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Great Granddad’s War Diary

I have spent the past few weekends transcribing my Great Grandfathers war diary.  It was rather hard going in places but I am very happy that I have achieved this.  Gave me real incite into what the boys go through that I wouldn’t have had if I had of just read it and not had to stop to decipher it. Some of it made me smile, some near made me cry.

His writing was a bit on the terrible side and the spelling and grammar almost non existent but it does make for an interesting read.  I have kept the majority of the spelling mistakes etc that he has made as this was literally me preserving what he wrote. 

I have also scanned every page along with several other items like postcards that have been kept from that time. This Christmas for the first time in probably 15 years my dad and his 5 siblings will be together.  I have put all of this on to memory sticks for them and will be boxing them up with a note to present them on Christmas day.  We will then probably donate it all to the war museum in Waiuku.

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J W Lunam 29796

From December 30th 1916 till October 22nd 1917

1916 December

Sat 30th                 Disembarked at Plymouth & entrained at for Bulford.  Landed in Sling Camp at midnight

Sun 31st                  Reville 6.30 Lectured & General all round roar from Quarter Master Sergeant & Acting Sergeant Major Re being soldiers & not there to be wet nursed

January 1st 1917

Mon                 New Years Day          An Easy Day.  Heavy weight army Duff(?) for dinner.

Tues 2nd             Medical inspection.  Web equipment & a long rifle issued. A fair number off the boys on the mat for untidy beds & all landed Pack Drill & C.B. See Description off sling camp on Page 104

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Wed 8         Reveille 6.30 Breakfast 7. 1 hr & ½ to Rise make beds sweep up shave & polish gears & have breakfast on Battalion Parade ground slush up to the ankles.  Training in the bullring everything done at the double. Old goosestep resurrected Bayonet exercises & Physical jerks. Lecture on Gas, (Cylinder & shell) Battalion formed up for march past On Picadilly Stunt. Dinner Lecture on Lewis Gun & Mills hand grenade. Dismissed.

Thur 4            Same Routine

Friday 5          “

Sat 6              “

Sun 7              Church Parade           Afternoon off

Mon 8              Fatigue Army Supply Store

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Tue 9              Digging trenches & erecting bags for Bayonet Punching for new Bullring

Wed 10           “

Thur 11            “

Fri 12              Went to Sidworth with blankets to Fumigator on a motor lorrie. Met some of the boys on a route march Having a rough time.

Sat 13             Finished Bullring

Sun 14             Church Parade

Mon 15            Fatigue at A. S. C. Stables

Tue 16             Marking D butts in the morning Elementary musketry in the afternoon.

Wed 17           “

Thur 18           Paraded Sick with sore throat & got a Dose of Sarcasm also medicine & duty. Reported for Duty

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Butts in time to come home again musketry in the afternoon stopped a roar from O. C. for reporting at the orderly room with cigarette butt behind my ear

Fri 19              Butt Duty in the morning. Musketry in the afternoon. Three Tommy instructors sentenced by court-martial to detention for takeing Xmas leave & sentence read out in front of battalion on a special parade.  Missed a route march hearing sentence.

Sat 20            Reported to dentist in the morning.  Musketry in the afternoon

Sun 21             Fatal accident, aeroplane came down & killed pilot at near by aerodrome. Church Parade

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Mon 22            Musketry course all day

Tue 23            Shooting on Range. Bullring in the afternoon

Wed 24           Musketry in Morning.  Shooting in the afternoon

Thur 25          Shooting on the range all day

Frid 26           Same as Tue 23rd

Sat 27            Shooting on the range in the morning.  Route march in the afternoon.

Sun 28            Church Parade

Mon 29            Shooting on Range.  Bullring afternoon

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30 Tue            Field Practice on Range all day

31 Wed           Route march remarch past one of the heads.  Dummy Bomb throwing & ceremonial drill & Bayonet exercise.  Masseys dollar well earned

February

Thur 1             Went through gas test Fatigue in the afternoon straightening up the camp and getting ready for London leave

2 Fri               Landed at Waterloo Station London Mid-day.  Had a fair time.  Went to Old Drury Theatre in the evening.

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3 Sat              Knocked about the streets all day.  Mostly well lost.  Fortunately a nice young lady took care off me for the evening.

4 Sun              Stopped at the Union Jack Club all day

5 Mon              Started out to tour the Big Smoke.  Finished up at Stockwell S.W. London 3 oclock next morning

6 Tue              Rested at the club all day after previous heavy one.  Left for Sling 9 oclock night turned in three next morning

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7 Wed             Web equipment all to pieces.  10 minutes late on parade up before O. C. & received 4 days C. B. & pack drill.  Answered all calls & done on hours pack drill in the snow & am pleased to say that B. C. got an expensive bullet through the head on the 12 th October at Passchendaele

8 Thursday      Paraded sick to the quack.  Swung it on a sore throat dumped the poison or medicine in the gutter.  Avoided all Pack drill for three days & C. B. by order off said quack

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9 Fri               Still swinging it & attending the quack for dope

10 Sat             Term of C. B. Spun out finished with the quack. Put on draft for Overseas

11 Sun             Parade for C. O.’s inspection left sling at 9 at night for Folkestone.  Travelled all night

Mon 12            Arrived at Folkestone 3 in the morning.  Left at 3 in the afternoon & disembarked at Boulogne at 5 marched up to (?) blanket hill & stopped the night & done a nice freeze

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13 Tue             Marched to Boulogne railway station & entrained for NZ Base at Etaples.  12 in a tent but discipline & rations very rag-time

14 Wed           Light day kit inspections drew extra blackets all tarps(?) froze over got a wash if you where lucky every three days. Drew extra rifle & gas helmets

15 Thur           Bullring.  Drill Bayonet exercise. Physical jerks in Loose sand

16 Fri              On Picquet for two hrs Etaples done nothing during day.

17 Sat             Bullring throwing dummy

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bombs.  Bayonet Practice. Lecture on wireing & repairing trenches

18 Sun             Church Parade

19 Mon            Bullring.  Lecture on Bombing Bayonet practice.  Route March

20 Tue            Reported to quack with false teeth smashed on Army biscuits.  Got ED and chit for dentist

21 Wed           Reported crook to quack with bad cold.  Got M. D. & ordered to parade for Route march which I side stepped.

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22 Thur          Marched down to big laundry with dirty washing.  Got paid afternoon

23 Fri             One off the boys got a rash & all the crowd in the tent had to get there clobber fumigated

24 Sat            Druden & Baird left to join the division.  Got stuff at the fumigator.  End off a perfect week

25 Sun            Church Parade

26 Mon            Reported crook with cough & got L. D. Hoppy & Mitchell from Sling took Command of the camp

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27 Tue            Bullring good easy day.  Old Hoppy goes for the stir up.  Abolishes Monte Carlo.  Rubs in the discipline & puts better tucker on the board.

