Tag Archives: Ouve-Wirquin

11 July 1918; Thursday

Up at 4.30 am. Paraded at 6 o’clock. Got in the buses at the top of the hill and rode to Auchel1, a mining town near Lillers etcetera. Rotten billet in the top of a house, next to the roof. Took out a pan-tile to make light. Went to a concert at night given by a concert party, Camouflage, and it was splendid. The best I have seen in France. They sent an invitation for 100 of us and we were marched up. Turned in and slept well.


  1. Auchel (B): About 30km SE of Ouve-Wirquin (A) and 8km S. of Lillers; Michelin square G4. 

8 July 1918; Monday

Up about 7 o’clock and on duty. Received other two patients in the afternoon, making a total of 7. Had bath in the stream in the afternoon. Got boilers and baths underway. Heard that the German minister1 in Moscow had been assassinated2. Harvey and Holman went to number 8 C C S for duty. Wrote letter to Mother and one to Franchie Inwood at night. Thunder storm after tea. Sanders came to help us.


  1. “German minister”: Actually the German ambassador to Russia, Wilhelm von Mirbach

  2. The assassination (on 6 July 1918) was an attempt by the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to re-start war between Russia and Germany. 

6 July 1918; Saturday

Up at 6.30. On parade at 8 o’clock and went for short march. Got passes to Lumbres1 in the afternoon and spent a pleasant night there. Spoke to some Americans. Had a good supper and bought some figs and things. Received letter from Ernie saying that he had seen our Divisional transport de-train but missed me.


  1. Lumbres (B): 6km NNW. from Ouve-Wirquin (A), on the St Omer – Boulogne road; Michelin square E3. 

5 July 1918; Friday

Up at about 6.30. On parade. Spent morning at squad drill and a short march. Paraded at 8 o’clock. Went for bath in the stream in the afternoon. Did a little French. Read 3 essays by William James1 on releasing the energies of men2 and habit† 3 and found them exceptionally good. Wrote letter to Joe, called in to see Sergeant Powell and went for short walk. Changed billet.


  1. William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. 

  2. The Energies of Men is an essay by William James, published c. 1907. The full text is available here

  3. Habit, if correct, may refer to William James’ book, Habit, apparently published c. 1887. 

4 July 1918; Thursday

Up about 7 o’clock. Merely inspection and then dismissed. Wrote letters during the morning. Spent most of day reading and writing. Did a little French. Had a bath in the stream in the afternoon and a walk to a neighbouring village at night with Bob Fraser, Harvey and Holman. Saw the remains of a German bombing plane.

3 July 1918; Wednesday

Woke about 7 o’clock. Had breakfast at a station by the way. Finished journey at Hesdin1 at about noon. Got motor-lorries and went to Ouve2, about 30 kilos. Got there about 5 hours owing to breaking down and losing the way. Walked round village at night. Received two letters from Ernie and one from Gertie in which she tells me about her progress at the piano. Decent news from the line. Weather fine. Sergeant Powell unwell. Turned in about 9.30.


  1. Hesdin (B); about 210km N. of Paris (A). 

  2. Ouve: probably Ouve-Wirquin (C), 30km N. of Hesdin; 14km SW. of St Omer; Michelin square E4.