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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Some Pictures and Bertie's First Diary Entry


Bell A, S McCaughey, Walgord, Sanger and self left Australia 26th July by the P and O Majura (?). Came overland from Marseille, landed in London at the beginning of September. Mildred met us at Victoria. Next morning were introduced to RS Gilliard, who did all the dirty work connected with getting our commissions. We were all gazetted in the RFA on 23 September and posted to the baby camp at Ipswich. Our quarters at the latter place were at the horse Artillery barracks. There we did six weeks of training.

At 1 PM on 15th September we were ordered to proceed to Southhampton by the 2 PM train from Waterloo the following day. There were 10 of us from this camp who received marching orders. We applied for leave straight away. Bell was left out of this. This is quite a new thing the officers to go to the front without first going on a course. We had only been in training for six weeks. Most of us packed up right away and went to London that evening. It was a tremendous rush but it did not take us long to get on the move.


With the caveat that I am the world's worst photographer and these pictures are only photographs of old black and white snaps in an album at home, here are some pictures taken of and by my grandfather while in Britain during training and later in France during the war. Sadly, they are in a haphazard order, dictated by my inability to control Blogger technology well:

This is my grandfather. He has written this caption beneath it: "Yours truly, trying to keep out the cold before an advance on Bapaume." 

The caption on this one says "A trench at Beaumont Hamel named Taupin, inhabited by gunners, as shown by the wires, and much strafed.

Nisssan Huts at Aveluy, with 2 Master Sergeant and his horse in distance

A sea of mud where the steeds water at Aveluy

FS Siggers, a smart gunner and a stout friend

Ipswich reconnaissance ride
My Ginger after a blizzard, Goense Peroud (?)
Cruikshank (South Africa), Siggers, Hoyland
Cruikshank, Siggers, Hoyland, Evans
Bee writing up after reconnaissance at Ipswich

Fixing a camera for aerial photography

The horse lines and wagons after a blizzard

On the march. Poles up after water and feed
Loupart Wood, a glimpse of it near a corner most British battery used as a zero line. Taken after the Bosche retired
Nether Avon, where Foster was when we first landed
Nether Avon, with Sam, Mim, Daw, Bell and Uncle
Crossroads near Bapaume - the Hun left them mined, they were all like this
Front row: Siggers, Suttie, Self; back row: Evans, Cruikshank
Grant Suttie
Our position behind Bailleul sugar refinery
Our position near Courcelette, X, to right, equals Mess entrance, O, to left, equals telephone pit, connected by mine shafts
There is no caption on this one but my mother thinks they were ready for a turnout parade for which they were given the wrong directions, so their efforts were in vain


  1. Lovely set of images. It is a shame that more people did not write on their photographs back then. Even my father's photos of WW2 are not written on.

  2. It's quite nice, when the diary gets going, to put faces to some of the names that are mentioned.