Tag Archives: War

18 March 1917; Sunday

Mooned about until 2 o’clock. Came back to the billet and roused * house. Up at 6.30. Cleaned up ready for parade. Dull morning. Marched off about 11 o’clock. Passed through Hazebrouck1 and saw the people going out of the big church. Sat by the roadside and had tea served up. Arrived at Outersteene2 about 4.30. Decent village and good billet. Went out with Holman and had eggs and chips. Supposed to finish guard but didn’t go on it. Had short walk in the direction of Meteren3. Four of our chaps went into Méteren. Turned in early. Had meat and tinned tongue for supper. 22 kilos. Heard rumour of Bapaume being captured and revolt in Russia.


  1. Hazebrouck (B): 11km NE. of Boësighem (A); Michelin square H3. 

  2. Outersteene (C): Outtersteene is 10km E. of Hazebrouck, 5km SW. of Bailleul (D), Michelin square I3. 

  3. Meteren (E): Méteren is 6km NNE. of Outtersteene, 5km W. of Bailleul (D); also Michelin square I3. 

28 February 1917; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Shaved and dressed and went to tent. Had paste egg1 for breakfast. Posted letter to Charlie. Expecting 400 to [figure omitted?] wounded soldiers.

The papers tells [sic] us of the capture of Serre, Pys, Miraumont2 etcetera. 2 mile advance on 12 mile front – also capture of Kut- el-Amam3.


  1. “Paste egg”: North-Eastern English vernacular for hard boiled egg. Paste eggs were usually decorated and were associated with Easter although this particular paste egg would have been neither. 

  2. Miraumont (A) and Pys (B) are 5km and 7km respectively E. of Serre (C; Michelin square I7); Pys is 3km NW of the D929 from Albert to Bapaume, and only 7km from the latter. 

  3. Possibly a reference to the second battle of Kut

27 February 1917; Tuesday

Up at usual time. Papers mention the capture of Serre & village beyond1.

Rumoured capture of Kut-el-Amam2.

Walked to Lealvillers but found no concert there. Bought some things and walked to the little cocoa house and had some biscuits and cocoa. Went to bed fairly early and slept well. Wrote long letter home. Had tent crowded out at night.


  1. See 25 February

  2. Possibly a reference to the second battle of Kut

25 February 1917; Sunday

Busy all day. M O called round twice† and rumour of the evacuation of Serre1. All sorts of news going round all day. Went to service at night at the Y M C A.


  1. Serre (C): Michelin square I7, about halfway between Gommecourt (A) and Thiepval (B) and 12km E of Acheux-en-Amiénois (D). This was evacuation by the Germans. See the Capture of Serre at The Accrington Pals and Serre at World War One battlefields. 

10 November 1916; Friday

Up at 6 o’clock. Cleaned up place, shaved and went off duty at 8 o’clock. Slept most of the day. Duggins not well. On duty at 8 o’clock at night. Germans counter-attacked in the morning. Our guns smashed them up. News that the Germans have been driven back 12 miles by the Roumanians, that the Russians and Italians have advanced and that the French have captured some forts at Verdun. Rumours of air raid at London.

30 August 1916; Wednesday

Up at 6.30. Fatigue cleaning walls and scrubbing floors. Stormy wet day. Wrote to Ranald MacDonald. Heard that Roumania12 has joined Allies.


  1. Roumania joined the Allies (not least because Bulgaria was with the Central Powers) with singularly bad timing. Falkenhayn was removed from the Western Front due to his perceived failures (and replaced by Hindenburg, who was President of Germany in 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor), but when transferred to Transylvania (still part of Austria-Hungary at this time) proved much too good for the Roumanians, who were routed in Wallachia (the southern portion of the country, between the Carpathians and the Danube, where Bucharest is situated) and were driven back to their original capital Iași (pronounced Yash; formerly spelt Jassy) at the Northern end of Moldova. 

  2. In 1916, Romania was still usually spelled “Roumania” or “Rumania” in English, from the French “Roumanie”.  The modern English spelling, “Romania”, was adopted some time after WWII.