January 1919


1 Wednesday

Reported RTO with party of 6 entrained and left 12 noon arriving Cambrai about 1.45.  Saw numerous bridges and other buildings destroyed by Fritzy.  We were marched to the Miners Discharge billet in a part of a large collage which had been used as a hospital by the Bosche.  At night I had a look into the town then went to a panto Red Riding Hood given by the 25th Div. Concert Party in the college theatre.  The panto was as good as anything that I have seen at home.

2 Thursday

Paraded at 9.20 for interview with a Mining Officer when papers were all collected.  I then had a stroll out to look for a cinema so that we could find it tonight.  Went to the MT Cinema this afternoon then to the RAF Cinema in the town theatre tonight.  The cinema put the time over A1.

3 Friday

Paraded 9.30 and put into parties of each Regt. then dismissed until train time.  Paraded again at 2.15 marched off at 2.30.  I had a party of 65 REs entrained and away by 3.5pm.  The carriage had neither doors nor windows.  I never experienced such a train journey before.  We were nearly half stiff with cold and did not reach our destination until 2.40pm on the 4th.  23½rs.on the journey.  We travelled via Albert, Arras, Hazebrouck, St. Omer and Watten detraining at [no town entered] then had a 8km march in the rain up to St. Martins camp[1] arriving just after 4pm.  Had a feed then down for the night.

5 Saturday

Breakfast 6.30 then handed all kit in before 8am.  Gave in our names and destination for our railway warrants.  I helped the clerks in this job a little just for the sake of doing something.  Medical inspection at 2pm which I dodged.  Had a walk into Boulogne after tea.  It rained very heavy and we got wet.

6 Sunday

Was payed[2] at 10am then railway warrants and ration tickets.  Paraded 11.30 for the boat and I had a party to take down.  Boat moved off at 3pm.  The sea was very rough but I enjoyed the trip as I was in a 2nd class saloon.  There was a lot of sea sickness.  Got to Dover about 5 but it took them a ½hr to get the boat tied up on account of the rough seas.  Got on to train and we sat there 2½hours before it started.  Arrived in London and got over to Kings X in time to see the 10.30pm train go out so had to wait until 4.55am.

7 Monday

Could not get a bed anywhere so walked the streets and had breakfast in the YMCA.  Train left on time arriving Durham 12noon.  I went to the hospital and saw my Father then got the 1.55pm train home arriving 2.15.  I have to report on the 13th inst. for final discharge.


[1] At Boulogne

[2] paid

This entry for 1919 was added at the end of the 1918 Diary.