Alfred Mills 

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

Great War Diary 1914-1918


 

Saturday 1 January Foncquevillers
Happy New Year! Left Souastre and march back here where I am on digging fatigue.

Sunday 2 January Foncquevillers

On digging. Letter from Winnie.

Monday 3 January Foncquevillers
Dismissed in afternoon from fatigues. Letter from Emily.

Tuesday 4 January Foncquevillers

On carrying fatigues all day until 10:00pm. Letter from Ma.

Wednesday 5 January Foncquevillers
On carrying fatigues all day until 10:00pm. Wrote to Ma.

Thursday 6 January Foncquevillers

On carrying fatigues all day until 10:00pm.

Friday 7 January Foncquevillers

Into Front line in evening. Parcel from Ma.

Saturday 8 January Foncquevillers
In Front line. Come out in evening and go into 'Sniper's Square'.

Sunday 9 January Foncquevillers
Still in 'Sniper's Square' and sent back to Front line in evening.

Monday 10 January Foncquevillers

In Front line. Relieved and move back to 'Sniper's Square' in evening.

Tuesday 11 January Foncquevillers

Moved from 'Sniper's Square' to Front line in evening.

Wednesday 12 January Foncquevillers

In Front line. Relieved and move back to 'Sniper's Square' in evening. Parcel from Ma. Letter from Winnie.

Thursday 13 January Foncquevillers

In 'Sniper's Square'. Shelled in the morning. Later marched back to Souastre. Letter from Dot. Card from Winnie. Newspapers from Ma.

Friday 14 January Souastre

General cleaning ourselves up

Saturday 15 January Souastre

Go to Pas for a bath this morning.

Sunday 16 January Souastre

Go to a football match in afternoon. We beat 13th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 1-0. They are a new Regiment like us and landed at Boulogne on Saturday 31st July 1915, day after us. Received a copy of Tatler from Cpl Fox.

Monday 17 January Souastre
Letter from Ma. Wrote to Ma.

Tuesday 18 January Souastre

Played cards in afternoon. Newspaper from Winnie. Wrote to Manfields.

Wednesday 19 January Souastre

Played football in afternoon. Newspapers from Ma.

Thursday 20 January Souastre

Wrote letter to Dad.

Friday 21 January Souastre
Digging at Henu. Parcel from Ma.

Saturday 22 January Souastre

Wrote to Winnie. Sent field service post card to Ma.

Sunday 23 January Souastre

Played football in afternoon. Letter from Ma.

Monday 24 January Souastre

Parcel from Ma.

Tuesday 25 January Foncquevillers

March back here. Newspapers from Winnie.

Wednesday 26 January Foncquevillers
Stay in village.

Thursday 27 January Foncquevillers

Letter from Winnie.

Friday 28 January Foncquevillers

Newspaper from Ma. Letter from Emily.

Saturday 29 January Foncquevillers

Give up the Sanitary job which makes me very happy. Digging in afternoon.

Sunday 30 January Foncquevillers
Out wiring in no-man's land this morning between 2:00am and 6:00am. Hell of an artillery strafe and had to knock off for a while. Heavy mist in afternoon and went back out wiring. Found a few souvenirs from the morning strafe. Wrote to Ma.

Monday 31 January Foncquevillers

Letter and 2 parcels from Ma. Go into 'Sniper's Square' in evening.

Tuesday 1 February Foncquevillers
Back into Front line in evening.

Wednesday 2 February Foncquevillers
Return to 'Sniper's Square' in evening.

Thursday 3 February Foncquevillers

Go into Front line in evening just before 'Sniper's Square' is shelled heavily demolishing the shelters. No casualties thank goodness, as it was empty.

Friday 4 February Foncquevillers

Back to 'Sniper's Square' in evening.

Saturday 5 February Foncquevillers
Go into Front line in evening.

Sunday 6 February Foncquevillers

Go out on patrol between 2:00am and 3:00am to sunken road. Nothing doing. Tore my trousers on the wire and lost my ring, given to me by Winnie. It just slipped off and down into the snow. Jolly wild about losing it. We're relieved in evening at 7:00pm by the East Lancs. Pouring down with rain as we march back to Souastre. Letter from Ma. Heard that Cpl Fox had died whilst on leave in England.

Monday 7 February Souastre

Go to the Barn Owls Concert Party in Souastre in the evening. Letter from Ma.

Tuesday 8 February Souastre

Digging at Henu. Newspapers from Winnie. Wrote to Ma.

Wednesday 9th February Souastre
Play football and cards in evening after returning from Pas where I had a bath.

Thursday 10 February Souastre

Day off. Go to football match in afternoon and play Whist in the evening.

Friday 11 February Bailleulval

We left Souastre at 10:30am and marched to Bailleulval, about 10 miles, via St Amand and then stop at la Cauchie for dinner. We are given tea on arriving at Bailleulval. We relieve the French troops and I feel really done in. Raining incessantly.

Saturday 12 February Bailleulval
Don't think much of these trenches, though we have a good view of the Front line.

Sunday 13 February Bailleulval

Go down to fill bottles at night. Letters from Ma and Winnie.

