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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Diary Entry - 10th December, 1916

Walford: After three days hard travelling via Southampton and Havre, reached Amiens with Murdoch about two a.m. and tried to get a bed in a hotel, but no one would have us. So we had to spend the time in a YMCA hut full of officers and caught a five a.m. train for Abbeville, where we found a very nice officers' club, after dragging our kit half round the town. It was Sunday and inclined to rain so, after enquiring about the trains to St Riquier and finding no convenient ones, we accosted several motor drivers and found a lorry going our way. At St Riquier, as luck had it, we just hit a leave lorry passing through the town, so jumped up, otherwise we should have had to camp at a dirty little estaminet. At seven, having ridden standing up on the tailboard all the way, we were glad to hear we were at our destination, Maizicourt, a small village, and we were dropped at the gates of RAHQ. Brigade HQ were just on the other side of the road and there we found the Colonel, Todd, Suttie, Thorburn, McKinna (Vet. Off.) and, after having some tea, Suttie showed me the way to the Mess. It had rained steadily all the afternoon.

Bee: I opened the canteen and sold nearly everything I had. Coffee seems to be the chief thing they want, but cannot get a copper or fuel. I got some beer after a struggle, but when I had got it they would not drink it. Today our divisional mail, which had been lost for over six weeks, turned up. I have no spare time these days and find I have not written home for ages. I am still borrowing money for the canteen and now have over 2,000 francs on loan.


  1. The veterinary officer seems likely to be a Lt William Robert McKinna (only commissioned in September 1916, so probably a quite recent arrival)

  2. Thank you, dne1, I've corrected that accordingly. Much appreciated.