Bruce Steele's World War 1 Diary

Arthur Bruce Steele was born 1897 in Hamiota, Manitoba, Canada. He always preferred the name Bruce so we use it here. When the "Great War" started in Europe, he was too young to volunteer as a soldier so instead he volunteered as a medic. This is the diary he kept mostly in tiny cursive script on small pocket sized pages.



January 25, 1916 Joined the army on this day 1916.
February 26, 1916 1st entry Got up 5.A.M. Reported at 6.15: Left Depot at 7.20 to the strains of Auld Lang Syne played by the 61st band. First stop at Kenora at 11.30 for 10 minutes. Fine scenery through Lake of the Woods country. Feeling fine. The next stop was at Fort William where we went out on parade for about 3/4 hr. Punk place. Too many civilians. Time changed. Bid good-bye & went into coach. Went to bed about 12 oclock for the 1st night on the train. Train very hot. Nose bleed. batch 3, page 2/26
February 27, 1916 Got up at 7. oclock. Washed & had good breakfast. Scenery good but wild boar country. SMall towns & far between. Had dinner. Read book. Chapleau next stop where we get off for 20 minutes for a leg stretch and fresh air. Read story after getting in from Chapleau. Had supper. Read some more. Listened to gramaphone & went to bed. Had good sleep in hot bed. batch 3, page 2/26
February 28, 1916 Got up & washed as usual and cleaned up. Stopped over an hr. at Chalk river. Still a punk country we are passing through. Poor scenery. 22 mile from Pembroke. Montreal at 6 oclock to-night. Not going by Ottawa but Smith's Falls instead. Route march there. Smith's Falls a very nice place to look at but Oh the snow is sure deep. and talk about hills to climb. The country from there on looks fine. Small fields and many orchards. Got into Montreal at 6.30. Only through outskirts great bridge over St. Lawrence. Good night. batch 3, page 4/26
February 29, 1916 Good sleep and feeling fine. Usual wash & breakfast. First long stop at Riviere du loup which is a very fine place. Would look fine in summer. Hills & valleys. Not so cold out. Hope to get to St. John tomorrow morning. Terrible blizzard blowing. Fearful pile of snow. Trains all blocked. Long stops at Rismouski & Mount Joli. Have seen St. Lawrence. White caps & heavy waves. batch 3, page 4/26
March 1, 1916 Got up at Bugle call & washed and found that the train had made good time during the night. Had a good sleep & feeling fine. Break fast & guard for the day was to be my lot. Packed up & heard that we would get into St. John at 11.30. Had lunch of cheese sandwich & coffee. Arrived at St. John & stayed at station 15 minutes. Left for pier & after 1/2 hr. standing around in the cold we board Scandinavian. Darned cold hole & poor accommodation for us. Good single room for Morrison & I. Went to bed cold & almost froze in bed. Cold all night. Wrote cards home. batch 3, page 3/26
March 2, 1916 Got up at six & found iceberg in my room. But we should worry. Had good breakfast & went on deck. Cold up there as well. Heard we would pull away at noon. Left pier at noon and came up with Misanabie(?). Boat pitching a little towards night. On guard from 2 oclock Monday till 12 noon on Tuesday. Coristine feeling sick. I am fine. So long for now. Had some coffee at 4 oclock & turn sick. Shave & go back on guard. Get off at 10A.m & go to bed. batch 3, page 3/26
March 3, 1916 Got up at 3.30 P.M after a good sleep. Boat rocking fierce & I feel dizzy but go on deck. Cant stand it so you know the rest. Had good big supper & feel fine. Boat still rocking. Go down to smoking room to write. Go to bed in my little gray home in the west So long till tomorrow. batch 3, page 3/26
March 4, 1916 Regular morning routine. Had breakfast & went on deck. Wing getting up. Sat around till about dinner time & then went below. Had 3rd spasm of sea sickness. Had dinner & went on deck but too sick to stay. Went to bed. Man washed overboard that evening. C.A.S.C. man. Still sick. batch 3, page 5/26
March 5, 1916 Sun Stayed in bunk till 3.00 PM till Elliott came & made me dress & come on deck. Felt awful weak but fresh air did me good. Fine day & fairly calm sea. Had no supper. Stayed on deck till ordered below by guard. Did not seem much like Sunday. batch 3, page 5/26
March 6, 1916 Got up & washed. Felt awful weak. Missed breakfast and went on deck. Fine sunny day but fairly strong wind Had good dinner & ate some fruit. Felt fine then. Saw another boat also life belt floating past. Wind getting very strong. Calms down a little & then very bad before bed time. Sit around with Coristine & Stan till 8 oclock & then go below to bed. batch 3, page 5/26
March 7, 1916 Got up & go through usual routine before breakfast. Have breakfast & go on deck. Wind fairly good & sun shining but decks awful wet. Wind slowly rises & weather get miserable. Feeling good. I volunteer as life boat crew member & at 3.P.M. get 1st lesson. Glad I volunteered. Wind very strong towards 4.30 & we stop to let Mesenabie go in. Play cards & then go to supper. After supper I talk with Mac & Stan & vamous(?). batch 3, page 6/26
March 8, 1916 Wind not too bad till about noon & then slowly gets rough. A new cruiser has joined through the night & the other one turned back west. Fall in for roll call at 10.A.M No fire drill to-day. See a wind jamer go past going west. Feeling dumby & go back & sing with boys at stern of boat & then go to bunk to write. No sun shine all day. Terrible waves at bed time & boat rocking fierce. Hope to see land on Frid. & get in on Sun. So long for now. Keep clothes on all night. batch 3, page 6/26
March 9, 1916 Woke up at 6 with a splitting head ache. Boat was still pitching fierce. I reported sick & stayed in bad till 2 oclock and after getting tea & toast I go on deck. Another boat a trunk steamer was staming along on our starboard side out is soon left behind. A report came out of another CASC man had disappeared. Had supper & sit on deck with Stan & Elliot till bedtime. Hope for better day tomorrow. batch 3, page 6/26
March 10, 1916 A very uneventful day. Heavy sea and occasional sun. Feeling tough on the poor grub we get. We had not reached danger zone by nightfall. batch 3, page 7/26
March 11, 1916 A great day, sun shining & calm sea. Best day yet. Entered danger zone early this morning Cruiser still with us. No torpedo boats yet. Expect them tomorrow. No life boat drill. All kinds of rumours about concerning the presence of subs & other naval boasts. Ordered to wear or carry our life belts all the time. The course we follow is zig-zag & every other way. Signals coming all the time from the cruiser. Expect to land tomorrow sometime. Hope we do. I am sick of this. Gave letter to Mulvey last night & I feel good over prospects. Had dad's honey to-day & it tasted like home. So long. Hope we don't get torpedoed on this our last night. Bye-bye. batch 3, page 7/26
March 11, 1916 (Memo section) Left my wrist watch in a lavatory & probably would have lost it only it fell into good hands & after a steady search I found the man who had it. Gee! I am glad I got it. batch 3, page 4/26
March 12, 1916 Hurrah for to-day the best day yet. Warm calm sea & sun shiny. Upon going on deck I detect 6 torpedo boats on the horizon and it sure made me feel good after looking for subs for the last day. They suddenly close in on us & 2 leave us with cruiser the other 4 escorting us to port. I see light about 7 oclock & it sure looked good. A funny Sunday believe me. I went to church this morning & enjoyed it. We are all well now & in the best of spirits. Fat is playing mouth organ new & great excitement all over. So long hope we reach port tomorrow next morning or through the night. Love to all. Bruce. batch 3, page 7/26
March 13, 1916 Landed during the night. I go on deck and sure am favorably impressed by the sight. We are in Plymouth sound. Guns & forts everywhere. Escort has gone. We go ashore in tenders with heavy load on our back. Land at Devonport at 4 P.M & cheer our heads off. Leave for Blamshot camp at 4.30. Stop at OkeHampton & Exeter Greens for lunch. Hot tea & bun went good. Next stop Yeovil junction then Salisbury where big camp is. Gets dark & cannot see. Reach Sipkook at 12 midnight. Mist & mud to eyebrows. Great scenery on train journey. Just like B.C. Hills, green fields & streams everywhere. Sheep & cattle grazing. A little snow here & there but very warm. Feel best yet & in great spirits. 2 1/2 mile walk in the mud & slush but we should worry. Arrive at camp after 1 hr. march. Mud to the boot tops. But clean, army huts. 33 to the hut. Hurrah for Bramshot Camp. batch 3, page 8/26
March 14, 1916 Slept with Coristine & was warm. Got to bed about 4 A.M. & slept till 9.30. No parades. I arrange my stuff in my outfit to suit me. I get a little fatigue duty to do. Have good dinner of beef, potatoes and tea & bread. Mud everywhere. Very strict about discipline in this camp. Different to Canada. I have not changed money yet but will do so to-day. Things are as dear as in Canada at the canteen. I go to Liphook at 5PM. when dismissed. Went in to YMCA. building and wrote cards. Had supper & went for walk with Coristine & 44th man. He told us how many things were done. Saw Bramshott village. Came home & went to bed. Cold all night. batch 3, page 8/26
March 15, 1916 Woke up freezing and had sore throat & went to dining room only to find that no breakfast was to be for us. A misty day. Fell in for roll call & then came back for to write in our hut. Sat around till 5 and then started our for Sifpook(?). Great scenery like Victoria. Saw Tennyson's blacksmith & Nelson's boarding house. I got soaked by shark(?) serving my supper. But we will learn. It drizzled all the time. Came home & went to bed. batch 3, page 8/26
March 16, 1916 Still raining out side but we can't stop it. Had swell sleep. Got punk break fast. Had physical drill & roll call. Had fairly good dinner. We got out stretchers so we'll have dandy bad in the future. Had a good route march to Grayshott village where we stopped 15 minutes & got a bit to eat so we're OK. It was juicing so we got great coats wet. Got home & had a rest. Decided to go to London with Lewis to spend 6 day leave if I got the chance. Went to P. office to wire home with Mac. Had a dandy supper in Salvation Army home. Wrote a couple of letters and returned to hut. Still raining. I am on mess fatigue in the morning. batch 3, page 9/26
March 17, 1916 My first days fatigue in England. Not a bad day at all. No rain and a little sun in the afternoon. Luairel(?) all day in the kitchen with other guys over(?) the walk. After supper I go for walk with Mach and Lewis. We drop into a Y.M.C.A. hut & see a concert for 1 1/2 hrs and then go to our own Y hut and have a glass of malted milk & biscuit before going home. Coristine & Stan were there. Came home & slumbered. batch 3, page 9/26
March 18, 1916 Had a punk sleep. 2 weeks since we left the Peg & it seems like a year. Not training yet. Passes are starting to be given & Mac, Lewis & I for London soon. Walk to Haslemere & see some dandy old places just like Vitoria. Go through museum. Had supper & walked home tired out. batch 3, page 9/26
March 19, 1916 Another Sunday. My 1st in England. A dull day in the morning but swell afternoon. After breakfast I went to church twice. After dinner Chicksly, Mac & I walk to Hindhead & see Devils Punch Bowl & gibbet where 3 sailer were hung. We get a great sight from hill top. Can see London 40 miles away on a clear day. Walk along old stage road to London. We go to Haslemere & have dandy bath & good eats for 15. We then proceed to Wesleyan church after which we go home to bed. batch 3, page 10/26
March 20, 1916 Raining a little when we get up but soon stops. Regular morning routine goes through with. We are told we may leave Bramshott on the following monday so 125 of the fellows went on pass. Those who went had relatives. We are to get leave on Thurs for 5 days. I expect hard fatigues for next 2 or 3 days. batch 3, page 10/26
March 21, 1916 I go to Aldershot with 6 boys & St. Col. Tanner to get horses. Drizzling again. We go on train to Aldershott. Walk to remount camp 3 mi distance. Get wild horses & laugh much. Two get away & I chase them. We are delayed 2 hrs by me chasing them. We ride all to way on bareback. 18 miles ride. Tanner sticks it out good. Get in and have supper. I could hardly walk. I slept till 12 the next day. batch 3, page 10/26
March 22, 1916 Oh! but I am stiff. I get washed and sit around till 5. Windy & drizzling rain all the time! May go on pass tomorrow. As I have to on orderly duty to-night I sleep a little. I get a few light fatigues to do in store room. I go to headquarters & have a good sleep instead of sitting up as I expected. batch 3, page 11/26
