17 June 1917; Sunday

Up at 6.45. Kept pretty busy all day. Very hot day. Lieutenant Wilson went to C C S and gave me ten francs. Heard of a new slight advance and capture of a few more prisoners. Harvey, John Dory and his brother called for me and we went to the Y M. Gus Rodman also with us. After service walked round the town and then went by the flying ground. Bonny night.

13 June 1917; Wednesday

Up pretty well all night. A machine gun sweeping round outside the dugout. Relieved unexpectedly in the morning by the 59 Field Ambulance about 5 o’clock. Marched down to P & O trench1 with wheeled stretchers. Had breakfast there. Marched on to La Clyte with an officer called Captain Marsh. Marched from there to Berthen with only one officer and two men fainted on the way. Packs carried supplies. My heel gave me some trouble through my socks being worn out. Everybody mad with Captain Marsh for his foolishness. After dinner the Bailleul party ordered to return and we went back in the motor ambulance. Had a bath and a walk round the town at night. Slept in the old billet at night.

  1. “P&O trench”: See note on 7 June

12 June 1917; Tuesday

Up at 6 o’clock. Marched off about 6.30. Relieved men at first relay post. Saw an aeroplane go down in flames. Proved to be ours. Had a pretty hot time and the dugout was once filled with smoke from a shell. Not much to do and I only helped with two stretcher cases and one walking case. Shelled just to our left as Lyons† and I took down a walking case. Lee spent most of the day telling us his usual silly yarns.

Arthur Lyne in place of Harry Bascombe.

11 June 1917; Monday

A shell just missed us again about 6 o’clock in the morning. Were relieved at 7 o’clock. Harry Bascombe ordered down to La Clyte and Arthur Lyne to take his place. Turned in to kip1 and slept exhausted after dinner until about 6 o’clock. Had tea and shaved and washed. Received word from Franchie Inwood to say that she is in hospital and to go through an operation to have a growth removed from †her finger† this summer. Also received a letter from home. Went to bed about 9 o’clock.

  1. “Kip”(if correct), meaning “sleep”: a word which ALL occasionally used in speech in later life, but apparently too colloquial for the diary except here and on August 28. 

10 June 1917; Sunday

Up about 4 o’clock. Had breakfast and marched off at 5 o’clock. Arrived at Stafford wood, and stayed with our squad in a German concrete dugout. Did nothing all day. Sergeant MacDonell moved us out at night about 9 o’clock. Just missed by a big shell as we came down. Heavy counter-attack at night and Germans shelled terribly. Blew our front line in and inflicted pretty heavy casualties upon our men. We were carrying all night from about 2 o’clock until 6 o’clock.