Up shortly after 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9. Cleaning waggons until 12 o’clock. Sergeant-major ordered me over Baileul[sic] after dinner1. Gave me five minutes’ notice. Rode down in car with Bromley. A splendid place. Washed and cleaned up in the afternoon and then went to the concert. A very good concert. Good orchestra. First half turns and second half “dramatic fragment.” Looked up news at night, which spoke of heavy fighting. Went to bed late.
Will have to play my cards very carefully. Finished reading Villette2.
“Baileul”: Actually Bailleul (B), 10km SSW of La Clyttte/Klijte (A). As usual “after dinner” means “after lunch”; the move to Bailleul would have been in the afternoon, not the evening. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. Kept fairly busy. Got a few letters written. Walked into Westouter1 at night and had some coffee at Alice’s. They have had their business stopped by the gendarme, and served us on the quiet. Saw * places *.
Westouter (B): 4km W. of La Clytte/Klijte (A), Michelin square I3. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock and on duty as usual. Had to look after a sick officer most of the morning. Went to Renninghelst1 at night to the Crumps concert2. It was very good – the best I have seen in France. Went in the motor ambulance and walked back up.
Renninghelst (sic): Actually Reninghelst, now Flemish Reningelst (B), 6km NW. of La Clytte/Klijte (A), towards Poperinghe; Michelin square I3. ↩
“Crumps concert”; presumably another soldiers’ revue. Crump is an old English dialect word for a hard hit or blow which, after 1914, came to be used for the explosion of a heavy artillery shell; the craters left by such shells were often referred to as crump-holes. This may be how The Crumps concert party got its name. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock and on duty at 7.30. Kept busy all day. A bit of tension but only a few patients in. Went to Locre1 at night with Sergeant Powell and Ike Taylor at night and saw part 3 and 4 of the Somme pictures. Had a snack at the YM hall.
Gas helmet parade.
Locre: now (Flemish) Loker (B), 3km SSW. of La Clytte/Klijte (A), Michelin square I3. ↩
Up at 6 o’clock. Blankets handed in about 7 and marched off1 at 8 o’clock. Passed through Bailleul. Arrived at La Clyte2 about noon. Detailed off for the hospital in the afternoon. A fine hospital – * a school. Sergeant Powell in charge and the usual 6 on the job. 11 kilos.
Up at 7.30. Parade at 10 o’clock. Pottered about all day. Walked into Meteren1 at night with Harvey and Holman and called at Jeanes2. Had eggs and chips and spent a pleasant evening. Lost our way going back and arrived about 9 o’clock.
Méteren (B) is 6km NNE. of Outtersteene (A), 5km W. of Bailleul; Michelin square I3. ↩
Up at 7.30. Had eggs and chips for dinner along with Harvey. Had full marching order inspection and then cleaned the waggons. Walked into Baileul1 in the afternoon. Had tea and then went to the Merry Munroes2 and enjoyed their concert. Returned about 9 o’clock.
Bailleul (B): 5km NW. of Outtersteene (A) and 16km SSW. of Ypres; Michelin square I3. ↩
Merry Munroes: Another soldiers’ revue? See “Merry Mauves” on 22 and 26 September 1916, also at Bailleul. ↩
Mooned about until 2 o’clock. Came back to the billet and roused * house. Up at 6.30. Cleaned up ready for parade. Dull morning. Marched off about 11 o’clock. Passed through Hazebrouck1 and saw the people going out of the big church. Sat by the roadside and had tea served up. Arrived at Outersteene2 about 4.30. Decent village and good billet. Went out with Holman and had eggs and chips. Supposed to finish guard but didn’t go on it. Had short walk in the direction of Meteren3. Four of our chaps went into Méteren. Turned in early. Had meat and tinned tongue for supper. 22 kilos. Heard rumour of Bapaume being captured and revolt in Russia.
Hazebrouck (B): 11km NE. of Boësighem (A); Michelin square H3. ↩
Outersteene (C): Outtersteene is 10km E. of Hazebrouck, 5km SW. of Bailleul (D), Michelin square I3. ↩
Meteren (E): Méteren is 6km NNE. of Outtersteene, 5km W. of Bailleul (D); also Michelin square I3. ↩