Captain Alan MacKenzie Gammell

A Soldier's Diary (con't)


1916

January 1
New Year's Day. Had a parade in the morning but off the rest of the Day. Had a couple of good meals at a farmer's up the road.

January 2 & 3 & 4
Still the same run of things. Weather getting cold again.

January 5
Had quite a good band concert by the RGA Band. A big crowd were down to it. Expect to move up soon to the trenches.

January 6
The regiment went down to Bailleul to a concert conducted by Serg. Gitz Rice. It was a very good one.

January 7
4 Co. beat us in soccer game.

January 9
Left Fletre at 6 am marched to other side Dranoutre arrived at 12. In afternoon saw Harry Beveridge. At 7 pm went out digging behind the 42nd Bn. Did not get back till 1 am.

January 10 & 11
Out digging every day. Watching shells being fired from 8 inch lowtyly (?) You could follow the shell for about 4 seconds. It appeared to be the size of a baseball.

January 12
With the grenadiers for awhile. Went up to the trenches in the afternoon. Saw H. Birks and E. Finlay of the 42nd Canadian Highland Regiment whom we relieved. They had quite a number of casualties. My job was as bomber in a listening post at one end of our trench. The weather was fairly raining. The trenches are good in some places, but in others above your knees in water. They have issued us with waders which help a lot , but they are very cold.

January 13
The Germans shelled our trenches this morning and heavy artillery duel is going on. We spent the morning oiling and cleaning a bunch of bombs.

January 14
Fairly quiet today.

January 15
Lieut. Newcombe was wounded this morning. Heavy artillery duel by both sides at noon. 12 shells landed right near our dugout. At 5 pm we strafed them with mortars, rifle grenades and machine guns.

January 16
Going out tonight have to rejoin my company. Got back to Dranoutre about 10 pm.

January 14 & 18
Still at Dranoutre

January 19
[no entry]

January 20
Came up to the trenches tonight. It was a hard march.

January 21
4 of men wounded and killed by one of our own bombs going off. We were called to stand to. They thought the Germans were going attack but did not.

January 22
New draft of men joined us.

January 23
Nothing startling happened except the usual shelling. Lots of aeroplane activity.

January 23
Went out of trenches with the grenadiers at 2 pm. Billeted at Dranoutre again.

January 25
Mess orderly went down for a bath today.

January 26
Just received Aunt Martha's [Martha Maria Maclellan of Pictou, Nova Scotia] parcel posted on the 25 of Nov. Went back to the company.

January 27
Kaiser's birthday. Very quiet.

January 28
Out for a working party.

January 29
Leaving huts for rest.

January 30
Sutherland and a bunch went on leave

January 31
Saw that Frise had been captured by the Huns. That was the village that we held while at the Conuvre Valley (?)

February 1
Given notice of my pass. Left for Bailleul-got lost on the way but arrived there at 11 pm. Slept in an old barn.

February 2
Entrained at 6 am 3rd class cars. Went thru Calais and arrived at Boulogne at 12 noon. Missed boat. They took us up to the rest camp back of Bordeau for 4 hours. Got on Boat at 7 pm arrived at Folkestone at 9:30 pm after rough passage. Entrained for London arriving there at 12 midnight.

February 3
Took taxi for Shaftsbury Hotel. Had a fine bath and change of everything. Went to Pay Officer and got some money. Bought some more clothes. In the afternoon moved to Miss Morris on 34 Bedford Square. Went to the Gayety Theatre at night. A very good show.

February 4
Went to Laurentide Club saw Crooker -- had lunch. Ran into Bill B. and Rennie, and Serg. Goodeve. Went to the Alhambra. Got home to find Normie and Serg. McDonald at home.

February 5
Saw Norman around. Visited the Parliament Bldg. and Tower and London Bridge. In the afternoon met Miss Rose (Sister) Mike and Ollie Lane. Went to Joy Land.

February 6
Went to St. Paul's and stayed for the Service. Went up to Mrs. Ryan's [friend of the Gammell family] in the afternoon. At night, a bunch of us went down and broke up a peace meeting.

