Alfred Mills 

10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
(City of London Regiment) the 'Stockbrokers'
 and The Royal Engineers

Great War Diary 1914-1918


Saturday 1 December Etaples

Ordered to attend Royal Engineers School of Instruction at Blendecques, near St Omer, where I am to work as a draughtsman. Left EBD and sorted out a train to get me there.

Sunday 2 December Blendecques

Nothing much doing. Furniture not arrived yet for the school. Did plan of the Chateau Hamel. What a change after all these years of living and sleeping outside under the sky. There are about 6 of us. A Sgt Carstairs, who will do all the clerical work and some other lads for menial tasks.

Monday 3 December Blendecques

Wrote to Ma, Winnie, Dot, Effie, Mr Oliver and Brooks.

Monday 31 December Blendecques

Sgt Carstairs has left. He didn't like it and went back to base after 2 weeks. Bumped into A.T.Passenger in St Omer last week.Officers have arrived and we've been busy settling them in.

The school has been set up to receive officers in charge of various RE companies to provide refresher and updating courses. The principle is a Col Bailey, the adjutant is a Capt Bindley and both are top notch engineers and I get on well with them.

My job is to produce all drawings and sketches in connection with the courses. It is all very pleasant. Capt Bindley, who is on the staff of Field Marshall Haig has set the ball in motion for my transfer from the infantry to the RE.

We have another officer, Lt Metcalfe, who is in charge of the Officers' mess. Don't care for him much.

Carstairs has been replaced by a private Wildman but strangely enough I'm still billeting the officers and am considered the senior OR on the staff!

Chateau du Hamel in Blendecques which housed the Royal Engineer's School of Instruction. 
The chateau still exists today on the north side of the old mill.

Post card Alfred sent to his mother showing the Mill at Blendecques.