Diary Five - September 1916
Diary - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
August September October November February March
Western Front - England
1st September 1916
Marching orders to hand. Left Godewaersvelde at 1 pm and arrived at Reninghelst at 4. Awfully sorry to leave the billet back at Godewaersvelde. The people were really great. This place is like the proverbial pig sty, mud and slush everywhere. And not a billet, what's more it's raining like blazes. Expected to go up to the Bty tonight, but orders came round 10 minutes before we were timed to leave to cancel our going. Expect to get up tomorrow night.

2nd September 1916
Decent day today. Went to 27th Bty A W.L. and handed over 4 guns. Rode into Poperinge later on. Got back to W.L. at 6 pm. Orders to hand to take my section into action tonight. Rode up to rendezvous and "embarked" on a G.S Waggon and was driven up to the Position. On the way we came through Ypres. Saw what's left of the Cloth Hall and Cathedral. Both looking very pretty after their sundry bombardments. Ypres is blown to blazes generally. Must have been quite a decent city once upon a time. Our guide lost himself completely so had to engineer my way out by map. Got within half a mile of the Battery when we got a gas alarm signalled, but it missed us. Damn these Stun machine guns.


The town of Godewaersvelde

3rd September 1916
3 Gas clouds last night but just missed us. Could see them quite plainly. Busy getting the hang of things today. Find that we are in the Ypres Salient (noted for gas, 15 inch Hows, and machine guns). Just about 1600 yds from our friends. Nothing much doing at present. Got a bonny dug-out all to myself.

4th September 1916
Getting maps to fix up today. Visited Batt 2 this morning with the Major. Believe we have to teach the Huns up this way that they're not dorgs and that their not the only people around Belgium. Reported for duty (Liaison) to 3rd Batt at night.

5th September 1916
Nothing much doing up here baring a few shells floating about. Also a machine gun or six, and a few snipers. Camped in the RSM's dug-out. Mine got blown in with a "minnie". Raining like blazes. Trenches up to your knees in mud and water. Glorious stunt plodding through it. Never got relieved until 8.30 pm so had a beautiful walk down in pouring rain. Spent a pleasant time falling into craters and treading on rats while a Stun machine gun played all over the track.

6th September 1916
Decent sort of a day again. Several aeroplane stunts and an occasional artillery duel. Down at the Bty all day. Reported to O.P. tonight.

7th September 1916
This place beats cock fighting. It's right in no man's land between ours and the Huns first lines, and infested with rats. Last night one of our patrols called in on us, and the night previous a patrol of Huns (8 all told) were taken prisoners about 100 yds from here. Strafed a bit. Came down to Bty at night.

8th September 1916
Glorious day. Mail arrived. Caught quite a few. Visited by General Hobbs and Colonel Anderson. "Strafed" Aeroplane hates all day interspersed with artillery hates. Gas attack on the left.

9th September 1916
Had a little hate today. Strafed Fritz rather badly. Nothing much doing. Went up to O.P. at night.

10th September 1916
Had a war on my own today. Located a wall of sandbags which happened to obstruct my view of a road used rather consistently by Fritz so got No 1 on to it and blew it about. Got a hit with HE the 3rd round. A deuce of a lot of sniping up here with machine guns spraying every yard of no mans land. Got down to the Bty tonight.

11th September 1916
Down at Bty all day. Visited the Detached Section this morning also saw Delaney of the old 2nd. Visited by General Johnstone today. Came and had afternoon tea in the mess. Went up to OP at night.

12th September 1916
Machine guns still busy up here. Riddle this place about every of an hour, but the rats are the worst. Tried all I knew to get to sleep but the rats say "no" so that settles it. Wrote Don, and worked out range tables all night. Started a war at 12 o'clock which lasted all day. Blew a considerable portion of "Bty" trench away and strafed a working party rather prettily. Got the OP strafed in return but they can't make it look any worse than what it is. The only rotten part about it is they cut our wires to blazes. Came down to Bty at night.