March 23, 1916 I went back to bunk house at 6.15 and wanted to go to Aldershot again but could not. A cold day & a little snow. I did hardly anything till noon & then go & see Capt. Mulvey about business. I turned out O.K. & I helped Capt. Fullock & also gave a hand to the stables. McBain & Coristine went to Aldershott for horses & had good time. I may go to-morrow. We have 33 horses now to look after & 21 coming to-morrow. Got our rain coats to-day. batch 3, page 11/26
March 24, 1916 Got up at 6 & went to stables. I steap(?) in the officers lines not got 21 saddles ready. Fed 33 horses. Feeling pretty good this morning as I had a good sleep. The horses came in O.K. Went down to our own lines & found that Mac Wilfred & the bunch had gone to London. I came home & went to bed. batch 3, page 11/26
March 25, 1916 Got up at 7.A.M. & consequently was an hour late. I went to stables but Capt. Tulloch sen for me & I spent nearly all morning fixing his boots & room etc. Had dinner & went back to stables. Did work and went down to the bunksto sleep. Mac & Coristine come back to-morrow night. batch 3, page 12/26
March 26, 1916 Another Sunday but I spend it at the stables just like any other day. Vic & I draw out 2 loads of manure which is chief event of the day. Mac & Coristine came back delighted with London. batch 3, page 12/26
March 27, 1916 We are to leave on the 30th & everything is in a bustle. I dont know what I will be doing yet but will likely batting for Major Burgess. batch 3, page 12/26
March 28, 1916 Army service men took over the stables to-day. We look after a horse a piece. Saw McDonald on the street & went in to see him. Had a good chat & he asked me to call again which I will do. batch 3, page 13/26
March 29, 1916 I am still fooling around the stables looking after one horse and getting out of all fatigues down at the huts. We got payed to-day and I have a $15 cheques and £ 2 10s so I will put some in the bank. We are not going away this week so far as we know now. batch 3, page 13/26
March 30, 1916 A fine day. I still am in the horse line job. No word yet about what Major we ar to have. Mac, Mayes, Knox & I go to Haslemere after dinner. I bought a battery for my torch light & had a hair cut, the 1st one in England for me. Deposited money in the bank £ 3 10s. I am to get my 2nd yr. in Arts as Stan got a letter from Pres. Whidden to that effect. batch 3, page 13/26
March 31, 1916 Came up to stables and cleaned horse. We are to have kit inspection to-day but I wont be there. This is a fine day & the mud is drying up a lot. Hope I know what I am going to do soon. We are all well. There was an inspection by Gen. Jones yesterday. batch 3, page 14/26
March 31, 1916 Memo This diary so far is of very little interest but wait till I get to France & then it will be better. About 4 oclock. We were on the hard floor and I only had my great coat on me. I was soon fast asleep and slept till 6 A.M. I only woke once so I guess I can sleep any place. We are to leave to-night. The boat is anchored out in the harbour from Southamption. We passed the world famed Netley Hospital on the way out. It is a swell building believe me. There are about 3 large transports along side of us. Good-night. batch 3, page 14/26
April 1, 1916 Memo A beautiful day. Warm and bright. The weather certainly makes all the difference in the world to this place. I bum around the horse lines but get nothing definite but it must be one thing or the other on Monday. I am feeling fine. Am going to get my hair cropped off short soon. I am going to see McDonald to-day. A zepp. went over here last night & the boys heard the engines whirr. Two aeroplane have washed over Bramshott but I haven't seen either of them. Hardly any April fools to-day. Vic & I go to Haslemere & have a bath & get our supper. We are going next week for sure. batch 3, page 15/26
April 2, 1916 Memo Another swell day and a Sunday. After breakfast I go up to officers quarters & bum around. Vic & I are going to Grayshott this afternoon. Have not heard from home yet. We are to leave tomorrow morning early so they say & that means I must see what I am going to do. Hurrah! I went to see Capt. Tullock amd I am going to batt for Major Fyshe a file fellow. I want to see McDonald after supper & had a good talk about B.C. I did some washing and went to bed at 9.30 as we had to get off early & be up at 5 A.M. batch 3, page 15/26
April 3, 1916 Memo Got up & fixed the Major's bagage and got his horse ready. Had breakfast and turned in my kit bag & blankets. Managed to get my kit thrown on to a wagon. I got & seat on top & so rode all the way. At Fiphools(?) we put horses on the train and then to on ourselves enroute for Shouthampton. We landed there after a ride through beautiful country and put the horses on the boar after which we had dinner (a bully beef sandwich) and then lay down in a big shed. Went on board & lay down without clothes on (? pointer here to a follow on that was not found) batch 3, page 15/26
April 4, 1916 Memo Gee! but I am sore this morning, especially my elbow. I lay between Vic Murray and a big packing case all night. Had a breakfast of bully beef and after feeding my nag I got up on deck. The sun is shining and a nice breeze is blowing. We did not move during the night. Vic & I ar layingon our back on top of a deck house now & talking about Hamiota. We will be here till night I suppose. There are only Hindus on here as sailors. We buy tea, sandwiches etc. from them. Well I hope we go to-night. I only to feed my horse, no work to do with the Major. He is a good sport. There are 5 other transports near us & we will all go out together. We hear no war news at all here & don't know what the subs are doing or if they are doing something. Of course there are rumours about. We look at the seach lights playing on the clouds about Southampton & then go to bed or rather lay down on hard boards. batch 3, page 16/26
April 5, 1916 Memo Here we are again & we didn't go out to sea last night as we thought. The 5 other transports have disappeared however and we are left. I dont know when we will leave now. But we should worry, we are all happy. Gosh an aeroplane has just gone over the boar and glided down into a naval base nearby. It is the 1st I have ever seen. They sure can travel. We have seen 6 to-day. There is every likelihood of us going out to-night. We have a good bed to sleep on. Vic & I & another fellow. batch 3, page 16/26
April 6, 1916 Memo Here we are again & we haven't moved during the night. This is getting kind of monotonous, nothing to read, no war news. It is a good thing we have the horses to take up some of out time. We came on here Monday & it is no Friday. Boats pass us every little while. We have seen a good many hospital ships, the Britannic was one of them. She is a whale of a tub. Almost as big as the Titanic they say. Hope we go out to-night. XXX batch 3, page 16/26
April 6, 1916 Dear Jack this your birthday here's to you. We are well and in fine spirits. We are going to leave here saturday for a div. rest camp. Got a nice letter from home today. I am going down town for a walk. First time for six days Vic Murry is back here and looks thin but well. batch 2, page 1/18
April 7, 1916 Very ordinary to start off with. We got the meals, went for coal, and bumed around in the mean time. We went for a bath after dinner and felt a lot better and a little cleaner of course. At five-thirty we were told to get ready to go up the line. We left the dishes dirty packed up a few things and climed into the ambulance. We stayed at Branhook a short while donned tin hats and sped on the asylum. We were to stay here. We shook hands all round and went to sleep on stretchers. batch 2, page 1/18
April 8, 1916 We had a fairly good sleep and a good breakfast. I went to sleep again and stayed there till dinner time. We lookes through the buildings and now I am down in the base- ment writing. We have nothing very much to do except a few fatigues. It is very quiet about here. I got a few more souvenirs including a hand grenade. I went to bed about eight o'clock after playing a game of whist. batch 2, page 3/18
April 9, 1916 Ihad a good sleep in spite of the crumbs in the blankets. And had a wash immediately after breakfast. We are clean- ing every thing up around here. We expect to go out to-morrow. I am going to write home now and else where. This is a shell basement enormous in size covering a acre althoug the building is in ruins. I went to bed early. batch 2, page 3/18
April 10, 1916 This is Saturday and we arn't going to leave for five more days. So we will have to content ourselves here as best we can. I sleep most of the time I must write some to-day. There was about 100 patients thru here last night. I am going to be on duty to night and this will be up 24 hours at a stretch. there were about 50 patients in. I went to bed about 5 o'clock. I like work- ing at night fine and hope to kept it up. batch 2, page 3/18
batch 2, page 4/18
April 11, 1916 Sunday--There is service in the building somewhere but as I was sleeping I did not go. I got up to dinner and got up to stay just before supper. There is a lot of mailin and I am hoping for some to night. I hope it dosent rain like it did lastnight. As it was miserable loading the ambulance We will be here all this week I expect. I am going to write now so solong. batch 2, page 4/18
April 12, 1916 Had a fairly good sleep and got up about 4 o'clock. I got 4 letter and 2 parcels last night. There is a big rush up the line to night and 6 of our boys went up the line. All the ambulance are standing too for a big night. I am going into the dispensary to work now so solong batch 2, page 4/18
batch 2, page 5/18
April 13, 1916 We had quite a busy night about a 100 patients , walking patients mostly, came thru. Our boys made an attack last night and retook the lost ground in Sanctuary Woodsthat they had lost 2 or 3 days ago taking about 1000 prisoners, some of which passed thru here. I had a swell sleep to-day and am ready for anything to-night. I am going to write letters now solong. batch 2, page 5/18
April 7, 1916 Nothing stirring yet & we have been in the same place for 5 days now but it is agreeing with me & I am feeling fine. This is a beautiful day. A monoplane has just circled around us. We sure ought to go out to-day or to-night. There are a whole fleet of sailing boats out in the harbour fishing I suppose. Hurrah we are to go out to-night at 5 oclock. We go out by the isle of Wight & passed Portsmouth the great naval yards. They sure are well guarded believe men by boats and mines. We passed a great many torpedo boats & at dark we proceeded out at full speed. I went to bed. batch 2, page 7/18
April 8, 1916 We are in Havre harbour and all is bustle with the landing preparations. We stay in the docks till noon. I look after the major's horse to get my dinner. There are a great many boats coming in and going out. Troops every where. I o(?) long we are off to dear knows where. We had a long trip about 5 miles & I bet the fellows who had to walk & carry their kits were tired. I rode in a wagon. We followed the coast & passed some beautiful scenery through Havre. We came to a Canadian camp where we are to stay 3 or 4 days before going on. batch 2, page 7/18
April 9, 1916 I slept with Peers. Two blankets. 2 great coats & 2 slickers for our bed. We are in bell tents on the bare floor but I am at home on the floor now. The weather is swell here. I dont know when we will leave but it wont be long. I cant talk fairly well to the French people here & make myself understood. Thanks to McDonald's teaching. Good night back to the hard boards for another night. batch 2, page 7/18
April 10, 1916 Another fine day. No rain since we left Bramshott & no need thank goodness. No word about leaving so far. Everything is ready at a moments notice. I hear that anothe draft has left Whg. We get no war news hardly. We are to leave here tomorrow some time. I dont know where we are going but it will be up near the line some place. I have not seen much of Fyshe (?) since we came here so have had no bathing to do. so long for now. batch 2, page 8/18
April 11, 1916 Got up and did up my horse & secured a seat on a water wagon to ride to the station at Havre. I put my kit on too. A hazy day & it rained in the forenoon but better by the time we leave at 3 in the afternoon. We go through narrower steep streets to the station about 4 miles from no 1 Camp. We load the wagons & horses & then are crammed over 30 in each car but Vic and I get in with the sergeants & have a fairly decent time. We left about 9 oclock & lay down on the floor with only our coats + 1 blanket over us but were warm. gee! but the car rode rough. No springs. batch 2, page 8/18
April 12, 1916 Got up about 6 & had a hand out break -fast of jam, bread, & butter. We pass through a level country which is irrigated with ditches. Gee! but the people cultivate the soil well. We landed at a place 5(?) miles from the firing line just back of yfies(?) & can hear gun fire. The town has been shelled before. We go to bed after a supper at 11 oclock before which we did up horses. Gee but I am tired. batch 2, page 8/18
