June 1917

Friday 1st June, 1917

Fritz started shelling 11 p.m. last night, woke me up. Were ordered out of our huts at 2.30 a.m. and took cover under hedge bank. He put 140 shells round us during night, casualties in other units. Reveille 6.30, parade 7 a.m., roll call and physical drill till 7.30 a.m. Parade again 9 a.m., roll call, orders and kit inspection. Fixed up two of our chaps who are sick. Parade 1.30 p.m., roll call and dismissed. Wrote letter and turned in near hedge in open at 9 p.m. Lovely day.

Saturday 2nd June, 1917

Quiet night. Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30 a.m. Parade at 9 a.m., roll call and orders then dismissed. Inspection of billets by O.C. at 10. After dinner our section played transports cricket and lost. Fritz plane over. Quiet evening and in bed in hut 9 p.m.

Sunday 3rd June, 1917

Routine as yesterday with little gas drill, our guns booming. Our section played C section cricket and lost. 2 fritz planes over. Fine day and in bed 9 p.m., lights out 9.30 p.m.

Monday 4th June, 1917

Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., physical drill till 7.30. On parade 9 a.m., roll call, orders and dismissed. Had game cards. Had game cricket against B. section, we won by 6 runs. After tea watched boxing tournament till 8.30 p.m. Our guns going solidly, blew up fritz ammunition dump. Fritz plane over very high. Beautiful day and in bed 9 p.m.

Tuesday 5th June, 1917

Slept outside last night. Routine as yesterday with gas drill at 9 a.m. After dinner had bath. Fritz plane over about 6.30 a.m. and bombed an ammunition train near Bailleul. About 3 p.m. our guns put up barrage on enemy, sky full of smoke and dust. Barrage eased about 4 p.m. but guns still going solidly. Watched boxing after tea and in bed 9 p.m.

Wednesday 6th June, 1917

Had gas alarm at 2.15 a.m. and had our helmets on for half hour. Reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed as most of chaps have got diarrhoea. On parade 9 a.m., roll call, orders and lecture by Major Furber. Our guns going solidly. Had quiet afternoon at cards. After tea selected teams for sports tomorrow and in bed 9 p.m.

Thursday 7th June, 1917

Gas alarm just after 1 a.m., soon over. Our guns put up barrage about 2 a.m. Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m., roll call, dismissed. On parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders then went for swim. Had to hurry back, pack up and went out by motor to Kandahar Farm. Left again on foot at 6.15 p.m. and reached Reg. Aid Post, Spring St. about 7.15, dressing wounded till midnight.

Friday 8th June, 1917

Busy dressing till 3.30 a.m., when lay down and slept till 7.30 a.m. Dressing wounded till dinner time. After dinner went up with bearers to Messines Aid Post, had to go through fritz's barrage fire, very hot time. Brought back wounded chap and busy dressing again for rest of day. Five of our chaps killed and some wounded. Our guns all round us going continuously. Fritz shelling our way all the time. Tremendous barrage fire this evening from both sides.

Saturday 9th June, 1917

Dressing all night. Fritz counter attacked last night but was driven back, still shelling us. Lay down about 9 a.m. and had nap till about 12 noon, dressing again all afternoon and till midnight. Fritz put some gas shells over near us. Capt. Wynn wounded. One of our planes shot down, and a Fritz. A little quieter this evening.

Sunday 10th June, 1917

On all night till 7 a.m. when lay down till dinner time. Took boots off for first time and had wash and shave. Shelled us heavily today. Up for dinner and on duty again, wounded still coming in at midnight

  Monday 11th June, 1917

Quietest night since have been here but still had good number through. Fitz put gas shells over about 3 a.m. Chlorine pretty strong for about half hour, also he put H.E.'s all round us. Had breakfast and lay down about 9.30 a.m., slept till 4.30 p.m. Best sleep since have been here, have not had my clothes off yet. On duty after tea, tear shells put over by fritz about 6 p.m., shelling us all the time. Very busy up to midnight.

Tuesday 12th June, 1917

Busy till 6.30 a.m., had breakfast 8 a.m. Saw plane come down on fire. Turned in for nap 10 a.m. and up at 12 noon. Quiet till 6 p.m. when fritz started shelling us very heavily with big H.E.'s. Made it a very hot shop until we were relieved by Tommies at 8 p.m. when went back to Kandahar farm arriving about 9.15 p.m. thoroughly tired out but otherwise well. Had drink of cocoa, got stretcher and undressed before turning in for first time since went up.

Wednesday 13th June, 1917

Up at 7.30 a.m., had breakfast, packed up and marched out 9.30 to just outside Nieppe, about 50 yards across border into France. Arrived about 11 a.m. and put into huts, put up tent before dinner. After dinner went for swim and had clean change afterwards. Took dirty clothing to be washed. Lovely day and glad of a rest. Ordered not to leave camp tonight. Nothing more doing so turned into bed 8 p.m.

Thursday 14th June, 1917

Reveille 7 a.m. and breakfast 7.30 a.m. On parade 9 a.m., roll call and orders then dismissed. Afterwards took my washing out. Not allowed to leave camp as have to stand by. Wrote some letters this afternoon and just after tea had a letter from Dad who is in Belgium. Into bed 9 p.m. Fritz put few long range shells over.

Friday 15th June, 1917

Up 7.30, breakfast and on parade 9 a.m. Gas helmet and boot inspection then went to Bailleul to try and find Dad, did no good. Back at dinner time. This afternoon had some sports among ourselves, one Sergeant broke his leg (Schofield). Beautiful day, turned into bed 9 p.m.

