Wednesday September 6, 1916
This morning we were wakened up for a ration of rum. Of course as per promise to Gussie I passed it by as I was not in necessity. The rum is really an emergency ration served out when the men are wet or extra tired, of after an engagement or a heavy shelling when nerves are badly shaken. In France and Belgium, as I have seen it, beer is put out on the meal table and given to children, even to babies, in preference to coffee or tea, or even water. We find that every little farm-house we can by rum, beer, wine, Coniac and sometimes whiskey. I suppose the farmer makes some of it at least.
The first place we passed through was Domqueur. Then a few kilometers further we marched through Noyelle, turned to our left here and next came to Dormart. On the other side of this big town we had our noon tide dinner. It was only tea prepared by the Black Watch (cooks) but it helped to wash down our bread and bully beef. To-night we hear that we may get a good mulligan (stew) with dough-boys in it. The weather was so hot that our feet were either scalded or badly blistered. Some of the fellows have chafed badly. So some of us went bare-foot for dinner hour, and let our shirts dry out on the fence. At 12:45 we marched off again, passing through St Leger, and finally landing in a village called St Leger.
We keep working down farther south toward that part of the Somme front where our gallant fellows have been so successfully pushing forward. We were issued out with hard-tack, and told that we would get no more bread while at the Somme front. I guess we will soon be in the thick of it. Well let it come. I am prepared to meet whatever comes. Am told that we must be up by 6:30. So here goes to hit the straw and pound my ear till morning.