Left Thieushouck at 11am for Godewaersvelde. Here I had boots re-paired by a Veteran of 1870 who showed me his medal. Left Godewaersvelde for Eglise at 12 noon. One Kilometer outside Eglise I got into a motor lorry & travelled the 5 Kilometres into Poperinghe arr 2 PM. The town which I entered by way of Cassel Street or Rue de Cassel was bombarded last week & the evidence of such can be seen.
Market square is deserted by carts of any kind. The Huns centered their attack on this square. Bought souvenirs had dinner (2 eggs & chipped potatoes with Coffee) + departed. Walked by same route back to Thieushouck. In billets at 5:30 PM. The weather was very stormy a howling wind blowing on into Poperinghe. There were no Canadians at La Hewplace
* Godewaersvelde – A village nearing the Belgian border half way in-between Poperinghe and Hazebrouck. Today it is the sight of a military cemetery whose first burials were later in the war, around 1917.
*Franco-Prussian War – Also known as the war of 1870, this was a conflict between the French Empire and the North German confederation, led by the Kingdom of Prussia. The outcome of German success was the collapse of the French Empire and the German annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. The conflict was also successful in uniting the German states under Prussian King Wilhelm I. The political ramifications and changes in power balances after the Franco-Prussian War helped in part to cause the First World War.
12 months ago today we entered Trenches for 1st time. The battn goes to Bailleul for Concert etc; Am feeling very unwell yet. Very nasty wet miserable day.
Feeling very weak but slightly better. Capt Barclay went to trenches at Ploegsteert on Saturday David Young & Walter Dunham go on 7 days leave to England. They take films for me.
*Ploegsteert – A village in Belgium where fierce fighting took place during the First World War. Winston Churchill fought as a commanding officer in this area during 1916. Today the village holds a memorial to commemorate soldiers who died in Ploegsteert but have no grave.
Battn goes north marching in full marching order. One of our boys dying thru cerebrospinal meningitis contracted at the stinking huts at La Clytte.
*Meningitis – An inflammation of the protective membranes that line the spinal cord and the brain usually due to an infection. As there were no antibiotics during the First World War and soldiers were often billeted in close quarters the disease quickly ran rampant, and could leave victims deaf, blind or with permanent brain damage.
(Draycott mistakenly writes “Monday 2nd Jan.”)
High winds prevail during the day am still confined to bed thru illness felling very weak. Zeppelins pass over out billet going south.
Am suffering much pain & inconvenience. Doctor comes to see me –gives pills!!!
L/c Lightbody holds a Service in evening in my barn good attendance.
1st day of 1916
The Hun bombard La Clytte again doing furious damage. Our officers are down with colds including the doctor all in bed. Poor Tommy Atkins has to be up & down despite his cold.
No Celebration of the year as all estimates are out of bounds & also the village of Godewaersvelde + Hitre.
I have a bad attack of neuralgia, headache, backache & pain all over also cold in head and cough. I lay on straw in a windy barn & -Rest
*La Clytte – Brigade headquarters were located at La Clytte during the war and the area was also the location of a military cemetery for Infantry, Artillery and Engineer units. La Clytte is a World War One Cemetery to this day where 1082 allied soldiers are buried, including 238 bodies that could not be identified.