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.
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.
Up at 7 o’clock. Church parade at 9 o’clock. Open air service. After service we were given a pair of socks each. First field service I have attended. Spent the afternoon in the field writing a letter to Mr Inwood and watching aeroplanes playing about. Fine day. Went to service in the field again at night. Read Epistle of St. James. Had a discussion with Lee about singing words in hymns which we don’t believe. Short walk in the village.
Can hear guns at the front very distinctly.
Had one cup of coffee.
Received 4 letters.
On fatigue all morning preparing waggons for removal. Swam in the afternoon. Walked to the village at night. Fine day. Received letter from home and one from Mr Inwood.
Wrote home and wrote letter to Betty.
Up at 5 o’clock. Breakfast at 6 o’clock. Paraded at 8.45 and went to the big parade ground. Were lectured on gas helmets, given one each, and put through a gas test. Our buttons nicely blackened1. Very interesting. Heavy shower as we sat. Wrote letter to Mr Inwood in the afternoon. Went to lecture by an Indian doctor at night. Went to bed shortly after 9 o’clock.
Received news of North Sea fight2.
On parade most of the day receiving kit and suchlike. Went to town and bought a brooch for Franchie. Returned to Inwoods’. Went out with Franchie to Five† Ridges1 to pick daisies. Gave her the brooch. Mrs Inwood gave me shaving material and some cakes. Stayed pretty late. Wrote in both autograph albums and birthday books. Left 11 o’clock.
Went to bed about midnight.
Last night in Sheffield.