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Date: May 1918

Wednesday 1 May 1918

Up at 6K. Coy. O.C. over to Mens Mess 6:30 a.m. Breakfast O.K. Spent morning taking more anti-gas notes & then went twice through trench containing Chlorine (poison) gas. Later went through tear-gas in double opened dugout. Failed to adjust mask & got balled out for not doing so. Gave in specimen of wind observation. Canadian mail at Mess at noon. Letter from Rossie C. Vera & two from Folks. Got Mary G's address. Gas course at 2 p.m. More notes & time tests. Route March in Masks. Home & bath, tea at 5:45. Farewell dinner Cross 7 p.m. to after 10 K. Gen. Meighen, Col. Frost, Hewgill, McKay, Rattray and Staff present. Pretty wet. Broke up at Midnight. Great time.

Thursday 2 May 1918

Fine & Warm. A.M. Taking notes on gas. Time tests. Cunningham surprised us while on a march. Sprung from bushes fired gun, & shouted gas. Spent ½ hour in gassed trenches & dug-outs. Acted as sentry on dug-out. Letter from F. Holloway at mess at noon. P.M. Took more notes on gas, passed time test exam on B.R. adjustment. From slung & alert positions. Wrote exam for an hour. Had my notes stamped. Gas course to an end at 6 p.m. Rottenly handled school, so think all who attend it. Had dinner & saw last of baseball game. 15th Res. 5 - Y.S.B. 2. Ferrier referees game. Met Mar Sales of Calgary with R. & Percy West. R. Ferrier over to Hut to write letters. Going to France right away.

Friday 3 May 1918

Reported to Lieut. Raisbeck (M.G.O.) after 8 a.m. parade. Gave us a Cpl & Lewis gun. Spent all morning in Horford's room on the gun. Finished my letter to Dad. Letter from Eve. Written at Wpg. On lewis gun till 4 K. Got my hair cut. Had dinner & dressed & went up to Men's mess to hear the London lady's concert troupe. Splendid concert. Took ladies down to Mess to have supper. Car driver came & they had to leave at once. Nothing daunted. We ate the supper anyway. Col. Cross splendid chairman. Handed over his onerous duties to Mjr. French when he left early. Had some singing in ante-room & came to hut. Heavy rain starts about 9 p.m. In orders to attend Revolver course next week. Sent Bank book to B. of Mont. London.

Saturday 4 May 1918

On C.O's parade 8 a.m. Had #9 Platoon March Past. Put on gas Respirator. Went to Dentist. Doc. Read bust filling all up after taking nearly 1 hour to get it in. Down to miniature range Lewis gun. Fired my final practices. Watched couple of aeroplanes doing stunts at noon. Over to where they landed. One has hard time to get engine started. Met Doc. Rose (Dentist) from Bdn. Over to baseball game till 4:30. 15th 10. Y.S.B. 4. Houston up from Witley. 15 Cadet officers arrive to Batt. from Bexhill. Phillpot & I taxied to Hindehead 5K. Went into Thorshill & met Mrs. Simpson & Graham. Asked for Ham McPhadden. Got his address, met McLean, Carter, Walker, & Rogers at The Huts. Had game billiards & back to camp.

Sunday 5 May 1918

On church parade to Block 5 at 9 a.m. Met Spur of 196th just back from Bexhill with his Commission. With Capt. Leban on tour of Men's huts. Wrote letters to Eva & Vera. Started to rain about 4K. Walked over to Chase Lodge. Sis Leigh just going down to Hospital. Walked down with her. Going to drop me a line when to come over for tea. Wants me to go to Detail officers Mess dance on 17th. Off night duty Tuesday & on two days leave. Went up & saw old N.C.O's at their hut. Ferrier, Thompson, Benson etc. all shining up for Draft inspection. Had lunch at Mess 9:30. Wrote Frances Holloway. New schedule (long hours) starts tomorrow. Reveille 5:30.

