Tag Archives: Map

Diary entries which illustrate the locations of the events recorded using maps. See also Maps.

24 September 1917; Monday

Up about 7 o’clock. On fatigue for a short while and then told off to go with the American doctor to see the Divisional column sick. Ernie called for me at noon and I got the afternoon off. Went into Locre. Called at the Y M and had tea and a tune; had tea in a house and then walked in to Mont Rouge. Called in at the Follies and started back shortly after 7 o’clock. Left Ernie about 8.30 near to La Laiterie1. The longest stay yet that we have had together. Enjoyed the day immensely. On return found that Driver had come down with shell shock, and that Holman had taken his place. They had wanted me but I was out. Nick Stake† sleeping above me and drunk. He fell out of bed and spent the night on a stretcher on the floor.

  1. La Laiterie: A military cemetery begun in November 1914 and named after an old dairy farm which, perhaps, had previously occupied the site. La Laiterie (B) is located about 1km NE of Kemmel (A) on the N331 road to Ieper/Ypres. 

13 September 1917; Thursday

Up about 7 o’clock. Marched off at 8 o’clock. Commenced with the ironwork on the dugout. Returned at usual time and were sent back to Kemmel1 – Holman, Harvey, Driver and myself. Got there about 8 o’clock.

Fritz2 shelled a lot in the afternoon to our left. Dug up 2 French soldiers and one English soldier.

  1. Sent back to Kemmel (B), from Vierstraat (A). 

  2. Fritz: a name given to German troops by the British and others in the First and Second World Wars. 

8 September 1917; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock. Names of men to go up the line called out on parade and mine included. Parade 11 o’clock for pay and parade for departure about 12.45. Arrived Kemmel1 at tea time. Had tea and then moved on to our old dugouts at Vierstraat2. Turned in in good time. Very hot day.

  1. Kemmel (B): 12km E of Boeschepe (A) 9km E. of Berthen, 4km S. of Dikkebus; Michelin square I3. 

  2. Vierstraat (now Wijtschate; Flemish) (C): 4km NNE. of Kemmel, 2km SE. of Dikkebus, 5km SW. of Ypres; Michelin square J3. “Old dugouts” would seem to imply that ALL had been here before (possibly in April 1917), although this is the first time that Vierstraat is mentioned by name. 

2 September 1917; Sunday

Up at 7 o’clock. Finished at noon and set out to Ernie at the battery1 and arrived about 3.45. Found that Ernie had gone down sick. Swan and the red-haired lad set me down to Dikbush A D S2. I was informed that Ernie had gone to Reninghelst3. Walked down to Reninghelst and arrived there about 7 o’clock. Stayed about half an hour with Ernie and then returned to headquarters.

Bombs dropped all round in the night.

  1. Ernie was stationed at Dikkebus near Ypres in Belgium; see note on 5 July 

  2. Dikbush A D S: Dikkebus (B) Advanced Dressing Station;. 

  3. Reninghelst, now Reninghelst (Flemish), about 6km E of Boeschepe (A). 

1 September 1917; Saturday

Up about 7 o’clock. On usual fatigues, put down trench boards. Had walk into Berthen1 at night.

  1. Berthen (B), about 2.5km S of Boeschepe (A). 

31 August 1917; Friday

Up at 7.15. Wet morning and parade put off in consequence. Had walk at night up to Mont des Cats1 and had a good supper.

  1. Mont des Cats (B), where ALL had been stationed for a week in May 1917, about 3km SW of Boeschepe (A). 

29 August 1917; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded first thing and then dismissed. Wet morning and walked into the village shortly before dinner. Fell in at about 4.30 and marched into the village about 5 o’clock. Got into buses and rode into Wizernes1 in about an hour. Got into the train there, left shortly after 7 o’clock and arrived at Baileul about 9 o’clock. Best journey I have done in France. Marched to Boeschepe army camp and arrived shortly before midnight2. Got tea and turned in about 1 o’clock.

  1. Wizernes: 5km SSW. of St. Omer (Michelin square F3); Boeschepe is 8km NNW. of Bailleul, Michelin square I3 – just W. of the Ypres Salient. 

  2. The map shows the entire journey from Nielles-les-Bléquin (A), through Wizernes (B) and Bailleul (C), to Boeschepe (D), the latter only about 3km NE of Mont des Cats, where ALL had briefly stayed in May. 

25 August 1917; Saturday

Up at about 7 o’clock. On parade in the morning doing squad drill. Swim before dinner. Pay parade in the afternoon. I studied a little French. Football match at night between our team and the Lancs brigade. We won 2 – 0. Had walk round with Holman and finished up with eggs at the station cafe with John Dory, Harvey and Holman.

Definite news from Piggy Wood that we are moving in a day or two.

Italians doing well and captured 20,000 prisoners, French over 7,000.

We are fighting very hard round Lens and in front of Ypres1.

  1. “We are fighting very hard . . . in front of Ypres . . .”: this was no doubt a reference to Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres; see 31 July). Passchendaele (now Passendale) is at (A) on the map. Lens is further south (at B, Michelin square D5), about half-way between Ypres and the Somme battlefield; it had been behind the German line until early 1917, when the Germans withdrew to their Hindenburg Line, thus obtaining a considerably shorter and much more heavily-fortified defensive line, and surrendering the Somme area, Bapaume, Péronne and Noyon. 

20 August 1917; Monday

Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9 with our pals and went off to the Divisional sport. Went on the main road to Boulogne to a village called Lumbrubert1 and in a field near the sports were held. Everything laid out nicely. The medicals won the relay race and the * race and we were second in the high jump and the tug of war. Some very good sport. The Chesters top by one point, 26 and the medicals next 25. Fine day. Divisional band in attendance. Left about 7 o’clock and got back about 9. Walked most of the way there and rode most of the way back. Knocked about with Ben Jenkins and Billy Truman and that lot. Received letter from home telling me that Charlie had a gathered thumb and had burned his foot.

Divisional sports.

  1. Lumbrubert: not identified on the Michelin map; there is a Brunembert (B) just S. of the N42 Boulogne road, 11km W. of Nielles-les-Bléquin (A), so within walking distance; Michelin map square D3. 

11 August 1917; Saturday

Arrived at Lumbres1 about 2.30. Raining and dark. Lay in the trees and slept for about an hour. Woke with the cold and tried to get some coffee but failed. Marched off about 6 o’clock and arrived at our destination about noon. Had breakfast on the way. Rained heavily several times on the way and we were fed up and pretty dejected when we arrived. Slept during the afternoon and immediately after it the S W B’s2 took over our billet and we had to go further up the village. I moved again into a guard room sort of place and we got some straw and it served for beds.

Name of the village is Nielle-le-Blequin3.

  1. Lumbres (A) is about 50km W of Bailleul and 11km WSW. of St Omer, off the N42 to Boulogne. 

  2. South Wales Borderers. 

  3. Nielles-les-Bléquin (B) is a further 7km in the same direction: 18km WSW. of St Omer, 30km from Boulogne – and just over 60km W. of Ypres; Michelin square E3.