17th November 1916
Major crack on the head. 'Knocked' Funny things that happened . . . 18th November 1916 to 8th February 1917 [These pages are pinned into the diary.] Don't remember much about getting knocked with the exception of seeing a beautiful 'solar' sun then somebody turned out the light. Got to the 8th General Hospital in Rouen after being carried out from the line during a snow storm and after a short 14 hours there, was sent direct to England via Boulognestraat on the way across. Channel run Hospital ship picked up survivors of the City of Mexico, a steamer which had just been sunk by a Hun Sub. Managed to get a glimpse of the Sub, but it didn't molest us. Arrived in Southampton and was put in 'Z' ward and got special attention. Thanks to it and decent constitution managed to get out in three weeks or so. Also able to get out of going to a Convalescent Home, but got a fortnight leave instead. Met the train and went to Manchester. Stayed at 48 M R then went back to London for another Board. Stayed out with Capt. Richardson whom I met in Hospital. Had a gorgeous time. Was given another weeks leave and made the most of it. Had Xmas dinner with Dr. John Broadbent. Left for Perham Downs about New Year time. Tried to get straight back to France from London but no go. After annoying everybody and with assistance managed to get away on the 1st. Went up to London at night. Left the next morning for Portsmouth. Stayed at the South Western while awaiting a boat. Visited Capt (I of M) one day. Left next day for Le Harve. Detained there for five days also received a request which was sent by the CO on Dec 31st for my return to the Bty in reply to my application to be sent back. Swore a few. Major worked a good scheme and we got to Le Harve by passenger boat. Got to Rouen and told that it would be at least seven days before we could get back to our unit. Anyhow we were desperate and by further scheming managed to get back on the 8th via Paris and Amiens. Had a great 24 hours in Paris. Saw quite a good bit of the city. General Brown motored us from Amiens to our HQ. Find on my return that we are made into a 6 gun Bty and have another officer available to us. Cooper is his name. Anyhow here we are and Hurrah for more strafe.
9th February 1917
Went up to the Bty today also reported to Brigade HQ. Ordered to rejoin the old 9th again. Saw Chas who has been in Hospital since I left with flu. Got back to W.L. again and got packed up and ready to move to the Bty. Bitterly cold.
10th February 1917
Left W.L. this morning for the Battery. Got up there in time for a strafe. Had to leave the position twice because the Hun made things too hot. Still bitterly cold. Snow and ice everywhere.
11th February 1917
Firing all night. Got shelled again this afternoon but no damage done. Saw Chas again today. Everything OK here only bitterly cold. Strafed a machine gun tonight.
12th February 1917
Left Bty at 11.30 am and walked down to W.L. Intend staying down for a few days to adjust sundry things. Still as cold as Charity.
13th February 1917
Still cold. Getting to work on organising my W.L. Sundry artillery hates but nothing much doing.
14th February 1917
Still at W.L. Went down to the new W.L. this afternoon. Coming home met the major who imparted the rotten news that I am to remain down from the guns for another 2 or 3 days. Big raid on our front tonight by 'us'.
15th February 1917
Reorganising like blazes or trying to.
16th February 1917
Exciting day. Early this morning a patrol of Huns raided us. Set fire to a big ammunition dump on our right, and all day its been going good, just like a Guy Fawkes night display. The Taubes got awful cheeky. Came right down close to the ground and strafed our roads rather well with machine guns. Down at the new W.L. getting thing ship shape. Quite a Spring day today. Colonel Burgess presented with the Legion of Honour.
17th February 1917
Raining like blazes. Mud knee deep everywhere. Just about finished at W.L. Off up to the guns tomorrow.
18th February 1917
Rode up to the Guns this morning. Nothing much doing with the exception of getting bogged. One or two small hates. Otherwise quiet.
19th February 1917
A bit of a war on today. Had afternoon with Chas. Mud glorious.
20th February 1917
Brigade F.O.O. today. Went up to the Front Line and had a bit of a war on my own. Trenches thigh deeps in mud and water. Tried to register Z barrage but couldn't get communication. Having another go tomorrow. Got lost coming home owing to mist. Another stint tonight.
21st February 1917
Major came up today. Cooper returned to W.L. Went up with Major Rogers to register Z barrage. Got caught in a Hun barrage and had a couple of hours side stepping in the mud. Registered all right although a sniper nearly got one hit in that I know of. Mud still glorious. Got back to Bty late. Wet through of course.
22nd February 1917
Down at Bty all day. Still wet and muddy. Reported to a new O.S tonight. Old one full of gas. On liaison duty.
23rd February 1917
Spent a comfortable night last night, I don't think. Got shelled early this morning of course. No gas shells though, for which many thanks. Sundry hates all day.
24th February 1917
Great fun last night. Just going to bed when Mr Hun started making things uncomfortable by bombarding the Bty with 8.2 Hows. Awfully exciting while it lasted. Had to get all the gun crews into funk pits while the Major, Richardson and myself beat a hasty retreat into the telephone pit, until the bombarding was over. He gave us a half an hour excitement then evidently satisfied himself. Made another attempt to get to bed, but he started again so had to crawl out again and he had another little bit of fun.