The Great War Diaries - 1915 (5th Seaforths)

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<p align="right"> [[Main_Page | WWI Document Archive ]] > [[Diaries, Memorials, Personal Reminiscences]] > '''The Great War Diaries - 1915 (5th Seaforths)''' </p><hr>
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<center><font size =6><b>The Great War diaries of
 
<center><font size =6><b>The Great War diaries of
  
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promotion.</i><br><br>
 
promotion.</i><br><br>
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>JANUARY
+
<center><b>JANUARY
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
+
1915</b></center><br><br>
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>19 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Company drill from 9:30 to 1 p.m. It would get rather feding up if we had much of it. An hour of 'cross-tig' relieved the monotony. In the afternoon, bayonet fighting for NCOs, and then a lecture by Sergt-Major. Very busy all evening and got up to orderly room by 11:30.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Company
 
drill from <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="9">9:30</st1:time> to <st1:time
 
Minute="0" Hour="13">1 p.m.</st1:time> It would get rather feding up if we had
 
much of it. An hour of 'cross-tig' relieved the monotony. In the afternoon,
 
bayonet fighting for NCOs, and then a lecture by Sergt-Major. Very busy all
 
evening and got up to orderly room by <st1:time Hour="11" Minute="30">11:30</st1:time>.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>20 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>20 Jan 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Wakened
 
by reveille. Mac lazy as he hadn't been in bed till 2:30 a.m. Route march to
 
Turvey, somehow I felt less fit than usual. The company marched well going out,
 
but coming in when No. 1 section were leading there was no step in it. 20 men
 
on the sick-list this morning, mostly with chest-colds. No cases of measles in
 
our Company today, but one death in 'G'. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
+
Wakened by reveille. Mac lazy as he hadn't been in bed till 2:30 a.m. Route march to Turvey, somehow I felt less fit than usual. The company marched well going out, but coming in when No. 1 section were leading there was no step in it. 20 men on the sick-list this morning, mostly with chest-colds. No cases of measles in our Company today, but one death in 'G'.  
Colonel and Maj Sinclair left for a fortnight at home tonight. Still there is
+
no word of leave for us.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>21 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Slept
+
The Colonel and Maj Sinclair left for a fortnight at home tonight. Still there is no word of leave for us.
in this morning and had a bit of a rush. Black was orderly officer and I think
+
did ditto as I saw him passing down at 8:30 in very squalid and untidy
+
condition. Company drill under Joe Robertson with Ritson in the background and
+
a military funeral in the neat ['over the wall' inserted above last phrase].
+
Quite cheerful sounds on the pipes. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>It rained all afternoon so
 
the NCOs got a lecture from Ritson and Black consisting of reading aloud
 
extracts from 'Notes from the Front'. Ritson seems to have a good grasp of
 
theory at any rate but too excitable.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Margaret
+
<center><b>21 Jan 15</b></center>
and her mother at tea.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Mac
 
got his Corporal strips tonight, dating back to 12th December so he draws a big
 
pay. He's chucking things about in the kitchen now. I am writing this in the
 
lavvy as Jimmie was in our house in one of his frequent states of fed-up-ness.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>One
+
Slept in this morning and had a bit of a rush. Black was orderly officer and I think did ditto as I saw him passing down at 8:30 in very squalid and untidy condition. Company drill under Joe Robertson with Ritson in the background and a military funeral in the neat ['over the wall' inserted above last phrase]. Quite cheerful sounds on the pipes.
death in 'A' today, and I believe 2 in 'H' yesterday.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>22 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
It rained all afternoon so the NCOs got a lecture from Ritson and Black consisting of reading aloud extracts from 'Notes from the Front'. Ritson seems to have a good grasp of theory at any rate but too excitable.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>There
 
was nearly a mutiny this morning when the men were told to parade with their
 
equipment which still wringing wet on. The Adjie wouldn't give in but when half
 
the battalion paraded without it he had to send them back for an hour to get
 
great coats. Route-march round by Rinhold and Cleat Hill raining most of the
 
way. I enjoyed it very much.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Afternoon
+
Margaret and her mother at tea.
pay and rations. Lecture from Sergt-Major. He thought this about wet equipment
+
- 'a damn good joke'. He insisted on punctuality on parade, which is certainly
+
necessary. Our men aren't smart enough yet at turning out. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Mac
 
sleeping up in Orderly Room tonight as he got a little slap last night because
 
Gwyneth had a bad throat - mostly sham I'm thinking. She was alright today and
 
Pitman was in her room till after <st1:time Hour="22" Minute="30">10:30 p.m.</st1:time></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Mac got his Corporal strips tonight, dating back to 12th December so he draws a big pay. He's chucking things about in the kitchen now. I am writing this in the lavvy as Jimmie was in our house in one of his frequent states of fed-up-ness.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>24 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Went
+
One death in 'A' today, and I believe 2 in 'H' yesterday.
to <st1:City><st1:place>St Paul</st1:place></st1:City>'s Church and <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>English</st1:PlaceName>
+
<st1:PlaceType>Church</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> boys. Delighted to get my
+
spell of Orderly Sergeant over and so was Mac. Along at tea with Rev Herbert
+
Reid and met Davidson McKenzie and Miss Strang. The former isn't such a great
+
bug as I used to think him, nor as he thinks himself. No side about the Rev
+
Hubert.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>25 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Tonight
+
<center><b>22 Jan 15</b></center>
I was on Town-picket - the <st1:Street><st1:address>High St</st1:address></st1:Street>,
+
with 4 men of 'B' and had a very good time.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>26 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Platoon
+
There was nearly a mutiny this morning when the men were told to parade with their equipment which still wringing wet on. The Adjie wouldn't give in but when half the battalion paraded without it he had to send them back for an hour to get great coats. Route-march round by Rinhold and Cleat Hill raining most of the way. I enjoyed it very much.
drill and bayonet fighting this morning with pack and ammunition. Two of 'C'
+
Company with about 20 others left this afternoon with ammunition and blankets
+
for unknown destination. Everybody much excited and much speculation as to
+
where they are going to and what it may mean for the battalion. Rumours of <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Edinburgh</st1:PlaceName>
+
<st1:PlaceType>Castle</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> or <st1:place>Inverness</st1:place>.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>After
 
afternoon parade I found myself and 2 of 'C' detailed to go on similar duty.
 
Russell was picked and Jim Matheson. We paraded in 15 minutes, expecting great
 
things and feeling very big. It turned out to be picket duty at Herring Green
 
crossroads with orders to stop all cars and take number, etc. This result of
 
last Zeppelin raid as the airships are thought to have been guided by cars with
 
powerful headlights. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>We
+
Afternoon pay and rations. Lecture from Sergt-Major. He thought this about wet equipment - 'a damn good joke'. He insisted on punctuality on parade, which is certainly necessary. Our men aren't smart enough yet at turning out.
barricaded the road with carts and took turns - 2hours on and 4 hours off. Not
+
very exciting and very cold, but more exciting than platoon drill. My first
+
experience at sleeping out and none too pleasant, but I think it wouldn't kill
+
me.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>27 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Mac sleeping up in Orderly Room tonight as he got a little slap last night because Gwyneth had a bad throat - mostly sham I'm thinking. She was alright today and Pitman was in her room till after 10:30 p.m.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
 
Kaiser's Birthday - bless 'im!</p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Got
+
<center><b>24 Jan 15</b></center>
into <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City> at <st1:time Minute="0"
+
Hour="9">9 a.m.</st1:time> after rather a smart walk. Slept from 10 to 12 and
+
paraded again at 3 for the same duty as yesterday. Mac rather annoyed as I
+
didn't tell him where we were, but he had a pretty good ideal all the same. Our
+
officers say they heard an airship of some sort over <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City>
+
last night but nobody seems to have seen it. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>We
 
got out to Cardington at <st1:time Hour="16" Minute="0">4 p.m.</st1:time> and
 
took up our quarters this time at the Pub - The Anchor Inn. It is a very cold
 
night and like snow, but Pitman got tea for us here and if it wasn't for the
 
skittles we might have a very good time. Tonight we got order to turn back
 
every motor car or m. bike, so things are soon interesting.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>28 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
We went to St Paul's Church and English Church boys. Delighted to get my spell of Orderly Sergeant over and so was Mac. Along at tea with Rev Herbert Reid and met Davidson McKenzie and Miss Strang. The former isn't such a great bug as I used to think him, nor as he thinks himself. No side about the Rev Hubert.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>We
 
took up our positions again at <st1:time Hour="16" Minute="30">4:30</st1:time>.
 
I had from 6 to 8 and 12 to 2. A fine night, coldish but dry. The time passed
 
very quickly, sitting very comfortably in a cart of straw. Jim getting on my
 
nerves with his songs or rather his song. He has improved though with the
 
change of work and under strenuous conditions might be a keen man. Pitman had
 
to sleep by the roadside as he was the only one who knew the password. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>No cars were to be turned
+
<center><b>25 Jan 15</b></center>
back, except officers who hadn't the password. Very little doing - they seem to
+
be avoiding the place.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>29 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Got
+
Tonight I was on Town-picket - the High St, with 4 men of 'B' and had a very good time.
in to <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City> at <st1:time Hour="8"
+
Minute="30">8:30</st1:time> and as we got word that our special duty is now at
+
an end we had a free day. I was down town in the morning and again on special
+
pass at night. Went to 'Grumpy' which was very good. The best thing I have seen
+
here so far.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>30 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>I
+
<center><b>26 Jan 15</b></center>
was helping <st1:place>W. Ritson</st1:place> today with the billets as his
+
clerk is on leave. I shouldn't care for his job, or his clerk's either. R. can
+
be very disagreeable when he wants. In the afternoon I played soccer for 'E' v
+
'G'. We beat them 8-1. It wasn't a great match but I was delighted to be
+
playing football once again. I think I must be as fit now as ever I was.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Today
 
the new double company system was inaugurated and henceforth we form, along
 
with 'F', the new 'C'. We are all sorry to bid goodbye to the old state of
 
affairs, which seemed to work very well, and in which we were all very happy.
 
We aren't keen on 'F' as they are a pretty rough and coarse crowd, but no doubt
 
will improve on acquaintance.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>31 Jan 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Platoon drill and bayonet fighting this morning with pack and ammunition. Two of 'C' Company with about 20 others left this afternoon with ammunition and blankets for unknown destination. Everybody much excited and much speculation as to where they are going to and what it may mean for the battalion. Rumours of Edinburgh Castle or Inverness.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>I
 
had made up my mind to get a lot of letters written today, but only managed
 
three. Church Parade in the morning and we got a good sermon from the Cameron
 
chaplain. He always makes an impression and rivets the attention of the men:
 
reminds me in voice and manner of Daniel S Calderwood. In the evening I went to
 
Corn Exchange Concert but was asleep most of the time.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>FEBRUARY
+
After afternoon parade I found myself and 2 of 'C' detailed to go on similar duty. Russell was picked and Jim Matheson. We paraded in 15 minutes, expecting great things and feeling very big. It turned out to be picket duty at Herring Green crossroads with orders to stop all cars and take number, etc. This result of last Zeppelin raid as the airships are thought to have been guided by cars with powerful headlights.  
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>01 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Paraded
+
We barricaded the road with carts and took turns - 2hours on and 4 hours off. Not very exciting and very cold, but more exciting than platoon drill. My first experience at sleeping out and none too pleasant, but I think it wouldn't kill me.
under company arrangements - company drill and physical exercises in the
+
forenoon and musketry in afternoon. I find I have forgotten most of the
+
musketry and expect that most of the NCOs are in the same box. I put Davidson
+
onto my squad - he was a musketry instructor. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Ian and I went and had out
 
photographs taken again and I hope they will be more successful than the last.
 
We went to 'Brewster's Millions' with Mrs. Platts. Mac is living up to, if not
 
beyond his pay - a very bad habit. His late hours must tell him sooner or later
 
and if he doesn't chuck them soon I will speak to Mrs. Platts.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>02 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>27 Jan 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Parade
 
at <st1:time Minute="45" Hour="19">7:45</st1:time>. Marched round by Wilden
 
Shrubbery and Sevick End with ammunition 120 rounds. Pace very hot and
 
atmosphere muggy in the extreme. The whole division was on the road and marched
 
past Sir Ian Hamilton at Goldington Green. We marched past very well and I hope
 
made a good impression. Kept a perfect step from Goldington to <st1:Street><st1:address>Clarendon
 
  St</st1:address></st1:Street>. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Soccer match between 'C'
+
The Kaiser's Birthday - bless 'im!
and 'D' ended 3 all although we had the best of the game. Got a little writing
+
done tonight but still have heaps to do.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>03 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Parade
+
Got into Bedford at 9 a.m. after rather a smart walk. Slept from 10 to 12 and paraded again at 3 for the same duty as yesterday. Mac rather annoyed as I didn't tell him where we were, but he had a pretty good ideal all the same. Our officers say they heard an airship of some sort over Bedford last night but nobody seems to have seen it.  
at <st1:time Minute="45" Hour="8">8:45</st1:time>, for a concentration route
+
march to Sevick Farm. Our company went by Goldington and Water-end. The
+
marching was very good. After we got to Sevick each company went on its own for
+
some extended order work. No. 1 platoon was in reserve, under George Forbes and
+
got wiped out by being too far up and coming under fire in artillery formation.
+
I don't think that my section, of 8 men, would have suffered so severely. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In the evening we were at
 
Dr. Bell's for dinner and progressive whist. A lovely house and very hospitable
 
people; especially as they had never seen a lot of us before. There were 20 of
 
us, mostly Englishmen. Bailey and Mac sang. One of the 4th home from the front
 
was there. He's not keen on going back.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>04 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
We got out to Cardington at 4 p.m. and took up our quarters this time at the Pub - The Anchor Inn. It is a very cold night and like snow, but Pitman got tea for us here and if it wasn't for the skittles we might have a very good time. Tonight we got order to turn back every motor car or m. bike, so things are soon interesting.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Today
 
I was helping Ritson to pay the billets. This is rather monotonous work, only
 
Ritson's arithmetic is occasionally diverting. What neat, clean house most of
 
the people keep - 'We're poor but we like to be tidy and comfortable&quot;. R.
 
was in better tune today. Mac, Addie and Jim digging drains all day at <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Harrowden</st1:PlaceName>
 
<st1:PlaceType>Range</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, came back dead tired. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Jim is trying for a
+
<center><b>28 Jan 15</b></center>
commission in one of the Reserve Battalions or more preferably the 5th. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>I hear Willie Torrance is
 
not expected to get better - pneumonia. Am very sorry for his mother. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got a 'permanent' pass till
+
We took up our positions again at 4:30. I had from 6 to 8 and 12 to 2. A fine night, coldish but dry. The time passed very quickly, sitting very comfortably in a cart of straw. Jim getting on my nerves with his songs or rather his song. He has improved though with the change of work and under strenuous conditions might be a keen man. Pitman had to sleep by the roadside as he was the only one who knew the password.  
Tuesday from Ritson and went down town. Had an unsatisfactory evening and will
+
not waste another in the same way. Mac is for his first quarter guard tomorrow
+
and I have been coaching him. Had a very cheery letter today from Louise.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>05 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>With
+
No cars were to be turned back, except officers who hadn't the password. Very little doing - they seem to be avoiding the place.
Ritson again paying the billets. He bangs into the houses in the most
+
unceremonious fashion, but all over today he wasn't unsympathetic. It's when he
+
is crossed in the least little detail that he loses his rag: and he can't abide
+
to be chaffed. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Jim Miller who was more
 
than half tight and was in seeing Nanna, has somewhat raised my hopes of a
 
commission, but I don't know I want one. I wonder whether Ritson has not an
 
inkling of it and is not trying to get the billeting job shifted onto my
 
shoulders. I wouldn't have it at any price. I hear there are 8 vacancies - Jim
 
says the Colonel has been speaking to him on the QT.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>06 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>29 Jan 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>More
 
billet-paying today. I thought that I was going to have the afternoon off but
 
Ritson was anxious to get on with the work, so we on till <st1:time Hour="16"
 
Minute="0">4 p.m.</st1:time> </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Then I went down town, had
+
Got in to Bedford at 8:30 and as we got word that our special duty is now at an end we had a free day. I was down town in the morning and again on special pass at night. Went to 'Grumpy' which was very good. The best thing I have seen here so far.
tea and went to the Chums and to the Palace, enjoyed myself in a quiet way. The
+
Chums are getting on my nerves: they aren't a bit clever - except for Harold
+
Johnson himself. I can't make out whether he is acting a part of not.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>07 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Church
+
<center><b>30 Jan 15</b></center>
parade at <st1:time Hour="19" Minute="35">7:35</st1:time> and didn't move off
+
till <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="20">8:20</st1:time> - absurd. Sermon quite good
+
from the thin man. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Helped Ritson an hour or
 
two with his books and wasted the afternoon reading a novel.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Wrote
+
I was helping W. Ritson today with the billets as his clerk is on leave. I shouldn't care for his job, or his clerk's either. R. can be very disagreeable when he wants. In the afternoon I played soccer for 'E' v 'G'. We beat them 8-1. It wasn't a great match but I was delighted to be playing football once again. I think I must be as fit now as ever I was.
home after tea, but didn't give them any idea that leave is starting as we may
+
be disappointed. Escorted Margaret home on my way to the Corn Exchange Concert.
+
I rather like her, but don't know her well enough. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Mac and Gwyneth are
 
downstairs now singing - howling rag tunes and making hideous the Sabbath
 
evening.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>08 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Today the new double company system was inaugurated and henceforth we form, along with 'F', the new 'C'. We are all sorry to bid goodbye to the old state of affairs, which seemed to work very well, and in which we were all very happy. We aren't keen on 'F' as they are a pretty rough and coarse crowd, but no doubt will improve on acquaintance.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Billeting
 
again and got a good deal done in the afternoon. At three Ritson had an
 
appointment and that spoiled us. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went down town and examined
+
<center><b>31 Jan 15</b></center>
Hockliffe's secondhand bookshop: picked up one or two geological book of an
+
ancient order. Also A.W. Russell's &quot;World of Life&quot;. Had tea and went
+
to the Whip. The staging rather ambitious but not bad considering the amount of
+
space at their disposal. Mac is going North on Wednesday and is in
+
correspondingly good form. Met Scott tonight in <st1:Street><st1:address>High
+
  St.</st1:address></st1:Street> - of Edin. <st1:place>Battery</st1:place>.
+
He's a L/Cpl in the 4th Gordons.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>09 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
+
I had made up my mind to get a lot of letters written today, but only managed three. Church Parade in the morning and we got a good sermon from the Cameron chaplain. He always makes an impression and rivets the attention of the men: reminds me in voice and manner of Daniel S Calderwood. In the evening I went to Corn Exchange Concert but was asleep most of the time.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>10 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Mac
+
<center><b>FEBRUARY 1915</b></center>
left today for seven days leave. Harcus went too. They were very cheery. Ritson
+
and I went down to the station and afterwards to the Empire he standing me in.
+
Not bad but rather vulgar. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Weighed myself at the
 
station: found I have put on nearly a stone since coming down but that is with
 
the kilt instead of trousers. Am now 10st 3 lbs in uniform.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>11 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>01 Feb 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Billets
 
all day: am beginning to like the work, and also to be very lazy in the
 
mornings.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Along to Mrs. Campion's at
+
Paraded under company arrangements - company drill and physical exercises in the forenoon and musketry in afternoon. I find I have forgotten most of the musketry and expect that most of the NCOs are in the same box. I put Davidson onto my squad - he was a musketry instructor.  
night and played bridge with the girls. They are quite good and I like them. I
+
can't stand complicated girls.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>12 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Paid
+
Ian and I went and had out photographs taken again and I hope they will be more successful than the last. We went to 'Brewster's Millions' with Mrs. Platts. Mac is living up to, if not beyond his pay - a very bad habit. His late hours must tell him sooner or later and if he doesn't chuck them soon I will speak to Mrs. Platts.
the last of the billets today and another rummage with Ritson in Hockliffe's
+
old books, but didn't get anything. Worked in R's billet in the afternoon,
+
arranging the forms. Had a yarn with Mrs. Mortimer. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Nothing doing at night it
 
has been very cold all day, and I haven't got decently warmed up once.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>13 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>02 Feb 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>A
 
wet rotten day with sleet. Slimed [?] in the Orderly Room most of the morning.
 
In the afternoon played Ellis at Chess and he wiped me: we are about evenly
 
matched - he's probably a little better than me. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After tea, went to The
+
Parade at 7:45. Marched round by Wilden Shrubbery and Sevick End with ammunition 120 rounds. Pace very hot and atmosphere muggy in the extreme. The whole division was on the road and marched past Sir Ian Hamilton at Goldington Green. We marched past very well and I hope made a good impression. Kept a perfect step from Goldington to Clarendon St.  
Chums with Ritson - he paying. Programme not bad. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The Colonel interviewed a
 
lot of fellows today, with a view to commissions - in this battalion. He didn't
 
take me, which is either a very hopeful sign - or a hopeless one. I think
 
Ritson is trying to wangle me in for his present job, but he won't manage it.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>14 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Soccer match between 'C' and 'D' ended 3 all although we had the best of the game. Got a little writing done tonight but still have heaps to do.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Muggy
 
and wet. Church parade at <st1:time Minute="45" Hour="8">8:45</st1:time>. Got a
 
very good sermon from the Cameron chaplain. Got a word from Willie for wearing
 
my khaki hosetops on dress parade. Felt ratty at him. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wrote home; and spent
+
<center><b>03 Feb 15</b></center>
afternoon in Ritson's doing company drill with matches. He has the double
+
company this week as Joe R is on furlough; and he's nervous about it. Went down
+
to Church in the evening but so late. Went to Corn Exchange Concert - quite
+
good. A fine soprano, and Blake of the Camerons.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>15 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Cold
+
Parade at 8:45, for a concentration route march to Sevick Farm. Our company went by Goldington and Water-end. The marching was very good. After we got to Sevick each company went on its own for some extended order work. No. 1 platoon was in reserve, under George Forbes and got wiped out by being too far up and coming under fire in artillery formation. I don't think that my section, of 8 men, would have suffered so severely.  
and bright. Battalion moved off at <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="30">9:30</st1:time>
+
and marched out about five miles towards Turvey. From there advanced
+
cross-country in artillery formation for a mile and a half or so. Poll and I
+
had a platoon to ourselves. We finished up with an advance in open order, of a
+
very ragged sort. We badly need training in extended order. Ritson in his
+
element, his language too grandiloquent. Some of the fields very soft and
+
claggy. Marched about six miles home and arrived at <st1:time Hour="16"
+
Minute="30">4:30</st1:time>. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In orders tonight, extract
 
from King's Regulations which seems to say we must not shave upper lip -
 
whiskers moderate if any. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Jim had a row with Gwyneth
+
In the evening we were at Dr. Bell's for dinner and progressive whist. A lovely house and very hospitable people; especially as they had never seen a lot of us before. There were 20 of us, mostly Englishmen. Bailey and Mac sang. One of the 4th home from the front was there. He's not keen on going back.
and then with Nanna. How absurd we can all be.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>16 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Another
+
<center><b>04 Feb 15</b></center>
magnificent day - the sun is getting quite warm. 'C' marched out to <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Bromham</st1:PlaceName>
+
<st1:PlaceType>Bridge</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> and then took up an outpost
+
position to cover it. Had charge of a picket and got on quite well. Willie and
+
Black were the only officers out. We lay down for a couple of hours and then
+
marched round by Stevington and the Stagsden road. The pace was a little hot
+
and even Willie was a little pegged. He doesn't seem to remember we carry more
+
than he does. No one fell out but Addie had blistered feet and no doubt there
+
are others. Got in at <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="15">3:30</st1:time>. Most
+
enjoyable and healthy day. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Down town in the evening
 
for a few necessaries and spent the rest of the time getting my kit packed. I
 
don't feel the least bit excited about going home. Jim cooked some haggis and
 
it's lying heavy on my stomach now.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>17 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Today I was helping Ritson to pay the billets. This is rather monotonous work, only Ritson's arithmetic is occasionally diverting. What neat, clean house most of the people keep - 'We're poor but we like to be tidy and comfortable". R. was in better tune today. Mac, Addie and Jim digging drains all day at Harrowden Range, came back dead tired.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>It
 
turned out wet today - so wet that the battalion didn't go out. I was glad as I
 
had all my things clean and ready for the journey. We left about <st1:time
 
Hour="8" Minute="0">8 o'clock</st1:time> at night, marching down to the station
 
in great form and best of spirits.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>18 - 24 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Jim is trying for a commission in one of the Reserve Battalions or more preferably the 5th.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>25 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
I hear Willie Torrance is not expected to get better - pneumonia. Am very sorry for his mother.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Got
 
into <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City> about <st1:time
 
Minute="0" Hour="9">9 a.m.</st1:time> Coming up <st1:Street><st1:address>Clarendon
 
  St</st1:address></st1:Street> we found the remnants of the Company (8)
 
already paraded and George in the middle of them waving wildly. I had expected him
 
to be much older looking: instead of that he is just the same as when he went
 
out. I thought that we would be getting off parade but the Adjie sent for us
 
and we had to follow up the Company. Drill in close order all morning. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Afternoon off. </p>
+
Got a 'permanent' pass till Tuesday from Ritson and went down town. Had an unsatisfactory evening and will not waste another in the same way. Mac is for his first quarter guard tomorrow and I have been coaching him. Had a very cheery letter today from Louise.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>At <st1:time Minute="30"
 
Hour="16">4:30</st1:time> parade for outpost duty. We marched out to Stagsden;
 
a lovely night , bright moonlight and George and I had plenty to speak about
 
all the way. We were put out under Harcus, as a screen to the position, and
 
then withdrawn as the supports. The Colonel came along and said support should
 
entrench - which I doubt. Pretty cold waiting about, but a stiff march in
 
warmed us up plenty: me nearly asleep on the march, and glad to get to bed.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>26 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>05 Feb 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Marched
 
out past the Swan Inn, and fought out to Stagsden. A perfect day. George is
 
very keen. Most of the way was through woods with thorny undergrowth. Our
 
section finished up with what appeared to me a very knutty piece of strategy,
 
but the Adjie galloped up and put half of us out of action. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Drew 42/7 today for the
+
With Ritson again paying the billets. He bangs into the houses in the most unceremonious fashion, but all over today he wasn't unsympathetic. It's when he is crossed in the least little detail that he loses his rag: and he can't abide to be chaffed.  
last 2 weeks. Am feeling rather depressed today - no doubt a reaction after
+
furlough and even George's presence can't shake it off altogether. Regular fed
+
up with the family.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>27 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Laurie
+
Jim Miller who was more than half tight and was in seeing Nanna, has somewhat raised my hopes of a commission, but I don't know I want one. I wonder whether Ritson has not an inkling of it and is not trying to get the billeting job shifted onto my shoulders. I wouldn't have it at any price. I hear there are 8 vacancies - Jim says the Colonel has been speaking to him on the QT.
and I got a swearing from the Adjie today because he saw some of the men
+
scratching their faces when they were at attention. He's getting very snotty
+
about details, so I suppose we'll have to stiffen up too. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Company out in the field
 
above the Cemetery, practicing bayonet charging against sacks of straw. The
 
sacks were set up as an extended line: good fun but not far good as instruction
 
went: not enough ground. George was at musketry instruction in Mod. School
 
Park, and was pretty fed up with standing about. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In the afternoon we went to
+
<center><b>06 Feb 15</b></center>
Rugby Match, and at night George and Ian and I were down town on pass. We had
+
tea in Dudeney &amp; Johnson's; went to the Chums and enjoyed ourselves very
+
much. The 'ass' is very like George. Went to the second house of the Empire.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>28 Feb 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Dreamt
+
More billet-paying today. I thought that I was going to have the afternoon off but Ritson was anxious to get on with the work, so we on till 4 p.m.
last night the Adjie told me he wouldn't recommend me for a commission. I gave
+
him a bit of my mind. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Church parade today at <st1:time
+
Then I went down town, had tea and went to the Chums and to the Palace, enjoyed myself in a quiet way. The Chums are getting on my nerves: they aren't a bit clever - except for Harold Johnson himself. I can't make out whether he is acting a part of not.
Minute="45" Hour="8">8:45</st1:time>, to the Baptist Chapel. Quite a good
+
sermon on sacrifice: church done up inside like an ice-cream shop. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After dinner Geo, Ian,
 
Addie and I walked out to the Swan, ordered tea and went on round by Stagsden.
 
