24 December 1917; Monday

Awake about 3.30 and heard shells going over. Some of them pretty near and a few gas shells amongst them. Had our respirators on for a few minutes. Had to keep awake until nearly 6 o’clock. Murrill brought us our breakfast into bed and we didn’t get up until 9.30. Not much to do. I saw the train1 off. Received orders to pack up and go to headquarters. All got away before tea but Sergeant Powell and myself. We had to wait until 8 o’clock at night before the cart came for the last of the things. Someone stole a Sir’s2 stuff and we searched high and low for it. Had a long discussion last thing on chance†, summer† and Christmas. Talked until nearly midnight. Very cold and rather wet at night. Holman made some tea and Harvey looked after the equipment while we went for it.

  1. The train: See 22 December

  2. Sir’s: “a sir” means an officer or other superior; if correct here (not used elsewhere by ALL), it perhaps indicates ALL’s irritation at the delay.