Church parade at 9:30 for C of E Lance Corporal Lightbody holds service in a barn. Well attended. Hymn singing, prayers and lessons.
Archives for October 2015
All passes into Amiens are stopped by order of Brigadier General. Too many absentees and drunks etc.
Kit inspection for the troops.
The Battalion was paraded for promulgation of a Field General Court Martial.
The prisoner Private 1832 Brennirs, or Bremner. Crime was desertion whilst on Active Service.
Sentence Commuted to 10 years imprisonment hard labor.
* Promulgation – The act of formally proclaiming or declaring a new statutory or administrative law/doctrine after its enactment; in this case, of declaring the sitting of the Court Martial.
Raining all day. Lots of mud and cold.
The troops are allowed passes into Amiens pro ratio 5 per platoon.
The troops go out on a field day in full marching order. Attacking.
The troops parade for three drills. It rained heavy all night and the rain came thro’ the holes in the roof of our filthy stable billet.
I obtain a pass to go to Amiens from 2 pm till midnight.
Start at 2 pm on a 9 kilometer tramp. Arrive at Amiens at 3:15 pm. Visit the Cathedral. The Exterior front is guarded against destruction by airship bombs by thousands of sandbags piled up. The interior is very pretty and richly embellished.
In center of Cathedral is a casket (transparent) which contains a piece of bone of St. John the Baptist. Quite a few effigies but not equal to English Cathedral specimens and quantity.
The High Altar is the best ever seen. Very mystic, golden candlesticks and other ornaments. At back of altar is a piece of work representing the sun behind the clouds and cherubims among them. Golden rods represent the sun’s rays. A dove is suspended from the ceiling and hangs amidst the clouds.
Some good tracing work and carving , a treasure house of Flemish glass Azure blue etc.
*Amiens – At the start of the war Amiens was an advance base for the British army. It was captured by the Germans for a short while in 1914 but taken back by the French soon after. It was an important rail hub due to its proximity to the western front. During the final year of the war it became an important target for the Germans and their inability to capture it helped lead to their eventual defeat.
An early parade is ordered at 6:45 for physical exercise. Oh! Most of the troops report sick to the doctor.
2 drills a day whilst we stay here of 2 hours a drill. 10 to 12 and 2 to 4 pm.
On the march again next morning at 8 am full marching order. Tired, sore feet and little mist descending. We leave the rest of the Brigade and Division behind.
Fairly hilly and muddy country but more like the prairie of Canada.
Passed thro’ Dury, Saleux, Pont de Metz and arrive at Ferrieres at noon. In all we have marched about 35 miles in three days.
We are assigned to the usual poor billets. A stable with a very leaky roof and the sides knocked out in places. Many men fall out on the march through sore feet and faintness. A run is made on the Estaminet for beer and spirits but there are no drunks recorded. Have a meal of bread, cheese and jam and hot tea. At 6:30 pm we get hot soupy concoction. More rain!
There are two representative noble families here with their Chateaux Vicomtesse d’Ivory and Vicomtesse de Dresdin.
We rise at 5:30 am. Blankets rolled in bundle of ten. We parade at 7:30 am in full marching orders for an unknown destination.
We stand in full marching order for ¾ hour before moving off. We pass thro’ some lovely country and lots of private reserves. We go through Warfuss-Abancourt on main road, very straight. Villers-Bretonneux, Blangy, Amiens, thro’ Cagny to Boves where 3 kilometers outside we encamped in tents we pitched ourselves. About 7 pm it rained hard. Boves is quite a town. There are ruins of an old castle on a high hill probably Norman.
A few parades.
Company Sergeant Major Pattison is under close arrest for drunkenness.
I receive letter and parcels thro’ mail.
*Close Arrest – Confinement to one’s room or to barracks
Passed another restless night, lots of rats. Air full of rumours as to our port of Embarkation?