Monday 6 May 1918

Up at 6:30. Had breakfast 9:15K. On parade for P.T. 7:30. Short of instructors. Capt. Leban told me to take a platoon which I did. Half hour goes quickly. Back to hut & shaved & dressed. Went to Revolver course at 8:45. Back at 11:40. Course looks if it might be very interesting. Back again at 2 P.M. Took more notes etc. Home 4:30 P.M. Wrote up my gas & Revolver notes. Had dinner. Worked again on notes. Jack Wilson was in to see me. Wants transfer from 23rd to 15th Reserve. I must see the adjutant for him. Lunch in mess at 9:30. Elliott back from Etaples. Had long talk with Shorty Armstrong. Mrs. Black kicked us out of the kitchen.

Tuesday 7 May 1918

All day heavy rain sets in during P.T. 7:30. Woke up feeling rotten. Cold very bad & headache. Took rear platoon of "D" Coy. for P.T. Felt like going to bed again after it but dressed & went to Revolver school. Got soaking wet & had to leave at 10 K. Went to 15th M.O. & got some dope. Came back to hut & went to Bed. [?] brought lunch & supper to room. B. Laidman in at noon. On draft tonight. Wesley in from about 6 to 8:30. Got up & went over to lines. Said goode-bye to 40 of our boys going to 1st C.M.R. and 28th battalions. Ferrier, Thompson, Two West Boys, Tom Welsh, Williams etc. Band plays them off. Came back to mess for lunch. Had hot toddy & came to bed. Forwarded letters to Hogie & Badger. Bank book back from London.

Wednesday 8 May 1918

Woke up feeling some better. M.O. into hut to see me. Said I had better stay in bed for the day. King George V on visit to camp in the morning. Y.S.B. supply Guard of honour. Got up & dressed about 3:30. Went to Mess for supper. Burwash over to hut about 7 K. He & I spent evening in Robbins' ( Mess Secy's) Room. Had lunch in Mess 9:30. Bed 10:15 K.

Thursday 9 May 1918

Beautiful warm day. Up at 6:30. Present at P.T. parade 7:30. Wrote up my revolver notes till 8:30 K. Went to revolver course 9 K. Fired practices I had missed by being sick. Pretty shaky & I made poor score. Got full marks (25) for my notes. Back again at 2 K. Fired three more practices including advancing targets. Course very interesting. Col. Cross bids all an informal farewell in Mess about 5 K. Major French in Command now. 15th and Y.S.B. play good game of ball. 9-7 15th. Saw Monteith & Dutton for awhile.

Friday 10 May 1918

Beautiful clear day. Up at 6:30. On P.T. parade 7:30. Went to Revolver course 9K. Fired my trench clearing practice. Great fun following others through. Wrote exam at 2K. Course finished 4K. Had bath & clean up. Down to Men's lines after Mess. Busy getting 400 draft ready for tonight. Went to Concert in Mens Mess till 8:30 K. Cashed cheque for £5 at P.M. 15th. About 300, 249th boys on 2nd draft to France. Went over to the Bgde with them. Shook hands with every one I think. All happy. Back to Mess 10K. Concert party still holding forth. Had lunch & came to bed.

Saturday 11 May 1918

Up at 6:30. Beautiful morning. Present at P.T. Parade 7:30. On C.O's parade 8:30. Brown, Armstrong, & I on all morning Route march with 150 men. Band with us. Had bath & dressed for dinner. Canadian mail in. Letter from Aunt Sadie, Mattie, Eva (2), Dad, & Mother. Box of eats on way. Saw ball-games between 15th & 20th. Former badly beaten. Also 21st vs. Hdqrs. Latter beaten 22-0. Hogie & McLean up from Mytchett. Got snaps taken at Haslemere from Hogie. Pretty good. In orders for Mytchett this week. Wrote Dad. Dressed & went up to dance at Hospital. Fine Time. Good orchestra. Met some new sisters. Home 11:30 P.M.

Sunday 12 May 1918

Bright & Warm. Up at 6 K. Packed my bed roll for Mytchell. Had rotten breakfast about 6:50. Cramp carried my bed roll up to Q.M. stores. Range party moved to area school about 7:30 a.m. Whole party moved off about 9K. Went through couple of rain storms. Passed returning party about 11K. 8 miles from Bramshott. Had lunch at Tilford Common in "Pub". Dandy lunch. Moved off again at 1K. Arrived Mytchett 4K. Transport arrived soon after. Got room & had dinner in Mess. Wright & I hired nice canoe & paddled three miles up canal. Lovely calm night & we were in our shirt sleeves all evening. Out over two hours. Had lunch in Mess & went to bed 10 K.

