THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD
Evening - Enlisted in 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers after
visit by recruiting officer to works of D.B. & Co. In afternoon.
Height 5ft 7 3/4
Vision - N
Condition good passed fit for service.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH 1914
Parade at Drill Hall 9.15 am.
Waited all day for new uniform
Dinner and tea - Pioneers Store
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 5TH 1914
Parade at 9.15. Dinner at home. March out to Syke afternoon. Tea Pioneers
Store. Uniform arrived 8pm. Left Drill Hall 11pm went home to sleep.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH 1914
Left Rochdale by 7.30 train to Turton Camp. Had breakfast on arrival (bread
and jam and tea). Equipped in the afternoon. Leave from 5pm to 8.30pm.
Thousands of visitors in Turton. First night in camp novel experience.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH 1914
Reveille 5am. Towel parade, physical drill breakfast 8am. March out. Rifle
exercise till dinnertime. (Struck tents and pre-fixed them after dinner,
dismissed at 4.30pm
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 8th 1914
Still at Turton. Afternoon parade received notice that were to leave tomorrow
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 9TH 1914
Left Turton at 7.35pm and travelled via Bolton, Rochdale and Todmorden
through Midlands to Southampton reaching there on Thursday morning at
10.30am. Went straight on board H.M. Troopship Saturnia but did not sail
till 11pm. Slept in hammocks slung up in the mess room.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11TH 1914
Joined other troops in ships at mouth of English Channel and also escorted
by battleships. Where stationery there for some reason of other for about
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12TH 1914
Entered Bay of Biscay. Became seasick ate no dinner or tea.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH 1914
Still seasick. Conditions on board ship rotten packed like herrings in
hammocks. Odour of sea sickness in the mess room. Do not care how soon
we reach land. It is an awful feeling. Saw porpoises. Singing hymns on
deck in the evening. Rev. D. Fletcher. Thoughts of home.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14TH 1914
A lot better finding my sea legs, glorious morning, sea calm. Was vaccinated.
Sat on upper deck in afternoon, very warm and sea remarkably blue, just
beginning to enjoy the voyage. About 8 o clock all were ordered below,
fire alarm test.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH 1914
Up on deck early, getting very hot now, had a hosepipe bath on boat deck,
band played on deck after parade, Siesta on upper deck evening cruiser
sending signals by flashlight sky one mass of stars. Travelled faster
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH 1914
Beautiful sunrise sea as calm as mill pond. Passed Cape. St Vincent in
forenoon. First land seen since leaving England. Expect sighting Gib.
tomorrow. Concert on deck evening.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 17TH 1914
Rose at 5.30am. Rather windy sea choppy. Blanket returned to Quartermaster
at 6.30am. Breakfast - porridge. After breakfast sighted land large hills,
Spain on one side North Africa, probably Morocco or Algeria on the other
side. About half an hour after a mist came on and all ships sounded sirens
continuously. We narrowly missed a collision with a steamer who cut across
our bow, it was a matter of yards. During a lift in the mist a Spanish
Steamer, possibly with passengers on board (Vincento Ferriera). We saw
Gibraltar at about 10 am while on parade. After parade all the Company
were subbed 3 shillings. We anchored in Gibraltar harbour about 1pm, it
was a sight to be remembered. The Rock is of a sandy brown and the buildings
match and are chiefly stone and cement although there are a few brick
buildings. Motor boats and spinnakers traverse the harbour. We did not
see many people about, in fact the place looked deserted, but it was just
the hottest part of the day, we saw more when we were leaving in the evening
about 6 pm We could see big guns all on the top of the Rock and others
on different points and of course there are scores of others hidden from
view. Gib. is a fine place, a sight of a lifetime. There was an Austrian
warship in harbour, captained by the British. We also saw 5 torpedo destroyers
in the harbour. We left Gib. at 6 pm after a stay of 6 hours, the sun
was just setting over the Rock and the reflection on the water was magnificent.
I have never seen a more glorious sunset in all my life. Today has been
a most interesting eventful one. We have another 4 days sail now to the
next calling place, Malta. Concert on deck at night slept on deck all
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH 1914
Sea calm, grand morning. Hammock and blanket parade at 10 am. Lecture
on inoculation. Afternoon, our cruiser escort captured an Austrian ship
which was crossing our line. Tug of war competitions on deck, teams from
each company. Slept on floor below tonight.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19TH 1914
Rose at 5pm and had a good bath. Very hot day travelled faster. C. Company
was inoculated at 5.30pm. Had a rather sleepless night.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 20TH 1914
Arm very painful and am feeling very much out of sorts as a result of
the inoculation. One of the D.of L. Yeomanry on S.S. Atlantic fell down
hatchway lost his balance owing to heavy sea and broke his neck. Burial
service on board at 4pm.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 21ST 1914
Lovely morning, arm a little better, sighted a few islands on our right
(North Coast of Africa), also one big one said to be Palerino? a convict
settlement. After tea the final for the Tug of War took place. Two islands
on our left, a lighthouse on one searchlight on the other, extremely strong
and reaching a great distance. About 7pm a piano was brought from officers
music room and placed on the saloon deck and a concert was held the artists
being both officers and men (note: One sergeant recited "Irish Fire
Brigade") thought of Pa. Monday night took one of my mess mates to
hospital very bad rolling about in hammock.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd 1914
Affect of inoculation vanished. Vaccination starting to be troublesome,
a lump has appeared just under the armpit, very sore. In the afternoon
about 4pm we passed a convoy of transports conveying Indian troops to
the front. There were 21 ships with an escort of 1 battleship. It was
a sight that will not be seen again, I think even the crew of our ship
said they had never seen so many ships together with our transports they
made a total of 36 liners and only two warships to protect them. (Carmonia
captured German armed steamer).
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 23RD 1914
Fine morning. Notice on cookhouse "Wireless from H.M.S. Mineva thanking
Captain of transport for the success of this trip." Nothing eventful
today same old sea, sea and sea. Subbed 4 shillings (Another death).
