December 1918


1 Sunday

Nothing doing at all today so I spent the morning doing a special clean up and washing a few oddments.  In the afternoon nothing but read.  I feel just as though I were taking the flu.

2 Monday

Feel worse this morning and intend seeing doctor tonight. Got a letter from home today informing me that my Father was seriously injured at his work on Friday morning Nov.29th and was taken to Durham Infirmary.  I did not see the doctor tonight as pay parade was held at the time.

3 Tuesday

Sent off an application for special leave this morning.  It will take four days to reach the Div. so I need not look for my answer until Sunday.  I am still about the same myself.  More rain again today.  I visited the doctor tonight.  He examined me and gave some pills.

4 Wednesday

Still feeling very much off colour today but felt better towards night.  Weather very misty and damp.  Had a letter today to say my laddie was out of hospital again and my father keeping very well but likely to need an operation.

5 Thursday

No entry

6 Friday

We have three officers now, one back from leave the other back from his unit.

7 Saturday

Weather quite a change today, more like spring.  Had a letter from home to say that my Mrs. was ill with the flu and had been in bed since Monday.

8 Sunday

No Parade today.  Weather very fine and bright so I intended having a ride into Amiens but Cpl. Noakes who owns the bike wanted it himself until it was too late for me to go out.  He was not out either.  So I spent the whole day indoors except going out for meals.

9 Monday   

Weather still keeps fine.  Got a reply today to my application for Xmas leave so it looks as though I will have a Xmas at home this year.  I am still full of cold in the head but much better than I was all last week.  Letter from home dated Dec.4th saying my wife is no better.

10 Tuesday

No letters from home except one dated Nov.30th[1]  Weather broken again.  Just the usual work today.

11 Wednesday

Again no letter from home so am looking forward for one tomorrow to see how my wife and Father are keeping.  I sent £2 in registered letter today.  Weather fearful and wet but very close.  Too close for time of the year.

12 Thursday

Still no news from home.  I wonder if all are going well.  I am rather uneasy getting no news.  Got a reply yesterday to my second application for leave saying that as I was a “very” senior NCO I would get first special, if any, for Xmas.

13 Friday

Still carrying out exams that were commenced on Wed.  Weather very bad.  I have no news from home.

14 Saturday

Got a letter today so feel more content now.  Weather fine.  Nothing of importance to mention.  Usual Saturday night bath then into kip.

15 Sunday

Nothing doing all day except to kill time I spent the morning checking test papers.  Our new OC Coy came down today and is staying over tonight.

16 Monday

Saw new OC this morning.  Received a medical paper today to fill up and be medically examined for discharge.  So it looks as though I will get discharged instead of leave for Xmas.

17 Tuesday

Testing students in sending exam this morning.  Spent the afternoon indoors.  I did not sleep all night until after 2 this morning.  Went to MO tonight he said that I had got the wrong paper for discharge.  I wonder what will happen now.  Weather raw and wet.

18 Wednesday

I had a ride into Amiens this afternoon for a few Xmas cards {photo}.  Had a pleasant afternoon getting back in a rain storm about 4.30.

19 Thursday

Today is the last day of the school this year.  Students return to units tomorrow.  School reopens early in Jan.  in the Le Quesnoy area.  A wire tonight from the Div. with reference to my discharge, it put the tin hat on leave.

20 Friday

Students moved off at one o’clock today.  About 33 all told staying until 27th so we have made arrangements for a Xmas dinner.  Nothing tomorrow but kill time.

21 Saturday & 22 Sunday

No entries

23 Monday

These last three days the worst trouble has been to kill time, nothing to do but eat, sleep and write letters.  Got more forms today to fill up for my discharge.  The last ones sent down by some fool were the wrong forms.

24 Tuesday

Went into Amiens straight after breakfast and got back about 5.30pm.  Had a most enjoyable day and a right fine dinner.  Got stuff for a dinner tomorrow as well.  We rode in and out on the GS Wagon.

