My Birthday 271. Up at 5.30. Breakfast at 6. Fell in full pack at 7 and marched off about 7.20. Heavy fall of snow and still falling as we marched. Several of us fell down as we came down the hill from the camp. The march tired me a lot and I was nearly beat after the first stretch. Put into a deep dugout near to the Welsh aid post, along with Sergeant Powell, Holman, Bascombe and other 9. Slept pretty comfortably on the floor. Ball, the new man, on gas alert picket. Went up to aid post and had to get down a few times. They knocked in the parapet near shortly before we went along. A lovely birthday!
Up about 7. On wood-chopping in the morning and cut down a big tree. Did same in the afternoon and cut down a sapling. Went over the line at night. Snowed heavily overnight. Throat and chest pretty bad.
Up at 7 o’clock. Heavy cold on me. On parade in the morning and not much to do. In the afternoon went on with the water cart to draw washing water in the village. Oiled the pump and filled the barrels quickly.
On duty first thing as usual, and relieved about 10.30. Packed kit, had dinner, helped to pack up and moved off about 12 o’clock. Arrived at Authie1 at about 4 o’clock after a terrible heavy march. Felt beastly done up. Billeted in the same camp but in the lower house. Nice house with * †views in and baluster on†.
“Authie”: ALL was first at Authie on 7th October 1916, apparently at the same camp but a different billet. ↩
Left Authie about 9.30. Part of the morning† Harry Bascombe left at the hospital in the village. Had to wait several times for the Division to move and in one place had to put off our pack and push the waggons up a very steep bank. Marched about 9 miles. Arrived at Val de Maison1 about 4 o’clock. I felt pretty rotten and got down as quickly as possible.
Val de Maison: presumably the Val de Maison (B) in Michelin map square G7, 3km E. of N25, mid-way between Doullens and Amiens, 9 miles/14.5km from Authie (A); it would be about 20km march from Val de Maison to the Brickfields camp at Albert on 23 October. ↩
“Temperature”: Presumably ALL’s body temperature. 101.4°F is c. 38.5°C – a moderate fever – the malaise causing this fever is not specified. ↩
Up at about 8 o’clock. I lay in last. Had good breakfast including Quaker Oats and bacon and bread. A party relieved us in the afternoon and after tea we returned in a motorcar to Authie and I slept by Ike again.