Up at 7 am. Breakfast 8 such as it is.
The Sergeant Major tells me I am for the front, being a pensioner seems to not matter much. I am still in civilian clothes & feel very uncomfortable. For tea we have water cress and bread & butter. To Winchester at 6 pm & write letters in Y.M.C.A
Up from a barrack room bed at 7:15 am & to Breakfast at 8. Bread & Butter & Brawn.
“Scharnhorst”, “Leipzig”, & “Gneisenau” are sunk by a British Squadron off Falkland Islands.
Chasing about all over barracks for bedding, meals, clothing.
It’s rotten conditions.
Recruits are a very rough & uncouth lot. One has just been put in the Guard room.
In at 9 pm.
*Brawn – meat from a pig’s or calf’s head that is cooked and pressed in a pot with jelly (aka headcheese).
**The Battle of the Falkland Islands – A naval battle taking place on December 8th 1914 between the British and German Navy. The German ships including SMS Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Leipzig attempted to raid the British base of Stanley on the Falkland Islands after their success at the Battle of Coronel. However a British squadron was already stationed at this base and they knew the Germans were coming. The battle was a decisive victory for the British, who lost no ships and sunk all but one of the German ships.
Again no sleep.
Up at 9 am. Wrote letter to “Seagrave”, “Harry” & “J.G. Upton”, “Bessie”, “Theobald”, “War Office”. Stayed indoors till 3:45 pm. Mrs Draycot & Ernest & I have a chat. Said good bye & went to Railway] Station with Ernest. Took 4:30 train for Winchester & arrived at 6 pm. Reported at barracks at 6:30 pm. Allowed out at 7:30 pm & went to picture show. Returned at 9 pm. Wrote postcards to friends & to bed at 11:45 pm (a privilege)
No rest all night. Maud calls me at 8 am & gives me 10 shillings, also kisses.
Father lends me £1.00.
Left Seagrave at 8:50 am & walked into Sileby.
Called on Maud & May, Draycot & Miss Davenport. Maud comes to the station & sees me off
at 9:38 am.
Arrive at London 12:45. Took train to Winchester at 12:50 pm. Stayed on train at Winchester & went through to Gosport.
Arrive in Gosport at 4:30. Had bad cold. Met Mrs Draycot & Ernest. Made very welcome. Sent telegrams to Seagrave & Rifle Depot.
Up at 8 am. Cyril & Edith go to Sileby & take my bag to station.
I commence saying good bye’s. I go to Gert’s, Mrs Davenport & Harry Knight’s. The time has slipt by & I have to post-pone it till tomorrow.
I go to Leicester & visit Mrs Melvin & Draycot of Grady Street. Make some purchases & return home. I lose £2.10 on the way. Meet May & Maud & walk home with them. Arrive at 7:20 pm.
Had a talk with Maud till 1:20 am midnight.
Up at 8:30 am. To Church of England, Seagrave at 11 am. Dined at 12:30 pm then to “Chapel” with the family at 2 pm till 3:30. Tea with Mrs Weston & the Draycot family. Sing-song till 6 pm then I go to see Mrs Draycot and the boys. Had supper with Edward, George, William, Joseph, Mr Draycot & Mrs Draycot. Visited Mr & Mrs Lines & said good-bye
Back home at 9:30 pm, stayed up till 12:45 am with Maud.
Up at 9 am. Visited Grandma Draycot & Mrs Davenport. To Leicester with Cyril Green & visited my Aunt & Cousins.
Had a tea with Fred & at 12:30 to dinner with Mr., Mrs., & Cyril Green. Back to Draycot store & had chat with Mrs Draycot at 1:30 pm. Took 2:10 pm train with Cyril for Sileby.
To bed at 2:15 am (stayed up with Maud).
Capture of De Wet.
Up at 8:30 am to town at 10:10 am.
Visited the Picton Reading Room at 11 am & stayed till 4:30 pm. Then on to Gray’s & Hollinghurst’s at Tuebrook.
Had tea with Polly & Maggie (Mrs Campbell till 8 pm then on to S.S. Upton’s & said more good bye’s. Left at 9:30 pm
Very windy weather & cold.
Arrived Leicester 2 pm. Raining hard. Took 2:10 pm train to Sileby & visited the girls Maud & May. Great welcome. Arrive Seagrave 4:50 pm & had tea. To bed at 12:30 pm
* Christiaan de Wet and the Maritz Rebellion – De Wet was a Boer leader during the Boer Wars and a political leader after they ended. In 1914 he became a leader in the Maritz Rebellion, as pro-Boer rebels rose up against the Union of South Africa. The rebellion was quickly crushed by government forces and De Wet was taken prisoner on December 1st 1914. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison but only served one after making a written promise to take no further part in politics. As a Boer War veteran, Draycott continued to take an interest in events in South Africa.
Up at 9 am & to town at 11 pm.
Went to Picton Reading Room & stayed till 4 pm. Went to Recruiting Office. Reply to “Wire” & accepted. Passed medical officer & get my papers.
Also transportation to Winchester.
I leave the office at 6 pm having taken two hours. I was medically examined for the 3rd time
Up at 9:30 am & went to Liverpool at 11:30 am.
Went to Picton Reading Room for research purposes.
Stayed there till 3:30 pm.
To Old Haymarket to see about my telegram to Winchester – no reply.
Back to Picton Reading Room. Left again at 6 pm. Home at 7 pm
To bed at 12 midnight