April 1916

April 1916

1 Saturday – 7 Friday

No entries

8 Saturday

Marked out to Malborough Camp Base Details.  Paraded 2pm, car did not arrive until 2.40pm.  We set off and picked up a few more at No.1 Conv. Camp[1]  and Napoleon’s Monument arriving here about 3.10.  Not much impressed with the look of it.  Told off to a tent and warned at 3.40pm for a fatigue at 6.45 next morning.

9 Sunday

6.45am set off with fatigue party.  Got our car at 7.15 arriving at the Base Detail Issue Stores at 7.35.  The work, being Sunday, was not heavy and finished at noon, our car getting us to camp at 12.15pm.

10 Monday

On sandbag fatigue on the sea beach.  Left camp 7.30 arriving on beach 8.30.  About 3.30pm a mine sweeper towed in quite near to where we were then a destroyer fired and exploded it.  A terrible report and a column of water was flung up 80ft.

11 Tuesday

7.30am called out to go to Base at 12noon moved off.  L/C of party of 47 for Harfluer.[2]  Arrived station 12.30 but train did not leave until 4.30.  We had tea at Abbeville, passed through Rouen at 7.5am on the following day.  It was cold travelling in the trucks. {photo}

12 Wednesday

Arrived Harfleur about 9.50am after being about 17 hours on the train.  I came across a few old friends in our Divisional camp.  One I had not seen since last April.

12 Thursday

Nothing to do all day.  At night has a visit to Harfleur and Gravel and spent a very enjoyable night.

14 Friday

My stay here is short and sweet.  Ordered to draw all kit etc ready to proceed to Abbeville tonight.  Fell in at 7.30pm, left camp 9pm arriving Le Havre 10.50pm.  Entrained and moved out at 1am.  All leave again stopped.

15 Saturday

Arrived Rouen about 5.30am and stopped there all day, eventually moving off at 4pm.  Passed through Amiens about 9pm arriving Abbeville 11.45.  Instead of going up to camp we settled down on the train for the night.

16 Sunday

Awakened at 5am, had a drink of tea then moved off for camp arriving about 7am.

17 Monday

Marked up to leave and rejoin my unit.  Paraded 9pm arriving station about 10pm.  Got my train after the usual chasing around for the RTO at about 1.40am.

18 Tuesday

Left Abbeville 1.40 arriving Etaples between 5 & 6am.  Passed through Boulogne at 7.30am.  Stopped at Calais at 8.24 to enable us to have breakfast.  Moved at 9.15am arriving St. Omer at 10.25, arriving Hazebrouck at 11.35am, do not get a train until 6.26pm for Bailleul.  Arrived Bailleul 7.5pm and went to stay the night in the Rue Dilloulin.

19 Wednesday

Left Bailleul at about 5.40pm arriving Westoutre about 6pm.  Stayed there all night.

20 Thursday

Left Westoutre at 9am arriving La Clytte[3] 10.0am.  Back again to my old section but find I am pushed out of any position by the new officer.  I find things are not at all satisfactory for me but I suppose I will get over it.

21 Good Friday

Nothing much doing all day.  Very fine until dinner when it changed to rain.

22 Saturday

11am went to our Battle HQ then to 6th Batt and one of our test stations.  Completed what I set out to do and got back just before enemy commenced straffing.  Relieved by 8th Bde.  Moved off at 5.30pm and got to our new place about 6.30pm.  Soaked through as it rained the whole blessed day long.  Installed in a private billet.

23 Easter Day

Very fine day.  Went on to hill near monastery and had a good look around.  Could see all the large towns also the coast.  Spent a lazy day.

24 Easter Monday

Enemy aeroplanes 23 bombs on aviation ground Bailleul.  The only damage was three ambulance motor—–belonging to hospital near.  No casualties.

25 Tuesday

Enemy aeroplanes dropped 15 bombs on aviation ground at Abeele.  No damage or casualties.  I had a ride off to our old billets at La Clytte.

26 Wednesday

Weather still continues very fine.  One bomb dropped near 9th Batt billets.  This aeroplane was shot down about an hour later near Fletre[4] by one of our planes.  It nose-dived from about 3000ft.  Both men and plane were knocked to pieces.  Heavy firing can be heard to the right of Armentieres.

27 Thursday

Germans attacked near Loos at about 7.30am after sending two clouds of gas over, one at 5.20am the other about 7.15.  They got into our trenches but were driven out by counter attack 30 mins later.  Firing still continues.

28 Friday

Bde paraded at 9.30am just west of the village of Mont des Cats for inspection by Gen. Sir Douglas Haig.  We were not on parade but I had look down and saw the whole proceedings.

29 Saturday

Nothing to record until about 3pm when intense artillery fire could be heard at two or three points on our front.  That towards Armentieres we could see distinctly.

30 Sunday

2.25am Message states enemy made two large gas attacks on the 3rd Div. on the La Clytte front, the other on the 24th Div.  The Bdes. concerned were the 9th and 76th We were ordered to stand ready to move.  Later message cancelled this order and stated all quiet on both fronts.


[1] No.1 Convalescent Camp

[2] Harfleur is north of Le Havre

[3] La Clytte=de Klijte

[4] Flêtre