Up at the usual time. On water duty in the morning and off in the afternoon. Wrote to Robbie and Betty.
Busy all day. Finished at 6 o’clock and went up to the service in the Mairie. The padre was very good and we enjoyed the service. Received letter from Ernie, also parcel from Betty.
Heard that at the French victory at Verdun 9 000 prisoners and 81 guns had been captured.
Up at 7 o’clock after a bad restless night. Hunted in shirt and pants and found about 6 big lice. Paraded in the morning for cleaning waggons etcetera and then physical drill. Lay down all afternoon – no parade. Had some peaches for tea. Received some papers from Betty and also a letter from home. Went out at night with Lee and called at a village. Bought some chocolate. Afterwards met Leaky and Duggins and went with them to Ribemont1. Had eggs, coffee and cakes and bread. Walked round village and bought card for Gertie. Saw a few thousand cavalry go by our village and understand they are going to charge in the morning.
Ribemont: presumably Ribemont-sur-Ancre, 7km SW of Albert, not Ribemont, SE of St Quentin. ↩
Received letter from Betty telling me that she understood1, but would like to keep on corresponding with me. I replied. Physical drill. [Some words about ‘drill’ crossed out by ALL.] Also foot and chest inspection in the morning. No parades in the afternoon. Wrote letter. Went to boxing contest at night and saw about 6 matches and some decent boxing. Went to bed early after talking a bit with Walsh. Saw 3 observation balloons up.
Paraded in the morning and marched to Raineville. Parts† of whole brigade marched past and it was a most interesting sight. Carried full pack about 8 miles. Warm day. Found new billet. In a barn in a French house. I had coffee and lay in the house. Quaint old fashioned house with big fire place. New billet much cleaner than the old one. Went to bed early.
Wrote letter home and posted letter to Betty.
On fatigue all morning preparing waggons for removal. Same in the afternoon. Walked to the village at night. Fine day. Received letter from home and one from Mr Inwood.
Wrote home and wrote letter to Betty.
Paraded in the morning with full pack and marched to a village a nice distance away and back. Physical drill in the afternoon. Walked to the village1 at night.
Received letter from home and one from Betty.
At church parade. Wrote letter to Betty and one to Ernie in the afternoon. Green and I went to Inwoods’ to tea and supper. At church at night. The choir sang “While she dwelt in the land” in the morning.
On parade in the morning. Fine afternoon. Went for walk with Leishman. Walked up from Nether Green car1 to Wyming Valley and back by Rivelin Valley2. Grand walk and grand day. Had tea in Hudson’s café and returned to barracks about 8 o’clock. Commenced letter to Betty.
Received letter from Ernie saying he has joined R.G.A. 3 and leaves Sunderland for Great Yarmouth on Tuesday next.
Leishman4 told me all about dissecting bodies.
“Car”: means tram-car, as usual. ↩
Nether Green (A on the map) is c. 2½ miles WSW of Sheffield city centre, on the Fulwood Road. Wyming Brook (B on the map) is a river which flows from Redmires Reservoirs near the Hallam Moors in a northeasterly direction down quite steep terrain into the lower of the Rivelin Dams. The River Rivelin rises on the Hallam moors and joins the River Loxley at Malin Bridge (D on the map). The Rivelin Valley (C on the map) is a three and a half mile long woodland valley which now includes the popular Rivelin Valley Nature Trail, created in 1967. See also Sheffield map. ↩
Corporal John Leishman (service number 73063) may have had some medical-technician occupation; as with some other comrades, ALL remained in occasional touch with him when no longer in the same unit. ↩
On parade. Wet day. Inspected by C.O. and removed to another draft. Water-washing proceeding. Went into town at night and returned early. Wrote to Betty. Went to bed about 10.15.