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24TH 1914
Parade at 10am medical inspection also at 3pm equipment served out preparing
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 25TH 1914
Reveille at 4am. Hammocks and blankets rolled up and taken to Quartermasters
Stores. Arrived Alexandria 8am (Thank God). Towed to Quay. Native Police
chasing hawkers of fruit etc. wiith whips, sticks and stones. Hawkers
in boats got water thrown on them from ships, but are very persistent.
Several train loads of troops went away. We are the last to go. Expected
going today but are not going until tomorrow. Had to sleep where we could.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 26TH 1914
Did fatigue duty in morning taking ammunition from ship to train, afternoon
orderly at 3g mess. Evening entrained for Cairo. Left Alexandria 7pm carriages
Pullman type, entrance at both ends sliding windows can be substituted
by "shutters" hold about 60 in one coach, goods vans on same
train. We travelled through nice country and made a short halt at Tehel
Baroud. Hawkers at every turn selling pomegranates, apples, grapes, cigarettes
and beer (1 shilling a bottle).
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH 1914
Arrived at Cairo at 2.30am after 7 hours railway journey, marched to barracks
and were served out with 2 hard boiled eggs a slice of bread (thick) and
a cup of tea. Billeted outside on the sound till daylight. Reveille at
5am. Received breakfast about 9am (Dog Biscuits, corned beef and herrings).
I went to Canteen after and got a good breakfast; cup of tea, ham sandwich
and buns (2 pastries). The Dragoon Guards in barracks left at 10.30am
for England and we took up their quarters. My section have 3 rooms for
16 men. We went down to Abbassia in the evening. Natives do not like English
and we have to keep to the main road. Military Police patrol the town,
bars are out of bounds, fruit not worth buying, you get done in if you
are not careful. I changed a half sovereign into Egyptian money 48¾
pilasters, they will not change anything only gold. Electric cars run
to Cairo 4 miles (2 milliemes for soldiers) and also to a place which
they call New Cairo about 3 miles where there are cinema shows etc. (Trainer
and Scot trouble with natives) English photographer in Abbassia. Motor
cars and cycles.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH 1914
Reveille at 5am, hot tea provided, parade at 6am to 8am. Breakfast and
clean beds, tidy up rooms, parade 9am to 10am finished then for day. Got
of fatigue arranging rooms etc went down to Soldiers Home spent very enjoyable
evening. Billiard Room, cards, draughts dominoes etc. Canteen, reading
room, writing room. Turned in at 9.30pm very tired last post 10.15pm
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH 1914
Physical drill first, mile drill after breakfast, fatigue in afternoon
carrying tables etc. to Mess Rooms. Soldiers Home night, we are not allowed
to go into Cairo yet till we have Khaki Drill served out.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH 1914
Rifle Drill till breakfast, physical drill after. I was inoculated a second
time which makes me practically immune from Enteric Fever for eighteen
months. We were paid 5/6 in Egyptian money in afternoon had a sleep then
till 7pm. Some letters arrived caused a flutter of excitement (one man
killed 2 injured by falling from train on journey to Abbassia from Alexandria.
We get Reuters telegrams of the war at Soldiers Institute.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 1ST 1914
Nothing eventful I was orderly for the day, drew rations for 15 men, No
28 mess, keeps one very busy, all utensils to be washed and taken back
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4TH 1914
Usual routine. Bookstall in barracks Royal Mags etc.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3RD 1914
Parade 6 to 10am. Washing Parade 11.30am. Roast for dinner today. Lecture
by Lt. Bartley on efficiency 2.30pm. Parade at 4pm dismissed at 4.30pm.
Leave granted for rest of day. I went to Cairo evening, the scenes there
are absolutely indescribable. Different to any place I have ever seen
before. East and West clash. Visited Soldiers Home, returned to barracks
SUNDAY OCTOBER 4TH 1914
Reveille at 7pm. Church parade at 10.30am rotten dinner today, fatty stew
and about 1 potato each. Spent afternoon at Soldiers Home evening stroll
in barrack grounds.
MONDAY OCTOBER 5TH 1914
Nothing much of interest despatched 3 letters home.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 6TH 1914
6am parade did a mile at the double. In the afternoon we were taken over
the obstacle course over vaults 8ft wall (scaling) water jump over palisading
through wire entanglements etc. Under inspection by the Adjutant very
busy day, very tired at night, retired to bed early.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 7TH 1914
Rifle aiming practice on tripods. Best dinner of the lot today roast meat
plenty of potatoes, vegetables and rice pudding (Reason: Lord Rochdale
inspecting messes). Received 2 letters from home evening very pleased
(mention washing in next letter home).
THURSDAY OCTOBER 8TH 1914
Hard morning, skirmishing up on the ranges, our instructor is Sgt. Wright
of the R.W.F. Doing orderly today for sick.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 9TH 1914
Physical drill taken over obstacle course. Parade 2.30pm for pay, received
10 shillings. Soldiers Home evening.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10TH 1914
Finished work after 10 o clock went to Cairo afternoon with Frank and
Harry. Had tea in a Restaurant near Soldiers House. Saw more of the city
than previous visit. Hawkers all very numerous (pestered to death). Bought
a fancy cover (hand made) with picture of Cairo on for 3 shillings. He
wanted 8 shillings for it at first but soon dropped his price. Returned
to Barracks by about 8.30pm.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 1TH 1914
Church parade 10am. Fine sight, seeing different battalions marching down
to church with bands at the head. Very good dinner today roast beef, cabbage
and rice pudding. I visited the famous Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza in
the afternoon. We journeyed by car from Cairo a distance of about 8 miles
right to the base of the Pyramids. Scenery on the way very beautiful.