February 7
Went to a bunch of shows.

February 8
Went down to Horsam to see Mike Ollie and McSkinner. Met Lieut. Trewholine.

February 9
Went to show with Miss Rose.

February 10
Left for Folkestone stayed over night in Boulogne.

February 12
Rejoined regiment at Kemmel Shelter. Went out laying water pipes at night. Received a bunch of mail.

February 13
Loafed around all day. At night, we went out and laid some telephone wire.

February 15
Joined the bombers temporarily at noon. Left for trenches at 1:30. A very long communications trench starting at the Chateau Kemmel. Very easy sentry 2 hrs on 18 off.

February 16
Fairly quiet. Meet Lieut. Dunton and also learned that Arch of the 24th had been killed.
[Private Archibald McLeod, 24th Bn Montreal/McGill Student, killed in action Feb 10,1916. Buried at Lalaiterie Military Cemetery, Belgium.)

February 18
Still quiet. A few fatigues [regular chores].

February 19
Expect to go out this afternoon. Went down to the Chateau to the company. Poor Laddie Mullen was killed in the morning by an enfilade bullet. We buried him in the afternoon in rear of the Chateau Kemmel in a military graveyard. [L/Cpl John E.L. "Laddie" Millen, 1st University Company, buried at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery.] Arrived at Locre that night.

February 20
Aeroplane raid by Germans. Dropped a few bombs near us. Were inoculated again at 6th Field Ambulance.

February 21 & 22
Very sore after our inoculation. Did not have to do anything.

February 23
Went up to the trenches at 3 pm. Our part was next to the "Glory Hole."

February 24
Went out on listening post in front of lines beside a hedge. The weather has turned very cold with some snow.

February 25
Still on listening post. More snow-- real Canadian weather. Received box from Ann Carson [cousin in Pictou, Nova Scotia] posted last November.

February 26
Still cold. In early evening had to go out and cover up a wiring party. Beside our regular work.

February 27
A good strafe in the afternoon. We started it but the Huns came back at us quick with whizz-bangs, aerial torpedoes, trench mortars. Giving platoon a lively time dodging the mortars. Luckily nobody was hit.

February 28
We were relieved by the 49th at 5:30 pm. Went to Kemmel.

February 29
Got cleaned up in the morning.

March 1 & 2
Pen has run dry.

March 3
Left for Port Arthur farm which is in supports. They gave us a heavy shelling as we went up the road. There was a bunch of 52nd Battalion with us for instructions.

March 4 & 5
Still at the farm.

March 6 & 7
Snow every day and fairly cold. Still at Port Arthur Farm. Saw Hilroy Bignell.

March 8
I expect to go out tonight. After many delays arrived at Locre.

March 9
Put on gas guard located inside Locre Church. If gas attack have to ring bell.

March 10
Was wakened this morning by the church organ, cooked and had breakfast while service was going on. We were in the vestibule. Viewed the congregation as they came out at 7 am. Marched to Mont des Cats.

March 11
Bombing section of our platoon went over to St. Jan (?) Capel for special instructions. Went down at night with Loury (?).

March 12
Still on the course.

March 13 & 14
Still on course. Weather has turned very spring like.

March 15
Came back to the regiment.

March 16
Went to see our regiment play the 49th in soccer. We lost 3-2. Was made a lance corporal.

March 17
Still at Mont des Cats.

March 18-19
Reviewed by Gen. Alderson who told us we were going to Ypres district. A draft of 4th University Company arrived; Norman was not with them.

March 20
Leaving Mont des Cats for the north. Went through Westoutre, Reningelst, Ouderdom. Ypres is in sight and they seem to shell if off and on all the time. We are staying overnight about 4 miles from Ypres.

March 21
Went up to reserve. Went thru outskirts of Ypres to Zillebeke Lake.

March 22
Out on working party to Sanctuary Wood. This a pretty corner being the head of the Ypres salient.

March 23 & 24
Turning very cold and wet and some snow. German shell a lot here.