Monday 14 February Bailleulval

Go across to Bailleumont for sand bags in the night.

Tuesday 15 February Bailleulval

Terrific blizzard early in the morning when I'm on Listening Post. Come out of trenches in evening. Pouring with rain. Find billets. Received boots from Ma.

Wednesday 16 February Bailleulval

Drying clothes and play cards in afternoon and evening. Parcels from Emily and Ma. Send field service post cards to Dot, Winnie, Emily and 3 to Ma.

Thursday 17 February Bailleulval
Out digging from 8:00am to 4:00pm in the Support trenches. Parcel from Winnie. Newspapers from Winnie and Ma. Letter from Emily.

Friday 18 February Bailleulval
Pense parade at 10:30am. Lecture from Capt Hall. Wrote to Winnie.

Saturday 19 February Bailleulval

Go into trenches in evening.

Sunday 20 February Bailleulval
Go out on patrol in no-man's land in night.

Monday 21 February Bailleulval
We secured 2 prisoners. Letter from Ma.

Tuesday 22 February Bailleulval

Received Tatler from Emily

Wednesday 23 February Bailleulval

Come out of trenches in evening.

Thursday 24 February Bailleulval

Go into Bailleumont in evening to socialise.

Friday 25 February Bailleulval

Wrote one letter to Ma, Emily and Dad.

Sunday 27 February Bailleulval

Go back into the trenches in evening.

Monday 28 February Bailleulval
Go out on patrol in no-man's land in evening.

Tuesday 29 February Bailleulval

Letter from Winnie.

Wednesday 1 March Bailleulval

Come out of trenches in evening. Newspapers from Winnie. Letter from Ma.

Thursday 2 March Bailleulval

Out digging in afternoon. Cigarettes from Ma.

Friday 3 March Bailleulval

Pense parade 10:00am. Play football in afternoon and go to conert in evening. Parcel from Ma.

Saturday 4 March Bailleulval

Play Solo this morning. Go into trenches, in Reserve, this afternoon.

Sunday 5 March Bailleulval

Carrying fatigue in morning. Pumping in afternoon. Carrying fatigue at night.

Monday 6 March Bailleulval

Working on dug-out all day. Carrying fatigue at night. Letter from Ma. Tatler from Emily.

Tuesday 7 March Bailleulval

Working on dug-out this morning. Came out of trenches in afternoon.

Wednesday 8 March Bailleulval

On Town Major's fatigue all day. Go to Bella Court for lunch. Newspapers and Parcel from Ma. Newspapers from Winnie.

Thursday 9 March Bailleulval

Pense parade this morning. Sports parade in afternoon. Digging fatigue during night.

Friday 10 March Bailleulval

Play Solo during day. Go into trenches in evening.

Saturday 11 March Bailleulval

In trenches. Snow disappearing

Sunday 12 March Bailleulval

In trenches. Glorious weather

Monday 13 March Bailleulval

In trenches. Glorious weather

Tuesday 14 March Bailleulval

Come out of trenches in evening. Some artillery strafe on both sides.

Wednesday 15 March Bailleulval

Parcel from Emily. Newspapers from Ma.

Thursday 16 March Bailleulval

Letters from Ma, Winnie and Emily. Tatler from Emily. Newspapers from Ma.

Friday 17 March Bailleulval

Bath this morning. Play football in afternoon against no.8 platoon. Play cards rest of time.

Saturday 18 March Bailleulval

Relieved by regulars, Duke of Wellingtons, 4th Division.

Wrote to Ma. Left here at 3:00pm and marched 11 miles via Baillemont, la Herliere, Mondicourt, Pommera, Grenas, to Halloy where we arrived at 8:45pm and stay the night in huts.

Sunday 19 March Mezerolles

Left Halloy at 10:30am and march via Doullens where we had dinner, Hem, Occoches, Outrebois, reaching Mezerolles about 4:30pm.

Monday 20 March Mezerolles

Parcel and letter from Ma.

Tuesday 21 March Mezerolles

Tatler from Emily. Newspapers from Winnie.

Wednesday 22 March Mezerolles

Wrote to Dot.

Thursday 23 March Mezerolles

Route march this morning, about 7 miles. Played Transport at football and lost 4-1. This is the first round of the Cup, so disappointed. Parcel from Ma.

Friday 24 March Mezerolles

Route march this morning, about 6 miles. Go into Doullens in evening.

Saturday 25 March Mezerolles

Gus Ellen taken away with Measles, which puts our section in quarantine.

Sunday 26 March Mezerolles

Wrote to Winnie

Monday 27 March Mezerolles

Letter form Ma.

Tuesday 28 March Mezerolles

Letter from Ma.

Wednesday 29 March Mezerolles

Sir Douglas Haig inspected Battalion. We did not take part as we are still in quarantine. Parcel from Ma. Newspapers from Winnie. Letter from Dot.

Thursday 30 March Mezerolles

Do Squad drill this morning. Wrote to Emily and Ma. Field service post card to Dot.

Friday 31 March Mezerolles

Battalion inspected by Lord Kitchener. Wrote to Mr Phipps. Play Solo in afternoon and evening. Tatler from Emily.