13th September 1916
Orders to hand to get out. Handing position over to 12 Bty. Visited an old 2nd Bty comrade, Harry Gund, OC 38 Bty. Had a glorious dust up this afternoon. Quite a merry night with OC 12th and Rees and Packman.


The destruction of Cloth Hall, Ypres, Belgium

14th September 1916
Busy handing over all day. Left Gun Position at 5.30 and walked down to Waggon Line 8. Lovely in the pouring rain. Passed through Ypres by route. Saw what remains of the Cathedral and also the Cloth Hall. Both must have been beautiful structures before "strafe" was started. Got wet through before we got to Bty also covered in mud. Area as charts.

15th September 1916
The sun came out and reported itself today. Visited by the Colonel this morning. Believe CGP is still away at a signalling stunt. Don't know where we're off to this hop, but we're on our way.

16th September 1916
Richardson and self floated into Poperinge this afternoon and had dinner there. Saw Morris today. Believe I go on furlough on the 24th of this month. Hu-bloomin-ray.

17th September 1916
BOO [Battery Orderly Officer] today. Still awaiting orders concerning our future movements. General Hobbs abroad today and Faulkner.

18th September 1916
Raining like blazes all day. At night accepted an invitation for the Bty to attend an evening given by some English Regiment who think the living world of our chaps. Went down to the YMCA at Reninghelst and spent an enjoyable evening. This English Regiment can boast of quite a few "artists" of no mean order. Had a visit from Teddy Randall. Believe my leave is OK.

19th September 1916
BOO today. Sun out once again. Tonight we have a Bty dinner at an establishment along the road.

20th September 1916
Gorgeous night last night. Got rather lurid towards 12 pm. Guests Major Richardson, Faulkner, Rolston McMullen 4th, McIndoe and self. Raining like old nick all day. Visited Poperinge this afternoon. Nothing much doing.

21st September 1916
BOO today. Still sunning. Faulkner and myself rode in to Poperinge this afternoon. Got back for dinner.

22nd September 1916
Aeroplane raids this morning. Visited Poperinge with the Major and Richardson. Had dinner in there and visited 2 Picture shows. Great war this.

23rd September 1916
BOO today. Getting ready for LEAVE. Teddy Randall came along and brought my pass this afternoon. Hoo-bloomin-ray.

24th September 1916
(Written after returning from leave.) Left Poperinge at 6.15AM. Met Major James 1st Pioneers and Capt Parkinson 12th FA. Arrived at Hazebrouck at 8.15. Had a break at some hotel or other. Left Hazebrouck at 10.15. Saw Chas. who was returning from St Omer. Arrived in Boulognestraat at 1.30. Had dinner at the officers club. Couldn't get a boat across the Channel so put up at the Folkestone Hotel with the Major and Capt. Visited the 2nd H.G.H. Had a pleasant evening eh what?

25th September 1916
Left Boulognestraat at 10.30AM. Escorted across by umpteen destroyers. Arrived at Folkestone. Self, came up through Kent and Sussex. Arrived at the village of London. Some city believe me. Doc and I put up at the Regent Palace. Major's staying at the Grand. Visited the Pay Office and strafed the withdrawal form. Went out to Fulham and sent my trunk on to 48 M.B.E. Major Doc and myself fell into the TSOC for dinner after that. To be continued in our next.

26th September 1916
Wired Auntie this morning and left London (Euston) by N.W. Express for Manchester. Arrived there at 3.57PM. Went out to MB and gee wizz what a reception I got. The girls were staying down at Blackpool. Honestly it's worth waiting 2 years for.

27th September 1916
Left this morning and came on to Cleveleys just outside Blackpool. Ran the girls to earth and since then haven't had a moments quiet. Took them all over the place and got to where they were staying about 11.30 pm then returned to the "Clifton" where I am staying. Going some.

August September October November February March
Monthly Diaries
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