Sugarcane plantations and maize fields, with camels being used to take
away the produce, the later part of the way. We passed through a long
avenue of trees, palms etc. The Pyramids are a tremendous size, the largest
being 583 ft high. The Sphinx is about 100 ft high. It is a sight worth
seeing one of the wonders of the world. We returned to Cairo for tea and
got back to barracks about 9.45pm
MONDAY OCTOBER 12TH 1914
Back to work after weekend rest. Plenty of physical drill.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 13TH 1914
In addition to usual parades we fell in at 7.45pm for night operations
(C. Corp.). We marched on to the desert and one party went on in advance.
We then had illustrated to us the importance of keeping silent in the
night. At a distance of 400 yards. The advanced party gave illustrations
of (1) fixing bayonets; we could hear them plainly. (2) digging trenches,
sparks could be seen like lamps, laughing and talking could be heard distinctly
at 400 yards. It was very interesting. We returned about 9.15pm.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 14TH 1914
First parade at 6.45am instead of 5.45 owing to march the previous night.
We had a good dinner today roast beef cabbage, potatoes and rice pudding.
Nothing of interest happened usual routine..
THURSDAY OCTOBER 15TH 1914
Times of parades altered. First parade 6.15 to 7.15, breakfast, parade
8.30 to 12.30. We went right up on the desert about 5 miles to the foot
of some hills. I picked up many nice coloured stones and shells, we also
saw a lot of small lizards. It was very hot and during a halt of about
10 minutes the barrel of my rife became so hot that I could not bear my
hand on it and they call it Winter here, goodness knows how it is in the
Summer. We arrived back in time for dinner some more rice pudding; we
had an hours lecture in the afternoon 4 to 5 and then finished for the
day. Soldier Home evening.
FRIDAY OCTOBER DAY 16TH 1914
First parade physical drill, second parade 4 squads joined in a Company
drill by all platoons. We then set off on a specific march to Heliopolis
across the desert and back along the road. Paraded again at 2.30 for pay
and received the magnificent sum of 5 shillings.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 17TH 1914
Up before reveille, cleaning up for Mess inspection. After breakfast went
with the company and did some platoon drilling, dismissed 12.30 for the
day. I went with a party to Heliopolis in the afternoon. We walked there
across the desert and visited Luna Park first, it is the "South Shore"
of Egypt. Scenic Railway, Water Chutes, Roundabouts and Skating Rink etc.
All the fun of the fair. We then had a look round the town, there are
some splendid buildings, oriental style, marble and fancy stone, ornamental
etc. We had tea at the New Oasis Cafe; eggs and bacon and then watched
a cinema show outside in the street, one outside every cafe. Returned
to barracks about 9.15pm after spending a merry time on the scenic railway
SUNDAY OCTOBER 18TH 1914
Paraded at 7.30am for church but a number in our company were without
puggerees on their helmets and we were dismissed again so we were free
for the day. W. Bannister, F. Butterworth and myself had out photos raken
in the afternoon at Heliopolis, returned for tea and visited Camel Corps
canteen in the evening.
MONDAY OCTOBER 19TH 1914
Drilling with company now. We set off at 8.30 and executed an attacking
movement on a big rock on the desert about 2 miles out, it was hot work,
rushing up , dropping down advancing etc. And then the final charge with
fixed bayonets. Got back to barracks about 1 o clock very dead beat. Lectures
in canteen on keep of rifle afternoon. Playing cards in Regt. Instie evening.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 20TH 1914
Another attack movement father out on the desert. It is hard work marching
on the sand, sinking about 3" at every step. The enemy were strongly
entrenched on a hill and we had to advance about 1800 yds across the open,
fine exercise gives you an appetite for dinner. Capt. Barker gave us a
lecture on outposts in the afternoon.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 21ST 1914
The whole battalion took part this morning in a sham fight. We marched
about 5 miles out past Heliopolis very interesting but hard graft. Half
holiday this afternoon but no money so slept. Received 3 letters one from
THURSDAY OCTOBER 22ND 1914
A good long route march over awfully rough ground, landed back 1 o clock
we are getting used to these marches and I felt as fresh as when i started
off, talk about globe trotting.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 23RD 1914
Pay day so had a good feed in canteen at night.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24TH 1914
Kit inspection morning, afternoon stayed in to write some letters went
to Cairo after tea and there saw about a dozen Indian troops who are on
their way to the front. They were fine fellows, everyone fully 6ft and
the majority could speak English. Spent a pleasant evening in Cairo and
returned to barracks in good time.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 25TH 1914
Missed church parade this morning owing to not having a belt so I finished
my letters off. Plum pudding for dinner, about as heavy as a lump of iron
good for (in)digestion. This afternoon went to Heliopolis for my photos
and came back for tea. Evening canteen.
MONDAY OCTOBER 26TH 1914
Getting rifles ready to go on the range trained men to fire tomorrow.
No parade in afternoon.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 27TH 1914
Up by 4.30am breakfast at 5am trained men went on the range. Recruits
had no parade all day.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28TH 1914
March out in the morning. Half holiday afternoon went down to Cairo evening
nice supper at Soldiers Club, came home in a landau.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 29TH 1944
Breakfast 6am. Paraded 6.45 full marching order without tunics and great
coats. The whole battalion marched off with Lord Rochdale at their head
past Heliopolis and the Car Sheds (about 7 miles then cut across the desert.
We then had about an hours trench digging. We then cooked our own dinner
in our mess tins, placing 3 or 4 together and some on top leaving a space
underneath for a fire of wood, we were each dished out with a piece of
meat, onions and potatoes and half filled the mess tins with water from
the water bottles. After about twenty minutes it was cooked nicely and
was certainly one of the best dinners we have had since coming out. We
set off back to barracks immediately after dinner and arrived about 2.30
just about dead beat and with eyes swelled up with the heat and sweating
like bulls, the sun was terribly hot today and the sand throws the heat
up from the ground. It was the hardest day so far. There was a canteen
parade after we got back.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 30TH 1914
An hours platoon drill before breakfast. It is Christmas Day here today.
