On parade in the morning. Put on with Simmons picking up papers and things. Messed about on fatigues all day. Finished at 3 o’clock. Went to the Church Army hall with Corporal Mather at night. C of E service and enjoyed it pretty well.
Busy all day. M O called round twice† and rumour of the evacuation of Serre1. All sorts of news going round all day. Went to service at night at the Y M C A.
Day’s work as usual. Went to Y M at night and heard a Scotsman preaching. The service a pleasant change.
Frost still holding.
This is the only mention in the diary of Ned, the dog. Dogs were used extensively by all sides during the conflict so the presence of a dog is unsurprising. Given that ALL was attached to a medical facility, it is possible that Ned was a casualty dog although he may just have been a mascot or pet. See Animals during the war at the BBC Schools World War One site. ↩
On duty as usual. A service in the afternoon in the dining hall. At a service at the Y M at night and enjoyed it.
Up about 7 o’clock and on duty as usual. Kept busy all day. Managed to get away at 7 o’clock at night and went to the Y M service. It was very good and the parson preached from the text “Fear not”. The last hymn “For all the saints” went very well indeed. Slept out the year. McGowan was drunk and made a collection to buy some bottles of beer.
Spent the day as usual. Went to service at night. The Mairie occupied so we went to the canteen tent and heard a service there. The padre spoke very nicely on kinship†.
Driver mad drunk. Shortrigg and I undressed him and he slept after fighting† a while.
Up about 7 o’clock and on duty at 7.30. A lot of patients in and we were kept fairly busy. Went up to the service in the Mairie at night and heard the new preacher. A very good service. Had short walk afterwards and slept well.
Up at about 10 o’clock. Went into Doullens in the afternoon and called in at the church. Rather poor service. Had a feed at a hotel but too late for the Y.M. service. Wrote part of a letter. Missed service at the billet.
Up at 7 o’clock. At 8.45 communion service. Busy all day in the ward. Went to service in the Y.M. at night and played the piano. Picked wrong tune for one hymn, and chose the new tune for Onward Christian Soldiers1 for the last hymn.
Received news of big victory by the British on the Somme.
The “new tune” for Onward Christian Soldiers was probably the one most known today, composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871 and named “St Gertrude” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer. The tune which had previously been used for Onward Christian Soldiers was a melody from the slow movement of Joseph Haydn’s Symphony in D, No. 15. Evidently “St Gertrude”, despite then being some 45 years old, was still considered new – at least by ALL. ↩