28 Wed           Fatigue cleaning out trenches at Bullring

March

1 Thur             Lecture on Bombing.  Wireing Part & Digging in at the Bullring

2 Fri               Wireing & Digging in Practice at Bullring.

3 Sat              Draft of 1200 19th Reinforcements

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Arrived from Sling.  Route march & musketry

4 Sun              Dodged Church Parade by takeing a walk.  On Picquet at Etaples

5 Mon              Company Ceremonial Drill & Company in attack Physical Jerks in Snow & sand.  The crowd refused to run for Tommy Sergeant Major.

6 Tue              Route March in the morning Company Drill & rifle exercise in the afternoon & Got Paid

7 Wed             Paraded & got corns fixed & Put the day in Salvation Army hut. Very cold bleak weather

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8 Thur            Put under draft orders to join the Division.  Medical inspection nothing doing for rest of the day

9 Fri               Draft postponed till Saturday Parade for kit inspection & shortages

10 Sat             Still under draft orders

11 Sun             Church Parade & still under Orders

12 Mon            Entrained at Etaples & got off at 9 in dark in the at Steenwerk.  Stopped in Old Frenchies farm barnat De. Suel

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Tue 13             Still in billets stopped all day

Wed 14           Left to join Coy(?) Stopped in big bivvy in subsids(?) for the night

Thur 15           Joined the 1st Otago Batt 14th South Otago Company 16 plaoon.  Had a lecture by O. C. as to the folly of being too curious & a few machine gun bullets came over too back up his argument.  The Batt relieved the Royal Irish rifles & where two days in the line.  The 4th & 8th boys holding front line & supports the 10th & 14th  in subsids at Nwev Neuve Eglise.  Belgium in front off Messines.

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Fri 16              Done nothing shifted Back too big bivvy.  That we left too join the Coy(?) on the 15th

Sat 17             On Fatigue cleaning upon old Communication French Very  quiet The Paddies said it was a home from home.  Two bullets per day & one whizz bang per week.

Sun 18             Cleaning up the same sap & putting in duck walks & revetting.  Near Tenth Coy.  Bivvy’s called MacBrides.  Mansions.  I too a loaf oweing too the Australions advanceing at Bullecourt on the Someme.

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Mon 19            Still at the same job.  Leading the life of a retired sheep dog. Plenty ease & starvation.  All old had hands picking trouble as quite a few dug out kings knocking about viewing the Wily Huns trenches.  General Sir Alexander Godley was up having a look.

Tue 20            Still at the same old Sap.  Had a nasty shock in the shape of a dud whizzbang dropping along side off me.  Proveing that the O. C. was right the Hun did try too kill men.

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Wed 21           Finished the sap had an easy day.  Prepareing to leave

Thur 22          Releived by 2nd Otago moved out to Kortepyp billets.  Picked out to go on Battalion Guard at the Head quarters & blink had rough spin

Fri 23             Finished Guard shifted to billets at Hillside Camp Waterloo road.  Cold snowy weather bleak winds

Sat 24            Went on fatigue to the line repairing Mid-land Farm Support line. Supposed to be out for a rest

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Sun 25            Marched up to the line about 4 or 5 miles to clean up same support close to a mine head which the Hun had an idea off & weed too paste regularly with H. E. Howitzer shells

Mon 26            Rained & snowed all day went on bathing parade to Divisional baths.  Inlying picquet at night. A bit of rot by the heads too keep the boys in the billets

Tue 27            Fatique in the Midland Farm support cleaning out blown in French

Wed 28           Same fatigue

On a bread hunt at night

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Thur 29          Same Fatigue

Fri 30             Releived 2nd Battalion in Front line.  The 14th & 10th Coys in Line & 4th & 8th in Subsids. The Hun had raided 2nd 14th Coy while we where out & blew things about 5 hrs fatigue cleaning up & patching Blown in Communication Trench

Sat 31             Slept all day in a rat infested bivvy on concrete floor went down at night at stand too bring in rations had a rough spin carrying in the stew from subsids

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April

Sun 1               On carrying in Stew & Bacon Burger & Tea from Company cooks in subsids.  One off the battalion signallers got court martialled for sending up false messages re no patrols out in no mans land as a 1st April joke

Mon 2              On night post in one off the bays 4hrs on & 8 off snowy weather. Bleak winds. 200 duffs & light trench mortar bombs sent over into Huns front line & wire & got know stuff back. Very quiet time.

Tue 3              Still on night post. Snowing a treat

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Wed 4             Relieved listening post.  The post was enfiladed by a machine gun from the Hospice on the Ridge & was not worth putting men into as it was between wire & parapet: No mans land could be seen from the bays better

Thur 5            Listening Post.  Came out too Kortepyp billets relieved by South Wales Borderers 25th Division.

Good Fri 6       Easy day went to Divisional baths. Done a. Dug up George Paton 2nd D. A. I had a tour around the Estaminets.

Sat 7

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Went to Divisional Baths. & Done a little Platoon drill’

Sun 8              Church Parade

Mon 9              Marched up too Supports to do a little fatigue.  Started too now & stopped the troops from working So we had a n afternoon off for a wonder.

Tue 10             Physical Jerks in the morning.  Another promenade to the war.Digging a new C. J. None off the troops were warned for fatigue and they all got Stunned up.  Things where very ragtime on the march up.

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Wed 11            Slept all day.  Snowing pretty solid all day & night

Thur 12           Carrying sandbags from mine head to build up parapet in Baoyle C. J.

Fri 13              Still on the same game.  Only the Hun spotted fatigue party & sent a few whizzbangs & H E over

Sat 14             Nothing doing all day digging a New Support line at night & when we got about 2 ft down The Hun started a type writer going & kept the

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Heads civil & the troops on the bob down your shotted racket

Sun 15             Slept all day getting plenty rest for big promenade back too training area

Mon 16            Battalion left for training ground to practise for big stunt at Messines via Bailluel & billeted in a barn close too Strazelle. Cold bleak winds & rain

Tue 17             On the track again marched through Haze-brouck. Stopped in billets near Sirkus (Sercus?) in a barn & had to kick the pig out.  Weather still bad

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Wed 18           15 mile march to Esquerdos Via Wizernes & Arcque (Arques?). Weather rotten & also cobblestones swag wet & our circus band playing the end off a perfect day & also had the pleasure off marching past Hun prisoners on the way to work in motor lorries.

