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Date: January 1918

January 1

Fatigue work all day, bully beef and maconachy for dinner, received mail from Canada, first in a long time

January 2

Drill, cold weather, fixing up huts, German planes over, received a box from Browns and a letter from Cleveland

January 3

Marched to Hersin Coupigny to go into gas chambers and test our respirators, saw Yankee soldiers, wrote letters home

January 4

Paraded sick with blistered heel and was excused duty, talking to Harold Martin, wrote letters and played cards in evening

January 5

On aircraft guard today but no German planes over, cold day, we had a fire at the gun position which helps, Imperial soldiers working on the roads

January 6

Church parade over to some big huts on a side of hill built by some French soldiers, lots of snow in morning but raining at night

January 7

Practice in the morning on the range finder instrument, remainder of day was the usual drill

January 8

On aircraft guard again today but no German planes over, received seven letter

January 9

Wrote letters, fatigue work on cleaning limbers, cold day and snowing hard, cleaned up at night

January 10

Firing guns at ranges today and were doing barrage drill all afternoon in the mud which was nearly up to one's ankles, at night I cleaned up and wrote some letters

January 11

Barrage drill in the morning, very muddy about camp, weather milder

January 12

Mess orderly for section today, over to concert given by Welsh Imperials at their canteen in some ruined houses, wrote letters home, concert fair, mud freezing

January 13

Fatigue work in the morning, over to Les Brevis to see Will Pilton in 116th Btln., tired when I got back to camp again, mud frozen up, saw biggest gun I ever saw, at Les Brevis, twas a 15" I think

January 14

Received some letters from home, one from Father's cousin in Wales and a box from Will and Mother, they sent me this diary and I have been writing all night transferring my notes from other diary to this, Mother sent sox and candy in the box, cutting wood in the bush to burn in the morning and fixing up a new tunic I got this afternoon, very lousy and I picked a lot of them off me

January 15

Poured rain all day, received Xmas card from Sheas, had to give date of leaving Canada into the orderly room so as to get chevrons to wear, no parades all day, wrote a few letters home, lightning tonight, cleaned up equipment for inspection tomorrow

January 16

Breakfast routine time 7:00 a.m., parade routine starts at 8:00 a.m., pouring rain all morning, fall in for O.C. inspection at 2:00 p.m. and Coy. drill until 4:00 p.m., Germans shelling Hersin Compigny daily, sent some socks to French woman to be washed

January 17

Paid today, 25 francs, raining all day, down to Bouvigny tonight and stayed late, had some eggs and chips, received letter from Mother, Will Bailly and Niblock were down with me to the village

January 18

Up for orderly room this morning and the three of each of each of us got three extra guards and day passes cut off for a month, played King Pedro in evening, doing gun drill in morning

January 19

Had bath at Fostend this morning, have a sore heel from boot, played cards, warned for guard tomorrow so haven't done anything today except clean equipment

January 20

No. 7 Coy. moved into huts that 2nd Coy. occupied so I saw some of my old friends, cleaned equipment up extra clean, mounted guard at 4:00 p.m., dull day but no rain, new guard hut built in place of tent, General MacDinnel visited camp

January 21

Raining today, relieved at 4:00 p.m., 1st Coy. goes in the line today, we move to Le Brens tomorrow, saw Roy Jacobs and Ptolomey who came into camp with the 8th Coy., bought a pair of high leather boots for 15 francs

January 22

Left camp at 7:30 a.m. and marched to Les Brens, two hour march, my heel very sore because of boot so wore my slipper for last half of march, billeted in houses in very good quarters but cook wagon is a kilo away, down to limbers at night after separate parts and to cinema after, good YMCA in town with a piano in it, Fritz doesn't shell the town but occasionally one can hear them going over, our own guns shake the houses

January 23

Paraded sick with sore heel and got light duty for day and permission to wear knee boots until end of month, German planes over only 200 feet up, dull day but no rain, down to cinema in evening, good show, heard some good singing after at an estaminet, 116th Battalion came out of line and leave town tomorrow morning

January 24

On fatigue work this morning, over to a mine and a lot of French girls work shovelling the slag, they get 8 1/2 francs a truck and make 30 francs a week, hate to see young girls on such hard work, gun drill in afternoon, fine weather, wrote a few cards in evening, pretty good food lately, pretty homesick

January 25

Coy. drill in morning and afternoon with full packs, down to cinema in evening, afterwards we had eggs and chips in a French house, good food, fine weather and lots of areoplanes over, German planes bombing all about town but not over us

January 26

Kit inspection this morning, over looking at the plant and mine near here, fine weather, in afternoon Don Jardine and I walked over to Sarns En Gohelle for new gas respirators and tested them in the gas chambers, called in a house on the way home and got some coffee, no mail for quit a little while now, expect to go in the line on Monday night

January 27

Church parade this morning to Church army hut, wrote letter to Herb Perry at noon how his son was killed, on fatigue work in afternoon cleaning limbers, feeling rather blue this evening, received a letter from Emily in Cleveland

January 28

Doing revolver drill and machine gun drill in morning, warm sunny day, don't go in line tonight, Germans shelling this town with large high explosive shells, one man shell shocked, their planes over bombing too and signalling back with their machine guns, knocked the tiles off the roof of house next to one we are in, clear moonlight night, down to movies in the evening at the YMCA

January 29

Got sick parade with dysentry caused by the water we drink, got medicine and duty, called down by Sgt. Swanafter for not going on parade for the remainder of the morning, had a feed of eggs and chips,
the five of us, the #1 of each crew leave tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. for the line, one of old crew joined Coy. so am now #2 on the crew, Germans didn't shell the town tonight

January 30

Drill in morning, fine weather, leave tomorrow for the line, Coy. drill in afternoon

January 31

Getting to leave for the line in the morning, got our own gun back from the line and twas in awful condition and was hit by shrapnel, left for the line at 3:30, took about two hours to march in, relieved 1st Coy., firing 3,000 rounds per night, in an old cellar of a house which is all blown in