April 13, 1916 We got up about 7 oclock & did up horses. A nice day and sunny. We got good meals to-day & hope they keep up. There is an awful string of trucks & transports going up all the time. I saw 6 men being taken out to be buried. Some of our fellows were doing it. A section is going farther up the line soon. Vic & I went up town after supper & had a good walk. got a badge to-day of Ypres. batch 2, page 9/18
April 14, 1916 Raining & miserable morning. I do up horse & get a calling down for not being around when the major brings in his horse. got a good breakfast. So long. can hear heavy firing now. I am to look after Fybhe's(?) horse only and have a kind of an easy job if it only lasts but one(?) should worry. batch 2, page 9/18
April 15, 1916 A fairly decent morning. A section and the transport go up farther towards the lines to day. Vic Murray is going to be a groom for Captain Bell but he is in A section & will be going away also. Mac & Coristine(?) & the bunch will be going too. But soon enough. Saw the germans shelling our airships last night & also an obeservation baloon. Terrible heavy firing to-night. batch 2, page 9/18
April 16, 1916 A beautiful day and a Sunday but it doesn't matter what day it is, the trucks & convoys go past by the score. Dick Alleyn & I have a little shack to live in which we call our dug out. The walls are canvas bags. We have a tin box for a stove & are swell and cosy at nights. I am on guard to-night from 6 to 10 so can get to bed early. Captain Mulvey came & asked me to be his groom which I will do. I will be more satisfied then as the major is kind of a ranty fellow when he gets on the toot which he does quite often & so I haven't much more use for him. batch 2, page 10/18
April 17, 1916 Got up about a quarter to six and went outside only to find it drizzling rain. It is getting brighter though & the sun will be out soon. We are expecting a great battle about the 21st as an anniversary for Ykaes(?). I went down town after supper & bought some candies & a handkerchief to send home It was drizzling rain when I came home. I went to bed about 8 oclock. batch 2, page 10/18
April 18, 1916 A raining morning & nothing to do but sit around. I asked Capt. Mulvey to get J(?).H. Smith as groom for Major Fysbe(?) & have not heard from him yet. Hope he comes as he is a good sport & I would have someone to bum with. batch 2, page 10/18
April 19, 1916 Just like yesterday. Rain every hour or so & then sun. We are still at Poperinghe(?) rest camp & will be here for three or four weeks I suppose but we should worry as long as I get the time in some place. Glad I am going to groom for Captain Mulvey though. No firing of any account for 2 days now & no aeroplanes around. A big battle seems imminent though. I am feeling fine. I am on guard to-night from 6 till 12. A long shift eh? Good night. batch 2, page 11/18
April 20, 1916 I got to bed soon after 12 & went to sleep getting up only when I had to. It was not too bad on guard as I had a good book to read & the sky was interesting to look at. This is a fine day. A good breeze is up & the sun is bright. With the bright day comes the aeroplanes which pass over us every little while. The Huns took(?) a mine crater last night I hear & the hospital is full up this morning. I am feeling fine. Capt Johnson fell off his horse to-day & I had to take it over to the other camp to night. I was supposed to come back but stayed there till morning. I saw all the fellows. They have a fine camp & are getting on swell. They are closer to the line than we are. I came back in a motor ambulance. This is Good-Friday & a measly rainy day. I hope I hear from home soon. Very heavy firing lately. The big drives(?) supposed to start in a day or two. There will be a heavy bombardment first I suppose. batch 2, page 11/18
April 22, 1916 Some fierce firing last night which made our stable shake. One big gun especially made a deuce of a noise. It must not have been situated far from here. They say the Canucks took a line of ditched from the Huns last night. Oyie(?)! but I hope they do something big soon. They say there are so many guns up there now that their number cannot be estimated. Rain all day long caused by heavy firing I suppose. Got 4 letters to-night. 2 from home. 1 from Lyall & 1 from G.C.(?) batch 2, page 12/18
April 23, 1916 A beautiful day. warm & fine. I had 2 eggs for breakfast. Cost me 4 d.(?) They were good. 1 st I have had for months. This is Easter Sunday. The sky is covered with aeroplanes to-day & we spend most of the morning watching the anti-air craft guns popping at them. Fritz must be tying to visit us to-day. I am going to take the nag out for exercise to-day as Capt. Mulvey is away. I am on guard to-night from 6 to 12. The search lights are playing on the sky now as I write. So long. Boom goes the shell fire. batch 2, page 12/18
April 24, 1916, Lyall's birthday This is a beautiful day and the aeroplanes were out early this morning & one or two were brought down. I do not know whose they were. Took the nag over to A section. Camp(?) to get it shod & stayed there till noon but did not get my horse done. The had just finished bandaging up some wounded fellows which a bomb from a taube(?) had hit. Took my horse out again in the after noon & had a look at the country. The air is close(?) to-night. Very heavy firing. Good night. batch 2, page 12/18
April 25, 1916 Judas I got a scare. I work up about 4 oclock just after a deuce of a report. Everybody was up in an instant and out. Three german air craft were above and dropping bombs near here. Our machines were soon after them & also the anti-air craft guns spokeout(?) shaip(?). Away they went having disabled 10 or 12 bombs. Gee! but they made some noise though. 30 were droppein Poperinghe(?). This is a beautiful day & hot too. Cleaned up my saddle this morning. Am going to take my horse out this afternoon for exercise. So long for now. Played foot ball for an hour and then went to bed. batch 2, page 13/18
April 26, 1916 Another fine day. Whats going to happen anyway. Very little firing last night. I cleaned up the saddle & horse in the morning and took it out in the afternoon for exercise. A football match to-day between out boys & the 3rd CCS. fellows. The other fellows won 3-2. I went down to Poperinghe(?) after supper with Jim Smith to see his brother & got home at 8:15. Some firing over the town but nothing dropped. So long. batch 2, page 13/18
April 27, 1916 Another fine day. Hot as the deuce. I took Bueh(?) (the horse) over to A section. Camp(?) to be shod. Saw McBain, Stan, etc. They are fine. I got home just in time for dinner. After dinner I helped put up 2 tents. Our fellows advanced last night & took some trenches from the Huns. We also hear a rumor of a big naval victory. I hope so. I am on picket to-night. Heavy firing. batch 2, page 13/18
April 28, 1916 Another fine day. I had a fairly good sleep after picket duty. Fritz was up in the air early this morning. Nothing new around here. Nothing extraordinarily lively up the line. We will likely move in a couple of weeks. Played fooball after supper & listened to a piano till bed time. batch 2, page 14/18
April 29, 1916 Fine weather just like summer. Nothing new stirring around here except that we get a gas scare every night or so and are wakened up and have to get our helmets by us. Capt. Mulvey is not back yet. Have not heard from home lately. I am still on groom work and we are to be made clean up the yard around here. batch 2, page 14/18
April 30, 1916 The good weather continues. I am on stables to-morrow night. We are working hard cleaning up the ground around the stable. Nothing new occurring. Have not see other B. boys for a few days now. batch 2, page 14/18
April 30, 1916 The good weather continues. I am on stables to-morrow night. We are working hard cleaning up the ground around the stable. Nothing new occurring. Have not see other B. boys for a few days now. batch 2, page 14/18
MEMO Another month put in during which time we have travelled from Bramshott Camp Eng. to Havie, France, taking a weeks time. Then to here which is a 3rd div. rest station. Dear knows where the next month will put me. But I should worry. We are to leave here on the 14th of May for up the line some place. The weather we have had since arriving in France has been fine. Nothing seems to be stirring on the western front near here. The Huns must try something soon though & this part of the line will likely be the place it will come. Dear only knows where the end of next month will put me. batch 2, page 15/18
May 1, 1916 Beautiful day. Hot as the deuce On picket to-night. Still working hard levelling up the ground. No word from home lately. Heavy firing to-night at times. Lost my money belt to-day but recovered it later. I had 40 fcs.(francs?) in it $8 shich is a lot out here. So long for now. I am going to write home now. batch 2, page 16/18
May 2, 1916 A terrible hot day and it rained like blazes about 5 oclock and it sure came down for about half an hour. The air was cooled off dandy. I went to bed about 7 oclock & had a good sleep. No heavy firing for the last 2 or 3 days. No word for home since about 12 days now. batch 2, page 16/18
May 3, 1916 A nice day after the rain. We are working hard cleaning out this place and the worst of if all is we are to leave here in about a week but I guess we will get credit for it. I am going to play football now. So long. batch 2, page 16/18
May 4, 1916 The weather is still hot. We hear fresh rumors every day about leaving here. They say Poperinghe(?) is going to be shelled on he 9th but we should worry. Things are quiet up the line now. Something must be doing or brewing. I did nothing this afternoon but play horse shoe. But a deuce of a hard job shovelling much. Got 2 letters from K.C. to-day. batch 2, page 17/18
May 5, 1916 A hot day. Answered roll call at 6.30. As Capt Mulvey's horse is up at A section I haven't much to do but work around the stable. We are almost finished cleaning up the yard. We drew 3 loads of broken stone to-day. I got four letters today. Two from home. One from Doe Bell & one from Mary Bell. Mary's was a dandy letter. Everything is quiet along the line & has been for the last 3 or 4 days. I am going to answer my letters now. So long. batch 2, page 17/18
May 6, 1916 Usual morning routine. Two of the fellows went to a court martial to give evidence of a certain sergeant being drunk. We did hardly anything this morning. Loaded up two loads of broken stone this afternoon. Got a telegram from someone & read about riot in Whg. On picket to-night. Wrote to Doe Bell, home & Dr. Millar. Some firing to-night. The things along the line are quiet as blazes. So long for now. good-night. batch 2, page 17/18
May 7, 1916 A somewhat cooler day. I had 6 hrs. good sleep after picket. I have a stiff neck however. Things are quiet to-day as ever. We are to leave here on the 14th now. No mail to-day. It rained about 3 oclock. I went to service to-day for the 1 st time since we were at Bramshott & took communion. Last time was at Gta(?) at Xmas time. Wrote 3 letters last night so have none to write to-day. Went out for a walk after supper and went to bed early. batch 2, page 18/18
May 8, 1916 A raw cold day as Pa would call it. Hauled 3 loads of gravel before dinner also 3 after. No mail to-day. I am just sticking around new doing practically nothing. But sergt. Stewart says I will remain on the horse lines even if I do unit(?) grooming for Capt. Mulvey. We hope to leave here a week from to-day. So long fro now. No firing whatever and no air fights. batch 2, page 18/18
May 9, 1916 Raining something miserable This is the day that Poperinghe(?) & the Canucks were to be blown off the works but I guess nix. I did nothing hardly this morning but in the afternoon we went after 4 loads of gravel. Rained all the time. I dont know what to do to-night. No mail today Expect to pull out next Sunday. So long. batch 2, page 18/18
May 10, 1916 A fairly decent day after the rain and it wasn't long till everything was dey again. Drew 16 loads of gravel to-day. Had work. No mail to-day. Six of our aeroplanes went over to-night and were shelled but returned safely. My turn for picket tomorrow night. One man for an officer I hear. I will try & get Malvey. So long. batch 3, page 17/26
May 11, 1916 A fine day. We clean up the stables in the morning as there is to be an inspection to-morrow. No. 8 came in to-night and all is bustle & scrapping aournd the stables. We leave tomorrow morning for dear knows where. We escaped picket to-night for a wonder. batch 3, page 17/26