A perfect day, as clear as any we have had here for a long time. </p>
 
  
<p>Coming back from Stagsden we were hailed by the tract-delivering parson, so
+
<center><b>07 Feb 15</b></center>
we took to our heels. He wanted us up to tea - judging from his gesticulations,
+
so went back and explained and received a few tracts. George wild we couldn't
+
accept his invitation, as the daughter seemed 'a peach'. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Tea at the Swan: the
 
landlord rather unpleasant about tossing. Walked home: Geo. sent Addie
 
sprawling.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>MARCH
+
Church parade at 7:35 and didn't move off till 8:20 - absurd. Sermon quite good from the thin man.  
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>01 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Started running drill at <st1:time
+
Helped Ritson an hour or two with his books and wasted the afternoon reading a novel.
Minute="15" Hour="19">7:15</st1:time> this morning, the Sergeant-Major leading.
+
Going on parade at <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="45">8:45</st1:time>, Capt Ritson
+
bagged me for billeting staff. I wasn't sorry to go as it made my position
+
secure for tonight. I let him know I wouldn't have his job if I get a
+
commission, and he said M'Intosh in the orderly room would likely be put onto
+
it. So that's all right, and I have my pass. Didn't get a lot of billets done
+
as there were a lot of mistakes owing to furlough, etc.</p>
+
  
<p>Went down town at <st1:time Hour="18" Minute="30">6:30</st1:time> as arranged
 
and saw The Girl from <st1:State><st1:place>Utah</st1:place></st1:State>. It
 
was about the best thing I have seen here - certainly the best musical comedy.
 
The actresses were pretty, and almost proper. I like Kitty very much: nice and
 
quiet.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>02 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Wrote home after tea, but didn't give them any idea that leave is starting as we may be disappointed. Escorted Margaret home on my way to the Corn Exchange Concert. I rather like her, but don't know her well enough.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Running drill at 7:15.
 
Paying billets with Ritson and Sandy Ross. The latter's services were
 
requisitioned in order that the Captain might be saved the labour of writing
 
out the amended forms.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>03 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Mac and Gwyneth are downstairs now singing - howling rag tunes and making hideous the Sabbath evening.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>This was to be a divisional
 
day but turned out wet so we turned in. Had a reading in the office, and a
 
short route march in the afternoon round by Oakley and Bromhaw. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>At night we were hauled out
+
<center><b>08 Feb 15</b></center>
to a concert nobody wanted to go to. It turned out to be a dancing display by
+
some school kids very good in its way but not the sort of meat and drink the Army
+
wants. One little girl of 9 was a splendid turn - comic songs, etc. and should
+
make her name.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>04 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Running drill at <st1:time
+
Billeting again and got a good deal done in the afternoon. At three Ritson had an appointment and that spoiled us.  
Hour="19" Minute="15">7:15</st1:time> paraded in full marching order at <st1:time
+
Hour="8" Minute="15">8:15</st1:time>. We marched out to Stagsden and from there
+
advanced cross country towards Stevington, in extended order the whole way. The
+
6th Seaforth were on our immediate right and we got rather boxed up against the
+
road which was the left flank boundary. Marched in from Stevington, 'C' company
+
next the band. Willie was paying great attention to covering today. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went down town tonight to
 
the Picture-drome. Came back early. Gwyneth has had toothache for the last two
 
or three days and Mac and George have had to take turns at holding her hand.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>05 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Went down town and examined Hockliffe's secondhand bookshop: picked up one or two geological book of an ancient order. Also A.W. Russell's "World of Life". Had tea and went to the Whip. The staging rather ambitious but not bad considering the amount of space at their disposal. Mac is going North on Wednesday and is in correspondingly good form. Met Scott tonight in High St. - of Edin. Battery. He's a L/Cpl in the 4th Gordons.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Running drill at 7:15.
 
Battalion parade at <st1:time Minute="15" Hour="9">9:15</st1:time> for
 
trenching. We had only to go up above the Cemetery and had a pretty slack day.
 
Our squad practised entrenching with the small tools - the first time we have
 
used them. The Brigadier was knocking about. We had 35 minutes to cook and eat
 
our dinner and were back to work again till after four. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After tea I wrote home.
+
<center><b>09 Feb 15</b></center>
George and Ian are both 'out' as regards the house and doubt if they will ever
+
smell it again.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>06 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We had a so-called medical
+
Blank
inspection at nine. It consisted of our new M.O. walking briskly along the
+
ranks and studying the men's' boots. At 10 we marched up to Clapham park to get
+
into the trenches again. We had two shifts and Willie was for making us do
+
handling of arms when we came out of the trench. However we marched them to the
+
hedge and sat down. He is probably the most unpopular officer in the battalion
+
now: he used to be the most popular. 'F' Company vow to school him when we get
+
into action. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Jim Miller, Blake and I had
 
to parade to the Brigade Office at <st1:time Hour="15" Minute="0">3 p.m.</st1:time>
 
and interviewed the Brigadier. The Brigadier was quite affable and signed our
 
papers. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span><st1:City><st1:place>Cambridge</st1:place></st1:City>
+
<center><b>10 Feb 15</b></center>
played the Highland Division at Rugger this afternoon and got beaten. <st1:City><st1:place>Cambridge</st1:place></st1:City>
+
had a very poor team they didn't seem to have played much together, and looked
+
rather a rag-a-muffin bunch. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>George and Ian on pass
 
tonight.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>07 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Mac left today for seven days leave. Harcus went too. They were very cheery. Ritson and I went down to the station and afterwards to the Empire he standing me in. Not bad but rather vulgar.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Church parade at <st1:time
 
Minute="20" Hour="8">8:20</st1:time>. Good sermon from the new chaplain. The
 
Camerons have already had some casualties. Took Orderly Sergt's work over for
 
the day as Laurie was B.O.S. so that I didn't get out of the billeting area.
 
Wrote Rob Alexander. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Black and Howie were in to
+
Weighed myself at the station: found I have put on nearly a stone since coming down but that is with the kilt instead of trousers. Am now 10st 3 lbs in uniform.
supper.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>08 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Running drill at 7:15. Very
+
<center><b>11 Feb 15</b></center>
cold, and snowing slightly. George not on duty yet as he was inoculated on
+
Saturday. Company drill was cancelled and battalion went out for a route march
+
- Milton Ernest, Filimousham, Pavenham, Stevington and Oakley. A splendid day
+
for marching - cold and bracing and blinks of warm sun between the showers of
+
small snow. The buds are on the hedges. The Company marched well today, and
+
with a little care on the part of some NCOs - especially Laurie and M'Adie we
+
would have a good marching coy. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Dinner at <st1:time
 
Hour="15" Minute="0">3 p.m.</st1:time>: afternoon tea in the park and then
 
again in 21. 'M' arrived this morning to Ian's discomfiture who was in
 
Gwyneth&#8217;s bedroom at the time. He has come from <st1:country-region><st1:place>China</st1:place></st1:country-region>
 
to join. It will be interesting to watch developments.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>09 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Billets all day: am beginning to like the work, and also to be very lazy in the mornings.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Marched out to near
 
Stagsden and did the same scheme as on Thursday's last. This time we were the
 
supports and had a most pleasant cross-country ramble - more like a botanical
 
excursion than a sham fight.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>10 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Along to Mrs. Campion's at night and played bridge with the girls. They are quite good and I like them. I can't stand complicated girls.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had the parade S_a_ [?]
 
etc. in good time, having been up at 6. Marched out towards Colmworth and
 
division attacked Gordons in direction of in the direction of Milton Ernest.
 
When we just beginning - I was with the supports, the Adjie came and ordered me
 
to take the pack-ponies to the ammunition column. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>I managed to catch them up
+
<center><b>12 Feb 15</b></center>
after about an hours march. Then we stood for several hours on the road, very
+
cold. Moved forward and came abreast two batteries in action. No sign of our
+
battalion and I believe the commander of the column had quite lost touch with
+
most of the infantry including ours The 6th lost touch with the 5th and seem to
+
have lost themselves into the bargain. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had a good march home, fine
 
exhilarating weather. Got in after 4, one of the longest days we've had. </p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>11 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Paid the last of the billets today and another rummage with Ritson in Hockliffe's old books, but didn't get anything. Worked in R's billet in the afternoon, arranging the forms. Had a yarn with Mrs. Mortimer.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>With J. Ritson today,
 
working all morning in the Orderly Room. Wonder if I'll take as badly to
 
laboratory work as I do to office work. In the afternoon we paid some outlying
 
billets, in a very lackadaisical state. JJR infects me that way. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had tea in the pavilion
+
Nothing doing at night it has been very cold all day, and I haven't got decently warmed up once.
with George and Ian, and Dolly sat and gassed till we were fair fed up. Nanna
+
is jealous. Went down town to the Picture-drome. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Hear Major M'Millan told
 
Willie of in the mess last night. Willie gets more unpopular every day.
 
M'Millan told him to look out when he got to <st1:country-region><st1:place>France</st1:place></st1:country-region>.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>12 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>13 Feb 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Quite a good day, and did
 
practically no work. I was in the Orderly Room till about 10, then went down
 
town and spent the rest of the forenoon looking round the 2nd hand bookshop.
 
Didn't see anything good. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After dinner went with
+
A wet rotten day with sleet. Slimed [?] in the Orderly Room most of the morning. In the afternoon played Ellis at Chess and he wiped me: we are about evenly matched - he's probably a little better than me.  
Ritson and Ian to the Bank and was free at <st1:time Hour="15" Minute="0">3
+
p.m.</st1:time> Had tea in the pavilion. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After tea at 21 I wrote
 
home and found my diary a great help. Black was in practising songs tonight and
 
has settled on 'My Old Shako'. He hasn't got a voice or a temperament for it
 
and woes me playing for him and Gwyneth, I hear they are going to rag Willie.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>13 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
After tea, went to The Chums with Ritson - he paying. Programme not bad.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>With Ritson in <st1:Street><st1:address>Foster
 
  Hill Rd</st1:address></st1:Street> estimating the damage done by the men in
 
some of the empty houses. A good deal of damage, much of it apparently wilful,
 
but I believe nothing to what has been the case in some of the Morayshire
 
billets. Banisters, wainscoting, etc burnt up and marble mantelpieces in
 
smithereens, but I didn't see any as bad as that. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Concert at night a great
+
The Colonel interviewed a lot of fellows today, with a view to commissions - in this battalion. He didn't take me, which is either a very hopeful sign - or a hopeless one. I think Ritson is trying to wangle me in for his present job, but he won't manage it.
success. Black didn't turn up for which I was sincerely thankful. Gwyneth
+
surprised me, singing so well. Cowper of the Groat was down for the occasion
+
and was quite successful in one or two of his songs, though they were of the
+
usual antediluvian order. Willie and Ritson both sang, but very nervous. Willie
+
got a good reception. The Sergt-Major danced the Highland Fling.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>14 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Church parade at <st1:time
+
<center><b>14 Feb 15</b></center>
Minute="45" Hour="8">8:45</st1:time>. A new chaplain this morning and he had a
+
husky throat. Not nearly so much coughing in Church now. Tea in the pavilion
+
relieved the monotony of the day. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went to <st1:City><st1:place>St.
 
  Paul</st1:place></st1:City>'s with George at night and were shown into a
 
front seat, where our ignorance of the service must have been most apparent.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>15 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Muggy and wet. Church parade at 8:45. Got a very good sermon from the Cameron chaplain. Got a word from Willie for wearing my khaki hosetops on dress parade. Felt ratty at him.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went out to Harrowden for
 
field practices. Fifteen rounds per man at ranges from 600 to 300. Disappearing
 
targets up for 35 secs and down for the same. Not very realistic but better
 
than ordinary butt-shooting. Very easy to forget adjustment of sights. Our
 
detail - with Donnie Dunnet, Poll, Laurie, etc had a long way the best score. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Was down town but nothing
+
Wrote home; and spent afternoon in Ritson's doing company drill with matches. He has the double company this week as Joe R is on furlough; and he's nervous about it. Went down to Church in the evening but so late. Went to Corn Exchange Concert - quite good. A fine soprano, and Blake of the Camerons.
doing.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>16 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Divisional practice today -
+
<center><b>15 Feb 15</b></center>
that of Wednesday 10th revived, with the 6th we held a position E of Milton
+
Ernest. Whole 5<sup>th</sup> were out as a screen for the rest of Division.
+
Willie spoilt it by moving from the right of our company's front to the extreme
+
left, taking his platoon with him and consequently left a gap through which the
+
enemy penetrated. Perhaps he wasn't to blame - haven't heard his side of the
+
matter yet. Anyway we had all to retire in double time and at one point were
+
almost taken. Not at all a brilliant affair, but very difficult to gauge what
+
the results would be in the real thing. Got home on <st1:time Minute="0"
+
Hour="16">four o'clock</st1:time>, pretty hungry. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went down town at night.
 
Pitman was in tonight saying we are down to move in six weeks time as a
 
Division. I say# there have already gone over 2 or 3 Territorial Divisions.
 
Hope we are sent to the <st1:place>Dardanelles</st1:place>.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>17 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Cold and bright. Battalion moved off at 9:30 and marched out about five miles towards Turvey. From there advanced cross-country in artillery formation for a mile and a half or so. Poll and I had a platoon to ourselves. We finished up with an advance in open order, of a very ragged sort. We badly need training in extended order. Ritson in his element, his language too grandiloquent. Some of the fields very soft and claggy. Marched about six miles home and arrived at 4:30.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Examined some of the empty
 
houses today with Ritson. A good deal of damage done in some cases, but others
 
well looked after. Over at the Park for tea. The Battalion went out at 6 for
 
night marching, but I went down town, having slight neuralgia.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>COMMISSIONED<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
+
In orders tonight, extract from King's Regulations which seems to say we must not shave upper lip - whiskers moderate if any.  
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p><i>Commissioning in 1915 was a relatively informal affair. Candidates for
+
Jim had a row with Gwyneth and then with Nanna. How absurd we can all be.
regular commissions continued to attend </i><st1:place><i>Sandhurst</i></st1:place><i>,
+
but in the case of the Territorial Force and the units of the 'New Armies'
+
raised since the outbreak of war, there was no centralised selection or
+
training of young officers.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>JBC would have applied for a commission on the standard army form and
 
been recommended by </i><st1:place><st1:City><i>Lt</i></st1:City><i> </i><st1:State><i>Col</i></st1:State></st1:place><i>
 
Davidson. He would have been required to produce a copy of his birth
 
certificate, references as to his standard of education and his moral character
 
(usually a minister or a JP) and would have been interviewed by his brigade
 
commander. For the TF, the final approval word at this stage would have been
 
with the </i><st1:place><st1:PlaceType><i>County</i></st1:PlaceType><i> </i><st1:PlaceName><i>Territorial</i></st1:PlaceName></st1:place><i>
 
Association in </i><st1:place><i>Caithness</i></st1:place><i> - the group of
 
local worthies who oversaw the TF units from their area.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p><i>Once everything was approved, the only formal procedure was the
+
<center><b>16 Feb 15</b></center>
announcement of his commissioning in the </i><st1:City><st1:place><i>London</i></st1:place></st1:City><i>
+
Gazette. At this point he would have been discharged from the 5<sup>th</sup>
+
Seaforth 'in consequence of being appointed to a commission'.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>It was then up to his regiment to train him - and in early 1915 there was
 
very little knowledge in the </i><st1:place><i>Highland</i></st1:place><i>
 
Division of the practicalities of soldiering in </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>France</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>18 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Another magnificent day - the sun is getting quite warm. 'C' marched out to Bromham Bridge and then took up an outpost position to cover it. Had charge of a picket and got on quite well. Willie and Black were the only officers out. We lay down for a couple of hours and then marched round by Stevington and the Stagsden road. The pace was a little hot and even Willie was a little pegged. He doesn't seem to remember we carry more than he does. No one fell out but Addie had blistered feet and no doubt there are others. Got in at 3:30. Most enjoyable and healthy day.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Was just going on parade
 
this morning when Ian and Jim Miller came to tell me I had been gazetted.
 
Miller and Blake are too. I wasn't a bit glad in fact it almost brought tears
 
to my eyes to think that I must give up all my friends. George was very decent
 
and tried to pretend he was glad but I know he isn't. I had to go and put on
 
'civies' which I had taken care to keep by me. Queer it feels to be in them
 
again. Spent most of the day about the streets and transferring my things to
 
Mrs. Mortimer's where I am to be billeted. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went to lunch at the Mess
+
Down town in the evening for a few necessaries and spent the rest of the time getting my kit packed. I don't feel the least bit excited about going home. Jim cooked some haggis and it's lying heavy on my stomach now.
with Ritson, and met most of the officers. It is much more free and easy than I
+
had expected. Took a box of cigars up to the office and found Jim Miller
+
carting up 4 bottles of Johnnie Walker. He was well screwed, and would have me
+
go over to the Mess with him which I did until I found him going in the kitchen
+
door, then I made my escape. Am sleeping this last night with George.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>19 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast at the Mess and
+
<center><b>17 Feb 15</b></center>
glad to get decent Scotch porridge and cold milk in my mouth again. Got leave
+
to go to <st1:City><st1:place>Glasgow</st1:place></st1:City> for seven days, so
+
am leaving tonight. Spent a wearisome day, unsettled, half in and half out of
+
21. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Left by the <st1:time
 
Minute="13" Hour="9">9:13</st1:time> with Mowat of the Machine Gun. He is
 
engaged to Mary Stewart. Left him at <st1:place>Rugby</st1:place>. The 4th
 
Seaforth have been badly cut up, and 4th Camerons also#, so the officers' dance
 
which was to be tonight is cancelled.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>20 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
It turned out wet today - so wet that the battalion didn't go out. I was glad as I had all my things clean and ready for the journey. We left about 8 o'clock at night, marching down to the station in great form and best of spirits.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Arrived <st1:City><st1:place>Glasgow</st1:place></st1:City>
 
7:30. Breakfasted at YMCA. Ordered uniform at <st1:City><st1:place>Moore</st1:place></st1:City>,
 
Taggert's and then started to hunt for Daisy. Found her (out) after an hour and
 
a half's searching. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Met John Budge and had lunch
+
<center><b>18 - 24 Feb 15</b></center>
with him at Miss Cranston's. He's a quaint bird but looking more spruce than
+
I've seen him. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got Daisy and Tina in at <st1:time
 
Hour="14" Minute="30">2:30</st1:time> and we went to tea together and then they
 
saw me off from Queen's St. Arrived Crossgates and found Bessie here: also the
 
spring-cleaning.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>21 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Blank
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Walked to the Goat Brae
 
with uncle in the forenoon - a blustering day, and a good deal of slushy snow
 
on the roads. Uncle is a very good walking companion. Bob came along in the
 
afternoon and was surprised find Bessie and me here.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>22 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>25 Feb 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Cycled down to Donibristle
 
Ho. this morning. A lovely soft day, but colder later on. The country side is
 
pretty just now and wreaths of snow behind the hedges give it extra colour.
 
