[transcription provided by collection donor]
Jan 1, 1918
New Year’s Day in St. Pierre. We are in close support.
We, the Headquarters Officers of the 116th Bn, gave a dinner which consisted of: Russian Caviar, Crimped Celery, Stuffed Olives, Chicken Consommé, Lobster Patties, Chicken Liver Saute onToast, Roast Young Turkey with Dressing & Giblet Sauce, Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus, Potato Puffs, New Carrots in Cream, Petit Pois, Old English Plum Pudding with Wine Sauce, French Pastry, Camembert Cheese, Nuts, Raisins, Dates, Fresh Fruit, Coffee, Wines, Cigars & Cigarettes.
The dinner was enjoyed by: Col. D.C. Draper, Acting Brigadier, Lft M.R. Jacobi, Lft Close, Capt. Ritchie, Lft C.R. Hillis, Capt. Patterson, Capt. Harvey, C.A.M.C., Padre Cote, Lft Broad, Lft. F.W. Ott, Capt. G. MacDonald, Lft. W.J. Preston, Lft K. Wood, Capt. A. Hind, Lft J.A. Gibson, Lft G.C. Creay, 43rd, Major L.R. Pearkes, M.C., O.C. 116th Bn.
We all had to give a speech & the dinner ended by telling yarns which grew from bad to worse, if I may use the expression.
Jan 3, 1918
Went into the front line.
Jan 6, 1918
Fire broke out around the dressing station in the evening. We tried to put it out until 12:30 but it was so dark that we couldn’t see what we were doing.
Jan 7, 1918
Fire burning, no flame showing but plenty of smoke. We worked from 7am for two hours digging out the rubbish, etc & so put out the fire. While at this, we were under direct fire but had no casualties.
Jan 8, 1918
Snowing very heavily. It is quiet on our front.
Jan 9, 1918
Moved out of the line in a snowstorm to Les Brebis.
Jan 13, 1918
We are having a very quiet rest in reserve. Our O.C., Major Pearkes, has got his V.C. & gave him a dinner to celebrate.
Jan 15, 1918
Into the line again. It was a two & half hours walk through a heavy rain storm. On the way in I met Burton Logie at Fosse 11. The trenches are all caved in & flooded. In places we were up to our hips in water. Several times one of my party got stuck in the mud. It is very heard to pull a man out & more often we would have to dig him out. When I arrived at my station in Counter trench (where I relieved Capt. Orr acting M.O. for 58th Bn.), I was drenched to the skin & covered with mud & chalk from head to foot.
Jan 18, 1918
Still raining. You can hardly call the trenches by that name any more as what is left of them is filled with mud & water. Our boys have taken the bull by the horns & brave the danger of going overland in order to dodge fatigue & shorten the distance. In doing this you brave the zip, zip, zip of machine gun fire & the lone zip of the sniper. It becomes necessary to flatten out several times in covering a short distance & mud isn’t the most pleasant thing to dive into.
Jan 22, 1918
At 5:45 pm sharp, when we were about to be relieved, Fritz opened a heavy barrage on us. Followed by a raid on Commotion trench near Nun’s Ally. The attack was repelled by our outposts each of which were manned by twelve men. Our front line was smashed in by trench motors. There were five direct hits on my dressing station in Counter trench but no great damage was done. There was a heavy Hun casualty in No Man’s Land. We had three, none of which were serious. On being relieved we had a 1½ hrs walk to Les Brebis where we were billeted.
Jan 24, 1918
Marched to Bruay. On this march I met Capt Fowler.
Jan 25, 1918
On to Raimbert where we are to remain in rest which means getting ready for more front line work.
Jan 30, 1918
Had General Hill to our mess & got into an argument with him on intemperance. He is quite a booze artist & so didn’t fancy some of my remarks.