Mooned about until 2 o’clock. Came back to the billet and roused * house. Up at 6.30. Cleaned up ready for parade. Dull morning. Marched off about 11 o’clock. Passed through Hazebrouck1 and saw the people going out of the big church. Sat by the roadside and had tea served up. Arrived at Outersteene2 about 4.30. Decent village and good billet. Went out with Holman and had eggs and chips. Supposed to finish guard but didn’t go on it. Had short walk in the direction of Meteren3. Four of our chaps went into Méteren. Turned in early. Had meat and tinned tongue for supper. 22 kilos. Heard rumour of Bapaume being captured and revolt in Russia.
Up at 7 o’clock. Busy all day. Usual work. Went to bed early.
Slightly * in the afternoon.
Several British advances made about this time. Also crisis with U S A and Germany. And the submarine ban†1.
Up at 7 o’clock. Busy all day as usual. Finished about 7 o’clock. Had a man very ill with pleurisy and had him taken over to the building.
Billy Truman got other three leave cards with another at the billet last thing.
President Woodrow Wilson broke off diplomatic relations with Germany on 3rd February 1917 following the latter’s decision to re-introduce a policy of unrestricted U-boat warfare two days earlier; see yesterday’s diary entry. The text of President Wilson’s speech to Congress announcing this development is available here. ↩
Up as usual. Busy all day. Billy Truman received orders to go on leave and cleared off after dinner. I took over his tent for a short time and then Harvey came up to it.
Heard of the Germans’ submarine scheme1 and war demands of America.
Up about 7 o’clock. Busy all day. Went off to Y M at night. Mr Lloyd George [entry apparently uncompleted.] 1
David Lloyd George had become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom a few days earlier, on 6 December 1916, following the resignation of Herbert Asquith. It is possible that ALL had intended to write a note to this effect, or to comment on some act or decision by Lloyd George subsequent to his appointment as PM. ↩
On Main Gate Guard from 9.15. Managed pretty well. Had a lot to do at night *. Leishman helped me through and I put on the guard room clock at 2 o’clock1.
Daylight Saving Bill came into force at midnight2.
See note below re daylight saving. “I put on the guard room clock” presumably means “I advanced the guard room clock by one hour.” 2 A.M. was the time at which the hour officially changed. ↩
Daylight saving time was introduced in Britain by the Summer Time Act 1916 and was implemented in 1916 as GMT plus one hour and Dublin Mean Time plus one hour (Dublin time was 25 minutes behind London at this time). For 1916, DST extended from 21 May to 1 October. ↩
On parade in the morning. Bank holiday in the afternoon and allowed out. Walked into town with Leishman. Had a drop tea at the Y.M. Went to Inwoods’ for balls. Arranged to go to Victoria Hall concert. Met Mrs Inwood and Franchie in the car and went down together. Pretty good concert. After concert big rush for cars1. Mrs Inwood, Green and Leishman got in and left Franchie and I outside. We walked up to the Town Hall before we could get one. Stayed to Inwoods’ to supper. A man got * knocked down by a car and I helped to pick him up. Mr Inwood wrote out the paper of the Dublin Rebellion2.
Lowestoft3 Naval Raid.
“Cars”: Meaning tram-cars, as usual. ↩
Lowestoft: this was intended to be a very big operation, and was timed to coincide with the Dublin Easter Rising, the Irish rebels having asked for German supporting action. Very briefly: 8 Zeppelins bombed Norwich, Lincoln, Harwich and Ipswich on 24 April, then a strong German naval force arrived off East Anglia, and by bombarding Lowestoft and Yarmouth hoped to draw divided Royal Navy forces to be attacked and beaten separately; the Germans correctly believed that the High Seas Fleet was widely divided, part of it trying to carry out a similar plan on the German coast, but some British ships had returned after colliding in fog, and were not where the Germans expected. The German leading battleship hit a mine, and all in all the whole operation was greatly disrupted and achieved nothing. ↩
Up about 7.30. Frosty morning and we couldn’t get washed before breakfast. Busy all day with rations and town in the afternoon as usual. Scottish R.A M C got 3 hours notice to get to York. More women cooks in. Wrote to Charlie at night. Received letter from George Crawford. Spent at bit time in the Y.M. Winston Churchill resigned1.
Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, took most of the blame for the failed Gallipoli initiative. Having been a professional soldier before entering Parliament, he later went for a time to France as a battalion commander. ↩
Slept in and didn’t get up until after 8 o’clock. Walked along Kil Kel [sic] Braes in the morning and read Mr McKenna1 on the new War Loan. Spent the afternoon on the sea front and read a bit of Everyman. Bought a teddy bear for Moira and some other presents for home. Met Ernie at night and spent the night with the photographs.