Found Donald M'Kay superintending the physical exertions of the men. He had a
 
half day off, so I stayed till after tea. They are mounting 2 9.2 [inch] guns
 
on Braefoot Pt. where he will be stationed when they are completed: at present
 
the guns are 3 days overdue having be[en] shipped from Woolwich. Ship not since
 
heard of. Probably another case of false economy. D.W.M. seems well content
 
with his lot, and if he gets obedience from the men I should think it is more
 
by taking it for granted than by exacting it. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got up to Xgates at <st1:time
+
Got into Bedford about 9 a.m. Coming up Clarendon St we found the remnants of the Company (8) already paraded and George in the middle of them waving wildly. I had expected him to be much older looking: instead of that he is just the same as when he went out. I thought that we would be getting off parade but the Adjie sent for us and we had to follow up the Company. Drill in close order all morning.  
Minute="30" Hour="17">5:30</st1:time>, against a stiff breeze and after reconnoitring
+
a few imaginary positions. Went along by car to Lochgelly, with the intention
+
of returning again, but didn't. Had two games of chess with Bob - successfully.
+
</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>23 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>It has been a muggy day.
+
Afternoon off.  
Called at Cowdenbeath on my way down and introduced myself to Mr. Bain. Had a
+
long yarn with him during which he frequently went beyond my depth. Had a
+
longish walk with Uncle in the afternoon.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>24 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Left for <st1:City><st1:place>Glasgow</st1:place></st1:City>
+
At 4:30 parade for outpost duty. We marched out to Stagsden; a lovely night , bright moonlight and George and I had plenty to speak about all the way. We were put out under Harcus, as a screen to the position, and then withdrawn as the supports. The Colonel came along and said support should entrench - which I doubt. Pretty cold waiting about, but a stiff march in warmed us up plenty: me nearly asleep on the march, and glad to get to bed.
at <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="12">12:30</st1:time>. Auntie down seeing me off.
+
She has broadened considerably in her views lately. Met Dorothy Middleton as
+
arranged and had tea. She continues to increase in beauty and Ian will be
+
dashed lucky if he lands her - an idea she <u>appears</u> to pooh-pooh. Had a
+
very nice time with her - went to La Scala and then to The Picture Ho. for
+
coffee. In the former we ran into Connie Soutar and Tina Cameron, who no doubt
+
thought us an ill-assorted couple. D. is companion to a lady out at Bothwell,
+
and has a very leisurely existence. She took herself home about <st1:time
+
Hour="9" Minute="30">9:30</st1:time> and I made for the YMCA where I got a room
+
for 2/6 consisting of 4 walls, a bed and a bible! </p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>25 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Spent the morning looking
+
<center><b>26 Feb 15</b></center>
for a waterproof, and didn't find one. I am a most undecided person when
+
hunting for anything like that, and usually start out with no clear idea of
+
what I want. I ultimately came to the decision, on looking up Land &amp; Water,
+
to go down and inspect the <st1:City><st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:City>
+
productions and incidentally visit Vane. Went out to <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Randolph</st1:PlaceName>
+
<st1:PlaceType>Gardens</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> and found Mary Fargie in.
+
She is small and fat, with a triple chin and a pretty bad <st1:City><st1:place>Glasgow</st1:place></st1:City>
+
accent.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Was at Daisy's at <st1:time
 
Hour="16" Minute="30">4:30</st1:time> and we had tea at Miss Rombach's. I paid
 
a hurried visit to the tailors and then we proceeded to the King's Theatre
 
where we got seats in the front row of the <st1:Street><st1:address>Upper
 
  Circle</st1:address></st1:Street>. I enjoyed the play very much, all the more
 
being in their company, and I couldn't help thinking it might be for the last
 
time. I should have liked to tell D. what she has meant to me but Tina was
 
there, which was probably just as well.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>26 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Marched out past the Swan Inn, and fought out to Stagsden. A perfect day. George is very keen. Most of the way was through woods with thorny undergrowth. Our section finished up with what appeared to me a very knutty piece of strategy, but the Adjie galloped up and put half of us out of action.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got into Euston at
 
breakfast time, which meal I got in a little dingy restaurant with marble
 
topped tables and no table cloths. A lot of others there too, quite decently
 
dressed, but mostly going in for tea, or hot milk and <u>cake</u>! I couldn't
 
make it out. Went to look for a waterproof, and spent most of the morning in
 
that way. Went down <st1:City><st1:place>Whitehall</st1:place></st1:City> and
 
also called at <st1:Street><st1:address>Jermyn St.</st1:address></st1:Street>
 
and fixed up with D.S. Kitchen to take over my collection if I don't require
 
them afterwards. Speaking of Salfeld and Pompekj: he thinks they would both be
 
officers in the German Army. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went out to <st1:City><st1:place>Edmonton</st1:place></st1:City>
+
Drew 42/7 today for the last 2 weeks. Am feeling rather depressed today - no doubt a reaction after furlough and even George's presence can't shake it off altogether. Regular fed up with the family.
and caught Vane just going out. We had tea. Both Vane and Con have the pip, and
+
have no fire or keenness left in them. Probably Vane isn't reading enough, and
+
yet he has plenty time. The house wasn't in such good order either. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got a train from St.
 
Pancras about 8 and got into <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City>
 
about 10. Was up till after 12 trying my uniform on.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>27 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>27 Feb 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Jim Miller was attached to
 
A, and I to B. &quot;B&quot; was on the miniature range this forenoon and
 
practising fire control with landscape targets, so I hadn't any occasion to
 
make a fool of myself although I felt one with my trews as wide as a divided
 
skirt. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The afternoon I spent
+
Laurie and I got a swearing from the Adjie today because he saw some of the men scratching their faces when they were at attention. He's getting very snotty about details, so I suppose we'll have to stiffen up too.  
moping about the digs. I was over at 21 for a bit, but George and Ian have gone
+
to <st1:City><st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:City> for the weekend.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>28 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Church parade at <st1:time
+
Company out in the field above the Cemetery, practicing bayonet charging against sacks of straw. The sacks were set up as an extended line: good fun but not far good as instruction went: not enough ground. George was at musketry instruction in Mod. School Park, and was pretty fed up with standing about.  
Minute="20" Hour="9">9:20</st1:time>. I got a loan of Captain Ritson's sporran.
+
I had a very bad cough, which I expected would bother me in Church, but I
+
managed to suppress it. Mr. Bain, our Chaplain, can't keep the Germans and
+
their Kaiser out of his sermons. Mowat, Lybster, was next me and trumpeting
+
into my ear. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wrote home in the forenoon
 
and after dinner at Platts I went with Ritson and Mortimer for 18 holes of
 
golf. It was an ideal day and we had a most enjoyable round. I won by one hole,
 
to Ritson's fairly evident disgust, but I think he really was off his game. I
 
don't know whether I did right or wrong to play but I don't see any harm in it,
 
under the circumstances, and this is the only day Mr. Mortimer can get. I like
 
him, he's just like a kid out of school.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>29 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
In the afternoon we went to Rugby Match, and at night George and Ian and I were down town on pass. We had tea in Dudeney & Johnson's; went to the Chums and enjoyed ourselves very much. The 'ass' is very like George. Went to the second house of the Empire.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Another brilliant day.
 
Marched out about <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="30">9:30</st1:time> to Oakley and
 
then across country to Tithe Farm and Bury Farm. I had charge of 2 platoons in
 
the firing line and got on all right except for a slight inclination to get
 
excited. I must watch that. Ultimately, I was working with one platoon on the
 
extreme left, as the enemy were trying to work round that flank. This was a
 
practice day for the stretcher bearers etc., and was the first hard manual work
 
the pipers have done. The only thing that spoilt the day was waiting on the
 
roadside for 35 minutes for the band to come along. Got in about <st1:time
 
Minute="30" Hour="14">2:30</st1:time>. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Invested in a set of chess,
+
<center><b>28 Feb 15</b></center>
but don't believe I'll have much time for it. I haven't been able to do any
+
reading for some time.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>30 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Divisional practice today
+
Dreamt last night the Adjie told me he wouldn't recommend me for a commission. I gave him a bit of my mind.  
and moved off at <st1:time Minute="35" Hour="8">8:35</st1:time>, so had early
+
breakfast. Marched out about 8 miles, with many checks and then lay on the side
+
of the road for about an hour and a half. It was quite hot in the sun today. At
+
last we advanced, being in reserve to the Argyles. I was with the supports (of
+
the reserves) so hadn't much to do: but it's a treat to work with &quot;B&quot;
+
Coy. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The men are keen and
 
tractable and I shall do everything I can to keep them so. The difficulty is to
 
draw the happy medium between Harper's laisey-faire [sic] and Willie's nagging
 
tactics. We marched home as we came out, with many irritating stops and didn't
 
get in until <st1:time Hour="18" Minute="0">6 p.m.</st1:time> so we were very
 
hungry. My face is smarting with the cold and the sun.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Church parade today at 8:45, to the Baptist Chapel. Quite a good sermon on sacrifice: church done up inside like an ice-cream shop.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>31 Mar 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Very warm today - the most
+
After dinner Geo, Ian, Addie and I walked out to the Swan, ordered tea and went on round by Stagsden. A perfect day, as clear as any we have had here for a long time.  
summery day we've had yet. Rifle and foot inspection at <st1:time Minute="15"
+
Hour="9">9:15</st1:time>. Musketry and handling of arms from 11 to 1 and again
+
from 2 to 4. During the latter period I took the company for a short time and
+
felt rather nervous. Somehow, they impress me more than 'C' did, partly because
+
the NCOs are older and more experienced men. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Am getting to know W. A.
 
M'Donald, as we are the only officers at present with 'B' and I like him, as
 
every other body does too. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had hoped to get some
+
Coming back from Stagsden we were hailed by the tract-delivering parson, so we took to our heels. He wanted us up to tea - judging from his gesticulations, so went back and explained and received a few tracts. George wild we couldn't accept his invitation, as the daughter seemed 'a peach'.  
letter writing today - to Daisy as I had some cigarettes from her this morning,
+
but got none done. Had a game of chess with Ritson, in which he nearly beat me.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>APRIL
 
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>01 Apr 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Tea at the Swan: the landlord rather unpleasant about tossing. Walked home: Geo. sent Addie sprawling.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Was on duty in the butts at
 
Harrowden today along with Corrigal. We left here at <st1:time Hour="8"
 
Minute="15">8:15</st1:time>. Fine dry morning. There is still about 8&quot; of
 
water in the butts so we had to put on waders, which were not water tight, so I
 
was mucking about in wet feet all morning, which didn't do my cold any good.
 
Got home at <st1:time Hour="14" Minute="0">2 p.m.</st1:time> and wrote to
 
Daisy. Pills with Blake at night, he is too good for me, but I am very bad. Was
 
over at 21 for a little. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Black had No.10 platoon on
+
<center><b>MARCH 1915</b></center>
Brigade inlying picket last night and they were nearly all tight. He wasn't
+
quite sober himself I'm told. That's the way to be carrying on just now. No
+
wonder we have a bad name.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>02 Apr 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>A total holiday today.
+
<center><b>01 Mar 15</b></center>
Wrote and read in the forenoon. After dinner, Ritson, Mortimer, George and I
+
went out, per taxi, to Clapham golf course and had 18 holes. George was fair
+
excited, and driving a very long, if somewhat erratic ball. It was great to see
+
all his old mannerisms. We all had tea in Mrs. Mortimer's, along with Ian and
+
Addie and some lady friends of the family. We had quite a jolly night. Mrs.
+
Mortimer thinks a lot of George.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>03 Apr 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wet today, so the Company
+
Started running drill at 7:15 this morning, the Sergeant-Major leading. Going on parade at 8:45, Capt Ritson bagged me for billeting staff. I wasn't sorry to go as it made my position secure for tonight. I let him know I wouldn't have his job if I get a commission, and he said M'Intosh in the orderly room would likely be put onto it. So that's all right, and I have my pass. Didn't get a lot of billets done as there were a lot of mistakes owing to furlough, etc.
didn't parade at all. W.A. M'Donald and I inspected some of the billets, but in
+
a very perfunctory way. I was Supernumerary Orderly Officer, J.B. Morrison
+
being Orderly Officer. The duties don't seem to be either onerous or difficult;
+
and as far as I can gather they are mostly skipped. Morrison seems to be rather
+
a conscientious cove, although it may have been partly for my benefit. I read
+
most of the afternoon, and had to spend from <st1:time Hour="20" Minute="0">8
+
p.m.</st1:time> onward in the orderly room.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>04 Apr 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Church parade at <st1:time
+
Went down town at 6:30 as arranged and saw The Girl from Utah. It was about the best thing I have seen here - certainly the best musical comedy. The actresses were pretty, and almost proper. I like Kitty very much: nice and quiet.
Minute="20" Hour="8">8:20</st1:time>. Mr. Bain again: he covered a large field
+
in his sermon, from Homer upwards. After dinner at 21, to which place I am half
+
thinking of not going back, we went to Biddenham - Capt. Ritson, Mr. Mortimer,
+
George and I and had 18 holes. Ritson and I lost by one hole, a very close
+
match and very enjoyable. George was in good form. A perfect evening. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We all had tea and supper
 
in 26. George waited till roll-call. I am very sorry for him, he seems so sick
 
of 21, where the gramophone is never quiet, unless it's to give the piano a
 
chance.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>05 Apr 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>02 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Divisional sports, and
 
thank goodness a fair and mild, if not a brilliant day. The sports were in the
 
Grammar School grounds and attracted a huge crowd. The crowd, as far as
 
fashion, etc. was considered, was very tame. There were 5th competitors in many
 
of the events and we won the 100 yd (Goddard) and the officers relay race,
 
besides being second in the tug of war and number of other events. All over we
 
had second place, 21 points to 43 of the 8th Argyles. The latter carried off
 
most of the heavy events. The dancing was a treat but the presence of three or
 
4 professionals knocked all the amateurs out. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After mess sat in the
+
Running drill at 7:15. Paying billets with Ritson and Sandy Ross. The latter's services were requisitioned in order that the Captain might be saved the labour of writing out the amended forms.
billet where Mr. and Mrs. Ritson, Mrs. Mortimer and her rather pretty niece
+
Miss Monk had foregathered.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>06 Apr 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p>Divisional exercise today and a most disagreeable day at that. We marched
+
<center><b>03 Mar 15</b></center>
out the Kempston and Ampthill road and effected a junction with another column
+
which was on the Cotton End road in Wilshamstead Wood, from which we turned
+
south and attacked the Gordons at <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Haynes</st1:PlaceName>
+
<st1:PlaceType>Park</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. The attack went rather
+
rapidly at the centre where we joined the 6th, and I rather foolishly joined in
+
a premature assault which they made. As it was we were in a salient and would
+
have been enfiladed, but thought the movement was general. I must be more
+
careful in future. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>&quot;B&quot; Coy's concert
 
is on tonight, but I was told off for Brigade Inlying Picquet in Albert
 
Terrace. After several attempts to quieten them the men have at last subsided
 
and quietness reigns. I suspect they have been throwing lemonade bottles
 
through the (closed) windows, but am not certain. I have just had to speak
 
pretty plainly to some of them.</p>
 
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
+
This was to be a divisional day but turned out wet so we turned in. Had a reading in the office, and a short route march in the afternoon round by Oakley and Bromhaw.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>GOLSPIE<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p><i>JBC spent the next few weeks at Golspie with the 2/5 Seaforth, during
+
At night we were hauled out to a concert nobody wanted to go to. It turned out to be a dancing display by some school kids very good in its way but not the sort of meat and drink the Army wants. One little girl of 9 was a splendid turn - comic songs, etc. and should make her name.
which time he made only one entry in the diary.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>On 11 Apr 15 the </i><st1:place><i>Highland</i></st1:place><i> Division
 
was warned to prepare to move to </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>France</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>.
 
It arrived in </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>France</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>
 
on 1 May 15 and shortly afterwards was retitled 51<sup>st</sup> (</i><st1:place><i>Highland</i></st1:place><i>)
 
Division with the brigade became 152<sup>nd</sup> Brigade.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p><i>Jim Miller was wounded by shellfire on 19 May and evacuated to </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>UK</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
<center><b>04 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p><i>On 15 Jun 'C' Company, led by Capt Joe Robertson, took part in an attack
 
on German trenches which failed in the face of machine-gun fire and uncut
 
barbed wire. 2 officers and 33 other ranks were killed - many others were
 
wounded. Among the dead were Sgt Ian M'Millan, Pte George Alexander and 2/Lt
 
Donnie Dunnet. Capt Joe Robertson, Capt Joseph Ritson and Lt W A M'Donald were
 
among the wounded. <o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p><i>Sergt-Maj Sutherland and three others won the Distinguished Conduct Medal
+
Running drill at 7:15 paraded in full marching order at 8:15. We marched out to Stagsden and from there advanced cross country towards Stevington, in extended order the whole way. The 6th Seaforth were on our immediate right and we got rather boxed up against the road which was the left flank boundary. Marched in from Stevington, 'C' company next the band. Willie was paying great attention to covering today.  
bringing in the wounded under fire. <o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>JBC's diary for 15 Jun simply says</i> 'Battle of Festubert'</p>
 
  
<p><i>Shortly after Festubert JBC's mother received the following letter:<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
Went down town tonight to the Picture-drome. Came back early. Gwyneth has had toothache for the last two or three days and Mac and George have had to take turns at holding her hand.
  
<p>__________________________________________________________________________</p>
 
  
<p><u>Private<o:p></o:p></u></p>
+
<center><b>05 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p style='margin-left:8.0in'>3472 &quot;C&quot; Coy</p>
 
  
<p style='margin-left:8.0in'>1<sup>st</sup> 5<sup>th</sup> Sea Hdrs</p>
+
Running drill at 7:15. Battalion parade at 9:15 for trenching. We had only to go up above the Cemetery and had a pretty slack day. Our squad practised entrenching with the small tools - the first time we have used them. The Brigadier was knocking about. We had 35 minutes to cook and eat our dinner and were back to work again till after four.  
  
<p style='margin-left:8.0in'>152<sup>nd</sup> Infantry Brig</p>
 
  
<p style='margin-left:8.0in'>51<sup>st</sup> (<st1:place>Highland</st1:place>)
+
After tea I wrote home. George and Ian are both 'out' as regards the house and doubt if they will ever smell it again.
Division</p>
+
  
<p style='margin-left:8.0in'>B. E. France</p>
 
  
<p>Friday 25 June</p>
+
<center><b>06 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p>Dear Mrs Cairnie,</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:2'>                        </span></p>
+
We had a so-called medical inspection at nine. It consisted of our new M.O. walking briskly along the ranks and studying the men's' boots. At 10 we marched up to Clapham park to get into the trenches again. We had two shifts and Willie was for making us do handling of arms when we came out of the trench. However we marched them to the hedge and sat down. He is probably the most unpopular officer in the battalion now: he used to be the most popular. 'F' Company vow to school him when we get into action.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:2'>                        </span>You all must
 
have got a great shock when the news of our casualties reached Thurso &amp;
 
especially when you heard of the loss of the two boys you know <u>so</u> well,
 
I can well understand your feelings but I know one gets a great comfort in the
 
knowledge that they have died the most noble and honourable deaths.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Thurso &amp; Wick have
+
Jim Miller, Blake and I had to parade to the Brigade Office at 3 p.m. and interviewed the Brigadier. The Brigadier was quite affable and signed our papers.  
suffered heavily as a result of the charge which shall never be forgot by any
+
of the survivors.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Your parcel for poor George
 
came here the other day and was handed to me &amp; I saw by the card that I was
 
meant to share it, I shared with several of the other boys here &amp; let them
 
know who it was for &amp; who it was from.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>I wrote a short note to
+
Cambridge played the Highland Division at Rugger this afternoon and got beaten. Cambridge had a very poor team they didn't seem to have played much together, and looked rather a rag-a-muffin bunch.  
Bruce the other day, poor Bruce will feel it terribly as George was always
+
speaking about him &amp; the rare times they used to have together especially <s>in</s>
+
camp at Reay &amp; I always knew by the way he spoke that they were the best of
+
chums. I remember him say not very long ago that he was glad Bruce was not out
+
here.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>I'm not to <s>say</s> give
 
any of the details of the attack as I've begun to hate speaking about it, one
 
does not realise what chums really are till after they are gone beyond one's
 
reach.</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Nothing more at present, hoping
+
George and Ian on pass tonight.
this finds everyone in Thurso in good health.</p>
+
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:2'>                        </span>Believe me,</p>
+
<center><b>07 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:3'>                                    </span>yours
 
sincerely,</p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:4'>                                                </span>Andrew
+
Church parade at 8:20. Good sermon from the new chaplain. The Camerons have already had some casualties. Took Orderly Sergt's work over for the day as Laurie was B.O.S. so that I didn't get out of the billeting area. Wrote Rob Alexander.
B Sinclair </p>
+
  
<p>___________________________________________________________________________</p>
 
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
+
Black and Howie were in to supper.
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
 
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
+
<center><b>08 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>TO
 
</span></u></b><st1:country-region><st1:place><b><u><span style='font-size:
 
  13.5pt'>FRANCE</span></u></b></st1:place></st1:country-region><b><u><span
 
style='font-size:13.5pt'><o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p><i>After the shock of </i><st1:date Month="6" Day="15" Year="1915"><i>15 Jun
+
Running drill at 7:15. Very cold, and snowing slightly. George not on duty yet as he was inoculated on Saturday. Company drill was cancelled and battalion went out for a route march - Milton Ernest, Filimousham, Pavenham, Stevington and Oakley. A splendid day for marching - cold and bracing and blinks of warm sun between the showers of small snow. The buds are on the hedges. The Company marched well today, and with a little care on the part of some NCOs - especially Laurie and M'Adie we would have a good marching coy.  
1915</i></st1:date><i>, 1/5 Seaforth remained in the front line until the 25<sup>th</sup>
+
when they moved to rest billets at La Gorgue (about20Km east of </i><st1:City><st1:place><i>Lille</i></st1:place></st1:City><i>).<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>The need to replace battle casualties and the increasing numbers of
 
officers required by battalions on active service meant a draft of officers was
 
sent out from the 2/5<sup>th</sup> at Golspie. After a farewell dinner in the
 
Sutherland Arms Hotel, Brora on the evening of 23 Jun 15 JBC left for </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>France</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>
 
the next day.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>JUNE
+
Dinner at 3 p.m.: afternoon tea in the park and then again in 21. 'M' arrived this morning to Ian's discomfiture who was in Gwyneth’s bedroom at the time. He has come from China to join. It will be interesting to watch developments.
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="24"
 
Year="2015"><b>24-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Barnetson
+
<center><b>09 Mar 15</b></center>
and I left Golspie at <st1:time Hour="6" Minute="30">6:30 a.m.</st1:time> Had a
+
grand send off, all the officers and men of the battalion coming to the station
+
to see us off. The journey wasn't exciting, as Barnetson isn't any more of a
+
conversationalist than I, but very pleasant. Saw a number of friends in Edin.
+
including Bob and Bessie. Left at <st1:time Minute="50" Hour="10">10:50</st1:time>
+
for <st1:City><st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:City>, having picked up
+
Sutherland.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="25"
 
Year="2015"><b>25-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Breakfasted
+
Marched out to near Stagsden and did the same scheme as on Thursday's last. This time we were the supports and had a most pleasant cross-country ramble - more like a botanical excursion than a sham fight.
at the Strand Palace Hotel and after being photographed, at <st1:City><st1:place>Lafayette</st1:place></st1:City>&#8217;s,
+
went and met Vane at Piccadilly. He is looking much better after his
+
route-march to <st1:City><st1:place>Cambridge</st1:place></st1:City>. We
+
shopped, and had lunch at the SPH - eleven of us, including five of us
+
officers. Left Waterloo <st1:time Hour="14" Minute="55">2:55 p.m.</st1:time>,
+
and feeling in very good spirits all of us, but I think the women who are left
+
behind are bravest of all. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Arrived <st1:place>Southampton</st1:place>
 
about <st1:time Hour="18" Minute="0">6 p.m.</st1:time> and got our business
 
done. Leaving tonight late by the Harve packet. A number of civilians crossing
 
too.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="26"
+
<center><b>10 Mar 15</b></center>
Year="2015"><b>26-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>On
 
deck shortly before <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="8">8 a.m.</st1:time> No land in
 
sight, but fine breezy sunny morning. Had breakfast and before we were finished
 
we were inside Harve harbour. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Char-a-banc up to the Base
+
Had the parade S_a_ [?] etc. in good time, having been up at 6. Marched out towards Colmworth and division attacked Gordons in direction of in the direction of Milton Ernest. When we just beginning - I was with the supports, the Adjie came and ordered me to take the pack-ponies to the ammunition column.  
Office from which we received orders to proceed <st1:City><st1:place>Rouen</st1:place></st1:City>
+
same afternoon. Had a very enjoyable journey, not much sign of war here, but on
+
the quays were piles of barbed wire and large numbers of transport waggons
+
parked. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Arrived <st1:City><st1:place>Rouen</st1:place></st1:City>
 
about <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="30">5:30 p.m.</st1:time> and after some
 
difficulty found our way to the Hotel Angleterre where we found Nicolson and
 
Paterson eating strawberries. Later went out to the Base Depot where we are to
 
billet until further orders - in canvas shacks.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="27"
+
I managed to catch them up after about an hours march. Then we stood for several hours on the road, very cold. Moved forward and came abreast two batteries in action. No sign of our battalion and I believe the commander of the column had quite lost touch with most of the infantry including ours The 6th lost touch with the 5th and seem to have lost themselves into the bargain.
Year="2015"><b>27-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>This
 
being Sunday there way nothing very much doing in the way of drill. We went
 
down to the town and wandered through the streets, visiting the market which
 
was pretty well packed with country people. We (Barnetson, Suddy, Hamish and I)
 
had some grub at a café - strawberries made up in some sickening sort of way.
 