25 Wednesday

I spent a very quiet day.  Breakfast at 9am.  Dinner at 1pm then spent the afternoon listening to a gramophone.  I stayed in billet letter writing at night.  Nothing special in the village except church services.

26 Thursday

The only thing was to see all stores ready for loading on to the lorries when they arrive as we are supposed to move tomorrow.  Lorries did not arrive so it looks as though it will be late by we get away tomorrow.

27 Friday

Up at 6 breakfast at 7 so as to get away early but lorries did not land until 4pm then only 3 arrived instead of 4.  We load up at 7.30 tomorrow then move off as soon as loaded.  Rained the whole day long.

28 Saturday

Up betimes loaded and left at 9.40.  It rained the whole day.  We travelled via Albert, Bapaume to Cambrai where we stayed overnight in Institute Gran d’Arc.  It was about dark when we arrived so saw very little of the town.  It had been badly damaged by the Bosche.

29 Sunday 

Left Cambrai 9am stopped an hour at Solesmes arriving Le Quesnoy at 1pm.  I had dinner with Sig. Coy. NCOs then went on to Villers Pol where the School is commencing with the Coy. lorry as the other lorries had gone on.  From four kms west of Albert is one stretch of desolation and destruction right up to Solesmes, beyond there is not so bad.  Albert and Bapaume has not one house standing.  I passed close by the Butte de Warlencourt of the Somme fame.  Billets here in Villers Pol are very poor.

30 Monday

I went round with Cmdt. choosing billets for the school and preparing various other necessities.  I can barely walk today with my foot but cannot say what is the cause of it.  Got a civil billet today with people who have all been civil prisoners.

31 Tuesday

Received orders at 11.30 to report at Div. immediately to proceed to England for discharge.  Packed up and got away with ration wagon at 12.30 without either breakfast or dinner as rations had not arrived.  Got to Div. about 1pm, reported, saw MO and got fixed up for the night as I leave in the morning.  I am taking charge of a party of 6 or 7.  Sig. Coy. had a concert starting at 9.30 until after midnight.  I spent a jolly night there thus finishing up the old year.

Credit balance as per Statement of accounts from Pay Master up to and including Sept 27/15



[1] He must have missed the one dated Dec.4th recorded the previous day

MEMORANDA [Note: This memoranda details the route of the withdrawal of some British troops from the Somme in the face of the German Spring Offensive] 

March 26 Harbonniers to Marcelcave via Guillancourt and Wiencourt, 5 miles

March 27 Marcelcave to Villiers Brettoneux via Cachy, Gentelles then back to Villiers Bret. 9 miles

March 28 Villiers Bretoneux next day to Sourdan via Hangard, Domart, Berteaucourt, Moreuil, Morisel and Mailly-Raineval 15¼miles

March 29 Sourdan to Boves via Louvrechy, Ailly sur noye, Remiencourt and Cottenchy 12 mls.

March 30 Boves to Sains-en-Amiens 3½mls.

March 31 Sains-en-Amiens to Bourdon via St. Fuscien, Pont de Metz, Ferrieres, Picquigny, Crouy and Hougest 20¼mls.

April 1 Bourdon to Domvast via Flixecourt, Surcamps, Douques and Yurench 15¾mls.

April 2 Domvast to Dourier via Marcheville, Le Boisle and Dompierre about 20kms=13mls.

April 4 Willieman to Fiefs distance 15½mls moved via Humcries, Bermicourt, Eps and Bayaval

April 5 Fiefs to Robecq distance 15½mls.  Moved via Nedon, Ames, Lieres, Lilliers and Busnes

 April 8 Robecq to a village north of Merville distance 8¼mls.

April 11 Merville to thiennes via La Motte, Hargebrouck, Morbecque and Steenbecque a distance of 12½mls.

April 16 Thiennes to Roquetoire via Boeseghem, Wittes distance 7½mls.

April 20 Roquetoire to Aire distance 4½mls

April 26 Aire to Callonne raucourt via Lambres, Marzinghem, St. Hilaire, Ames, Ferfay distance 13mls.

Total 157½mls.