Thur 19           3 mile march too training ground.  Bayonet exercise platoon drill drill & platoon in attack

Fri 20             Physical jerks before breakfast the rest of the day same as the 19th

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21 Sat             Physical jerks more bayonet drill Platoon & Coy in attack

22 Sun            Church parade & Company photographed

23 Mon            Bathing Parade to St Omer had a good day weather good

24 Tue            Shooting on the rifle range

25 Wed           Digging trenches same as ours & the Huns at Messines

26 Thu            Dummy Stunt Brigade practicing a hop over in waves & open order

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1st Otago & first waves 1st Canterbury & 2nd Canterbury to go through & 2nd Otago in reserve.  Sold off as a brigade carrier

27 Fri             Brigade practice Stokes Carrier attached to No8 Light Trench mortar

28 Sat            Stunt in street fighting for the benefit off battalion commanders

29 Sun            Brigade practiced another hop over

30 Mon            Another Stunt for the C. O’s benefit. Got ready for to go back to the war.

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May

1 Tue               Off back to the war.  Billeted at Cirkus.  Weather very hot.  The march started like a kangaroo hunt fast & furious with the blessed circus band making the pace & ended with the troops all foot sore

2 Wed             Left Sirkus for Strazelle & Discovered in the evening that a family off Scots Greys had come too stay.  Got them at our farm in Esquerdes.  The platoon was billeted on the floor off the barn alongside the pigs.  See Page 110

3 Thur            Arrived at Kortepyp billets the Y. M. C. A. came too light with a cup of cocoa & Pkt biscuits

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4 Fri               Went up too the war at night to deepen & widen Assembly trench in No mans land

5 Sat              Deepening sap(?) leading out to the assembly trench.  Came home behind.  A barrage laid down by the Hun on the billets & roads & found Our YMCA hut with the end & roof blown in & the hut peppered with shrapel.  Got to bed 5am on

6 Sun              Fatique repairing parapet in front line.  All the 2nd Brigade in front line & supports doing fatigue Dinkuras holding the line

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And the 1st Brigade back training. A lot off extra trenches dug to hold men for comeing stunt. & to give the Hun more to shell & scatter his fire.  Which oweing to the practice shoots our artillery where having was getting Willing

7 Mon              On Fatigue in the Assembly trenches having a nice quiet time till 2 in the morning & then the Wily Hun opened up with a drum fire for 20 minutes on a Front line C.J’s & Supports but didn’t come over.  Fatigue was a 5 mile march up & 5 back leave the billets at dusk & get back at day light.

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8 Tue              Straff on the left & the Auckland crowd raided but the Hun still kept out.

9 Wed             Raid on the left. Hun came over proceeded by Minnies & Gas shells & the Huns all specially stunned for the occasion.  The Fritzies where doing a lot off raiding too try & find out when the hop over was due by pinching prisoners But had no luck

10 Thur           Repairing & Carrying Sandbags for new Battalion Headquarters dureing comeing stunt

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11 Fri              Digging another Assembly Trench in No mans land.  Got a nasty shock comeing home while walking in front off a howitzer battery just heard the Battery sergeant say No 1 Gun drop 100 Fire in time too bob down

12 Sat             Fatigue in Front line Having a rough spin & feeling pretty light.  Arriveing home day light get into bed hop out in an hours time for breakfast.  Get back & then a blessed Orderly Sergeant or Platoon Sergeant with any body want to change a tunic or get boots mended

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Or two francs wanted for mess fund or buy a bag off flour too thicken the stew

13 Sun             More fatigue the end off a nights rotton fatigue.  Shell fire getting hotter.

14 Mon            Changed today fatigue building little dumps for ammunition for the artillery along side Messines road reserve stuff & plenty off it all the hedges & cockies crops where full off shells ready for the stunt

15 Tue             Same fatigue

16 Wed           “

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17 Th              Started sand bagging head quarters for Artillery during stunt.  A nice quiet job

18 Fri              Same Fatigue & quietly buzzed off & had a nice quiet rest & a sleep under a hedge.

19 Sat             Supposed to be on the same fatigue but had some more shut eye

20 Sun            Building a cook shop

21 Mon            Changed over from day till night fatigue

22 Tue

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Building up a parapet in Medicine Hat Trail C.J.

23 Wed           Start off 6 days special Lewis Gun Instruction.  Put on Gun Reserve Shifted from Kortepyp to Red Lodge Ploegsteert Wood. 2n Batt relieved Dinks

24 Th              All 2nd Brigade bar 2nd 49 8th Coys in Ploegsteert Woods in billets which old Hun used too shell occasionly.  Carrying up concrete blocks for putting on Battalion Bivvy for busters to explode shells & Lewis Gun instruction in Afternoon for 2 hrs.

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25 Fri             Fatigue in Medicine Hat Extension.  A sap a coach & four could be driven down & infiladed by machine gun  fire & one big naval gun opened out on supposed to be Hun concrete bivvys in Hun front line & was bumping them short into our own front line.  The old Hun got windy & put a surprise machine gun barrage over.  Our artillery practicing barrages & drum fire every-day.  A chap wants to be in a good possie when the Fritzie gets the snakey & answers back.  More Lewis Gun instruction. Having a rotten time getting chased

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Out of billet by shellfire nearly every night & in front off nest off batterys.

26 Sat            Loading busters on G.S. waggons & Iron rails for bivvys for 11th battery. And got shelled out of job & barrery blown out.  Fresh batterys all the time comeing in & opening out on to the Hun for too get the range & then laying quiet ready for comeing stunt.  Barrerys where pretty well wheel to wheel & shell dumps getting blown up every where & Some big aeroplane goes as many as 15 planes In one flight.

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27 Sun            On Pushing party shoveing up duck walks and A Frames from Subsids to near front line on truck onlight line used for running stuff over the top at night.  Run into a bit off hot shell fire & had too take cover

28 Mon            Digging Bivvy posies for Brigade Flag wagers dureing stunt.  End off Lewis Gun instruction plenty off dug-out kings knocking about.

29 Tue            Carrying flying pigs to heavy mortar from Stinking farm to Boyle C. J. & nothing

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Must do but the gunners must send some over to the Hun while the crowd where carrying them up the sap.  The pig is oval in shape with propeller off three blades & full off amnonal (ammonal) weighs about 15lb & kills by concussion at about 16ft under ground & Is Guaranteed to make the Hun go snake headed.  So when he gets an issue of pigs.  Two guns start too search for pig gun & as the Gun is mounted near the sap The boys had to drop pigs & go for it back to support line

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1st Battalion relieved 2nd Garrisoning the line 4th Coy went in oweing to heavy shell fire from the Hun after our artillery had their practice shoots Only Lewis Gun Teams Held front line.

30 Wed           Still carrying pigs got no back answers from the Hun

31 Thur           Sand-bagging parappte parapet In M Napier Assembly French a Promatar Dud 18 pounder shell from one off our guns landed in parpe parapet otherwise a quiet day.

