Diaries; 24th – 29th January, 1915.

Sunday 24th January: Cambrin

The Germans were a bit more lively today with their shells. When we were up collecting wounded a shell knocked one of our cars out of action, knocking a large hole in the petrol tank. We had to get another of our cars up to tow it back to Beuvry. The driver had a narrow escape but all over the German artillery have been very lively today.

Monday 25th January: Beuvry

About 7 am the Germans opened a heavy bombardment on us, even dropping around our hospital in Beuvry and also sending shells over our heads into the town of Bethune. Word was then passed down from Cuinchy that the Germans had broken through after suffering heavy loss.

The Black Watch who were billeted beside our hospital went off at the double. Our ambulance and cars following not long after.

When we got up to the firing line it was still very lively. Though our artillery were gradually getting the German artillery quieted down, heavy rifle fire was still going on.

The Black Watch had done a fine charge when they reached here and regained a lot of the lost ground.

We had our hands full of wounded but working with a will and the aid of our 7 Ambulance Car we had cleared away 492 in 8 hours.

Our hospital in Beuvry being full and under shell fire, we had then to get them from there to Bethune. An Ambulance convoy came up to Beuvry from Bethune and we very soon after a hard day’s and night’s work had our hospital almost clear again.

All over it has been a lively day, just as hot as we have been in or even wish to be in.

In the attack by the Germans in the afternoon at Chivency, the working party of the Black Watch charged with picks and shovels.

The car I am on had our last run down at 6 am after all the dressing station and houses round about Cambrin, Chivency and Cuinchy had been cleared of wounded. We then lay down for an hour’s rest.

The Black Watch lost between 2 and 3 hundred.

Tuesday 26th January: Beuvry

After an hour’s rest, we were up and after snatching some breakfast we were off up to the firing line again as we knew as soon as it was daylight a great many wounded would be found that could not be in the dark.

As soon as it was daylight the Germans dropped a few more shells round about our hospital in Beuvry killing and wounding a few of the Sussex who were lying in reserve beside us.

We had a good many wounded to bring down today after yesterday’s scrap, over 200 in all and a good few Germans amongst them. A great amount of unwounded prisoners were also brought down.

The ruins of the church at Cuinchy are full of German dead where the Black Watch trapped them and revenged their comrades.

Wednesday 27th January: Cambrin

What a change from Monday, everything is quiet here today and it is the Kaiser’s birthday. I think the German’s got enough on Monday to last them to the Kaiser’s next birthday.

The car I am on is on duty from 9 am today till 9 am tomorrow. We had not much to do all day but had to turn out 3 times throughout the night. Once for 6 men being wounded outside our dressing station with stray bullets. It is terrible cold at night.

Thursday 28th January: Cambrin

The Germans have been dropping a few coalboxes around about Cambrin today but doing very little damage though they keep us lively dodging about for cover.

Friday 29th January: Cuinchy

The Germans made another halfhearted attack today after heavily shelling our trenches but they had no heart behind it and it died away. They lost very heavy over it and never reached our trenches. It was nothing like Monday and in the afternoon all was quiet.


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