Tag Archives: Westoutre

17 August 1916; Thursday

Up at 6.30. Dressed hurriedly and went on waggon to Baileul1 No 1 C.C.S. Waited all morning. The dentist looked at my tooth and asked me to call again tomorrow. Had dinner at the C.C.S. and returned about 4.30. Had tea. Saw †staff bod† who told me I had to commence in the hospital on Saturday. Listened to band in the town. Went with Duggins to a little café behind the hospital and had some coffee and custard. A girl there talks very good English and got to know all our Corps names.

  1. Baileul: ALL always omits one ‘l’ from ‘Bailleul’ in his longhand; the transcription follows this, but where he writes it in shorthand, ie phonetically, it is transcribed with the correct spelling. 

16 August 1916; Wednesday

Up at 6.30. On parade and on fatigues as usual. Stayed in at night and played cards. Wrote home. Kit inspection in the morning.

Paraded sick in the morning with toothache. Captain Newton told me I would have to go to the C.C.S.1 in the morning and managed to stop my tooth with cocaine at 7 o’clock at night.

  1. C.C.S.: Casualty Clearing Station. 

15 August 1916; Tuesday

Up at 6 o’clock. Drew rations. Orderly man with Leaky today. Wrote letters in the morning. Went with him to some Belgian sports in the afternoon. Saw some mules jumping. At night went up with Stanton and Leaky and saw some good horse jumping. Ridden by officers and Belgian and Canadian N C C1. One officer went over the ropes but didn’t hurt himself. Saw some tumblers going on above and watched shells bursting in the distance as usual. Carried on. Had dinner and slept well through it.

  1. “N C C”: Non-Combatant Corps

13 August 1916; Sunday

Lazy first thing and not very fit. Church parade at 9 o’clock in the “dining hall”. Nice little service. First time under cover since I left Rouen. Received another parcel from home and a letter from Charlie enclosing photographs of himself on a camel. Had walk at night. Beautiful weather.

Charlie on Camel
A photo of Charlie (right) on a camel – possibly one of the photos mentioned in this diary entry.

11 August 1916; Friday

Up at 6 o’clock. On parade all day. Worked on the incinerator all day. Got it easy in the afternoon. Walked into town at night and watched some girls making lace. Very interesting. Stanton had two parcels, so I bought some bread, and we asked Leaky and Duggins to join us and had a nice supper. Cocoa, salmon, fresh butter and bread.

Received news of the Italian successes.

10 August 1916; Thursday

Up at 6 o’clock and went to draw rations with Stanton and Leaky. Some trouble and delay with the breakfast. Cleaned up and wrote up diary. Further news of big Allied successes. Orderly man today and did very little. Went out at night. Met some village girls by a farm near the C section hospital and talked to them a short time with Sergeant Jenkins and Duggins.

9 August 1916; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. On fatigue in the morning cleaning waggons and in the afternoon at a hospital across the village which is to be run by C section. Duggins ordered across as orderly. Worked a bit after tea, until about 6.30. A band played in the village beside the church. Among some reinforcements just arrived is one of the Newcastle Alnwick boys. Had walk in the village. Bought some loaves for supper and had good supper. No bread issue today. Received orders to be orderly man tomorrow.

8 August 1916; Tuesday

Up at 9 o’clock. Had breakfast and received orders to have dinner at 11.30 and fall in <in> full marching order at 12 o’clock. Marched off shortly after 12 o’clock. Crossed Belgian Frontier and arrived at the village of [space – probably intended to be filled in later when name known] 1 about 2 o’clock. Duggins, Corporal Stanton and I made a bivouac together. Very nice place. Don’t know what the future holds. Walked into village at night. Found out we could buy all sorts of things including newspapers and that most of the people talk marvellous† English. Bought some milk at a farm. Weather hot all the time.

News of Battle at Suez2.

Heard Last Post blown and it sounded fine.   Gas alarm at night.

  1. According to ALL’s own 1976 transcription, the village was Westoutre, now Westouter. 

  2. “Battle at Suez”: Probably the Battle of Romani (3-5 August 1916), the last ground attack of the Central Powers on the Suez Canal at the beginning of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign during the First World War.