Tag Archives: Nielles-les-Bléquin

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. 

28 August 1917; Tuesday

Up at 7.30. Wet morning. Parade as usual and did some squad drill and then cleaned up our kit. Billy Truman not well and stayed in kip. Had long walk at night with Holman, Harvey and Dory. Went along the northern road past the shrine and called back by the monument in the wood. Glorious night. Strong breeze. Ended up with supper – omelettes and salad – at the Café de la Gare.

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. 

23 August 1917; Thursday

Up about 7 o’clock. No parade in the morning on account of rain. Short route march in the afternoon and at the Follies at night. Did bit French and got some copies of Great Thoughts1 from the new chap and gave him Everyman2.


  1. “Great Thoughts”: Possibly a magazine or periodical, although we have been unable to locate a copy. 

  2. “Everyman”: Also a magazine or periodical. See Everyman, all posts tagged “Everyman” and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

21 August 1917; Tuesday

Up at 7.15. Most of the chaps *. I got a pair of new boots. Fine morning. No parade in the afternoon and I did a bit French. Had short walk at night with Harry Bascombe and Vic Barber. Read a bit from Everyman1 and read an account of an Italian and a French victory. Italians 7600 prisoners at *2. French 4000 prisoners.


  1. “Everyman”: See Everyman, all posts tagged “Everyman” and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  2. Name (shorthand outline S-v-d- ?) not identified, but in the 6th Battle of the Isonzo (August 1917), the best episode of the War for Italy, Gen. Cadorna captured Gorizia on the 8th, made a bridgehead over the Isonzo (now Soča), and ended this offensive on 17th August. 

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.