March 25
Left the farm around 7 pm for the trenches. Went up over land. Arrived in the front line about 10 pm. There had been a heavy bombardment of our section of the line in the afternoon especially in the afternoon. I was in charge of my first traverse. It was in Sanctuary Wood. With me were B. McGill, A. Wilson, J. Peters and S. (?) Beattie (?) and myself. Nights were cold and wet. Dugouts poor.

March 26
Still wet and cold. Gave us quite a shelling in the wood during the afternoon.

March 27
A heavy bombard went to our south during early morning. Later learned that we had taken 2 trenches at St. Eloi. Saw Stan Rutledge for a few minutes.

March 28 & 29
At night were relieved by the 3rd after midnight. Had a long march thru Zillebeke and Ypres. Ypres was an awful ruin. The railroad we walked on had been heavily shelled. Saw the largest shell hole of the war at Ypres Station. Took a train just outside of Ypres. Went for about 10 km on to about 3 km from Poperinghe.

March 30
Had an inspection.

March 31
Jack McLeod and I went to a moving picture. It was in an old barn with a thatch roof. I saw the famous Charlie Chaplin and Anderson.

April 1
Went down to Poperinghe for a bath today.

April 2 & 3 & 4
Still at huts apl 4 . Had a boxing tournament.

April 5
Were inspected by a Russian Prince Diminsky (?), Prince Arthur and of (?) Gen. Plumer and a bunch of other high officials. Saw Gordon Guttle. Changed our camp.

April 6
Just after tea, the Boches made it hot for us at our camp. We had to vacate it for awhile. One shell landed about 10 yards from me, right under the next hut. It was a dud or a bunch of us would have gone to the hospital. At night we had our first motor trip, they took us up to dig. Coming back, our bus turned over into the ditch. It was quite a drop from the top, but luckily nobody was seriously hurt.

April 7 & 8
Chuck Pearce came up to see me. Was down to the cinemas. Gitz Rice performed on the piano. Heavy bombardment going on a Zeppelin supposed to pass over us last night but did not see it.

April 9
My job at present is seeing that the buses are here on time. I have to go down to Reling ish and bring up 6 buses every night for the working party. We take them up the Asylum at Ypres or there about and go back and park near Vlamertinghe. Saw Stuart Black, also Lieut. and Major McMurtry.

April 10
Ran into (?) Gilmor again.

April 11
All working parties off. Raining to beat the band.

April 12
Going up to the trenches tonight. A long trip up to the line. Took train to Ypres. Walked up to the Menin road to Hooge trenches. Rotten trenches -very low.

April 13 & 14
No dug out and rain. The Huns strafed somewhat and their snipers are very busy and good shots.

April 15
Out in supports.

April 16
Got a clean [?] We are in dugouts-sit half way house. Up on working party till mid-night.

April 17
A German plane flew over us very low, but got away with it. Went up to the trenches again.

April 18
Capt. Martin has taken over our company in place of Lieut. Horner who was killed.
[Lieut. Horner shot by a sniper in the head on April 13, 1916. He was buried in Menin Road South cemetery.)

April 18 & 19
Boches dropped a bunch of coal boxes* right behind our traverse, nobody hurt. Came back to half way house. [5.9 and 8-inch German shells, called coal boxes because of the black smoke that erupted when they exploded.]

April 20
Spent the day at halfway house and at night worked.

April 21
The 60th relieved us on time. Left for Ypres.

April 22
Took the train quite away and arrived at our camp at 6 a.m. Sgt. Goodeve and L/Cpl Branch both left for their commissions.

April 23
Got some pay; made orderly corps for the week.

April 24
C. Pearce was up to see me again.

April 25
Went to the movies with Green Wilson. He was wounded the next night.

April 27
Lewis McNab was over seeing me at night.

April 28
Went down with Muir and saw Art. Montgomery also went to the picture show. When I got back to the camp, I found that Norman had arrived. I went over to see him. For present he is attached to #3Co. He is looking fine.

April 29
At night left for Transport Farm. Norman is up at Maple Copse.

April 30
Wonderful day very hot and the leaves are out. The fruit trees are blossoming. Aeroplane are very active.

