Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: April 1917

[transcription provided by collection donor]

Apr 2, 1917
Went for a ride with Capt Graves from Barlin through Noeux-les-Mines, Labourse, Beuvry & up near Bethune. Here we started back as it was beginning to rain & got in a swamp. As we reached Verquigneul it was blowing & raining very hard. When we reached Labourse it was snowing; so on arriving at Noeux we put our horses in a stable & went to an Estaminet where we had tea & cake & jollied a very pretty Mlle. The storm did not abate in an hour so we resumed our way home as it was getting dark. At times we had great difficulty in making our horses face the storm.

Great preparations have been going on for the Vimy Ridge fight. There is a continuous line of traffic, motor lorries, troops, artillery, a few calvery & motorcars going up to the front with material & another line of traffic returning for more ammunition, etc. At all crossroads & in villages we have men directing the line of traffic. Such traffic has made the roads very bad. Expect the fight to begin in a few days.

Apr 4, 1917
Rode over the Villers-au-Bois & had tea at the 9th Field Amb. Passed through Gouy-Servins. The roads are very muddy. In places our boys are camping in open areas, horses are not sheltered & the mud is nearly knee deep. Our horses are in poor condition.

Apr 6, 1917
Ordered to take the sick parades of all the 3rd Can. Div. Artillery Horse lines at Gouy-Servins in addition to my work with the D.A.C. at Barlin. Met Capt. Weatherhead, M.O., of 10th Artillery Bde. & saw Kent who is their adjutant. Had lunch with them. The morning was great but I got soaking wet riding home. I have to make this trip every day & it’s over an hour’s hard riding there.

Apr 9, 1917
We took Vimy Ridge early in the morning & a large number of prisoners.

Apr 10, 1917
I started out in a snow storm, took my sick parade at Gouy-Servins – joined Capt Rich, V.O. & went over to No. 4 Section back of Mt. St. Eloi. While passing through Villers-au-Bois I saw a large number of prisoners taken on Vimy Ridge. Met Mr. Edgecomb. Returning had tea with 9th Field Amb. There was a very strong wind & our journey home was through a storm of snow & sleet.

Apr 12, 1917
Heavy snowstorm during the night. It was hard going to reach Gouy – at places the drifts were five feet & I had to proceed over country. Visited our ammunition dump & had lunch with Capt. Mills. The Boche threw a few shells around us. Visited the A.D.M.S. & our dump at Villers-au-Bois. It was very late when I got home & the horses were tired out.

Apr 14, 1917
While returning to Barlin just outside Gouy-Servins, I met Bobbie Green & had a short talk with him. In the afternoon we moved our lines to Gouy-Servins, a veritable mudhole. We lived in the old R.E. huts. The lines were very dirty.

Apr 19, 1917
The last five days saw much snowing, raining & blowing. It was very cold & almost impossible to get any fuel. Went through Mt. St. Eloi today which is a mass of ruins. Padre Costello R.C. rooms with me.

Officers here are Lft. Col. Hurdman, Capt. Strothers, Adj, Rich V.O.; Gouchie interpreter, Costello Padre, Vickers paymaster. Capt. Mills at the dump. Daddie Roache No. ii Section, Lft. Edgecomb & Sherlock.

Apr 22, 1917
Moved camp to Point “C” which is near Berthonval Farm (a mass of ruins) & in line with Mt. St. Eloi. Our mess is in the old trench. We are under canvass & the weather is clearing up.