Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9 with our pals and went off to the Divisional sport. Went on the main road to Boulogne to a village called Lumbrubert1 and in a field near the sports were held. Everything laid out nicely. The medicals won the relay race and the * race and we were second in the high jump and the tug of war. Some very good sport. The Chesters top by one point, 26 and the medicals next 25. Fine day. Divisional band in attendance. Left about 7 o’clock and got back about 9. Walked most of the way there and rode most of the way back. Knocked about with Ben Jenkins and Billy Truman and that lot. Received letter from home telling me that Charlie had a gathered thumb and had burned his foot.
Lumbrubert: not identified on the Michelin map; there is a Brunembert (B) just S. of the N42 Boulogne road, 11km W. of Nielles-les-Bléquin (A), so within walking distance; Michelin map square D3. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. Glorious day. Squad drill first thing, then kit inspection by new officer. Went down to the lower part of the stream but the water was too shallow for swimming. After dinner bath parade and a clean change by the stream at the old place. Went to the Follies at night with John Dory. They were very good and much better than before. Received letter from Charlie and one from home and wrote long letter home.
Up at 7 o’clock. One bomb dropped in the night. Not far away. Off in the afternoon. Received letter from Charlie. Called at photo shop, but they weren’t ready. Received new patient, a captain of the 19th Division. Grand day. Learned some French at night. Billy Powell’s leave came through.
Up at about 6.45. Kept pretty busy all day. Captain Johnson paraded us and told us that we must keep our wards clean and tidy. Off at night. Went to the pictures at the Y M. They were vile. Commenced letter to Charlie. Received new clothing from headquarters – a pair of trousers for me.
Up at usual time. Grand day. Received orders quite suddenly to go back to headquarters. Went into town and bought a towel, a soap box and some other things. Charlie’s birthday.
Returned from town and found that I had to †pack it in†. Hurried to La Clytte in a car. Everything ready for the push. Big guns in the valley firing. Marquees† up and all ready. Fritz1 shelled La Clytte regularly for the last few nights. Had a bit rest and then marched up the line with our stretchers and everything. I picked a wheeled stretcher. No shelling as we came up but signs of recent shelling and dead horses. Arrived at Ridge Wood and the brasserie about 11 o’clock. Got down2 in the brasserie but had to go out again into the little R E signals dugout.
Fritz: a name given to German troops by the British and others in the First and Second World Wars. ↩
Up at 5.30. A lot of trouble during the night between old Wilson and Marsh. Finished about 7.30. Had breakfast and turned in. Slept until tea time. Went to concert at night in the dining room. Steve Bott, John Dory, Sergeant Cooper and several others including the C.O. and Captain Andrews took part. Gus played and played very well. Pretty busy at night with the officers. Got through all right. Wrote letter to Charlie.
Up at 7 o’clock, on duty as usual in the hospital. Finished after dinner and went up to Y M. Wrote two letters, one to Ernie and one to Charlie. Stayed to tea. Came down and received a letter from home. Heard that we are moving this weekend. Went to the concert of the * Shifters and it was not up to much.