May 12, 1916 A fine day. We are to go over to A. sec to-day and on Monday up the line. I am trying to get on the horse transport & quit grooming. Capt Mulvey is not back yet. Glad to get to the other boys. The B.C. ones I mean. I got six letters to-day. From Home, Lyall, Milton, Kasey, Gwen & some one else I forgot who. So long for now. Love to all. batch 3, page 17/26
May 13, 1916 Raining like blazes. I have nothing to do around the stables yet & may go back into the section. Will know to-morrow. I should worry. Got 4 more letters to-day. Dr. Vining, home, Marie and Lyall. Still drizzling rain to-night. Half of A sec. went up to the asylum Maple Cofse etc. to-night. The other half goes Mon. So long. Good-night. batch 3, page 18/26
May 14, 1916 Not a bad day at all after the rain. Saw Capt Johnston last night & asked him if I could groom his horse till Capt Mulvey came back & I would go back with him. He consented. So I go into Poperinghe(?) to-morrow with his horse. Had it out for exercise this afternoon and had a good ride. McBain & Stan & Will go up the line tomorrow night. Looks like rain to-night batch 3, page 18/26
May 15, 1916 A dull day. We are to go to Pop-ghe to-day at 2 P.M. Got a letter from J. Fleming from Shornfliffe to-day. First time I have heard from him. Capt Johnston rode the nag up & I got it in Pop. Punk stables we came to. Just my luck to be on pickets to-night, so I am doing my writing. Stan went up to Mable Copse to-night. I am going to write home now so Good-bye & good-night. batch 3, page 18/26
May 16, 1916 A fine day and I am feeling fine. I did up Johnston's horse and he was out all day. I am to go up the line to-night to B. section and then on to A. to-morrow. I will be glad to get back to the section as I am tired worrying over this & that on the horse lines. I packed up half my kit to take with me & turned the othe half in to the pack stores. So long I am off to the front. A fine night. batch 3, page 19/26
May 17, 1916 Here I am and I didn't go up after all but will go right through to A sec to-night. A german taube went over here early this morning 4 A.M. We heard a bomb drop and a machine gun peppering it. I did nothing all day. About 3 oclock I went down town & bought some lace work & came home & sent it to Mary Bell & Home. Hope to go up to A sec. to-night but I should worry if I dont. batch 3, page 19/26
May 18, 1916 A fine day and I am not up with A sec & may not go at all. I am doing general fatigue here new & like it fine. I will likely join A when it comes back to Pop. am going to picture shows to-night & may buy a pipe. So long for now. batch 3, page 19/26
May 19/20, 1916 My birthday, 19 on the 19th in Belgium. I wonder where I will be on my 20th. I am on general fatigues for the morning but am sent to the stables at dinner time. I took horse out in afternoon and then was told to go up the line at 4.30 with Mallard. We left in motor ambulance & went through Beaubook Ybies(?) etc to the mill where we took the horse ambulance to the dump. Here we net the Boys & they were pretty well done up. We left our things on the trucks & away we went to Mable Copse Bullets whizzed over us & shells burst but we kept on. We passed open shots & of course dangerous. I went to bed after talking awhile in the dug out. I was roused about 7 to carry water. I am to go with Mallard to learn a new way out at 1.30PM So long. We got back O.K. and set around till supper time. I acted on the receiving squad with McBain & Brown. We had a busy time till about 1 A.M. I went to bed about 2.30. batch 3, page 20/26
May 21, 1916 I had a good sleep till about 11 A.M. Mallard & I have a long walking trip at 1 oclock. A fine day. An aeroplane is over had now dropping bombs. I forgot or rather neglected my diary from now till I regained Pop. so will write from memory only. This night I acted on the receiving squad till after the first trip. McBain, Wilf. & Hart of the old ones were leaving. I went down the track for my first real trip about 11.45. Went to bad tired out. batch 3, page 20/26
May 22, 1916 We were roused about nine oclock as room had to be made for patients. This was our hardest day. The dressing station of the 43rd Batt. was blown in & 5 men killed. (?)The M.O The S. M. Levy batmen(?) & 1 other man. Gee! it was terrible. Two of three died after arriving at the dressing station. They were all blown to blazes. I will never forget Major Goedon's batman(?) singing. God be with you till we meet again and also asking god to bless the men who fired the shot that led to his death. I had two hard trips down the track this night & had many narrow shaves. batch 3, page 21/26
May 23/24, 1916 Again we were call by Sgt. Green too early indeed. We were all to go fame(?) this night so we were in better spirits. We had a big day however & Fritz kept shelling us hard. The 43rd were hit hard in particular A Winnipeg bunch. The 60th also got it. We took 8(?) stretchers & 14 walking patients out the first trip. We had a big brunch of rations to bring back. We arrived at the copse safely again. B. sec. was there with Major Fyske who was soaked to the eyes. We cleared out about 11 oclock 15 of us with Major Harris at our head. We just got out into the communication trench when a whole battalion came fast on us in single file. It was an awful wait. At last we moved on down the communication trench to the gilibalk(?) road. We passed Hell fire corner & trudged on to the mill where 3 of A sec were. We had quite heavy packs & were told we had to walk to the asylum 2 miles farther on. We walked through poor dilapidated yhres(?) & a terrible site it is every where. Nothing but ruins. We stopped for a snack at the asylum & saw McBain. We were taken to Pop. in motor ambulances & went to bed in the hospital ward about 3.3 A.M. We got up about noon & had passes for the afternoon given to us. We had a fairly good sleep. batch 3, page 21/26
May 25, 1916 A dull day and we are tireder now than yesterday morning. We did not answer roll call. We had a fairly good breakfast & I came up stairs to write & then another sleep for mine. I wont go back to the stables I bet. I am on the water wagon to-day & will be on the sergt's mess to-morrow. Chuiote(?) home & to Nichol to-day. I went down town with Stand & got some souvenirs. Wilf came back from the asylum to-day and I am just going to go up and see him. We are beginning to feel better again. So long. batch 3, page 22/26
May 26, 1916 A dull day when we got up but it cleared up in a couple of hrs. I am on the water cart this morning but I do not know what I will be on later. I am feeling fine. All A sec is back in Poperinghe now. We are all wondering what part of the line we will be sent to next. We have great times talking about our time at mable copse. I hope B & C come out as well as we did. I went down town with Wilf, Stan & Macfor(?) a walk & had some chips. good-night. batch 3, page 22/26
May 27, 1916 A fine day and I am on general fatigue which is a snap. We have floors to wash & sweep we have from 2 - 2 1/2 hrs a day to work. After lunch we went over to Remy Siding to play base ball. We had lots of fun & got home in time to supper. I took a walk down town with Stan after supper. Had a good laugh with Stan about some Brandon people before going to sleep. batch 3, page 22/26
May 28/29, 1916 This is Sunday again and a beautiful day. Sunny & cool. Last Sunday we were in Mable Copse & Major Gordon(Ralph Connor) held a small service which I enjoyed very much. We had about 1/2 hr. fatigue of washing some tiled floors off & then we were done for the day. I had a sleep till 4.30 and was awakened by shells lighting in Pop. We all ran down steps as one burst a little way up our street. I grabbed a stretcher & followed Major Harris who was attending to some wounded civilians. I helped carry in a wounded girl. After things quieted down I had supper and went for a walk to see what damage was done in the town. Coming home about 8 oclock I went to bed but no sooner lay down than shells began to burst nearby again. I dressed & went down with the rest. At 1 oclock they started again & down we went again & this time Stan & I took 3 blankets & went to sleep in the kitchen on the ground floor. We got up about six. We did a little floor washing & went & had a bath. I have just come in now. A beautiful day. Saw 2 enormous aeroplanes yesterday. They were ours. I played catch with Coch(?). Wilson in the afternoon. After supper Wilf & I went up town & I bought a handkerchief which I am sending home. Pay day to-day. batch 3, page 23/26
May 30, 1916 It is raining this morning. We had a half mile fast walk after roll call. I started in the sergeant's mess this morning & it will be O.K. for eats anyway. I am going to write home now. so. So long. I had a good dinner some pie into the bargain. After cleaning up I went up to the horse lines with a bunch to clean up some grounds to play cricket on after supper. I went down town with Stan & bought a souvenir spoon to send home. It looks like a nice day tomorrow. batch 3, page 23/26
May 31, 1916 A nice day. We are going to leave Poperinghe go to Branhook on Sat. or Sun. I had a swell breakfast & went down town to get some vegetables for the sergt's mess. I am gonto to go & try a hand at cricket this afternoon. I hope I get a letter to-day. We will be leaving this port of the line soon I think. Very few Canuks in town now. Mostly Imperials. batch 3, page 24/26
June 4, 1916 [The time now is the 4th of June so I will have to fill in from Herdon(?) in blank form. (? a reference to his formatted diary pages) We have been so busy that I havent had time to write. A big battle is in progress up the line and almost all our boys have gone up. The germans have come in by Sanctuary wood and over run the Mable Copse dressing station where our B. section is stationed. Up till now (evening of the 4th) we have lost 4 killed including Colonel Tanner and about 12 wounded. Dear only knows how it will end and how many more we will lose of our crowd. Mac is here in Pop. with me. Cory & Stan are up the line. The are all right so far poor fellows. I hope they come back O.K. Colonel Tanner was buried to-day. My but they will be great lamenting back in Moosemin and Whg for him. At any rate we will beat the Huns to it in the end. We have them back to their own lines again and can hold them I think. batch 3, page 24/26
June 1, 1916 The report of the naval battle came to us to-day and it is bad news so far but may turn out better than expected. It came hard on us in this trying time. This is Sunday and I must write home and give them the news. We get reports or rather rumours of the battle every once in a while but no definite yet. batch 3, page 25/26
June 2, 1916 I am cooking in the sergeant's mess and am getting on O.K. but I may have to go up the line anytime and help. They are bringing the dead out now I believe. I got two parcels from home to-day and they are fine I can tell you So long for now. Jack's birthday the day after to-morrow. I have a souvenier spoon all ready to send home of Ypres. batch 3, page 25/26
June 3-5, 1916 This is the 5th & I must fill in down to there now so I can start in fresh to-morrow. We hadsome good meals to-day and a lot of fun getting them ready. It is a windy day. We have better news to-day about the naval battle and also the fight up the line. The germ huns are back into where they came from. We have had a terrible loss in life but theirs must have been far greater. Mable Copse is cleared again. I hope we dont have to go back there again. It is an awful place. Mayes is back with shell shock poor cuss. I am chewing some of dad's gum now. McBain is out for a walk. Part of B. sec is back into Pop. so we will be going up to Branhook I guess. The 3rd division is leaving here for a rest. At least all that is left of them. A big battle is on up on the right of the salient. There is a big bunch of Cavalry up the line now. Tomorrow is Jack's birthday I see good luck to him in his exams. batch 3, page 25/26
batch 3, page 26/26
June 14, 1916 I missed this day & the time of writing is the evening of the 15th so I will just fill in with some general dope. I had a letter from Majorie Sherrin to-night & answered it. Things are still busy up the line but we only had 5 patients through here all night. We may go out in a day or two but we should worry. I am happy here but Knox is the only B.C. boy with me. I had a nap during the night. I went to bed at 7.45 & got up at 4.30. So long. batch 4, page 1/30
June 15, 1916 Another day in the bug house spent in bed. The weather is miserable & damp. We are to go out to-morrow night so we hear. I had a letter from home to-night & am going to answer it now. I am still in the dressing groom, but there is little to do. So long I am going to write home now. batch 4, page 1/30
June 16, 1916 Had quite asleep. Expect to go down to-night and go to Renny siding with A sec. Fritz has been bombarding considerable all day. We left the old asylum about 9.30 in a horse ambulance and had a cold horses(?) ride to Branhook. It was a fine ride as it was daylight and I could see the ruins plain. We met the boys & after a drink of cocoa went to bed. batch 4, page 2/30
