8 June 1916; Thursday

Arrived Longpré1 and told this is end of our train ride. Had a wash at the engine-filling water crane. Got on to motorcars at about 3 o’clock and arrived at dumping place about 5 o’clock. Walked to ADMS2 office and were detailed off for Hallencourt3. Arrived about 6 o’clock. Had a drink of tea. (Had our rations for tea on the road side.) Were told off to sleep in a barn with the other chaps. Walked to the close† village – Vignacourt4 .

First impressions not very good, but hope for better things. Slept fairly well.

  1. Longpré: Probably Longpré-les-Corps-Saints (A on the map marks the location of the railway station there); 14km SE of Abbeville, on D3; ref D7; written in shorthand, but can’t be anything else; this Longpré is the only one in the gazetteer of the Michelin map (see editorial note on Michelin map), but the nature of the overnight rail journey makes it impossible to confirm it by estimating its distance from Rouen. Consequently there is no way of confirming my transcription (Vignacourt) of the nearby village. The camp with the ADMS office was apparently 2 hours by motor transport from Longpré, but with the primitive nature of both transport and roads, the distance may not have been great. 

  2. “ADMS”: probably Assistant Director of Medical Services. 

  3. Hallencourt (B): transcription uncertain – but Hallencourt is in the right area – 8km WSW of Longpré-les-Corps-Saints, ref D8. 

  4. Vignacourt (C) [14km NW of Amiens; ref F7] is the only identification I can make, reasonably – or remotely – plausible for the shorthand, for the village adjacent to the camp, and the distance could have been up to 20km before the modern roads were built. Vignacourt could be about the right distance from Rainnecourt (see 16 June); 14km as the crow flies, and there seem to be fairly direct small roads – where ALL says an 8-mile march. (DL)