Diaries; 25th – 31st December, 1915.

Saturday 25th December: Epinette

I was on duty all night here and it was raining but everything was quiet till just about 1am Christmas morning when every British gun around here fired 21 rounds each. It was a great sight the flash and roar of the guns but it gradually died down.

At day-break, the Guards went over the top and held a truce with the Germans against orders, so our artillery opened fire on the lot. That was the only way they could stop the truce.

I went up to the Coldstream Guards trenches and had a look over the top. No firing was going on except from the artillery who kept on firing nearly all day but the German artillery was not quiet, for just as we sat down to our Christmas dinner they dropped a shell into the house next to ours wounding one of the Irish Guards. Then they dropped shell all around our billet but luckily none came through our billet.

We had a good Christmas dinner under fire and seven wounded; a fairly lively day for Christmas.

Sunday 26th December: Epinette

The Germans sent over a few shell around here last night and have done the same today. It is getting very lively; they will be putting one through our billet yet. We can’t always be lucky.

Monday 27th December: Epinette

Things were very quiet till about dinner time when the Germans started to drop a few shell around here. One dropped just inside the door of our Advance Dressing Station wounding one of our Bearers and one of the 131st Field Ambulance who had just joined us for instructions. The Germans continued to drop shell near us all afternoon then it quietened down.

Tuesday 28th December: Epinette

Had it fairly quiet till about mid-day when the Germans started to shell around here again. They did no damage but kept us lively for about three hours. When it quietened down we had to work hard building sandbags around the building.

Wednesday 29th December: Epinette

Again quiet until mid-day when they shelled us again but did no damage; working hard sandbagging. We have been warned to keep our Gas Helmets handy as the wind is in the Germans favour and they used it at Ypres last night.

Thursday 30th December: Epinette

A very lively cannonade on all day, a few more shells came our way-no damage.
I was over to the 62nd Field Ambulance seeing a Pal, everything normal.

Friday 31st December: Epinette

Another lively cannonade and a few more shells dropping near. After it quietened down; more sandbagging. A dull day.


Diaries; 18th – 24th December, 1915.

Saturday 18th December: Epinette

We are back here again at Epinette. A party of the 129th Field Ambulance Welsh Division joined us up here for instructions, everything quiet.

Sunday 19th December: Epinette

This morning opened very bright and clear with a touch of frost. We had some lively scenes, three German aeroplanes flying over our heads and shells bursting all around them, then our airmen went over the enemy’s lines and were shelled but none were hit.

We played a football match and a shell fired at a German aeroplane dropped behind the goal and did not burst.

Monday 20th December: Epinette

Still here at Epinette, weather again looking bad but everything quiet. Another party of the Welsh Ambulance came up and relieved the others.

Tuesday 21st December: Epinette

Raining like the Devil, everything quiet. Another eight men came up from our hospital at Lagorgue to relieve us. I am still staying on here.

Wednesday 22nd December: Epinette

Still raining heavily, artillery bombardment on all last night, otherwise quiet.

Thursday 23rd December: Epinette

Still raining, another artillery bombardment on all night. Welsh Ambulance attached to us left here today.

Friday 24th December: Epinette

After another night of artillery bombardment, it is still raining as hard as ever.

Diaries; 11th – 17th December, 1915.

Saturday 11th December: Epinette

We are back at our Advance Dressing Station at Epinette, everything quiet.

Sunday 12th December: Epinette/ Epinette Farm

Everything quiet. Two of us went up and relieved other two at Aide Post.

Monday 13th December: Epinette farm

On duty at Aide Post, everything quiet no wounded.

Tuesday 14th December: Epinette Farm

The 3rd brigade relieved by the 2nd but we are still keeping on the Advance Dressing Station. We were relieved by two others at the Aide Post.

Wednesday 15th December: Epinette Farm/Bedford Aide Post

Another quiet day, another party came up from La Gorgue but I stayed behind up here and went on duty at another post “Bedford Aide Post”.

Thursday 16th December: Bedford Aide Post

Two of us are on duty here, nothing doing, weather dull, sleeping in an old stable.

Friday 17th December: Bedford Aide Post/ Epinette

Another quiet day, more rain, relieved by other two at 6pm, everything quiet.

Diaries; 4th – 10th December, 1915.

Saturday 4th December: Epinette

Another quiet day and more rain, roads flooded also trenches knee-deep with water.

Two of us were relieved by another two and went back to Epinette.

Sunday 5th December: Epinette

A quiet day up till afternoon when the artillery were very lively and the Germans replying dropped a shell 20 yards from our billet but did no damage. Weather a little better but not much.

Monday 6th December: Epinette

A quiet day, more rain, the roads are awful.

Tuesday 7th December: Epinette

Nothing doing except the artillery having a go now and then.

Wednesday 8th December: Epinette/Epinette Farm

A better day, less rain but more artillery fire. Two of us went up at night and relieved two of the men on duty at the Aide Post.

Thursday 9th December: Epinette Farm

On duty at Advance Aide Post, a few shells dropping near. We sleep in a cellar at this farm.

Friday 10th December: Epinette Farm/ Epinette

Another day of rain but very little doing except the artillery battering away also a few shells dropping close. A dugout fell in killing one of the Welsh Guards and injuring two that we took down to our Advance Dressing Station. We were relieved by two others at 6pm.

Diaries; 1st – 3rd December, 1915.

Wednesday 1st December: Lagorgue

Weather still mild, not much doing.

Thursday 2nd December: Lagorgue/ Epinette

Eight of us marched from Lagorgue to our Advance Dressing Station at Epinette and relieved eight of the men there. Our Brigade goes into action tonight.

I went up from Epinette to our Advance aide post about three hundred yards behind the firing line where 4 of us are on duty to bring any wounded down to our Advance Aide Post at Epinette Farm.

Friday 3rd December: Epinette/ Epinette Farm

Had a quiet night only one sick man to take down and one of the 2nd Scotch guards wounded today. Weather rotten, raining heavily, everything quiet.