Churchill-Smith, James – Feburary 1916
Up early and withdrew Outposts at daybreak and posted day Observation Posts. Changed into Short trousers during day & wore the long stockings Mum gave me, Very nice.
… Nice warm day, digging as usual – feeling fit. Bridge with C.O., Lory & McCann at night – lost, but enjoyed myself very much.
Very warm day. Still on trenches. Capt. Herbert informs me I have been Gazetted a Lieutenant in Australia…
… Strong wind during morning with sand blowing in all directions – rotten. Tried to rain about 1 p.m. but nearly unsuccessful… Orderly Officer from 5 pm. Carial (No 9 Ptn) shot top of his left thumb off. – carelessness…
… Turks only 30 miles away from Canal…
… Still entrenching…
On Court–Martial (Pte Dodd) as evidence…
Returned from Outposts at 7 am… Entrenching stopped – no reason given Court of Enquiry during day re absentees Rumoured Turks abandoning Egyptian attack on account of Germany not fulfilling her obligations in not sending troops & money to Turkey.
Recd letters from Dad & Girlie. Sorry to hear of poor Grandpa’s death, but I have no doubt that it is best both for his & others sake…
Recd letters (2) from Kate, and one from Mum, also paper cuttings from Father.
Court of Enquiry morning & afternoon. Read Mum’s & Kate’s letters on outposts.
Believe dear Mother’s birthday – God bless her; hope she is well & not worrying…
… Feeling disappointed a little:– News of 10,000 British surrounded and surrendered at Mesopotamia, also of new divisions being formed, which means that I shall be sent somewhere from some of my men… Anyhow I shall see how things turn out.
Regret to hear of Mr Moss’s death – they all have my deepest sympathy. Started digging on new firing line. Noel over to dinner with us. Splitting up of Company is rather disappointing – men rather upset, so am I.
… Waiting patiently to see where I am to be sent. French aeroplane passed over camp very low down at about 11 00 a.m. Advised 300 Turks reconnoitring our front.
…Turks patrols reported very close. Received nice big parcel from Mum.
Church Parade 10 a.m… Believe I’m going to new Battn. – hope so…
… Word through that change over takes place on Sunday next. Wrote to dear Mum & Kate.
… Promoted to Lieut todays Battn. Orders. List No 26 to date 20/2/16.
… Digging as usual; last day with my dear men of No 12 Platoon – regret very much having to leave them but have no doubt that it is for the best. Have got a sort of affection for each & every man; they are all good fellows. Hope to meet them again some day.
Recd letter from Kate, Mum & Dad. Left Rail head by electric train at ¼ to 11, arrived Canal. Rested & bathed in Canal… Left Serapena by train for Tel el Kebir at 3.15 p.m. Arrived Tel el Kebir about 6.30 p.m.
Visited 32nd Bttn. for lunch. …Received photos from Kodaks – very good. Sent Cable home re change of address.