May 1
Another fine day.

May 2-6
Still at Transport Farm. Go up digging every night. I haven't seen Norman since coming up. They drop over a few shells every day but have not done any damage to speak of.

May 7
Came up to the firing line. On the way up, they gave us a few shells. 6 of us and myself are out on a listening post.

May 8
Pretty quiet got Ken Barwick's [High School buddy in Montreal] parcel.

May 9
Moved the post out farther. Took Major Gault and Gen. Macdonnel out to see it. Weather has been pretty wet.

May 10
Heavy shelling to our left after stand to. Norman was up to see me. A fine night for a change.

May 11
Were relieved by #3 Co. Had to wait after the rest had gone in order to take out the listening post. Got to my platoon about 10 p.m. Found we had to "stand to" all night in case of attack.

May 12 & 13
Back in the woods. They shell us afternoons so have to take to the trench. Was up to see Norman for a short while. Lieut. Roddy Watt is located in our wood. Was over to his dugout this afternoon.

May 14
Rumour that we were going out, but nothing came of it. During shelling this afternoon shrapnel ball hit me on helmet but the helmet prevented it coming thru. Met Lieut. "Bif" Notman in the trench. He is with the trench Mortar Battery now.

May 15
Relieved by the 43rd at 11 p.m. Had to march fast to catch train at Ypres. Got to camp at 4 am.

May 16 & 17
Loafed around at camp. Gury Shearer is in our platoon. The N.C.O.'s are being drilled by a Grenadier Guard Sgt. He more than gives it to us.

May 18
Out on digging party up to dugout at Hooge.

May 19
There was a ball game, cricket and lacrosse all going on at the same time on our parade ground.

May 20-22
Still in B Camp. Out at working party to Hooge trench.

May 23
Got in at 3 a.m. up again at 6 am. Went to have a bath, then on to the Belgium Chateau - got there about noon. Out digging at night. They gave us quite a dose of shell.

May 24
Went out digging again.It rained most of the time.

May 25
Went back to 7 Camp.

May 26
On gas guard. Some Major-Gen. inspected the regiment. He gave me quite a cross examination on the air tank and siren for the alarm.

May 27
Out on working party and did not get back till 3 a.m.

May 28
Went to Church and band on art.

May 29
Went out on working party.

May 30 & 31
Nothing unusual.

June 1
At night we went up to the trenches at Sanctuary Wood. We held the firing line at to loop and to the right.

June 2
At 8:30 a.m. the Huns opened up with shells and sausages aerial torpedoes and everything. They continued until 1 p.m. The trenches were knocked to pieces. Casualties were heavy. The order came to retire. Had to go over land. At that time they were shelling the woods terribly. Lay in a shell hole for a while. Retired to Warneton Ave. where Col. Buller was killed while on the parapet directing his men. He was wonderful. Saw Norman, he was wounded in back but was bringing up ammunition. Later he went out. Major Gault was warned Germans were coming over in droves and had some good shooting. Got 2 that I am sure of. The Huns were using smoke bombs and liquid fire. That night there was numerous bombardments.

June 3
Still shelling us. In the morning we made a counter attack our regiment stayed in supports as we had very few men. We made some gains. Heavy shelling all day.

June 4
Still in and continued shelling. Wounded and dead is terrible. Were relieved by 60th at 11 p.m. Had quite a job getting out- had to get out over land.

June 5
Arrived at camp in early morning. We are pretty tired bunch. Regiment terribly cut up.

June 6
Heard Norman got out O.K. Cabled home. Papers said that it was the heaviest bombardment.

June 7
Moved off to Steenvoorde. Gerry Nesbitt joined.

June 8-9
This is a beautiful country; nice and quiet after the front.

June 9-13
Still around Steenvoorde. Are having a lot of rain. Still acting orderly Sergt.

June 13-19
Have been promoted to Lance-Sgt. It has a lot of advantages. Sgt. Goodeve has come as a Lieut.

June 20
Went down to Steenvoorde and had a feed of tomatoes, etc.

