Churchill-Smith, James – September 1916
Went up … to reconnoitre Toms Cut trench & others. Place exceptionally muddy. Got bad attack of back-ache (Kidney trouble – the same old thing), felt very bad up to night time. M.O. gave me some medicine.
Left with … few scouts for Kay dump – reconnoitred trenches. After sundown went with … couple of men & commenced to peg & tape out Park Lane from Kay trench; heavily shelled when done about 100 yds. so retired & went around to right of Park Lane via Toms Cut,& Box Lane & commenced to peg & tape out from there. Shelled some of the time but at last joined up the two tapes – thank goodness the job is finished…
11 p.m. 2nd Battn. arrived safely & took tools & went to Park Lane.
Took ½ “B” Coy to main road for tools. Germans used “Tier” & other Gas Shells. Had exceptionally bad headache. … Stunt started at 5.10 a.m. 51st Battn took Mouquet farm, 52nd on their left & 49th further on left, 50th reserve in Park Lane
Left with C.O. & Adj. at 6.15 a.m.; “… All relieved by Canadians. Had breakfast with 51st at Wire trench – feel fairly weak but not as bad as last time. Hot bath in afternoon. – feel very nice. “D” Coys casualties 4 killed 4 wounded. Rum issue at night – men happy. Heavy bombardment at night.
Battn. left Albert at 9.15 a.m. and marched to Warley arriving at about 12 noon. Very nice warm day. Sent cable through the Base, London, to Dad :– “Well. Love Kate all”.
… arrived at Amplier at about 2 p.m.; nice warm day & fine for marching. Men given leave to Township…
Disinfection parade for men at 8.30 a.m. – then Church Parade Sent 2 parcels to Kate (3 spoons & 1 spoon & book)
Bgde. parade in morning cancelled, so 50th had a route march. Recd parcel from dear Mum also papers.
Nice day. Went for ride with Tom English in afternoon to Steenvoorde returning for dinner…
Attended Lecture & demonstration of new Gas Helmet at Brigade Headquarters. – met Brigadier on road home and had a chat. Nice fine day. Dined at Major Herbert’s – his 29th birthday – had an enjoyable time.
Route march (about 7 miles) in morning. Afternoon – Inspection & Washing Parade. Nice day.
Capts Armitage & Moule & C.Q.M.S. Oliver & others left for leave to England – lucky devils…
… Lecture at 7.30 p.m. by C.O. on “Officers duties in the firing line”. Music & songs followed…
Lecture at 7.30 p.m. at Hdqrs by Capt Wilton – tactical use of Machine Gun. – very good…
To St Omer in afternoon with Capt Loutit, Todd, Wilton & Gordon Campbell. – had photo taken. (laughed just as much as when I had photo taken with dear old Sid & Ned.) Recd nice big useful parcel from dear Kate.
… in papers that 2 Zepps brought down – hurrah. Hot bath at Y.M.C.A…
September 28 1916
Proceeded to Rifle Range at 8.15 a.m. to act as O.C.Range for Battn. Finished at 4.45 p.m.
Concert at 7 p.m. by “Dominos” – men from St Omer garrison – very good indeed & much appreciated.
… Football in afternoon :– “C” Coy V “D” Coy. Scores “D” Coy 4 goals 7 behinds. “C” Coy 1 goal 2 behinds. Very good game…