December 1916

DECEMBER 1916

1 Friday

Reveille 6am left Albert 9.45am arriving Bairyeux [1] at 12.35pm.  The place horses are picketed is one sea of mud.  It was a very cold side.  28 artymen landed today for a 3 weeks course in Signalling Classes commence tomorrow.

2 Saturday

Visual classes commenced at 9am.  Todays work consisted mainly of tests for classifying.  Weather awfully cold.  Billeted in tents night out in open country.

3 Sunday

Frost seems to give a little.  In bed all afternoon, not feeling well.

4 Monday

Weather still very cold and freezing hard.  Keeping better, severe pains in legs.

5 Tuesday

Milder this morning.  Had the sun all day

6 Wednesday to 10 Sunday

No entries

11 Monday

Another class commenced this morning, also a class of officers making five in all.  These classes are not on.  Visual only.  They are learning jointing and repairing also cable laying and crossing.  They also have ——practice and lectures on the Fullerphone and various other instruments.

12 Tuesday

Cover of snow this morning when we turned out of our tents and still snowing heavy

13 Wednesday

Weather still stormy and wet.  No visual work these two days.

14 Thursday to 16 Saturday

No entries

17 Sunday

Had another trip to Amiens.  We left with motor lorry about 9.20am arriving after a cold ride, about 11 am.  We had a very enjoyable day in the town and a right good bath this alone was worth the trouble.  We left again at 7.10 one of the party did not turn up.  Got back about 9pm.

18 Monday

Very cold today.  Freezing hard.  Pretty busy the whole day.

19 Tuesday

We had a slight cover of snow this afternoon, bitter cold and we feel it very severe in these tents.  I think we would have managed very badly if it had not been the D Petrol stove we have.  Got into my blankets about 3pm having finished for the day and it was so warm that I stayed there until next morning.

20 Wednesday

Just had the classes on Flag Drill for 1½ hours then finished for the day.  Classes were on tests on faults on lines and instruments.  Still freezing but a very fine, bright day

21 Thursday

CDM going on leave tonight.  I am acting in his place.

22 Friday

Sig tests for classes today.  This being the last day of the course.

23 Saturday

All sigg classes returned to their various units.  Got camp all cleaned up and returned to our home lines, wind blowing a proper gale ever so many tents etc. blown down.  The mud on the horse lines is without exaggeration about 1ft deep.  The horses standing up to the hocks in it.

24 Sunday

Xmas Eve.  Usual stable duties.  Church parade arranged for 9am.  Paraded then found that service was not until Xmas Day.  Making ready for the men to have dinner and tea in the village school, Bairyeux.  Senior NCOs having dinner in private houses.

25 Monday

Reveille 6.30.  Usual stables, church parade 9am.  Paraded and got on to parade ground then service was cancelled.  Mens dinner served at 11am.  Everything went off fine.  Senior NCOs were present and helped to serve the dinner then we had ours at about 3pm.  After dinner back to the schoolroom until 7.30pm and spent a pleasant night.  Everyman without exception thoroughly enjoyed himself.

26 Tuesday

Got all cleared away after yesterday.  Stared leading chalk for the horse standings.  Going up to Fricourt with OC Thursday morning to look around for taking over at an early date.

27 Wednesday

No entry

28 Thursday

Hard frost during night.  Left in car with OC at 10am for Fricourt Farm.  Car broke a spring at Henencourt.  I got no further so returned with car to Bairyeux.  OC went on with a car from the 3rd Corps Signals.

29 Friday

Went up with a load of stores in motor lorry.  Left here at 9.30 got up after a struggle at noon.  Had a few halts en route to put cold water in cooling tank as engine was running badly and causing water to boil.  Got back 3pm.  Weather bad and raining heavy.  Finished leading chalk today.

30 Saturday

Weather very bad, raining heavy all day.  Very little could be done to the horses except a little exercise.

31 Sunday

Nothing special just ordinary stables and preparation for moving.  I had to see to both office and horse lines.  Got the horses groomed a little today as it was quite dry.  This is the end of another year on active service and we are commencing the new year by moving into action on the Flers front.

Notes:

[1] Bairyeux = Baizieux