Saw the Cathedral and most of the older parts of the town, some of it fairly
 
ancient and replete with carved arches and figures in all sorts of corners and
 
attitudes. Had a decent dinner at a restaurant: Hamish inclined to get a bit
 
uproarious. Nearly all the shops were shut. Sat in a café on the river front
 
for a bit and then took the car out to the camp.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="28"
+
Had a good march home, fine exhilarating weather. Got in after 4, one of the longest days we've had.
Year="2015"><b>28-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>After
 
breakfast we walked up to the pine wood about a mile along the road for a
 
lecture by a young Captain who has evidently been out all winter. On the road,
 
and on the sandy bit of plateau between it and the river infantry and cavalry
 
were being drilled. The infantry were in some cases drafts newly come out, in
 
others details, sick, etc. They were fairly getting it rubbed in and smartened
 
up, but it was only for a few hours in the day. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In the evening we went down
+
<center><b>11 Mar 15</b></center>
to <st1:City><st1:place>Rouen</st1:place></st1:City>, Finnie playing football
+
on the way and generally conducting himself like a young child. Barney and he
+
and I thought to go down the river on a steamer but missed it and put it off.
+
We went and had dinner at the Café Normandie. The three of us climbed the chalk
+
hill on the South? side of the town. It rises almost perpendicularly from the
+
side of the river, of which and all the surrounding country especially to the
+
West it commands a magnificent view.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="29"
 
Year="2015"><b>29-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
+
With J. Ritson today, working all morning in the Orderly Room. Wonder if I'll take as badly to laboratory work as I do to office work. In the afternoon we paid some outlying billets, in a very lackadaisical state. JJR infects me that way.  
same programme today as yesterday but it came on rain so we returned to camp,
+
when it cleared up. Harry Lauder's son has joined the camp. In the afternoon we
+
had revolver shooting at which I was nothing patent. Went down to <st1:City><st1:place>Rouen</st1:place></st1:City>
+
tonight again and in time to catch the steamer. We all got aboard and
+
comfortably seated. Just as it was about to leave we sent Suddy to see when it
+
would return. On finding it would come back tomorrow morning we bunked for the
+
quay. Adjourned to the Café Normandie where we found Johnnie Paterson with the
+
news that we are for the road tomorrow. So we had what we thought was to be our
+
last civilised dinner - nothing now but bully beef and biscuits - and celebrated
+
the occasion by having a good feed.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="6" Day="30"
 
Year="2015"><b>30-Jun-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Packed
+
Had tea in the pavilion with George and Ian, and Dolly sat and gassed till we were fair fed up. Nanna is jealous. Went down town to the Picture-drome.  
up our stuff, and drew web equipment, etc. from the QM Stores. Left camp at <st1:time
+
Minute="0" Hour="17">5 p.m.</st1:time> The train left at <st1:time Hour="19"
+
Minute="45">7:45 p.m.</st1:time> On board are several drafts of men and a good
+
number of officers. Had a fine view of <st1:City><st1:place>Rouen</st1:place></st1:City>
+
when crossing the railway bridge, with the sunset in the background.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>JULY
 
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="1"
+
Hear Major M'Millan told Willie of in the mess last night. Willie gets more unpopular every day. M'Millan told him to look out when he got to France.
Year="2015"><b>01-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span><s>Didn't
 
sleep very well last night, probably because of certain amount of une</s> Slept
 
from <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="22">10</st1:time> to <st1:time Minute="0"
 
Hour="8">8 a.m.</st1:time> although the train was jolting and bumping at a
 
fearful rate. We got into Bethune in the afternoon and later detrained at La
 
Gorgue. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Major Morrison met us three
+
<center><b>12 Mar 15</b></center>
and conducted us to the transport train where we were entertained to tea by
+
Major Sinclair and James Willie - under the greenwood tree. I was surprised to see
+
the civil population evidently going about their work as usual and children
+
sprawling in the gutter although they are within range of the German lines. Of
+
course all the men are in uniform. The countryside is very flat, rather like
+
some of Bedfordshire, but the crops are getting pretty high and make the
+
country even more difficult. We went on later to the 'Reserve Trenches' in Rue
+
Baceanot.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="2"
 
Year="2015"><b>02-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Breakfast
+
Quite a good day, and did practically no work. I was in the Orderly Room till about 10, then went down town and spent the rest of the forenoon looking round the 2nd hand bookshop. Didn't see anything good.  
at 8. The men are up at <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="30">5:30</st1:time> but no
+
parades are held. Rifle inspection at <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="9">9:30</st1:time>.
+
I have No 4 Platoon with D. Morrison and Skinnie in it. There is nothing doing
+
- sleep and eat all day and this being Maj M'Millan's birthday we did the
+
latter very well. Went over to 'C' Coy in the forenoon and found Addie,
+
Deuchart and the rest wonderfully hearty. We had a tea party in honour of the
+
Major's birthday, although I think he supplied most of the eatables. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Before tea I went up to the
 
firing line and had the first experience of being near shrapnel. Up there it is
 
very quiet and everybody is very comfortable. The trench is of the nature of a
 
redoubt, built of sandbags, over which it is almost certain death to stick your
 
head in daylight. The enemy snipers are very good. I found Adam very happy, in
 
one of the dug-outs.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>IN
+
After dinner went with Ritson and Ian to the Bank and was free at 3 p.m. Had tea in the pavilion.
THE TRENCHES<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="3"
 
Year="2015"><b>03-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Some
+
After tea at 21 I wrote home and found my diary a great help. Black was in practising songs tonight and has settled on 'My Old Shako'. He hasn't got a voice or a temperament for it and woes me playing for him and Gwyneth, I hear they are going to rag Willie.
of our batteries were going it strong last night although there was little
+
reply to them. They kept us awake a bit. Went up to the fire trench with Major
+
M'Millan and 6th Sea officer and had a good look over the part we are to
+
occupy. It consists mainly of an old Brit communication trench running at right
+
angles to remainder of our line, joining us up with the A&amp;SHs who are
+
further advanced. From this communication trench, several redoubts have been
+
built at right angles. These we have to hold. Seemingly the Germans gave it to
+
them pretty hot last night with shrapnel and high explosive. They got one of
+
the latter into a fort and smashed a dug-out, the two men inside having
+
miraculous escapes. I found Adam, again as happy as ever, exploring the inside
+
of his kilt for 'Scots Greys' which are very abundant here. After dinner I
+
slept and in the evening got my things ready for going into the trenches. This
+
we did after dusk and I got my platoon in without difficulty, but of course
+
this part is very easy indeed to relieve. We took over and No. 4 Platoon was
+
told off to the reserve trenches.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="4"
 
Year="2015"><b>04-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>No.
+
<center><b>13 Mar 15</b></center>
4 had to furnish visiting patrols and listening patrol as well. I was rather
+
afraid of the latter but found it quite a simple affair as we didn't go out
+
far. The night was splendid and beyond desultory rifle fire there was nothing
+
doing. No casualties in the battalion. Turned in at <st1:time Hour="3"
+
Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time> and slept till six. After breakfast wrote a few
+
letters and Adam came along to my dug-out. Am very comfortable. Wrote home in
+
the afternoon and slept a bit.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="5"
 
Year="2015"><b>05-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Quite
+
With Ritson in Foster Hill Rd estimating the damage done by the men in some of the empty houses. A good deal of damage, much of it apparently wilful, but I believe nothing to what has been the case in some of the Morayshire billets. Banisters, wainscoting, etc burnt up and marble mantelpieces in smithereens, but I didn't see any as bad as that.  
a quiet day and little doing. Explored the ground just in front of the Sally
+
Port for a sniping post along with Major M'Millan. It is a great thing to be
+
serving under him. No 4 Platoon moved up to take over the two redoubts this
+
evening. It promises to be more exciting work. Stayed in Z until after
+
stand-to. Nothing much doing. There are 16 Argyle bomb-throwers in Z as well as
+
two sections of my own.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="6"
 
Year="2015"><b>06-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>A
+
Concert at night a great success. Black didn't turn up for which I was sincerely thankful. Gwyneth surprised me, singing so well. Cowper of the Groat was down for the occasion and was quite successful in one or two of his songs, though they were of the usual antediluvian order. Willie and Ritson both sang, but very nervous. Willie got a good reception. The Sergt-Major danced the Highland Fling.
fine morning. Had to wait on after stand-to (<st1:time Hour="3" Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time>)
+
in case the Briggie comes along. Shaved, breakfasted and to bed. The redoubts
+
were shelled while I slept and one high explosive landed just behind the
+
parados beside the bomb supply. Fortunately they didn't explode. The can get a
+
perfect enfilade on the redoubts so we are going to strengthen the traverses. I
+
went up in the forenoon and underwent the next part of the bombardment which
+
was not so trying as I expected. However the shells weren't coming within 50
+
yards but the splints sang and hummed overhead. I got one wee bit on the leg
+
but only a scratch. It is shrapnel that plays the mischief as regards
+
splinters. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>At night again the fun
 
started but Y got it worst. I don't know how they hadn't some casualties.
 
Fortunately a lot of the shells didn't explode - duds. Later the Bosches
 
started rapid fire, having spotted a work party of Argyles so we had a hot
 
time, the bullets going cracking overhead. I wasn't excited, but it took some
 
nerve to put my head above the parapet. The Argyles who were with us were a
 
great asset. Donnie Morrison is a very useful and willing man. I'm glad to have
 
him.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="7"
+
<center><b>14 Mar 15</b></center>
Year="2015"><b>07-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Stayed
 
in Z Redoubt until after <st1:time Hour="7" Minute="0">seven a.m.</st1:time>
 
when I came down to HQ and got shaved. It was a pretty quiet day as far as the
 
redoubts were concerned although they have been searching again for the sap
 
head. In the afternoon there was fairly heavy bombardment of the rest of the
 
line but no damage was done. Finlayson took over the redoubts at <st1:time
 
Hour="20" Minute="30">8:30 p.m.</st1:time> and I moved<span style='font-family:
 
Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>  </span></span>my platoon down to the
 
parapet opposite HQ. Am now fine and near the dug-out and more in the centre of
 
things. Turned in at <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="23">11:30 p.m.</st1:time> so
 
as to be able to relieve Finlayson at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="3">3 a.m.</st1:time>
 
I hear there was pretty heavy firing after I went to bed but never a thing did
 
I hear.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="8"
+
Church parade at 8:45. A new chaplain this morning and he had a husky throat. Not nearly so much coughing in Church now. Tea in the pavilion relieved the monotony of the day.
Year="2015"><b>08-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Finlayson
 
called me at <st1:time Hour="3" Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time> but as things were
 
quiet I didn't get up till after 4. Went round the redoubts, shaved and had
 
breakfast. Pte W Reid of my platoon was shot through the side while working
 
behind the parapet. He died shortly afterwards. We thought at first it might
 
have been an accident by a couple of Argyle snipers behind, but as another two
 
bullets have come into same spot, I am pretty sure it is a German sniper. We
 
hunted round behind for him unsuccessfully, but they are devilishly cunning. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Slept in the afternoon, censored
+
Went to St. Paul's with George at night and were shown into a front seat, where our ignorance of the service must have been most apparent.
some letters and went along the line to see Addie. I never feel as sad as when
+
I see poor old Addie's face. I believe 'C' would put up a desperate fight but
+
their spirit is clean gone at present. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went out on reconnoitring
 
patrol about <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="11">11 a.m.</st1:time> with Sgt J
 
Fraser and a man. Were out for at least an hour and a half but didn't see or
 
hear anything. I was quite nervous and 'chattery' before going out but soon
 
settled down once I was there. We got out a good bit. Went to bed at <st1:time
 
Minute="20" Hour="1">1:20 a.m.</st1:time> The Germans have been sending over
 
some big shells today and trench mortars. They are getting onto our new
 
communication trench.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="9"
+
<center><b>15 Mar 15</b></center>
Year="2015"><b>09-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Wakened
 
by Finlayson at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="3">3 a.m.</st1:time> All quiet. Some
 
trench mortars came over about breakfast time but did no damage. Lay in a
 
ruined cottage for a couple of hours with my corporal to see if that sniper
 
would come out, but no luck. Shells began to come over so we had to shift. Went
 
out with Finnie and C. Serg. Major Miller and got some shell fuses belonging
 
behind the lines. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Were relieved at <st1:time
+
Went out to Harrowden for field practices. Fifteen rounds per man at ranges from 600 to 300. Disappearing targets up for 35 secs and down for the same. Not very realistic but better than ordinary butt-shooting. Very easy to forget adjustment of sights. Our detail - with Donnie Dunnet, Poll, Laurie, etc had a long way the best score.  
Minute="30" Hour="9">9:30</st1:time> by incoming Bde. Nasty jamb getting men in
+
as they had far more than us. If the Germans had sent over some well aimed
+
trench mortars they would have done tremendous execution but they were
+
unaccountably quiet and probably being relieved themselves. Got down to the far
+
end of Laventie without mishap although one bullet made the skin of my back
+
creep. The men got tea and were led to their billets. Then we got to ours and
+
had a grand supper with fried eggs, etc. in the Café Aux Voyageurs. Turned in at
+
<st1:time Minute="0" Hour="13">1 p.m.</st1:time></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="10"
 
Year="2015"><b>10-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Breakfast
+
Was down town but nothing doing.
about <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="0">8 a.m.</st1:time> - ham and eggs, sausages,
+
tea, etc quite a good affair, with Steven D in attendance. Company parade at <st1:time
+
Minute="0" Hour="11">11 a.m.</st1:time> for inspection by C.O. - rifles,
+
bayonets, shaving, etc. The Colonel was unconsciously particular, as if men
+
carried burnishers in their kit. Slept in the afternoon and wandered down town
+
in the evening with little Willie. Rather colder today. A few shells falling
+
not far away, watched apathetically by the remaining inhabitants from their
+
door-steps.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="11"
 
Year="2015"><b>11-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Nearly
+
<center><b>16 Mar 15</b></center>
slept in. Had to attend bomb school at <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="0">9 a.m.</st1:time>
+
for a few days course, but found the instructor had also overslept. Rather old
+
again: a quiet Sunday morning. Walked into Estaires with Howie in the afternoon
+
and had a bath and a good dinner for 3 francs. It was great to get clean again.
+
Got home at <st1:time Minute="15" Hour="9">9:15</st1:time> and found letters
+
and parcels, including a very nice letter from May and cakes, etc from home.
+
Fags from DeCain [?]</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="12"
 
Year="2015"><b>12-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Went
+
Divisional practice today - that of Wednesday 10th revived, with the 6th we held a position E of Milton Ernest. Whole 5th were out as a screen for the rest of Division. Willie spoilt it by moving from the right of our company's front to the extreme left, taking his platoon with him and consequently left a gap through which the enemy penetrated. Perhaps he wasn't to blame - haven't heard his side of the matter yet. Anyway we had all to retire in double time and at one point were almost taken. Not at all a brilliant affair, but very difficult to gauge what the results would be in the real thing. Got home on four o'clock, pretty hungry.  
bombing this morning and threw some live Bethune bombs. Rather nervy work at
+
first. Slept and wrote May in the afternoon. Big pile of letter to censor.
+
Black and Stalker arrived this afternoon Black to A Coy, Stalker to B.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="13"
 
Year="2015"><b>13-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Put
+
Went down town at night. Pitman was in tonight saying we are down to move in six weeks time as a Division. I say# there have already gone over 2 or 3 Territorial Divisions. Hope we are sent to the Dardanelles.
of a lot of rifle grenades - saw a display with trench mortars by Blake -
+
horrid affair.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="14"
 
Year="2015"><b>14-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Took
+
<center><b>17 Mar 15</b></center>
my platoon into Estaires for a bath and had one myself, along with Blackie.
+
Fine clean feeling afterwards. This is the first hot bath the battalion has had
+
since coming out, so they must have needed it. Had to up to the trenches on
+
fatigue - Black too and it was his first time in the firing line. It was a
+
splashing wet night and everybody got soaked. Had to lead along about 300 yards
+
of newly dug, narrow trench in pitch darkness. Worked from <st1:time Minute="0"
+
Hour="23">11</st1:time> to <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="1">1:30 a.m.</st1:time>
+
although the spades wouldn't lift anything - or wouldn't let it down again.
+
Wonder we had no casualties - we are always lucky or is it cautious? Got back
+
about <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="3">3 a.m.</st1:time>, the latter part being
+
dry.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="15"
 
Year="2015"><b>15-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Slept
+
Examined some of the empty houses today with Ritson. A good deal of damage done in some cases, but others well looked after. Over at the Park for tea. The Battalion went out at 6 for night marching, but I went down town, having slight neuralgia.
till dinner time. Went up to relieve the 7th Gordons at night. Trenches seemed
+
very strange the first night, getting into them in almost inky darkness.
+
Everyone stood to till dawn, as Major M'Millan believes in doing so the first
+
night.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="16"
 
Year="2015"><b>16-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
+
<center><b>COMMISSIONED</b></center>
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="17"
 
Year="2015"><b>17-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
+
Commissioning in 1915 was a relatively informal affair. Candidates for regular commissions continued to attend Sandhurst, but in the case of the Territorial Force and the units of the 'New Armies' raised since the outbreak of war, there was no centralised selection or training of young officers.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="18"
 
Year="2015"><b>18-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Up
+
JBC would have applied for a commission on the standard army form and been recommended by Lt Col Davidson. He would have been required to produce a copy of his birth certificate, references as to his standard of education and his moral character (usually a minister or a JP) and would have been interviewed by his brigade commander. For the TF, the final approval word at this stage would have been with the County Territorial Association in Caithness - the group of local worthies who oversaw the TF units from their area.
at dawn - fine bright morning. Black and I slept spent most of the afternoon
+
potting at a German with the periscope rifle but didn't get him. I saw his head
+
and shoulders - my first German. Two or three times it struck me this was Sunday,
+
but it was hard to remember. It's just like any other day, only the Germans
+
usually send over a few more shells than usual. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In the evening, during
 
Church time at home, I lay and 'imagined' the organ and service. We seem very
 
near home.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="19"
+
Once everything was approved, the only formal procedure was the announcement of his commissioning in the London Gazette. At this point he would have been discharged from the 5th Seaforth 'in consequence of being appointed to a commission'.
Year="2015"><b>19-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Another
 
grand day and just the usual routine of the trenches. Went out at night with
 
L/Cpl Sinclair reconnoitering and was out for 2 hours, looking for disused
 
trenches along our front. Got back about 12 and found the Major getting
 
anxious.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="20"
+
It was then up to his regiment to train him - and in early 1915 there was very little knowledge in the Highland Division of the practicalities of soldiering in France.
Year="2015"><b>20-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Up
 
at 3 and found Blackie waiting for me to make tea which we did. Grand morning.
 
After breakfast Finlayson and I took bearings for 3 fixed rifles to sweep roads
 
behind German lines. Loopholes are to be built tonight. Both sides were very
 
quiet today, the Germans can be seen carrying long poles through their
 
trenches. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went along to see 'C' Coy
+
<center><b>18 Mar 15</b></center>
tonight. Addie in good form and more cheerful than usual. I hear from the
+
sergeants that George was simply splendid and willing to do anything. A lovely
+
sunset tonight - great long fiery clouds stretching over the West and overhead
+
and giving everything a fine glow. Overhead several aeroplanes - they usually
+
come at dawn or in the evening. Turned in about <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="10">10:30</st1:time>.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="21"
 
Year="2015"><b>21-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
+
Was just going on parade this morning when Ian and Jim Miller came to tell me I had been gazetted. Miller and Blake are too. I wasn't a bit glad in fact it almost brought tears to my eyes to think that I must give up all my friends. George was very decent and tried to pretend he was glad but I know he isn't. I had to go and put on 'civies' which I had taken care to keep by me. Queer it feels to be in them again. Spent most of the day about the streets and transferring my things to Mrs. Mortimer's where I am to be billeted.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="22"
 
Year="2015"><b>22-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>We
+
Went to lunch at the Mess with Ritson, and met most of the officers. It is much more free and easy than I had expected. Took a box of cigars up to the office and found Jim Miller carting up 4 bottles of Johnnie Walker. He was well screwed, and would have me go over to the Mess with him which I did until I found him going in the kitchen door, then I made my escape. Am sleeping this last night with George.
leave the trenches tonight so most of the day is spent in cleaning up, etc. It
+
is always a wearisome day when we are going out as there is no outgoing mail
+
and therefore no incentive to write. We were relieved by the Indian Division -
+
a regiment of Sikhs relieved the 5th. They were very quiet about is and weird
+
looking. I'ld rather fight with them than against. It started raining just
+
about <st1:time Hour="22" Minute="0">10 p.m.</st1:time> and rained steadily
+
till we got to Merville about <st1:time Hour="3" Minute="30">3:30 a.m.</st1:time>
+
Had to stand an hour and a half on the other side Laventie for D Coy which did
+
not turn up even then. Were pretty well soaked. We are out this time without a
+
single casualty in 'A' Coy.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="23"
 
Year="2015"><b>23-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Rose
+
<center><b>19 Mar 15</b></center>
and breakfasted about 12 <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="12">midday</st1:time>. Felt
+
rather washed out, as if I had been at a dance last night. Allan had a birthday
+
party which was a great success, especially the smoking concert which followed.
+
Paterson and Dannie were in great form. A perfect, moonlight night.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="24"
 
Year="2015"><b>24-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Inspection
+
Breakfast at the Mess and glad to get decent Scotch porridge and cold milk in my mouth again. Got leave to go to Glasgow for seven days, so am leaving tonight. Spent a wearisome day, unsettled, half in and half out of 21.  
by OC at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="10">10 a.m.</st1:time> - rifle inspection.
+
He was in better cut today. Went into Merville after that and again after
+
dinner. Tried to get a bath but there are only 2 in the town and not
+
accessible. The population wash in the river. Had champagne in the Hotel de
+
Ville, to celebrate Barnetson's gazette.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="25"
 
Year="2015"><b>25-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Church
+
Left by the 9:13 with Mowat of the Machine Gun. He is engaged to Mary Stewart. Left him at Rugby. The 4th Seaforth have been badly cut up, and 4th Camerons also#, so the officers' dance which was to be tonight is cancelled.
Service at headquarters this forenoon. Rev. M'Farlane still hammering away at
+
the Kaiser: the sniping pretty rotten. Meeting of officers at Bde HQ in
+
afternoon addressed by Brigadier, revising lessons learned by 3 months
+
experience. I hope he has learned <u>his</u> lesson. Had to go into La Gorgue
+
to find road to station and did so on the Major's nag. Went to bed at <st1:time
+
Hour="20" Minute="30">8:30 p.m.</st1:time>, at least lay down on it, and
+
wakened at <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="30">8:30</st1:time> by Steven D.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>ON
 
THE </span></u></b><st1:place><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>SOMME</span></u></b></st1:place><b><u><span
 
style='font-size:13.5pt'><o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p><i>In mid July the 51<sup>st</sup> (</i><st1:place><i>Highland</i></st1:place><i>)
+
<center><b>20 Mar 15</b></center>
Division moved to the </i><st1:place><i>Somme</i></st1:place><i> region and
+
took over a section of the front line from the French. This was a 'quiet'
+
sector where the division could continue to train. 'Quiet' is relative, but in
+
1915 the name '</i><st1:place><i>Somme</i></st1:place><i>' carried none of the
+
implications that it would gain after the battles of Jul - Nov 1916. <o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>The battalion remained in this area until late 1916, mostly occupying
 
positions on the River Ancre just north of Albert.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="26"
+
Arrived Glasgow 7:30. Breakfasted at YMCA. Ordered uniform at Moore, Taggert's and then started to hunt for Daisy. Found her (out) after an hour and a half's searching.
Year="2015"><b>26-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Marched
 
to La Gorgue station, leaving Merville about <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="5">5
 
a.m.</st1:time> It was raining for the first bit but the sun came out and
 
dried me. Got aboard - 30 men in each truck and officers in 1st and a few in
 
3rd class carriages. Rather a bumpy journey but not too fast to make the bumps
 
uncomfortable. We made a big detour, round by <st1:City><st1:place>Calais</st1:place></st1:City>
 
and Abbeville to <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>. At <st1:City><st1:place>Calais</st1:place></st1:City>
 
we drew up alongside a buffet run by English girls. After <st1:City><st1:place>Calais</st1:place></st1:City>
 
we ran along the coast and then up the valley of the <st1:place>Somme</st1:place>,
 
the country improving every mile. Arrived Corbie about <st1:time Hour="22"
 
Minute="0">10 p.m.</st1:time> and marched 4 miles under a full moon up to the <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>
 
- Albert road. Out billets were at Pont Noyelles.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="27"
+
Met John Budge and had lunch with him at Miss Cranston's. He's a quaint bird but looking more spruce than I've seen him.
Year="2015"><b>27-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Rose
 
late. Had a bathe in a burn with Black and Finlayson. The water is clean and
 
wholesome, quite unlike what we have seen up north. Concert by 'A' and 'B' Coys
 
at the Girls Seminary. Piano on the steps at front door and men standing or
 
sitting round below the trees. Perfect night.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="28"
+
Got Daisy and Tina in at 2:30 and we went to tea together and then they saw me off from Queen's St. Arrived Crossgates and found Bessie here: also the spring-cleaning.
Year="2015"><b>28-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Reviewed
 
today by General Munro, Commanding 3rd Army. Concert tonight by officers. Great
 
success. Finnie sang splendidly. Another perfect night. Conversazione of
 
officers afterwards in 'B' Coy headquarters, and one of the men doing
 
'Imitations'.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="29"
+
<center><b>21 Mar 15</b></center>
Year="2015"><b>29-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Drill
 
in forenoon - handling arms, and also bathing parade. Sun very warm. Lot of
 
Kitcheners passed through today. We expected to move today too but cancelled.
 
This is a lovely little village.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="30"
+
Walked to the Goat Brae with uncle in the forenoon - a blustering day, and a good deal of slushy snow on the roads. Uncle is a very good walking companion. Bob came along in the afternoon and was surprised find Bessie and me here.
Year="2015"><b>30-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Handling
 
of arms and swim in the morning. Marched off at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="17">5
 
p.m.</st1:time> for new billets up nearer the firing line. Rather warm to
 
begin with but cooled down as the sun set and after that had a glorious march.
 
