Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 1916
Tuesday 1st February 1916: Went to ARNEKE at 7.30 for rations. At H.Q. in aft.
Wednesday 2nd February 1916: Went to ARNEKE at 7.20 for rations. Nothing doing otherwise.
Thursday 3rd February 1916: Went to ARNEKE for rations. Fine day. At “Maxi’s” an aft.
Esquelbecq – Amiens – Crouy.
Friday 4th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 am & had breakfast. Spent our last moments with “Maxi”. Busy packing up ready to move. Left farm at 7 pm & went to Esquelbecq Station. Went to see Maxi for last time at 9.50 pm. Left station at 10.10 pm. Destination unknown. Slept with Cpl Clarkson.
Saturday 5th February 1916: Travelled via Cassel, Calais, Boulogne & Abbeville to Amiens, where we arrived at 10 am. Detrained & left by road. Watered & fed 3 times on road. Went via Picquigny to a village 17 k from Amiens, named Crouy. Amiens nice place indeed.
Sunday 6th February 1916: Rose at 6 am to go for rations. Paraded at 9 am at the top of the village & went via Soues to dump 3 miles away. Returned at 12 noon. Afternoon resting. At night, searched the village for coffee, but in vain.
Monday 7th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 am & went for rations at 9 am via Soues. Returned at 12 noon. Afternoon playing gramophone. At night, went to Hangest-sur-Somme.
Tuesday 8th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 am had breakfast & went for rations via Soues. Returned at 12 noon. French aeroplane comes down at 9.30 am. Had a good long chat with aviator. Guard at night.
Wednesday 9th February 1916: Snow falls from 3 – 11 am. Went for rations 9 am – 12 noon. Aviator leaves Crouy at 1 pm & makes a ripping ascent. Quite a decent chap. Made great pals with him. Chips at night.
Thursday 10th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 am, had breakfast & went for rations via Picquigny. Returned at 1 pm. Afternoon, playing gramophone. Night having chips at a house.
Friday 11th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 am, had breakfast. Went for rations via Soues & returned by Picquigny at 1 pm. Went to Hangest at night for pork chops & chips.
Saturday 12th February 1916: Rose 7.30 pm & went for rations near Picquigny. Very wet day. Spent aft listening to gramophone.
Sunday 13th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 pm & went for rations. Wet. Aft writing & reading. Out at Hangest at night.
Crouy – Villers Bocage.
Monday 14th February 1916: Reveille 4.30 am. Left Crouy at 7.30 am & went via Hangest-sur-Somme, Bourdon, Flesselles to Villers- Bocage where we arrived 4 pm. Drew rations 4.30. Very wet indeed. Saw Arnold & 11th Batt. Had a good feed with him & mounted Guard.
Tuesday 15th February 1916: Reveille 6.30 am. Busy packing wagons up & left for Villers Bocage at 1.30 pm. Very wet indeed, simply wretched weather. Arrived Bavelincourt at 4.30 pm. Drew rations straightaway. Rotten billets. Went to bed early to get warm. Rats galore. Received 176 frs from A.S.C.
Wednesday 16th February 1916: Rose at 6 am & went at 7.30 to Warloy-Baillon for rations. Very wet. Returned at 1 pm & spent aft drying myself.
Thursday 17th February 1916: Rose at 6 am & left at 7.30. Went to Warloy-Baillon. 7 kilos away. Saw Arnold & 11th Battery, who are billeted there. Very wet.
Friday 18th February 1916: Rose at 6 am & left camp for rations at 7.30 am. went to Warloy-Baillon & returned at 12.30 pm. Wagon again goes for coal but in vain. Very wet indeed. Weather simply wretched.
Saturday 19th February 1916: Rose at 6. Breakfast 7.15. Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 7.30. Visited E.F.C. Saw Arnold & had a chat with him. Returned at 1 pm. Changed billets to a lovely farm at lower end of village. On Guard. 5 or 6 aeroplanes fly over us at 12 pm & ac shelled.
Sunday 20th February 1916: It has been a beautiful moonlight night. Gave Reveille at 6 am. Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations & saw Arnold again. Visited E.F.C. Returned at 1 pm. In aft we “Arcadians” were busy fitting up new place with beds etc. Out in village at night. Received 100 frs from A.S.C.
Monday 21st February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 8 am. Saw Arnold. Returned 1 pm. Went to H.Q. in aft.
Bavelincourt – Amiens.
Tuesday 22nd February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 8. Saw Arnold. Returned at 1 pm. Listening to gramophone at night.
Wednesday 23rd February 1916: Set off with Dick Clarkson at 8.30 am on bicycles for AMIENS. Excellent ride there, reaching place at 10 am. Spent day shopping for Capt Walker & finding shop to exchange oats for linseed. Went over Cathedral, Palais de Justice, etc, etc. ripping day. Snow commenced at 3 pm. Terrible journey back – 5 – 8.30 pm.
Bavelincourt – Amiens.
Thursday 24th February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 10.30 pm. Motor lorry traffic suspended owing to the heavy fall of snow. Terribly treacherous roads for the horses. Back at 3 pm. Snow 6” deep. Some fine fun snow balling.
Friday 25th February 1916: Went to AMIENS again with H.Q. wagon & Harry Eagle to get linseed. Roads very treacherous. Reached there at 12 noon. Fine fun with the snow in Amiens. French kiddies delighted with it. English soldiers greatly liked. Again visited Cathedral etc. Set off back at 5 pm. At 10 pm, only gone 7 miles. Horses done. Walked back 8 miles to camp & sent relief team. Back 3.30 am.
Saturday 26th February 1916: Got up at 7 am. Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations and returned at 1 pm. On Guard! Very tired.
Sunday 27th February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 10.30 am. Dump starts 12 noon. Returned at 3.30 pm. Snow all cleared away.
Monday 28th February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 10.30 am. Visited E.F.C. & saw Arnold. Back at 3.30.
Tuesday 29th February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon at 10.30 am for rations. Returned at 3.30. Gramophone in barn at night.