Alfred Mills 

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

Great War Diary 1914-1918


Wednesday 3 October east of Ypres
Battle of Broodseinde. The 13th Battalion repelled (yet another German) attack with the 10th supporting.
Saturday 6 October east of Ypres

We have been up the line all week and on various duties, including  carrying and guiding. This evening after dark, me and another lad were tasked with guiding the Warwicks to the Front line, about 4 miles east of Ypres on the Menin Road. This area is very unhealthy and offensives taking place all around and up to the north of us, with constant shelling and in much depth.

We usually work on definite landmarks but tonight they had disappeared with the shelling. So, we are on our way back to the Front line with a battalion strength complement of men in open formation, when getting near to Inverness Copse, we realised we're lost and up a gum tree. With fresh shell holes, the area looked completely new to us. The men were moaning "What about a halt?" and the officers were asking about falling the men out for breather. But, I was having none of that as they would be blown to bits if they sat down and I said that "This spot was a bad one" and they could see the slaughter and destruction around us, as well as I. "So we had better keep moving".

We managed to find them some cover so they could fall out whilst we went on and did some recce work. We found our tracks. What a relief, and hurrying back, got them all assembled for the final push to the Front line. Duty completed.

I was relieved as those lads could have been wiped out by the shelling without firing a shot.

Sunday 7 October east of Ypres

In the trenches. On Water guard.

Monday 8 October east of Ypres

In the trenches. On Water guard.

Tuesday 9 October east of Ypres

Relieved by King's Royal Rifles this evening and we're to make our way back to Brasserie. Pouring with rain and we're all soaked through.

Wednesday 10 October Brasserie

Went to Baths in Locre this morning. Parade in afternoon.

Thursday 11 October Brasserie

Parade this morning.

Friday 12 October Bailleul

Went sick this morning and sent to 50th Field Ambulance here, but enemy started shelling it, so moved to CCS to spend the night. This was one of many tunnels in the area and very draughty which isn't doing my ears any good. Whilst handing my equipment and rifle in at the Field Ambulance, the shells were getting closer, and the fellow behind the counter disappeared. He was hiding under the counter. I told him not to worry about a few shells but they evacuated the hospital for the night, hence CCS.

Saturday 13 October Bailleul

Came back to 50th Field Ambulance today. Wrote to Ma and the Anglo-Saxon Comforts Fund.

Sunday 14 October Bailleul

Still at 50th Field Ambulance

Monday 15 October Bailleul

Left here for Australian CCS today.

Wednesday 17 October Australian CCS

Leave here today by Ambulance Train 20 to Boulogne. Pouring with rain tonight.

Thursday 18 October Boulogne

54th London General Hospital. Wrote to Ma and Scales.

Saturday 27 October Boulogne

Leaving hospital today to go to Marlborough Camp

Sunday 28 October Boulogne

On fatigue at Boulogne docks

Monday 29 October Boulogne

Leave Marlborough Camp for Etaples

Tuesday 30 October Etaples

At the Base I had medical examination and will be drawing kit in the morning.

Wednesday 31 October Etaples

Went before Medical Board today

Thursday 1 November Etaples

Went before Ear Specialist today

Saturday 3 November Etaples

Went before Medical Board

Sunday 4 November Etaples

Left the Infantry Base Depot for the EBD.

Saturday 10 November Etaples

At EDB waiting for a job. Went to Concert this evening at Walton Hut given by Lena Ashwell.

Friday 30 November Etaples

At last! Warned to go away tomorrow.

Polygon Wood trench map dated September 9th 1917. Inverness Copse can be seen to the right of the red A.
Courtesy of Paths of Glory