Tag Archives: Kemmel

19 October 1917; Friday

Left Kemmel with Clifford† at about 10 o’clock and arrived at Bailleul about 11.30. Had dinner and reported at the station. Train started about 1.40. Weary Journey. Arrived at Boulogne1 about 11.30 and went into rest billets.


  1. This journey marks the beginning of ALL’s only period of home leave during his service in France. The map shows this stage of ALL’s journey home, from Kemmel (A) to Boulogne (C) via Bailleul (B). 

14 October 1917; Sunday

Up about 7.30. Finished fatigues early in the afternoon. Went to Dranoutre1 Y M service at night with Harvey and Corporal Mather. Very good service. Met some old Sheffield men there. There in the 917th Ambulance and Williams2 is sergeant-major.


  1. Dranoutre: Flemish Dranouter (B), mid-way between Bailleul and Kemmel (A), Michelin map square I3. 

  2. Williams: Possibly, though not certainly, the same Williams as is mentioned for the first time in the diary entry for ALL’s very first day in Sheffield in 1915.

    “Other two recruits with me. A Scotsman and a Sunderland lad called Williams … Went into town at night with Williams.”

    Williams is mentioned on only one further occasion during ALL’s time in Sheffield, 12 August 1915

13 October 1917; Saturday

Up about 7.30. Decided to go to meet Ernie but he came to see me with a friend. Harvey joined us and we walked into Locre and back by La Clytte1. He told me that he had been recommended for a Military Medal2. Had good time together. Had tea in Locre.


  1. The map shows this journey, from Kemmel (A) to Locre (B) and back via La Clytte (C). 

  2. Although not recorded in the diary, Ernie had been awarded the Military Medal on 4th October for repairing communication wiring at night in No Man’s Land. The staff officer who saw Ernie doing it recommended him for the award because – perhaps with limited experience of front-line realities – he assumed it must be an exceptional act of bravery; an assumption about which Ernie remained indignant for the rest of his life. Courageous it clearly was (however modest Ernie may have been about it), but it was routine rather than exceptional. See further narrative about Ernie and the R.G.A. in the footnote on 12 May 1916, all posts tagged “Ernie” and the Family page. 

11 October 1917; Thursday

Up about 6 o’clock and carried down a case first thing with the new squad. Took them a long time. Started off with Captain McCombie to inspect the posts but he turned back at the top of the tunnel. Went to C post in the afternoon with orders for the men there to go down. We were relieved about 6 o’clock and walked down past the brasserie. Arrived about 8 o’clock and helped in the blanket store.