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Friday, 24 December 2010

Diary Entry - 24th December, 1915

Soon after breakfast, the horses having been ordered for ten thirty, Hoyland and I set out for Béthune, to get some port and other foodstuffs from the field force canteen. On arrival in the square, we went straight to the field cashier's office, 1st Army Corps, and collected about 1500 francs. We then made for the barber's and found it full up, as I am told it usually is. Before leaving the cashier's office, I ran across Sanger, who hardly recognised me with my moustache. He is in the 56th, a How battery and, as far as I could gather, their position is somewhere in Harley Street. Shipley is also in the same battery. At twelve, we thought it wise to have lunch, as the Hotel de France is usually well patronised, and the barber could be ambushed when everyone was at lunch. The lunch was pretty poor and, after tiddlywinking about with small dishes, we thought it would be wise to move on, as the lunch seemed to be an endless proceeding. We charged the barber's shop and found that there were six waiting and only two barbers, as the other two were at lunch, so we prepared for a good wait. It was about an hour and a half before we left 'le coiffeur', and we luckily ran into Griffith in the street – this was lucky as we had some chits to give him. At two, we fought our way to the canteen and were lucky in getting what we wanted, after a patient twenty minutes or so. Having seen the goods safely aboard the Mess trap, we went into the square to find the groom and the horses, but they had vanished, so we retired to a café for some refreshment. Our second look around proved successful, as we met Potter, who said he had put the horses undercover at a pub, so we went thither and got underway. We arrived for tea but not without running into a cold squall of rain at Beuvry, which drove us to shelter. Siggers reported, on coming down from the O.B., that the 10 cm gun was again knocking at the front door, but it did not manage to get right inside.


  1. It reads like two different worlds.

    Do have a lovely Christmas with your family and friends, and may you look forward to a contented and healthy 2011.

    Nice to converse like this with you.

  2. A very happy Christmas to you too.