Up at 7.15. Wet morning and parade put off in consequence. Had walk at night up to Mont des Cats1 and had a good supper.
Up at 7 o’clock. Felt rather tired. On fatigue most of the day. Read a bit. Walked into village at night with Watson†.
Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded first thing and then dismissed. Wet morning and walked into the village shortly before dinner. Fell in at about 4.30 and marched into the village about 5 o’clock. Got into buses and rode into Wizernes1 in about an hour. Got into the train there, left shortly after 7 o’clock and arrived at Baileul2 about 9 o’clock. Best journey I have done in France. Marched to Boeschepe army camp and arrived shortly before midnight3. Got tea and turned in to bed about 1 o’clock.
Baileul: ALL always omits one ‘l’ from ‘Bailleul’ in his longhand; the transcription follows this, but where he writes it in shorthand, ie phonetically, it is transcribed with the correct spelling. ↩
The map shows the entire journey from Nielles-les-Bléquin (A), through Wizernes (B) and Bailleul (C), to Boeschepe (D), the latter only about 3km NE of Mont des Cats, where ALL had briefly stayed in May. ↩
Up at 7.30. Wet morning. Parade as usual and did some squad drill and then cleaned up our kit. Billy Truman not well and stayed in kip. Had long walk at night with Holman, Harvey and Dory. Went along the northern road past the shrine and called back by the monument in the wood. Glorious night. Strong breeze. Ended up with supper – omelettes and salad – at the Café de la Gare.
Up at 7 o’clock. Wet day. Drilled in the morning. Nothing doing in the afternoon and I looked up some French, and also wrote a few letters. The transport left for the line somewhere. Stayed in at night. Rather drizzly and very wet. Billy Truman not well.
Up at 7 o’clock. Busy packing the waggons in the morning. Had short walk in the village and bought some postcards. Read a good bit of Stacpoole’s1 stuff and wrote.
Up at about 7 o’clock. On parade in the morning doing squad drill. Swim before dinner. Pay parade in the afternoon. I swotted a little French. Football match at night between our team and the Lancs brigade. We won 2 – 0. Had walk round with Holman and finished up with eggs at the station cafe with John Dory, Harvey and Holman.
Definite news from Piggy Wood that we are moving in a day or two.
Italians doing well and captured 20,000 prisoners, French over 7,000.
We are fighting very hard round Lens and in front of Ypres1.
“We are fighting very hard . . . in front of Ypres . . .”: this was no doubt a reference to Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres; see 31 July). Passchendaele (now Passendale) is at (A) on the map. Lens is further south (at B, Michelin square D5), about half-way between Ypres and the Somme battlefield; it had been behind the German line until early 1917, when the Germans withdrew to their Hindenburg Line, thus obtaining a considerably shorter and much more heavily-fortified defensive line, and surrendering the Somme area, Bapaume, Péronne and Noyon. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. On parade first thing and helped Sergeant Powell with the panniers for a few minutes. Route march in the morning. Had long and pleasant walk at night. Finished up with eggs at a house on the hill.
Up about 7 o’clock. No parade in the morning on account of rain. Short route march in the afternoon and at the Follies at night. Did bit French and got some copies of Great Thoughts1 from the new chap and gave him Everyman2.