Monthly Archives: September 2015

19 September 1915; Sunday

Got up at about 9 o’clock and had to hurry to chapel to the Harvest Festival. Had walk with Father in the afternoon. Mr Blaikie, and Willie Whittaker to tea. We were at chapel at night and sang Sun of my Soul, and Charlie took the solo. Said farewell to everybody. Charlie had a big crowd to see him off including some from the chapel and Mr Newrick and his daughter. Went to Newcastle, changed again at York and left Charlie there.

18 September 1915; Saturday

Arrived home about 12.30 a.m. Didn’t expect me. Charlie and Joe at the station waiting for Ernie. Ernie arrived about half an hour later. Father in bed and didn’t know that we were all here. Got up about 9 o’clock. Telegraphed for an extension until reveille. Went to the office1 and saw them there. Stayed in in the afternoon. Blaikie called and we had a few songs. Went to Grandmother’s later and saw them. Called into town at night and then went down to the chapel. Decorating for the Harvest Festival. Spoke to a good many people.


  1. “The office”: Hendon Paper Mill, where ALL had been employed prior to joining the RAMC. See Sunderland map

13 September 1915; Monday

On duty as usual and on the parade ground. Received word that I had to go with a party to the Wharncliffe War Hospital1 in the morning.


  1. Wharncliffe War Hospital”: 3 miles NW of Sheffield city centre; it was the building of the West Riding Asylum, offered by its Board as a war hospital early in 1915, effective from 1 April 1915; over 2,000 beds, X-­ray section, 3 operating theatres etc. See also Sheffield map

12 September 1915; Sunday

On Fire Piquet1 & Canteen Cpl. C.B.2 all day. Tried to clean belt, wrote to Willie Whittaker and wrote up diary. Song† by men in the barrack room at night.


  1. Piquet or picquet: Pronounced picket; refers to a soldier or small unit of soldiers maintaining a watch. This may mean a watch for the enemy, or other types of watch; e.g., in this case, “fire picket”.  

  2. “C.B.”: “confined to barracks”, usually signifying a low-­level military punishment (incorporating frequent inspections in full kit, extra fatigue duties etc), popularly known as ‘jankers’; but ALL seems to be using it here in a purely literal sense – he couldn’t leave barracks due to his picquet and canteen duties.