|Diary written by Fred Ainge (Laura Rossi’s great uncle who was a stretcher bearer attached to the 29th Division on 1st July 1916).|
|The 2nd Diary.||Text|
|No. 435239.P.T.E. F.G. Ainge.B. SECTION.
2/3 S.M.F. AMB.
|From Base:-1917.Nov. 7th.Joined 2/3rd S.M.F. Amb at Arras.All through the Cambrai Stunt.
Some awful & exciting experiences.
Spent Xmas at BRAY. MISERABLE.
Last account of everything until:-
At Marceliave. Quite nice after the line.
March to Roye. Terribly fed up.
Roye to Germaine. Big hospital. Attatched to 172 Tunneling Corp.
R.E. Making M.G. emplacements.
|March. 21st.Big Stunt by Jerry started. – Awful fighting & shelling.Mch. 22.
Chased by Jerry. (? Cavalry) to Rethonvillers. Long march. Everything in retreat. ‘Wind up.’
Left R. for Hombleux. A.D.S
Chased out by Jerry.
To Breuil. Bays of wounded. Cleared to Cressy. French coming up bon & boucoup. Chased back to Rethonvillers at night. – Ambulance H.Q. gone.
|24 (Cont).more Wind up. Arrived footsore, weary & very much fed up at 2 a.m. at Fransart. 25th25.
Left again at 4 a.m. & got to Warvillers. Poor Civvies awfully fed up. – Carrying what they could on barrows, carts etc. Very sad. 9th Army in full retreat. If Mons was any worse than this – God help us!
Left for Movisel.
Left for Hailles. Blood. Blood all the while.
Started up for Villers Bretenaux
Jerry advancing just outside.
|28 (cont).Ended up at Geutelles. Boucoup fowl, eggs, etc: etc: Left by Civvies.29.
Thank goodness for a rest. First since 21st. Footsore, heartsore – awful. Some retreat.. Division cut up. Right back over the old Somme battlefields. Most painful experience.
Div. “mentioned” by Douglas H. March to Boves. Slept in fields.
Boves to Pieguiguy. Nice place.
B. to St Maulvis. Out for
|4th (cont).well earned rest. Div. Reinforced.10th
Rest cut short. Rushed up to Steenbeque (Nr Armentieirs) from Haiyest. San – Somme. Awful march to station. Dead beaten. Slept in the road until 4 a.m. & detained at Steenbeque on the 11th.
Jerry attacking in full force. Rushed up to St Venaut. Place in flames. Heavy shelling. Poor civvies clearing. Some fighting.
Bad day. Twelve detailed to fetch in wounded. Six
|11 (cont).killed, 4 wounded. – Just missed it by being a few minutes late. – also missed shell in yard. 18 B. Sec. wounded. All my pals knocked out. Left on my own. – Awfully fed up, but thankful.12
Opened up A.D.S. on La Bassee Canal. outside St. V. Awful Shelling. Dumps burning all round. – Terrible wind up. Most awful.
Relieved for a rest. Three days and nights on duty. More blood. – Miss my pals much.
|16thHad a good nights rest. First for about five days. Just outside St. Venaut. Nice Billet. House intact. Fowl, eggs, cows etc. galore. Wine also. – out from the horrors of war to the spoils. One cannot have a conscience these days. – Burial of my much – loved pals. – God bless their souls. Six in one grave. In the field. Nice cross. They did their bit.17-18
Heavy shelling by Fritz.
|24Back to HQ at Lambres.26
Up line for slvage of C.C.S near St. Floris.
Back to Lambries
Sent down to D.R.S. at Aire – In charge o scalves. Quite nice.
Still at Airre. Many night bombing raids. 84 bombs last night. Many civilians and kiddies killed and buried.
|June 18thBack from Aire to H.Q. at Burguette. Two days at H.Q. and up line20th
to Robeeq sector.
Back to H.Q.
Attacked to 61 Div animinan Col. To look after “flu” epidemic cases at Maur in Artior. Quite decent.
Ham to Flechinville Nr Estree Blauche. Good
|time – many Indians sick.22ndFleschville to Chateau Nr Inestede
Sent back to Amb at Investede.
Left Lues 10pm
Arr. Nouvent Faited 4a.m. on Aug 1st
Nouvent Fentes to Boeing – hem. Up to Nieppe forest on 5th
Back to Boesighem.
|24thUp to R.A. at Le Sart Nr Alberville30th
Le Sort to Haverskerque
Havere to A.D.S. in Mervile. Jerry gaining back.
Merille to Neuf – to Berquain to hopl posh 0 for A.D.S. up to R.A.P. in Soulley.
Back to N. Berquain
N.B. to Steenbeeque
Entrained for Deulleus
Left Doulleus for
|Havincourt (Nr. Bapaume)Jerry Evacuated Cambrai and in full retreat.12th
On nights at C.R.S.in plains Nr Crouville (Reminiscenses of the 48th Div.) in same sunken rd.
Moved to Cambrai in college as Hosp. Big fine place. Cami not knocked about too much. Fine place. 200 mines salvaged in the town as as sent of map taken from Jerry Officers. – On nights in Hosp. (tres bon).
|Written in the back of the book =“All you who followThe more in this you
Had you the wealth
A cheerful honest – hearted.”