Monday 13 May 1918

Up at 6:30. Raining. Had breakfast & walked to butts about 7K. No scores to be recorded yet so we just put in the time till 2K. Had lunch 2:30, dressed & caught 4K train to Aldershott, Wright & I. Purchased trench coat at [?] army & navy stores. Also cap from Thos. White. Bought lunch of chocolates & went to first show at Hippodrome. Gord met Elliott. Had good supper & caught 9:30 train to North camp station. Had lunch & came bed 11K.
Mytchett Ranges

Tuesday 14 May 1918

Bright & Clear. Up early & out to Range # 2. No lunch sent out to us & went without anything until 3:30 when we got back to the Mess. Left Butts for while & had to have flag lowered & firing stopped till we got back in. Cap came through the mail from Aldershot. Also returned blank cheque I had left by mistake. Wright & I went down to the bicycle shop. Ordered bicycle to go back to Bramshott Camp tomorrow night. Wright & I had nice paddle all evening on the Canal.
Mytchett Ranges

Wednesday 15 May 1918

Bright & very warm. On No.2 Range buts till 1K. I went & got Wright & my bicycle at 1K. Had lunch, cleaned out & Wright & I started out for Bramshott 3 P.M. Hard ride. Had tea the Valley Inn & arrived Bramshott 5K. Got mail for fellows at Mytchett. Saw ball game. Started back 9 P.M. Came through Farnham & Aldershott. Hungry as two tramps but too late getting to the mess for anything to eat. Pretty tired.
Mytchett Ranges

Thursday 16 May 1918

Clear & Very Warm. On Butts all morning. Finished 1:30 P.M. Had lunch. Browne, Wright, & I on Canal till 5K. Came back for dinner, ordered my breeches from Weatherill. On canal again from 6K to 9:30 P.M. Had great time, dandy canoe the Indianas. Back to mess had lunch & came to bed 11K.
Mytchett Ranges

Friday 17 May 1918

Bright & Very warm. On Butts from 7 a.m. to 4K. Dressed & Ashley Walker & I rode wheels along Canal bank to the Jones home. Invited us to play tennis tomorrow at officers club Farneboro. Back to Mess for dinner. Got the little canoe Indiana & spent all evening on the canal. Back to mess. Walker treated us to some home cooking from Canada. Got my kit together ready for a bike to London Saturday.
Mytchett Ranges

Saturday 18 May 1918

In London
Clear & warm. Up at 6K. Returned my bicycle to shop. Took 8K train North Camp station to London. Capt. Williams also going to London. Spent all morning doing the shops buying clothes etc. Had lunch at Lyons corner house. Met Crowther at Regents. Had tea together. Went up to Miss Greene's but not home. Met Ken Campbell & Tom Blight in R. P. Hotel. Gee it was good to see them. Ken on leave from France. Tom training as a pilot in R.A.F. Got both their addresses. Ken, a Maj. Irwin & I had dinner at the Frascati & went to "Violette" at Lyric. Stayed overnight at Brunswick house, Orange street.

Sunday 19 May 1918

In London
Bright & Warm. Slept till 9K. Up & had breakfast. Went up to Miss Greene's. Not in. Met Irwin, Ken C's friend. Had lunch together. Also saw Ken & Tom Blight. Sat around Regents Palace till 1:30. Ken, Irwin & I had dinner & went to Waterloo station at 2:45 P.M. They were on way to Richmond aerodrome. I arrived Haslemere 4:15. Took taxi to camp. Had supper. Saw Capt. Williams. Told me to report to Adjutant & present Medical Certificate from M.O. at Mytchett. Got letters from Home (4), Eva (3), Edwin R. Russ. Ferrier & Bill Neely in France.

