Monthly Archives: March 2016

20 March 1916; Monday

Up at 6 o’clock. No 7 parade on account of wet. Paraded at 9 in greatcoats. Lecture by officer. Parade 10.30 to 11.30 and another lance corporal and I drilled everyone there. An officer joined me too. Lecture by N.C.O. at 11.45 and at 12.30 we paraded for the major, but he didn’t turn up. Paraded again at 2 and were taken in and examined for the draft. Pinkney and Watson turned back. Party taken up to hospital and vaccinated.


Went to Wesleyan recreation room and wrote up diary. Spoke to Staff Sergeant Boys.

19 March 1916; Sunday

Up shortly after 6 o’clock. Church parade to Wesleyan church again. Mr Inwood preaching in the morning. Franchie in the choir. Went over to soldiers’ home in the afternoon and wrote a few postcards and a letter to Black. Had tea with Miss Chapman, Mrs Chadwick, a Miss Herschel and Metgrave. Went to the Wesleyan church. Mr Wednell† preached a good sermon and it didn’t do me any harm. At Inwoods’ to supper. Was introduced to some new soldiers. Met Franchie and Mrs Inwood. Walked from church with Franchie and talked a bit. Promised to go back Friday.

18 March 1916; Saturday

Up at 6 o’clock. Mopped out room. Paraded at 9 o’clock and had to drill my squad until 10. Missed the next parade as I was looking after chairs and coals. Went to Y.M. in the afternoon and wrote home and to Betty. Had tea with other 5 of our room at the Y.M. Returned to the barracks and then went to the Wesleyan church guild meeting. Met Mr Inwood there and he asked me up tomorrow.

17 March 1916; Friday

Got up 7 o’clock. Took in bedding and beds. Paraded for pay. Packed kits. Had dinner at 11.15. Paraded 11.45. Colonel spoke to us and said he was sorry to lose us. Shook hands with McNee† [sic; error for ‘McNeil’?] and Sharpley. Corporal Collins and Hall kept back at the last minute. Marched the party to the train. Our kits went in the motor. Shook hands with Collins, Mr and Mrs Arrowridge and a few more at the station. Black was sorry to be left behind. They cheered us off. Changed at Alnmouth, York and Conisbrough†1. Arrived 6.30. A waggon waiting for us. I marched them up to the barracks. A good tea ready for us. Got out billets in married quarters. Filthy dirty bedding. Felt truly wretched last thing at night. Met Bagley and Willie Hunter.

Left Alnwick for Sheffield.

  1. Conisbrough: The transcription is uncertain, but there is a Conisbrough (C) near Doncaster which would be consistent with a journey from York (A) to Sheffield (B). 

16 March 1916; Thursday

Up at 7 o’clock. On fatigues as usual. Got out early and got the 5.15 train to Morpeth1. Black set me to the station. Betty waiting for me. We walked up by the river side2. It rained pretty heavily. Talked a bit nonsense. Sat beside a gate a good bit. I told her that I loved her, and asked her if she loved me and she said she did. I promised I would have nothing to do with girls and would not forget her, and she promised she would not forget me. She showed me the brooch I gave her. My train was prompt and so I had to leave her on the platform. I kissed her before I got into the train.

At Morpeth.

  1. Morpeth is a town in Northumberland about 20 miles south of Alnwick. 

  2. The River Wansbeck

15 March 1916; Wednesday

On fatigue as usual. Felt a bit sick at having to leave Alnwick and Betty. Put in pass for Morpeth. Everybody interested in our departure. Out with Black at night. Raining all the time. Called at Dons’ and he was away. Mrs Don didn’t recognise me at all. †Just at first† said goodbye to Mrs Proctor.

14 March 1916; Tuesday

On fatigue as usual. News came at dinner time that we are to return to Alnwick1 on Friday. Posted in orders at night. I wrote to Betty and made an appointment for Thursday night at Morpeth. Wrote home too. At the pictures at night with Sharpley and Black. Felt a bit blue at the prospect.

  1. Alnwick: The shorthand clearly has “Alnwick”, but ALL presumably meant to write “Sheffield”.