28 November 1915; Sunday

At church in the morning and afternoon, Clayport church. Went with Green and some more chaps to deer† Park and Brizlee Tower1. Cold but fine. Enjoyed the walk and we were up the tower. At Y.M.C.A. at night. Came down with Miss McGill and Sergeant Sharp. He was with us at church.

  1. Brizlee Hill and Tower are 2 miles NW. of Alnwick, in Hulne Park (I can’t get “Hulne” from the word transcribed as “deer”).

    See also Alnwick map

27 November 1915; Saturday

Got up about 7.30. Bought paper and socks in town. Fine, but very cold. No further orders. Received letter with views from Charlie and letter from Don. Rations late and so kept in until 8 o’clock. Dunbar, Watson and Bulmer drunk. Watson mad drunk and gave some trouble. Army Service men came in late and were drunk. One kicked up a row and was put into clink by old Collins and was afterwards released.

26 November 1915; Friday

Usual day’s work. Received pay at dinner time. Rations late in arriving. I managed to get a bath in the afternoon. 2 men and a sergeant Army Service <Corps?> arrived at night and the sergeant slept in our bunk1. All more or less drunk, but quiet. Collins arrived back about 10. Shepherd, Watson, Wilshaw, Dunbar and Plummer drunk as newts† and had an awful time, tumbling over beds. Watson carefully sprayed his water bottle on his bed over a blanket.

Men drunk in hut.

  1. “Bunk” (at least in the 1950s) meant the (lance-­)corporal’s partitioned space, not “bed.” 

25 November 1915; Thursday

Usual day’s work. Corporal Collins received pass at 11.30. Telegram came at noon saying we were to go away on active service this weekend. Tried to stop Collins getting away. A good deal of excitement. I wrote home and swapped letters. Didn’t go out at night. Some of the men a bit fresh at night and had some trouble with them.

24 November 1915; Wednesday

Usual day’s work. Football match between RAMC and HLI1 and HLI won 4/1. Received long letter from Franchie2 Inwood. In good spirits all day. Franchie says she is ill in bed with a cold. Concert at the Y.M. and pretty good. Good soprano, tenor and bass, and hummers. Accompanist very good too.

  1. “HLI”: Highland Light Infantry. 

  2. “Franchie Inwood”: still “Miss Inwood” as recently as 25 September. The transcription of her first name is never wholly clear; it usually looks like “Franchie”, perhaps from Francesca, though “Francie”, from Frances, seems more likely.