Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Feb 1915
Monday 1st February 1915: Watched R.F.A. firing howitzers on S. Plain.) MUD Glorious Day) MUD
Dozens of aeroplanes seen) MUD
Tuesday 2nd February 1915: Watched R.F.A. firing on S. Plain. Wet day. Mud terrible. Walked 10 miles in 6” deep mud. Tired out. Wednesday 3rd February 1915: Reveille 6.0. Parade 6-20. Helped 3rd W.R.R.F.A. stables& filled ammn wagons with 15 lb shells. Mud awful. Breakfast 8. Signalling all morning on West Downs. Saw Canadians after practice for review by King George. Ripping & inspiring sight.
Thursday 4th February 1915: Reveille 7.30. Went signalling near Canadian Camp. Saw King Geo review all 30,000 Canadians. Most inspiring sight I ever saw. 2 Bi-planes continually flew over troops. Glorious. Aft holiday. Walked to Shrewton. Pretty village.
Friday 5th February 1915: Reveille 7-30. Signalling on Plain all morning. Aft holiday. Stayed in billets reading the “Times”. Went to Lipton’s Canteen & had an interesting chat with 2 Canadians. One of them knew grandfather at the Buttes, Calgary.
Saturday 6th February 1915: Reveille 7.30. Signalling all morning on Plain. Raining hard. Mud indescribable. Wet through. After fine. Walked to Stonehenge. Ripping. Quaint old place. Saw Jack Moore & Tony Moss of advance party of 11th Batt. 4 W.R.R.F.A.
Canadians, with whom we mixed, are the best “sports” I ever came across. Had several interesting chats with them. Canada has indeed done her share in this terrible war. Far better equipped than British Army.
Salisbury – Sheffield.
Sunday 7th February 1915: Walked to Stonehenge with Jack Moore & Tony Moss Alan Senior Tommy Butler, Harry Eagle & Eric Stowel. Paraded with Kits at 2.45 ready to depart for Sheffield. Messed about until 4 pm. Raining fast. Left billets at 4 & tramped to Amesbury in awful weather. Mud wretched. Absolutely wet through.
Monday 8th February 1915: Waited from 6 till 2.40 am on Amesbury Station!!! Most awful night I ever spent. Dripping. Set off 4-40 am. Arrived London 9 am. Peterbro’ 12-30. Had coffee & scones. Would you believe it! Arrived Sheff 4-40 pm. Never spent such a night before.
Tuesday 9th February 1915: Signalling on the “Tip” in morning & on Bramall Lane Football Ground in the afternoon.
Wednesday 10th February 1915: Signalling Bramall Lane in aft. Battery Parade at Heely Baths in morning.
Thursday 11th February 1915: Signalling all day on Bramall Lane Football Ground. Y.M.C.A. at night. Had a bath.
Friday 12th February 1915: Signalling all day on Bramall Lane Football Ground. Went to see “Forty Thieves” at the “Hip”.
Saturday 13th February 1915: Signalling at Bramall Lane in morning. Cleaning Glosop Road Stables 2-3 pm. Went to Sheff Utd. (1) V Burnley (0). Fire Picket at night.
Applied for leave but was unsuccessful.
Sunday 14th February 1915: Reveille 6.45. Glossop Road Stables 7 – 8-30. Church Parade at St. Barnabas 10 am. Glossop Rd. Stables 12.30. Walked round by Bell Inn in afternoon with Geof Stead. Y.M.C.A. for tea & writing letters at night.
Monday 15th February 1915: Signalling in morning on Bramall Land Football Ground & in afternoon in Norfolk Park. Fine day.
Tuesday 16th February 1915: Shrove Tuesday. Signalling all day in Bramall Lane. No pancakes!!!
Wednesday 17th February 1915: Signalling in Bramall Lane in morning. Half day holiday in aft so went to Cinema House with T.A. Dean.
Thursday 18th February 1915: Signalling all day on Bramall Lane.
Friday 19th February 1915: Signalling all day on Bramall Lane.
Saturday 20th February 1915: Signalling in morn at Bramall Lane. Informed by Lieut Walker that I was to be made Bombardier. Went to see Cup Tie 3rd Rd. Sheff Utd. (1) V Bradford (2). Waiting Man to Pickets.
Put in for leave, but again unsuccessful. Promised leave for next week by Lieut P.A. Walker.
Sheffield Ben Rhydding
Sunday 21st February 1915: Promoted to Acting Bombardier along with Geo. Shead. Church Parade 10.30 at St. Barnabas Ch. Stables 7 am, 12.30 & 4 pm. Y.M.C.A. at night. Supper with Martin.
Monday 22nd February 1915: Signalling on Bramall Lane. In charge of party of Signallers (20). Interview with Lieut Walker about my future duties etc. Got my stripes.
Tuesday 23rd February 1915: Stables, Glossop Rd in morning & exercising horses. In charge of Gate Picket in aft relieving Bomb Becket, (in Riding School).
Wednesday 24th February 1915: Baths & Stables in morning. Relieved Geo Stead Gate Picket in aft so that he could play soccer in 4th Section (6) v 2nd Section (0).
Thursday 25th February 1915: Exercising horses in Norfolk Park. Inoculated at 11 am. 2nd dose. Helped Doctor to do rest. Went with Bds Shead & Bulcock to Cinema Café & Y.M.C.A. Bed 5- 30.
Friday 26th February 1915: Got up 11 am. Got paid at 2.30 & went home to Ben R. on 3-52 train. Arrived Ben R. 5-33 pm. Went to club. Spent a nice evening over fire.
Saturday 27th February 1915: Got up at 8-30. Went to Ilkley on bike with Marion Watkinson. Played golf on Hydro links with Dad & Willie. Raining hard. Wet through. L. Arm a bit stiff. Went to see Mr & Mrs Beaumont & Miss Whitaker. Went to bed at midnight.
Sunday 28th February 1915: Rose at 9am. Went walk up Drive & Burnley Woodhead, & back by Railway Line. Afternoon at Miss Whitaker’s. Saw Dick Cowan. Left 8.24 pm & arrived Sheffield 11-30.