June 21
Left on buses as far as B. Camp. Rested until night then up to Ypres where we relieved an imperial regiment. We are in an old ruined building, but are very comfortable.

June 22
Saw one of our planes have an awful tumble, it came down from an awful height, turning over and over again. Both occupants were killed.

June 23 & 24
Still in same place. Have taken over orderly sgt. again as Irwin is away.

June 26
Went up to the trenches again at Hooge; the trench is behind the culvert now.

June 27-8-29-30
Fairly quiet but heavy shelling in left and right and in rear.

July 1
Dominion Day we came out. Back at A Camp.

July 2
Went down to Poperinghe for a bath.

July 3
Saw Harry Beveridge. News of big combined English and French advance.

July 4
Raining to beat the band.

July 5
Brigade had boxing and wrestling contests. Saw H. Birks, S. Matheson, Finlay, Art Grafftery all of the 42nd.

July 6
Down to Poperinghe. Had a good meal and went to picture show and saw Gitz Rice after. Had my photo taken. On arriving home, saw Chuckie Pearce.

July 7
Sent off on a days work up to Divisional R.E. park with a bunch of men.

July 8-9-10
Still at "A" camp. Heavy bombardment up at Legart line by Huns.

July 11
Went up to the Bund. Our platoon went to the strong point.

July 16
Take over trench at Mount Sorel. A few casualties just after getting in.

July 17
Corp Gullen and Sergt. Ruddengen killed. We strafed them heavily with bombs and mortars. [Cpl Charles Gillen & Sgt Thomas Ruddigan were buried in the Railway Dugout Cemetery.]

July 18
Germans came back at us heavily levelling our trench. Louis Robertson was killed. [Sgt. Louis Robertson, 2nd University Company, was buried in the Railway Dugout Cemetery.)

July 19
At infantry barrack Ypres.

July 20
Went over to Capes battery saw a bunch that I knew.

July 24
Went down to Steenvoorde.

August 3
Made full sergeant; marched to A camp.

August 9
Went up to Hooge trenches from Zillebeke Bund. Our 6 days in were fairly quiet.

August 15
Came out to F Camp otherwise known as Montreal camp.

August 19
Going up tonight.

August 21
Out at B Camp am sending diary home with Shorty Nulls who is taking out his comm.

August 24
Marched down to almost Cassel. Gen. Byng Corps. Comm inspected us as we marched past. Very pretty around. We are doing some hard training just now.

August 27
Am orderly sgt. Sent off souvenir to home and Ethel Charlton.

August 28-29-30
It has been raining very heavily for the last few days. The rain has interfered with the training quite a lot.

September 1 & 2
Off orderly sgt. Went over to Cassel. A wonderful view seen from top of Mt Cassel.

September 3
Put in charge of #2 plat. This is my original platoon. There is not a single one in it as when I joined the regiment on July 27, 1915.

September 4
We left Cassel and marched to Esquelbec where entrained. A few of us travelled in an open car under a bimbar (?) We were fairly comfortable.

September 5
Arrived at Conteville and marched to Cramont northeast of Abbeville.

September 9
Still at Cramont.

September 10
Marched to Pernois and stayed the night.

September 12
Marched to Harponville.

September 13
Arrived just outside of Albert. A wonderful sight all the troops out.

September 14
Made some good bivouacs.

September 15
Left to go up to the front line. We got very little notification that we were to go over the parapet, or what was left of one. Marched straight up to Sugar trench N.E. of Pozieres. Encountered some heavy shelling going to the jumping off trench. We were in full view and it was about 5:45 pm. We went right in to the German trench west of Courcelette which was being attacked by the 2nd division troops. It was captured by them. Our trench was full of Germans who offered little resistance as our boys captured most of them easily. For the most they were old men and boys. After clearing the trench, we advanced from shell hole to hole over the "sunken road" up the ridge, where we dug ourselves in at about 10 pm. We took the trench over the ridge. Our aeroplanes were grand.

September 16
Held our trench against heavy shell fire at night; fired over a few gas shells.

