and on duty at hospital, routine same. Beautiful day, held some sports this afternoon, was not interested, am tired of this unit. Fritz shelled one of our balloons near here, his shells missed their mark and came dangerously close to us. Off duty 7 p.m. and in bed 9 p.m.

Saturday 7th July, 1917

Fritz planes over last night bombing, dropped some on No. 2 A.C.C.S. near here and went on to Bailleul, dropping a number there, some on No. 11 C.C.S., R.A.M.C., killed 2 nurses and number of patients and R.A.M.C. staff, dropped large number bombs, wrecked houses and killed civilians. Routine as yesterday, in bed 9 p.m.

Sunday 8th July, 1917

Heavy rainstorm during night and vivid lightning, up as usual and routine the same, cleaned up during day. On duty till 12 midnight when turned in.

Monday 9th July, 1917

Up at 6.30 a.m., had breakfast, borrowed a bike and set of at 8.15 to see Dad, arriving about 10 a.m. Spent pleasant day together and saw his O.C. about a transfer for myself, said he would have me and gave me an approval. Started back 6.15 p.m. and arrived Steenwerk 7.30 p.m. Wrote out my application for transfer and put it into Orderly room. On duty tonight.

Tuesday 10th July, 1917

Things quiet during night so managed to get short sleep. Off duty 7 a.m., had breakfast and yarned for a while. Inquired at orderly room and found my transfer had been approved and sent on by O.C. After dinner had game of cards and watched a cricket match. Fine day today. On duty 7 p.m. A lot of our planes about at 12 midnight otherwise all pretty quiet.

  Wednesday 11th July, 1917

Things very quiet so had a nap and off duty 7 a.m., had a sleep till about 11 a.m., very nice day. Played cards in afternoon. A fritz plane set fire to one of our balloons close by. Received news of further Russian successes, looks like finish of the war this year. Had a yarn after tea and on duty 7 p.m., very quiet up to midnight.

Thursday 12th July, 1917

Fritz planes over about 3.30 a.m. bombing not far away, Had a short sleep and off duty 7 a.m. Fritz shelled Bailleuil this morning killing some civilians and wrecking houses. Went for ride with pal on bikes to Bac. St. Maur. Very nice day. On duty at 7 p.m., very quiet up to midnight.

Friday 13th July, 1917

Lot of our planes about at 1 a.m., went over towards enemy lines, probably bombing. Two Fritz planes brought down near here yesterday but did not see them. Very hot today, had game of cards and did some writing. On duty 7 p.m. and very quiet again up till midnight.

Saturday 14th July, 1917

Lay down for sleep about 1 a.m., was woke at 3 a.m. Fritz planes bombing. Dropped four about 100 yds from us, made holes in field 12 ft diameter and 5 ft deep. Off duty 7 a.m. and turned in till dinner time, played cards till tea time and on duty 7 p.m., very quiet.

Sunday 15th July, 1917

Just one fritz came over and dropped bombs, no damage. Quiet night and off duty 7 a.m. Had good sleep and very quiet day. In bed 8 p.m. and slept till midnight.

Monday 16th July, 1917

On duty 12 last night, a fritz over about 3 a.m. Took over A block building 7 a.m., about 130 patients. Very busy till dinner time. After dinner fairly quiet, had a read. Fritz plane attempted to bring down one of our balloons, was driven off by anti- aircraft guns. Beautiful day. Off duty 7 p.m., things very quiet, had yarn and in bed 9 p.m.

Tuesday 17th July, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and on duty hospital. Various duties kept me busy till mid-day, beautiful day. Fritz plane over, our guns going solidly by the sound of them. Watched game cricket after dinner. Off duty 7 p.m. had yarn and in bed 9 p.m.

Wednesday 18th July, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and on duty hospital. My transfer came through today, will be leaving tomorrow. Duties as usual and off duty 7 p.m. At 8 p.m. the boys gave me a little dinner as a send off, steak, eggs, chips, salad and coffee, very nice, a few words of good wishes etc. Packed up lot of my things and in bed 10 p.m.

Thursday 19th July, 1917

Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed. Packed my gear, shook hands with the boys and left at 10.15 a.m. in motor, arrived at Rly unit about 11.30 a.m., reported at Orderly Room and had dinner with Dad. Went out on job this afternoon, finished about 3.30 p.m., cleaned myself, had tea. Building a nice hut to sleep in, worked on it till 9.30 p.m. and in bed.

