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.
Grincourt: Actually Graincourt-lès-Havrincourt (B), 9km WSW. of Cambrai (Michelin square K7), some 40km due E. as the crow flies from Souastre (A). ↩
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). ↩
Up about 8 o’clock. The air full of rumours. Went to nonconformist service with Billy Truman and enjoyed it. Stayed round the fire in the afternoon and stewed apples. Walked out with Billy Truman at night and had long talk. Heard that the Central Powers1 had asked for an armistice and the air full of rumours.
The Central Powers consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. ↩
Woke early and felt pretty fed up with the cold. Did practically nothing all day. Walked into a village and had some coffee. Moved our billet last thing and had warm bed. Didn’t sleep too well – †probably because† eaten too much. Good news and lots of rumours.
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.
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. ↩