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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Diary Entry - 26th March, 1917

Walford: The clocks were put forward an hour in the night as new summertime came into force. Owing to this I was an hour late in the morning and thought my alarm watch had failed but found I had failed to put it on. It was raining when we called at six a.m. and simply poured all day. On going to stables found everyone harnessing up. There was a great rush to get the Mess packed as breakfast wasn't until six forty-five and then Hoyland and several others were as usual late. Siggers and I went around the billets and caught the battery up at Beauquesne, finding we were third in the line of march, D 36 leading. As soon as we reported to Suttie, he took us along, including Hoyland, to Douillens, leaving Evans to march the battery, as Cruickshank was billeting at Outrebois. We spent the day mostly eating and drinking. We tried to find a cinema but there wasn't one. Siggers and Hoyland both saw a dentist at three p.m. and the latter spent over an hour in the chair. We left the major at six p.m. and found the battery comfortably established when we got in and we were in the same mess. The Colonel and Thorburn went on leave. Oakley has taken over adjutant's duties and Thorburn was posted to the 71s as captain.

Bee: I was orderly officer today and we had to be on the move early. At stables at five a.m., really four a.m. It was pitch dark up till six a.m. and very warm at seven a.m. when it started to rain very steadily and kept on until midday. D 36 lead, we second and moved off at eight a.m. I came by R A car to Doullens. I have never seen anything like the way the roads are – they are absolutely cut to bits. The traffic must've been tremendous as three months ago they were in a splendid condition. Todd, the doctor met me at Doullens and we went and had my boil opened in the hospital, to try to get some culture for vaccine. It was rather a sore operation but was soon over. I had lunch with Walrond, Padraic Holden, Todd, McClellan (vet) and Colonel Birch, the wagon line Colonel. Major Suttie and his three oldest subalterns had lunch at the same place and all looked very sad. Major Grant Suttie leaves them today and goes to the staff as brigade major. We are all very sorry to lose him out of this division. After lunch I had to walk to our billets which are at Outrebois, about five miles away, and I have never seen anything like the roads in some places - well over my ankles on the road. We are at the big chateau again and the wagon line is far better than we expected.

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