17 July 1918; Wednesday

Up about 6.30. Felt a bit groggy all day and ran a temperature of 102.4 at night. Turned in at 6 o’clock. Talked with Billy and Exley until about 9 and then took some aspirin and went to sleep. News that the Germans have advanced a little in the Champagne region and also had losses. Thunder at night. Read two good sermons in the “Great Commonwealth”1.


  1. The Great Commonwealth: Possibly a Christian magazine or periodical taking its name from a passage in  2 Maccabees which describes how Judas Maccabeus led a small army to victory against a superior foe by entrusting the outcome to God. This seems to have been a popular theme among preachers of the time. See also 8 April 1917

13 July 1918; Saturday

Up about 7 o’clock. Busy until 6 o’clock at night. Walked round town and round pit head. Saw the engine room, the winding gear and watched men and tubs going up and down. Watched the girls sorting at the screening place. Very interesting. Had a drink of coffee with Steve Bott and Edgar, Billy and Steve. The news pretty good. Received letter from Ernie and one from Ranald MacDonald. Jerry over at night but dropped nothing very close.

11 July 1918; Thursday

Up at 4.30 am. Paraded at 6 o’clock. Got in the buses at the top of the hill and rode to Auchel1, a mining town near Lillers etcetera. Rotten billet in the top of a house, next to the roof. Took out a pan-tile to make light. Went to a concert at night given by a concert party, Camouflage, and it was splendid. The best I have seen in France. They sent an invitation for 100 of us and we were marched up. Turned in and slept well.


  1. Auchel (B): About 30km SE of Ouve-Wirquin (A) and 8km S. of Lillers; Michelin square G4.