Churchill-Smith, James – May 1917
Courts-Martial all day with Major Christie 51st& Capt H. G. S. Smith (49th.) C. O. & few Officers of 51st over after Mess. Officers revolver shooting after Mess. Hot day like Australia.
Bgde Church Parade in morning – 5th Army Padre took the sermon. Court of Inquiry on 2 boat accidents in afternoon; self President, Kay & Noblet members. Went for lovely horse ride with Henry Powell after Mess.
Wet day, but very nice. …Rifle meeting in afternoon – Coy match won by 49th; our chaps marched best of all but did badly in their shooting.
Fine day. Div. Rifle meeting all day. Received 3 letters from dear Mum, Kate (from Lincoln), F. Gill, W. L. Ware, Pattie McManus, Aunt Nell. Have developed a nice cold again.
Left Boulonge at 11.45 a.m. with another leave boat & 2 Hospital ships – escorted by three destroyers, one airship overhead. Lovely day – enjoyable trip. Arrived Folkestone 1.30 & left by 2 p.m. train arriving at London at about 4 p.m.
Strolled around with Tom during morning. Lunch with Tom, Hayward and Keith Smith. Got new suit, met Mona, and dined at Troc., then to Gaiety “Theodore & C “ – very nice. Wrote dear Mum.
Lunch with Mona & Tom English. “Zig Zag” in afternoon with Tom – very enjoyable. “Palladine” at night – fair. Harry Seager & Jim Loudon arrived on leave.
…Dinner & Theatre with Mona at night…can’t say this holiday is “Cheep”, but for all that it is very enjoyable.
…Tea at Monas with Tom & 4 of her sisters – then 2 of them & Tom & I to Richmond: row on river, – very enjoyable. Heavy showers about 11 p.m. & we got wet, so had to dry clothes at Mona’s – missed last train: meant to walk home, but the enjoyable time made up for any inconvenience.
…arrived at Folkestone at 10 a.m. & left about 11.30 a.m. arriving at Boulogne at 1.30 p.m. At Boulogne all afternoon & night, but what a difference to dear old London – do hope I shall get more leave there later on. Bed early.
Fine day & fairly warm. Route march in morning. Received letters from Lil & Mollie McManus & proofs from “Histed”. Wrote dear Mum & “Histed”, & W. L. Ware. Jolly sorry to hear of Doug. Johnston’s death through pneumonia; he was a real good chap & a fine soldier.
Nice fine day. No Church Parade as Padre was late. Capts. Seager & Jim Loudon arrived back from leave. Wrote Mrs Ware, Sgt Ayres & Lionel Scott. Received letter from Mona.
Lovely sunny day – this is the weather for us, real Australian. Court of Inquiry in morning (Tom & Noblet) on men posted as “missing” from stunts on Mouquet Farm, Aug 12 – 16 & Septr 2nd. Court Martial in afternoon (Mjrs Arrell, Capt Smith, &c). Officers handed in surplus kit & men handed in Felt hats for dumping today. Wrote Mona.
Those who are stopping out of coming stunt moved off at 9 a.m. (Mjr Loutit, Lieut L. B. Smith from Hdqrs; Lieut T. Smith from “D” Coy.) Remainder of Battn. left at 1.30 p.m. and arrived at near Neuve Eglisse at about 5 p.m. – camped in tents & shelters. Enemy aeroplane brought one of our observation balloons down in flames at 9.15 p.m. An enemy battery shelled about our camp area fairly heavily just before midnight.