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June

1 Fri                Changed over into subsids relieved Canterbury 1st Batt for 24 hours Gun teams went into front line watched one off the artillery practice barrages out off Artillery Concrete B. P. could see nothing but dust flying & shrapel bursts over Hun trenches.  Had a nice spell no fatigue.  Just a few H. E.’s flying about.

2 Sat              Changed over with 3rd Auckland Coy. & came back to Canteen Corner near big railway dump which the Hun was trying to break up with H.V. Naval shells from Lille at night the troops all scattered

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Into froggies wheat crop

3 Sun              Final voluntary Church Parade for troops before battle.  The 2nd Brigade & Rifle Brigade assembled together for conference off heads.  Spelled all day

4 Mon              Batheing Parade to Ponte Nieppe (Pont De Nieppe?).  Spelled the rest off day

5 Tue              Detached from Company & sent to Brigade Carrier Headquarters to Carry in forth-comeing stunt marched up to Fishers Place in the Subsids & carried water up to tanks in Front line for use

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Dureing the stunt in old petrol tins that hadn’t been cleaned out properly & had the pleasure off being in front of 10 pounder battery fireing salvos & plenty off Hun shells dropping around.

6 Wed             Carrying reserve water all day & reserve rations till near midnight & then put 1000 rounds S. A. A. on the pack ready for the hop over in the morning camped in King Edward trench the Old Hun put plenty off gas shells back on too Barrerys & Roads Which the Brigades had to come through to assemble

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7 Thur            Hopped over the top with ammunition.  3 o’clock in the morning 7 mines went up all machine guns, trench mortars Batterys & Naval guns opened out the British trenches where shook by mines & We It was a job too hear any-one shouting in your ear & when the dopey two star-artist in ch charge off us who was either boozed or half mad with excitement Started to wave his arms about & shout down down & wanted the mob to go busters in shell holes every few yards & yelling out follow me New Zealand & was also getting lost I thought I’d play alone hand & go on my part I had the pleasure off running into an artillery Major & a flag

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Wager in a shell hole with their water bottles full of O.P. Rum & they put two big nips off rum into me.  I travelled on & dumped my load & on the way back I was forced to salvage a flash pair of Hun boots polished a treat & laced up at the sides & the rum was getting too work.  Dressed a trifle rough.  The tin cady with old sand bag cover & the stump off a candle on the top never had a wash for two or three days & a shave for a week.  Tunic grease stained & torn.  Ditto trousers & puttees with dinky pair off Hun boots.  Lousy as a banicoot & Stunned to beat the band * The Hun never had a hope.  I was like kicking a lamb in the face

*not forgetting a Hun cigar.

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The Stong posts on top off the ridge where al cracked & blown up  Mine craters that where about 14 or 15 ft deep & the same across & shell holes full off blood.  The 2nd Brigade 1st Otago Battalion & the Dinks went over & the 1st Brigade went through them.  The Irish Rifle Went over on the left & took Wysharte(? Possibly a last name?) & Australians 4th Division on the right The 3rd Division Went through the New Zealanders & Got cut up.  Our dopey office got us all in a shell-hole & told us how he wouldn’t like too shoot us for not takeing any notice off him.  We didn’t hurt him as we thougth the thing wasn’t responsible for its actions.  When I got home I found the Home broke up by a

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Hun shell & also a ration dump blown up.  Plenty off tucker for the troops.  The band new 4th Brigade got its 1st dose off shell fire repairing the Messines Road.  The Hun Prisoners that came in looked half-starved & dazed with shell-fire.  They had just changed over & had rations off tinned horse black bread & mouldy sausages.  I never seen one off there rifles with a bayonet fixed.

8 Fri               Carrying water & loading & unloading mules under shall fire from old line to new supports & shell fire pretty hot

9 Sat              Packing wire standards & wire

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For entanglements to the top off the ridge

Sun 10             Changed over with Australians came out to Waterloo Rd

Mon 11             Company reorganised & came after stunt & had a Bathing parade to Ponte Nieppe & getting ready too relieve Australians in the line at the Potteries Ploegsteert

12 Tue             Left Company again as Brigade Carrier

13 Wed           Went too Hyde Park Corner Ploegsteert Wood.  Too many Honours flying about for to have a pleasant birthday

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Stopped the night in the Catacombs A dug-out made too hold about 2 battalions off men & oweing too the cowardice off a Sergeant Phillips South Wales Borderers who gave the show away when he was taken Prisoner by the Hun used to get a hot time & about this time a new gas came on the scene It smelt like mustard & might not take affect for a week after If swallowed injureing the heart & lungs or blistering & blinding when comeing in contact with the eyes & skin

14 Thur           Shifterd from Catacombs too Prowses Point Dump unloading ammunition off trolley

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15 Fri              Same as 14th

16 Sat             Unloading ammunition in the morning & went to New Support lines with Wire & Standards at night & got a hot time.

17 Sun             Had a rest after strenuous night.

18 Mon            Changed over with 1st Bgde & came out too Kortipyp billets the Daily Mail had an observation balloon close to the billets which must have been seeing too much As the Hun used too shell it with sharpnal & the nose-caps & Duds

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Used too land in our parade ground.  It was burnt by a Fritz plane 2 days running with inciendary bullets.

19 Tue             Reorganised put in Lewis Gun Team.  Had an easy day

20 Wed           Lewis Gun Instruction all day

21 Thur           Brigade Paraded all shone up Sydney Flash to be Inspected & kidded too by Godley 2 Anzac Army Corps. Commander. Lewis Gun Instruction

22 Fri             Lewis Gun Instruction.

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23 Sat            Lewis Gun Instruction in the morning & Inspection by General Russell N.Z. Divisional Commander in the Afternoon.

24 Sun            Church Parade

25 Mon            Lewis Gun Instruction.  Inspection off billets & Battalion Transport by Russell.

26 Tue            Lewis Gun Instruction.  Fireing on Range in the afternoon

27 Wed           Wet Day.  Lewis Gun Instruction in the billets

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28 Thur          Shifted billets to Lylo Farm.  In support to Australions holding the line in frontoff Messines

29 Fri             Wet fixed up a shelter

30 Sat            Cleaning up a New Sap on the top off Messines Ridge

July

1 Sun               Off all day.  Went too see a cobber in 2nd Machine Gun Coy

2nd Mon           Fatigue cleaning up new C. J. that was dug through old Hun lines & shell-

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shook country where the artillery used to have their practice shoots on & was up to the knees in mud.  Fatigue was every other night.