Monday 20 May 1918

Very Hot day. On P.T. 7:30. C.O's parade 8:30. Took class to North hill & had visual training & Field Practice. Officers all in shirts without tunics. Organized sports in afternoon. Umpired game of Indoor baseball between "D" Coy. teams. Aeroplane in landing on our parade grounds cut half dozen wires on his way down. Y.S.B. defeat 15th 5-4 in great game of base-ball. Aviator up again & did some fine stunts for our benefit. Had bath & cleaned up. Phillpot & I up to hospital & saw Sandlos Mabourquette & Acket. Walked over to Chase lodge with them. Made date for show Thursday with Mabourquette & Acket. Over to 7 Thorns & back to lines for lunch 9 P.M. Wire from K.P.C.

Tuesday 21 May 1918

Awfully warm. On P.T. 7:30 took charge of class. C.O's parade at 8:30. On route march with B.R. On parade all P.M. with D10. Rotten class. Don't think they'll ever learn to soldier. Had bath & dressed for Mess night. Wrote a 12 page letter to Eva. Jack Wilson over to see me at hut. Had cocoa at mess 10K came to bed.
Bramshott Camp

Wednesday 22 May 1918

Very Warm. In charge of good platoon for P.T. 7:30. C.O's parade 8:30. Coy. drill all a.m. Cramp on leave & no batman all morning. My platoon on entrenching all afternoon. I started to write letters but it was too hot so I lay down & slept till 4:30 P.M. Dressed had dinner & saw good game of base-ball. 21st beat 15th 9-3. Saw Monteith & Pickett for awhile. Bay tells me that A.L. McDougall was discharged from 196th at Camp Hughes & never came over. Saw Colonel Guthrie in our mess for an hour. Expects to join Gen. Currie's staff in France soon. Hogie & I talked till after midnight. Heavy storm all night.

Thursday 23 May 1918

Trip to Longmoor Ranges called off on account of weather. On C.O's parade & had class all A.M. Finished letter to Dad. Had letter from Jean Hendry at noon. Answered it at once. Turning windy & raw after dinner. Stayed in hut nearly all afternoon. Awful dust storm & then heavy rain. Phillpot & I up to Chase Lodge about 5K. Took Ackett & Bouquet to the "Windfall" at garrison. Bouquet & I met Sis. sandlos at Chase Lodge. Sandlos & I for walk while Bouquet does some ironing on the Q.T. in Cols. Office in hospital. Three of us had lunch & chatted till nearly 12 P.M. Bed 1K.

Friday 24 May 1918

Overslept & missed Muster Parade. Reported to adjutant. Hogie & I saw ball tournament start. Called for Sis. Mabourquette at hospital 10K. Up to Chase Lodge, saw ball game 15th 10, Signallers 5. Went down to Happy Valley with her till noon. At sports all afternoon. Saw Charlie Irwin in the runs & jump. Just over from Calgary with draft. Met Moore of [?] "Y". In "Y" work here. Dandy sports. 21st Reserve beat 15th 9-1 in baseball finals. Saw Willard Sinclairs sister from Calgary in distance. Saw Bill Hall, Sis. Sandlos & officer in Cigarette Race. Roper, McLean, Pickett, Charlie Irwin & I to band concert in Happy Valley. Met Doc. Rose. He, Doc, Kelly, Ernie, & Doc Hurst (all Brandon) in a Y.S.B. hut next to me. Cliff Bill (Bdn) wins two fine sprints.

Saturday 25 May 1918

Clear & warm. Took charge of large class on P.T. at 7:30 while "Staff" checked up. C.O.'s parade 8:30. Innoculated 9:30 so excused duty for 48 hours. Wondering where to go? Hogie & I walked to Haslemere. Met Sis. Leigh & two other sisters. Bought two class tickets & rode 3rd & 1st to Portsmouth Town. Off at Fratton station & took train to Southsea South Parade Pier. Took room at Royal Beach hotel. Spent rest of day around the shore & promenade & on Pavillion pier. Had dinner at Central Grill uptown. Saw some "Subs" or Hydroplanes. Went to bed tired out about 11K. Heard Anti-Aircraft guns close by practicing.

