Up at 6 o’clock. Went off to Gap station along with Corporal Chapman to strike tents. Didn’t get away until nearly dinner time. Hurried back to Aveluy post and had no time for dinner. Marched off about 11.30 and arrived at Warloy1 at about 4 o’clock. Messed about looking for billets and finally settled on some emergency tents. Had pretty good night, 9 in the tent.
Up about 8 o’clock. Laid fire and had breakfast. Mr Mudie1 arrived in the Ford car to take us away about 10 o’clock. He went to make enquiries about the people who are to relieve us. 33 F A relieved us about 4 o’clock. I walked to the cab station and Mr Mudie sent me on after Captains McCombie and Birrell to Aveluy post. There I got the Ford car and returned to the house where Corporal Chapman and I got in with our kit and returned. I received some letters, one from home telling me that Ranald McDonald was wounded in the leg and had trench fever2. Slept with the M.T’s.
La Verr3 killed.
Mr Mudie: the Army convention was/is that lieutenants and 2nd lieutenants were/are addressed, and sometimes referred to, as “Mr. xx”; so although ALL elsewhere writes “Lieutenant XX”, Mr Mudie – if the name is correct – was probably not a civilian. ↩
Trench fever is a moderately serious disease transmitted by body lice. It infected armies in Flanders, France, Poland, Galicia, Italy, Salonika, Macedonia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt in World War I. The disease is caused by the bacterium Bartonella quintana, found in the stomach walls of the body louse. Lice were, of course, ubiquitous as is well documented both in ALL’s diaries (for example, on 21 July 1916) and in other contemporary accounts. ↩
“La Verr” is written very faintly in longhand and is barely legible. However, in the light of helpful information from a correspondent, this was very probably Private Matthew La Veere, of the 58th Field Ambulance, from Cambusnethan near Wishaw, Lanarkshire, who is buried in the British Cemetery at Contay, some 13km west of Aveluy ↩
Principal work all night dressing cases. Had over 40 cases in during the night. Got into bed about 9 o’clock, but had to get up to vomit and immediately afterwards Quarter<master> Castle ordered me to be ready to go with Corporal Chapman and the C.O. to take over a place. Went in the Ford†. Germans shelling shell heap. Wounded a man and our car took him back to Aveluy. As we waited on the road we watched a few shells fall near. Back over some huts at Martinsart1. Men of the 61st Naval Division came into the huts for the night. A few slept with us. I got down about 6 o’clock and slept well. Heard that Piggy Wood and Castle had received Military Medal.
Martinsart: presumably Mesnil-Martinsart (A), about 2½km from both Aveluy (B) and Bouzincourt (C), and 4½km N. of Brickfields (D); Michelin square H7. ↩
Up about 7.30. Played football a good bit. Helped Billington in the morning. Received orders at dinner to pack up and go to Aveluy 1 on the ration cart after dinner. Wet day with occasional rays of sunshine. Put on night duty in the dressing tent. Slept in the tent. Nothing to do all night.
Up about 7.30. Rained heavily in the morning. Played football good part of the day. Had bath in the afternoon in the village of Aveloy1. Got out fine in the evening. Helped Billington as usual. Helped with the supper at the officers’ mess. Rumours of peace, which we would like to believe but dare not. No post.
Shelled heavily during the night and not so far away.
Aveloy: there is an Aveluy (A), 2km N. of Albert town centre, not far from the Brickfields camp (B), Michelin square H7. ↩