September 17
At about 4 a.m. we were relieved on the way out. Mr. Goodeve was killed. We advanced 1,000 yards in all. [Goodeve's body was not recovered. His name is commemorated on Vimy Ridge Memorial.]

September 18 & 19
Stayed outside of Albert. Moved to Albert.

September 20
Changed our billets in Albert.

September 21
Was up at trenches had a lively time of it. Back [?] one of our ammunition dumps was on fire.

September 23
Went on a march as far as Warloy-Baillon.

September 24
Marched a long way to La Vicogne.

September 25
On guard. Rumour we are going back tomorrow.

September 27
Marched to Harponville. Saw Gen. Lipsett regards my commission.

September 28
On to Albert.

September 29
At Albert.

October 2
Went up to the trenches. At Centre Way, are in reserve.

October 3
We are bringing our field guns right up to the support line.

October 4
Saw Mr. Slate of the High School [of Montreal] for a few minutes. Came out of the trench at night and went to Tara Hill near Albert.

October 6
Back again to the same trenches.

October 7 & 8
Heavy artillery fire all the time.

October 9
At dawn today the RCR #49th went over the parapet. We were in support and had to move. The Pats were very lucky in spite of heavy shelling and barrages we had few casualties in proportion. We were relieved late at night going to Tara Hill again.

October 10
Marched to Warloy-Baillon.

October 11
Pay day and well we needed it.

October 12
Marched to La Vicogne.

October 13
Marched to Berteaucourt.

October 14
On guard and warned that I was to go to Rest Camp at Auult.

October 15
Warned that I was not for rest camp but to go to see the Col. Pelly who made me a full Lieut. and posted me to #4 Company.

October 16
Just a half an hour before the Battalion moved off Knapp and myself were warned that our leave had gone thru. We entrained at St. Leger, changed at Longpre then to Abbeville where we were quite a time; then on to Havre. Went up to our base and saw Cairnes, Bell, Muir. Embarked for Southampton.

October 14
Arrived at Southampton after a good trip. Arrived at London about 10 am and went up to Miss Morris' who was away at hospital with a bad finger.

October 18 & 19 & 20
Spent most of our time buying our kit.

October 26
Norman came up from Shorncliffe. He looked fine. Went to "Pell Mell" at night.

October 22
Tried to find Art Grafty and Arth Matherson but with no success.

October 23
Norman went back.

October 24
Went to Potash and Perlmutter with Alf and Lorna and Mrs. Ketcheson. It was very good.

October 26
Went to Bing Boys in afternoon.

October 25
Went to see Dick Crocker who took me out to lunch and to the Colliseum.

October 27
Was out to see Volney Rexford in the evening, we were out to Lorna's again.

October 28
Just before leaving, Potts came up and went down to Waterloo with me. Journey to Southampton uneventful. Went on board; did not sail.

October 28
Still at Southampton.

October 29-Nov. 1
Still held up though one night we started and got away out into the channel when we turned back.

November 2
Sailed at last.

November 3
Arrived at Havre early after some delay we were all put on a boat for Rouen. The trip up the Seine was wonderful as the leaves had turned all colours. On one side of the river the hills came right up to the river while on the other, it is flat country. There seemed to be an awful lot of Norwegian shipping going on. Arrived at Rouen at 5:30 pm after a long delay seeing the M.L.O. We tried to find a hotel. We went to 3 but they were all full, but managed to get into one.

November 4
Supposed to leave at 3 p.m. but it was not until after 5 that we left.

November 6
Arrived at Doullens early where we stayed on board the train all day and the next night.

November 7
Arrived at Aubigny and was lucky to get a car going to Mont St. Eloy. Stayed over night at O Lateau, our transport H.Q.

November 8
Went up to the trenches.

November 9
Were relieved and went back to Neuville-St. Vaast.

November 10, 11, 12
Doing working parties.

November 18
Left the trench for Mont St. Eloy.

November 23
Going back to the firing line.

November 7
In and out of regularly (?)

November 15-18
Was away at a Divisional course at Hermanville.

November19
Went back to Brigade reserve in Neuville-St. Vaast in comboy trench. We are along working parties from there.