Sunday 26 May 1918

Slept in till 10K. Had lovely breakfast & took walk while Hogie wrote letter home. Sat on bench on promenade & met a fine young lady of Southsea. Had lunch about 2K. Two ladies overheared us tell waiter we had no meat coupons so tendered theirs for our dinner at night. One of them has relative in France from Brandon. Four of us went for long taxi drive till 5K. Saw where Charles Dickens born, Nelsons last home in England, the "Victory" & her original anchor now beached. Lord Howes residence, & saw green where Drake played his game of bowls & where Nelson & Blucher met. Back to Haslemere 8K. Met Rogers & McLean & had good evenings fun.

Monday 27 May 1918

Warned for France
Slept in quite late. Skinned my foot the night before so went on sick list. Called to report to D.R. after dinner. What for this time? Went up 1:30 P.M. Warned for draft for France & must go on draft leave at once. Busy all afternoon filling out forms, blue book, seeing M.O. & D.O. Nearly held me up on account of only one innoculation. Hogie also warned. Wright, Mortimer & I going to 1st C.M.R's. Chen. & Hosford not warned & sore. Put in for leave for Forfar. Rode bike up to Chase Lodge. Saw Sis. Leigh. Roper, Lew, Dutton & Charlie Irwin over to hut to see me. Packed my grip for leave & bed 11 P.M.

Tuesday 28 May 1918

In London
Up 6:30. Got meat, sugar cards leave, & ½ fare warrant for Forfar. Leake, Hogie, Munro & I buss to Liphook. Arrived London 10:30. Up to Bank Montreal & drew all my money. Purchased bed roll, revolver, holster, binoculars etc. Money going fast. Ate lunch at Lyons Cr. House. Over to Regent's Palace. Met Jack McGillvray. Started out to Muswell hill about 6K to look up Mrs. Wighton. Got mixed up in tubes & busses & very late getting there. Found Mr. & Mrs.Wighton in. No relation to Henry's. Told me how to find Jean Henry. Had less than 1 hr. to catch train. Got back to Euston Station. Ticket to Forfar. No sleeper available. Left London 8:40 P.M. got basket lunch to eat on train.

Wednesday 29 May 1918

In Scotland
Old gent on train woke me up at 5:30 to see the beginning of Scotland. Met a Mr. White train inspector. Asked me to look up his son in Clydesdale bank in Forfar. Arrived Perth 9:30 A.M. Arranged for Leith on my return trip. Had breakfast at station grill. Wired Jean Hendry. Walked up street. Took train for Forfar at 11:50. Arrived Forfar 12:40. Jean at station to meet me. Rode up to house in cab. Her uncle came in shortly afterward. Had dinner. Mr. Sturrock went to funeral of a friend. Jean's girlfriend left for her home in the glen at 4K. Jean & I did some shopping up-town. Tea 6K. Up to bowling green. D. Sturrock on Spec. police duty. Bed about 1K.

Thursday 30 May 1918

Awakened by Jean Hendry knocking at my door with lovely breakfast of Ham & Eggs, toast, jam & coffee. Got up later & had walk up town. Dinner 2K. 3 P.M. Jean, Miss McDonald, Mr. Sturrock & I drive into the glens to Grampion Hills. Saw old castles & monument of late Earl of Airlie killed at Diamond hill in S.A. War. On Tullo Hill. Drove back through Kerrimuir, birth place of Barry, poet & play-writer. Had lovely afternoon. Back to Forfar 10:30 P.M. Had supper. Sat around fire, talked until after 2 A.M.

Friday 31 May 1918

Breakfast in bed 9K. Jean & I down town & engaged bicycle to go to Glammis castle this afternoon. Jean & I had early dinner & rode to Glammis castle. Saw all through Prince Charles' bed & room, also Room used by Sir Walter Scott for one summer. Saw old armour & court jesters costumes. Walked down the secret staircase. Saw Dutch & Italian gardens. Back to Forfar 4:30 P.M. Finished letter to Dad, had rush supper & caught 7:07 train for Perth. Got sleeper in train for Euston Stn. at 9 P.M. Lord Dudley's party on train to London sleeping accommodation very good. About price in Canada 15 Sh.

Original Scans

Original Scans