3 Tue              Parade Gas Helmets Inspection

4 Wed             Fatigue Laying duck walks

5 Thur            Drill all morning all Ceremonial Stuff & Musketry in the after-noon

7 Sat              Went to Ponte Nieppe for bath.  The bath house was an old brewery converted & the vats turning into baths the rope & sandbag

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works along side had been blown & burnt by a Hun Inciendary shell

6 Fri               Fatigue deepening & widening G. J. In front off Messines

8 Sun              Church Parade & Fatigue at night

9 Mon              Off all day

10 Tue             Lewis Gun Instruction & Platoon Drill & also Coy C. J. With Circus band playing

11 Wed            Drill in the morning & went too Ponte Nieppe for bath in the afternoon

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12 Thur           Left for Estairs (Estaires) via Steenwerk (Steenwerck)  Dieulue (Le Doulieu) & billeted in a barn.  The Weather very hot & the Curse & Pace solid

13 Fri              Drill & Practiceing for Battalion Sports

14 Sat             Ceremonial Drill Bayonet & Lewis Gun Instruction

15 Sun             Church Parade & Battalion Sports

16 Mon            Went & done a little shopping in Estaires.  The place was full off Portuguese who where holding the

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line at Laventis (Laventie)

17 Tue             More Ceremonial drill & Practice for Another Battalion sports meeting

18 Wed           1 ½ hrs Ceremonial Drill on account off rain had the rest of the day off

19 Thur           Off on the track with the Curse up going back to the war.  Landed at the catacombs Hyde Park Corner after Heavy days march Along the pleasant

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leafy roads off Flanders I don’t think

20 Fri             All day off

Fatigue at night Finish

21 Sat             finishing New Supports the Australians had fixed the line was on the right flank off the Messine.  Advanced & was held by Australians who we relieved In Ploesteert Wood. Which was supposed to be King Alberts hunting ground about two or three hundred acres in extent & looked like as if a big mob of wild pigs had been through it & was shelled heavy with gas shells The gas used too hang about along

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Time in the bush & when it died out a fresh issue was put in a regular net-work of dug duck walks where laid through the bush & called after London Streets.  It was here the Canadians got gassed dureing the early stages of the war.  The catacombs where safe when inside off them but the entrances where shelled heavy.  The first morning the battalion lost men.  The old trench system off warfare was disappearing developing into Semi open War.  Dureing the

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time the Brigade held the sector.  The papers used to report Hostile artillery slightly active the 2nd Brigade only had about 2,000  casualltys.

Sun 22            Pay Day & Fatigue on the same job

Mon 23            Slept all day & night.  Fatigue a wash-out

Mon Tue 24     Fatigue on New Support line

Wed 25           Still the same job

Thur 26          Bathing Parade too Ponte Nieppe marched through

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Ploegsteert village or what was left off it.  The village street run level with the Hun line & the British put guns in the shops after the villagers had left & the Hun found them & smashed the place up with big heavy Howitzer shells.  The church had only one pillar left.  The old Hun could put a shell in the middle off the road when ever he liked which he very often did.

Fri 27             3 hrs fatigue digging a sap at the Catacombs

Sat 28

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Day off

Sun 29            Changed over with 1st Canterbury Into a strong point called Eel Pie fort in the bush.  Held by Lewis Gunners

Mon 30            Easy day

Tue 31             Digging a sap & clearing an old Hun one out for 1st Brigade to Pass through Fatigue Party got well straffed comeing home with whizz-gangs & 5,9’s the whizz-bangs is fired by a quick fireing field gun & has a low trajectory The 5.9 is Howitzer with Instantaneous action that is, it just touches the ground

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& breaks up It is used for shelling infantry or open country & breaking up Wire Entanglements

August

Wed 1             The 1st Bgde done a hop over & chased the Hun out off a little village called La Basece Ville on the France-Belgian Border.  It used too boast a sugar refinery & was a fair sized village.  The Hun had made reinforced concrete pillboxes in the street & had a double storied Estaminet concreted up for a snipers possie & 5.9 shells used to whizz off it with out making any

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impression the 4th 8th Coy was holding the line & suffered fairly heavy when the 1st Brigade hopped over as the Hun laid a barrage down on our lines.  There was no fatigue that night.

Thur 2            Had a look at the R. M. O. with a swelled.  When I was comeing home from fatigue on the 31 July The gentle Hun straffed the road & The mob had to take to the open country in front off Supports & got Mixed up in our own wire.  The Batt Quack was a hard thing with only 4 medicines

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caster-oil, number nine pill Iodine & a dose off sarcasm used too take drugs & was a vet in civvie life.  I landed E. D. rained all day

Fri 8               Changed over with 4th & 8th Coys. 10th Coy carrying rations & other fatigue 14th in out-posts In front off La Bassee Ville Lost the guide & rest off the crowd giving to heavy shell-fire & Getting stuck in a shell hole the crowd went like scalded cats & I lost them but picked up two other chaps on the same fix & we had a rotten time up & down the village stret ducking dodgeing Machine Gun

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Bullets & we just leave a place & two or three little how de do’s would land & break up We found those blessed out-posts at mid-night.  We stood to the rest of the night and sat down in the mud in the day time

Sat 4              Squatted in the mud all day.  The gun & crowd had to keep quiet a Hun Plane used too come over at stand too every morning flying low trying too pick up out posts.  The Lewis Gun was there in case The Hun came over. The Vickers used to do all Anti aircraft

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& indirect fire from Support we where relieved by two other platoons at midnight & came out too Supports & stood too the rest of the night

Sun 5              I must have got a touch of gas because it took me all I knew how to walk So I reported to the quack He told me to get my gear & sent me out The old Hun spotted me & sent a 5.9 after me which missed & then tried a buret of shrapnel & had more hard luck I landed in the 4th Field Ambulance at Nieppe that night

Mon 6

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Put the day in, in bed.  The Amulance was stationed in an old school house And the rest I got was an Irishmans as the Hun put a 5.9 shell on the roof off the house next door give the Medical Corps Sergeant who was inside courting Madam’s daughter a scare & Also shelled the church & street.  About this time the Hun blew Armentiers (Armentieres) to pieces & sent a lot off gas-shells & gassed a lot of women & children who where taking refuge in the cellars.  The sky was all red round the place Just like a big bush-fire going

Tue 7

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All day in bed The tucker was very good.  A lot off Patriotic Stuff.

Wed 8             Got up & knocked about the yard part off the day.  A bit groggy on it

Thur 9            Same as 8th

Fri 10              “ “

Sat 11             Up all day

Sun 12             Got fed up with knocking about a back-yard The quack on duty marked me fit to join the Goy again & gave me a note to hand to Battalion Quack

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recommending 3 days Excused Duty.  Reported at Reinforcements Camp De Suel (Seule)

Mon 13            Rejoined Unit at Regina Camp  The Coy was wireing in front off La Bassee Ville & where getting a rough time marching up about 4 or 5 mile along a well shelled road.  They had a few casualitys

Tue 14             Reported to quack & gave him the note & the cow gave me light duty & I went on Gas Guard that night.  There where a lot off barrerys around the camp The Hun used too bomb & shell & the shell splinters used to whizz in

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among the huts

Wed 15           Light Duty making Camoflougge for to screen batterys

Thur 16           The 1st Brigade relieved us & the crowd got a day off before shifting billets The 8th Coy where having a rifle inspection & the thing that was in Charge off the carriers was their C. G.  When the Hun put a shell into a rubbish heap alongside off them.  That parade broke up quick & busy

Fri 17              Changed over with Wellington

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The Hun gave us a farewell by putting a few shells into the billets 8 or 9 men where killed & died off wounds Our G. C. got the wind up & bolted to Romarin & left his gas bag We shifted too Canteen Corner On Fatigue at Messines at night.