Tea under the trees at the roadside. Then on till <st1:time Minute="30"
 
Hour="11">11:30</st1:time>. Some of the men were pretty well /----/ up with
 
soft feet. Got to bed about 12, in an old stable which had been used as <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>French</st1:PlaceName>
 
<st1:PlaceType>Hospital</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. Straw beds and rather
 
lively. Rose very itchy.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><st1:date Month="7" Day="31"
+
<center><b>22 Mar 15</b></center>
Year="2015"><b>31-Jul-15</b></st1:date><b><o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Difficult
 
to get good water here - the stuff we washed in was full of H2S. Hence late
 
breakfast. Port wine under the trees in the Chateau garden until some of them
 
were beginning to get merry. Paraded at <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="0">5 p.m.</st1:time>
 
and marched down into the little valley: the air very thick and close. Through
 
the wood d'Aveluy, to the ville d'Authuille. My platoon told off to a detached
 
post on the railway which I took over from a gesticulating Frenchman with the
 
aid of an interpreter. Very comfortable little place, especially the quartiers
 
du Commandant. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Dined with the latter
+
Cycled down to Donibristle Ho. this morning. A lovely soft day, but colder later on. The country side is pretty just now and wreaths of snow behind the hedges give it extra colour. Found Donald M'Kay superintending the physical exertions of the men. He had a half day off, so I stayed till after tea. They are mounting 2 9.2 [inch] guns on Braefoot Pt. where he will be stationed when they are completed: at present the guns are 3 days overdue having be[en] shipped from Woolwich. Ship not since heard of. Probably another case of false economy. D.W.M. seems well content with his lot, and if he gets obedience from the men I should think it is more by taking it for granted than by exacting it.  
gentleman and 3 regular officers in a shanty below the bridge. My French very
+
weak. Went round the post about <st1:time Hour="23" Minute="0">11 p.m.</st1:time>
+
and found everything OK and the men fraternising splendidly with the French
+
Johnnies.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>AUGUST
 
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>07 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Got up to Xgates at 5:30, against a stiff breeze and after reconnoitring a few imaginary positions. Went along by car to Lochgelly, with the intention of returning again, but didn't. Had two games of chess with Bob - successfully.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Nothing
 
worth noting down in the past week. I have been on this post all the time. We
 
did some work during the day - clearing the wood in front of Mound Keep and
 
cleaning up the trenches. At night of course the sentries were on and I had to
 
make a tour of these with the sergeant. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The weather has not been
+
<center><b>23 Mar 15</b></center>
too good - fair amount of rain and drizzle, but I have been very comfortable in
+
the hut below the bridge, with first a <st1:City><st1:place>Somerset</st1:place></st1:City>
+
and then a Hampshire officer as company. I messed in Authuille along with the
+
rest of 'A' and 'B', otherwise I spent all my time here. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Have read 'Captain
 
Maigaret' this week and written a few letters. The time passes very quickly.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>08 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
It has been a muggy day. Called at Cowdenbeath on my way down and introduced myself to Mr. Bain. Had a long yarn with him during which he frequently went beyond my depth. Had a longish walk with Uncle in the afternoon.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>A
 
fine quiet day, quite Sunday like. Had a glorious bathe, or rather bath in the
 
burn this morning. Afterwards read Study in Scarlet. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Having been living very
+
<center><b>24 Mar 15</b></center>
much in the past, dallying with old memories, but keeping out the later tragic
+
ones. Think it's good occasionally to just take a good look back.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>09 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Moist
+
Left for Glasgow at 12:30. Auntie down seeing me off. She has broadened considerably in her views lately. Met Dorothy Middleton as arranged and had tea. She continues to increase in beauty and Ian will be dashed lucky if he lands her - an idea she appears to pooh-pooh. Had a very nice time with her - went to La Scala and then to The Picture Ho. for coffee. In the former we ran into Connie Soutar and Tina Cameron, who no doubt thought us an ill-assorted couple. D. is companion to a lady out at Bothwell, and has a very leisurely existence. She took herself home about 9:30 and I made for the YMCA where I got a room for 2/6 consisting of 4 walls, a bed and a bible!
warm day. Too lazy to do any work or to see that the men did any. Glad we're
+
not in the <st1:place>Dardanelles</st1:place>. Have started having rifle
+
inspection every morning and section commanders have one at night. The Bosches
+
are beginning to send over a good many bullets our way so I have altered the
+
route to Authuille, making it exactly the same the French had it. Had a very
+
heavy downpour of rain tonight and a great deal of vivid blue lightening. It
+
was so wet that I didn't visit all the sentries.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>10 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Thick
+
<center><b>25 Mar 15</b></center>
and misty this morning - no improvement after the thunder. Put the men on to
+
clear out the trenches which are rather muddy. Felt more energetic in the
+
afternoon and wrote two letters. A and B have a joint mess but I don't think it
+
would be well to continue it always. The Bosches are beginning to send over
+
shrapnel occasionally now, and two landed up in the wood tonight not far from
+
one of my groups. Probably there is too much movement in the wood.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>11 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Another
+
Spent the morning looking for a waterproof, and didn't find one. I am a most undecided person when hunting for anything like that, and usually start out with no clear idea of what I want. I ultimately came to the decision, on looking up Land & Water, to go down and inspect the London productions and incidentally visit Vane. Went out to Randolph Gardens and found Mary Fargie in. She is small and fat, with a triple chin and a pretty bad Glasgow accent.
good day. Had a good view of the firing line from trenches on the valley side
+
behind us. The Chateau of Thiepval isn't much of a place now. Had some shrapnel
+
into Authuille tonight and some of us had a rather narrow shave. Argyles had
+
one killed and 1 wounded at the river. A lot of our men there too. We are
+
always very lucky. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span><st1:country-region><st1:place>Germany</st1:place></st1:country-region>
 
has offered peace to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Russia</st1:place></st1:country-region>
 
but she has declined. British have taken 1200 yards of trench at Hooge, but it
 
will be only a very local and probably extremely costly success.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>12 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Was at Daisy's at 4:30 and we had tea at Miss Rombach's. I paid a hurried visit to the tailors and then we proceeded to the King's Theatre where we got seats in the front row of the Upper Circle. I enjoyed the play very much, all the more being in their company, and I couldn't help thinking it might be for the last time. I should have liked to tell D. what she has meant to me but Tina was there, which was probably just as well.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
 
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
+
<center><b>26 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
 
  
<p>&nbsp;</p>
+
Got into Euston at breakfast time, which meal I got in a little dingy restaurant with marble topped tables and no table cloths. A lot of others there too, quite decently dressed, but mostly going in for tea, or hot milk and cake! I couldn't make it out. Went to look for a waterproof, and spent most of the morning in that way. Went down Whitehall and also called at Jermyn St. and fixed up with D.S. Kitchen to take over my collection if I don't require them afterwards. Speaking of Salfeld and Pompekj: he thinks they would both be officers in the German Army.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>13 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
+
Went out to Edmonton and caught Vane just going out. We had tea. Both Vane and Con have the pip, and have no fire or keenness left in them. Probably Vane isn't reading enough, and yet he has plenty time. The house wasn't in such good order either.  
Argyles were relieved by the Indian Cavalry Division. These have been in the
+
trenches only about 48 hours since they came out in December. Rather funny to
+
see them losing their companies in the darkness and as I couldn't make myself
+
understood to them I had a bit of a job.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>14 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
+
Got a train from St. Pancras about 8 and got into Bedford about 10. Was up till after 12 trying my uniform on.
officers of the ICD came round today - half a dozen majors and captains with
+
note-books all asking questions. Discovered Leslie who used to be in Chem T
+
among them. He didn't seem to relish the reminiscences so I left him alone. I
+
handed over to an officer of the Iniskillings at <st1:time Hour="18" Minute="0">6
+
p.m.</st1:time> I was only sorry I couldn't wait to hear about <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region>
+
from him. He says 'It's a fine country to go on leave in'. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Battalion formed up in Bois
 
d'Aveluy and when it got dusk, took the road through Albert and got to
 
Buire-sur-l'Ancre about <st1:time Hour="23" Minute="0">11 p.m.</st1:time> No
 
billets for us officers but it was a fine night, and we got our valises under a
 
tree, Blacko and I and were soon asleep.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>15 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>27 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>A
 
fresh awakening this morning: got up about 8 and shaved and washed. Breakfast
 
in a hired room, and later on <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City>
 
got us two nice bedrooms next door to BHQ. The village we are in has not been
 
touched by the war, so that we are rid for the time being of the depressing
 
sights of roofless houses. The inhabitants are all in situ. </p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>16 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Jim Miller was attached to A, and I to B. "B" was on the miniature range this forenoon and practising fire control with landscape targets, so I hadn't any occasion to make a fool of myself although I felt one with my trews as wide as a divided skirt.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
 
newly joined subs paraded under the Sergeant-Major in transport lines and
 
submitted to public degradation - right turns by numbers. Great indignation,
 
especially on Freegard's part.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>17 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
The afternoon I spent moping about the digs. I was over at 21 for a bit, but George and Ian have gone to London for the weekend.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Drill
 
in the forenoon. After tea had a walk by myself up to the main road and back by
 
Ribermont. Read Gray's Elegy on the way and much of it that was meaningless
 
before was quite clear. Lovely evening.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>18 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>28 Mar 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Drill
 
in the forenoon beside the river and after dinner walked over to Bresle to a
 
gas demonstration. In the evening had a stroll up above the village through the
 
cornfields.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>19 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Church parade at 9:20. I got a loan of Captain Ritson's sporran. I had a very bad cough, which I expected would bother me in Church, but I managed to suppress it. Mr. Bain, our Chaplain, can't keep the Germans and their Kaiser out of his sermons. Mowat, Lybster, was next me and trumpeting into my ear.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Football
 
match between men and officers tonight but had to stop in the middle as the
 
ball burst.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>20 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Wrote home in the forenoon and after dinner at Platts I went with Ritson and Mortimer for 18 holes of golf. It was an ideal day and we had a most enjoyable round. I won by one hole, to Ritson's fairly evident disgust, but I think he really was off his game. I don't know whether I did right or wrong to play but I don't see any harm in it, under the circumstances, and this is the only day Mr. Mortimer can get. I like him, he's just like a kid out of school.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
 
forenoon was spent mostly in spraying respirators and smoke helmets, and also,
 
on my part, in packing my valise. Left shortly after <st1:time Minute="0"
 
Hour="15">3 p.m.</st1:time> for the trenches. Had to hoof it with full pack,
 
and left myself just rather too little time. However the Major and Dunvegan,
 
coming behind on horseback were late. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Went by Dernancourt to
+
<center><b>29 Mar 15</b></center>
Moulin du Vivier (Bde H.Q.) and through Albert up to Becourt (Bat. H.Q.) and so
+
up to the fire-trench. We are taking over from 'A', 7th Gordons. Had supper and
+
a look round the trenches. Turned in till <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="4">4 a.m.</st1:time></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>21 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Up
+
Another brilliant day. Marched out about 9:30 to Oakley and then across country to Tithe Farm and Bury Farm. I had charge of 2 platoons in the firing line and got on all right except for a slight inclination to get excited. I must watch that. Ultimately, I was working with one platoon on the extreme left, as the enemy were trying to work round that flank. This was a practice day for the stretcher bearers etc., and was the first hard manual work the pipers have done. The only thing that spoilt the day was waiting on the roadside for 35 minutes for the band to come along. Got in about 2:30.  
at <st1:time Hour="4" Minute="0">4 a.m.</st1:time> and had breakfast. Another look
+
round and then started back to Buire where I arrived at 8.30 and had brekker.
+
Battn. paraded at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="18">6 p.m.</st1:time> At M. du
+
Vivier I was sent back to Buire for the 1/4 guard but managed a byke from
+
Captn. D. Sutherland, and met the guard coming along with transport. Got into
+
the fire trench about <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="16">4 o'clock</st1:time>,
+
pretty tired, so turned in. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had a bathe this morning
 
and found myself 'lowsy' in the extreme in spite of my mouslin shirt. </p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>22 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Invested in a set of chess, but don't believe I'll have much time for it. I haven't been able to do any reading for some time.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Had
 
a 'snackie' at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="4">4 a.m.</st1:time> Very quiet day,
 
which I spent mainly in fitting up a dug-out for myself. I have put up a
 
swinging hammock which won't be so likely to harbour vermin and have partially
 
latticed the doorway which at present is rather open. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Great draw back to these
+
<center><b>30 Mar 15</b></center>
trenches is the lack of proper water supply. All drinking water comes up in
+
water carts at night to B.H.Q. and has to be fetched from there in jars,
+
bottles, tins, etc, by roundabout way. Same with grub and ammunition.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>23 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>This
+
Divisional practice today and moved off at 8:35, so had early breakfast. Marched out about 8 miles, with many checks and then lay on the side of the road for about an hour and a half. It was quite hot in the sun today. At last we advanced, being in reserve to the Argyles. I was with the supports (of the reserves) so hadn't much to do: but it's a treat to work with "B" Coy.  
early breakfast is a good idea and gives a sound basis for beginning the day
+
on. Up at <st1:time Hour="4" Minute="0">4 a.m.</st1:time> and spent the morning
+
in making a sketch map of my trenches. The front line is held very lightly and
+
think the Germans do the same. A good system of communication trenches leads up
+
to the fire trench and the dug-outs are mainly in the support line. A platoon
+
of <st1:City><st1:place>Kitcheners</st1:place></st1:City> (7<sup>th</sup> Beds)
+
is coming up tonight for instruction. Turned in after stand-to.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>24 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Splosh
+
The men are keen and tractable and I shall do everything I can to keep them so. The difficulty is to draw the happy medium between Harper's laisey-faire [sic] and Willie's nagging tactics. We marched home as we came out, with many irritating stops and didn't get in until 6 p.m. so we were very hungry. My face is smarting with the cold and the sun.
wakened me this morning at 4. Evidently there was a mix up last night and he
+
was on by himself with the Beds subaltern. I turned out and had a belated
+
breakfast at 5. 'K's Chaps' had turned in. Saw them at breakfast time. They are
+
nice [or mice ?] like fellows and ours get on with them all right. In some
+
places there has been some friction between K's and Terriers, but not here. They
+
took over all my part of the line after stand-to at <st1:time Hour="20"
+
Minute="0">8 p.m.</st1:time> so I withdrew all my men except 4 sentries.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>25 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>It
+
<center><b>31 Mar 15</b></center>
was 5 before I was up this morning owing to some mistake. Another splendid day,
+
and very quiet. The Germans have been busy opposite us these last nights and
+
are sandbagging their trenches. They have the advantage of us in being on the
+
top of the hill. We can't see their support trenches but they can see ours and
+
down to B.H.Q. as well. In the early morning with the sun behind them they have
+
a big advantage in light too, and I wonder they don't do more sniping. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Spent most of the forenoon
 
in the observation post getting to know their line. Wrote in the afternoon. The
 
evenings are short after tea now. Stand-to is about <st1:time Hour="19"
 
Minute="30">7.30 p.m.</st1:time> </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The Russians have had a
+
Very warm today - the most summery day we've had yet. Rifle and foot inspection at 9:15. Musketry and handling of arms from 11 to 1 and again from 2 to 4. During the latter period I took the company for a short time and felt rather nervous. Somehow, they impress me more than 'C' did, partly because the NCOs are older and more experienced men.  
naval victory in the <st1:place><st1:PlaceType>Gulf</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName>Riga</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>26 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>We
+
Am getting to know W. A. M'Donald, as we are the only officers at present with 'B' and I like him, as every other body does too.  
have been sandbagging the parapet for the last few days to keep the chalk from
+
falling into the trenches. We have made no loopholes here. <st1:City><st1:place>Kitchener</st1:place></st1:City>'s
+
platoon went out last night and were replaced by another of the same battalion.
+
They were spread over all the line, a section to a platoon. We put one of our
+
men to two of theirs for instructional purposes, but I think the instruction
+
mostly took the form of tall tales about 'The Orchard'. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>I was on all night and had
 
much trouble in keeping some of the men alert. The 8 hour shift is rather long
 
I think as there are so many fatigues by day. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splosh singing Harry Lauder
+
Had hoped to get some letter writing today - to Daisy as I had some cigarettes from her this morning, but got none done. Had a game of chess with Ritson, in which he nearly beat me.
in the Mess. He is rather like D.B. except that he <u>can</u> carry a tune.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>27 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Got
+
<center><b>APRIL 1915</b></center>
to bed about <st1:time Hour="5" Minute="0">5 a.m.</st1:time> Rose for breakfast
+
at 8, and went back till dinner time. Wrote in afternoon, and made a sketch of
+
German lines showing loopholes. Think it may be of some use to the men. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Another glorious day - not
 
a drop of rain since we came in to trenches. Had a wash and a shave in a bowl:
 
also a hunt and got one of each variety so I'm proving. But I'm very itchy.
 
Turned in about <st1:time Hour="21" Minute="30">9.30 p.m.</st1:time> Finnie and
 
two Beds' officers are on till <st1:time Hour="4" Minute="0">4 a.m.</st1:time> </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splosh got rather a setback
+
<center><b>01 Apr 15</b></center>
tonight when playing the veteran up among the <st1:place>Queens</st1:place>.
+
The Major gave him rather a hard time when he came back.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>28 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Another
+
Was on duty in the butts at Harrowden today along with Corrigal. We left here at 8:15. Fine dry morning. There is still about 8" of water in the butts so we had to put on waders, which were not water tight, so I was mucking about in wet feet all morning, which didn't do my cold any good. Got home at 2 p.m. and wrote to Daisy. Pills with Blake at night, he is too good for me, but I am very bad. Was over at 21 for a little.  
fine day, but rather close. Saw two Huns through the periscope and had a pot at
+
them. In the evening started putting up a loophole, which took from 7 till <st1:time
+
Hour="23" Minute="0">11 p.m.</st1:time> to finish and it was pouring rain most
+
of the time. No. 4 has very good Lance Corpls, only they do too much work
+
themselves. Seaman and Skinner helped me with the loophole. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Soaked through by the time
 
were done and the trenches were very bad with water lying in them. Wakened
 
Splosh at <st1:time Hour="0" Minute="40">12:40 a.m.</st1:time> and turned in
 
after setting my things to dry all round the dugout</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>29 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Black had No.10 platoon on Brigade inlying picket last night and they were nearly all tight. He wasn't quite sober himself I'm told. That's the way to be carrying on just now. No wonder we have a bad name.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Had
 
quite a comfortable sleep considering. Got up at breakfast time. The loophole
 
is a wee bit low but may do. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>My pocketbook was brought
+
<center><b>02 Apr 15</b></center>
in at <st1:time Hour="6" Minute="0">6 a.m.</st1:time> badly mauled, having been
+
extricated from the debris we threw down last night. Got the things separated
+
out and photos washed, but they won't be quite as good as before. Fortunately
+
it was dry and hot this morning so I got most of my things dried. The trenches
+
wanted a lot of cleaning up, and require some more thorough method of draining.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>30 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Up
+
A total holiday today. Wrote and read in the forenoon. After dinner, Ritson, Mortimer, George and I went out, per taxi, to Clapham golf course and had 18 holes. George was fair excited, and driving a very long, if somewhat erratic ball. It was great to see all his old mannerisms. We all had tea in Mrs. Mortimer's, along with Ian and Addie and some lady friends of the family. We had quite a jolly night. Mrs. Mortimer thinks a lot of George.
at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="4">4 a.m.</st1:time>, clear and cold as usually
+
in the mornings now. The loophole is a bit improved, but all the wire isn't yet
+
cleared away. Artillery tried to get onto a machine gun emplacement, but were
+
far out. Evidently the map is not accurate, or else their shooting is very
+
poor, and the seldom will send up an observation officer. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Black and I on duty at
 
night. It was very cold and we stayed in the mess most of the time, alternately
 
sleeping and writing. Took occasional turns along the line, and tried to locate
 
the underground sounds. We think they must be from some dug-out, or from the
 
trench itself. It hardly seems possible they would drive a mine 350 yards when
 
the lines are much closer elsewhere. Still there must be some explanation of
 
these very high mounds they have thrown up. They can't be from any ordinary
 
trench work. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wee Willie slept in my bed
+
<center><b>03 Apr 15</b></center>
till <st1:time Hour="4" Minute="0">4 a.m.</st1:time> when we all had breakfast,
+
and fed also Fishy, Stalk and Nic. Thank goodness they kept off Golspie for
+
once.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>31 Aug 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Rose
+
Wet today, so the Company didn't parade at all. W.A. M'Donald and I inspected some of the billets, but in a very perfunctory way. I was Supernumerary Orderly Officer, J.B. Morrison being Orderly Officer. The duties don't seem to be either onerous or difficult; and as far as I can gather they are mostly skipped. Morrison seems to be rather a conscientious cove, although it may have been partly for my benefit. I read most of the afternoon, and had to spend from 8 p.m. onward in the orderly room.
for dinner. Very little doing today. Had a few shots through the loophole, but
+
the earth has been too damp lately for observation to be easy. Sandbags are at
+
an end, so there isn't much work to be done. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The Major was testing the
 
artillery on a point today, and found it took ten minutes for them to open
 
fire, which is rather too long. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>'Stand-to' is shortly after
+
<center><b>04 Apr 15</b></center>
<st1:time Hour="19" Minute="0">7 p.m.</st1:time> now. It was very quiet last
+
night. </p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>SEPTEMBER
 
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>01 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Church parade at 8:20. Mr. Bain again: he covered a large field in his sermon, from Homer upwards. After dinner at 21, to which place I am half thinking of not going back, we went to Biddenham - Capt. Ritson, Mr. Mortimer, George and I and had 18 holes. Ritson and I lost by one hole, a very close match and very enjoyable. George was in good form. A perfect evening.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Wakened
 
at <st1:time Minute="0" Hour="4">4 a.m.</st1:time> by Finnie. Cold, clear
 
morning. I hadn't been in the fire trench a minute when a boy Graham was shot
 
through the head. Death was instantaneous. It was hard luck, on our last
 
morning too. We hardly realise how near death is, and yet it doesn't awe us
 
somehow. You feel that the body isn't everything, and yet there's nothing
 
religious about the thought. We buried him at <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="30">10:30</st1:time>,
 
in a grave dug by his companions. One of the burying party was hit with
 
shrapnel, on the leg, while returning. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In the afternoon the 7th
+
We all had tea and supper in 26. George waited till roll-call. I am very sorry for him, he seems so sick of 21, where the gramophone is never quiet, unless it's to give the piano a chance.
Gordons officers came up to take over, so we had a large party at tea. It began
+
to rain in the afternoon and the trenches were soon in a great muck. It is
+
always wearisome waiting for the reliefs, and tonight they didn't arrive till <st1:time
+
Hour="23" Minute="30">11:30 p.m.</st1:time> They were too smart to need guides
+
so lost their way. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We got down to the foot of
 
hill 106 after plootering through the mud. Some platoons came down the road,
 
but I didn't care to take that responsibility. The moon was high by this time,
 
and we had a good march in although the tail straggled a little at first and I
 
had to leave three men behind. Arrived at Buire as <st1:time Hour="3" Minute="0">3
 
a.m.</st1:time> and found <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City>
 
waiting for us. We subs of 'A' are billeted in the mayor's house and have bed
 
between two.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>'REST'<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
+
<center><b>05 Apr 15</b></center>
  
<p><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p><i>&#8216;Rest&#8217; for infantry units out of the line was not really an
+
Divisional sports, and thank goodness a fair and mild, if not a brilliant day. The sports were in the Grammar School grounds and attracted a huge crowd. The crowd, as far as fashion, etc. was considered, was very tame. There were 5th competitors in many of the events and we won the 100 yd (Goddard) and the officers relay race, besides being second in the tug of war and number of other events. All over we had second place, 21 points to 43 of the 8th Argyles. The latter carried off most of the heavy events. The dancing was a treat but the presence of three or 4 professionals knocked all the amateurs out.  
accurate description of what happened. It was more a matter of continual
+
fatigues in the trenches and rear areas.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>02 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wakened at <st1:time
+
After mess sat in the billet where Mr. and Mrs. Ritson, Mrs. Mortimer and her rather pretty niece Miss Monk had foregathered.
Hour="11" Minute="15">11:15</st1:time> by Ross, who reported breakfast ready.
+
Rose with that 'after the ball' feeling which we always have the night after
+
coming out. It was drizzling in the forenoon but I went for a wash and a bathe.
+
Met Adam who seemed to acquiesce in his engagement. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had a letter from Daisy re
 
rose bowl which appears to have given satisfaction. Dinner and tea at <st1:time
 
Hour="17" Minute="0">5 p.m.</st1:time> Had a walk up to the high road in the
 
twilight.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>03 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>06 Apr 15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Parade at <st1:time Hour="9"
 
