Up at 7 o’clock. On working party at 9. Busy in the end place with Harvey again. Worked pretty hard. Sergeant MacDonell in charge. Returned about 5 o’clock. Went to Locre† at night to the Bible class. Saw Sandwith there. Had very good little meeting. Went down with Holman.
Up at 7 o’clock and on duty as usual. Went with Harvey to a bible class at La Clytte Y M at night. Very nice little meeting. The leader reminded me of Mr Mullins1. He took our names and made a big fuss.
Up at 6 o’clock and went up the line on the dugout fatigue. Rained heavily all day and we returned at dinner time after simply unlocking a waggon of stuff. Good news in the papers about the advance at Arras.
Went to service at the Y M at night and played1 for a short while afterwards. Had serious talk with Harvey and felt better after it.
“Played”: Not a game but a keyboard instrument of some sort; a piano or organ if such was available in the YM. ↩
Up at 7 by new time – 6 in reality1. On duty as usual. Sandwith and a friend came very gamely to see me in the morning and we talked of the war. We were issued with waterproof capes in the evening. Received letter from Ernie. Went to service at the Y M at night and after the service played the piano until closing time, while several other chaps sang. Had a good time. First time I have played since last August. Went to bed and swotted a bit French last thing.
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.