Sat 18             Riffle & foot inspection getting ready for a tour to the training grounds.  Fatigue at Messines at night cleaning out a C. J. We went up part off the way in & Light Railway & got a hot time at the job from the Hun

Sun 19             Church Parade

Mon 20            Foot Inspection and a general

75

polish up.  Got word to be ready for the track early next morning.

Tue 21             Left for La Mott (?) wood via Steenwerk (Steenwerck) & Dieulue (Le Doulieu) & billeted in a barn near Marville (Merville) after a strenuous march

Wed 22           Battalion Parade in the morning.  Bathing parade in the morning afternoon went for a swim in the canal

Thur 23          Two hrs Route march & 1 hr Lewis Gun practice Bathing Parade at the canal in the afternoon & Got paid.  Haveing a fair time

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Fri 24             Same as 23rd Rumours off going back further to training area

Sat 25            Same as 24

Sun 26            Church Parade went too Merville.  The place was full off Portuguese holding Laventis Sector

Mon 27            Route March on the mat for not getting hair trimmed when warned by O. C. & landed 7 days C. B. Had too report to report to Regimental Police every ½ hr when off duty till Last Post with the curse up The Battalion Headquarters was

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in an estaminet so a chap had a fair time. Drinking Champaigne with the John Hopo

Tue 28            On the track again.  Whenent through Strazeel in the morning before daylight & entrained at Caestre.  The place which was the Headquarters off General Plumer. 2nd Army Commander During the Messines Stunt & was full Chinese doing fatigue behind the line.  Had too wait for two or three hrs for a train landed at Wizernest (Wizernes) marched down a valley through Esquerda (Esquerdes) Lumbres & billeted that night in a barn at Seninghem after heavy day

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Wed 29           All battalion C. Bs put on clink guard at night.  The clink was in an old French cottage Out off the heads way & there was a good Orchard close by.  One of the prisoners was caught with a guard having a shot at the Battalion wet canteen by the R. S. M. & he paid a surprise visit to the clink & shook up a barshee(?) corporal in charge That Guard was a great affair & a man got a god blow out off roast apples

Thur 30          Releived by the 4th Coy Guards At night.  After a fair day No calls to answer

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Fri 31              On Fatigue carrying bricks To make an oven for Coy Cooks.  Showery weather The rest off the boys where charging up & down the road with S. B. R.s + PH gas helmets on between the showers.  Getting a worse spin than the C B kings

September

Sat 1st             Whent out too training ground & Done a little Cerimonial Drill Round me nip Jerry & I’ll tell ye why & when as the bayonet instruction say.  Had too come home

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on account of the rain in the afternoon.  C. B work washing transport limbers In the evening

2 Sun              Church Parade & rifle instruction Term of CB spun out

3 Mon              Coy Cerimonial Drill & Practicing Battalion in Attack C Os inspection

4 Tue              Battalion in attacks & Shooting on Miniature Rifle Range & Musketry

5 Wed             Shooting on the Range.  Lewis Gun Instruction. I Went to baths in the afternoon

6 Thur            Brigade in attack very rag-time

81

The Brigade was practicing open warfare and going forward in rushes & waves wave formation consists off 2 platoons first wave Bombers & bayonet men 1st line Lewis Gunners & Rifle Grenadeirs & line rushes by sections platoon office slightly in advance off 2nd line with signaller batman & observer platoon sergeant with 1st line the 2nd wave is stronger in order too reinforce 1st line that is on a Company front on a Battalion there would be 4 platoons let wave 9 16 for brigade with double the force in second wave & the other 16 reserved.  In regard to the way this dummy stunt was done

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the Brigadier informed the 4 Cos that the men would have all been oued if the thing was dinkums to Brighten the men up a little.  So the boys got plenty of the gentle double

Fri 7               Battalion Ceremonial Drill Lewis Gun Practice & Platoon in attack

Sat 8              Platoon Drill & Platoon in attack went to baths in the afternoon

Sun 9              Church Parade in the morning & went too Lumbres in the afternoon to have a look at the village

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Mon 10            Brigade drawn up in revue order to practice for a revue by Sir Doug Haig The privates had a fair time But The Brigadier stirred up the officers

Tue 11             Battalion practice revue order stuff & Lewis Gun practice & went too Baths

Wed 12           Brigade done another revue order stunt & Lewis Gun Practice after

Thur 13           Cerimonial drill & Lewis Gun Practice.  Went on Guard at the Clink at night

Fri 14              On Guard at the Clink

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All day one off the Froggie girls caught a prisoner up an apple tree & we had a bit off a circus till one off the boys financed things The Briga 1st 2nd & 4th Brigades where revued by Doug haid The Dinkums where up at Ypres laying cables. Came off guard at night

15 Sat             A big dummy Brigade Stunt in bush fighting in among The blackberries a great war nice war on the Lumbres front

16 Sun             Church Parade & went to dig up Bob who joined the 2nd south Canterbury 2nd C.J.B. that day

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17 Mon            Coy open warfare & Lewis Gun Practice

18 Tue             Wet day Afternoon put in with Lewis Gun Practice at the billets

19 Wed           Battalion open warfare practice for ½ the rest off the day  off

20 Thur          1/4 of an hrs Lewis Gun Practice the rest of the day off on account off rain.  Went down to 2nd CJB

21 Fri              Brigade Open Warfare practice all day marched The 14th Coy marched to a big rifle range & put in the night there

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22 Sat            there

Shooting on the Range best part off the day averag put up by the Coy. Was 120 points Marched back to the billets again & Got Paid

23 Sun            Church Parade

24 Mon            Battalion organised for open warfare Cut out for carrying

25 Tue            The Curse up and off to the war again Via Eequerd Wizernes & Arcques & Billeted for the night at Russeaux.  The Gun team turned in about 11 oclock on account off the final spre before stunt

26 Wed           Off at daybreak

Off at daybreak. We where carrying sand

87

bags on account off shortage off transport so the heads said & where accused by the Australians off scabbing on the mules & was having a rotten time.  The morning after the night before again.  Billeted at ST Marie Capelle (Sainte-Marie-Cappel) close to 2nd Army Headquarters at Cassell.  Going to Ypres front for a hop over

