November 1918


1 Friday

Today’s paper confirms the news of Turkey.  Italian offensive going strong.  Great excitement today everyone expects Austria dropping out.  The general opinion here is that the war will be finished this year.

2 Saturday

Weekly tests this morning.  Papers are eagerly bought looking for the Armistice with Austria.  Italian offensive still going strong.  New students for the School began dribbling in today, about 34 arriving.  Weather very dull and wet.

3 Sunday

Busy all day.  This morning paraded new students, read out standing orders, interviewed each man and sent them to classes.  Then pay for them.  The whole school paraded at 11.30 and placed into classes for the following week.  More men to the number of 50 arrived in dribbles during the afternoon and night.  Everyone disappointed at no definite news of Austria.  Weather still bad.

4 Monday [1]

Austrian Armistice agreed and takes effect at 3pm today.  The officer and I interviewed, payed and placed in classes the 50 men who came yesterday then also another party of 13 NFs that came this afternoon.  Visited 2nd Aust. Divl. Concert tonight which was a washout owing to lighting arrangements going dis.[2]

5 Tuesday

Guy Fawkes Day and raining in torrents.  All who had tickets for the Aussey Concert last night retained them for tonight.  Concert was quite good but the electric light was a washout.  The dynamo supplying it was taken from Fritzy and requires overhauling very badly.

6 Wednesday

Still raining, no early parade and all work indoors again.  It was fearful after tea right up to 8pm.  We had boots and clothing for issue.  Everyone practically wanted boots.  I got a pair as mine took in water.  The others were given out to men that had holes in the soles of the boots, a lot of whom had been excused parade by the MO.

7 Thursday

No rain but very dull this morning.  The Ofr. is trying to put me a fire in hut but is making a mess of it.  German Parliamentaires with White Flag crossed the line at 10.30am at Haudroy a mile NE of La Capelle, S of Avesnes.  Germans ordered their troops there to cease fire at 3pm.

8 Friday

Everyone very excited and asking for any news of the Armistice.  All convinced this is the end of the war.  Papers were eagerly read when they came up at noon.  They gave nothing but we already knew.  Ofr. made another go at a stove in my place but I pulled it out and fixed one myself.

9 Saturday

The only news we had today was through the papers which stated Foch gave the Germans until 11am on Monday to say if they accepted our Armistice terms.  General opinion here is that they will accept them.  I went to the Aussey concert again tonight.  It was very good.

10 Sunday

Australians received orders at midnight and were all off this morning by 9am.  Papers report great progress by our troops.  I went into Amiens on pass after dinner and got back again for tea.  Wireless message states that German Armistice Delegates will be a few hours late tomorrow.  It is also reported officially that we have taken Mons and Metz.  German Delegates came from Spa about 15kms SE of Liege and were taken on our side to a place near Senlis, the Chateau of Franepost in Compiegne Forest.

11 Monday

It was 11.00am before we got to know here that the Armistice was signed at 5am and hostilities ceased at 11.  We could hear salvos fired all around the countryside.  There was no jubilation amongst the civilians but we ceased work for the day and celebrated the occasion.

12 Tuesday

Everything went on as usual here today.  The usual horses and signal training.

13 Wednesday

Usual work.  Everything seems more dull than ever it was here.  Had a fine hot bath then straight into kip.

14 Thursday

Maj. Bagnell landed here today.  The Div is expecting to move down to Abbeville this next week.  We are being put into the 3rd Army and this Army is rumoured to be crossing early to England.

15 Friday

No entry

16 Saturday

Just the usual work these last few days.  Pay parade arranged for 10.45 could not be held until 3pm as the Officer and SM of the Emp. Coy. had been attacked on the road.  They got away safely with the money.  The sum for us was Frs. 10,000.

17 Sunday

Half the school, Ofrs. + Instrs. also were on pass to Amiens yesterday, another batch today.  4 Instrs. did not return until 1.30pm.  I was never out anywhere all the weekend.  The weather has been very cold and frosty since Wednesday.  Today and yesterday being very bitter.  The Allied troops commenced their advance to the Rhine today.

18 Monday

I had a busy time with cases for Orderly Room for over staying passes.  Instrs. were up today and got a Rep.[3]    Weather much better now again.  Work going on very much as usual.

19 Tuesday

Usual work again today.  Weather very mild and bright.

20 Wednesday and 21 Thursday

No entries

22 Friday

Commencing again today on examination tests, passing out 46 men.

23 Saturday

No entry

24 Sunday

No work today so I spent the evening cleaning up generally also cleaned all the soot out of the stove and chimney.  I wrote out an application to the OC Sig. Coy. for leave at Xmas and sent it off today.  Weather still keeps frosty.

25 Monday

Still on with tests.  Very wet and miserable all day, after tea it absolutely poured down.

26 Tuesday

I took the men passing out on compass exam this morning.  In the afternoon Flag + Shutter reading then checked messages at night.  Rain again after tea.  I applied this morning through Sig. Coy. for a statement of my account.

27 Wednesday

One lecture this morning and Lamp reading tests in the afternoon.

28 Thursday & 29 Friday

No entries

30 Saturday

Credit balance reckoned from May 31/18 up to and including today £2-7-0.  According to my monthly reckoning £3-6-11.  Weather cleared up again.  Nothing doing after dinner.  I had a good hot bath about 9pm and turned into kip.


[1] 4 November: the Battle of the Sambre (Sambre to Valencies) see Wyrall p.356 the last battle, the reorganised 50th Division took part – no DLI battalions

[2] Dis=dysfunctional?

[3] Rep=reprimand