Alfred Mills 

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

Great War Diary 1914-1918


 

Tuesday 1 January Blendecques

Another New Year! Settled in at Chateau du Hamel. Routine. Nice to be clean.

Monday 4 March Blendecques

Warned for Etaples tomorrow. Well! Everything has to end and my time here has been wonderful.  Physically, I am in good shape and have grown very fond of this place, especially a young lady called Amandine. I had got to know her parents through my billeting duties.  The Fourcroy family keep an Epicerie in the main street, and I often called on them, usually to see Amandine, for tea, who is about my age. She is also has an older sister, Julienne. I will be sorry to leave.

Tuesday 5 March Blendecques

Rose at 8:00am and left here at 12:30pm but I missed the train at St.Omer and to return here by cab. I'm staying overnight with the Fourcroys.

Wednesday 6 March Etaples

Left my dear Amandine this morning at 11:00am and caught the train at St.Omer. Travelled all day and arrived here at about 10:00pm. I've come to the Rest Camp for the night.

Thursday 7 March Etaples

Left Rest Camp and went to EBD. Paraded 1:00pm for bath and went to the Pictures this evening.

Friday 8 March Etaples

Paraded 7:00am and went before a Board. Reclassified B1 (better than B2 which I was before). On fatigue this afternoon and went to Pictures this evening.

Saturday 9 March Etaples

Paraded 7:00am. On Dining Hut fatigue and then went down to the foreshore. I could see the Flying Boats practising their bombing runs in the bay. These are new and are being trained to hunt submarines.

Wrote to Amandine ad then slept until midday. On fatigue with Tommy this afternoon and went to the Pictures this evening. The Picture are great fun as a fatigue party open all the doors at the end of a picture to let all the smoke and foul air out and often don't close them before the next picture starts, causing huge hoots of derision.

Sunday 10 March Etaples

Paraded 7:00am and detailed for Gas with Watson. Has an easy day listening to lectures. Went to the Pictures this evening with Tommy and Watson. Summer Time comes into force today.

Monday 11 March Etaples

Paraded 7:00am. Detailed for Standing Picket. Marched to Dining Hut. Standing on Picket until the morning. Wrote to Ma.

Tuesday 12 March Etaples

Dismounted Picket.

Wednesday 13 March Etaples

Detailed for Digging Party. Raining all day so did not do any digging. Came back to Camp.

Thursday 14 March Etaples

Paraded then dismissed from fatigues.

Friday 15 March Etaples

Paraded for pay this morning.

Saturday 16 March Etaples

Detailed for 148 Prisoner of War Company. Paraded for equipment in afternoon. Wrote to Capt Bindley and Amandine.

Sunday 17 March Etaples

Still Standing-By. Went to Church this morning.

Monday 18 March Etaples

Standing-By. Going away tomorrow.

Tuesday 19 March Lucheux

I paraded at 6:45am in Etaples this morning, then  entrained for Doullens. A Lorry took us to Lucheux, north east of Doullens.

Wednesday 20 March Lucheux

Paraded at 6:45am. On Guard in the Camp until midday. Sent to work in Orderly Room after dinner. Wrote to Ma.

Thursday 21 March Lucheux

Working in Orderly Room all day. Cleaned up at night. Went to YM. Paid this evening.

Friday 22 March Lucheux

Paraded at 6:45am. On escort at Sawmills with 4 prisoners. Wrote to Capt Bindley and Ma this evening.

Saturday 23 March Lucheux

On Orderly Room all day until 11:00pm. Newspaper from Anglo-Saxon Petroleum.

Sunday 24 March Lucheux

Working in Orderly Room today. Letter from Ma. Wrote to Amandine, Mr Oliver, Dad and Winnie. Warned for Guard tomorrow.

Monday 25 March Lucheux

Mounted Guard at 9:00am

Tuesday 26 March Lucheux

Dismounted Guard at 9:00am

Wednesday 27 March Lucheux

Went out on escort at 7:00am, returned at 3:00pm. Standing-By for rest of day. Bad news from the Front.

Thursday 28 March Lucheux

Paraded for escort 6:45am and dismissed. Had Company Drill at 9:30am. Went out on escort at 11:00am and came back at 6:00pm. Been pouring most of the day.

Friday 29 March Frevent.

Paraded for escort 6:45am and dismissed. Wrote to Emily, Dot and Nell. Left Lucheux at 4:00pm and marched to here. Saw the King pass on the way. Sleeping in the Compound tonight.

Saturday 30 March Frevent

Left Compound and marched to station. Entrained after standing in the rain for 2 hours. Left here at 7:00pm.

Sunday 31 March Abbeville

Arrived here at 1:00am this morning and we were here for 16 hours before moving off at 7:00pm. Not sure where we are going. At least it is dry inside the train.

Post card Alfred sent to his mother showing the marches around St Omer