We receive orders to Parade outside the village of Blaringhem (Nord Department) at 12:35 pm for inspection by General Sir John French. We line up at our “hovel” at 12:35 pm (noon) and march 5 miles in full marching order to the parade ground (a sloppy field). We stand here for over an hour in the cold wind and rain when finally General French appears with his staff, arriving in Landau (automobile). He inspects our Brigade consisting of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, 4th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifles, Shropshire Light Infantry and Rifle Brigade. Before dismissing us he (General French) says a few words to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry “Proud to have us in his command”. Knew we would acquit ourselves” etc; Arrived back at the “Hovel” at 5:30 pm in a drenching downpour. I am for guard duty again (twice in a week) and mount at 6 pm. My turns are from 8 to 10 pm and 2 till 4 am and 8 – 10 am and 2 to 4 pm. A wet cold miserable night with a high wind. I guard the Ammunition and horses of which (the latter) there are about 30 or 40. I find time passes quickly when looking after the poor beasts and adjusting their blankets. I am like the horses – without shelter. There was no bombardment last night.
*John French – A veteran officer from the Boer War, he was given Command of the British Expeditionary Force during the opening months of WWI. He clashed with those around him, first disagreeing with Lord Kitchener on a location for the deployment of British troops. With few successes in the early part of the war French’s leadership was criticized and he was relieved from the position in December of 1915.