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Monday, 26 December 2011

Diary Entry - 26th December, 1916 to 1st January, 1917

Walford: On the Tuesday, as Suttie was going down to Boulogne in place of the Colonel, who had not returned from leave, to see some camouflage factory, I went with him, my course being on his way. We ran down to the port in an open Sunbeam, and on along the coast towards Calais, to a small village where, after following several other staff cars, we eventually found the place. I waited outside until the Corps commander had finished his tour of inspection then, as Suttie was supposed to lunch with the Corps commander, I retired gracefully to the Louvre hotel, where I was joined a few minutes later by Suttie, who had lost the General. Boulogne was very empty as leave had stopped, owing to a boat having sunk in the mouth of the harbour - the port was closed. After lunch, we visited the fish market, but there was nothing left, so set out for Cressey. It was soon raining and we had to raise the hood. I was dropped at Cressey at about five p.m. I found several other men hunting for billets in the pouring rain. The show was damned badly run – no billets were arranged for and we had to fight for our own. I got a filthy place on top of the Army Post Office. The course was a farce from beginning to end. The lecturers were bad and and we learned little or nothing at all. There were only lectures in the morning so, when we could, in the afternoon we used to try to get into Abbeville by lorry. On Monday at midday my horses arrived and I rode back in the rain, arriving at the battery to find Suttie on leave, Bailey back again and the battery moving on the following morning. There were also awaiting me many letters of congratulations from home.

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