Up at about 7 o’clock. Usual day. On in the afternoon and off at night. Wrote a letter to Franchie Inwood. At the Y M at night and found the service very good.
Up at 7 o’clock. Not much to do and learned a bit French in the morning. Capt. Johnson left us to go to number 4 stationary hospital at York. He shook hands with us at parting. Very sorry to lose him.
The Duke of Connaught in the town presenting medals gained in the recent fighting. My turn on so I wrote home. Glorious day. Received letter from Franchie to say that she has got well again. Returned letter to Franchie. Went to Merry Mauves with Driver and they were very good.
Up at 6.30. Very busy all day. Captain Johnson told me off for having an untidy ward. I received a new patient and also * *. Had busy night, we were short of tumblers. Got through all right. Wrote long letter to Franchie Inwood.
A shell just missed us again about 6 o’clock in the morning. Were relieved at 7 o’clock. Harry Bascombe ordered down to La Clyte and Arthur Lyne to take his place. Turned in to kip1 and slept exhausted after dinner until about 6 o’clock. Had tea and shaved and washed. Received word from Franchie Inwood to say that she is in hospital and to go through an operation to have a growth removed from †her finger† this summer. Also received a letter from home. Went to bed about 9 o’clock.
“Kip”(if correct), meaning “sleep”: a word which ALL occasionally used in speech in later life, but apparently too colloquial for the diary except here and on August 28. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. Fed tent and cleaned up. Had some trouble with a CCS man, who had violent pains in his abdomen. Managed pretty well and finished about 6.30. Got a bit of a letter written to Franchie. Started in a new tent.
Newspapers mention slight advance on the Somme and capture of 350 prisoners.
Up as usual at 7 o’clock. Had two to look after and a lot of trouble. The DMS1 came round unexpectedly in the afternoon and told me off about some dirt outside one of the tents. Said I was incompetent and must be taken off the job. Sergeant Powell told me afterwards it was too rotten. We laughed over it at night. Received postcard from Mrs Inwood to say that Franchie was in an isolation hospital asking me to write.
DMS: Director of Medical Services. ↩
Up at 7 as usual. On water duty in the morning, and cut down a sapling in the afternoon. Commenced to write a letter to Franchie.
On parade as usual. Fatigue in the morning and physical drill and gas helmet drill in the afternoon. Had short walk at night and read a good bit.
Up at 7 o’clock. Still standing by and no church service. Rumours of Germans’ retreat up the line. Wrote to Willie Whittaker. Fine morning. Service in the field in the afternoon but it rained and so we stopped before the sermon.
Rained a bit at night. Wrote letter home in reply to one received and also to Willie Whittaker and Franchie Inwood. Went to bed early at night. Lay awake with toothache, but generally slept well.
1 killed and 9 wounded of the 57 Ambulance at La Boisselle.
[The pencilled shorthand of this day’s entry is exceptionally faded.]
Got up at 9 o’clock. Rained heavily. Met two [illegible word deleted by ALL] Sheffield men. Had to walk about a mile to the canteen and got wet through. Shaved and washed under difficulties. Rained all morning. Had orders to parade ready for the lines at 5 o’clock but orders subsequently cancelled. Had to walk up to the top of the bank for each meal. Bully1 and biscuits. Walked to the bottom of the village at night and watched the shells bursting over Albert. An Engineer told us that the attack had been put off for 48 hours on account of the wet. The men played House2 nearly all day. Received letter from Franchie Inwood.
Saw shells bursting first thing.