Got up 7 o’clock. Took in bedding and beds. Paraded for pay. Packed kits. Had dinner at 11.15. Paraded 11.45. Colonel spoke to us and said he was sorry to lose us. Shook hands with McNee† [sic; error for ‘McNeil’?] and Sharpley. Corporal Collins and Hall kept back at the last minute. Marched the party to the train. Our kits went in the motor. Shook hands with Collins, Mr and Mrs Arrowridge and a few more at the station. Black was sorry to be left behind. They cheered us off. Changed at Alnmouth, York and Conisbrough†1. Arrived 6.30. A waggon waiting for us. I marched them up to the barracks. A good tea ready for us. Got out billets in married quarters. Filthy dirty bedding. Felt truly wretched last thing at night. Met Bagley and Willie Hunter.
Left Alnwick for Sheffield.
Conisbrough: The transcription is uncertain, but there is a Conisbrough (C) near Doncaster which would be consistent with a journey from York (A) to Sheffield (B). ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. On fatigues as usual. Got out early and got the 5.15 train to Morpeth1. Black set me to the station. Betty waiting for me. We walked up by the river side2. It rained pretty heavily. Talked a bit nonsense. Sat beside a gate a good bit. I told her that I loved her, and asked her if she loved me and she said she did. I promised I would have nothing to do with girls and would not forget her, and she promised she would not forget me. She showed me the brooch I gave her. My train was prompt and so I had to leave her on the platform. I kissed her before I got into the train.
Morpeth is a town in Northumberland about 20 miles south of Alnwick. ↩
On fatigue as usual. Felt a bit sick at having to leave Alnwick and Betty. Put in pass for Morpeth. Everybody interested in our departure. Out with Black at night. Raining all the time. Called at Dons’ and he was away. Mrs Don didn’t recognise me at all. †Just at first† said goodbye to Mrs Proctor.
On fatigue as usual. News came at dinner time that we are to return to Alnwick1 on Friday. Posted in orders at night. I wrote to Betty and made an appointment for Thursday night at Morpeth. Wrote home too. At the pictures at night with Sharpley and Black. Felt a bit blue at the prospect.
Alnwick: The shorthand clearly has “Alnwick”, but ALL presumably meant to write “Sheffield”. ↩
On fatigue as usual. A bit question about lecture in the afternoon. Wrote to Charlie at night. In the orderly room with Metgrave in Soulsby’s place. News received of a large party of men coming into the camp.
At church in the morning and evening. Took duty in the dining hall for Sharpley. Betty at church at night. I was in their pew. Sang one nice hymn. Sat and talked to her a good bit after her sister had gone into the house.
On fatigue in the morning. Went out to meet Betty at night. Snowing pretty heavily. We stayed in a gateway all the night. I told her I was interested in her and she admitted interest in me. Was terribly wet when I returned to the camp. A few minutes late. Fell over a netting at the top of the camp. Most of the men in the room on pass. Corporal Collins on leave.
On fatigue as usual. Met Betty and her sister at night. It was hailing heavily. She came out again and we had a short walk together. I was late in leaving her and ran into Mr Arrowridge† and we came down together. He showed me a new road into the top of the camp.