17 October 1916; Tuesday

Left Authie about 9.30. Part of the morning† Harry Bascombe left at the hospital in the village. Had to wait several times for the Division to move and in one place had to put off our pack and push the waggons up a very steep bank. Marched about 9 miles. Arrived at Val de Maison1 about 4 o’clock. I felt pretty rotten and got down in a tent† *.

Temperature 101.4 at night2.

  1. Val de Maison: presumably the Val de Maison (A) in Michelin map square G7, 3km E. of N25, mid-way between Doullens (B) and Amiens (C), 9 miles/14.5km from Authie (D); it would be about 20km march from there to Albert (E) on 23 October. 

  2. “Temperature”: Presumably ALL’s body temperature. 101.4°F is c. 38.5°C – a moderate fever – the malaise causing this fever is not specified. 

13 October 1916; Friday

Up at 7.30. Put on the water job and taken off again and away in the motor-car to Sailly-au-Bois1 to a dugout. Sergeant Fraser, Harman, Truman, Axley and some. Cleaned up the place and had dinner and tea there. †All of us† very busy. I wrote a few letters and wrote up diary.

  1. Sailly-au-Bois (A) (Michelin square H7): 7km E. of Authie (B), 14km N. of Albert. 

12 October 1916; Thursday

Up at 7.15. On fatigue in the morning picking up leaves. Had a bath at dinner-time and got a new shirt and pair of pants. Physical drill and smoke helmet drill in the afternoon. Wrote letters and diary in the evening. Captain Birrell spoke to me about a letter which <I> had written home and told me not to mention anything about journeys†1. I got the letter back.

Received letter from Ernie, and one from Ray McRoss.

  1. Letters home from the front would doubtless have been subject to censorship. ALL was evidently in the habit of including details of his movements in France in letters home, probably in very much the same way as he did in his diaries. Unlike in letters home, there does not appear to have been any prohibition on the use of personal diaries in this way.