Churchill-Smith, James – December 1917
1 Dec 1917
Dull day & very windy especially during late afternoon. Football in afternoon:-
Soccer. 50th 3 goals. Bgde Hdqrs Nil.
50th ‘A’ Team 4 goals 9 behinds,
50th ‘B’ Team 5 goals 1 behind.
The latter match very exciting and interesting. Wrote dear Mum, Kate, Tom Loutit, & sent Xmas Cards to Charlie Perry, & Bert Hewish & H. J. Armitage. Bed late – up writing.
2 Dec 1917
…Church Parade in morning; jumped horse after – (good). Sent Xmas Cards to Mrs Bidstrup and Mrs Hoggarth. Went to Eu & Treport with Jim Loudon in afternoon; called on Madam Malfait – very enjoyable time. Saw dear Henri.
3 Dec 1917
…Orders out for Bgde – to stand by ready to move at a moments notice; evidently Cambrais push.
5 Dec 1917
Nice day. Coy. attack scheme in morning. Eu & Treport in afternoon with Leary – visited Madame Malfait. Bed late.
6 Dec 1917
… Battn. less ‘D’ Coy moved out from Meneshe’s at 12 noon & entrained at Eu at 3.30 p.m. ‘D’ Coy left at 8 p.m. & entrained at Eu at 11 p.m. Wrote Maudie & Pat.
7 Dec 1917
Travelled all night in the train arriving at Peronne at 10.10 a.m. Left Peronne at 11 oc’ and marched to Estricourt arriving at about 3.30 p.m. Men very tired & hungry, but had an excellent meal on arrival in Camp. Bed early. Camped in tents.
9 Dec 1917
Heavy rain during early morning. Dull day with light rain. Battn. left Etricourt at 9.5 a.m. arriving at Templar\eux/ – les fosse at about 11.30 a.m. – roads very muddy; camped in tents.
10 Dec 1917
Settling down during morning. Fatigues in afternoon. Enemy plane over dropping bombs – no damage done. Cold night. Orders out at 10 a.m. to be ready to move at 1 hrs. notice: Officers to sleep in their clothes.
11 Dec 1917
Our Artillery very busy during early morning. Inspection parade in morning. Paid men in morning and took Referendum in afternoon. Very cold day. Lts Goodman & Lindsay to Hospital. Made out list of Duds; I am to be left out.
12 Dec 1917
Fair day. Coy. attack schemes in morning – Brigadier present. Wrote dear Mum & Kate. Our Artillery very busy during early morning. Lt. Bill White over in afternoon.
13 Dec 1917
Our Artillery very busy during early morning, also at 12 noon to 12.30 p.m. Dull day with slight mist. Men at baths during day. Cabled Dad “Merry Xmas &c” Wrote Mattie Adney & Mona.
16 Dec 1917
Promotions out: – Capt Fowler to be Mjr 1/12/17. To be Lieuts – 2/Lts Leary, Cook, Lindsay, Wakelin & Sims. Cold day with light snowfall. Football –
50th 6 goals 5 behinds,
51st, 3 goals 4 behinds – very good game.
Church parade 11 a.m. – Brig. present. Heavy snowfall during night.
17 Dec 1917
Cold day with strong wind – snow everywhere. Parade in morning – bitterly cold. Snow-ball fights in afternoon.
18 Dec 1917
… 2/Lt W. J. Hale, ‘D’ Coy, put under arrest for drunkenness.
20 Dec 1917
Left Battn. at 8.30 a.m. arriving at Peronne Station at about 9.30 a.m. Caught \goods/ train at 2.30 p.m. arriving at Amiens at about 7 p.m. – very cold journey. Good dinner at Amiens.
21 Dec 1917
Caught 12.16 a.m. train (passenger) from Amiens arriving at Boulogne about 6.15 a.m. Breakfast at Officers Club – wash also. Caught leave boat at 2..30 p.m. arriving at Folkestone at about 4.30 p.m., and London at about 7 p.m. Went to “The Saving Grace” at night with Gordon Cornish & “Cobber” Mitchell – Maxims after.
22 Dec 1917
Shopping during the morning. Met Eric Inglis & Major Arrell. Went to “Carmonita’ at night with Gordon Cornish & Perry.…
23 Dec 1917
Up about 12 noon feeling A.1. Went to Swaffer’s with Ing. [Lieut Eric Inglis] in afternoon & returned with the 3 girls to tea at Regents, dinner at Troc, & coffee after at Regents – then home; most enjoyable time. Padre Walden arrived.
25 Dec 1917
Xmas Day. Dinner at Australasian Club, Piccadilly. Went to Brighton at night stopping at Hotel Metropole – very nice place. Lovely moonlight night.
26 Dec 1917
Nice day, light snow at night. Strolled along promenade during day, pictures afternoon & night. Very enjoyable time.
29 Dec 1917
Dull day with light rain at night. Went to “Here & there” in afternoon – fair – and “Arlette” at night – good. With Mona at “Arlette”.
30 Dec 1917
Dull day. Wrote Marion Henderson & Madame Malfait. Tea with Ledwidges’ & dinner with Mona.