After breakfast we set off along the usual route in conjunction with B
& W corps for instruction in advance guard movements; about 15 minutes
out we were pulled up by General Douglas who told the Captain to take
us back as it is far to hot in the morning for that sort of work, it is
too much for the men so we turned back and were dismissed, were we sorry?
NO! Yesterday when we got back we were all as dry and parched we could
not swallow for a bit, the dust gets in your throat, about 24 miles over
a sandy desert under a burning sun, well its off. Payday today best day
of the week.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 31ST 1914
Paraded at 7am and served out with 15 rounds of ammunition per man. After
breakfast marched on markers at 8.45 and then we joined the whole division
on a grand route march through Cairo. The distance marched was 10 miles
with only one halt for 10 mins. I am pleased to say only 2 men of the
6th fell out, the general, after the march, congratulated the 6th on their
powers of marching and endurance. It was very hot and we were all wet
through with sweat. We passed through a good deal of the lower class districts
no doubt to impress the natives. When passing the Continental Hotel in
the European quarter we were greeted with a great outburst of applause,
just a few yards away was the saluting base where General Maxwell G in
C of Egypt and his staff were stationed. We arrived back at Abbassia about
12.30pm and were afterwards confined to barracks for the rest of the day
and during the next 4 days as the Feast of Bahrain festival is taking
place in Cairo and the natives are best left to themselves at a time like
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 1ST 1914
Spent a quite day in barracks had a bit of practice with fitness on the
obstacle course after sunset. Had supper at the Camel Corps canteen.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 2ND 1914
After breakfast trained men went firing on the range, recruits of the
whole battalion marched over the "Red Hills" into a big valley
and there were occupied for a few hours in trench digging, returning about
11.30 when we were dismissed for the day.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 3RD 1914
All the C Corp visited the same place today, more trench digging and a
lecture on judging distance by Capt Crossley finished for the day after
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 4TH 1914
Company drill on the parade ground before dinner. Half holiday today.
I and 3 messmates went to Cairo, afternoon visited Esbekieh Gardens splendid
skating rink in the centre also cinema all in the open air. Had tea at
Soldiers Club Fried eggs for tea on the roof. Lovely night full moon and
a cool breeze. It was grand on that roof where we sat for a little while
after tea enjoying the breeze, after the heat of the day and smoking Egyptian
Cigarettes and watching the constant stream of traffic in the streets
below. We returned by car to barracks about 9.30pm and learnt a few words
of Arabic from an Egyptian who spoke English.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 5TH 1914
Nothing eventful, usual routine.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6TH 1914
Nothing eventful, usual routine.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 7TH 1914
Trained men went firing on range. I had a sleep in the afternoon wrote
some letters evening as we are confined to barracks again this weekend.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 8TH 1914
Attended Church Parade 11am. Had a stroll with Harry and Frank at night
around the barracks.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 9TH 1914
Two platoons went out near cemetery and had an attack practice until dinner,
after dinner a lecture on outpost concluded the day. Soldiers House night.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 10TH 1914
Bayonet fighting this morning with dummies very interesting, we also had
a lecture on finding objects and directing gunfire by the clock method.
We had to parade at 9am tonight for fire picket.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11TH 1914
All the battalion went out this morning (except recruits) for 3 days manoeuvres
on the desert. We had to stay behind and find all guards, pickets , fatigues
etc. Half holiday but not allowed out.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12TH 1914
Barracks presents a very deserted appearance, with practically all the
troops being away. They took 50 camels as transport and these came back
this morning for further supplies. Frank and I managed to get down to
Cairo tonight and visited Esbekieh Skating Rink, plenty of people there
spent a nice evening.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13TH 1914
Battalion returned 10am very dull today (very cold at night now).
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 14TH 1914
An hours physical drill before breakfast. Fell in at 8.30 with picks and
shovels and proceeded to "Red Hills" to fill up trenches; returned
12.30. Afternoon, football match on Slade ground (£20 a week for
upkeep) between right and left half of battalion Result 2 - 2. I went
to Cairo at night.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 15TH 1914
Church Parade 10am. I went to Heliopolis after dinner (Roast Mutton, potatoes,
cabbage, rice pudding). Had tea at the Amphitryon Cafe and then visited
Lima Park where I got into conversation with a Syrian gentleman on the
Scenic Railway, he is an interpreter to the Westminster Dragoons. We spent
the evening with him and gained a good deal of interesting information
from him, he treated us on many of the attractions having bought tickets
to the value of 15 P.T. There are many Syrians in Cairo who have emigrated
from their country owing to their dislike of the Turks.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 16TH 1914
Battalion training commenced today. We had breakfast at 6.15am fell in
at 6.45 marched on markers at 7am and then proceeded to a position on
the desert where the battalion executed an attack culminating in a bayonet
charge, it is hot work as we have full pack on including greatcoats. We
returned about 12.30, an hours drill in the afternoon finished a hard
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 17TH 1914
Battalion marched off at 7.30am C. Corp in the rear with picks and shovels
all accessories being in attendance such as pack mules with ammunition,
ambulance men with stretchers, transports, signallers, machine guns etc.
