[Editor’s notes: When writing the diary White did not always use the notebook pages sequentially, at times switching from front to back or starting again in a new section. The transcription, divided into three sections, follows the diaries chronological order (not physical page order). Transcriptions of the pages used throughout the notebook for recording addresses, or other such information discreet from the content of the diary entries, have been included at the end of section three. Please also note that punctuation, spelling, etc., has been transcribed as written.]
[section 1 of 3: February 13 – April 21, 1915]
13693. 4 comp
1st Can. Contin.
Diary of war
Enlisted 22 Aug. 1914
Landed Valcartier 27th Aug.
Left for England 27th Sept.
Arriv. Salisbury 21st Oct.
Left England for France 9th Feb ˈ15
Feb. 13th 1915
arrived within sound of guns very heavy firing.
at very dangerous work Digging trench behind firing line bullets dropping all round making us duck our heads, one man shot through the neck Pte Shanks 1st Essex regiment,
Fighting pretty heavy great sight trying to hit aeiroplanes up in the clouds Germans cant get the range. Germans shelling the town terrible sight watching buildings blown to pieces, Our guns start up a ragtime tune which puts the germans to sleep, Went through large factory today blown up by british guns, great destruction twisted steel beams and set on fire. This building was store house of Germans and a great many were blown up with it
I am sleeping in a pig pen, and as I am writing here, our guns have started to send Canadian souvenirs to the germans its a hot time the very air seems to tremble. Some of our boys shot, through carelessness in not taking cover in trenches, its a hard job keeping our boys back,
we have had our rest and we go into the firing line tonight, its a gamble with the stakes, Death,
April 19.th 1915
at Ypres, its a very hot corner one of the historic places in fighting line. Heavy firing shells dropping all over town, going into trenches tonight. some more ducking bullets.
April 20th 1915
In an old farm House, one mile from firing Line. Shells dropping every minute of the day, boys all happy and imating sound of the shells many wounded going down the Road.
[April 21st – no entry]