Up shortly after 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9. Cleaning waggons until 12 o’clock. Sergeant-major ordered me over Baileul[sic] after dinner1. Gave me five minutes’ notice. Rode down in car with Bromley. A splendid place. Washed and cleaned up in the afternoon and then went to the concert. A very good concert. Good orchestra. First half turns and second half “dramatic fragment.” Looked up news at night, which spoke of heavy fighting. Went to bed late.
Will have to play my cards very carefully. Finished reading Villette2.
“Baileul”: Actually Bailleul (B), 10km SSW of La Clyttte/Klijte (A). As usual “after dinner” means “after lunch”; the move to Bailleul would have been in the afternoon, not the evening. ↩
Up at 7 and on duty about 7.30. Cleaned things up for the visit of the G O C.1 He arrived shortly after 3 o’clock and inspected the place. The hospital satisfactory. Went in the car to Reninghelst. Just too late for the concert so went into the Y M hall and heard a band concert by the Royal Fusiliers band. Called in on the way back and had eggs and coffee. Sergeant Powell and Holman with me. Got back at 8.45.
Up at 6 o’clock and out on the dugout after the fatigue. Stayed up until 3.45 and arrived back about 5 o’clock. Sergeant Wilson with us and the chaps pulled his leg all the time. Had a rather awful dinner. Was very tired at night. Had a short walk and went down to La Clytte Y M and listened outside to the Follies.
Up at 6 o’clock. Marched off at 7 o’clock. Arrived at the dressing station about 8 o’clock. Spent the morning digging and was very tired after it. Returned about 1 o’clock. Turned out wet in the afternoon so we did nothing in the afternoon. Went to the Y M at night to the Follies. Saw Billington on dancing.
We were shelled pretty heavily going down the road. Got lift in a lorry. One of the North Lancs wounded by the first shell.
Up at 7 o’clock. On duty all day. Went to Renninghelst at night on the car1. Called in at the Y M hut and stayed a few minutes at a concert and then had something to eat. Walked back. Swotted a bit French in bed.
“Car”: presumably not a tram-car; possibly the motor ambulance again? ↩
Up at 7 o’clock and on duty as usual. Had to look after a sick officer most of the morning. Went to Renninghelst1 at night to the Crumps concert2. It was very good – the best I have seen in France. Went in the motor ambulance and walked back up.
Renninghelst (sic): Actually Reninghelst, now Flemish Reningelst (B), 6km NW. of La Clytte/Klijte (A), towards Poperinghe; Michelin square I3. ↩
“Crumps concert”; presumably another soldiers’ revue. Crump is an old English dialect word for a hard hit or blow which, after 1914, came to be used for the explosion of a heavy artillery shell; the craters left by such shells were often referred to as crump-holes. This may be how The Crumps concert party got its name. ↩
Up at 7.30. Had eggs and chips for dinner along with Harvey. Had full marching order inspection and then cleaned the waggons. Walked into Baileul1 in the afternoon. Had tea and then went to the Merry Munroes2 and enjoyed their concert. Returned about 9 o’clock.
Bailleul (B): 5km NW. of Outtersteene (A) and 16km SSW. of Ypres; Michelin square I3. ↩
Merry Munroes: Another soldiers’ revue? See “Merry Mauves” on 22 and 26 September 1916, also at Bailleul. ↩
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.