We went about 3 miles out, The scheme was that the enemy were approaching
from behind Heliopolis and we were to oppose them so we dug ourselves
in trenches. I was with the outposts, our duty was to act as a screen
to the trench diggers. On the return we were the rear guard. Received
a new great coat today.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 18TH 1914
Went about 6 miles out today and then attacked a position which was held
by one platoon who wore white distinguishing badges. We were engaged about
an hour and a half and then marched back to barracks, and it was a march
too, fully 7 miles, we got back about 2.30. They are fairly putting us
through it now, 7 hours before dinner and plodding through that soft sand,
we were jolly glad when we reached barracks and we finished for the day.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 19TH 1914
Same as Monday until dinner time. We paraded again at 4pm for night operations
and were out till 9pm had a canteen parade on the return and supper, bread
and jam and cocoa.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20TH 1914
Battalion cooked their dinner on the desert today returning to barracks
about 2.30pm in time for pay. I was on guard today at the Ordnance Stores,
there were 4 sentries and 2 reliefs. We have 2 hours on and 4 off. It
was very cold during the night.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 21ST 1914
Came off guard at 8am had breakfast and then there was a kit inspection
by Lord Rochdale, he said ours was a very tidy Mess. I went to Heliopolis
in the afternoon with A France for some photographs and also bought 2
coin brooches; returned to barracks for tea, Cairo in the evening.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 22ND 1914
Paraded for church at 8am but without breakfast owing to it being late
so were dismissed again. I was orderly today. Confined to barracks so
visited Harry and Frank in the evening, also wrote some letters retired
to bed early.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 23RD 1914
Recruits had musketry dull again preparatory to going on the range.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 24TH 1914
Went on the range at 8.30am and fired our first course. I fired very well
scoring 20 out of 25 in the group and 13 out of 20 at 200 yds. Returned
for dinner at 2.30 and finished for the day. Trained men went out on night
operations, back at 8pm supper cheese and onions.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 25TH 1914
Parade at 7.45am marched to Virgins Breast where we started to dig trenches
but had not time to finish. Returned for dinner about 1.30. Half holiday.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26TH 1914
Returned to Virgins Breast finished trenches in 2 hours, Cooked our dinner
on the desert and got back to barracks about 3 o clock.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27TH 1914
Awoke this morning to find it raining hard; cleared up at breakfast time.
We paraded at 8.30 for battalion inspection. 6th Battalion marched by
way of Abbassia to the foot of the "Red Hills" on which the
7th Salford Battalion had taken up a position. We attacked the position
under the inspection of Brigadier General Frith. The engagement lasted
till 2 o clock; during the return we were inspected in formations for
cavalry charges taking cover etc. In the afternoon there was a sand storm,
the wind was very strong.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28TH 1914
Recruits marched in markers at 8.30 proceeded to "C" range for
firming. We fired two practices of 5 rounds each. I fired very well again
obtaining 19 out of a possible 20 in each practice. In the afternoon I
visited the fashionable quarters of Cairo, including the Kursaal, Russian
Embassy (British Soldiers on Guard) etc. Had tea at the new Restaurant
Rydah. Roast mutton potatoes cooked in salad oil, bread and tea ...............
3 P.T. Bought a few presents in the evening.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 29TH 1914
Church Parade 11 o clock. Heliopolis evening.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 30TH 1914
Firing on the range again.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 1st 1914
Firing on the range again.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 2ND 1914
Brigade training now in progress. Sham fights involving 4 battalions.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 3RD 1914
Marched through Heliopolis to Virgins Breast big attacking movement, artillery,
FRIDAY DECEMBER 4TH 1914
Battalion went out 2pm until Saturday morning 7am rained during the night
and was very cold. Recruits firing again.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 5TH 1914
Captain Stafford married at 2pm at Garrison Church. Kit inspection. I
went to Cairo in the evening. 2,9000 Australians arrived, town full of
them. Got in conversation with two, they told us they had been on the
water 6 weeks from Melbourne. 34 transports 9 warships including Sydney
which sunk Emden; showed us a Seaman coin taken from the Emden (1Mark)
New Zealander's the roughest and toughest lot I have ever seen, more like
cowboys with slouch hats, not half carrying on in Cairo.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 6TH 1914
Church Parade 10am. Nothing eventful.
MONDAY DECEMBER 7TH 1914
Hardest day we have ever had, out in the desert 7 hours of a bread and
butter breakfast. Got back at 2.30pm. After dinner a rifle inspection
and then fire picket at night.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 8TH 1914
Went on the ranges with trained men who fired regulars course 15 rounds
a minute. Easy day. Sent my shoes to be mended, no others to put on, wearing
some white slippers cannot go on parade, so have to do fatigue duty, cleaning
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 9th 1914
Company parade at 9am drill order, I cleaned rooms out, finished early
nothing to do till dinner time. Half holiday.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 10TH 1914
Fatigue duty on Officers Mess.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 11TH 1914
Big day final inspection for brigade training. We marched off at 6.45am
past the car sheds to a tower about 6 miles from camp which was our base.
Commenced operations from there until 2pm. Interval for dinner (cooked
in the desert) rest till 6pm when we had night operations arriving back
in barracks at 10pm. General Maxwell very pleased with the way the movements
were carried out and was surprised at the improvement in the times since
landing in Egypt. Brigade training finished.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 12TH 1914
Kit inspection issue of service dress.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 13TH 1914
Church Parade 10.30am confined to barracks.
MONDAY DECEMBER 14TH 1914
Left Abbassia to take up temporary quarters at the Citadel, Cairo. Left
at 2pm arrived at Citadel at 3.30pm. All guard duties I was told off for
M.M.P.guard for the following day.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 15TH 1914
Parade with guards at 7.15am (M.M.P. 40 MEN) Marched to Bab-el-Hadid,
Cairo to the M.M.P. Barracks and relieved the 7th Mchrs. Went on police
duty 2.30 to 6.30pm Nassah.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16TH 1914
Breakfast eggs and bacon. Duty 8pm to 2am. 3 cases of drunk and disorderly.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 17TH 1914
Breakfast 7am (kippers) Patrol 2.30 to 6.30pm
FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH 1914
Breakfast (Liver and Mash). Duty 8pm to 3am 3 cases Australians.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH 1914
Breakfast (Jam). Duty 9.30am to 12.30pm. Obtained leave from 2pm to 8pm.
Visited Esbekieh Gardens, met a cpl 10th infantry (Australians) had cocoa
and cakes with him at Rameses Milk Shop. A very nice chap physical enthusiast,
teetotaller and non smoker. Returned to Bab-el-Hadid about 7.30pm had
supper from canteen 1PT bread and cheese and tomatoes.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 20TH 1914
Breakfast (Salmon). Duty 2.30pm to 6.30pm. March past of the troups in
the morning. Ceremony of hoisting new flag over Egypt, proclamation of
accession of new Sultan. Egyptian Lancers, fine show.
