Got into a car at headquarters and went up to the A D S 1 with it. Murrill, Truman and myself stayed at the dressing station and the other men went up. Sat all night. Got to know that our bearers had had a rough house in the night and that we had 20 casualties to clear 17 stretcher cases.
Bob Forrest, Webbs†, Jarratt, Frankland, Wood and three others went down the line. Billy Truman and I returned to headquarters in the evening about 7. Spent afternoon in the Hindenburg Trench bringing down sick.
Up about 7.30. Woke up by heavy gunfire and German shells bursting near. Heard that the Germans had attacked and taken two lines of trenches. Saw a few German prisoners. On fatigue all day. Went to a C of E service at night and it was very good. Commenced letter to Mr Eaves1 and then had a discussion about war and armies and all the rest of it. Turned in about 11 o’clock. Pulled out again about 12 to go up the line. About 30 of us altogether.
Up about 7.30. On working party. Not much to do. Rather cold. Bought some pears and cocoa. Had good supper . Had discussion at night. Frost giving a bit. Got clean change. And washed feet at night.
Up about 7.30. On parade at 9. Did precious little in the morning. Washed pants and towel at dinnertime. Received postcard from Leishman. Saw German aeroplane brought down in flames quite near. Spent afternoon round the fire talking and arguing.
On working party again. Stayed at night with Harvey, Holman and Mills and had tea <in> another little dugout. Left about 8 o’clock and came down. Met Mark Jackson, half drunk, and he came into the billet and talked until late. Had good night’s rest.
Received Christmas card from Ranald MacDonald. Big peace rumours. Read account of the official entry into Jerusalem1.
Up about 7.30 and on working party. Spent day until 3.30 at the walking wounded place. Spent night working and suchlike†. Wrote letter home.
Up at about 7.30 after rather restless night with the cold. Paraded at 9 o’clock and did a small fatigue job. Cleaned canteen and wrote up diary. Two dining sessions and I went into the second one at 1.15. Very good spread. Menu and all the rest of it. C O and officers came in and made usual speech. Room very nicely decorated. Concert at 3.30. Steve Bott and John Dory pretty good and the others pretty awful. Corporal Chapman and Cotter about the worst singers. Went to A section billet to hear the R F’s1 band. Returned about 9 o’clock and went to bed.
Received letter from home saying that they had heard from Charlie dated 18th November.
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.
Up about 8 o’clock and had breakfast. Spent most of the day getting fire-wood and pottering about. Got into bed about 10 after writing a few letters, and talked with Sergeant Powell until about 1 o’clock. Saw the train1 away both times.
Up about 7.30. Went up to the next village walking wounded post with Sergeant Powell and MacDermot at about 9.30. Found a little dugout for the sergeant and men and improved it and put in a fire. Spent most of the day on the dugout. Saw the train1 away at night.
Looking after walking wounded and sick and putting them onto the light rail.