June 17, 1916 Soon after getting to bed a bombardment started and we got little sleep till late in the night. We were up early & off to Pop. in motors. Who else did I see there but J. Fleming who had come to us & in A sec as reinforcements. I was sure glad. After breakfast we left for Remy riding. I got a job in the hospital kitchen. I am going to write home now so good night. batch 4, page 2/30
June 18, 1916 We did not get up very early & so got the deuce when old Joe (the cook) got his eyes on us. We have a great time teasing him as he is so grouchy. We have got meals however & that makes up for the dirty job. Mac, Jim & I went for a walk the last night to Habille. So long. We are in tents. batch 4, page 2/30
June 19, 1916 Again we got the dickens for not being up in time. But we should worry. This is a cold day towards evening. B & C had a baseball match to-day. Wait till our turn of fatigues is done & we will have some fun. It is cold to-night & I am & in the recreation room with Stan & Fleming & a lot more. The bunch are singing & playing the piano. We will likely go to bead early. batch 4, page 3/30
June 20, 1916 A fairly nice day. I worked hard and we had the usual growling by Capt. Joe. I got this afternoon off & had a bath and also wrote Joet(?) McDonald. After supper I went to a ball game to see sec no. 10 play no. 3 C.C.S. We won 3-1. We are not to leave this part of the line I hear. The 3rd Div. is going back up the salient. Fleming is down town with Earl Stewart a Manitoba fellow. Good night. batch 4, page 3/30
June 21, 1916 Another day and the last one on fatigues for A. sec for 4 days at least. We expect to have a good time. I played ball after supper. Mayes came back to-night & is fine. We are glad to have him with us again. He says No.11. is in France now. I am going to write now. Good-night. batch 4, page 3/30
June 22, 1916 Our first rest day. I feel punk. Washed out wards in the morning. Inspection by Gen Porter after dinner & football match in the evening between No 2 & No 10. Score 3 - 3. I felt worse before going to bed & had a hard time getting to sleep. batch 4, page 4/30
June 23, 1916 Went into hospital with influenza. The doctor does not pay much attention to me and dear knows when I will be better. I am on liquid diet and the fellows get milk for me from the farmers. They seem to be having a good time. A sec. is on fatigues again. batch 4, page 4/30
June 24, 1916 Just the same and my temperature is still up. Capt. Johnston starts soon. Thank goodness batch 4, page 4/30
June 25, 1916 Still feeling tough. I will likely get C.C.S. soon if my temperature dont change for the better batch 4, page 5/30
June 26, 1916 The same. Feeling tough. My bowls are tied up too. batch 4, page 5/30
June 27, 1916 The same. batch 4, page 5/30
June 28-30, 1916 Capt. Johnston says I am to go to C.C.S today at 1.30. There was an inspection however and I didnt go till early the next morning. (I missed a day here) I lost nearly all my kit at the C.C.S. The train was crowed and I had to stay till to-morrow. The boys were all over to see me again. I got 10 letters from Canada in the last two days. We were put on the train about 2.30 & in our car were six germans also. I enjoyed the trip down to Boulogne as the train is so nice. We stayed about an hr. before being unloaded into motor ambulances. We came to No.14 staionary & were put to bed between white sheets & is felt great. I was feeling good & was given a bath in bed & then went to sleep. It was a swell looking ward when I awoke and there where soon plenty of nurses about I could stay here a long time and enjoy it I think. I dont know what the folks at home will think but i cant help it any way. I am alright however and will have a good time. batch 4, page 6/30
batch 4, page 11/30
July 1, 1916 The doctor was in to-day and put me on two eggs and custard so I will be alright. I have no temperature. batch 4, page 12/30
July 2, 1916 Still feeling fine and getting on alright. batch 4, page 12/30
July 3, 1916 I am to be moved into a convalescent ward to-day to make room for new comers. Wiggins another number 10 man also changes ward. I am going to write home now. batch 4, page 12/30
July 4, 1916 Fairly nice day. I am in the convalescent ward and get chicken for dinner. I have had a bath and feel good. I was up a little while to-day and will be up a little while each day. I have written 2 or 3 letters home and to the boys. It was hard work walking after 2 weeks in bed. Dear knows where we will go next. batch 4, page 7/30
July 5, 1916 Nice day and I got up again There 8 in our ward now, although a lot of wounded are coming in. Sat up two hours and went to bed early as a consequence. Wrote Knox to-day. batch 4, page 7/30
July 6, 1916 A dull day early but the sun came out about 9 a. m. Chicken again for dinner. Hum! Hum! must write some one to-day. No word of leaving here yet. batch 4, page 7/30
July 7, 1916 My fourth day up and I am still on chicken. 6 or 7 of the fellows have sent in their papers and will likely be going to Blighty or to a Con. Camp. It will probably be the latter for me when I go. It rained all morning but was fine after dinner. Went to bed about 8. batch 4, page 7/30
batch 4, page 8/30
July 8, 1916 A dull morning but no rain & it feels warm out. Up at 5 & made my bed. Went to bed just before 7 & read a magazine till breakfast time, then had a bath. I hope the Dr. says something to-day about going out. Four boys went away to Blighty to-night out of here. Good night. batch 4, page 8/30
July 9, 1916 A bright morning and Sunday again. I was up early and made my bed. Had a good dinner. Wiggins wetn to Con. camp to-day but no word of where I may go. But I expect to be pulled out tomorrow, or the next day. Had a short service to-day by army chaplain. A beautiful evening batch 4, page 8/30
July 10, 1916 A dull morning with the usual morning jobs to be done, breakfast, bed making, bathing, etc. We are on convalescent diet to-day. We hear that 3 more are going to England & 3 are going to Conval. camp, including me at Boulogne. Good news in the papers about the Russians. So long. batch 4, page 8/30
July 11-12, 1916 14 in our ward now but 6 will be leaving to-day. Went thru morning routine, shaved. A dull day so far. Expect to go to c.c camp. Wrote K.C last night. Opened parcel from home Got ready a 2 and left in bus. for Had a rough ride. A swell camp and clean. Medical exam. tomorrow. Had a punk sleep and got up at 7.A good meal. Exam at 9 or 10 by Dr. Parade at8 too I am to stay here a day or two. The M.O. gave me 6 or 7 pills & I took 2 which is enough. I hate the inactivity. A good dinner, a parade at 2 oc. and then nothing more. I went to a Y.M.C.A hut & then to bed. batch 4, page 9/30
July 13, 1916 Had a good sleep and was out for roll call. After breakfast I got out of all fatigues. Fairly good dinner, parade at 2 oc. & then nothing more. I tried to put in time every way. Went to Y.M. hut and then walked around the camp. Decide to try and get out of this camp at first chance. Nothing to do get on my nerves. Going to bed now, so Good Night batch 4, page 9/30
July 14, 1916 Had the usual morning parades I made up my mind to get out of the c.c. as it is so quiet. So I went to the Dr. and was told to be ready by 2.45. I left with about 300 others for the base detail camp only a short distance away. We did nothing for the rest of the day. Had a supper of bread and jam, put on my coat & went down to Boulogne. A dandy town and I like the lookes of the French people. I came back after buying some post cards. batch 4, page 10/30
July 15, 1916 I had a punk sleep with on blanket and my great coat. Any way I got up with the bugle, had a wash & felt better. Had breakfast & fell in for fatigue down town. I am sorry I couldn't go but will get tomorrow. batch 4, page 10/30
July 16, 1916 We got into motor lorry and were taken to the (gare) station where we were used to load cars and trucks. It was heavy work after hospital life. We did not do any thing in the after noon and went home by motor truck batch 4, page 10/30
July 17, 1916 woke up early and at roll call found out I was to leave for the Canadian Base at Le Havre. There was a whole mob of us and after being rationed we marched down to the station and were ordered into 3rd. class cars much to our joy. We were bumped around the yards for hours but finally got away. There were six in our compartment and we smoked, talked, sang and talked till we all agreed it was time to try and get some sleep. I lay on the floor with another fellow and the other 4 occupied the seats. Naturally we all awake early. When the train stopped as it did often we got out and swiped cherries etc. out of near by gardens. We landed at Harfleur and had a 2 mile march to our base in the hills near Le Harve. It was after I was alloted a tent and had some grub that I ran into Don McKay, Tyne Lipsett etc. Went to bad early. batch 4, page 20/30
July 18, 1916 Got up at four and had breakfast at six. I got the rest of my kit and passed the M.O. alright. Bummed in most of the day until evening when Don McKay and I went to a picture show and walked around the English Base which is next to ours. Theirs is a wonderful camp, clean and miles in length. We went to bed in our lowly beds with our one blanket & great coat. batch 4, page 19/30
July 19, 1916 Gee! but it was cold when I woke up at 4 a. m. I got up and got breakfast o.k. and then sat around till it warmed up. Then I washed a pair of socks. I lay around all afternoon and after tea Don mcKay, Gib. Brown & another fellow, Kenton boys & I went to a picture show. Then met a Thompson fellow who lives north O of Hta., I then went to bed. batch 4, page 19/30
July 20, 1916 A fine bright morning and nothing to do for any one today. We washed the tent boards and put them up to dry. Gee! but it got hot towards dinner time and all afternoon it was enough to melt one. Don and I had our supper in the y.m.c.a hut then we came over to another to write. We are there now and just about to leave for home. so good night. When i got to the tent Wiggins told me to report at the orderly room. I did so and found that I was to leave for no 10 tomorrow. batch 4, page 19/30
batch 4, page 17/30
July 21, 1916 Another hot day and I had a swell bath to cool me off. Bought some junk to eat on the way up I hung around all day and I expected to go up the but we had to wait tell tomorrow. I went to a show with Don McKay after supper and saw Innis from BC college batch 4, page 17/30
July 22-23, 1916 Same routine as usual. We will likely go away to day. Had an early dinner & drew our rations. I met Web Brunoughs(?) to-day from Hta. He is in the 2nd Fild(?) Cay(?). of C.E's. It is a hot day. We walked to Montivilliers about three oclock & entrained for up the line. A deuce of a long train too. We had 7 in our compartment so will be O.K. We left Halfhue(?) about 5.45 and we were very comfortable after supper. The train was going fast. We past Rouen about 9 P.M. & then worked out how all could lay down & have a sleep. I was soon in dream land and woke only when it was breakfast time. We were travelling fast. We arrived at Abberville & then Boulogne. We saw no 14 staionary on the hill. Then we struck Etaples a big base for Imperials and Buzacs(?). Then Calais where we left sight of the sea. Soon we were drawing closer to Belgium & about 4 oclock we landed in Pop & sergt. Penny met us with a car which was fine had a good talk with the boys & then Stan & I wnet to YMCA tent to write & her I am now. so Good night. All well here. batch 4, page 13/30
July 24, 1916 I did not wake till 9 oclock A.M and then had breakfast. I sure enjoy the meals after hardtack & bully at the base. I had general fatigue in the morning & met a fellow from V.H.S Sprinkling(?) by name & had a good talk. After dinner I did nothing but write letters. Pretty soft life this. A foot ball game on to-night A.sec & transport. A won as it always does. batch 4, page 13/30
July 25, 1916 As I made a date with Capt. Haigy to have my teeth attended to I went to him at 9 A.M. Had 2 filled & 2 more to fill tomorrow morning also I am getting a crown put on & it will cost 20 Frcs. Did scarcely anything all day long & after tea, Stan, Cory & I went to Y. hut to write letters. I had a game of basket ball this afternoon. Got a parcel from home to-day. 5 letters & a parcel yesterday also. good-night. batch 4, page 14/30
July 26, 1916 A dull morning and I am tired after the basket ball so stayed in bed till 7.30 & then had breakfast & picked up rubbish in the yard with the general fatigue gang. I have to go to the dentist at 9.30. I am to be on D&E. ward at nights for the next seven nights. I had quite a job getting things done up the 1st night on but will be better tomorrow I think. I went to bed about 11 & woke up about 6 A.M. batch 4, page 14/30
