Extract from the diary of LCpl Walter Williamson, 6th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment
On the 15th of October we finished work for the Australians, struck camp, sent the tents back to where they came from, and marched back through Ypres, picking up motors at Vierstraat Corner. These landed us in Kemmel village in the darkness, and we climbed Little Kemmel Hill expecting to find a nice little camp, after the mud of Potijze. We were disgusted to find ourselves marched into a field to a bivouac camp, in only a little less mud than we had left behind us. There were a few tents for the officers, and we managed to secure one for the Orderly Room. We had rather a startling reception on our arrival. As we marched in at one end of the field, eight aeroplane bombs dropped in quick succession at the other end of the field. We dared have no lights whatever for sometime after our arrival, and there was a deal of shouting, and passing of compliments in the darkness before the battalion were settled in.
Sometime after the battalion had got settled down Len and I were wandering miserably round the camp in the mud and darkness looking for our luggage.
The limber that had the orderly Room boxes on board, had broken down on the journey and had not arrived.
We found “Q” and reported the matter to him. He decided that no work could be done before morning, and we might as well get to bed. When we left him, we groaned and looked blankly at one another, and our misery was great. When leaving Potijze we had been stuck with the brilliant idea of packing our blankets, rations, and anything else we could squeeze in, into the Orderly Room boxes, to save having to carry them.
This was of course against all rules, and without “Q’s” knowledge, and we hardly knew him well enough yet to confess our predicament. Here we were, without a blanket or a bite, and expected to get down to bed. We would of course go to bed without a blanket, but without a bite, was too much for us.
We decided to hunt up the transport to find out if the limber had turned up. We found that it had just arrived, but orders had been given that the limber was not to be unloaded before morning. We explained that we must have the typewriter at least, as some urgent work had to be done for the C.O. We were allowed to unload the typewriter box, and bore it off triumphantly in the darkness.