Up at about 7.30. Walked round town with Father after washing up. Bought a few things. Walked round again in the afternoon with Joe and called to see Joe’s father’s shop. Walked round town. Stayed in at night.
Up about 6 o’clock. Had breakfast at the canteen and paraded early. Crossed by 11 o’clock 1 and arrived in London shortly after 3. Had tea at the Y M hut and left by the 5.302. Came up most of the way with an engineer chap. Arrived at midnight and found Joe and Father waiting for me.
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 about 7 o’clock and on duty at 8 o’clock. Rained heavily all day. Did a little French. Received letter from Joe. Worked until 8 o’clock. Had short walk round the village at night. News continues to be good. Wrote letter to Charlie.
Up at about 6.30. On parade. Spent morning at squad drill and a short march. Paraded at 8 o’clock. Went for bath in the stream in the afternoon. Did a little French. Read 3 essays by William James1 on releasing the energies of men2 and habit† 3 and found them exceptionally good. Wrote letter to Joe, called in to see Sergeant Powell and went for short walk. Changed billet.
[In the space before 1 January – ] Things to eat. Old fashioned custard.
Up about 7.30. On working party in the wood. Lit a fire and stood round it. Received a Christmas letter from Joe, also Christmas card, sermon and some papers. Sat over fire at night and wrote letter.
Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded with full packs at 9 o’clock. Helped Sergeant Powell with the panniers. Spent the afternoon cleaning up kit and having hair cut. Received letters from Joe, George Crawford and Metgrave. Finished letter to Leishman.
Up about 9 o’clock. Went up to see Mr Eaves1. Wrote to Harvey’s brother and wrote up diary.
[Diary reverts to pencil at this point – obviously written up after ALL’s return to France.]
Sister Annie2 called at night and we had a long argument on men – whether they are as good as parsons think they are or not. She stayed until 7 o’clock. I had supper and then we all went up to the station. I left by the 9.15. †Annie Freeman† at the station to see Teddie Tudor† off but he wasn’t going. †Dee Frere† and Hilda3 there. Called on Granny in the afternoon just after tea. Jack at the station too and Joe.
Left Sunderland 9.15 for Newcastle. Arrived Newcastle about 10 and left again after an hour4. Got good seat in the train.
Edward Eaves was a minister at the South Durham Street United Methodist Free Church. According to the diary, ALL had written to Mr Eaves twice, on 28 December 1916 and 28 May 1917, the latter shortly after Mr Mullens, another minister at the church, had died, presumably to offer condolences. Mr Eaves had officiated at Mr Mullens’ funeral. ↩
The map shows the first part of ALL’s journey back to France, from Sunderland (A) to London (C) on an overnight train, via Newcastle (B). ↩