Minute="30">9:30</st1:time>. Blackie, Finnie and I. We had inspection and
 
physical exercises. Rather cold and raw - too cold for a bathe. Football match
 
at <st1:time Hour="15" Minute="0">3 p.m.</st1:time> between right and left
 
halves of company. Very enjoyable, but not good football: one fellow got his
 
ankle broken. Very wet tonight. Fatigue party of 150 men up at Bouzincourt all
 
day, Splosh with them. This is Daisy's wedding day. Long life and happiness to
 
her and her husband.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>04 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Divisional exercise today and a most disagreeable day at that. We marched out the Kempston and Ampthill road and effected a junction with another column which was on the Cotton End road in Wilshamstead Wood, from which we turned south and attacked the Gordons at Haynes Park. The attack went rather rapidly at the centre where we joined the 6th, and I rather foolishly joined in a premature assault which they made. As it was we were in a salient and would have been enfiladed, but thought the movement was general. I must be more careful in future.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>No parade this forenoon as
 
another fatigue party of 150 left at <st1:time Hour="7" Minute="0">7 a.m.</st1:time>
 
with Finnie etc. Wrote Bob in the garden. It was a fine forenoon, but wind is
 
getting cold. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Left with party of 200 men
+
"B" Coy's concert is on tonight, but I was told off for Brigade Inlying Picquet in Albert Terrace. After several attempts to quieten them the men have at last subsided and quietness reigns. I suspect they have been throwing lemonade bottles through the (closed) windows, but am not certain. I have just had to speak pretty plainly to some of them.
at <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="30">5:30 p.m.</st1:time> for Albert. We worked
+
on communication trench which leads up to La Boisselle. Line was pretty quiet,
+
except for some heavy explosions - heavy shells and trench mortars. Just a few
+
stray bullets near us. Fortunately it was a grand night, although not too warm.
+
We got back at <st1:time Hour="2" Minute="30">2:30 a.m.</st1:time> after a fine
+
march.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>05 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Brekker at <st1:time
+
<center><b>GOLSPIE</b></center>
Hour="8" Minute="0">8 a.m.</st1:time> I though to have a fine quiet Sunday and
+
get some letters written, but about 11 o'clock word came that the battn was to
+
shift quarters to Henencourt. This necessitated the fatigue party of 300 men
+
going in full marching order. We packed up after dinner and left at <st1:time
+
Hour="16" Minute="0">4 p.m.</st1:time> </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Arrived at our new billets
 
after a very warm but short march. The new place isn't nearly so comfortable as
 
Buire, but the air is brisker. Finnie and I have a nice room upstairs, with a
 
motherly old wife to take an interest in us. Had tea at <st1:time Hour="20"
 
Minute="0">8 p.m.</st1:time>, &quot;and so to bed&quot;. Some pears I carried
 
in my haversack today have mucked up my diary, which is rather a humbug.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>06 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
JBC spent the next few weeks at Golspie with the 2/5 Seaforth, during which time he made only one entry in the diary.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Up at <st1:time Hour="5"
 
Minute="30">5:30 a.m.</st1:time> for breakfast and fatigues. Left with 300 men
 
and 6 officers for second line trenches between Albert and Bouzincourt. Very
 
fine morning, the air and the pipes and everything reminded me of <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City>,
 
in fact the difficulty is to realize we are behind the firing line. The country
 
is splendid and the harvest ready for carting home. The women, children and old
 
men do the work, mostly early morning, and evening. Worked till after 12 and
 
got back <st1:time Hour="14" Minute="30">2:30 p.m.</st1:time> The men very
 
tired, and not fit to work well. There are far too many fatigues here, and
 
always a long march before and after. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had a rest in the afternoon
+
On 11 Apr 15 the Highland Division was warned to prepare to move to France. It arrived in France on 1 May 15 and shortly afterwards was retitled 51st (Highland) Division with the brigade became 152nd Brigade.
and after tea wrote and went for a stroll. Singing in B Coys tonight, also a
+
case of O.P. Didn't go down.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>07 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Lovely day again. I was to
+
Jim Miller was wounded by shellfire on 19 May and evacuated to UK.
have gone on fatigue this forenoon but it was cancelled so we had a bit of a
+
rest, but not altogether undisturbed as there was a 'non-surprise' alarm at <st1:time
+
Hour="16" Minute="30">4:30 p.m.</st1:time> The battalion turned out pretty
+
smart, even considering they were expecting it; I don't see what good it did -
+
so much 'eye-wash' no doubt. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After tea, went for a
 
stroll up into the corn fields and wrote to May: A glorious sunset. The nights
 
are splendid just now.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>08 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
On 15 Jun 'C' Company, led by Capt Joe Robertson, took part in an attack on German trenches which failed in the face of machine-gun fire and uncut barbed wire. 2 officers and 33 other ranks were killed - many others were wounded. Among the dead were Sgt Ian M'Millan, Pte George Alexander and 2/Lt Donnie Dunnet. Capt Joe Robertson, Capt Joseph Ritson and Lt W A M'Donald were among the wounded.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast at <st1:time
 
Hour="6" Minute="30">6:30 a.m.</st1:time> and left before eight for work on the
 
second line defences near Bouzincourt. Capt M'Leod in charge of party. We took
 
rather a round about way going, and in trying to take a short cut coming back
 
we ran up against the wire near Millencourt and had to make a big detour to get
 
round. It was a fair scorcher of a day, and we were glad of any shade to be got
 
from trees on the wayside, but that was not much. We got in at <st1:time
 
Hour="14" Minute="0">2 p.m.</st1:time> </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Spent the afternoon in my
+
Sergt-Maj Sutherland and three others won the Distinguished Conduct Medal bringing in the wounded under fire.  
sleeping bag reading and sleeping. After tea went down to Buire on the Major's
+
horse.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>09 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splendid day again.
+
JBC's diary for 15 Jun simply says 'Battle of Festubert'
Breakfast at <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="0">8 a.m.</st1:time>, as the fatigue
+
part wasn't in till about 3 a.m. Another left at <st1:time Hour="12" Minute="0">noon</st1:time>,
+
so dinner was at 11. Many who were on last night were on again today. The men
+
are getting footsore. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Lay in most of the day, as
 
I am rather stiff and have a bit of a cold coming on. Worked after tea at
 
Fortnum and Mason's accounts with <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City>,
 
trying to get them squared off but there are several difficulties. We tackled
 
it again with the help of the Major after they came back but with no greater
 
success. It can only be a very approximate allocation.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>10 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Shortly after Festubert JBC's mother received the following letter:
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast at <st1:time
+
__________________________________________________________________________
Hour="8" Minute="0">8 a.m.</st1:time> Another splendid day with more air. No
+
fatigue today, but had an inspection parade, under platoon arrangements. Some
+
of the equipment very badly put on. Rifles are usually well kept with the
+
exception of one or two - including Skinnie. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Right half company played
+
Private
left half this afternoon, resulting in a win for latter by 1-0. Finnie and I
+
played for left half, and Blacko, in a flimsy costume and identity disc played
+
for right. There was too much temper in it, especially on old Stewart's part.
+
The refereeing was strict to excess. Very good game all the same, and although
+
I fell absolutely pegged out I believe it has done my cold good. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Laurie [?] has gone away
+
3472 "C" Coy
with some skin trouble, and don't expect he will come back. Watson away to
+
hospital again, this time with his eyes.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'>&nbsp;</p>
+
1st 5th Sea Hdrs
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>BACK
+
152nd Infantry Brig
INTO THE LINE<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>11 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
51st (Highland) Division
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Rifle inspection as usual.
+
B. E. France
Billets had to be cleaned up in the afternoon: have always to keep nagging at
+
this job. Teas at <st1:time Hour="15" Minute="30">3:30</st1:time>. Marched off
+
at <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="0">5 p.m.</st1:time> No. 4 platoon leading. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The day had been very hot
+
Friday 25 June
but it was a grand evening for marching, although road very dusty. They were
+
taking in the harvest along the roadside, and away in the distance beyond
+
Albert, the white lines of the trenches could be seen. Got to the rendezvous,
+
on the other side of the town, at dusk and were met by the guides who led us
+
up. The communication trench up to the Chateau has been much improved and
+
drainage arrangements are much better. Still I thought we would never get up to
+
the top: and beyond the Chateau we had about as far to go again. We were posted
+
by about <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="0">10 o'clock</st1:time>. Turned in till <st1:time
+
Hour="4" Minute="0">4 a.m.</st1:time></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>12 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Dear Mrs Cairnie,
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wakened at <st1:time
+
                       
Hour="4" Minute="0">4 a.m.</st1:time> and went on duty with Blackie. Splendid
+
morning, the trench especially what is held by No. 4, is in a bad state of
+
repair. We vary from about 200 yards to 100 yards from Germans. Pretty quiet
+
all day - a few trench mortars on the left. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>One of the Neats in No. 2
+
You all must have got a great shock when the news of our casualties reached Thurso & especially when you heard of the loss of the two boys you know so well, I can well understand your feelings but I know one gets a great comfort in the knowledge that they have died the most noble and honourable deaths.
was shot through the head while looking over the parapet through his telescope.
+
He was always too daring. His brother was very much cut up. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We are working one officer
 
in firing line here, as we have a small frontage. I was on at night from 10 to
 
1 so had a decent sleep.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>13 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Thurso & Wick have suffered heavily as a result of the charge which shall never be forgot by any of the survivors.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast was a bit late as
 
'C' Coy is not strong enough for all the fatigues. Poor old 'C' they don't get
 
much consideration - some think too much including Howie. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got a fatigue party on to
+
Your parcel for poor George came here the other day and was handed to me & I saw by the card that I was meant to share it, I shared with several of the other boys here & let them know who it was for & who it was from.
sandbagging the trench. There's a tremendous lot of work to be done before the
+
trench will be suitable for winter. Carried on in the afternoon, but had to
+
chuck it when trench mortars started coming over. They were dropping all along
+
our line in No. 4. Fortunately it is possible to see them coming. They came
+
from the left, but weren't of the large type. They were just like Bethune
+
bombs, and turned over and over making a whistling noise which rapidly mounted
+
in strength till it was like an express train coming up. Sometimes the bombs
+
lay for a few seconds but usually they burst immediately they reached the ground.
+
They sent over a lot of rifle grenades.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>14 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>On duty from 1 to 4 and got
+
I wrote a short note to Bruce the other day, poor Bruce will feel it terribly as George was always speaking about him & the rare times they used to have together especially in camp at Reay & I always knew by the way he spoke that they were the best of chums. I remember him say not very long ago that he was glad Bruce was not out here.
in about 10 hours sleep, in spite of Blackie's snoring. No work done on the
+
trench this morning. About <st1:time Hour="11" Minute="0">11 o'clock</st1:time>
+
the Germans blew up one of our mines and a number of men of the R.E. were
+
gassed. One officer and three men or so were done for. Some Argyles who
+
assisted at the top of the shaft were the worse of the gas too. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We took over the left
 
sector of the line at <st1:time Hour="16" Minute="0">4 o'clock</st1:time>, changing
 
over with 'D' Coy. A lot of trench mortars came over just at that time but did
 
no damage. No. 1 platoon lost a Melvich boy at tea-time - shot through the
 
parapet and Argyle working party had two killed and 5 wounded at night by a
 
trench mortar. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>And after all we are just
+
I'm not to say give any of the details of the attack as I've begun to hate speaking about it, one does not realise what chums really are till after they are gone beyond one's reach.
holding on and doing no good. Our sentries in the front line are sitting in
+
little holes in the parapet, neither observing nor firing and the Germans are
+
firing our own mines. Everybody talks in whispers and walks on tiptoe.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>15 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Was on duty from <st1:time
+
Nothing more at present, hoping this finds everyone in Thurso in good health.
Hour="0" Minute="0">midnight</st1:time> until six. Sat in the dugout and read
+
all the time. Quiet night and no casualties in the Coy. Was round the front
+
line with Blackie. The right is worse than the left. The men are mostly pretty
+
cheery about it, but some are very shaky. We heard today that the big push is
+
to start tomorrow - combined movement by the British and French. That explains
+
the heavy cannonading we have been hearing for the day or two, to our right and
+
left, mainly left. We are evidently not to be in the first push. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>A bombing party were sent
 
out tonight to try to jigger up one of the German mines. They threw some bombs
 
and got back safely but whether they accomplished anything or not we don't
 
know. We had some hefty trench mortars and rifle grenades back by way of
 
reaction, some of the <st1:place>Bolton</st1:place> boys got badly shaken but
 
nothing worse happened.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>16 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Believe me,
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Sat in the dug out reading
+
yours sincerely,
and writing till <st1:time Hour="5" Minute="0">5a.m.</st1:time> but the
+
atmosphere was stifling and the flies a torment, so I had to get out
+
occasionally. A misty night. Some of the men were a bit nervy, and one of my
+
posts had 'retired' before a series of mortar bombs and rifle grenades. We
+
could see the trench mortars coming quite well with a tail of sparks behind. No
+
casualties. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>In the afternoon our
+
Andrew B Sinclair
artillery bombarded the enemy's trenches and tried to demolish the craters
+
between the lines. They fired about 12 huge explosives (2 duds). The company
+
was withdrawn to the reserve line - fortunately as some of the shells were
+
short and made a dickens of a mess of our own trench. The result was that we
+
had to put on fatigue parties to build up and clear our own trenches after our
+
own guns.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>17 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
___________________________________________________________________________
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>So hot in the dug-out that
+
I sat outside the door all night, among the rats. Finally lay down and slept
+
for an hour. Very quiet all night. </p>
+
  
<p>Had to get the trenches cleared up today to hand them over clean, and must
+
say <st1:City><st1:place>Kitchener</st1:place></st1:City>'s men are getting
+
them in a much cleaner state than we did. As usual had a tiresome afternoon,
+
but finally the relief arrived before we were quite expecting them. Before I
+
got mine out the trench mortars started and we had rather a hot time. Still, no
+
casualties occurred. After jamming in the trench for a long time we got down to
+
and through Albert, and once over the rise we sat down, glad to be out and on
+
top of the ground. The men were in good spirits and sang a good deal which is
+
unusual at such a time. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Arrived Henencourt at <st1:time
+
Hour="22" Minute="0">10 p.m.</st1:time> fairly well fagged out, and made a
+
bee-line for Splosh and Blackie's estaminet where we had a couple of bottles of
+
champagne: then a cup of tea as we had sent the cooks on ahead. Then to bed.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>18 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>TO FRANCE</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast at 10. At 11
 
marched down to Buire for a wash and a bathe. Very hot and dusty. Had a good
 
bathe. Adjourned to the Pharmacie and helped Splosh with a bottle of Bass. Got
 
back to Buire at 4 and had dinner - Macconochie, and roasted apples. Nothing
 
doing tonight. Had stroll in the moonlight.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>19 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
After the shock of 15 Jun 1915, 1/5 Seaforth remained in the front line until the 25th when they moved to rest billets at La Gorgue (about20Km east of Lille).
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Another very hot day.
 
Orderly officer today, which I discovered only ten minutes before time for
 
guard-mounting. Company inspected by C.O. in the afternoon and pronounced very
 
good. Don't know what makes them take that badgering tone with the men. Perhaps
 
it's modesty, but I think if Davidson told them they had done well in the
 
trenches they would think more of themselves and of him too. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Church parade at <st1:time
+
The need to replace battle casualties and the increasing numbers of officers required by battalions on active service meant a draft of officers was sent out from the 2/5th at Golspie. After a farewell dinner in the Sutherland Arms Hotel, Brora on the evening of 23 Jun 15 JBC left for France the next day.
Hour="18" Minute="0">6 p.m.</st1:time>, Herbert Reid preaching on &quot;This
+
Gospel&quot;. I walked back to Millencourt with him. He has opened a dry
+
canteen there and sells at home prices. He is in his element there. Had great
+
argument with <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City> and Moy Hall
+
tonight about God and the War, Marriage, etc. and as a consequence felt very
+
restless tonight.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>20 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast <st1:time Hour="6"
+
<center><b>JUNE 1915</b></center>
Minute="0">6 a.m.</st1:time> To Bouzincourt at <st1:time Hour="19" Minute="15">7:15</st1:time>
+
with fatigue party. Perfect day with a nip in the air. Large fatigue party out,
+
and part of it (Argyles) was spotted and had to quit. Finnie's new job is to
+
take him from us for a bit and he has given up his platoon. James Willie is
+
Divisional Transport Officer. Got a few letters written and am now trying to
+
square up the Mess accounts but it strikes me that somehow I'm running this on
+
my own money.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>21 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Lord Kitchener inspected us
+
<center><b>24-Jun-15</b></center>
this afternoon before we went into the trenches. He was very red in the face,
+
and the fellows said worried looking. We marched straight off after the
+
inspection (<st1:time Hour="15" Minute="30">3:30 p.m.</st1:time>) to Aveluy,
+
passing through Albert which had just been shelled: the side of a house was
+
lying across the street. Got into our quarters in the Bois d'Authuille about <st1:time
+
Hour="19" Minute="0">7 p.m.</st1:time> Had a late supper as we had some trouble
+
with the mess cart.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>22 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast at <st1:time
+
Barnetson and I left Golspie at 6:30 a.m. Had a grand send off, all the officers and men of the battalion coming to the station to see us off. The journey wasn't exciting, as Barnetson isn't any more of a conversationalist than I, but very pleasant. Saw a number of friends in Edin. including Bob and Bessie. Left at 10:50 for London, having picked up Sutherland.
Hour="8" Minute="0">8 a.m.</st1:time> We have a splendid mess with a pergola
+
and verandah outside. This is my birthday and a splendid day too. Splosh and I
+
made a set of chessmen out of cardboard and had a game. We haven't managed a
+
wash today - in fact it has been a very lazy day. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>My birthday cake hasn't
 
arrived yet and I'm afraid Mother will be much disappointed when she knows.
 
Still we managed a first class tea with sardines, queen-cakes, currant buns,
 
etc. and later in the evening champagne. We had a fire in the mess and were
 
very nice and cozy. Finnie is grubbing with D Coy to be near H.Q.s.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>23 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>25-Jun-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Rather dull and sultry
 
today. Nothing doing all day, except smoking and eating sweeties. After tea,
 
had to go over to Head Qrs. and see to the digging of some dummy trenches.
 
Thunderstorm came on and the men got soaked so they worked hard. The guns have
 
been going it strong today, making a great din in the trees and I hear that La
 
Boisselle has been heavily bombarded by us. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Freegard had a narrow
+
Breakfasted at the Strand Palace Hotel and after being photographed, at Lafayette’s, went and met Vane at Piccadilly. He is looking much better after his route-march to Cambridge. We shopped, and had lunch at the SPH - eleven of us, including five of us officers. Left Waterloo 2:55 p.m., and feeling in very good spirits all of us, but I think the women who are left behind are bravest of all.  
escape last night. Went out with an Argyle officer to take in a flag which the
+
Germans had planted before our line. There was a bomb attached to the stick,
+
and it exploded and killed the other officer. Machine guns were turned on them
+
then.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>24 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Still raining this morning:
+
Arrived Southampton about 6 p.m. and got our business done. Leaving tonight late by the Harve packet. A number of civilians crossing too.
the woods were soaking and the road and paths all turned to mud. After
+
breakfast we lit a wood fire in the Mess, and played Bridge till dinner. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Was up at the 6th Seaforth
 
lines with party in the afternoon but didn't wait. The Brigadier is afraid the
 
Germans have gone back as things are very quiet so he wanted Nicolson to take a
 
patrol out in daylight. There is still some rifle fire coming over and a few
 
pip-squeaks. They will likely leave a few machine guns in their front trench up
 
to the very last. Our guns have been giving it to them very hot all day, and
 
the wood has been echoing with the reports. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Gid and Harper in to tea
+
<center><b>26-Jun-15</b></center>
which was rather a spread with sardines and tomato sauce, apple tarts and seed
+
cake.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>25 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Raining hard all night, and
+
On deck shortly before 8 a.m. No land in sight, but fine breezy sunny morning. Had breakfast and before we were finished we were inside Harve harbour.  
most of the day. Had a fatigue party up to 6th Seaforths, building parapet.
+
'Davit' in to dinner and tea. He is always so cheery. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Sat in all afternoon and
 
evening with a big wood fire. Our guns have been going strong most of the day
 
and the Germans lying dogo mostly. Good news today. We have broken through on
 
the North. The Germans here are a bit jumpy, and the 6th gave then a bit rapid
 
and a cheer at 'Stand to', which brought a brisk reply. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Finished up the evening
+
Char-a-banc up to the Base Office from which we received orders to proceed Rouen same afternoon. Had a very enjoyable journey, not much sign of war here, but on the quays were piles of barbed wire and large numbers of transport waggons parked.  
with a great argument in the mess, ending up on evolution which the Major
+
strongly opposes.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>26 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Rather a better day. Got
+
Arrived Rouen about 5:30 p.m. and after some difficulty found our way to the Hotel Angleterre where we found Nicolson and Paterson eating strawberries. Later went out to the Base Depot where we are to billet until further orders - in canvas shacks.
the dugouts cleaned up. Were relieved at <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="0">5 p.m.</st1:time>
+
and just after my platoon got clear, some pip-squeaks came over and Black's lot
+
had rather a narrow shave. Nobody hit. The road in the wood was very bad, but
+
once we got onto the high road it was grand. Company formed up on the other
+
side of Albert. From there we had the pipes, and the moon came up. There's no
+
time like the march to billets.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>27 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got up at about <st1:time
+
<center><b>27-Jun-15</b></center>
Hour="8" Minute="30">8:30 a.m.</st1:time> The men were payed in the forenoon,
+
getting only 5 Fr. each, with which they were rather dissatisfied. There was a
+
good deal of drink going at night and rows in several estaminets. Tube helmet
+
parade before dinner.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>28 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Cold and raw. Inspection by
+
This being Sunday there way nothing very much doing in the way of drill. We went down to the town and wandered through the streets, visiting the market which was pretty well packed with country people. We (Barnetson, Suddy, Hamish and I) had some grub at a café - strawberries made up in some sickening sort of way. Saw the Cathedral and most of the older parts of the town, some of it fairly ancient and replete with carved arches and figures in all sorts of corners and attitudes. Had a decent dinner at a restaurant: Hamish inclined to get a bit uproarious. Nearly all the shops were shut. Sat in a café on the river front for a bit and then took the car out to the camp.
new Divisional General (Harper) as <st1:time Hour="14" Minute="30">2:30 p.m.</st1:time>,
+
Allason having gone home in bad health. Very cold standing on parade. Short
+
route march followed, round by Bresle and Baizieux. Got in to tea about six,
+
and had a good spread.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>29 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Rather a nasty day. Battn
+
<center><b>28-Jun-15</b></center>
did an attack on Millencourt. 'A' Coy formed the firing line. Funny that
+
although the men have all been under fire they wouldn't get down on their
+
stomachs any better than at <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City>,
+
and movement was pretty slow: it made the thing seem very unreal. Wrote letter
+
all afternoon and at <st1:time Hour="20" Minute="0">8 p.m.</st1:time> was
+
detailed to report to Martinsart at <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="0">9 a.m.</st1:time>
+
tomorrow morning.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>30 Sep 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Left Henencourt after an
+
After breakfast we walked up to the pine wood about a mile along the road for a lecture by a young Captain who has evidently been out all winter. On the road, and on the sandy bit of plateau between it and the river infantry and cavalry were being drilled. The infantry were in some cases drafts newly come out, in others details, sick, etc. They were fairly getting it rubbed in and smartened up, but it was only for a few hours in the day.  
early breakfast for Martinsart, along with Nicolson, to take over at Authuille.
+
Howie and Barnetson came over on horseback. Arrived at Authuille via Martinsart
+
and Bois d'Aveluy about <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="0">10 a.m.</st1:time> There
+
was a bit of a mix up when the Battalion arrived owing to 'misunderstanding'.
+
Half of 'A' messing with 'D' Coy in the old estaminet. The Major, Murray and I
+
sleeping in the cellar behind the bar, which has been turned into a comfortable
+
bedroom with two beds. Black and Splosh have gone over to the post on the
+
railway, where there are now two platoons. The other two are in the dug-out
+
down below the river bank. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>As we came along by
 
Bouzincourt this morning we saw a German aeroplane brought down by a Britisher.
 
Both occupants were killed. There was an immediate rush for souvenirs, and one
 
fellow made off with the machine's 'tail' and though chased by two sentries
 
managed to 'make good'.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>October
+
In the evening we went down to Rouen, Finnie playing football on the way and generally conducting himself like a young child. Barney and he and I thought to go down the river on a steamer but missed it and put it off. We went and had dinner at the Café Normandie. The three of us climbed the chalk hill on the South? side of the town. It rises almost perpendicularly from the side of the river, of which and all the surrounding country especially to the West it commands a magnificent view.
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>01 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had a very good sleep in
+
<center><b>29-Jun-15</b></center>
the cellar. The weather seems to have settled down again to another fine spell.
+
Went round to the railway post with the Major after brekker. The Mound Keep is
+
much improved, and a lot of new dugouts have been made.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>George Murray and Howie put
 
a stove into the mess in the afternoon and we are now fortified against the
 
cold. The nights are very cold now. Things are very quiet on the line here.
 
