30 November 1916; Thursday

Up at 7. Parade at 7.25 for a double1. Hard work. Parade 9.15 for physical drill and afterwards short route march. Off in the afternoon. Walked into Doullens with Holman. Had 2 eggs for tea. Bought tea cosy for Mother. Heard of Air Raid and 2 Zeppelins brought down. One near Durham2.

  1. “Double”, if correct, would mean “double march”, ie a run; there appear to have been sporadic attempts to improve the men’s fitness when not in the line. 

  2. The Zeppelin brought down “near Durham” may have been L34, shot down near Hartlepool, about 20 miles from Durham, on 27 November by Second Lieutenant I. V. Pyott, flying a B.E. 2C aircraft of C flight 36 Squadron based at Seaton Carew aerodrome. 

27 November 1916; Monday

Up about 7 o’clock. Marched off 9.30 full pack. Kept fine. Passed a large aerodrome and watched aeroplanes rising and alighting. Arrived Hem1 about 2 o’clock. Had dinner in a barn and then were shown our billets. Doullens 3 miles off. Pretty tired and fed up.

  1. Hem: presumably Hem-Hardinval (B), 17km NE of Domart-en-Ponthieu (A) and 4km due W. of Doullens; Michelin square E7. 

26 November 1916; Sunday

Up shortly after 7 o’clock. Had breakfast. Received letter from Mother and wrote reply. Dim rainy morning. Received orders first thing after dinner to march off again. Arrived Domart1 shortly after 5 o’clock. Quite a trek. Got shoved into a poor billet but managed to sleep well along with Ben Jenkins in the top of the steps. A lot of trouble about blankets.

  1. Domart: Domart-en-Ponthieu (A), 7km W. of Canaples (B); Michelin square E7. 

25 November 1916; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock and went on guard for an hour. Had breakfast in ambulance waggon. Marched off at about 11.30. I was brake man on a G.S. waggon but had my pack carried for me. Arrived at Canaples1 at about 2.30. Billeted in an old chateau. Right upstairs in the loft. Rained heavily in the night. Got good night’s sleep.

  1. Canaples (A): 10km SW. of Beauval (B), 14km SSW. of Doullens; Michelin square F7.