Friday 20th July, 1917

My dear brother Fred of 46th Batt. was killed on July 18th 1917, six days after joining his Batt. and about 2 hours before coming out of line. Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. No job for me so went on building hut. Harry arrived about 10 a.m. brought news of Fred's death, can't say how I've felt today. Dad terribly upset, Officers and men most considerate, its been an awful day. Wrote a letter to Mam after tea, its very hard to write. Had wash and shave and in bed 9.30 p.m.

  Saturday 21st July, 1917

Up at 7.30 and had breakfast, put into extra emergency breakdown gang. Got wagon and filled it with tools, then went on building and improving our hut, very nice day. Very trying, trying to keep Dad's spirits up. Turned into bed about 9.30 p.m.

Sunday 22nd July, 1917

Up 7.30, nothing doing before dinner. Called up line to load guns at 2 p.m. Guns did not come so came back. Had quiet time, went to church, in bed 10 p.m.

Monday 23rd July, 1917

Up 7.30 and had breakfast, went out and loaded more tools, after dinner called out to load old motors to be sent away. Crane came off line, took about hour to put it on, worked hard till tea time 5 p.m. Guns going solidly today. Fritz plane dropped bombs near here last night. Fine day, in bed about 10 p.m.

Tuesday 24th July, 1917

Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and called out on job at 9 a.m. Sent back at 9.30 as are now on night duty as temporary breakdown gang. Did some writing and had a sleep. At 7.30 p.m. called out and had to go up line past "flamestinghe" to put engine on rails which had come off. Fritz put some shrapnel near us. Finished and back at camp at 10.45 p.m. and turned in fully dressed.

Wednesday 25th July, 1917

Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. Fritz put few shells over during night. Wrote a letter, rained hard, were issued with oil skins. Fritz shelled near here after dinner, killed 2 tommies, wounded one. Called out for breakdown up line at 6 p.m. but were sent back as men up there had fixed it up. About 9 p.m. our guns opened up solidly and were going at it for all they were worth when turned in at 10 p.m.

Thursday 26th July, 1917

Our guns going like mad until 4 a.m., was not called out all night. Up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and did some writing. Padre brought register No. of Fred's grave. Harry came up about 10.30 a.m., said he was going on leave to England on

Sunday. Our guns opened up again this afternoon. Our planes very busy this evening, also saw a Yankee plane. Building an addition to our hut. Called out at 9 p.m. for breakdown near Wyshaete, back at 4 a.m.

Friday 27th July, 1917

Turned in at 4 a.m. and up for breakfast. Had quiet day, very nice and our planes and guns active. Called out at 5 p.m., went out with tractor, fixed up two breakdowns and went on to another past Spoilbank, got there 9.30 p.m. Got road clear and fritz shelled us out so had to leave, fritz shelling very heavily. Fixed up another small job at Vauxhall, got blocked in on line, then went back about 12 p.m. past Spoilbank again. Got mustard gas.

Saturday 28th July, 1917

Arrived on job again just at daybreak and finished it. Fritz much quieter. Set off for home 5 a.m., passed our heavy batteries firing heavily and arrived home at 7 a.m. and turned in. Up for dinner, very nice day. Did some writing this afternoon. German plane over dropped bombs close by this evening. Turned in about 10 p.m.

Sunday 29th July, 1917

Not called out during night, very heavy rain storm all day, did not go out. Standing by from 5 p.m. and into bed 10 p.m.

Monday 30th July, 1917

Not called out during night. Up at 7 a.m. and had breakfast. On day shift this week. Was busy this morning working on crane, unloaded some machinery. After dinner on crane again unloading some new trucks, finished at 4 p.m. Rained a little again today. Spent quiet evening in hut. Some rumours of our great offensive starting early in morning. Into bed at 10.30 p.m.

Tuesday 31st July, 1917

Was awakened at 4 a.m. by drum fire of our artillery. Got up at 7 a.m., loaded some tanks on wagons and went to Wellington and put an engine on the rails, back for dinner. News of our offensive very good, reported all objectives taken. Saw large number of German prisoners brought in this afternoon and unloaded some broken trucks before tea. Our guns still going tonight. Started raining, in bed 10 p.m.