27 Thur          On the track again for Watou.  Passed through Steenwoode & crossed the Franco-Belgian Border We where marching along all the back tracks leaveing all the main Rds clear for heavy traffic such as motor transport & gun limbers going to Ypres

88

28 Fri             Shifted again too within a mile off Ypres via Poperinghe (Poperinge) & Vlamertinghe from Properinghe too Ypres the traffic was three limbers wide with pack horses & infantry marching two abreast & single file up & down each One continual stream going day & night.  All reserves left & went back to Morbeque (Morbecque)

29 Sat            Left for the line at night & dug in  in shell holes relieved the Sherwood Forresters  The place was all shell shook & the ground sodden with recent rains. Ypres was well blown about Especially the Cathedral & Cloth Hall & not a House without a shell hole in it

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The night was fairly light quiet A lot of gas-shells comeing over.  We where dug in close too an old tank that had stopped a direct hit & had the crew wiped out.  The hun was putting a few try fluke shots over in the hopes off catching somebody hanging about it.

30 Sun            Moved up & dug a rough support line near some old Hun pill boxes.  So the gun team du in his old Wire-patch & the brute used to waste ammo ammunition on them. Its no place to hang around As a person is liable to have his future cut short As they are pasted religiously at stand too

90

October

1 Mon              Put in the day squatting & trying too sleep.  Two off the team went too sleep & had too be dug out & we had to dig a new possie oweing too the sides off the trench falling in the ground was all shell-shook & pug-clay.  A few H. E flying about at the stand-too

2 Tue              Went back too old British front line at night relieved by the 4th Brigade comeing in to do a hop-over. It was about three mile back to the old line.  We landed some cigarettes at a backshee Y.M.C.A. The big Hun bombing planes came over too bomb the batterys & roads & we where

91

3 Wed             informed by the O.C. not too get rushing about like a girl looking for her boy’s photo in a house on fire as the pills where liable to drop anywhere.  Its easy to tell when a Fritz plane is near you on a bombing stunt. You hear the engines droneing as under a heavy load then all off a sudden they are shut off for the swoop down to lay eggs.  One off the boys was sitting on the old parapet watching the battery’s fireing when a Hun shell burst near one off them & he stopped a piece in the funny-bone & he got up & went running around in circles with two stretcher bearers after him to the amuse-

92

Ment of the crowd stopped all day in the old line & (? No idea sorry) in the night also.  A drizzly rain came on & made it bad for the hop-over in the morning.

4 Thur            The 1st & 4th Brigades went over & met the Hun in No Mans Land also comeing over.  The British Barrage caught them & The Infantry took Abraham Heights & Grafenstafel which couldn’t which couldn’t be recognized as their was only one gate post standing It was blown clean off the map the Infantry going over had a rotten time as the ground was greasy clay mixed with sand on the ridge & they kept slipping over & getting mud in the mechanism off the rifles & Lewis

93

Guns So the Hills bomb was the only thing Guaranteed I learnt But the Artillery gave them a fair barrageplenty off shrapnel busting low & sweet over the Wily Hun & a good few prisoners comeing down a sullen looking mob & a good few boys.  Also they had bread that would insult a pig They where stretcher-bearing.  We moved up to be ready if a counter-attack came & the Hun bust through & dug in at Spree Farm & had a rotten time in the mud.  Dug in & stood too.  Raining solid all the time

5 Fri               Changed over with a Tommy Division Berkshire Regiment Comeing in to do a hop over

94

Releived early in the morning before stand too & went back through Ypres & stayed about a mile the other side pearly all day then marched down the road & waited till midday night for old London motor busses to go back further they where fetching a Tommy division up to go over & we where off back to thetraining ground again So We understood

6 Sat              Landed near Poperinghe & got off and slept nearly the rest off the night from 3 oclock & all the next day & night.  Rained all the time

7 Sun              Marched back too a little village called Eeche near Caestre in the

95

Morning & slept in a barn all the afternoon wet & very bleak winds

8 Mon              Kit Inspection & we where informed that the Tommies had got held up & could’nt advance & that General Godley had called for the New Zealanders to go back & do another Stunt. Weather still rotten

9 Tue              Cleaned the gun & ammunition & got ready for to leave early next morning for the line by motor-bus

Wed 10           Left Eeche by bus at day light in the morning & passed through Ypres & the Rifle Brigade & 2nd Bdge stopped at St Jean for too wait till dusk to move up which we did & dug in at Otto Farm.

96

At mid night & got flooded out by morning & just about shelled out If you didn’t sit in your pot-hole & keep your feet Jammed down in the mud you froze.  Weather rotten.

11 Thur            Yay quiet that day save dug another pot-hole & moved up in front off Grafenstafel Got there about mid-night & dug another pot-hole & got flooded out supposed to be having a rest before moveing to Assemble but having a nice freeze.  Got an issue off Rum to keep out the cold

12 Fri              Hopped the tapes 2nd Otago 1st 1st Otago & then 1st C.J.B.

97

With 2n C.J.B. in reserve misty cold bleak weather ½ the Batterys out off action & oweing to the mud the guns that where in action except the big howitzers & Naval Guns used too drop one shell on the target & when the gun recoiled it went back in the mud bed logs & all  & the infantry in the front off the Hun wire would very likely stop it & half the guns where not fully manned & the Hun wire was not out But had passages through where the Hun patrols used to come through & where covered by one off his Machine Guns from a near by pill-box He had his machine Guns fireing angle fire that is the guns where in the corners off the boxes

98

With a gun & snipers out in a trench.  The New Zealanders could’nt stand up weak with exposure & wet & cold & Pug clay.  Hardly a rifle could be fired out off & mud in the mechanism off the Lewis Guns The Mills bomb was the only weapon with the bayonet The results where they got out up in No Mans Land The Gun team had six casualitys early in the day with two off us left to go on.  Dead & wounded where hanging in the Hun wire like rabbits & the snipering deadly.  The Rifle Brigade Had been cable-laying while the 2nd Bgde was out & they only had two days rest & where

99

Put over.  There had been about 5 ad about 6 Hops each one being hotter The further the advance We where about 5 mile away from the Old British Line where the Third battle off Ypres started from Dead mules & men all the way Hun & British & awful smell very little grass to be seen for shell-holes the country was rolling clay & sandy ridges with swamps at the bottom & mud all the way & General Sir Alex Godley wanted what was left to do another hop at three in the afternoon.  He was’nt fit to be a Third rate Yankee private rum medals & all.  It was a straight out murdering match from the jump.  We moved back & reorganised

