Up at about 7 o’clock and on parade. Received postcard from Ernie to say that he is in hospital with diarrhoea. Also a long letter from Charlie in reply to my long letters. Had walk at night with Harvey and long talk.
On duty at 9 o’clock. Not much to do. Lay down for an hour about 4.30. Relieved at 9 o’clock. Had a short lie in bed and then relieved from headquarters. Walked down to headquarters at Gonnehem1 and arrived in time for dinner. Billet in a hut with proper beds and bedclothes. Slept most of afternoon. Had walk after tea with Harvey and Billy Truman and slept with Billy in a real bed. Slept well. Heard from Ranald MacDonald that his brother Kenneth is missing.
Gonnehem (B): 4km N. of Choques (A); Michelin square H4. ↩
Didn’t feel too clever in the room and stayed outside a good bit. A fair amount of gunfire during the night. Wrote letter home and one to Charlie. Did a scrap of French but felt very tired. Relieved at about 8 o’clock. Got down to it at 9 and slept until mid-day. Got up after 7 o’clock and on duty at 9 again.
Up at 5.30 and got cleaned up. Wet morning. Moved to Le Vertannay1 farm and went on night duty again. Lay down during the afternoon and came on duty at 9 o’clock. Only slept short time and was very sleepy later in the morning. Received letter from Charlie and one from Franchie – quite a bright letter.
Le Vertannay (spelling not really certain): only a farm, so not identified on Michelin map. ↩
I slept from 2 o’clock until 6.30. Off duty at about 8 o’clock. Very heavy gunfire to the right. A rumour that we have attacked and won Arras and Soissons1. On duty at 9 at night, after spending a wakeful day. Heard that we have to move tomorrow owing to Jerry retiring so far. British continue to progress at several points. Turned in at 1am and slept on the floor of the dressing room. Received letter from home.
Soissons is the only place-name I can (roughly) fit to the shorthand outline, but it is far to the S. of Arras. (DL) ↩
On duty at night and did a little French. Off duty at 9 o’clock. Slept very little during the day. Heard that the British have advanced round about Achiet le Petit and the French are advancing towards Noyon. Very good news. On duty at 9 o’clock at night. Read a good bit of Richard Feverel1.