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Date: February 24th 1917

February 24 [1917]

Left England for France – Left Purfleet Camp on Friday Feb. 23, 1917 at 10 PM and got on the boat at 10 AM, Feb. 24 and landed in France at 3 PM and marched for 4 miles to a camp and there we put up our tents which we stayed in until the 26th.  We all marched 2 miles on Sunday morning for a wash, which was cold. After dinner we went for a short route march in the afternoon. We left for the front at 2 AM in the morning and got on a train at 6:15. We saw camps all along the way. We got to the Base at 3:30 PM which was called “Albert”. I went to see the big RC church, which was blown to pieces on the 27th. On the 28th we left Albert at 7:00 in the morning and marched 3 miles in the mud up near the trenches. Left camp at 5:15 in AM to do some repair work on the railway which was blown up and took charge of a lot of CP men, got back at 11:15.

March 1, 1917 – one British pilot brought down on the 2nd, big snow storm on the 5th – worked on the track all day. One battle B plane brought down on account of the man being wounded. On the 6th of March, I was sent back to the transport and set up by the ___ for one week – I had one lame mule. March 22, 1917 – Albert - We got up at 2:30 in the morning to load up to ___ camp and we got loaded on the train at 3 in the afternoon and got started after 4 and it started to snow at 5 and snowed all night.  We pulled into St. Pol at 5 in the morning and we stayed at St. Pol until 6 PM and then hitched up and drove until 2:30 in the morning and there we stayed until the 25th and then continued our trip to Arras. On the 26th the Sergeant and 4 foul ups went for wood. 

March 27, 1917 - On the 27th wrote a letter home and also received 2 letters from home. One of them was a note on Jan. 1 and the other one on Jan17 and one had a dollar in it. On the first of April I went to D. la in the morning and in the afternoon it started to snow and lasted until the next night. On April 3, we moved to Arras and were camped right in with the big guns. On the 4th of April a big bombardment started and lasted for 72 hours. On April 8, Easter Sunday, old Fritz started to shell our camp and made us leave the tents and go into dugouts at 1:15 in the morning. The same night the British captured 200 prisoners and advanced three lines of trenches.

Arras May 1, 1917 – at 5:30 PM, shortly after we had supper, the Germans started shelling our camp and they landed shells all around us. The second shell set fire to a building 20 yards from the camp. The third shell hit in the street in front of the camp and several others came close but none of them hit right in to the camp. At 8 PM on the 1st they landed a fire shell into a cartage dump and when the shells stared to go off it sounded like a hail storm on a tin roof and two of our boys went for a walk down the road and before they got very far an officer sent them over to help put out the fire. At 9 PM one of the boys was killed and the other one was badly wounded. The one that was killed was Darkins  and the other was Marrin and he was taken to the house hospital at once and so we did not see him. We gave Darkins a good funeral.  On May 9th we moved from Arras to Bapaume and on May 24th we had some sports and we had a good time with foot and baseball, tug a war, foot races, sack races, mule and horse races. On May 26th Goalsack was wounded and on May 27th we packed up and moved again and went to Belgium, to a place called Poperinge and I went on the water wagon.

June 18, 1917 - we left Belgium on June 18th and went back to France.

Original Scans

Original Scans

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