We arrived at Essars about 7 o’clock. Steam engine took over and we arrived at Burbure1 about 9. Marched to Auchel. Had breakfast about 10 o’clock and marched off for Grecourt2 about 2 and arrived by 5 o’clock. Dinner at night and to bed. Absolutely tired out.
Burbure (B; Michelin square G4) is on the southern outskirts of Lillers, 17km E of Essars (A) and 6km NNW. of Auchel (C). ↩
“Grecourt” is not in the Michelin map gazetteer, and I can’t find any name much resembling it within 3 hours’ march (especially if circuitous and/or lost) of Auchel. It was probably somewhere N. of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise (D), as they got back the next day (and no transport is mentioned) to Pernes, which is on the St Pol – Lillers road (Michelin square G5). ↩
Off duty in the morning. Went down to headquarters. Couldn’t sleep. Returned in the afternoon. Headquarters moved to Auchel1. Ambulance relieved. Left A D S at about 9.30 and marched up to Le Touret siding. Waited there until 2.45. Jerry shelled twice very near and we crouched under some rails, the hedge and anywhere. Most miserable night, light rail train broke down twice and stuck * and –
Auchel (B; Michelin square G4) is 7km SSE. of Lillers, and 11km SW. of Béthune. If the Advanced Dressing Station was near the previous location of headquarters, and if that was at Essars (A), 2km NE. of Béthune (see 18 September), this could make sense. Le Touret (C) is a hamlet 3km NE. from Essars, in square I4. ↩
Had a few cases in during the night. Finished about 8 o’clock and got down to it in a funk hole. Jerry shelled about 10 o’clock and blew up our marquee. We ran down the road a bit. Returned and packed up and went to headquarters to sleep until after tea. Returned in the afternoon. No-one hurt but the dinner all blown up. On duty all night.
Up at 7 o’clock. Rain in the morning. Heard that we are to be relieved on the 4th October. On duty all day but not much to do. Clegg went on leave so I was put on night duty with Holman and stayed up all night.
Received letters from home – one typewritten from Joe and one from Mother.
Up at 7 o’clock and lay down again for a while. Messed about the place all day. Fixed up a funk hole in the afternoon and decided not to sleep in it at night as it was too near the big guns. Splendid news from Palestine and Bulgaria1.
Up at 7 o’clock. On fatigue during the morning. Rather dull and showery but got out fine. Heard that the Americans had taken a redoubt†. Pulled out of bed at mid-night to go up the line. Dressed hurriedly and went up as far as the A D S. Got down in a marquee. Jerry shelled in the night and came very near. We ran into the dressing room. After a while lay down again. He shelled near but not so much as earlier in the evening.
Up at about 7.30 and on guard 8 to 12. Taken off guard in the afternoon and put on a party of stretcher bearers and again taken from that later on. Received letter from Leishman. Heard that 25000 Turks and 260 guns were captured in Palestine1 and that the Bulgarians were in full retreat2.
Bulgarians in retreat: This diary entry was written towards the closing stages of the Vardar Offensive, which led to Bulgaria signing the Armistice of Salonica and thus withdrawing from the war on 29 September. ↩
Up about 7.30. The C O called about dinner-time and told me to go back to headquarters. Showery day. Heard of big victory in Palestine1 and received a letter from Charlie enclosing two photographs. Had walk with Harvey.
The “big victory in Palestine” was possibly the Capture of Nablus on 21 September during the Battle of Nablus (19-25 September). ↩