Category Archives: May 1917

All diary entries written in May 1917

13 May 1917; Sunday

Up shortly after 6 o’clock. Got up breakfast and cleaned up things. Kept busy all morning. Glorious weather. Had short evening service in the conservatory by Captain Manning. Went to Y M afterwards and had a good service there. Good singing. Met Walker and had a walk round with him. Returned late.

12 May 1917; Saturday

Up shortly after 6 o’clock. Kept busy all day. Had short walk out in the afternoon. Called at BEF 1 canteen and had a drink of lemonade. Glorious day. An English machine gun bullet broke the glass in the conservatory. Received letter from home, Sharpley and Dora’s Charlie. Managed dinner pretty well and generally got through all right.

  1. “BEF”: British Expeditionary Force. 

11 May 1917; Friday

Up shortly after 6 o’clock. Took over from the 110th field ambulance during the morning. Kept busy all day and got into trouble at night for not doing all the treatments. Tom Ordell evidently didn’t get them down in the book and everything upside down. Went to bed late and tired. Very warm and glorious weather.

10 May 1917; Thursday

Up at 5.30. Turned in after a bath and slept until about 1 o’clock. Up pretty early but had no dinner. Ordered at 3.50 to be ready at 4.15 to go to Baileul1. Got out there and marched off with the party. Captain Jackson and a few men came down from Ypres to the town track† shortly before we got there. Fell out at Meteren 2 and waited about half an hour for Sergeant Holmes. Had short walk round the town at night and got down to bed pretty late. Very warm day.

  1. 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. 

  2. The map shows the entire journey, from Mont des Cats (A), via Méteren (B), where ALL fell out during the journey, and back to Bailleul (C). 

9 May 1917; Wednesday

Awoke at 5.30. Emptied tubs. Took temperatures and looked to officers’ mess kitchen fire. Fine morning. Slept from about 1 o’clock to 5.30 in the chair. Went to bed but didn’t get much sleep. Up at 2 o’clock and had walk in the afternoon. Went on duty at 7.30. Kept pretty busy. Slept in chair from 2 to 5 o’clock.

8 May 1917; Tuesday

Woke at 5 o’clock. Emptied tubs and took temperatures. Looked after mess fire. Lay down in the morning shortly after 8 o’clock but didn’t get to sleep. Quartermaster and the padre pulled us out of bed and moved us to one of the side rooms. Didn’t sleep there†. Up at 1 o’clock. Went out with Holman in the afternoon and walked to a neighbouring village where we had boiled eggs and stuff for tea. Fine day. Slept for about half an hour in the field. Came on duty at 7.30. Managed all right. Had some cold meat and potatoes for supper.

7 May 1917; Monday

Up at 5.30. Took temperatures and emptied bucket as usual. Turned into bed about 9 o’clock and slept until 2 o’clock. Walked into the village of Berthen1 after tea. Read a bit in the afternoon and went on duty at night. Shaved† two officers – one deaf and had killed† a lot of Germans. Busy until after midnight. Went to sleep at 2 o’clock and woke at 5 o’clock.

  1. Berthen (B): 2km E of Mont des Chats (A) and midway between Poperinghe (to the North) and Bailleul (to the South), rather to the W. of both; Michelin square I3. 

6 May 1917; Sunday

Up at 5.30. Kept busy until 7 o’clock. Finished at 7.30 and had breakfast. Went into bed but slept badly. Up at 2 o’clock and washed. Did a bit French in the afternoon. Glanced at the British Weekly. At the evening C of E service in the dinner hour. News that the British have lost Bullecourt1, but the French have advanced a bit and captured some prisoners.

  1. Bullecourt is in the triangle Arras-Cambrai-Bapaume, 4km E. of the A1/E15 road; Michelin square J6. 

5 May 1917; Saturday

Up at 5.30. A lot of trouble during the night between old Wilson and Marsh. Finished about 7.30. Had breakfast and turned in. Slept until tea time. Went to concert at night in the dining room. Steve Bott, John Dory, Sergeant Cooper and several others including the C.O. and Captain Andrews took part. Gus played and played very well. Pretty busy at night with the officers. Got through all right. Wrote letter to Charlie.