July 27, 1916 Had a fairly good sleep and had breakfast about 7.15. I went of(f) duty at 7.30 and went up to my hole in the loft & slept till 11.30. After dinner we got payed and then Wilf & I tramped to Mont des Cats and saw the place. Had a nice time & had our supper there. That is as far as Fritz got & the English met him. Had a ride nearly half the way home on the train. Went on duty & got work done up quick. I got 1 parcel to-day & 2 letters. 11.30 now. So long. batch 4, page 14/30
July 28, 1916 A dull day. We had a muster parade at 8 A.M & then I went to bed till dinner time. I missed dinner however & then went to Capt. Hagy I had crown fitted for my tooth. The supper and after that Stan, Cory & I had a walk. I reported on duty at 7.30 and had a busy night. A heavy bombardment on now. Opened a parcel to-day & had swell cake from mother. No mail to-day All well. Good-night for now. batch 4, page 15/30
July 29, 1916 Same daily routine and I am getting kind of tired of things here. I suppose I ought to be thankful that I am not up the line like some other poor criters. A hot day. A foot ball game to-night. I had an easy time on the ward for a wonder. Had a good supper about 10.30 of chicken & beans etc. Tomorrow is Sunday. batch 4, page 15/30
July 30, 1916 Had a fairly good sleep till about 1.30 & then go up to intended going some place but it is too hot. Stan & I sat around & talked & wrote in a cool place. Got a letter from father to-day dated July 12th. Had 2 eggs for breakfast. Good news from eastern front to-day. Russians have taken Brody. batch 4, page 15/30
July 31, 1916 Routine as per schedule. No mail to-day. Played basket ball from 6 - 7 P.M. & believe me it is hard work after doing nothing for so long. I had a busy night as I had an eplileptic patient & had to watch him. Did not write any letters to-night. Six of B. sec came back from Zilleheke(?) to-night relieved by 6 of C sec. This has sure been a dry month as reguards news for a diary but probably it is just as well it is quiet. I do not know when we will leave D.R.S & I dont care. In 4 more days the war will be on 2 yrs. There we are in the same old place. We will be in France 4 months in 8 days time. Had some mail to-day from the base & got a money order from G.McKory(?) & I dont know whether it is from Pa or not but I should worry. Here goes for another month. batch 4, page 16/30
August 1, 1916 Another day another $1.10 & easy money it is at this rate but I guess I should kick as while I am here I am no where else. Slept till noon and then got up & Flemming & I went over to a brook about 2 P.M. and it is here we are now. I am feeling pretty good now. No mail from home to-day. batch 4, page 21/30
August 2, 1916 Same as usual. Had a pretty good sleep & wrote home last night. Got 4 letters to-day from down the line & a parcel from home with a box of gum from Bennests & cake & junk from home. This is a nice day. Hot but a nice breeze blowing. All well. A foot ball match to-night between A sec vs transport. There is a concert at the Y.M also. I am off-duty to-night. We are beside the brook now & it is swell I can tell you. batch 4, page 21/30
August 4, 1916 War was declared 2 years ago to-day. batch 4, page 22/30
August 6, 1916 Sunday again & I went to church twice. A funny thing happened about 8 oclock. Some of our planes had gone over & soon huge pillars of smoke were seen connecting the earth & the clouds. It sure looked quier & we have not found out yet what it was. I wrote home yesterday. batch 4, page 22/30
August 7, 1916 Gee! it is tiresome writing the same thing day after day so I have neglected this diary. But must keep it up I suppose. This is a dull day and nothing doing in particular. A base ball match against No 8 vs(?) A. tonight. No mail to-day. batch 4, page 23/30
August 10, 1916 As I forgot or neglected to write up a piece of my diary just at this time I will fill it in with a little poem entitled. "Far far from Ypres" I Sing to me to sleep where bullets fall, Let me forget the war and all Damp is my Dugout, cold are my feet Nothing but bully and biscuits to eat Sing me to sleep where shells explode And one back soon becomes a load Ove the sand bags; head dress you find Dead men in front, dead men behind Far far from Ypres I long to be Where german snipers cant hot at me Think of me crouching where crumbs creep Longing for some one to sing me to sleep. II Sing me to sleep in some cold shed Where rats are running around my head Stretched out on my water proof sheet. Dodging the rain drops that through that roof beat Sing me to sleep where camp fires glow. Up the firing line? Oh dear! No. Dreaming of home + of nights in the West Somebody's oversees boots on my chest. Far far from star lights I long to be Lights of old London I'd rather see Think of me crouching where the worms creep Waiting for some one to sing me to sleep. III Sing me to sleep amon the hay Tomorrow we get half a month's pay No more English beer, no more stout An army order has cut them out Sing me to sleep in some old barn Far from the trenches far from harm Let me buy cognac, let me buy eggs Leave me a few sows for hooty(?) + frogs Only the pay days I want to see Far far from Ypres I want to be Think of us broke again nothing we keep Longing for someone to sing me to sleep. Sept 8th/16. batch 4, page 24/30
batch 4, page 25/30
August 15, 1916 I am in the hospital yet & will probably be here a or two yet. Nothing is going on in particular except rumours floating about concerning us moving away. I dont care. No.11 are here at last & I will see some of the boys soon I guess. batch 4, page 25/30
August 16, 1916 A dull day and no new news. Got 1 letter to-day from K.C. Saw J. Fraser & all the B.C. boys last night and had quite a chat. Had dinner in mess room to-day for first time. Hope to be out soon. batch 4, page 26/30
August 19, 1916 Another little ditty to fill in neglected space. "A little Bit of Heaven" Sure a little bit of water fell from out the sky one day And rested on the surface of a spot of mud & clay. When the government found it, since it looked so rough + rare, They said "suppose we leave it and put a camp right there. So they dotted it with Canucks just to make the mud pies grow. Its the only place you'll find them no matter where you go. Then they sprinkled it with rain drops just to make it nice and damp. And when they had it finished Shure(?) they called it "Bramshott Camp." batch 4, page 27/30
August 23, 1916 At last it seems that this easy life at the I.R.S(?) camp is about to end. We are to leave to morrow some time and proceed to Steinwood where we will stay for a night at least and probably more. The weather lately has been cool & showery. No 10 & No 11 played foot ball to-night & it ended 0 - 0. batch 4, page 28/30
August 24, 1916 A dull morning and a little off & on shower intermittently. I hope it does not rain on the way. We leave about noon some time. We had 3 stops on the way. We arrived about 4.30 and I felt pretty tired but was OK. We are in tents about 1/2 mile out of Steinwood and will be here 5 or 6 days. batch 4, page 28/30
August 25, 1916 A fairly nice day but showery. We had physical drill & squad drill after general fatigue. After dinner we played C & B sections in baseball (indoor). We won against C first then B beat us but of course we were a little tired after the 1st game. After tea Stan & Cory & I went for a walk but rain chased us back. batch 4, page 29/30
August 26, 1916 A drizzly morning & I am on kitchen fatigue which is the meanliest job I know. But it is only for a day. All the 2nd & in transport & artillery & ammunition columns passed here to-day. It must have been about 4 miles long altogether. batch 4, page 29/30
August 27, 1916 Sunday. Went to the R.C. Catherdral this morning. Wrote one letter to-day. Got one from Lyall from Moose Jaw. Had a walk with with Jim F. after supper. batch 4, page 29/30
August 28, 1916 A nice day so far and we have a route march before us. We had a good time too believe me. We must have marched 12 miles altogether. We had dinner on a nice hill from which one could get a dandy view of Cassell and the surrounding country. Jim F & I went down town for a good supper & got it. 2 frc 2d. batch 4, page 30/30
August 31, 1916 A fine sun shiny day after two days solid rain and believe me we were miserable in our tent although no rain came in but a lot of mud was tracked in. We had drill for two hours this morning. Thus after noon we play baseball & then to go a concert given for our benefit by the PPChi's batch 5, page 1/32
August Memo, 1916 Nothing startling has occurred during this month. We have moved from Remy Siding where we lazed about for 2 1/2 months, playing sport, got to the Y.M.C.A., getting sick twice etc. But now that is all over and here we are outside Steenuoorde(?). But we are having a good time here just the same. batch 5, page 1/32
September 2, 1916 A nice day. We had two hours of drill and then a bath parade. I had a jake bath and go clean clothes. After dinner I played a game of ball & then set out for Cassel with Stan Knox, Jim, etc. We rode all the way thru. We had a great supper and saw all worth seeing. After purchasing some post cards we set out for home in a drizzling rain but took shelter for the heavy showers. We got home in good time. I got some papers to-day from the Mizpak(?) B. class. batch 5, page 2/32
September 3, 1916 This is Sunday again and a beautiful day indeed. As I have a sore ankle I am not going to attend church parade much so I would like to do so. We expect to pull out some time this next week for some place Jim & I went down to Steenuodede(?) about 5; bought some lace, had a feed & cam home. batch 5, page 2/32
September 4, 1916 A dull drizzly day. Nothing doing. Wrote uncle Art this morning. batch 5, page 3/32
September 5, 1916 A rainy day but we should worry. Wash and I got on slickers and started for Godemaerveldt and had a joke time plodding about in the rain. We bought some post cards and a pount of grapes and started for home. We got in about 5 oclock and managed to get some supper. Jim F. & I went down town and had a feed of chips and eggs. batch 5, page 3/32
September 6, 1916 A nice day and I hear that we are to leave Steenvoolde(?) for some place to-morrow. So I sent some French lace work home before I went down town, also a H chief to aunt Annie with uncle Art's letter. I went down town with Dash and ran into Stan, Cory etc. with John Hart. We had a good chat and then went to see Jop Wolverton. We parted at 8 P.M. John H going one way and us the other. batch 5, page 3/32
September 7-8, 1916 A beautiful day. I rose with "reveiller" and after washing and breakfast I got my kit in shape for column of route. We pulled down tents & cleaned up the place till 10.30. Then had dinner and got rations till tomorrow morning Jim F and I are to push a wheel stretcher & our kits on they way. We got the other side of Cassel by 3.30 and went into a grassy meadow where we were to stay till 8.30. We saw the 60th get into buses about an hr. ago & we leave in a couple of hrs now. We had a good supper and I think we will be jake for the rest of the way. So long for now. Had a swell ride singing on the way down. Stars shinging and every one gay. Arrived as Argues about 10.30 and after an hr or so got into the train. 3rd class carriage for us. Six in our carriage. 2 on the floor & 4 on the seats. Went to sleep & woke up going through Obbevillet(?) Arrived at Auxi Le Chateau(?) about 10.30 and sat out on the ground on our kits. Swell country about here. They say we are near Amas(?) & about 22(?) miles from the line. We set out about 11.30 & walked for an hr. & then camped and had dinner. Magnificent country. We walked about 10 miles & then arrived at Mopson(?) Rolavat(?) wher our billets were. Slept in the barn & had a good crummy sleep. batch 5, page 4/32
September 9, 1916 A nice day and we had nothing to do. I lay about all the time and killed my company. We are to move out to morrow. We are just out of the town of Maison Poland and after tea Jim F. & I went down town and tried to find some apples or pears. We got 1/2 a sand bag full for 2 franc. I ate till I could eat any more and then we went home to the farm and had a good sleep. We got up about 6 A.M. batch 5, page 4/32
September 10, 1916 I had a wash and packed our kit. We got breakfast and packed our stuff on the wheel stretcher. Then hung around till 11.30. We are just about to move out now so au revoir. Had a long walk. About 11 or 12 miles but it was through beautiful, rolling country. We arrived as Domast about 7.30 and Besteaucourt(?) about 8 P.M. After supper I went to sleep. Jim F. dropped out on the march & has gone to C.C.S tonight. batch 5, page 4/32