100

At night & there where only nine left in the platoon The crys off the wounded where rotten And a man could do nothing for them because he could hardly walk weak with exposure & all the stretcher bearers had been sniped early in the day & a lot off the wounded died with the awful exposure.  We had a hip off run at mid-night Thurs day & got nothing hot that night oweing to the carriers all being killed in the barrage the Hun laid down on the roads off communication.  Spent another night sitting in the mud doing a freeze but lucky to be all in the one piece nearly every officer but one 2nd Lt

101

& the C.O. out of action The 14th Coy had 3 out of 4 of its officers killed & the other one wounded the Sergeant Major was in charge & one Sergeant left.  A Lance Copperal was in charge off one platoon or what was left & after the boys where relieved there where only two or three men left that done that Stunt.  They all had too leave with exposure

13 Sat             Stopped in an old trench the Tommies had dug all that day Eight hrs.  Armistice by mutual consent to carry in wounded & bury the dead or part off the dead the old Colonel was even stretcher bearing & what was left off 2nd C.J.B. all

102

The available men that were’nt holding a rough line.  We moved up & done some more digging in a rough line.  That’s why the Assies & New Zealanders are all called Diggers instead of soldiers stood to all night freezing a treat & a little mud would have been all right too hold the poon feet down in but we had a dry trench for a wonder

14 Sun             Left the line with feet swollen & landed in the 10th Canadian  Casuality Clearing Station At Poperinghe which was bombed by a Hun plane that night the British always seem to have a Howitzer battery

103

Stationed near an advanced Dressing Station which very often gets a shelling when the Hun locates the battery

15 Mon            Put on board hospital train at night & travelled pretty slow all the way

16 Sun             Landed at Camieres 22nd General A starvation hole but the quacks all looked prosperous enough.  The British Machine Gun Base & also Colonial was along sid e the hospital there was no cigarettes issued by order of the head quack on account of a marquee getting burnt down & nobody

104

In Hospital blues served in any of the dry canteens & no pay & the rations very light But the over-worked medical staff seemed to be able to dance in the winter & play tennis in the summer.  There was a big Yankee Hospital with Yankee Red Cross stationed close by

17 Wed           All day in bed sleeping & resting the poor feet

18 Thur           Shifted into the Stockyard among the walking cases.  Had a nice starvation time if you missed a feed there you never got it back

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19 Fri              Still in the stockyard

20 Sat            “

21 Sun             Had a rotten day

22 Mon            Told the quack I was alright & wanted to get back to the N.Z. Base. Marched Con Camp

23 Tue            Landed in Nob Con Camp & two days later was in the N.Z. Base marked an Active Man by the Tommy Quack. But had an idea it was finish war when I dumped my gear at Passchendacle on the 14th

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Jan              from  Page   1        to      Page   6

Feb                       “        6                 “        13

March                             “        13                “        21

April                     “        22               “        29

May                       “        30               “        42

June                      “        43               “        55

October                “                            “

July                       “        55               “        65

Sep Aug                “        65               “        79

Oct Sep                “        79               “        89

Oct                       “        90               “        105

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Sling Camp

When a draft or reinforcement disembarks & arrives at Sling they get the nastiest shock that’s ever bumped them for in New Zealand they lead the life of a fighting cock & don’t know there is a war on.  So they get their full issue off discipline in Sling by Instructors fresh from the Big 2nd Ar Southern Command Army Schools & A good half of them had’nt seen a front line trench But where swinging it rubbing the dirt into the boys & creeping to the Heads & most off the heads where in the same street

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a battalion on Parade at Sling does everything by the ta off a drum.  When A crowd of us C2 boys from France landed there we thought it was a Kangaroo Hunt about too start & when they chased us out on parade we spoilt the performance by straggling Set a rotten example to the other troops as they let us alone.  The Picadilly Stunt is a march past the G. O. C. every dinner time & the troops have there faults sorted out by him just like a big cattle sale.  The chief from off torture is the blessed bullring where

109

Everything is done at the double & If you wink one eye its an orderly room case you are at dinner time that means more torture C. B. & one hrs pack drill till the term is oout, every night report to the provost sergeant every night half hour with pack or web equipment in different orders & do your pack drill with him slinging off at you in front off the Orderly Room in the mud & snow if you where not civil There was more C. B. to follow missing one call meant one more days C. B.

110

Our Farm

It was a rambling tumble down old show with a tower for a bel.  Dad & Mum lived on one side with two daughters & a boy just going too join the French Colours & an unfit man & two or three children.  A courtyard full off manure the horses & family lived on one side & could step into the manure heap from the front door The cows & a loft full of soldiers.  A big barn with the pigs & soldiers on the ground floor completed the other two sides.  The family used too work all day & half the night

111

Annoying the troops by feeding the pigs in the middle off the night by lantern light.  The boy that was going to the war got out with the crowd one night & they filled him up with rum & helped him cut out his cask & when the pigs got fed that night the bombing section got out & bombed the camp with stones & then their was a circus.  Dad & the sergeant came out to investigate The kitchen was rough.  The boys drinking French beer in one corner & the village dressmaker at work in the other.  Their was only a thin partition

112

Between the soldiers & the pigs & the concequence was a lot of Scots Grey came over the boarder to live rent free on the troop that is one off the two things that an officer shares with the Jack Privates the other is that the Hun sends over no special brand of shell.  The villagers where better and more obligeing than the poor Belgians up close to the fireing line they give nothing for nothing & very little sixpence  Dad was a hard old thing & used to go for a stir up with the family give the kids the round’s off the kitchen

At the back of the note book is written the following

 Come to the sea this warm, bright day.

Amid on the sand We’ll skip and play

We’ll make a house

With pail and spade,

And we all will wade

We’ll see the ships

All far away

Come to the sea this warm bright day

Written by Phyliss Melluge

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Author:

Cross Stitcher, knitter, home cook, HVAC specialist, avid movie and TV watcher, reader and mum. I work full time and I'm not very good at sitting still so I love to try all sorts of crafting things from scrap-booking to ceramic work, but mostly I stitch. Heaven & Earth designs would be my favourite. I have had some major health scares in the past few years that I would not of expected to experience for at least another 20 odd years (born in 1971 so am currently only 45). Due to this I have a bucket list and its full of things right from books I must read to adventures I must achieve before I croak. I am always at the gym making myself stronger and healthier to fight my challenges and achieve my goals. Before the challenges I thought there would always be enough time and was just drifting along. You know how it is. Work, chores, kids, sleep, get up tomorrow and start again. I didn't really have any clear goals. I knew I wanted to travel but that was pretty much it. I was gaining weight steadily and didn't do anything much outside of the house and work. Since the challenges I have managed to get almost front row for both the Eagles and Elton John (expensive but you can't take it with you right), have had a day tour Kayaking around a lake and hiked the Tongariro Crossing. None of these would I even have considered 3 years ago. This is only the beginning :D Life is a gift and its what you make of it. You want it then you best be prepared to go get it :D

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