Tag Archives: Map

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

10 October 1918; Thursday

Up at about 7.30. Rather dull morning. Troops moving up. Moved off after dark and arrived on the borders of a wood near to La Fontain N D1. Bivouaced out at night and put up tents for the officers, in the dark. Good news from the front.

  1. La Fontain N D: Fontaine-Notre-Dame (B), 4km NE. from G.-lès-H. (A), 6km W. of Cambrai; Michelin square K7. 

7 October 1918; Monday

Up at about 7.30. Paraded for a few fatigues. News continuing good and all manner of rumours. Marched off shortly after 2 and got into lorries at Souastre and moved off at 2.30. Arrived at near Grincourt [sic]1 at about 11 o’clock and marched to an open field near to the sugar refinery2. In bivouacs. I was put on guard and stayed up until 3.45. Slept badly when I did get down. Very cold. Didn’t know quite where we were. Jerry shelling Bourlon Wood3, about a kilo in front of us.


  1. Grincourt:  Actually Graincourt-lès-Havrincourt (B), 9km WSW. of Cambrai (Michelin square K7), some 40km due E. as the crow flies from Souastre (A).  

  2. The “sugar refinery”, also referred to in some other accounts as the “sugar factory”, was locally known as Graincourt Sucrerie, and was possibly near the site of the Sucrerie British Cemetery (C). 

  3. Boulon Wood remains to this day and is located to the SE of the the Bourlon Wood Canadian War Memorial (D) and the Bourlon Wood Cemetery (E). It is, as ALL suggests, about a kilometre from the Sucrerie. 

4 October 1918; Friday

Up about 7 o’clock. Transport moved off in the morning. Spent a lot of time picking blackberries. Terrific fighting down south and very slow advance. Fell in at 3 o’clock and marched to Brian1 where we entrained. Detrained at Warlincourt and marched to Souastre and arrived there early morning. No blankets and nearly frozen in the night.

  1. Brian: perhaps Brias (B), 5km NNE. of St Pol (A; near Grecourt? see 2 October); Warlincourt would be Warlincourt-lès-Pas (C), 11km E. of Doullens, just S. of the Arras road, and Souastre (D) is 16km E. of Doullens (Michelin square H6 and H7 respectively) – just off the NW corner of the 1916 Somme battle area. 

2 October 1918; Wednesday

We arrived at Essars about 7 o’clock. Steam engine took over and we arrived at Burbure1 about 9. Marched to Auchel. Had breakfast about 10 o’clock and marched off for Grecourt2 about 2 and arrived by 5 o’clock. Dinner at night and to bed. Absolutely tired out.

  1. Burbure (B; Michelin square G4) is on the southern outskirts of Lillers, 17km E of Essars (A) and 6km NNW. of Auchel (C). 

  2. “Grecourt” is not in the Michelin map gazetteer, and I can’t find any name much resembling it within 3 hours’ march (especially if circuitous and/or lost) of Auchel. It was probably somewhere N. of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise (D), as they got back the next day (and no transport is mentioned) to Pernes, which is on the St Pol – Lillers road (Michelin square G5). 

1 October 1918; Tuesday

Off duty in the morning. Went down to headquarters. Couldn’t sleep. Returned in the afternoon. Headquarters moved to Auchel1. Ambulance relieved. Left A D S at about 9.30 and marched up to Le Touret siding. Waited there until 2.45. Jerry shelled twice very near and we crouched under some rails, the hedge and anywhere. Most miserable night, light rail train broke down twice and stuck * and –

  1. Auchel (B; Michelin square G4) is 7km SSE. of Lillers, and 11km SW. of Béthune. If the Advanced Dressing Station was near the previous location of headquarters, and if that was at Essars (A), 2km NE. of Béthune (see 18 September), this could make sense. Le Touret (C) is a hamlet 3km NE. from Essars, in square I4. 

18 September 1918; Wednesday

Up shortly after 6 o’clock. A lot of messing about and marched off 10 o’clock. Arrived, after numerous stops at our headquarters about 4.30. Headquarters near Esems1. Got a kip, had tea, read letters. One told me of the death of Kenneth MacDonald2 and another of the death of Mr Rowe. Fairly tired. Got down to it early.

  1. Esems: not identified under this name; something that looks more like Essars (B), 20km ENE of Floringhem (A) occurs on 2 October (Michelin square H4); see 2 October

  2. Kenneth MacDonald, Ranald MacDonald’s brother whom ALL had noted as missing on 27 August

17 September 1918; Tuesday

Travelled all day until about 2 o’clock when we arrived at Pernes1. Marched to the reception camp at Floringhem2 and put up for the night. Saw Piggy Wood and Don Gordon. A lot of Americans there – hefty fellows. Poor billet.

  1. Pernes (B), about 160km NE of Rouen (A). 

  2. Floringhem (C): close to Pernes on the D916, midway between St Pol and Lillers; Michelin square G5. 

15 September 1918; Sunday

Up about 9. At the Madeleine church in the morning to a service and walked through the Tuileries Gardens1. Had lunch at the Y M near the barracks. Went up to the Invalides2 in the afternoon and had a hurried look at Napoleon’s tomb and then back, tea and to the train. Moved off at about 4.40. Had an A S C man in the carriage who †had been south†. He spoke French and was rather enlightening†. Arrived at Rouen3 about mid-night.

  1. The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It was created by Catherine de’ Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564 and is famously the subject of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, No. 3, “Tuileries (Children’s Quarrel after Games)”. 

  2. Les Invalides is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. 

  3. Rouen (B), about 120km NW. of Paris (A). 

13 September 1918; Friday

Up at 6 o’clock. Breakfast 6.30 and off to the Fontainebleau1 by train about 30 miles. Spent morning in the palace, had lunch, and then the afternoon driving through the woods. Returned by first class train and arrived about 6 o’clock. Went to English theatre at night and saw Billeted2 – a tip top piece.

  1. The Palace of Fontainebleau (B) is located 55km SW of the center of Paris (A), and is one of the largest French royal châteaux. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  2. Billeted was a 1917 play by F. Tennyson Jesse and H. M. Harwood

12 September 1918; Thursday

Up at 7.45. Visited the church of Sacred Heart in the morning. Wonderful church. In the afternoon went on boat trip to St. Cloud1. Meals on the boat and fine trip. In the afternoon had dinner at the Hotel D’Iena and then went to the Opera Comique and saw Sapho by Daudet2. Splendid day.

  1. Saint-Cloud (B) is a suburb of Paris, about 10km from the centre of the city (A). 

  2. Alphonse Daudet (13 May 1840 – 16 December 1897) was a French novelist and author. In 1884, he wrote a book “Sapho”, which he and Adolphe Belot (6 November 1829 – 18 December 1890) adapted as a play in 1885, presumably the play seen by ALL on this day.

    Somewhat parenthetically, in 1910 another play, an English adaptation of Sapho by Clyde Fitch, was at the centre of a famous New York City indecency trial involving the play’s star, Olga Nethersole and her co-star, Hamilton Revelle