Practically no shelling and only very few trench mortars up at the Chateau.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>02 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
The same programme today as yesterday but it came on rain so we returned to camp, when it cleared up. Harry Lauder's son has joined the camp. In the afternoon we had revolver shooting at which I was nothing patent. Went down to Rouen tonight again and in time to catch the steamer. We all got aboard and comfortably seated. Just as it was about to leave we sent Suddy to see when it would return. On finding it would come back tomorrow morning we bunked for the quay. Adjourned to the Café Normandie where we found Johnnie Paterson with the news that we are for the road tomorrow. So we had what we thought was to be our last civilised dinner - nothing now but bully beef and biscuits - and celebrated the occasion by having a good feed.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splendid morning and had a
 
bracing wash in the weir - hands and face only. Went over to MacMahon's post in
 
the forenoon. Black and Splosh at breakfast. Steven D in waiting. Splosh
 
ordered by the MO to go to bed as he has been badly for several days. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After dinner we saw a lot
+
<center><b>30-Jun-15</b></center>
of black smoke rising from their direction and it proved to be from the fire
+
Splosh had got lit in the shelters below the bridge. The place was burnt out,
+
the telephone shelter being saved with difficulty. When the Major and I went
+
over Splosh and Black were looking very down in the mouth but the Major's
+
cheery face soon put them to rights. He wasn't in the least put out about it.
+
Blacko lost his greatcoat, magnapole, etc in the conflagration.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>03 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Another lovely day. On
+
Packed up our stuff, and drew web equipment, etc. from the QM Stores. Left camp at 5 p.m. The train left at 7:45 p.m. On board are several drafts of men and a good number of officers. Had a fine view of Rouen when crossing the railway bridge, with the sunset in the background.
fatigue at <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="0">9 a.m.</st1:time> with party working
+
on drain for water pipe which is to take 2 gallons per man per day to the
+
firing line. It will be a tremendous saving in labour. A German aeroplane came
+
over several times and we had to stop work several times. Shrapnel doesn't seem
+
to be much good against them and I have never seen or heard of a plane being
+
brought down by it. Dinner was sent up. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Sat in all night playing
 
bridge, etc. I hear today that the <st1:City><st1:place>Kitchener</st1:place></st1:City>'s
 
lot have withdrawn from the Ilo and Dinhollow trenches at La Boisselle.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>04 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>JULY 1915</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splosh went to hospital
 
this morning so I had to take his place at the bridge and the new officers
 
dug-out is a wretched affair. We have decided to have our grub at the Mess.
 
James Willie and Hamish M'Intosh who had gone to hospital were sent across to <st1:country-region><st1:place>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>,
 
probably owing to the hospitals being cleared out for influx of casualties from
 
the North. We are now 4 officers short. The draft of men (87) arrived late
 
tonight. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The work at MacMahon's post
+
<center><b>01-Jul-15</b></center>
is going ahead but the Brigadier was round today condemning the roofs of the
+
dug-outs as not being shell-proof. Fortunately they are the work of the
+
Gordons. Heavy bombardment going on to the North.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>05 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had a very good sleep in
+
Didn't sleep very well last night, probably because of certain amount of une Slept from 10 to 8 a.m. although the train was jolting and bumping at a fearful rate. We got into Bethune in the afternoon and later detrained at La Gorgue.  
spite of Blacko's snoring. Wrote in the afternoon in the mess. Wet outside. The
+
Court Martial on Dunvegan came off tonight and up to the time I left was 'gey
+
dreich' but I understand it livened up considerably towards the end when George
+
Murray was well canned.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>06 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Today misty a bit. Made a
+
Major Morrison met us three and conducted us to the transport train where we were entertained to tea by Major Sinclair and James Willie - under the greenwood tree. I was surprised to see the civil population evidently going about their work as usual and children sprawling in the gutter although they are within range of the German lines. Of course all the men are in uniform. The countryside is very flat, rather like some of Bedfordshire, but the crops are getting pretty high and make the country even more difficult. We went on later to the 'Reserve Trenches' in Rue Baceanot.
sketch of Berridale Brae. In the evening played bridge and went with Howie and
+
Black to hunt rats. Not very successful. Stalker came back tonight from St.
+
Omer where he was for machinegun course. Says British are rather downhearted in
+
the North at not having done so well as they hoped. But we must and shall win
+
in the end, however far away that may be, and however few of us live to see it.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>07 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Better weather today. Captain
+
<center><b>02-Jul-15</b></center>
Sutherland comes in every day for dinner which is followed by a game of quoits
+
in the back garden. We are always glad to see his cheery face. More rat hunting
+
tonight and bridge. French are reported to be going on yet in <st1:State><st1:place>Champagne</st1:place></st1:State>.
+
Dreamt last night of killing rats.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>08 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Nothing doing today. Bridge
+
Breakfast at 8. The men are up at 5:30 but no parades are held. Rifle inspection at 9:30. I have No 4 Platoon with D. Morrison and Skinnie in it. There is nothing doing - sleep and eat all day and this being Maj M'Millan's birthday we did the latter very well. Went over to 'C' Coy in the forenoon and found Addie, Deuchart and the rest wonderfully hearty. We had a tea party in honour of the Major's birthday, although I think he supplied most of the eatables.  
as usual after tea. <s>Stalker came back tonight an</s> Howie, Dunvegan and
+
myself had a rat-hunt on our way home as <st1:time Hour="23" Minute="0">11 p.m.</st1:time>
+
It has to stop now though as too many lights are being seen in the village.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>09 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Thick and misty today. No
+
Before tea I went up to the firing line and had the first experience of being near shrapnel. Up there it is very quiet and everybody is very comfortable. The trench is of the nature of a redoubt, built of sandbags, over which it is almost certain death to stick your head in daylight. The enemy snipers are very good. I found Adam very happy, in one of the dug-outs.
news of the fighting today. At the Mound Keep for the forenoon. The dugouts are
+
all ready for roofing now if only the corrugated iron would come. The Argyles
+
had their parapet blown in last night, with a number of casualties. The Germans
+
are using very heavy mortars. Fatigue parties of out men were sent up to
+
repair, and evidently to the General's satisfaction as he asked to see Sgt Reid
+
and L/Cpl Keith both of 'C' Coy, today.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>10 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>This turned out to be a
+
<center><b>IN THE TRENCHES</b></center>
fine quiet day. We were relieved tonight by the 8th Black Watch, so most of the
+
day was spent in tidying up. The Major wouldn't play quoits this afternoon,
+
being Sunday. Sat in the dug outs with George M'Kay and Hugh Fraser and others,
+
with a roaring fire and had solos from various singers. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got a splendid starry night
 
for marching to billets - the men were in good form and sang most of the way.
 
The Germans dropped four shrapnel in Aveluy before we reached it, and put some
 
into Authuille as we left it. There was a lot of transport on the road and a
 
good deal of noise, so I think they had spotted the relief. Got into
 
Stenencourt about <st1:time Hour="23" Minute="25">11:25 p.m.</st1:time> Tea was
 
issued to the men, along with a tot of rum.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>11 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>03-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Breakfast wasn't until
 
about <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="0">9 a.m.</st1:time> this morning. A pleasant
 
day, but a bit heavy. Loafed about forenoon and afternoon. Bridge at night.
 
Argument as to why there is an increased % of male children during or after a
 
big war. The matter was to be referred to the Doc. but he didn't turn up.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>12 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Some of our batteries were going it strong last night although there was little reply to them. They kept us awake a bit. Went up to the fire trench with Major M'Millan and 6th Sea officer and had a good look over the part we are to occupy. It consists mainly of an old Brit communication trench running at right angles to remainder of our line, joining us up with the A&SHs who are further advanced. From this communication trench, several redoubts have been built at right angles. These we have to hold. Seemingly the Germans gave it to them pretty hot last night with shrapnel and high explosive. They got one of the latter into a fort and smashed a dug-out, the two men inside having miraculous escapes. I found Adam, again as happy as ever, exploring the inside of his kilt for 'Scots Greys' which are very abundant here. After dinner I slept and in the evening got my things ready for going into the trenches. This we did after dusk and I got my platoon in without difficulty, but of course this part is very easy indeed to relieve. We took over and No. 4 Platoon was told off to the reserve trenches.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Early breakfast and left
 
for Bouzincourt at <st1:time Hour="7" Minute="15">7:15 a.m.</st1:time> Got back
 
4 p.m. Fine day. Dugouts are now being made 13 feet deep with 5 feet headroom
 
so that roof is 8' thick. Machine gun emplacements of concrete. Much better
 
line than the front line. Engineer officer there has only been out here for 3
 
weeks and is fed up. I think the platoon commander is best off as regards
 
variety and interest of work. Splosh is to be Bombing Officer. Had a fine tea
 
of hard boiled eggs and potted head. Parcel for mother and from Bob. Johnnie
 
Morrison came back today from Bray where he has been getting instruction in
 
Adjutant's work. George Murray had a few straight words with Thomson, Staff
 
Capt.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>13 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>04-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Route march round by Bresle
 
and Brazieux [?] today. Rather close marching and I was glad I had made up my
 
pack with my air-pillow instead of with heavier stuff. Jock the Post nearly put
 
his fist through it. The autumn tints are on the trees now, and the apples
 
still hanging are russet and brown. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Game of quoits before tea,
+
No. 4 had to furnish visiting patrols and listening patrol as well. I was rather afraid of the latter but found it quite a simple affair as we didn't go out far. The night was splendid and beyond desultory rifle fire there was nothing doing. No casualties in the battalion. Turned in at 3 a.m. and slept till six. After breakfast wrote a few letters and Adam came along to my dug-out. Am very comfortable. Wrote home in the afternoon and slept a bit.
which came on at five with boiled eggs and curried prawns. Splosh got a huge
+
parcel tonight which turned out to be 100 parti-coloured sandbags. They are to
+
be used for screening the officers' latrine, there being no lack of sandbags
+
here now. Finnie has definitely forsaken us for the H.Q. mess. Heavy
+
bombardment away to the North.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>14 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Another fatigue this
+
<center><b>05-Jul-15</b></center>
morning to Bouzincourt, the Major, Howie, Blacko, Freegard and myself. Howie
+
and Blackie spent the day in Albert and reappeared in time to march back with
+
us. Fine day to be out. Had dinner when we came back, Martin having risen to
+
the occasion with a boiled meat duff. Tea immediately after, and a shave and
+
then the Concert at the Chateau. The hits of the evening were topical songs for
+
which Splosh was mainly responsible. The Brigadier and the Countess were there.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>15 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Field day - attacking
+
Quite a quiet day and little doing. Explored the ground just in front of the Sally Port for a sniping post along with Major M'Millan. It is a great thing to be serving under him. No 4 Platoon moved up to take over the two redoubts this evening. It promises to be more exciting work. Stayed in Z until after stand-to. Nothing much doing. There are 16 Argyle bomb-throwers in Z as well as two sections of my own.
position other side of Bresle which Finnie and the stretcher bearers had taken
+
up. 'A' Coy was to deliver a flank attack but it was rather late. Very misty
+
and difficult to see what was going on. Slept all afternoon. Second night of
+
the concert wasn't quite so good as first as there was some repetition of last
+
night's songs. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>At <st1:time Hour="23"
 
Minute="0">11 p.m.</st1:time> the alarm went, without the least warning. No. 4
 
Platoon was about the last to turn out. The Adjie was in a screaming and
 
obscene rage and I only dodged him in the lane by good luck. We were dismissed
 
about <st1:time Hour="0" Minute="30">12:30 a.m.</st1:time> I hear our battalion
 
took the longest to turn out but that was partly owing to the orderlies not
 
being able to be found. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>One of the Kidds, Brora in
+
<center><b>06-Jul-15</b></center>
at tea tonight. He is with the miners at La Boisselle.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>16 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Slept in a bit this
+
A fine morning. Had to wait on after stand-to (3 a.m.) in case the Briggie comes along. Shaved, breakfasted and to bed. The redoubts were shelled while I slept and one high explosive landed just behind the parados beside the bomb supply. Fortunately they didn't explode. The can get a perfect enfilade on the redoubts so we are going to strengthen the traverses. I went up in the forenoon and underwent the next part of the bombardment which was not so trying as I expected. However the shells weren't coming within 50 yards but the splints sang and hummed overhead. I got one wee bit on the leg but only a scratch. It is shrapnel that plays the mischief as regards splinters.  
morning, Capt Morrison, Freegard and self on Court of Inquiry, on man who shot
+
his hand in May. The poor beggar came out with the last draft and is being
+
tried now. Afternoon I spent in lonesome walk round behind the Chateau woods
+
and tried a sketch. Finnie and J.B. Morrison in at tea.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>17 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Orderly officer and late
+
At night again the fun started but Y got it worst. I don't know how they hadn't some casualties. Fortunately a lot of the shells didn't explode - duds. Later the Bosches started rapid fire, having spotted a work party of Argyles so we had a hot time, the bullets going cracking overhead. I wasn't excited, but it took some nerve to put my head above the parapet. The Argyles who were with us were a great asset. Donnie Morrison is a very useful and willing man. I'm glad to have him.
for guard mounting. Church Parade at <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="0">10 a.m.</st1:time>
+
Got a very good sermon from a strange padre on 'Wherefore this waste?' Misty
+
and cold and service lasted only 1/2 an hour, for which we were glad although
+
we enjoyed what there was of it. O.C.'s parade for A and B at <st1:time
+
Hour="12" Minute="0">12 noon</st1:time>. More rapid than usual. Rest of the day
+
free. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Sat round the fire all <span
 
style='mso-tab-count:1'>     </span>evening having theological arguments,
 
George Murray being especially keen on the 2nd Coming and producing a diagram
 
to illustrate his views. We have got an open fireplace put in, and with a big
 
wood fire blazing on it we can be very comfortable.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>18 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>07-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Fatigue to Bouzincourt
 
today, reporting time as usual at <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="30">8:30 a.m.</st1:time>
 
All the officers went into Albert and had dinner - omelettes, rabbit, etc. The
 
Café Aux Voyageurs is run by two or three women, who have to take refuge in the
 
cellars during the almost daily shelling.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>19 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Stayed in Z Redoubt until after seven a.m. when I came down to HQ and got shaved. It was a pretty quiet day as far as the redoubts were concerned although they have been searching again for the sap head. In the afternoon there was fairly heavy bombardment of the rest of the line but no damage was done. Finlayson took over the redoubts at 8:30 p.m. and I moved  my platoon down to the parapet opposite HQ. Am now fine and near the dug-out and more in the centre of things. Turned in at 11:30 p.m. so as to be able to relieve Finlayson at 3 a.m. I hear there was pretty heavy firing after I went to bed but never a thing did I hear.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Left at <st1:time Hour="6"
 
Minute="30">6:30 a.m.</st1:time> for fatigue at Authuille. Cold morning,
 
especially in the valley of the Ancre where it was pretty thick. Bulgar and
 
Nicholson and myself, with 180 men. Found when we got to our destination that
 
we weren't expected and there was no work for us to do. We didn't know whether
 
to be wild or glad, so were the latter and got back to Henencourt just at
 
dinner-time. Capt Sutherland brought some salt fish to the Mess, which we had
 
for supper with Dunvegan, Danny, Gerry, etc.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>20 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>08-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Supposed to report at
 
Authuille trenches as <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="30">10:30 a.m.</st1:time>
 
Splosh, Johnnie Paterson and I left about 9 and sauntered into Albert where we
 
had lunch along with Freegard and Nicholson who had preceded us. We went on
 
gradually arriving at 7th Gordons about <st1:time Hour="14" Minute="0">2 p.m.</st1:time>
 
They had had a pretty bad time, 'A' Coy losing 2 officers with a kerosene-can
 
and both died. The Germans seem to be putting Potas. ferrocyanide into these
 
cans which produces blood poisoning. The Battn came in about <st1:time Hour="20"
 
Minute="0">8 p.m.</st1:time>, and relief was carried out through very
 
expeditiously and without mishap.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>21 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Finlayson called me at 3 a.m. but as things were quiet I didn't get up till after 4. Went round the redoubts, shaved and had breakfast. Pte W Reid of my platoon was shot through the side while working behind the parapet. He died shortly afterwards. We thought at first it might have been an accident by a couple of Argyle snipers behind, but as another two bullets have come into same spot, I am pretty sure it is a German sniper. We hunted round behind for him unsuccessfully, but they are devilishly cunning.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Mice kept me awake most of
 
the night, running over my head, etc. 'A' Coy being in reserve, in <st1:Street><st1:address>Paisley
 
  Avenue</st1:address></st1:Street>, there isn't much for us to do. The Company
 
is split up into platoons, No. 4 being on the left in support of D Coy. Coy.
 
Mess in <st1:Street><st1:address>Paisley St</st1:address></st1:Street> where
 
all the cooking for the battalion is done. Very quiet in the front line. Looks
 
as if their trench mortars had been knocked out. Retired to my dugout at <st1:time
 
Hour="9" Minute="30">9:30</st1:time> and had a blazing coal-fire.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>22 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Slept in the afternoon, censored some letters and went along the line to see Addie. I never feel as sad as when I see poor old Addie's face. I believe 'C' would put up a desperate fight but their spirit is clean gone at present.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Very bright today. Dunvegan
 
came limping down this morning with bad attack of lumbago, and was taken to
 
hospital on a stretcher - pity the bearers. I had to go up to 'B' Coy as Allen
 
and Freegard are the only officers there. Just before I got up, they got a
 
number of trench mortars mixed up with shrapnel - probably to make them keep
 
their head down. One mortar got into the trench and did some damage but nobody
 
hurt.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>23 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Went out on reconnoitring patrol about 11 a.m. with Sgt J Fraser and a man. Were out for at least an hour and a half but didn't see or hear anything. I was quite nervous and 'chattery' before going out but soon settled down once I was there. We got out a good bit. Went to bed at 1:20 a.m. The Germans have been sending over some big shells today and trench mortars. They are getting onto our new communication trench.
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Duty from <st1:time Hour="3"
 
Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time> to <st1:time Hour="6" Minute="0">6 a.m.</st1:time>
 
Fine night and very quiet. Germans working hard. General Harper round today,
 
and made himself very disagreeable. Four light trench mortars and rifle
 
grenades today.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>24 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>09-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>There was a ring round the
 
moon last night, so I wasn't surprised to find it threatening a break-down this
 
morning. It did break down by the afternoon and the trenches were soon muddy.
 
Had 4 heavy trench mortars over this morning, 2 duds. Nobody hurt and some wire
 
blown down. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Capt. Sutherland in to tea,
+
Wakened by Finlayson at 3 a.m. All quiet. Some trench mortars came over about breakfast time but did no damage. Lay in a ruined cottage for a couple of hours with my corporal to see if that sniper would come out, but no luck. Shells began to come over so we had to shift. Went out with Finnie and C. Serg. Major Miller and got some shell fuses belonging behind the lines.  
and Johnnie Morrison, who left for furlough tonight. Had a sacred concert in
+
the Mess, under the baton of George Murra', he being an authority on the psalm
+
tunes as well as many other biblical matters. Nasty wet night. Martin left
+
tonight too. Leave has been doubled, so I expect to go home on about a month's
+
time.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>25 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Duty <st1:time Hour="3"
+
Were relieved at 9:30 by incoming Bde. Nasty jamb getting men in as they had far more than us. If the Germans had sent over some well aimed trench mortars they would have done tremendous execution but they were unaccountably quiet and probably being relieved themselves. Got down to the far end of Laventie without mishap although one bullet made the skin of my back creep. The men got tea and were led to their billets. Then we got to ours and had a grand supper with fried eggs, etc. in the Café Aux Voyageurs. Turned in at 1 p.m.
Minute="0">3 a.m. to 6 a.m.</st1:time> It had been raining all night, and
+
Bulgar was swearing at the drops of water which were impinging on his physog.
+
There was a pool on top of me but fortunately I had an oilskin over my blanket.
+
Had to put some chevaux de frise in position and it was rather an awkward job.
+
Breakfast wasn't till about 9. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Rather a rotten day, my
 
feet being wet nearly all the time. Two rifle grenades at <st1:time Hour="18"
 
Minute="0">6 p.m.</st1:time> Germans going at their work strong. Suspect they
 
are driving a mine towards the salient as we have heard tapping tonight.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>26 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>10-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Cold, bright and windy
 
morning. A number of trench mortars, mostly small, came over in the morning. In
 
the afternoon some 'oil-cans' fell on the right of the 6th Seaforths. Built an
 
observation post at the top of Sauchiehall St. The Germans put over a couple of
 
T.M.s, as I think they heard us. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Some more came over about <st1:time
+
Breakfast about 8 a.m. - ham and eggs, sausages, tea, etc quite a good affair, with Steven D in attendance. Company parade at 11 a.m. for inspection by C.O. - rifles, bayonets, shaving, etc. The Colonel was unconsciously particular, as if men carried burnishers in their kit. Slept in the afternoon and wandered down town in the evening with little Willie. Rather colder today. A few shells falling not far away, watched apathetically by the remaining inhabitants from their door-steps.
Hour="21" Minute="0">9 p.m.</st1:time> in answer to our own TM gun, and some of
+
them were fairly heavy. Freegard was hit in the back with a piece that pierced
+
through to his shirt. He was bruised a bit, and the Doc sent him to the
+
hospital. The Colonel has been in good form most of the day. H.Q. are much more
+
affable than used to be the case.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>27 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Blank</p>
+
<center><b>11-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>28 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Wakened this morning with a
+
Nearly slept in. Had to attend bomb school at 9 a.m. for a few days course, but found the instructor had also overslept. Rather old again: a quiet Sunday morning. Walked into Estaires with Howie in the afternoon and had a bath and a good dinner for 3 francs. It was great to get clean again. Got home at 9:15 and found letters and parcels, including a very nice letter from May and cakes, etc from home. Fags from DeCain [?]
lot of rain on my bed, and a fair cold in my head. Blacko gave me a tot of rum
+
on which I slept to <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="45">8:45</st1:time>. It was very
+
wet all day and my boots were sodden. Allan kindly let me sleep down at the
+
Mess except to relieve him for meals so by night I was feeling a bit better.
+
Blake and Johnnie P were in to tea and we had the usual feeding of the 5000:
+
our problem isn't so much the feeding though as the seating of them. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>About <st1:time Hour="20"
 
Minute="0">8 p.m.</st1:time> we heard that one of 'C' Coys dugouts had fallen
 
in, and that Addie was buried under it. Thinking it must be about all up with
 
him I went up to the place, and the Major volunteered to accompany me. We found
 
Addie in a dugout with Deuchart, having been got out with some bad bruises to
 
his leg and a pretty bad shaking. The Doctor reported no bones broken. We got
 
back to the Mess after <st1:time Hour="22" Minute="0">10 p.m.</st1:time> and
 
turned in.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>29 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>12-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The 8th Argyles, on our
 
right, got it very hot this morning with oilcans, mortars and whizz-bangs. Dry
 
overhead today, but trenches in a bad mess. Saw Addie at the dressing station
 
en route for hospital. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splosh took out a bombing
+
Went bombing this morning and threw some live Bethune bombs. Rather nervy work at first. Slept and wrote May in the afternoon. Big pile of letter to censor. Black and Stalker arrived this afternoon Black to A Coy, Stalker to B.
party at <st1:time Hour="21" Minute="0">9 p.m.</st1:time> to bomb a German sap
+
out from Hammer Head.</p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Heard later that the
 
Argyles didn't lose a single man although the Germans put over more than 150
 
mortar bombs - 50 of them oil cans, and a lot of whizz-bangs as well. The
 
Argyles gave them <i>&quot;Are we downhearted? No!&quot;</i> after the
 
fusillade had stopped.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>30 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>13-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splosh came in at <st1:time
 
Hour="0" Minute="45">12:45 a.m.</st1:time> having found nothing in the sap.
 
