January 1917

JANUARY 1917

1 Monday

Beginning of a New Year with reveille at 6am.  Very busy up to 10am when convoy moved off after a deal of trouble.  I was left behind to get all cleaned up and follow with the motor lorry.  I got away just after 20m arriving Fricourt Farm at 4.30.  Nothing special after that.

2 Tuesday

All GS wagons out today taking cable up to Bazentin Station.  Very short of drivers makes it damned awkward.  Will be worse still tomorrow as then 7 men and a Sgt are going forward.

3 Wednesday to 5 Friday

No entries

6 Saturday

Our CSM returned from leave at an early hour this morning.  We also got news that one of my signallers, Sap B. Brown[1] was killed last night with a HE Shrapnel at Eaucourt l’Abbaye.

7 Sunday

No entry

8 Monday

Sap. Brown was buried about 11am.  A few of us were present at his burial in the Flat Iron Cemetery.  The weather these last few days has been very wet and cold.  Fritzy still sends a few shells over every night.

9 Tuesday to 21 Sunday

No entries

22 Monday

I have had no entries of worth to make as each day has been a repetition of others.  The weather is fearfully cold.

23 Tuesday

Weather very cold 15˚ frost.  Saw quite an interesting exhibition this afternoon.  One of our balloons had got damaged somehow.  They tried to haul it in but it tossed and dived so that the officer came down in the parachute.  The balloon later broke away.  He got down quite safe.

24 Wednesday

25˚ frost during night.  Got permission, had a walk over to see mine crater at La Boiselle. [2]  It is about 100yds in diameter and about 80 deep.  The Tyneside Scottish and Irish suffered very heavily at that point on 1/7/16.  Enemy aeroplanes have been very active these few days.

25 Thursday

Not so cold today.  We are preparing for a move to Ribemont on Sunday

26 Friday

About 15˚ frost.  Enemy planes still very busy.  Lt. Cadman, Sig.Officer 150 Bde[3] killed today near Eaucourt.

27 Saturday

Still cold, busy packing for move tomorrow.

28 Sunday

Moved off 10am and travelled via La Boiselle arriving Ribemont after a very cold ride, about 2pm.  Have got very decent shelter for the horses but billets for the men are bad.

29 Monday – 31 Wednesday

No entries

Notes:

[1] 2706 Sapper Herbert Brown RE (formerly 3/1st N.D. Signal Coy. RE) was killed in action 6 January 1917.  He was 20 years old and is buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, France.

[2] See photograph

[3] Lieutenant C.J. Cadman MC RE (Div. Sig. CO) was killed in action 26 January 1917.  He was 24 years old and is buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, France.