Sun 1
Sermon on Motherhood & Christ. Reg. letter from Mother 10 fr One from Violet.
Wed 4
Transferred to 1/8th W. Yorks. 49th Division.
Thu 5
Arrived at Laventie. Take over trenches tomorrow. Had name taken for bugle band.
Fri 6
In the trenches. Hun about 300 yards in front. Very quiet part of line.
Sat 7
Returned to the village, reported at Q.M. stores. Became a drummer once more.
Sun 8
Mon 9
Had another removal to a barn 1 km. outside Laventie.
Tue 10
Wrote Dorothea. Having our mess with company. Good food and plenty of it. God bless Dolly my own true love.
Wed 11
Wrote to mother and Mr. Crombleholme. Had my first pint of French beer. Very weak stuff. Went to Laventie to get it. Had another half day. Everybody drunk in my platoon.
Thu 12
A lance-corpl in 15 platoon looks remarkably like Clifford Simnett, senior apprentice at the Templar Press, who must be out of his time this six months. Letter from Vi.
Fri 13
Arrived at a camp just outside St. Pol-sur-Mer. The country we are in and passed through is very flat. At first I thought we were in Belgium, but we are 9 ks. from Dunkirk.
Sat 14
Went down to Fort Mardyke. Had some difficulty in changing Boulogne franc notes to get a drink. Rather fond of their Grenadine wine (avec l'eau). Accomplished it at the XX Siècle. Can't get any letters through yet.
Sun 15
Letter from Vi and Mr Hughes.
Mon 16
Arrived at a village 5 miles from Dunquerque which we passed through. Feature - the street of red lamps. Bathed in the sea.
Tue 17
Went down to the sea again this morning and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the waves. Left the place at 6 o'clock. Had our tea on the road - in Belgium.
Wed 18
Woke to find myself in a queer shift[?] a loft with various patterns of beds made from packing cases and old chairs etc with a roof riddled by shrapnel. Another letter from Vi, Mother sending registered. Wrote to Gerty.
Thu 19
Last night the boys went up to Nieuport leaving us behind. On a stores guard this evening with [illegible] and Ramsden.
Fri 20
The enemy shelled our ville again at 11 p.m. Fairly put the wind up us. We all got up to see if we could discover his direction. He fetched a house down about 1200 yds below us.
Sat 21
Went up to Nieuport with rations in the evening. On our return we were shelled on the Dunquerque road and had to gallop at full speed for our very lives. One shell fell right at the side of our second limber, I was riding in the first. Nobody hurt. The second shell killed two transport ponies and injured several men. I helped to get a man of a horse who had been hit in the back. What a ride!
Sun 22
Wrote to Dorothea a long letter mentioning Juliette Leonie Sisier. Registered letter from Vi. 10 fr.
Tue 24
Letter from Mr Crombleholme.
Thu 26
Anniversary of joining the Army.
Fri 27
Hell of a bumping round our billet.
Sat 28
Letter from Gerty. Letter to [illegible]. She says there seems to be some quarrel between me & Nellie; that its silly, and she hopes will cease at once. Posted Dolly's letter.
Sun 29
To Gerty:- Read Beach Thomas in D.M. Sunday July 29th, '17.
Tue 31
Had a champion boxing match with Ramsden. Thought he was going to win easily, but thanks to G Higgs we've learned to handle the gloves.