17 January 1918; Thursday

My 28th Birthday     Up about 7.30. A lot of patients in for breakfast. Kept busy all day and a record day. Over 140 patients to go. A stretcher wounded case in at night. I had two green envelopes1 given me by a patient and wrote a letter home at night. Received a letter and card and photo group with Billy Peake on it from home. Went to bed about midnight.


  1. Green envelopes: Letters from soldiers on active service were subject to censorship but, as a privilege, soldiers were also given one green envelope per month in which they could send uncensored personal and private letters. If unused, perhaps these green envelopes were a gift to ALL, hence ALL’s letter home later this day? 

14 January 1918; Monday

Up about 7.30. Billy Truman, Murray and I went up to walking wounded post at Trescault1. Found Sergeant Powell there. Very busy all day and had a lot of men to look after. Ben Jenkins and Carmichael there too. Worked until late. Unsatisfactory job. Sent for more men.


  1. Trescault (B): next village up (from (A) Metz-en-Couture), 3km nearer to Cambrai; Michelin square K7. 

12 January 1918; Saturday

Up about 7.30. On parade at 9 and fatigues all day. Read article by A G G1 on the war and the churches and also a sermon on “Providence” by J Vine† Newton.


  1. AGG would be A G Gardiner (1865 – 1946), editor of the Daily News 1902 – 1919 and popular writer. ALL had previously mentioned a book by A G Gardiner. Prophets, Priests and Kings, which he had read while on holiday in St Andrews in 1915. See Arthur Linfoot’s Library

10 January 1918; Thursday

On guard at 2 o’clock. Called the others up at 7. Chopped wood first thing. On again from 10 – 12 and from 4 – 6. Fritz1 sent over a few whizzbangs2 at night about tea time. Off guard at 6 o’clock. Went to bed soon and slept well.

Dreamed that I was going to marry Mildred Whittaker3. Received long letter from Charlie.


  1. Fritz: a name given to German troops by the British and others in the First and Second World Wars. 

  2. Whizzbangs: high-velocity, low-trajectory shells giving only brief audible warning of approach. 

  3. Mildred Whittaker: Not otherwise mentioned in the diaries; possibly a relative of Willie Whittaker