Churchill-Smith, James – March 1918
Fine day but cold Tactical Exercise at Yately. Received letter from John Hill & Parcel (Birthday cake) from dear Kate Night operations at 6.30 p.m.
Cold windy day. Wrote dear Mum, Kate …Have caught a nice cold.
Dull, cold, windy day – very unpleasant. Outdoor Topography at Caesars Camp during morning – bitterly cold. Aldershot in afternoon re Syndicate dinner. Lecture by Lt. Col. J. E. Dingan on “The problem of the Pacific” – very good.
Lovely fine day. Engineering (wiring) during morning. Received letter from dear Kate
Dull morning, but sunny after about 12 noon. Tactical exercise at Toryham during day – returned about 4 p.m.
Lovely day, but slightly cold up to about 11 a.m. Brigade attack practice during morning – fair. Wrote dear Mum, Kate, & the CO.
Lovely day. Lecture on “Anti – tank Defence” by Brig. Gen Marshall, School Commandant, at 9.15 a.m. in Malplaquet Concert Hall – good. Received letter from dear Kate. Wrote dear Kate & Mum. C.1, C.2, & C4 or 5 dinner at night in London.
Glorious day. Up about 12 noon – walk in afternoon. Wrote Kate.
Lovely bright day. Practical Engineering (revetting) during morning. Syndicate dinner in London on Saturday night (9th) very rough finish – Josh McCall & Earl of Lascelles under arrest by A. P. M.
Congratulations to 50th Bn. Upon 2nd Ann. of its formation – a good record so far, and here’s to the coming year.
Bn. Training (Brigade attack) during morning London in afternoon by 2.25 p.m. and returned by 5.30 p.m. train. C3 Syndicate dinner at night at Queen Hotel, Aldershot – very successful & enjoyable, although Theatre seats were not kept for us.
… School inspected by Lord French in morning –gave us a hit about Syndicate dinner on 9th. Tactical Exercises 11 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Lecture on “Tanks” …describing Cambrai operations – – very interesting.
Commandant’s farewell speech at 9.15 a.m.
Nice day. Went to Salisbury in afternoon with Col. Ridley, Sims & Harding. Inspected camp in morning with Tom & Col. Ridley.
Up at 10 a.m. Dull day. Roaming round during day. Concert (“Acmes”) at night – rotten. Decided to stay till tomorrow.
Nice fine day. Around parade ground with Tom during morning on horses. Judging Drill Competition in afternoon – result, 51st, 16th, 52nd, 14th Bn – very good. Good concert at night. Decided to stay till after dance on Friday.
Lovely fine day. Up about 10 a.m. Ranges in afternoon with Tom. Good night in Mess. Wrote dear Mum.
Nice day. All busy getting ready for dance. Dinner at 7 p.m., Concert 8 p.m. dancing till 2 a.m., and very nice too!! Quite an enjoyable time and first time danced since War began.
Up about 9.30 a.m. Lovely day. Caught 1.17 p.m. train from Codford arriving at Waterloo at about 4 p.m. – Tom English with me. Staying at Regents Palace Hotel. Met Roy, Hurcombe, L. B. Smith, Lackman, and others, & after dinner at Regents, went to the Alhambra (“Bing boys on Broadway)” – very good. Bed late.
Walking in Rotten Row during morning. Lunched at Ausn. Club. Dinner with Swaffers & Roy H. at Regents. Bed late.
Arranged ?20 with Lanyon. Palladinn in afternoon. Empire ( Box & Tricks) in evening with Nurses. Home late. Met Sims. Boche push going strong, but I guess we’ll stop them.
Grafton Galleries (War Pictures) during morning with Roy Hurcombe & Sims. “Dear Brutus” at night with three Park Hospital girls (Brownies).
Fine day. Received ?50 from dear Mum through Scarfes – most opportune. …. Left Regents Palace, now staying at 59 Jermyn Street in a single flat – very nice. Called Dad.
…Received letter from dear Kate and Lottie Larsson; also my report from Senior Officers School, Aldershot.
Dull day with light showers. Wrote dear Sid, Mattie Adney, Mona, and Roy Hurcombe. Received letter from Brownie. Wrote Mrs. Bond. Met little Brownie and other nurses in Regents – went to Flat, & they caught 12.15 a.m. from Charing Cross…
Up at 6 a.m. & caught 7.35 a.m. train from Victoria, arriving at Folkestone about 9.30 a.m. Breakfast at Grand Hotel with McKenzie. Boat left about 2.15 p.m. arriving at Boulogne about 4.30 p.m. – rough trip across Channel. Caught motor lorries at 5.30 p.m. arriving at New Zealand Infy. Base Depot at Etaples about 8 p.m. – dirty trip in lorries, absolutely covered in dust. Met Tom Smith & Col. Paul in Bologne returning to Bns. Hear Bn. Has been in it at Albert. Bed about 10.30 p.m.
Diary of James Churchill-Smith