Up at 7 o’clock. Cleaned dixie in the morning. Had jacket mended at Madame’s. Ernie down in the afternoon and I walked up to Kemmel†1 with him after seeing the town and having tea at a little place in town. Both had a lot to say. On duty at night. An officer of Freddie’s taken rather worse and needed attention.
Ernie paid me a visit.
Kemmel (A) (if correct transcription), a small town in Belgium just over midway between Bailleul (B), where ALL was stationed, and Dikkebus (C), where Ernie was stationed. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. Off in the afternoon and night and went to La Clytte to see Ernie, but he didn’t turn up. Gus Rodman and Bob Walker with me. Stayed to the service at the La Clytte Y M. Service not up to much. An R F C motor-cycle came to grief on the way down and we helped him. Not much worse. Beautiful night. Turned in in good time. Received field card from Ernie to say he couldn’t get.
Up at 8 o’clock. A tremendous rush to get through and had breakfast late. Decided to go and see Ernie in the afternoon. Set out about 1.30. Walked through Dikbush1 and arrived at the battery, without much trouble, about 4.15. Just in time for tea. He showed me round and I saw his friends – very nice chaps. Left about 6.30. He showed me back almost to La Clyte and we arranged to meet again at La Clyte on Sunday next. Arrived home shortly after 9 o’clock. Slept in the old woman’s cellar and slept well. Visited Ernie.
Up at 7 o’clock. Busy all morning. Lieutenant Jones number 2 turned up again in the afternoon with his ankle trouble and two brothers in beds next to one another.
Ernie called to see me and met me as I was putting Captain Stridgeham’s kit into the ambulance. He looked round the place, had a wash and brush up and then we had tea †in the small town, looked† round and back again. I set him up to Locre. He is at Dikbush1 with 8” guns. Told one another a few adventures. Jolly called to see me.
Walked round with Walker at night.
Dikbush: apparently (Flemish) Dikkebus (A); Michelin square J3, 4km SE. of Ypres and 12km NE of Bailleul (B) where ALL was stationed at the time. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. Kept fairly busy all day. Went to service at night. Very good service and pretty good sermon though rather too long. Bob Walker with me. Ernie1 not turned up yet. Received letter from home.
Up at 7 o’clock. Rather late with our work first thing. Out in the afternoon. Lieutenant Gunning and Captain Russell went to C C S. Wrote letter to Ernie. Not much doing at night. Read little satire ‘Pig on Artemis.”1 Freddy Holmes drunk and Dai Davies drunk last thing.
[2 – 3 lines scarcely visible: “…. orderlies ….off a waggon ….. and we had him in …. time. He appeared a bit shaken.”]
German aeroplanes dropped 8 bombs near the aerodrome at about midnight and put the wind up us. The big gun also shelled the rail head.
Up at 6.30 as usual. Kept busy all day. Off at night and went to the Y M service. Enjoyed it very much. Had short walk round afterwards. Eric Hardy, Wishaw, Billy Truman, Lennie *, Peter Simmons and Ernie1. Excellent town.
“Ernie”: While the other men are listed here as Firstname Lastname (or in one case just Lastname), Ernie’s last name is not mentioned, suggesting familiarity. This Ernie was probably ALL’s elder brother, who was serving with the RGA in Northern France at this time, although this seems a little odd given that ALL wrote a long letter to Ernie the very next day, which does not seem consistent with ALL having met Ernie in person so recently. However, we do know that ALL and Ernie did meet in early July 1917 and were, apparently, exchanging letters frequently at this time. See also Family page. ↩
Up at 7.30. Spent morning packing up and writing a letter to Ernie lying out on the grass. Grand morning. Went to the Méteren movies at night and enjoyed it pretty well. Wrote long letter to Ernie. Watched aeroplanes going out about 11 o’clock at night. Bromley drunk as usual, and very funny and talkative.