Tag: Italy

3 June 1918

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


Battalion providing working parties.

Weather – Very Hot.


2 April 1918

Extract from the diary of Capt Ferguson, 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment 

We marched on today, passing through the town of VlCENZA, and taking the VERONA road … (illegible) until we arrived at a small railway station. Billets for officers were bad, but a rest camp was made, for the troops out of Italian bivouac sheets. The officers got the option of these or an empty room, and we chose the room. Our trains were due to leave at 9 am & noon tomorrow, so we got permission from the CO to go into VICENZA for dinner.  I started out with Sparling and Forsyth, and had a right merry evening, and an excellent dinner at the big hotel, and Halsey joined us; we also met Mills, Horsley, Daniels, Molyneux, others

24 March 1918

Extract from the diary of Capt Ferguson, 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment 

The company parade was at 7 am, as we had to leave Bn HQ by 8 am, I found two officers just departing on English leave; this leaves me at the top of the list. I ought to go in a weeks’ time. But !! the air is full of rumours (1) The Germans have begun their big offensive in France (2) We are to return to France at once (3) all leave is stopped. However, we shall know more definite news in the evening. Our march was not a long one; for most of the way along the banks of the PADOVA Canal. We arrived outside some big barracks which we were to occupy, but as they were not yet vacated, we had our lunch in the grounds of a big house nearby. This proved to be an Italian GHQ, and they came and informed us they did not much like their garden being used as a picnicing ground. A number of our officers who were going on ROME leave, left for PADOVA, but no sooner had they gone when the word came that all leave was cancelled, and we were to prepare for a quick return to France. We were just stunned at the thought, for the bad news followed, telling of a big reverse on the SOMME. The ROME leave party returned very downcast, having been stopped at the station; we quite expected the return of the English leave party, but, by luck, they got through. The barracks we found very dirty, and it took us some hours to clean up before the troops could enter.

22 March 1918

Extract from the diary of Capt Ferguson, 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment 

We have had four days good rest in OSPIDALETTO, but I believe we move on tomorrow. I dined will A Coy on Wednesday; Major Sparling has taken over from Mills, who has gone on English leave. We do light drills in the morning and football in the afternoon. We get persistent rumours of our return to France or a shift to Palestine. I hope neither happens just yet. Yesterday I went to tea at Brigade, now situated in the next village. I saw Willans and asked about leave, but he knew nothing. During the evening, the Whiz-bangs’ gave us a show in the open at OSPIDALETTO. Just before they started, one of the houses in the village caught fire, giving us an exciting half hour. We got up a collection for the poor old farmer, although the fire was not our doing. This a very poor district, but they colouring is very pleasing, and the women and children wear such gay frocks, etc. I have a very quaint bedroom in an old stable or outhouse, quite clean and cozy; the bed has a mattress of corn husks. The loft above is filled with my men, whose snores penetrate my ceiling at night. We played the Norfolk Regt in the final of the rugger cup this evening, and won the championship of the Brigade; it was an excellent game which we enjoyed very much

18 March 1918

Extract from the diary of Capt Ferguson, 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment 

We started to time this morning, and all had regrets at having to leave the PIAVE, although we had expectations of a nice summer in the hills. Even now this place is getting very warm, and today the men felt the heat quite trying on the march. We returned the way we had come, towards PADOVA. We halted for lunch near ISTRANA, the railhead of the district. I thought again of my leave which is getting near. The men’s feet gave out badly, and the MO had a busy time; thank goodness we had done the biggest half of the march, as we had only to go as far as OSPIDALETTO, where we arrived in time for an early tea. We had the same billets as we had on our previous visit to the village