MONDAY DECEMBER 21ST 1914
Breakfast (Haddock). Duty 6pm to 9pm Nassah and Esbekieh district.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 22ND 1914
Duty 8pm to 2.30am.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 23RD 1914
Duty 2.30 to 6.30.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 24TH 1914
Duty 9.00 to 12.30 killed 16 turkeys and geese for Christmas. Visited
Citadel in afternoon C. Corp. having big dinner at 6pm. Present of a pipe
to each man (or cigarette case).
FRIDAY DECEMBER 25TH 1914
Christmas Day. Breakfast - Bread and Butter. Dinner turkey, beef and potatoes,
plum pudding. Tea no bread no butter no nothing (short of rations). On
night guard from 5pm to 7am, Many Australians brought in, very rough,
nicest Christmas I every had, I don't think.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 26TH 1914
Duty 8pm to 3am. Afternoon visited Zoo Gisah, finest Zoo I've seen. Giraffes,
Pelicans etc. Had tea in town, chicken and potatoes 4 P.T.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 27TH 1914
Duty 2.30 to 6.30pm
MONDAY DECEMBER 28TH 1914
Duty 2.30pm to 6pm. Round up of Australian absentees in the morning. Very
quiet in town. We were all turned out in the middle of the night prisoners
rioting in guardroom turned hosepipe on them.
MONDAY FEBRUARY 1ST 1915
Returned to Citadel to rejoin company and continue training.
Battalion and company training on Makattam Hills and route march etc up
to February 27th 1915.
Citadel, fortress view from top of Makattam built in 1178 by Saladim.
Napolions fort, Dead City, Locust in Esbekieh Gardens. Strict Discipline.
MONDAY MARCH 1ST 1915
Company Parade at 6.45 to 7.45, bayonet fighting.
Division Filled day 12th March.
Brigadiers Inspection Citadel 18th March.
SUNDAY MARCH 28TH 1915
Review of East Lancs Division by General Ian Hamilton very highly pleased
at efficiency etc.
MONDAY MARCH 29TH 1915 To SATURDAY APRIL 3RD inclusive.
Musketry on Makattam range April 2nd Good Friday holiday (Riots of Australians
. Church Parade. Swarms of Locusts. Summer dress taken into wear from
1st April Helmets without puttees.
MONDAY APRIL 5TH 1915
Easter Monday Holiday C.B.
Rest of the week firing on Makattam Range.
FRIDAY APRIL 9TH 1915
East Lancs Division marched to position on desert near Heliopolis bivouacked
one night. Returned to Citadel 8.30am.
MONDAY APRIL 12TH 1915
Fired Table B course, others outpost operation S of Mohattam 3 to 7
TUESDAY APRIL 13TH 1915
Route march Giziret (full pack) very hot. Returned 10.30am. Pte E. Heap
B. Corp (one of the boys from Bridge) died tonight 11.30pm.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 14TH 1915
Firing. Obtained pass from Capt. Barker to attend E. Heaps funeral. Harry
and Frank did not go very impressive, military honours.
THURSDAY APRIL 15TH 1915
FRIDAY APRIL 16TH 1915
SATURDAY MAY 1ST 1915
Entrained Saturday night Cairo station 2am for Alexandria.
SUNDAY MAY 2ND 1915
Arrived at Alexandra about 8am and embarked straight away on the S.S.
Nile a Hong Kong , Chinese crew. We set sail at 6pm. Prior to sailing
managed to get down to Alexandria for an hour or two, very nice, much
cleaner than Cairo. Officers wives including Lady Rochdale saw us off
from the docks. We slept on deck, two battalions and 1 company on board
- sea calm.
MONDAY MAY 3RD 1915
Rose about 5am roll call, breakfast, bacon, and porridge, bread and coffee.
C.O.'s parade after. Arms and ammunition inspection (we carry 200 rounds
a man, besides emergency rations).
TUESDAY MAY 4TH 1915
Passed through the Grecian Archipelago, Aegean Sea and arrived at the
entrance to the Dardanelles. Fine sight. Warships (including "Lizzie")
transports etc. Landed and after being served out with field dressings
etc, we proceeded to the trenches, bombardment in progress in Gallipoli.
WEDNESDAY MAY 5TH 1915
Left the trenches at 11am and advanced under heavy fire about 1 mile where
we dug in, lost a good number of men. Turks have many machine guns. We
are endeavouring to take a hill where the Turks have a strong defensive.
THURSDAY MAY 6TH 1915
We were relieved in the firing line and dropped back to second line of
trenches. At night we returned to the base for 48 hours rest.
FRIDAY MAY 7TH 1915
Arrived at base early this morning rested during day.
SATURDAY MAY 8TH 1915
Went with search party for dead at 4pm. Were out 12 hours under fire all
the time. Returned to base 4am.
SUNDAY MAY 9TH 1915
Got about hours sleep and were wakened by shrapnel bursting all around
had narrow escapes. Feeling very much fatigued by now. Fell in again at
10 am and moved to a new base nearer firing line. Our troops have advanced
to 450 yards off the hill.
MONDAY MAY 10TH 1915
Rested till 5pm when I was one of a fatigue party to go to West beach
to dig part of the cliffs away to form a new landing base. Returned to
camp at midnight, issue of rum.
TUESDAY MAY 11TH 1915
Moved off at 7pm to reserve trenches on the right flank, under fire all
the way. Started raining when we reached the trenches and relieved the
Naval Brigade rained all night.
WEDNESDAY MAY 12TH 1915
Began improving the trenches and dug outs, rested in the daytime, kept
a strict watch at night in case of attack.
THURSDAY MAY 13TH 1915
A false attack by our right flank last night enabled the Indians on the
left to advance. Left the trenches at dusk and returned to another line
in the rear, the 5th L.F. taking our place.