September 11-12, 1916 A fine morning & I had a good sleep I can tell you. I got a good breakfast about 7.A.M. and then Dash & I went down to a nearby stream & my what a swell wash we enjoyed. Then we came back & packed our kits as we hope to move out about 1 P.M. Left Besteaucourt(?) about 1.30 and had a 10 mile march to a farm house out side of Rubenpre(?). It was a coold day and we had a pretty good time trudging along but were glad to get there. It was a rolling country & beautiful winding roads. Saw Jop. Wolverton by the road side. We had supper and a good walk & then went to bed. A big aerodrome is near here and a log of planes are about. We got up at 6 and had a march of 5 miles before dinner. A cool day and about noon a light drizzle commenced. We are at Heirssart(?) for dinner and will be here 24 hrs. After dinner it began to drizzle which settled anything for the afternoon but a mail came in and I got 7 letters & a parcel. These took up my attention till after supper. Then Stan Cory & I went for a walk but retired early as we have to leave at 7.30 tomorrow and get up at 8.30 A.M. goodnight. batch 5, page 4/32
September 13, 1916 A dull morning but no rain so far & this it 8 A.M. We got up early and had breakfast & then packed up as the road is greasy the transport is now having a hard time getting away. The brigade is now passing. We had about a 5 mile march and struck fairly good billets. I am on kitchen fatigue to-day. I wrote home & got 1 letter from G.H. Went and heard the 43rd band at the Y.M.C.A after tea & then Cory & I went down to see the ammunition at a dump near here. We leave tomorrow. batch 5, page 6/32
September 14, 1916 The stretcher bearers fell in about 9.30 full kits and a lunch. We had an 8 mile march to a large camp just out of the city of Albert. Thousands of men and transports, guns etc. here. We can count about 30 ballons & as many aeroplanes in the sky. Gee but it looks war here. We go up probably tonight. We put up the tents & I guess we will be here a day or two after all. Cory, Stan Hart & I looked at the bombardments going on Gee it is cold here & we will have a punk sleep I guess. batch 5, page 6/32
September 15, 1916 I should say it was cold and I got little sleep but the sun got up and warmed us up. I got a wash in Albert town & then came home & answered roll call. We have nothing to do but sit around and wait orders. We may go up the line to-night but in the mean time there is nothing doing. We came up the line to-night and had a two hr. march through Albert & out toward the line. We came right up to a new advanced dressing post and cleared back to the dump. Some boys went up farther & brought some boys back. It is Hell nothing else. batch 5, page 6/32
September 16-18, 1916 We were relieved this morning by another ambulance at 8 & we went back about a mile for a little sleep. No casualties as yet. A lot of Fritzs coming though. We are to go up to the front line nerns(?) & get some men. I hope we get back O.K. Hellish gun fire now. We did not have to go up to line after all which suited me jake. We are to be relieved about 9 and in the mean time I kept low. We got out with no casualties & were mighty lucky. We got some cocoa and landed at the chalck(?) pits alright about 12. We got into some 30 ft dug outs & slept till 5.30 A.M. When we got up & got some eats and drew 24 hrs rations & left for up the line where the other fellows of no 10 are working. We landed O.K. away up about 3/4 from the front line at the R.A.P around 7 A.M. The job here is a little better than the last place I think. Dash & McFadden have been killed & Streat wounded. Mayes & Revens(?) have gone down with shell shock. The shells are falling all around now. We have made 2 trips up the trenches by 1 oclock and I think we will have it easier from now till we are relieved. There are two or three land subs around here. They are quear machines I can tell you. We made no more trips up to the trenches & only one more down to the road. Otherwise we sat in the trench near the dressing station and looked wise at the shells which dropped more or less close to us. We were relieved about 7 P.M. by no 5 and we marched right back to Albert without stopping. On the way out a lot of coal boxes hit near us but we excaped with no casualties. We got into camp about 9.30 A.M and I aimed(?) about no rations being sent up. We gor a good supper anyway and were soon sound asleep. We woke up about 9 AM and it was raining hard. Thank God we are here & not up the line. We made the most of things however and got our breakfast. We all to stay here to-day at least. We were almost flooded out before supper but we kept it out till the boys drained it off. We got good news for after tea we left for Contay and the D.R.S. We got there in good time and were wet to knees but after a day blanket and a bowel of cocoa we were jake and were soon fast asleep. batch 5, page 7/32
September 19, 1916 The sun was shinging when we got up and after a good breakfast we hunted up the bath house and believe me I never enjoyed a bath in my life like that one. We sat around & smoked all morning & got our wet clothes out to dry. We had dinner & have to turn out on parade at 2 P.M. We have to go back up in a few days time. I was on sanitation for about a couple of hours and then had supper. After tea Cory & I went to the Y.M. tent & I wrote home and to K.C. It was mighty cold last night but I had two blankets & with my great coat I kept warm. batch 5, page 8/32
September 20, 1916 We woke up and it was raining hard as ever but a good breakfast stowed away made a difference in my temperament. There is a pay parade this morning & that also will be welcome indeed. Nothing doing for the rest of the day except a pay parade. I wrote Fleming & Mac after tea and then went to bed. batch 5, page 8/32
September 21, 1916 A fairly nice day but nothing extra. The mud was dried up considerably before night. I went to Warlog with 3 others to fumigate some clothes and great was the death therein I bet. Heard that Andy Cumberland was with the 3rd. F. Amb today. batch 5, page 8/32
September 22, 1916 A swell day. Hot and windy. The superfluous mud will be all gone by night. No news of any importance to-day. No mail either yet. I got two letters today however, one from father and one from Marie. I wrote home and part of a letter to Marie over at the Y. after tea. No news yet of moving out but it cant be long. Good night. Met Goldie McKenzie from Victoria to-day. batch 5, page 9/32
September 23, 1916 A fine day and all is well. I am on an ambulance car now & believe me I am going to try to stick it as long as I can. Shelpfed Taylor (the driver) to wash the car and then we took a load of men over to a reinforcement camp at Valdermaison getting back about tea time we had a swell supper, steak, beans, tea, etc. Oh but I hope I can stick this job. batch 5, page 9/32
September 24, 1916 Had a good sleep in the car and also had swell meals to-day. We made 2 trips to the North Chimneys out of Albert & one to Warlog during the day. And then as we were on duty for the rest of the night we had 3 trips to make. We slept however from 2 - 6.30 I think & then went up for another load. night driving is exciting with no lights & a lot of traffic. batch 5, page 9/32
September 25, 1916 We did not bet back with our last load till near 12 noon. After dinner Taylor & I lay down for a wee snooze so Good bye for now as I am going to sleep a bit. We went to bed early & had a good sleep and were ready for a clean up in general the next morning. batch 5, page 10/32
September 26-27, 1916 A hot day and some dirty work to do. We cleaned the engine in the forenoon and the chassis in the after noon. Then we went over to CCS at Puchevillers with a load. We had supper then and took a load to the reinforcement camp. Coming home we were stopped at the gate & sent up to help No 3. clear. We spent a miserable night and were on duty the next day. We slept off & on though & did well in the eat line. Heard from Fleming to-day. We had no trips to night & consequently had a jake sleep after a good meal. Well so long for now. batch 5, page 10/32
September 28, 1916 We expect to move out either this afternoon or tomorrow for up the line. Good news from up the line these days but we are paying for every foot gained. Thigval(?) & Cornbles won the other day. We made one trip this after noon to Valdemaison. Got two letters to-day 1 from D.B & 1 from Mona M. I went to bed early as we may have to go up the line to morrow. Good-night. batch 5, page 11/32
September 29-30, 1916 A drizzling rain is on first thing this morning so moving up will be none too pleasant. We are to pull out about noon I guess. Meanwhile we are just sticking around. I wrote a letter home last night. We got up to Abert O.K. and had a trip up to the chalk pits into the land of wilderness during the afternoon. We took over the job of clearing however and about 6 in the afternoon we went up. We made 6 or 7 trips during the night. and quit about 9.30 next morning. We got a good meal then and turned in for a sleep. After tea Sink & I went to the Y.M. cinema and enjoyed ourselves fine. We had a good sleep and as we may go up the to morrow we will be well rested up. batch 5, page 11/32
October 1, 1916 A fairly nice day and I got the car cleaned out early. We started for a 25 mile trip back to Canakles for supplies about 8.45 A.M but as we discovered a coming break down we went to the work shop instead and it is there I am now. I wrote home to-night and may write another. batch 5, page 12/32
October 2, 1916 The work shop men fixed the car to-day and we cleaned the out side but just as we finished the juice started to drop & you know the rest. We left for Albert about 6 P.M & reached camp O.K. We had a trip up to the chalk quarries at 11.30 & at 4.15 so that spoiled a nights good sleep. Anyway we got some sleep. The mud is every where. In the car is a much pen but we should worry. batch 5, page 12/32
October 3, 1916 We had a trip to Contay before dinner & then up to the chalk quarries without a stop. After dinner we sat around and I am writing letters as you see I am getting (? words lost) epistle written up. (? words lost) to-day yet. The sun is out now. I do hope it clears up soon as this damp weather is fierce. batch 5, page 12/32
October 4, 1916 We had a trip up to the quarries with some of our bearers about 11.30. The had a nap when we got back and were out for good at 4.A.M. We made 2 trips with bearers before 9 and then went up to Contalmaison to clear. It is a long way up from Albert going by way of Fircourt(?). I enjoyed the trips made as the country was new. Up till 9 that evening we made about 4 trips & then came back to the brick fields for the rest of the night. It was not long before I was asleep. we were up two nights & a day right off. batch 5, page 13/32
October 5, 1916 We got up about 10.30 & cleaned up in general filling the bus up with gas & greasing everything. After dinner we were sent to the work shop in Rubemfie(?) for tyres & it is here I am now. I am going to right to Jean Cameson now. We left for home about 5 PM & arrived at the brick fields OK. We went on duty at 9 oclock & made only 1 trip down during the night from Contalmaison. It is there I am now. Some bueg(?) too believe me. It is terribly muddy again. I am going into the car for a snooze. So long. batch 5, page 13/32
October 6, 1916 A fairly decent morning, no rain & no sun hardly. Let us hope for no more rain for a bit. I had some toast & jam & tea for break fast. I made the toast down in a kind of dug out in an old tomb in the cemetery here & used a cross with a crucifix on for a plate. We are going down again with a load so long. We slept down at the buckfields and had a good sleep. the 4th division is coming in now. batch 5, page 13/32
October 7, 1916 We went on duty at 9.A.M & made 2 trips from Contalmaison in the morning staying up at the top for dinner. During noon hour we had a few shells dropped near us and we took to Fritz's dug outs. I fell flat & Sergt. MacGillvey fell on me & squashed the wind out of me. We go off at 9 to-night. We had a good sleep and were up early next morning as there is a big stunt coming off. batch 5, page 14/32
October 8, 1916 We went to Contalmaison for the 1st load & then to Pozieres & after that we worked steady from the 1st place. The car only stopped a few minutes for dinner. During the day our boys won & lost Regine trench but we will get them later. We do not expect any sleep tonight. Had a blow out about 9 P.M. Goat a parcel from some one to-day. havent opened it yet. Spent the night at casualty corner & thus no sleep. batch 5, page 14/32
October 9, 1916 Got a load early & came down. As Taylor is going back a bit I am staying behind & fixing a tyre. Had a sleep during the afternoon as we work to-night. Got a letter from Fleming to-day & he is going to Bighty, lucky cuss, got a parcel from K.C. today. Had a slow time to-night nothing doing. batch 5, page 14/32
