Up at 7. Parade at 7.25 for a double1. Hard work. Parade 9.15 for physical drill and afterwards short route march. Off in the afternoon. Walked into Doullens with Holman. Had 2 eggs for tea. Bought tea cosy for Mother. Heard of Air Raid and 2 Zeppelins brought down. One near Durham2.
“Double”, if correct, would mean “double march”, ie a run; there appear to have been sporadic attempts to improve the men’s fitness when not in the line. ↩
The Zeppelin brought down “near Durham” may have been L34, shot down near Hartlepool, about 20 miles from Durham, on 27 November by Second Lieutenant I. V. Pyott, flying a B.E. 2C aircraft of C flight 36 Squadron based at Seaton Carew aerodrome. ↩
Up shortly after 7 o’clock. Had breakfast. Received letter from Mother and wrote reply. Dim rainy morning. Received orders first thing after dinner to march off again. Arrived Domart1 shortly after 5 o’clock. Quite a trek. Got shoved into a poor billet but managed to sleep well along with Ben Jenkins in the top of the steps. A lot of trouble about blankets.
Domart: Domart-en-Ponthieu (A), 7km W. of Canaples (B); Michelin square E7. ↩
Up about 7.30. Dressed and shaved and helped Billington with the breakfast things as usual. Helped with supper.
Received 5 days’ letters. One from mother telling me that Frances1 had dislocated her shoulder through falling in the street.
The shorthand seems to have “Francis”, but it is definitely “her shoulder”, not “his”. This is probably the Frances Cuthbert mentioned in a later diary entry and is certainly not Franchie Inwood. Nothing else is known about Frances Cuthbert. ↩
Up shortly after 6.30. On duty all day. Received long letter from Joe and one from Mother telling me that George Crawford1 had enlisted. Fine day and good news from the front.
Fire at the house at the hospital. We were out all night at it. I got a job to watch the stuff we carried out of the ward. Got to sleep about 5 o’clock.
George Crawford, of the Hendon Paper Works office, mentioned frequently in the 1914 diary (see footnote on 30 January 1914), according to an address in the 1917 diary entered the Army Veterinary Corps. See also all posts tagged “George Crawford” and George H. Crawford at Lives of the First World War. ↩
Went out with Mother in the morning. Visited Granny and Whittakers and Uncle George and Aunt Mary. Stayed in and played duets all the afternoon. Left by the 6.38. All family to see me off, and Willie Whittaker, Uncle Jack and Hilda1 and Whittaker family. Joe travelled with me to Pallion. Met Shepherd at Durham and travelled by a through train. Got car into city and arrived at barracks about mid night.
Lay in late. Went down to see Ernie. Out with Mother and over the water1 to see the damage done by the Zeppelin raid2. Out late in afternoon. Called at Whittakers3. Called for Ernie at night. Went over with him to Whitburn later. Had photo taken at Eccles’† in Holmeside4.
“over the water”: phrase commonly used by ALL and his contemporaries for “across the Wear to north Sunderland”; nothing to do with the Jacobites. ↩
Up at 7.45. Got 9.30 train. Mr and Mrs Whittaker and Lizzie and Daisy to see me off besides Mother, Gertie and Dorothy. Father out first thing. Arrived at Alnwick about 12.30. At lecture in the afternoon.
Got off duty at 10 o’clock. Went into town before dinner. Met Father and Mother at the station about 2 o’clock. Had dinner in town and then walked through the deer park. Came back by the lane bridge and the farm to the camp. <Took them> into the café for tea and then to the station. Fine day. Left by the 6.43 train.
Visit to Alnwick of father & mother.
Met Misses Mack at the station and set them up. They afterwards walked up the road with me until 10 o’clock because I had a late pass. Spent a pleasant day and night.
Got up at 9 o’clock. Played the piano and then went into the town before breakfast. In the afternoon played duets with Marmie and then walked out with Gertie. Called at Lily’s, Grandmother’s and Whittaker’s. Had tea at home, and then got 7.30 train. Father, Mother, Marmie, Gertie and Dorothy saw me off. Met Metcalfe at Newcastle. Fell in with two decent chaps too.
At work as usual. Mother not well first thing. Busy all day. Bid goodbye to the people at the office last thing. George Crawford gave me a Testament. Mother Got new purse, new glass1, new nail brush, handkerchiefs, and so on. Went to the station at night and made enquiries about the train. Willie Whittaker up. Went to bed late. Had a bath.