Saturday 16th June, 1917

Reveille 7.30, breakfast 8 a.m., parade 9 a.m. when heard where Dad was. Got permission and Harry and I went to see him about 15 miles away near Popperinghe. Delighted to see us, had dinner and tea with him, had fine day. Came back with us in motor as far as Loene after which we jumped motor lorries and arrived back at camp at 8 p.m. tired but happy and in bed 9 p.m.

Sunday 17th June, 1917

Reveille 5.30, on parade 6.45 and marched to Steenwerk about 3 miles, took over D.R.S. Awfully hot day, but quiet. On duty in charge of night staff at 7 p.m., busy till 9 p.m. then quiet till midnight.

Monday 18th June, 1917

Quiet night so had a nap from 1 a.m. till 5 a.m. when went round wards to see all is correct. Relieved at 7 a.m. and had breakfast then turned in but too hot to sleep. Had bath after dinner and took my washing out. Cool change with thunder and lightning at 4 p.m., very glad of it. On duty 7 p.m., things very quiet, about 300 patients but none very serious. Sat up writing letters till midnight.

Tuesday 19th June, 1917

Very quiet after midnight so caught a nap from 1 a.m. till 4.30 when woke up by anti- aircraft guns firing at 16 fritz planes which they drove off. Off duty at 7 a.m. and after breakfast turned in for sleep. Up for dinner and got cleaned, had look at cricket match, B. section and Transport, former won, then went out for tea, had eggs and chips. Back and on duty 7 p.m. Fritz put shell in church close by, killed 2 women, wounded padre and man. Very quiet till midnight.

Wednesday 20th June, 1917

Lay down at midnight and slept till 5.30 a.m., went round saw everything correct and off duty 7 a.m., turned in 9 a.m. and up again dinner time. Had read and smoke then went for my washing. Watched our boys playing cricket. About 5 p.m. several fritz planes attacked our balloons bringing down 2 on fire. Our guns appeared to bring down 2 enemy planes. Rained a little after tea. On duty 7 p.m., busy for time getting serious case away then all quiet till midnight.

  Thursday 21st June, 1917

Very quiet after midnight so had a sleep till 5 a.m., saw everything satisfactory before going off duty 7 a.m. Turned in 9 a.m. and slept till dinner time 12.30 noon. Lay in tent after dinner reading till tea time. Inclined to be showery today, but warm. On duty 7 p.m. but very quiet so sat yarning till midnight.

Friday 22nd June, 1917

Very quiet after midnight. Called Major Welch, who was going out to put crosses on graves of our chaps killed near Messines, at 2.30 a.m. then lay down till 5 a.m. Off duty 7 a.m. and in bed 8 a.m. Up just after dinner and yarned till tea time, rained a little. On duty 7 p.m., very quiet. Two of us cooked dinner which 6 of us had at midnight, fried rabbit, potatoes and tinned tomatoes and coffee, excellent.

Saturday 23rd June, 1917

Had sleep after midnight till 5 a.m., saw everything correct and off duty 7 a.m., breakfast and slept till dinner time. Fritz plane brought down 3 of our balloons and our anti-aircraft guns brought down fritz plane close to here. Turned in and went on duty midnight.

Sunday 24th June, 1917

On duty in charge A block (3 wards) till 7 p.m. About 90 patients. Saw fritz plane shot down. Off duty 7 p.m. Send off to Capt. Douglas and in bed 9.30.

Monday 25th June, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on duty 7 a.m. Supervised the work of our tent sub-division and had everything cleaned for inspection by orderly officer Capt. Trumble. Inspection by D.D.M.S. 2nd Anzacs at 12 noon, everything alright. Fritz put shrapnel over this way at one of our ballons with no success. Guns booming harder tonight. Started to rain 8 p.m., in bed 9 p.m.

Tuesday 26th June, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders then on duty hospital. Various small duties to do and to see all correct. Inspection at 11 a.m. by orderly officer. Couple of fritz planes over very high, soon driven off. Beautiful day, did some writing and off duty 7 p.m. Turned in 8.30 p.m.

Wednesday 27th June, 1917

Woke at 4 a.m. by our anti-aircraft guns driving some fritz planes off that were dropping bombs. Reveille 6.30, on parade 7 a.m. Routine of day as yesterday, get very dull on these jobs. Lovely day, had game of bridge before tea. Off duty 7 p.m., had a yarn and into bed 9 p.m.

Thursday 28th June, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed to duties. Borrowed bike and set out to see Dad at 9 a.m. about 15 miles to go and arrived about 11 a.m., roads very bad. Dad looking splendid, had good day together and got a motor lorry back leaving at 6.15 p.m. and getting to Steenwerck 7.30 p.m. Started to rain heavily about 8 p.m. Saw one of our balloons struck by lightning, split the envelope, in bed 9 p.m.

Friday 29th June, 1917

Heavy thunder and lightning during night, reveille 6.30 and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and dismissed to duties. After dinner a sports meeting was held. I entered for wheelbarrow race but did not win, have not much interest in this unit now, it has been knocked out of me. Sports were continued after tea. Relieved at 7 p.m. and after a yarn turned into bed 9 p.m.

Saturday 30th June, 1917

Reveille 6.30 a.m. and on parade 7 a.m., roll call and orders and then on duty at hospital, usual duties, rained pretty heavily. Capt. Findlay went on leave to England taking a Pte's turn, utter rotter. Off duty 7 p.m. Am having a weary time. Had yarn and in bed 9 p.m.