Up at 7 o’clock and on parade at 8 o’clock. Did nothing in the afternoon. Holman and Harvey going on leave and are to stay behind in the camp. Moved off about 6 o’clock and marched through Bailleul. Band played well in Bailleul. Entrained at the station and waited until 11 o’clock before we moved off. 44 of us in one cattle truck and no room to lie down or move about. Spent a most uncomfortable night.
Up at 6 o’clock and saw Captain Crawford off. Received quite a lot of money in tips. Gibbons fighting† drunk. Squad next up and marched back to Berthen1 at about 4.30, arrived about 6 o’clock. Slept in the receiving tent with Harry Bascombe and Ben Jenkins.
Berthen (B) about 7km NNW of Bailleul (A). ↩
Up about 7.15. Felt pretty rotten first thing. Kept busy all day. Wrote short letter home. Heard rumour that we were to move tomorrow.
Up at 7.15. Off in the afternoon and evening. Went to the Merry Mauves at night and it was pretty fair.
Up at about 7 o’clock. Kept busy all day. Off in the afternoon and went to the Church Army reading room and read two short stories from a magazine. On duty at night and did some French. Lay awake and talked to Freddie about churches and festivals of the church year.
Rumours of the Division going out and of the ambulance moving.
Although the diary is silent on the matter, 6th August 1917 was the day on which ALL’s Sheffield barracks friend, Ralph Kenyon Sandwith, was killed in action near Kemmel in Belgium.
The images here are of a postcard sized portrait of RKS which exists in ALL’s collection. The front is signed “Ralph K. Sandwith” and the back has an address in Louth, RKS’ home address presumably written by RKS himself, and a note in ALL’s hand about the date of the photograph (1915) and the circumstances of Sandwith’s death (at Kemmel in 1917). Private Sandwith was about 21 years old at the time of his death, and 19 years old at the time of the photograph.
Up at about 7 o’clock. Usual day. On in the afternoon and off at night. Wrote a letter to Franchie Inwood. At the Y M at night and found the service very good.
Up at usual time. And usual day. Had short walk in the afternoon with Bob Walker. On duty at night. Did some French.
Usual day’s work. On at night.
Usual day’s work. Off at night and went to the pictures at night.