Spent most of the day trying to get a German sniper. Saw about six Germans
 
today, some of them in the wood in front of their line. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We were relieved by the
+
Put of a lot of rifle grenades - saw a display with trench mortars by Blake - horrid affair.
1/7th Gordons. 'B' Coy took the longest to be relieved and it was <st1:time
+
Hour="11" Minute="15">11:15</st1:time> before we got to Henencourt. The roads
+
were very muddy especially at Authuille. We were all very glad to get out, and
+
thanked out lucky stars that we hadn't had a scratch except for Freegard's.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>31 Oct 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Slept
+
<center><b>14-Jul-15</b></center>
till <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="0">10 a.m.</st1:time> The people at the
+
Mess-room have taken away their stove, so Stephen has to cook in the yard. They
+
are very disagreeable. Nasty raw day and no parades of any sort. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Finnie and I rode down to
 
Warloy, he to get a motor for the Colonel who is going to hospital today with
 
Lumbago, and I to see Addie. Not finding him there I went back to Millencourt
 
where they told me he had been sent 16 miles down. There are rumours that our
 
division may be sent to Servia. One Corps is said to have gone already, and one
 
division of our Corps to be under orders. Hope I get my leave first.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>November
+
Took my platoon into Estaires for a bath and had one myself, along with Blackie. Fine clean feeling afterwards. This is the first hot bath the battalion has had since coming out, so they must have needed it. Had to up to the trenches on fatigue - Black too and it was his first time in the firing line. It was a splashing wet night and everybody got soaked. Had to lead along about 300 yards of newly dug, narrow trench in pitch darkness. Worked from 11 to 1:30 a.m. although the spades wouldn't lift anything - or wouldn't let it down again. Wonder we had no casualties - we are always lucky or is it cautious? Got back about 3 a.m., the latter part being dry.
1915<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>01 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Fatigue
+
15-Jul-15<center><b></b></center>
to Bouzincourt with Capt. Rutherford, Black, Blake and Finnie. The last has
+
been put on fatigues this time. Another rotten day. We all went into Albert at
+
lunch time and had a good feed. The men were fairly wet and no coke to dry
+
themselves with when they get home, but I suppose they manage always to pinch
+
some. 'Dooking apples' and Splosh's Steak and Kidney pudding tonight.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>02 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>OC's
+
Slept till dinner time. Went up to relieve the 7th Gordons at night. Trenches seemed very strange the first night, getting into them in almost inky darkness. Everyone stood to till dawn, as Major M'Millan believes in doing so the first night.
(Major Sinclair) parade at 11 a.m. Drizzling rain and very cold and he
+
inspected every rifle in the company and didn't find one dirty. Lecture in the
+
Chateau at <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="0">5 p.m.</st1:time> by Col Stewart of
+
the Division on the attack. Nothing brilliant. Went to bed early. Am reading
+
Buchan's History of the War.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>03 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Fatigue
+
<center><b>16-Jul-15</b></center>
at Bouzincourt. The Major, Black and Blake. Bright cold day, it seems to have rained
+
itself out last night. It's getting to cold now to loaf about with pleasure,
+
and the temptation to drop into Albert is getting stronger. Splosh has been <span
+
style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>in
+
bed the last two days with rheumatism and melancholia.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>SNIPING
 
COURSE<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p><i>A large number of schools - bombing, sniping, musketry, gas, etc - were
+
Blank
established in </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>France</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>
+
as the war progressed. These made up for the sometimes skimpy training of units
+
in </i><st1:country-region><st1:place><i>UK</i></st1:place></st1:country-region><i>,
+
disseminated new tactics and, unofficially, provided a break from the trenches
+
for officers and men.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>Sniping was intimately connected with observation. In the battalion
 
snipers and 'scouts' were usually gathered into one specialised platoon,
 
although in the trenches there was little 'scouting' in the sense of mobile
 
reconnaissance.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p><i>The primary role of the snipers was (and is) as counter-snipers, i.e. to
+
<center><b>17-Jul-15</b></center>
suppress the enemy's snipers and only then to engage targets of opportunity.
+
The static and routine nature of life in the trenches meant that frequently
+
visited points (e.g. latrines) could be identified and sniped. Good sniping
+
established a moral as much as a military ascendancy over the other side.<o:p></o:p></i></p>
+
  
<p><i>Sniping was something the </i><st1:place><i>Highland</i></st1:place><i>
 
Division prided itself on - with many gamekeepers (and poachers) in the ranks
 
this is not surprising. 'Splosh' celebrates the deeds of 'Sniper </i><st1:City><st1:place><i>Sandy</i></st1:place></st1:City><i>'
 
(Sgt Alexander M'Donald - KIA Nov 16) with a parody of the popular song 'Sister
 
Susie's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers' [text to follow]:<o:p></o:p></i></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>04 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Blank
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Route
 
march by Millencourt, Aliceville, Bresle and Baizieux. Just after getting back
 
I was told to report at Bouzincourt and go by bus to Querrieux for course in
 
telescopic sights. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We had a fine run down in
+
<center><b>18-Jul-15</b></center>
one of these <st1:City><st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:City> buses. There
+
were 4 officers - Coats, West and King's Own man and about 12 men. Arrived
+
Querrieux about <st1:time Hour="17" Minute="30">5:30 p.m.</st1:time> and shown
+
our billets. We mess together in little house and are attended to by a French
+
woman whose husband was killed about the beginning of the war. So far as I
+
could make out he was hit in the fighting near the village and died in his own
+
house. She told us of other 'atrocities' too - her father-in-law, a man of 74
+
was mortally wounded while minding his cattle</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>05 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>We
+
Up at dawn - fine bright morning. Black and I slept spent most of the afternoon potting at a German with the periscope rifle but didn't get him. I saw his head and shoulders - my first German. Two or three times it struck me this was Sunday, but it was hard to remember. It's just like any other day, only the Germans usually send over a few more shells than usual.  
started the course at 9 this morning, beginning with a lecture by the sergeant
+
and then onto the range. At night had a lecture of 2 hours from Col Lloyd RAMC
+
on optics, etc. as applied in telescopes, etc. He is DDMS but has evidently
+
shot a lot at Bisley and probably big game too. He is keen on the subject
+
anyway, although it is outside his ordinary work. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>We are very well off as
 
regards billets. I have a fine bed with clean white sheets and quilt. The Mess
 
is first class and we get on very well with Madame and all her relatives
 
including M'mselle Louise. This is the first time I have really had a good
 
chance of speaking French. According to the custom, M'mlle Louise's father came
 
to fetch her home. The French people here won't sing - not until 'après la
 
guerre'. Soldiers can sing, but civilians 'non'.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>06 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
In the evening, during Church time at home, I lay and 'imagined' the organ and service. We seem very near home.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Fine
 
bright morning and we were shooting all day till about <st1:time Hour="15"
 
Minute="30">3:30</st1:time>. Then a lecture on sniping, loopholes, etc from
 
Colonel Lloyd himself. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>At <st1:time Hour="17"
+
<center><b>19-Jul-15</b></center>
Minute="30">5:30</st1:time> the bus left with the men and should have taken us
+
too but we got a pass for <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>,
+
and Col. Lloyd lent us his car. We got in there about <st1:time Hour="18"
+
Minute="0">6 p.m.</st1:time> Met <st1:City><st1:place>Davie</st1:place></st1:City>
+
of <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City> on the street and could
+
hardly get rid of him. Strange to be among shops and lights again but the
+
novelty wore off very soon. French Major in the smoking room while we were
+
having chocolate. Very cold run back to Querrieux in the mist. <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>
+
is in the French area; all traffic is carefully watched. Hear the civilians
+
have to clear out of Albert on account of spy-fever.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>BACK
 
TO THE BATTALION<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>07 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Another grand day and just the usual routine of the trenches. Went out at night with L/Cpl Sinclair reconnoitering and was out for 2 hours, looking for disused trenches along our front. Got back about 12 and found the Major getting anxious.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Breakfast
 
about <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="30">9:30</st1:time>. Then we began to wonder
 
how we would get back to our billets. We started down the road and hadn't gone
 
200 yds when a lorry came along bound for Henencourt and we were all aboard
 
very quickly. Got there about <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="30">10:30</st1:time>
 
and it was just as well we came so early as we found the battalion was going to
 
the trenches at <st1:time Hour="12" Minute="30">12:30</st1:time>. Major
 
M'Millan is O/C battalion - the Colonel is acting Brigadier and Sinclair in
 
hospital. Captn. <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City> returned
 
this morning. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Very slow marching to
+
<center><b>20-Jul-15</b></center>
Aveluy, 8th Argyles being in front and continually halting. German aeroplane
+
over Aveluy, chased by our guns but got away. We thought she must have spotted
+
the relief but no shells came over. Relieved the Loyal <st1:place>N Lancs</st1:place>.
+
Very little dugout accommodation and had great difficulty in getting the men
+
in. General mix up with the machine guns etc.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>08 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>On
+
Up at 3 and found Blackie waiting for me to make tea which we did. Grand morning. After breakfast Finlayson and I took bearings for 3 fixed rifles to sweep roads behind German lines. Loopholes are to be built tonight. Both sides were very quiet today, the Germans can be seen carrying long poles through their trenches.  
duty till <st1:time Hour="2" Minute="0">2 a.m.</st1:time> when Blacko took
+
over. Very quiet. Pretty good day. There is a lot of enfilade fire, day and
+
night from both machine guns and rifles. The Germans have a very strong
+
position and are steadily pushing forwards their line by means of saps. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Geo. Murray has been very
 
energetic all day and has had poor Splosh in a ferment all day about his bomb
 
stores; and then Splosh lay on his back in the bed instead of on his side - the
 
bed being just on the small side for three. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Took out a patrol tonight -
+
Went along to see 'C' Coy tonight. Addie in good form and more cheerful than usual. I hear from the sergeants that George was simply splendid and willing to do anything. A lovely sunset tonight - great long fiery clouds stretching over the West and overhead and giving everything a fine glow. Overhead several aeroplanes - they usually come at dawn or in the evening. Turned in about 10:30.
Morrison, Peat and Bain. Saw what seemed to be a German patrol but they were
+
too far away and disappeared.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>09 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Rather
+
<center><b>21-Jul-15</b></center>
a raw day and the men were glad to have their goat-skins. The Brigadier came
+
back so the Major is back to the Company. The Colonel and Adjutant were round
+
this morning playing havoc, and passing on the row they got themselves from the
+
Divisional General. The trenches are in a bad state and the fire-step has all
+
to be revetted. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Had smokies for tea and
 
Capt. Sutherland and Dunvegan were in. It has started to rain.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>10 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Blank
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>On
 
duty <st1:time Hour="0" Minute="0">12</st1:time> to <st1:time Hour="3"
 
Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time> Trenches in a great mess as no provision of any
 
sort had been made by the 154th Bde for drainage. Had to use knee boots to get
 
along and was up to the knee in places. The men are very wet, especially about
 
the feet and their dugouts are about as bad as the trench. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The whole place is in a
+
<center><b>22-Jul-15</b></center>
rotten state: the people who let it into disrepair should have been made to
+
spend the winter in it. It is possible now that it will be our part of the line
+
for the winter but we have been told that sort of thing so often that we are
+
sceptical. The men were working most of the day on the trench - draining it,
+
putting in sink pits and cleaning it up but nothing can be done to the dugouts
+
as they require a radical gutting out and can be touched only at night. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>They put over a few
 
high-explosives today, evidently meant for our sap-heads but no damage was
 
done. Heavier guns than usual - about 4.7. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Freegard's birthday party. <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City>
+
We leave the trenches tonight so most of the day is spent in cleaning up, etc. It is always a wearisome day when we are going out as there is no outgoing mail and therefore no incentive to write. We were relieved by the Indian Division - a regiment of Sikhs relieved the 5th. They were very quiet about is and weird looking. I'ld rather fight with them than against. It started raining just about 10 p.m. and rained steadily till we got to Merville about 3:30 a.m. Had to stand an hour and a half on the other side Laventie for D Coy which did not turn up even then. Were pretty well soaked. We are out this time without a single casualty in 'A' Coy.
made me go over as he is anxious to heal the breach. Blacko out on patrol
+
tonight but met nothing. Turned in at <st1:time Hour="21" Minute="0">9 p.m.</st1:time></p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>11 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Had
+
<center><b>23-Jul-15</b></center>
a wash and a shave this morning, the first since Saturday. Went up to D Coy
+
with Splosh who was going to see about his bomb-stores. Pitman has been
+
gazetted Captain and has rejoined his company. Howie has come back from leave.
+
Had a very good view of German lines from D, C and B's lines. Our trenches can
+
be very badly enfiladed and crossfire will get worse as the wood gets thinner. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>My turn for patrol tonight
 
so Splosh took my turn of duty. However it got so wet that we couldn't go out -
 
the men have no way of drying themselves. The trenches and dugouts are very bad
 
again. The water came through our own, above our heads. Capt Murray slept on
 
the floor.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>12 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Rose and breakfasted about 12 midday. Felt rather washed out, as if I had been at a dance last night. Allan had a birthday party which was a great success, especially the smoking concert which followed. Paterson and Dannie were in great form. A perfect, moonlight night.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Today
 
it had cleared up a bit. A lot of the trench had come down during the night and
 
the men had to set to and get it cleared. All the sandbagging requires to be
 
done over again. General imprecations against the 154th. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Sgt Gray, L/Cpl Ross and a man
+
<center><b>24-Jul-15</b></center>
went out on patrol with me. We went out from The Nab at <st1:time Hour="2"
+
Minute="0">2 a.m.</st1:time> and Gray and I got to within about 60 yards of
+
their line. It came on rain and we were absolutely soaked all except our feet
+
and legs as we had on our gum boots. Put the men into the Sgt Major's dugout
+
where they had a fire on. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The Major was relieved to
 
see us back as Capt Murray broke the mirror this morning.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>13 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Inspection by OC at 10 a.m. - rifle inspection. He was in better cut today. Went into Merville after that and again after dinner. Tried to get a bath but there are only 2 in the town and not accessible. The population wash in the river. Had champagne in the Hotel de Ville, to celebrate Barnetson's gazette.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Lay
 
in bed most of the forenoon waiting for my clothes to dry. Black and Stephen D
 
left this afternoon for a course of instruction at Felincourt, near <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>.
 
They will be away five weeks or so. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Splosh was in very good
+
<center><b>25-Jul-15</b></center>
form tonight, and talked thirteen to the dozen, beginning with really authentic
+
ghost stories which he apparently believes. I turned in at <st1:time Hour="21"
+
Minute="0">9 p.m.</st1:time> A number of pip-squeaks came over our dugout and
+
one hit the bank opposite while the Major was reconnoitering at the door.
+
Splosh made some ox-tail soup which I partook of. He broke the Major's bed
+
endeavouring to help him off with his gum boots and about <st1:time Hour="0"
+
Minute="0">midnight</st1:time> we were awakened by him extinguishing a
+
conflagration which was threatening to develop into a second MacMahon's post.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>14 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>On
+
Church Service at headquarters this forenoon. Rev. M'Farlane still hammering away at the Kaiser: the sniping pretty rotten. Meeting of officers at Bde HQ in afternoon addressed by Brigadier, revising lessons learned by 3 months experience. I hope he has learned his lesson. Had to go into La Gorgue to find road to station and did so on the Major's nag. Went to bed at 8:30 p.m., at least lay down on it, and wakened at 8:30 by Steven D.
duty from <st1:time Hour="0" Minute="0">12</st1:time> to <st1:time Hour="3"
+
Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time> No machine gun or rifle fire so probably there was
+
a relief on. Put <st1:City><st1:place>Murray</st1:place></st1:City> up at <st1:time
+
Hour="3" Minute="0">3 a.m.</st1:time> </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>After breakfast got our
 
things packed ready to move down to <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Normandy</st1:PlaceName>
 
<st1:PlaceType>City</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. An aeroplane came over at
 
dinnertime and got a good pestering. The relief began about <st1:time Hour="15"
 
Minute="0">3 p.m.</st1:time> and was carried through expeditiously and without
 
casualties, except one wounded, of the 6th Seaforths. Enemy sent over a number
 
of heavy shells and trench mortars and got some of the Royal Scots and wounded
 
Sgt. Wm. Munro ('Boags') 'B' Coy. 'A' Coy went back to the mess room at <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Normandy</st1:PlaceName>
 
<st1:PlaceType>City</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> in spite of opposition from
 
'C' Coy. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>The men's dugouts are not
+
<center><b>ON THE SOMME</b></center>
sufficient to accommodate them and are in a very bad condition. They are in no
+
state for winter occupation. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Davidie and Stalker came to
 
tea, the latter is to stay here as he has no dugout, so there are five of us
 
sleeping in the mess. Splosh and I occupied the hammocks, Major and Murray the
 
beds and Stalker the floor.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>15 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
In mid July the 51st (Highland) Division moved to the Somme region and took over a section of the front line from the French. This was a 'quiet' sector where the division could continue to train. 'Quiet' is relative, but in 1915 the name 'Somme' carried none of the implications that it would gain after the battles of Jul - Nov 1916.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>The
 
morning found Splosh and me both sleeping on the floor. Splosh began by
 
upsetting the major part of the morning tea. The Major was up first and put the
 
fire on. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>During the forenoon, there
+
The battalion remained in this area until late 1916, mostly occupying positions on the River Ancre just north of Albert.
was a fatigue party up to the fire trench with Splosh in command and the rest
+
of the men were on dugouts and roads in support lines. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Davidie was in to dinner.
 
The Major went to bed at tea-time, feeling chilled a bit. Toast and tinned
 
herring for tea. When we opened the door this morning we found the ground
 
white. Big flakes of snow were falling. It had been raining during the night
 
and the ground was hard beneath but got sloppy as the day wore on.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>16 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>26-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Nearly
 
3 inches of snow on the ground this morning: no frost. Took fatigue party up to
 
the 6th Seaforths at <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="0">9 a.m.</st1:time> The
 
trenches are pretty guttery, especially for men who haven't gumboots. The Royal
 
Scots officer said the 5th were the best looking battalion by a long way. Went
 
round by 'A' Coys lines. The dugouts down at the cookers are being pushed on;
 
if we could only get material they would be ready tonight. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Major M'Millan is rather
+
Marched to La Gorgue station, leaving Merville about 5 a.m. It was raining for the first bit but the sun came out and dried me. Got aboard - 30 men in each truck and officers in 1st and a few in 3rd class carriages. Rather a bumpy journey but not too fast to make the bumps uncomfortable. We made a big detour, round by Calais and Abbeville to Amiens. At Calais we drew up alongside a buffet run by English girls. After Calais we ran along the coast and then up the valley of the Somme, the country improving every mile. Arrived Corbie about 10 p.m. and marched 4 miles under a full moon up to the Amiens - Albert road. Out billets were at Pont Noyelles.
better today but has been in bed since afternoon. Davidie was in for a short
+
time but couldn't wait for tea as the valley gets very hot at night with
+
machine gun and rifle fire. 'D' Coy had a man shot through the eye while
+
cleaning his rifle. Three days letters arrived after tea and were very welcome.
+
Stalker, Splosh and Murray argued on the subject of freemasonry. Heavy machine
+
gun fire tonight by the Bosche.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>17 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Snow
+
<center><b>27-Jul-15</b></center>
still lying but no fresh fall. Took fatigue party up to 6th Seaforth to work
+
under Royal Scots. Went round by 'A' Coy to enquire for Splosh's goatskin which
+
has 'disappeared'. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Gid and Dannie Harper came
 
up to tea. We always manage to make toast here. This is the third night the
 
Major has had tea in bed; he is getting the upper hand of the threatened attack
 
of flu. Violent discussion on the war. George Murra' thinks as a Christian, he
 
shouldn't be here. He had us all against him. Moonlight.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>18 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Rose late. Had a bathe in a burn with Black and Finlayson. The water is clean and wholesome, quite unlike what we have seen up north. Concert by 'A' and 'B' Coys at the Girls Seminary. Piano on the steps at front door and men standing or sitting round below the trees. Perfect night.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Got
 
up at <st1:time Hour="18" Minute="30">6:30</st1:time> this morning along with
 
Capt. Murray to issue rum ['the efficiency of lawn-tennis' inserted at this
 
point ??]. After breakfast had a shave and went round with Colonel Grant-Smith
 
and Major Gair to see some work that had to be done. It was freezing hard all
 
forenoon, and a very heavy mist, in the valley especially. Kestin arrived here
 
last night, and Freegard brought him over here this morning. He looks very neat
 
and fat. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Took fatigue party up to <st1:Street><st1:address>Belmont
+
<center><b>28-Jul-15</b></center>
  St</st1:address></st1:Street> at <st1:time Hour="14" Minute="0">2 p.m.</st1:time>
+
and cleaned it. The men worked very hard, partly because the job had to be
+
finished, and partly because they were promised a tot of rum. Got back by <st1:time
+
Hour="17" Minute="0">5 p.m.</st1:time> </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>No letters this afternoon.
 
Splosh left this afternoon for <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>
 
to get his spectacles replaced and in a great funk that he might be sent to
 
'Blighty'. Marks came in tonight with 25 men, but haven't seen him. He is
 
attached to 'C' and Kestin to 'B'.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>19 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Reviewed today by General Munro, Commanding 3rd Army. Concert tonight by officers. Great success. Finnie sang splendidly. Another perfect night. Conversazione of officers afterwards in 'B' Coy headquarters, and one of the men doing 'Imitations'.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Took
 
fatigue party up to fire trench at <st1:time Hour="9" Minute="0">9 a.m.</st1:time>
 
as usual. Davidie was in for dinner - bully beef and devilled kidneys. Gid and
 
Johnnie Morrison were over in the forenoon.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>20 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
<center><b>29-Jul-15</b></center>
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Blank</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b><u><span style='font-size:13.5pt'>LEAVE<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></p>
+
Drill in forenoon - handling arms, and also bathing parade. Sun very warm. Lot of Kitcheners passed through today. We expected to move today too but cancelled. This is a lovely little village.
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>21 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Took
+
<center><b>30-Jul-15</b></center>
a fatigue party up to 'B' Company 6th Sea lines, but didn't stay very long. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Started to get my things
 
ready and get my clothes cleaned. Officer of the 8th Black Watch came up to
 
take over, and had dinner with us. Went over to headquarters about <st1:time
 
Hour="15" Minute="0">3 p.m.</st1:time> Saw Howie on my way to Aveluy, he being
 
in a dugout by the road. Everybody is under the impression I am going home to
 
get married. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Walked up to Bouzincourt
+
Handling of arms and swim in the morning. Marched off at 5 p.m. for new billets up nearer the firing line. Rather warm to begin with but cooled down as the sun set and after that had a glorious march. Tea under the trees at the roadside. Then on till 11:30. Some of the men were pretty well /----/ up with soft feet. Got to bed about 12, in an old stable which had been used as French Hospital. Straw beds and rather lively. Rose very itchy.
and after some trouble hit on the QM stores where I found Splosh returning from
+
<st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>. Had a good tea with potted
+
head and Milikin made me quite comfy in his bed. Couldn't sleep for itchiness.
+
Got up about <st1:time Hour="2" Minute="0">2 a.m.</st1:time> The cook brought
+
me tea and toast, and then we went down to the Church where we found two motor
+
buses. After wakening up the drivers who slept inside, and when they had thawed
+
their engines (it was freezing) we got inside and our journey home began.</p>
+
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>22 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
 
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Arrived
+
<center><b>31-Jul-15</b></center>
at Merincourt about <st1:time Hour="5" Minute="0">5 a.m.</st1:time> and just
+
got aboard the train. First stop <st1:City><st1:place>Amiens</st1:place></st1:City>
+
where I got a couple of rolls and ham, and a tumbler of coffee. Got in beside
+
Alexander, M.G.O. 6th Sea., an Artilleryman, and a Hussar, so included the arms
+
well represented. A wearisome journey down to Havre, including a 2 1/2 hours
+
halt outside <st1:City><st1:place>Rouen</st1:place></st1:City>. I saw then the
+
same countryside as when I came up first with Barnetson five months ago but
+
with rather different feelings. </p>
+
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Arrived Havre about <st1:time
 
Hour="19" Minute="30">7.30 p.m.</st1:time> The train ran alongside the boat and
 
after bagging an unfurnished cabin for four, we had a scramble for some supper
 
for which we were all in very good form. The four of us played auction bridge
 
in our cabin for an hour or two and then turned into our bunks.</p>
 
  
<p align=center style='text-align:center'><b>23 Nov 15<o:p></o:p></b></p>
+
Difficult to get good water here - the stuff we washed in was full of H2S. Hence late breakfast. Port wine under the trees in the Chateau garden until some of them were beginning to get merry. Paraded at 5 p.m. and marched down into the little valley: the air very thick and close. Through the wood d'Aveluy, to the ville d'Authuille. My platoon told off to a detached post on the railway which I took over from a gesticulating Frenchman with the aid of an interpreter. Very comfortable little place, especially the quartiers du Commandant.
  
<p><span style='font-family:Times'><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span></span>Wakened
 
by the noise of the men, who were packed all along the corridors and on the
 
stairs, getting ready to disembark. At last we got alongside and the officers
 
were allowed ashore first to the audible disgust of some outspoken Tommies. </p>
 
  
<p><span style='mso-tab-count:1'>            </span>Got into <st1:City><st1:place>Waterloo</st1:place></st1:City>
+
Dined with the latter gentleman and 3 regular officers in a shanty below the bridge. My French very weak. Went round the post about 11 p.m. and found everything OK and the men fraternising splendidly with the French Johnnies.
about <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="0">8 a.m.</st1:time> and took a hansome to <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Strand</st1:PlaceName>
+
<st1:PlaceType>Palace</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, along with the Artilleryman
+
who had taken a fancy to my walking stick. I tipped the cabby in French
+
coppers, and rescued my stick. Breakfast by my lonesome - porridge, fish,
+
marmalade, etc. Taxi to Euston and got train for <st1:City><st1:place>Bedford</st1:place></st1:City>
+