October 10, 1916 Came down early & stayed here. cleaned the car a bit, greased up etc & went to bed. We work to-night again. Stan & Cory are down now poor kids they have had it tough. We get relieved in a day or two. Had a good supper & then we went for supplies. I am dropping a car home now before going up to-night. batch 5, page 15/32
October 12, 1916 Our boys came out of the line to-day and we spent most of this 2 hrs carting bearers about. batch 5, page 15/32
October 13, 1916 Nothing doing to-day. Got a parcel from Mona Mutue(?) to-day Spent all day cleaning up the bus & went to bed early. May pull out in a day or two's time. Goodnight. batch 5, page 16/32
October 14, 1916 A dull morning. We went down to ordinance early & did not get back till noon. I must write a letter or two to-day. I am going to clean off the engine now so au revoir for now. The boys pulled out about 2.30 & we followed 2 hrs later. We are to be at Vadanoourtor(?) the night anyway. Got a letter from Mary Bell & McPherson to-night. batch 5, page 16/32
October 15, 1916 A dull morning and we are just sitting around waiting for pull out. In the mean time I am now going to write a couple of letters, likely it will be one or part of one. It was only part of one to Clarice but I finished it later. We traveled about 16 miles to-day along the same road as when we came up. Passing through Val de Maison and then on to Punsis(?) where I had this swim with poor Dash. batch 5, page 16/32
October 16, 1916 We were roused after getting to bed and had a run to 5th Brig. H.Q. but got back early. A deuce of a cold night but we were jakers than many others. We got away about 10 or 10.30. I bought a souvenir serviette ring before we left, of Amiens. We went about 8 miles arriving at Phouville(?) about 3. We had a late dinner & supper as a result. Got mail from home, Mac & Dr. Vining. Am going to answer Mac's to-night. So long for now. We are here a few days I guess. batch 5, page 18/32
October 17, 1916 A drizzly day and we had 4 trips one being to St. Rignier to take the O.C. to see an old cathedral there. A fine old building & beautiful carving. Bought some views of the place & came home. Got mail to-day. K.C. mother, Dr Vining, McBain. We were called out 4 times so get no sleep. We went up to Doullens(?) almost one time. batch 5, page 18/32
October 18, 1916 As we worked nearly all last night we slept till noon and only went out once after le diner for mail at Ribeauevent(?). Went to bed early and had a jake sleep. Mail from J.F; from a hospital in Edinburgh to-day. Got a letter off to wee Mac & C.H to-night. batch 5, page 18/32
October 19, 1916 A fine day and nothing to do as yet & little chance of there being anything. Smoked my 1st cigar to-day for some reason or other & wasnt at all sick. No mail yet. Rained nearly all last night. Am going to write home now & elsewhere. batch 5, page 17/32
October 20, 1916 We are nearing our destination now and I will be glad when we get there as travelling every day is hard work. Got mail today. Leave Piouville today. batch 5, page 17/32
October 21, 1916 Usual routine, cold weather and I have little underwear. batch 5, page 17/32
October 22, 1916 We will get to our destination tomorrow. Gat a deuse of a cold & went to bed early although Taylor was out twice in in the night I stayed in bed. Had a fairly good sleep and felt a little better in the morning. batch 5, page 31/32
October 23, 1916 We ran all morning and I felt sick as the deuce. When we ended up at Mont Avesnes I reported sick and went into the hospital. Bill Middleton was in too and he kept me company. batch 5, page 31/32
October 24, 1916 I stayed in Dr. S. for 4 days and was treated rotten by our orderlies. Capt. Johnson didnt care much either. My temperature was all the way from 99° to 102°. batch 5, page 31/32
October 25, 1916 Cory and Stan came in to see me every day and chatted. They think me lucky to be able to get sick. I have a bad cough and pain on the left side. Got the mail and parcel today. Good night in this drs. batch 5, page 31/32
October 26, 1916 I was marked for CCS tonight and was glad to go as I thought I would surely get better better treatment. My temp. is 102° tonight. batch 5, page 31/32
batch 5, page 32/32
October 27, 1916 Left this morning for CCS at Abigne.No. 30. and had to take a shower bath I was so weak I almost fell over. Was given a stretched bed which was punk. The M.O. seem to know his job and scented trouble in my left side I think. batch 5, page 32/32
October 28, 1916 Slept one night on the stretcher but was given a good bed for the next two. A zeamaphone is played a lot of the time which is fine. batch 5, page 32/32
October 29, 1916 The M.O. thinks I have pleurisy and tapped by left side and drew off some fluid. He marked me for the Base and I am to go tomorrow. Wrote Cory & J. Bowie about my mail. batch 5, page 32/32
October 30, 1916 Left on the hospital train about 9a.m. and had a pad bunk in the train. I couldn't see out. I was above a man with a running wound and the stench was freice. I hear we are going to Boulogne. batch 5, page 32/32
October 30, 1916 Left on the hospital train about 9a.m. and had a pad bunk in the train. I couldn't see out. I was above a man with a running wound and the stench was freice. I hear we are going to Boulogne. batch 5, page 32/32
October 31, 1916 The train got in about 10 but I didnt get away till 11. I was put in an ambulance and taken to No. 8 stationary hospit al. I batch 5, page 32/32
October, 1916 I got nicely settled about 1 a. a.m. and went to sleep. Here I am 7 months in France and at the end of that time I am going back to England. Mac was here 5 months. batch 5, page 25/32
November 1, 1916 I was awakened about 5 by the orderly, had a wash and my temp. taken. Feeling about as usual. The M.O. came round about 11 A.M.and would you believe it he marked me for England and to leave tomorrow. Funny Mac and I leaving France with the same disability. cant eat much. batch 5, page 25/32
November 2, 1916 Slept pretty well. The M.O. sent my papers in and I will likely leave for Blighty today A fine day, sunny and warm. I did not go today as expected. but will soon. Two others w went today one with pleurisy. batch 5, page 25/32
November 3, 1916 A rainy morning the M.O. merely said I was going soon and passed on. About noon we were given our tickets to leave at 1.30 and you cant imagine the feeling it gives a fellow to know he is relly leaving France. batch 5, page 26/32
November 4, 1916 We left at 4 and got in at six. Then a 3 hour train ride to a London Hospital mead it 12 midnight before I got to bed. I slept little and was awake early. High temp today Dr. came around and examined me. One dull place on my left side which is sore. May have to be tapped again good night. batch 5, page 26/32
November 5, 1916 Raining when I awoke. I feel better this morning. temp 100° but it went up to 101.4° last worse luck. Good meals here. No M.O. yet. I have to have my shittal. batch 5, page 26/32
November 6, 1916 For the next 3 days I do scarcely anything and nothing happens of any acount. worte home again, wrote Cory an Marie also batch 5, page 26/32
November 7, 1916 I have been moved to another part of the ward where it is more peaceable & no groaning. I get good sleeps at nights new and that is so much. I hope to hear from some one soon, Jim F. or Mac. Cory ought to write soon also. Goodnight batch 5, page 29/32
November 9, 1916 A good day for me. got a letter from Jim F. and had Mr. Robertson to visit me. He is a swell man & offered me anything. He brought me Jesuit(?) eggs & maple syrup. I bet I have a good time at their house some day. I had a grape fruit tonight & it was fine. batch 5, page 29/32
November 10, 1916 A dull day. The MO came to see me this morning and examined me once more. He says there is nothing serious but some liquid may have to be drawn off yet. But I should worry. I will be here two weeks at the least I expect. Red Cross lady here to-day. batch 5, page 30/32
November 11, 1916 Nothing doing to-day of any importance only a dandy concert at night by some civilians. It was good I can tell you. I never wrote any one to-day. Md told me not to worry to-day. I have some fruit every day & it is swell. batch 5, page 30/32
November 12, 1916 This is Sunday and I am feeling good. I am going to write now so au revoir. Had Mr. Robertson into see me and his little girl. He brought some lovely junket just like I had when I had the fever. batch 5, page 30/32
November 13, 1916 An ordinary day. Md says chest about the same. I got few letters from France., May Bell, Home, Lyall and someone else I forget. So long. batch 5, page 27/32
November 14, 1916 Nothing new. Visiting day but I have no visitors. Just eat sleep and get temperature taken feeling as usual. batch 5, page 27/32
November 15, 1916 Nothing new. Visiting day Mrs Robertson was in today and brought some grapes, eggs and a nice bunch of violets. They are mighty good to me crede mihi. Goodnight. batch 5, page 27/32
November 16, 1916 A day and a half for me specialist and Mr. Lucas came around about 10:30 and examined me. At 11:30 was tapped 1 1/2 pts taken off. Gee! it was painfull I am sore in the side, tonight believe me. So long. batch 5, page 27/32
August 28, 1920, Los Angeles I remained in the UCH hospital Gower street, London until Jan. 15, 1917, slowly progressing towards health. My temperature fell to normal throught out the whole day and I passe thru the routine necessary to become a convalescent patient; first sitting up in bed, then in a wheel chair about the ward and finally an up-patient. During this period the Robertsons and Mrs Lyell extended to me their usual kindness and hospitality. Indeed it was my first time out of the hospital on Christmas day that I was called for Mr Robertson and taken via the tube railway to their home at Golder Green to spend the day. I was their only company and it was certainly a treat to enjoy the campanship of such people and their children on a Christmas day so far from home, to say nothing of having just spent 3 months in a hospital. I did full justice to the Christmas dinner and the wee drappy served afterwards by Mr Robertson out of the wee black bottle. We returned to the hospital by the tube and like a school boy I enjoyed the novel means of transportation. But was mighty glad to get to bed that night. I visited the Robertsons' serveral times before finally leaving UCH. Mrs Lyell on several occasions called for me in the morning and after laving lunch at her home we visited the theater which I enjoyed immensely. These outings generally were followed by tea at one or other of London many quaint and artistic tea rooms. A few time Mrs Lyell took me on sight seeing tours including such places of interest at Madame Tussauds, the market St. Pauls, Westminster Abbey etc., At last the time came for me to leave ward 13 which had been my home during the past winter with all its varied experiences. After biding go good by to the patients and nurses in the company of other discharged patients I landed at Mill Bank where I once more donned khaki. After wading thru some red tape formalities a small group of us Canadians were sent to Victoria Station from which we soon took train to Bromley. This was a ramshackle old building being probable all that was left of an Englishmen country estate. I soon made up my mind to get out of here as soon as possible. This I suceeded in doing shortly after being examined by the M.O. for I was sent to Kings Wood Convalescent Home that same evening. This a regular mansion and furnished wonderful well for a soldiers home. There were no one but Canadian here which was ineed gratifing I enjoyed the privilage of living at this place for some two weeks when I was given a medical board and booked for Canada. During this time I mad several trips into London and visited the Robertsons and Mrs. Lyell again. Leaving Kings Wood we were taken to Bromely for a couple of days, thence to London, and leaving for Liverpool the same day. As the train ran right on to the dock and we were ordered on board immediately we were given no opportunity to look oround Liverpool much to my sorrow. As Germany had announced her unrestricted submarine warfare only the day previous many were the rumors flying about concerning sinkings etc. This did not disconcert me very much as I soon discovered that two thirds of those on board including many officers, nurses, civilians and slakers who had never seen any active service. After 12 days on board ship concerning which the less said the better we were landed at St. John N.B. From here we took train to Quebec where we spent five days prior to leaving for Winnepeg which I reached Feb. 23, 1917.        Finis batch 5, page 19/32
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Background and Family Stories