Up at 6 o’clock. Repacked waggons, struck tents, dumped a lot of stuff. Made ready to go to a dressing station down the road but the order cancelled at the last minute. Left after about 3 o’clock and after a long march arrived at Achiet-le-Petit1 at about 6 o’clock. On duty in hurriedly-put-up dressing room until shortly after midnight. Slept badly.
Ordered to fall in shortly before 4 am. Packed up and moved off and arrived at Beauquuy at about 7 am.2
Arrived at Beaulencourt1 about 3 am. Got down to it in a Nissen hut. Up again by 8 o’clock. Packed waggons and dumped a lot of stuff. Marched off at about 2 o’clock with a full load on our backs. Arrived just beyond Bapaume at about 5 o’clock. Put up tent and then had tea. Went on gas and air raid guard until midnight. Could not sleep until about 3 o’clock.
Were ordered to put up tents in a field but kept going before tents were up. Moved into village. Fit<ted> up dressing station, and got straight to work. Very busy in the afternoon. Germans still advancing†. Left with stretcher cases on our hands. A few of us carried some of them on our ambulance along the road. Nearly lost our people.2
Beaulencourt (B): Michelin square J; 4km SE. of Bapaume (C), where this journey ended, and about 7km W of Bus (A), where it started. ↩
These last lines of shorthand crossed out by ALL. The Ambulance’s first concern was obviously to keep themselves and their wounded out of the hands of the advancing Germans, and when there was eventually a chance to write up the diary the exact sequence of events was no doubt difficult to recall. The deleted lines are difficult to read, but seem to be something like the transcription given here. ↩
Up about 6.30. Relieved at about 8 o’clock and went to Bapaume1 for a walk. The town is absolutely in ruins. Returned back about dinnertime. Went to bed after dinner and lay in for tea. Walked at night up to the concert hall but were too late. Went on duty at about 7 o’clock.