FRIDAY MAY 14TH 1915
Fatigue work during the day, making road for big guns to come up. Strict
watch at night. Plenty of grub, cook our own. Biscuits, bully beef, jam,
tea, sugar, bacon, cheese and army rations in tins (comprised of beef,
potatoes, beans, etc.) also issue of rum twice daily. Am in the pink of
condition. A few of the lads are getting hit with stray bullets when going
for water. Things very quiet in the firing line. Aeroplane scouts. Beautiful
weather. Grand country all green, contrast to Egypt, very cold at night.
SATURDAY MAY 15TH 1915
Fatigue party on road again getting plenty of rest now. On sentry at night.
SUNDAY MAY 16TH 1915
Sunday morning service of shrapnel from the Turks. 10am bathing parade
in stream in rear of trenches. Things very quiet bombardment of Turkish
trenches expected by our artillery throwitzers. Infantry not much use
yet. Turks have a very strong position on a hill. Use of star shells at
MONDAY MAY 17TH 1915
Stand to arms at 3.30am as attacks generally take place at dawn. Lovely
morning, larks singing, everything looks so peaceful.
TUESDAY MAY 18TH 1915
During the night, i was very bad pains in the stomach and diarrhoea.
WEDNESDAY MAY 19TH 1915
Went with fatigue party to beach had to fall out half way vomiting etc.
Felt much better afterwards and followed on. Returned to trenches about
THURSDAY MAY 20TH 1915
Went to Y beach to bring back some equipment. Roads are being made to
bring up big guns to bombard the hill. A paper is printed every day at
headquarters "Peninsula Press" giving latest news etc.
FRIDAY MAY 21ST 1915
Rested all day until 8pm where a party of us proceeded to the right flank
to dig a communications trench to the firing line under cover of darkness.
Snipers busy all the time returned at 3am
SATURDAY MAY 22ND 1915
Slept till dinner time, raining, my trench mate went out with fatigue
party to beach, was wounded in the leg when coming back. Bread is now
issued once daily. Today we have had an issue of cigarettes and tobacco
which put everyone in good spirits. We are advancing slowly but surely
on the Turks position. Big decision expected any day. Just heard of Italy's
intention to join in the war.
SUNDAY MAY 23RD 1915
Very quiet, no fatigues, rested all day. Whit Sunday.
MONDAY MAY 24TH 1915
Bank Holiday. Started raining about 7am. Went with fatigue party to gully;
making road for pack mules to bring stores up to firing line. Cleared
up about 10 o clock. Lieut. Wyatt dead first officer in battalion to be
kitted, shot in stomach. Finished work at 12 noon.
TUESDAY MAY 25TH 1915
Went with fatigue party at 1.15 pm to dig pits; shelters for armoured
motors finished at 6pm. On returning we were amazed to find it had been
raining terribly hard everywhere except where we had been, all dugouts
were full and trenches flooded. Streams were converted into raging torrents
to cross one we had to climb a tree which overhung and then jump off a
branch about 7ft high onto the other side. Another place we were crossing
when the enemy started shelling us. I had a narrow escape, a shell burst
directly in front of me, powder, earth and stones flying all around me
but I was not hit. We had to cross a brook to our trenches knee deep.
On arrival we found the trenches flooded out and practically everything
lost. We had to start making fresh dug outs immediately. I fell into the
trench whilst fishing for two water bottles waist high. By now I was feeling
pretty damp and miserable and had to get some sleep and the night over
the best way we could until the sun came out on
WEDNESDAY MAY 26TH 1915
and dried us somewhat. All today was spent in straightening things up
again and recovering lost equipment etc. A L. Cpl. Was hit this morning
by a sniper.
THURSDAY MAY 27TH 1915
Good breakfast this morning. Bacon, toasted cheese, hot tea and bread.
Dinner, stew, comprising of fresh beef, bully, and desiccated vegetables.
H.M.S. Majestic sunk today by submarine torpedoed. 7 ships sunk now in
Dardanelles. Things quiet on peninsular desultory fighting by artillery.
Very hot in the day time, cold and damp at nights.
FRIDAY MAY 28TH 1915 Whit Friday
Nice job this morning went out picking up spent bullets and shrapnel for
making hand bombs. At night we moved to another line of trenches on the
left of the "Nullah".
SATURDAY MAY 29TH 1915
Quiet day. Nothing doing.
SUNDAY MAY 30TH 1915
Went to "X" beach to unload bags of oats from lighters 11am
to 5pm. Plenty of shrapnel flying about on the way there. Our bomb thrower
was wounded this morning. I have taken over the job and am now exempt
MONDAY MAY 31ST 1915
Nothing eventful during day. At 8 pm I went out with party to dig trench
up to firing line for conveyance of wounded. One of our Corporals was
shot in the stomach, snipers kept a continuous fire on us all night. We
were lucky to escape with only one mishap. Returned to our trenches at
12pm had to stand to arms at 3.30am. About 9 or 10 men were bowled over
at 5 or 6 o clock today just in the gulley near the ammunition stores
TUESDAY JUNE 1st 1915
My 21st birthday, what a nice place in which to celebrate it? Just heard
that Australians have cut off the Turkish supplies, news very scarce.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 2ND 1915
Went out 10am digging communication trenches 6th are now attached to R.E.'s.
THURSDAY JUNE 3RD 1915
Left our trenches at 5pm and proceeded up gully to 3rd line trenches a
stone wounded shoulder.
FRIDAY JUNE 4TH 1915
Great bombardment of hill by artillery, infantry advanced and captured
5 lines of Turkish trenches, 6th Mans. Cost heavily. We followed in rear
with barbed wire entanglements and had a hard time, several were wounded.
It was impossible to describe operations but I fould myself in the front
firing line in the afternoon. The Turks retreated all along the line and
we got to within about 2 or 3 thousand yards from the village of Kuthian.
