Category Archives: January 1916

All diary entries written in January 1916.

17 January 1916; Monday

On parade in the morning. Funeral of Sergeant Bell in the afternoon. Firing party, band and full procession. Had walk at night with Black. Met his girl and her sister and talked a bit. Walked up the road a bit and talked over marriage and girls generally.

Sgt. Bell’s funeral.

My 26th Birthday. Received cakes from home and <money> from Charlie.

Newcastle Daily Journal 15 January 1916

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MOTOR AMBULANCE VAN FATALITY

Inquest on a Soldier at Alnwick

Mr Charles Percy held an inquiry at Alnwick yesterday, into the circumstances attending the death of Thomas Bell (32), a private on the motor transport of the Army Service Corps, though holding the local rank of sergeant while stationed at Alnwick. His death was the result of injuries received while driving a motor van in the direction of Alnwick, on Wednesday night.

Colonel P. Broome Giles, C.B., commandant of the convalescent camp at Alnwick, stated that the deceased had taken charge of the car1 entirely at his own initiative, and without orders.

Ernest Ball, a private in the motor transport of the Army Service Corps at Alnwick, stated that just before ten o’clock on Wednesday night he got an order to drive the motor ambulance car2 to Titlington with Mr G. Sordy and his wife, who had been attending the military concert in the Y.M.C.A. hut at the encampment. They got to Titlington, a distance of about ten miles, just after eleven o’clock. A gale of wind was blowing. They stayed at Titlington about half an hour, during which time he had one and a half glasses of whisky, and the deceased had two ordinary glasses of whisky. The deceased took the wheel of the car on the return to Alnwick. Continue reading Newcastle Daily Journal 15 January 1916


  1. Interestingly, “car” is used here in the same way as ALL himself often used it, to mean a generic motorised transport. 

  2. Here, “car” is qualified as “motor ambulance car”. Evidently “ambulance” on its own was not yet generally understood to mean a motorised patient transport.