Search This Blog

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Diary Entry - 22nd March to 8th April, 1916

These 17 days or so were spent on a course run by the 1st Army at Liettre, the instructor being Major B B Crozier, with Captain Turner of '1' Battery RHA to help him. Liettre is a small village just south of Aire, which is distant 4 miles. The day's work started at eight thirty and continued with several breaks till six. It was divided up with battery drill, lectures, buzzing gun drill, marching drill and several other little items. On Sunday, the school had leisure to do as they pleased and, on the second Sunday, I walked into Aire with four other men. It was a warm, sunny day and we had raised quite a thirst by the time Aire was reached. During our time there, I saw a number of Australians who looked very healthy and strong and their physique seemed to catch the eye of my companions – and in fact they surprised me. We remained in the town for lunch and tea, returning slowly in the evening. The chateau and its grounds at Liettre were very pretty and the building was dated 1704 but, as it had not been inhabited by the Baron for 15 years, things were going to pieces inside. The building consisted of two big towers connected by a two-storey building. The rooms were very large and had large French doors and windows, which made the place very draughty, mainly from the fact that half the windows had been broken by one course having a snowball fight. In the front there was a moat with a bridge which had been one of the draw type, I think. There were large grounds to the place, with huge trees in them. I was luckily billeted in the chateau, in a small room adjoining another bedroom. It was quite comfortable, though at times very draughty, owing to the fact that a door without a latch on it persisted in blowing open. The weather was kind to us there, although for the first week it was inclined to snow and the wind was very strong and cold. On the 8th the IV corps people got into the bus and were taken to their respective headquarters. On coming through division, I enquired of my battery and found that our mess was only a few yards from the bus, so unloaded all kit.


  1. Who was Major Crozier? Was he a Victorian too?

  2. I believe this is probably the man: Major Baptist Barton Crozier, in 1915 he was commanding 56th Battery, 44th Brigade (same Division as Manifolds) and subsequently went on to be a staff officer. Anglo-Irish family I think.