Monthly Archives: April 2017

19 April 1917; Thursday

Up at 7 and on duty about 7.30. Cleaned things up for the visit of the G O C. 1 He arrived shortly after 3 o’clock and inspected the place. The hospital satisfactory. Went in the car to Reninghelst. Just too late for the concert so went into the Y M hall and heard a band concert by the Royal Fusiliers band. Called in on the way back and had eggs and coffee. Sergeant Powell and Holman with me. Got back at 8.45.

Learn that the French are making a big offensive.

  1. “G.O.C.”: General Officer Commanding. 

18 April 1917; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock and on duty as usual. Went with Harvey to a bible class at La Clytte Y M at night. Very nice little meeting. The leader reminded me of Mr Mullens1. He took our names and made a big fuss.

  1. Mr Mullens: A minister from the South Durham Street United Methodist Free Church in Sunderland, where ALL had been a member prior to joining the RAMC. Mr Mullens, Esther and Arthur Mullens are all mentioned occasionally throughout the diaries. 

15 April 1917; Sunday

Up at 6 o’clock and went up the line on the dugout fatigue. Rained heavily all day and we returned at dinner time after simply unlocking a waggon of stuff. Good news in the papers about the advance at Arras.

Went to service at the Y M at night and played1 for a short while afterwards. Had serious talk with Harvey and felt better after it.

  1. “Played”: Not a game but a keyboard instrument of some sort; a piano or organ if such was available in the YM. 

14 April 1917; Saturday

Up at 6 o’clock and out on the dugout after the fatigue. Stayed up until 3.45 and arrived back about 5 o’clock. Sergeant Wilson with us and the chaps pulled his leg all the time. Had a rather awful dinner. Was very tired at night. Had a short walk and went down to La Clytte Y M and listened outside to the Follies.

13 April 1917; Friday

Slept in the guard tent. Up at 6 and on guard from 6 to 10. Fine morning. Sat in guard tent and read. Lay about most of the day and read a good bit. Sergeant MacDonnell in the tent most of the time and in one of his silly moods. Had a short walk at night.

Heard that we had met with a reverse at Vimy Ridge.

12 April 1917; Thursday

Up at 7 o’clock. On parade at 9 o’clock and told off for the usual fatigues. Went up to the dressing station at 12 o’clock and worked until after 3. Returned close on 5 o’clock, pretty tired, and found that Harvey, Holman and I were on guard at 6 o’clock. Went on first. Finished at 10 o’clock and turned in for the night. A boycott† on a well because a well has been poisoned in the neighbourhood.

Heard that we have captured 11,000 prisoners, over 100 guns, 60 trench mortars and 163 machine guns.

11 April 1917; Wednesday

Up at 6 o’clock. Marched off at 7 o’clock. Arrived at the dressing station about 8 o’clock. Spent the morning digging and was very tired after it. Returned about 1 o’clock. Turned out wet in the afternoon so we did nothing in the afternoon. Went to the Y M at night to the Follies. Saw Billington on dancing.

We were shelled pretty heavily going down the road. Got lift in a lorry. One of the North Lancs wounded by the first shell.