Churchill-Smith, James – October 1918
Nice fine day, slightly chilly at times. Very enjoyable game of tennis in afternoon with G.O.C., Lade, Churcher & Lec. Brig. Gen Leane & Capt Varley called during afternoon, & played tennis with us. Saw 51st Bn. on route march during morning, & watched 49th Bn. training. Guest night at Mess – Cols. Whitham & Coaster, Majors Rowe & Fowler present also 51st Orchestra – very enjoyable. Good news of Bulgaria giving in.
Fine morning, dull afternoon, but played tennis. Called at 59th Bn during morning, also Brigade School. Good news of French push east & west of Rheims. Since yesterday 21,000 prisoners counted. Bulgarians handed over all ships & Railways – Turkey next I should say. Good-byee Germany !!! Bridge at night with G.O.C. & others…
Good games of tennis today. …News of more scrapping round St Quentin by French & west of it by the Australian’s 2nd Div. have had a hard scrap yesterday took 21 Off 652 O.R prisoners. Tanks reported blown up by land mines & whippets unable to cross all Hun trenches owing to width.
Dull day. Tennis in afternoon – very enjoyable. News through of Turkey giving in; everybody quite excited about it. Austria in about 3 weeks time, I should say, then Goodbye to Germany. Bridge at night with G.O.C., Bennett & the Interpreter…
Fine day Around inspecting 50th & 51st Bn Transports during morning, also 49th Bn on route march… Sports during afternoon, then back home for tennis. Bridge at night.
Dull day, but no rain. … News through of Germany & Austria asking for an Armistice – up them!!! Church Parade at 9.30 a.m. at Aerodrome. French lady called re having been robbed of 15000 francs at Ferrieres last night – muster parade of 50th held & all strays arrested in villages – enquiry to be held on 2 men of 50th – suspects.
… Enquiry at 10 a.m. on 50th suspects re robbery. General at dinner at Division. Bridge afternoon & evening…
Fair day – threatening at times, but fortunately no rain. Sports commenced at 11 a.m. with athletic events & at 2 10 p.m. with equestrian. Very enjoyable day; my old Coy. horse “Winchester” (Dick) won the Flag Race. Nurses present from Abbeville & a few French folk. Lt. Sims to dinner & bridge afterwards.
Round to 49th & 51st Bns. during morning with the General…
G.O.C.’s 4th Div. inspection of Brigade cancelled; Bns. on route marches. Recd letters from dear Mum (3), Kate, Dad, Bert, Hewish, Mrs. Swift, Aunt Mary, and Toddy. Wrote dear Mum, Kate, Dad, & Aunt Mary Campbell & sent souvenirs (Rheims Cathedral picture) to dear Mum. Heavy rain in afternoon and during night.
Dull day with light drizzle. Gen. Herring left by car in morning on leave: – Col. Witham (temp comm. 4th Bgde) to come over & take charge. I left Bn. in afternoon for 50th Bn as Murray Fowler is going on leave. Good news in paper of Peace talk and advances. …
Route march in morning. Fine day. Padre Golt (attached temp. with Y.M.C.A.) entertained the Bn. during afternoon – very enjoyable.
My birthday – getting old. (24 yrs.)…
Wrote Lily Mc. and Rafferty & Calver (enc. Cheque) Recd. letter from Mona & new diary from dear Dad – O.K. Dull day, but no rain.
Fine day. Bn. on route march during morning. Attended meeting At Bde re Sports at 10.30 a.m. – remained to lunch…
Fine day. Got tooth filled in afternoon. Good news through of capture of Lille, Douai, & Ostend. Bridge at night with Crase, Harding & Sims. Sports meeting at 5.30 p.m. Recd 1919 diary from dear Dad – O.K.
Fine day; heavy fog during early morning. Football in afternoon “A” Team V “B” Team. Good news through of occupation of Tourcoing & Roubaix.
Dull day with occasional light showers Church Parade & Holy Communion in morning. Wrote dear Mum, & Kate, & Dad, also Joyce Johnston. More good news through. Huns have evacuated the whole of the Flanders coast, & we now occupy it…
Fine day. Bn. road race – 4½ miles – in afternoon; 15 entries per Platoon – won by No 8 Platoon, “B” Coy. highest aggregate points. Winner Pte Quigley (of Prospect) “B” Coy. 2nd Pte Wilson, P.H. “D” Coy. Am getting very fat & have had to get my tunic let out – and this is war!!!…
Dull day. Football in afternoon: –
51st Bn 7 goals 6 behinds
50th “ 4 “ 6 “
Bn route march during morning. Out with C.O. & Coy. Commdrs in afternoon reconnoitring ground for Bn. Attack scheme tomorrow. Up till 12 mid. Writing out Orders & Instructions.
Bn. Attack scheme between Guignemicourt & Bovelles during morning. G.O.C. Bde present. – fair. All Officers & N.C.O’s out in afternoon going over attack again in skeleton formation. Sent Xmas Cards issued to men of Bn. to dear Mum, Kate, Dad & Sid.
C.O. left for Camiers M.G. school so I took over command of the Bn. Capt. Wilson left for Australia furlough. Bn. Parade in afternoon as practice for tomorrow – turnout good.Bgde lecture (Off & N.C.O.’s) at Guignemicourt at 3 p.m. on “Artillery.”
Brigade formed up on 49th Bn parade ground between Guignemicourt & Clairy at 10 a.m. & were inspected by Gen. MacLagan, G.O.C. 4th Aust. Div. Verdict on 50th Bn – “very satisfactory” March past at conclusion of inspection. Football in afternoon “A” V “B” Team.