Diaries; 22nd – 28th January, 1916.

Saturday 22nd January: Lagorgue

The Guards Division is staying on here in this position and we are still keeping on our Hospital here and our Advance Dressing Station at Epinette. There have been some changes and honours in our Ambulance since I went on leave. Our Commanding Officer has received the C.M.G, one of our Captains the D.S.O., our Sergeant Major the Military Cross and a Sergeant the D.C.M. All for the good work the Ambulance has done.

Sunday 23rd January: Lagorgue

We are still here and as far as we know will be here for some time yet and expect to see a big attack take place before many weeks are past. Everything is fairly quiet at present.

Monday 24th January: Lagorgue

Another quiet day with the usual rain but the guns on our right seem to be doing some work.

Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th January: Lagorgue

Still here in Lagorgue, nothing much doing.

Thursday 27th January: Lagorgue

Still here in Lagorgue, the Germans did not attempt an attack this year for the Kaiser’s birthday. Everything is fairly quiet.

Friday 28th January: Lagorgue

Nothing doing.

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Diaries; 18th – 21st January, 1916.

Tuesday 18th January: Greenock/ Glasgow

Left home about 8pm and caught a train at Glasgow for London at 10.15pm

Wednesday 19th January: London/ Shorncliff/ Folkestone

Arrived London 9.15am caught the boat train at Victoria at 9.45am. Halted at Shorncliff and marched to Canadian camp. Stopped there for 6 hours then marched to Folkestone but did not sail, billeted there for the night.

Thursday 20th January: Folkestone/ Boulogne

We did not get a boat till 1.20pm and after arriving at Boulogne we marched to the rest camp there and billeted for the night.

Friday 21st January: Boulogne/ Lagorgue

We got a train at 1.20pm arriving back at Lagorgue at 4.30pm, billeted there for the night.

Diaries; 8th – 11th January, 1916.

Saturday 8th January: Epinette

Our Artillery were standing by all night expecting a German attack but it did not come off. Our Artillery were very quiet all day but not so the Germans for they sent over, in and around the village of Epinette, more shells than they had this last fortnight. They were nearly all coal boxes too but did little damage. We were building more sandbags around our Hospital and I think we will need them too.

Sunday 9th January: Lagorgue

Everything quiet this morning, about dinner time I was told to go back to Lagorgue to go on leave. I arrived in Lagorgue and after getting my pass I went to the railway station and slept in the train till it started.

Monday 10th January: Lagorgue/Boulogne/ London

The train left Lagorgue at 2am arriving in Boulogne about 9am and the boat left there at 12.15 arriving us in London about 4pm. We got a train to Glasgow at 8.50pm.

Tuesday 11th January: Greenock

I arrived home at 9am.

Diaries; 1st – 7th January, 1916.

Saturday 1st January: Epinette

Another Year has started and we don’t seem to be any nearer finishing than we were at the beginning of 1915; but though we have not made much headway, we have improved in everything and hope to see the finish this Year.

We are still at the Advance Dressing Station at Epinette and a few shells are dropping around as usual, but our artillery are working very hard keeping down the German artillery fire. The weather is still mild but wet and miserable. We are still getting in one or two wounded and when we have time doing some sandbagging.

Sunday 2nd January: Epinette

Still another day of the same wet and miserable weather, the Germans sending over a few more souvenirs, some dropping very close to us. We seem to be getting busier every day with wounded and at times the shelling is very lively, something will be coming off here shortly.

Monday 3rd January: Epinette

Another day of the same only the German shelling being livelier than ever.

Tuesday 4th January: Epinette Farm

I went up to the Advance Aide Post at Epinette Farm last night and I am on duty there today with two other Bearers. We had a few wounded to take down through the night and the Germans are very lively with their shelling today. They are shelling Laventie very heavily.

Wednesday 5th January: Epinette Farm

We have had it fairly quiet today only two wounded to take down though the Germans sent a few more shell over. The weather is clearer and a few aeroplanes are overhead.

Thursday 6th January: Epinette

The Germans shelled around here very heavily today smashing up two farms but luckily ours was not hit and nobody wounded. We were relieved at night by other men of our Ambulance so went back to our Advance Dressing Station at Epinette. The Guards Division are being relieved by the Welsh Division so we expect to be relieved soon.

Friday 7th January: Epinette

A fairly quiet day, in the morning we went up to one of our Advance Aide Posts “Bedford Post” and built up sandbags around it. We then came back to Epinette and did some more sandbagging there.

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.