a half holiday, dinner, football match and concert.
miles north of Amiens in Picardie, France, was the base of No 9 Squadron from 24th
December 1915 to 26th
Made us pay 1 franc [9 5/8 d] each for dinner yesterday.
Went to Albert and rigged up a land station.
Terrible wreckage in Albert, notably the cathedral.
Albert is a town 17
miles NE of Amiens.
A Wireless Station, used to receive communications from aeroplanes.
Basilica in 1916
Beardmore, Josling, Williams and Dowling went away to join
Amongst the group of friends
who journeyed to France with 9 Squadron:
Edward Charles Josling
2/AM 7600, died later that year on 31st October 1916 near Carnoy.
Probably John Lewis Williams
2/AM 8191 No 3 Squadron (awarded Military Medal same day as Henry Tabor (HTT)).
William Henry Dowling
1/AM 7745 (awarded MM on the same day as HTT).
Eight of us left for battery’s Airman. Finch
and myself at Martinsart, had some shells in it.Very comfortable.
Moved to what is now known as
Mesnil-Martinsart, four miles
north of Albert, where he stayed until 14th February.
Refers to Tom Finch.
position at the Somme
Wireless Station at the Somme
25 machines passed over on bombing expedition.
Aeroplanes are often referred
to in the diary as machines.
Received letter from Mr Osborne
Received parcels from Uncle Charlie and Mr Osborne.
Went down to Pearce and Wilkins dugout, had a small banquet.
Refers to either W
Pearce 2nd AM, 9 Squadron later wounded and in hospital by 18/9/1916, or John F Pearce
2nd AM (7750) (4 before HTT) who died on 16/08/1916.
Stayed in bed until .Foggy.Received letters from Ma, Aunt S and Harold and parcels from Ma and
Stayed in billet all evening.
a place for soldiers to stay in for a short time
German offensive near
Neuville-St. Vaast 20 miles north of HTT.
Received letter from Gertie.Spent evening in letter writing and making a form.
Gray – Henry’s future wife (then aged 19)
About a dozen shells come across this morning, did no damage.Williams came and we went down to see Pearce.
Severe fighting near Arras.
Nothing of interest, except a small rat hunt this evening.Supposed to be a terrific bombardment – came to nothing however.
Letter from Gertie.
[later] On 26th enemy brought down one of our
machines inside British lines.Artillery
finished it off.
Trenches tended to be hit by
thrived on the plentiful supply of decaying bodies. According to veteran
reports, there was so much “food” available, that the rats became
selective, and preferred to eat the livers, eyes, and tongues of the dead.
Divisional bombardment at .Pearce and
Wilkins came up and we had a card party and bust up.
Day very quiet no machines over at all.
Wireless Operator at work in a dugout
Received letters from Gertie, Ma, Syd, Uncle Syd.Day very quiet.
This evening the enemy replied to our fire of yesterday without
doing much damage.Shelling
continued all night.A Battery replied with effect.
Germans take Frise ten miles
to the south east of HTT and trenches near Givenchy; repulsed at Carnoy
six miles south.
An artillery brigade would
typically have three or four batteries (A, B, C & D).A Field Battery generally consisted of two or three sections
(although later in the war there would be four) each of two guns with
their complement of ammunition wagons. A Brigade of Artillery was composed
of three batteries of field artillery, each with its ammunition column.”
Heavy firing this morning, no machines over.
Went down to a village with Airman & Hindrew.
Heavy siege battery firing this evening.
German offensive at Dompierre
(south of the Somme).
No machines over.Lieut
Turner called.Went round to
officers’ mess this evening.
Refers to 2nd
Lieutenant N Turner, 9 Squadron.
Definition:Officers’ Mess – dinning
area for officers
Artillery very active.Enemy
made a terrific bombardment between 4 and .