18 October 1917

Extract from war diary of 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Berthen Area

Training in morning.  Baths during afternoon.

2nd Lieut A.H. LEGH proceeded to 2nd Army Sniping School with a view to his proceeding to AMERICA as Sniping Instructor.

2nd Lieut C.G. EDWARDS proceeded on leave

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17 October 1917

Extract from the diary of Maj P K Glazebrook, Cheshire Yeomanry, Egypt Expeditionary Force

A rotten night, with little sleep I have been in poor form in that way for some time. Even at Shepherd’s, with a good bed, I was not sleeping at all well. I am also being sick after breakfast, which is most inconvenient in these places where there is not privacy! At present I go inside the ruined Sheikh’s Tomb. A dull parade as usual in the morning, and nothing in the afternoon, except private instruction from Noel for me & Kynaston with the bayonet. Tom had gone off on another reconnaissance, lucky devil! We had a night march which was less unpleasant than usual, as we got back at 9 PM, and did not go very far. Much skin off my hands from bayonet work.

[follow-on] The depression of our life is by no means diminishing, & my own actually increases. The dust & dirt of our surroundings, the swarms of flies & the constant little worries of military life & discipline, make even the time off parade a positive hell. The nights would be a relief if I could sleep better, but now they seem terribly long, & lying on the dusty ground is not luxury. Reading is nearly impossible, & driving weary men in packs to repeat monotonous attacks, in which interest ceased long, long ago, is damnable. Contempt for the Lonsdales does not improve matters, & I can say that the 24 hours contain no moment of enjoyment or recreation for me. “The days have come & the time draweth nigh, when I can say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.” I am exactly in that condition described by Swinburne – “To say at dusk, would God the day were here – to say at dawn, would God the day were done”. In every walk of life man has some pleasure to look forward to daily, or even weekly, for instance, his night’s rest, his good food, his game of cards or golf, his comfortable half hour with his daily papers by the fire, his Sunday’s quiet, or some hobby or interest. Here we have absolutely none, & nothing to look forward to until the end of the war, & for England’s sake one is even afraid of to early a peace. The Brooks boys alone make life tolerable.

15 October 1917

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.

14 October 1917

Extract from war diary of 2nd Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

The Battn left the Summer Line and occupied the old Winter Line which extends from the BUTKOVA LAKE (exclusive) to the line BUTKOVA RIVER point 1545-1901 work 17 Old Winter Line (inclusive) – DEDELI (Exclusive).  The move was carried out in one night – surplus baggage and stores being brought down the two following nights.  Bn Headquarters established at KRANMAH.