Diaries; 16 – 22 July 1916.

Sunday 16th July: La Brick

We had only two wounded to bring down last night. This day is the opposite from yesterday being very dull.

Two batteries alongside us kept up a lively fire all afternoon and though we see very little of what occurs we get all the latest news from all parts of the line from headquarters.

Four of us went up to the reserve trenches at 10pm to see if there were any wounded. There being no cases, two men went back and two of us stayed till 2am but there was nothing doing though the German machine guns were very lively on the roads.

Monday 17th July: La Brick

We did not do any sandbagging today as the dugouts are almost finished and the day was very clear, so if we worked in the open the German balloon would have seen us. Our batteries kept up a very heavy fire all day and the Germans did not reply till after 6pm when they sent over a few coalboxes, some of them being not far off our Aide Post. We had two wounded to bring down at night but I expect the Germans had more than two after our batteries knocked off.

Tuesday 18th July: Peselhock

At 3am five of us were sent down from the Aide Post at La Brick as the work was finished and there were too many men up there. We arrived at “B” Section headquarters at 6am then we were sent on to the Ambulance headquarters at Peselhock. We have still 12 men at Poperinghe and by all accounts, they did some good work there when the Germans were shelling the town.

Wednesday 19th July: Peselhock

We are to stay at headquarters doing fatigues.

Thursday 20th July: Peselhock

The Germans have not shelled Poperinghe for over a week now and the troops and civilians are allowed in the town again.

Friday 21st July: Peselhock

We are still here at Peselhock, nothing much doing here except for a few German
aeroplanes who pay us a visit nearly every morning and evening.

Saturday 22nd July: Peselhock

Nothing much doing


Diaries; 9 – 15 July 1916.

Sunday 9th July: Brielen

We had a lively night as the Germans dropped a few shells near us when we were filling sandbags in the garden but nobody was hit.

At night, another party of our Ambulance (24 men) and some of No. 9 Field Ambulance are digging a trench from the second trench to the third trench in the first line, the other side of the Yser Canal. They are having a lively time too but they stay up there and sleep through the day in dugouts on the canal bank.

We came back at 3am as usual

Monday 10th July: Poperinghe

Coming back from the chateau this morning three German aeroplanes flew over our heads and dropped a few bombs on the railway and also one or two in Poperinghe.

Tuesday 11th July: Poperinghe

We had another lively night last night but nobody was hit. They also shelled Poperinghe about 11pm. There is some good news from the Somme district, we are still advancing.

Wednesday 12th July: Chateau Rizebourgh

We had a fairly quiet night last night. I am one of the party who will stay up here for the next 56 hours. After a few hours’ sleep, we got up and had dinner at 1pm then started to work laying the sand-bags we had filled on the top of the dugout. We were working when the other party came up at 10pm then we had to work with them all night till 3am the next morning.

Thursday 13th July: Chateau Rizebourgh

We had a fairly quiet night and after having our breakfast at 3am we had a sleep till 1pm. Then up and worked till the other party came up at 10pm.

Friday 14th July: Poperinghe/ La Brick

We had another fairly quiet night but the Germans shelled Poperinghe causing a few casualties. After working till 3am we went back to “B” Section’s Headquarters leaving another party up at the Chateau.

The Germans shelled Poperinghe very heavily today, a few of the shells going through our Hospital but they still managed to take in all the troops and civilians who were wounded or killed in Poperinghe.

Our Ambulance had to clear out of Poperinghe leaving 12 men, 1 N.C.O. and 1 Officer to take any cases getting wounded in Poperinghe. Our headquarters is moving to Peselhock.

Nearly all the civilians and troops have cleared out of Poperinghe and all the shops are closed. The Germans sent over 200 shells into it today and there was over 90 wounded and a good few killed.

Instead of going to the Chateau tonight 4 of us were told off to go up to the Aide Post at La Brick.

Saturday 15th July: La Brick

We came up to La Brick last night and we are to stay here on duty. This place is near St. Jean and Ypres about midway between and is well in the Salient. We have 12men, 1 N.C.O. and 1 Officer here. We are clearing any wounded and making a few dugouts. This has been a splendid summer’s day and our guns have been hammering away all day.

Diaries; 1 – 8 July 1916.

Saturday 1st July 1916: Poperinghe

Things are growing very lively and I expect something to burst very soon. Rumors of all kinds are flying about. It is a splendid day and the sun is shining. The Canadians are holding their Sports here today. In the afternoon we had a notice posted up saying that the French and our 4th Army had obtained their objective in the Somme district.

Sunday 2nd July: Poperinghe

Not much doing up here except for the artillery who are keeping up a heavy bombardment on the German lines. We have made more progress in the Somme district and telegrams are posted up for us twice a day from headquarters. The Push has started at last but we are not in it yet.

Monday 3rd July: Poperinghe

Still more good news posted up from the Somme district and everything is normal here.