We took many prisoners including German Officers. At dark we reformed
our company in a rear trench and spent the night there. Very cold, no
overcoats. At day break
SATURDAY JUNE 5TH 1915
A party of us on the right flank nearest the "Nullah" spied
a number of Turks in a trench about 200 yards away, having no doubt crept
up in the night. We opened fire and soon settled them off but not before
one sergeant Bobby Cook was shot in the head killing him instantly. Later
on in the morning L.Cpl. Sharp was killed whilst bringing water. We have
had no rations up to now but they are on the way up.
SUNDAY JUNE 6TH 1915
Another man shot dead next to me this morning. Turks are throwing bombs.
Got some bread and jam and made some tea in mess tin. We are told we may
be relieved tonight. Fresh troops came up but relieved the Man's. Stood
to all night plenty of firing and star shells.
MONDAY JUNE 7TH 1915
Moved out of trenches in the course of which I was wounded by a sniper.
Luckily i was attended to immediately and conveyed to the base. The bullet
had gone through the thigh and right testicle very painful. Morphia.
TUESDAY JUNE 8TH 1915
Taken by lighters to trawler in bay, then conveyed to Lemnos and transferred
to S.S. Grantully Castle. Wounds dressed and put to bed on No.5 troop
deck. Doctors, orderlies, everybody very kind and willing to help.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 9th 1915
More wounded brought aboard, some bad cases, good food. Officers from
other ships nearby came aboard and chatted with us.
THURSDAY JUNE 10TH 1915
Still in harbour, getting fed up. Am going on well but weary having to
lie on back and not ster. Artillery man near me was on Manitou when torpedoed
FRIDAY TO MONDAY JUNE 14TH 1915
Still at Lemnos. Stewards orderlies etc all very kind and willing.
TUESDAY JUNE 15TH 1915
More wounded taken aboard.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 16TH 1915
Set sail at dawn. Good dinner today. Rabbit stew and rice pudding. Feeling
much better wounds doing fine. Arrived Alexandria.
FRIDAY JUNE 18TH 1915
I was taken in Motor Ambulance to 21st General Hospital Ras el Tin 7 Ward.
Was washed and wounds dressed.
SATURDAY JUNE 19TH 1915
Doctor fixed my leg in an extension arrangement very painful at first.
SUNDAY JUNE 20TH 1915
Pull of weight on foot very painful.
MONDAY JUNE 21ST 1915
Rather easier. Mrs Walrond distributes cigarettes books etc. Very good.
TUESDAY JUNE 22ND 1915
Visited by Mrs Prendergast wife of General, had nice chat with me.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 23RD 1915
Easier, eating better.
THURSDAY JUNE 24TH AND FRIDAY JUNE 25TH 1915
Nothing eventful, received letter from P dated April 26th.
SATURDAY JUNE 25TH 1915
Visit to hospital of General Sir J. Maxwell spoke a few words to each
SUNDAY JUNE 26TH TO FRIDAY JULY 2nd 1915
Nothing eventful. Friday a number of serious cases were despatched to
England on the hospital ship "Delta", leg still in splint.
SATURDAY JULY 17TH 1915
Leg now transfixed with silver pin this knee and stirrup with cord and
weights (25lbs) very painful at first easier now, placed under gas when
fixed. (Leg 2" short).
From July 17th to July 29th weight gradually reduced from 25lbs to 10lbs,
leg now quite straight and correct length.
July 30TH leg taken out of splint and pin drawn out (gas used again).
JULY 31ST TO AUGUST 3RD 1915
Leg massaged every morning and joints worked three times a day.
AUGUST 4TH 1915
Left 21st General Hospital and embarked for England on the hospital ship
"Letitia". Set sail at 5pm.
AUGUST 5TH AND AUGUST 6TH 1915
Rather rough sea washed over deck during night ship rolls terribly very
light. I was not sick but dizzy. Iron cots fastened together lengthways
work on swivels like hammocks. Food fair.
AUGUST 7TH 1915
Arrived at Malta at 10am. Wireless message came that the ship had to disembark
patients and return to Dardanelles at once. Got ready but did not go off.
AUGUST 8TH 1915
Another hospital ship in harbour. Fresh orders we are to continue home
on Letitia, other ship to go to Dardanelles. Very hot and stuffy down
below when ship is stopped. Left Malta in the afternoon after taking on
more wounded, sea very calm now.
AUGUST 9TH 1915
Progressing at a good speed, ocean like a mill pond, gramophone concert
in the ward.
AUGUST 11TH 1915
Arrived Gibraltar 6pm. Stayed about an hour took on board a lunatic formerly
chief gunner of "Lizzie" completely looney. After leaving Gib
sea was very rough, ship tossed and heaved somewhat. Entered the Bay about
AUGUST 13TH 1915
Passed Cape Finnestone lighthouse, sea pretty rough but not bad for Bay.
SATURDAY AUGUST 14TH 1915
Sailing merrily over a heavy swell, due at Plymouth early tomorrow morning
sighted a number of whales.
SUNDAY AUGUST 15TH 1915
Arrived off Plymouth early this morning and then proceeded along coast
towards Southampton. Reached there about 7pm and were immediately transferred
to hospital train. By luck I got in one bound for Manchester. Departed
at 10pm. Stopped a few minutes at Basingstoke 10.40pm. In rain reached
Manchester at 4am where we were at once taken by motors to 2nd Western
General Hospital, Whitworth Street. I was placed in ward B3. After a wash
and change we had breakfast. Very good, hospital plenty of food and good.
After a week here, was removed to V.A.D. Hospital at Knutsford; small
hospital only 9 patients in when I arrived. Was two months at Knutsford
had a good time plenty of good food and leg got better. Afterwards had
ten days furlough at home, then a weeks recruiting in town, after which
I was drafted to 3rd 6th L.F. at Southport. Stayed there about two months
then regiment moved just before Christmas '15 to Codford in Wiltshire,
great camp there, about 14 miles from Salisbury. Went into training again
after several weeks was put on draft for Egypt again. In meantime, however
papers came through and I was transferred home to Rochdale to work on
munitions. Employed at D. Bridges, Castleton. After 12 months was discharged
from army March 1917.