Saturday 25th September: Lambres
We left here “Lambres” at 8 am and marched on till we came to a village called Ames at 10 am. We stayed here until 2 pm and while here were told the 15th Division had taken 4 lines of trenches.
We left Ames at 2 pm and marched on after the Welsh Guards. It was raining the whole time and the roads deep with mud and almost blocked by French and British Cavalry, there being thousands all going the same road as us.
After marching and hanging about the roads for hours we reached a place called Haillicourt at 1 am in the morning and were billeted in a field.
We were so tired we were glad to lay down on the wet ground and in the rain. What cheered us up was the news that we had advanced 4 miles on a 10 miles front.
Wounded were now passing along the roads in Ambulance cars as we went off to sleep.
Sunday 26th September: Haillicourt
We wakened up shivering with cold but are all anxiously waiting for news. Some say we have advanced a great deal, others that we have lost very heavily.
We are still here at Haillicourt at 2 pm but the sun has come out and brightened things up a bit. A great many French Ambulance Cars are passing here full of French wounded but everything is quiet.
Later on in the afternoon every gun around about opened fire. Another bombardment had started.
We, of the C Section Bearers, left here at 6 pm and marched on till we came to Sailly-Labourse where we billeted for the night.
Monday 27th September: Sailly-Labourse/ Loos
We slept in a barn here all night and everything is quiet this morning. We have just heard that the Guards will go into action today and we will follow them up.
The 15th Division seem to have lost very heavily by all accounts.
We marched off from here at 2 pm and marched on till we came to Vermelles station where we took over a dressing station in a Brewery from the 46th Field Ambulance and leaving 10 of our men there the remainder of us marched on nearer the firing line. After an hours march, we halted and formed an Aide Post at Fosse 8 just behind the village of Loos, the village our troops took from the Germans on Saturday.
As we halted here a heavy attack is going on to our left and the Cavalry are all standing by.
We then moved on up to the village of Loos where we were badly needed as a great many wounded had to be brought in as the Guards had advanced and re-took Hill 70.
Along the roads and in all the streets of Loos dead are lying everywhere. The place is simply covered with dead, the Germans being in the majority. It is a weird sight bedside some of the trenches to see our dead and the enemy’s dead lying opposite each other both with their gas helmets on.
The horrors of war, it being in the dark except when a star shell lights up the scene and the smell is awful. It is enough to turn any man’s head but plenty of work is before us and we have no time for thoughts, a good job too.
We passed on through the ruins of the village stepping over the dead and dodging the shells the Germans are now sending into the village, passed a German gun near the ruins of the church. This is about the 14th gun we have seen this last two days that have been left by the Germans.
At last, we were leaving the village behind and with the Tower Bridge on our right we came to a halt at the last house on the outside of the village. It is an Estaminet and has been made into an Aide-Post by the Regimental Doctor and his Stretcher Bearers. It is full of wounded and more are being brought in, so we start carrying away the ones he has dressed to the Motor Ambulance Cars a mile behind the village.
We kept on carrying away the wounded and by 5 am had cleared out all that could be brought in, we were then told to make our way back to our Aide-Post till further orders.
On our road back just at daybreak, we could see better the state of the battlefield and it was horrible to see. Two or three wagons of the 45th Field Ambulance were lying in a ditch on the side of the road with all the horses dead, also some of the Welsh Guards transport.
I heard that a Section of Bearers of the 45th Field Ambulance had been caught by gas shells and gassed. That is how their wagons came to be there.
I think we have made a good advance here, about 5 miles, and would have made a bigger one only the 21 st Division retired but we have lost heavily. A great many of the Highland Regiment’s dead are lying about.
Tuesday 28th September: Loos
After getting back to Fosse 8 we had a hurried snack and tried to snatch an hour’s rest. We managed about 2 hours sleep then were up standing ready in case we were wanted.
Parties are now going out over the ground we have captured burying the dead. This attack was started, here where we are, on Saturday morning at 6 am by the 15th Division with other Divisions on their right and left.
After hanging about and getting in one or two wounded now and then we were relieved by another Section of our Bearers. We went back to Vermelles railway station, to our hospital there where we were to billet for the night. We had just been asleep about an hour when we were called out to assist No. 4 Field Ambulance; but when we got to their place we were not needed so we had to come back.
Wednesday 29th September: Loos/ Vermelles
After a lively cannonade by both sides all day, we went up to Loos and cleared all the wounded from the Aide–Posts landing back about 2 am.
It was very quiet in Loos last night only a few shells dropping when we were there but the roads are in a terrible state owing to the rain. It rained all day but cleared up at night.
An attack seems to be going on all day to our left near Cambrin but all over things are fairly quiet. The Guards were relieved by another Division and came back to Vermelles beside us.