Tuesday 4th July: Poperinghe

A heavy bombardment around Ypres way last night and we had 24 wounded down after the Guards had made a raid on the German trenches. That is the most wounded we have had here since we took over this Hospital. More good news posted up from the Somme district, we are still advancing there.

Wednesday 5th July: Poperinghe

Last night we had one of the worst thunderstorms I have seen out here and it rained the whole night. Heavy gunfire still going on round Ypres. The weather checked our advance on the Somme is the latest news posted up.

Thursday 6th July: Poperinghe

The weather is a bit better though still threatening and we had no more news from the Somme district.

Friday 7th July: Poperinghe

Our guns bombarded the Germans last night again and the Guards made another raid. We had over 30 wounded down here after the raid. Seven extra Bearers of our Ambulance went up to the Aide Post for duty there. Six more of us were warned today to get ready and at 4.30 this afternoon we marched to “B” Section headquarters about 3 miles outside Poperinghe but nearer to the Firing Line. At 9pm the six of us and 24 of No. 4 Field Ambulance went up in Horse Ambulances to Chateau Rizebourgh about a mile the other side of Brielen. We are going to work here at night making the lodge of the Chateau into an Advance Dressing Station and gas and shellproof dugout.

Saturday 8th July: Brielen

We worked up at the Chateau till 3am in the morning then came back to “B” Sections headquarters for a sleep throughout the day. We can only work at night up there so as not to be seen by the Germans and even at night they send over a good few shells. We left a small party who are to work through the day inside the Lodge. We went up again at night.

Diaries; 25th – 30th June 1916.

Sunday 25th June: Poperinghe

Our guns are bombarding every night now and the infantry are making raids but we are getting very little wounded. Weather still rainy.

Monday 26th June: Poperinghe

The Canadians had another bit of a scrap up Ypres way again. Otherwise, nothing doing.

Tuesday 27th June: Poperinghe

Everything fairly quiet except for the bombardment at night time. We are only getting about four wounded in each night.

Wednesday 28th June: Poperinghe

Very wet weather. Nothing doing here.

Thursday 29th June: Poperinghe

Great preparations being made for a big attack and our guns are growing livelier every day.

Friday 30th June: Poperinghe

We have drawn six days of rations so we expect something big soon.

Diaries; 18th – 24th June 1916.

Sunday 18th June: Proven/ Poperinghe

We left Proven at 9.15am and marched to Poperinghe where we took over a Hospital from No. 16 Field Ambulance.

Monday 19th June: Poperinghe

Two Privates and a Sergeant of our Ambulance went up to take over an Aide Post on the left of Ypres. This place, here in Poperinghe that we have as a hospital was a college in peacetime and can hold a great amount of wounded. We, the Bearers are sleeping upstairs in cubicles with beds in them. The finest billet we have
had all through the campaign.

Tuesday 20th June: Poperinghe

The Germans shell Poperinghe with long-range guns now and then but they have not sent any over since we came here though their aeroplanes have been dropping a few bombs.

Wednesday 21st June: Poperinghe

We are not getting in many wounded yet, things are fairly quiet. Weather better.

Thursday 22nd June: Poperinghe

The whole of “B” section of the Ambulance went further up the line and formed an Advanced Dressing Station at a place called Red Farm also forming two Aide Posts near St Julian.

Friday 23rd June: Poperinghe

The Germans dropped a few shells near the station today but our guns were doing nearly all the firing in the afternoon. The weather has broken down again and the rain is coming down in torrents.

Saturday 24th June: Poperinghe

After a night of heavy rain and shell fire, it has quietened down and brightened up a good bit.

Diaries; 4th – 12th June 1916.

Sunday 4th June: Proven

Have just heard the Canadians have regained the trenches they lost and have taken some prisoners.

Monday 5th June: Proven

Have just read about the great sea battle. 

Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th June: Proven

Nothing doing.

Thursday 8th June: Proven

Have just heard of the tragic death of Lord Kitchener. We all wish he had lived to see the finish of his great work.

Friday 9th to Monday 12th June: Proven

Nothing doing. Weather again breaks down.

Diaries; 28th – 31st May 1916.

Monday 29th May: Proven

They have taken our blankets from us so now we have to sleep in our clothes and greatcoat. Preparing for next month.

Tuesday 30th May: Proven

The weather has broken down today, the first rain we have had for some time. Heavy gunfire Ypres way. The Prince of Wales passed through our hospital today. This is the first time I have seen him since he came back from Egypt.

Wednesday 31st May: Proven

Nothing doing. Weather again breaks down.

Diaries; 24th – 28th May 1916.

Wednesday 24th May: Proven

As we are now sleeping in a field behind the Rest Camp we can hardly fall asleep for listening to the Nightingales and every morning the guns wake us at 4am firing at a German aeroplane that flies over our heads nearly every morning. Otherwise, nothing doing and we are all weary waiting on the big move.

Thursday 25th May: Proven

We of the Bearer’s Section have been issued with steel helmets.

Friday 26th to Sunday 28th May: Proven

Nothing doing. Weather splendid.