November 24
Went up to supports our company in Quarry St. Received letters from home and from Ethel.

November 25
Christmas Day. Fine but windy. No strafing to speak of. Huns coming out in no-mans land a lot. Some fraternizing with our men. Visited all the companies in the front line. At night, a big strafe on our left. A good dinner was put up by our cook.

November 29
Relieved and went out to Mont St. Eloy.

November 30
One more birthday in France. Went to our show which was very good.

November 31
New Year's Eve. Men had a good dinner.

1917

January 1
We had our dinner at night. Some dinner.

January 3
Came up to the right section. Everything very wet.

January 8
Came out to Neuville-St. Vaast after pretty hard 5 days. Mud caused us our most worry.

January 9
Had to move from Begg St. as we were too far away from company. McPerson and Neatby were up for dinner.

January 10
In charge of working parties. Had to go through mud up to my waist to get to my 2 parties.

January 16
At about 3 p.m. on my way up Birk in trench, Boche were putting over rifle grenade. One landed very close to me hitting me on the arm and back but not serious. I walked to dugout where I was dressed by Paddy Flynn; walked to aid station where Dr. Watters had a look at it. Then walked to 10th Field Ambulance, where got an ambulance to Ecoivres, then one to Aubignay. Put up at 42nd C.G.S. Held there a week. Went on ambulance train to Le Treport. It took up 18 hours. Put into #3 General Hospital. On the 28th left for Havre arriving at about 6 p.m. Out on board hospital ship Dunloos Castle. Had a very good passage.

January 30
Arrived at Southampton and taken on to London where I was sent to the Canadian I.O.D.E. hospital. It is a small one for officers -only about 25 patients. George McDougall and MacIntosh were both there. Had an awfully good time while in hospital.

February 12
Had my board and they gave me a month's leave. Too bad, but not enough time to get home on. Stayed at Bedford Place for a week. Norman came up over the weekend.

February 21
Went out to stay at Lorna's in Streaten Hill. One day I was to see Kirk [distant relative and doctor in Cdn Medical Corps] and Helen Maclellan in Hampstead. Was out with Mr. Crooker of Laurentide Co. [former employer] to lunch and see a show.

February 28
Went up to Scotland thru Edinburgh to Dundee. Stopped with Mrs. Nicoll. Saw Jack Nairns people. All of whom are very nice. Mr. Nicoll was away at Glasgow but returned Fred Nicoll and his wife were down over the weekend.

March 20
Arrived at Seaford, 7th Res Bn. Saw Norman and John Colling.

April
Was down at G.L.S Bexhill on Sea. L. Lavigne came down to see me Easter and was killed the next Sunday. His plane crashed. Only a few days back at Seaford when sent to Eastern command School at Bedford on 3 months course. Had a very good time while there lots of boating, tennis, cricket, and baseball. Finished end of July. Went up to Scotland for a few days with Potts then went to Dundee. Nicolls were out at Carnoustre. Also saw the Nairns out there. [Joseph-Louis Lavigne, age 30, Royal Naval Air Station, Chingsford; died April 15, 1917; buried in Essex, England.)

August 8
Returned to Seaford and put in command of a company reserve depot until Oct. 8 or 9 when sent to Bexhill before coming back to Canada for work in connection with conscriptions.

October 17
Went up to Liverpool on the 2:30 train from Euston Station, London, arriving at Liverpool about 8 p.m.

October 18
Got on board the Missinabie at 9 a.m., but did not sail until late at night. The Gramian also went out with us. We had as escort 1 light cruiser and 5 T.B.D. for four days and then an auxiliary cruiser took over.

October 27
Sight Gaspé [Quebec] after a very quiet trip over. No submarines and very little rough weather. Jim Fuller and Newcombe of P.P.'s were on board.

October 28
Arrived at [city of ] Quebec 9 a.m. and stayed until 12:30; sent off wire home.

October 29
Arrived at Montreal at about 6 a.m. and go up home at 7:30 a.m. in time for breakfast.

[last entry in Alan Gammell's diary]


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