Title - Percy Allsup's Diary, 5th July 1916 to 30th September 1916

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July 5th

Loaded cars at Buss [Bus] and G. S. Wagons with valises & Stores all day, finished at 6.0PM, marched back to Louvincourt [Louvencourt].

July 6th

Packing up ready to march off 10.30AM, landed Gezaincourt 4.0PM, raining all night.

July 7th

Weather bad, picked out as N.C.O. as we had lost almost all in the Advance, stayed in same village.

July 8th

Packing up again, marched off at 10.30AM, weather very hot, marched 11 mls F.M.O. to Frevent where we entrained at 6.30PM, reached Steenbecque 9.30PM, rested there a hour, marched to country side where we bivouacked for the night in a field.

July 9th

Started off at 5.30AM, weather very hot. Marched 10 mls to Calonne-Sur-la-Lys where we was billeted in barns, got here 1.0PM very tired. Did all my washing because the sun was so hot. Slept first class that night.

July 10th

Parade 9.0AM. Inspection Parade 2.0PM. D.G. gives a speech about the attack on Serre Village. Coy Drill after, finished at 4.30PM, put in charge of No 10 Section.

July 11th

Parade at 6.20AM. Communication Drill finished 8.30AM. Parade 9.0AM. Bathing Parade. 11.0AM Parade taking Rifles to Armoury Sergt. Parade 2.0PM. Pay & giving Gas bags in, finished 3.0PM, weather medium.

July 12th

Parade 9.0AM Coy. Drill. Parade 2.0PM. Detailing Practice. Walk to Merville at night.

July 13th

Parade 6.20AM Detg. Drill. Parade 9.0AM. Coy. Drill. Parade 2.0PM. Same as usual. Weather Medium.

July 14th

Parade 6.20PM [6.20AM] Detg. Drill. Parade 9.0AM Coy. Drill. Ditto in afternoon.

July 15th

Packing up, moving to the line, started off 12.0 (noon), reached Veille Chappelle [Vieille-Chapelle] 5.30PM, 4th line supports, got disturbed with Germans sending a few shells at night.

July 16th

Weather bad, our guns 31st Div. started their old game giving them plenty all day.

July 17th

Weather medium. Parade 9.30AM, rifle inspection, got 10 new Officers for the Batt., not allowed out of billeting area. Our guns firing all day, small retalliation after tea, one shell hitting Q Masters Stores, no damage done.

July 18th

Wakened up at 3.30AM, building just behind us on fire. Parade 9.30AM, rifle inspection after, a lecture by one of our new officers on discipline, N.C.O. only.

July 19th

Rifle inspection 9.30AM, Coy Drill, same in afternoon.

July 20th

Parade 9.0AM, inspection of billets, 11.0AM N.C.O.s on map reading, same again at 4.0PM.

July 21st

Rifle Inspection. Coy. Drill. Parade 2.0PM. Physical Drill. Pay also in afternoon.

July 22nd

Wakened up at 1.0AM. Orders to move into bombardment position, stayed there till 7.30AM in charge of Coy & Aircraft Guard at 9.0AM, nothing doing, very dull all day.

July 23rd

Got Relieved off Guard at 9.0AM, rest all day, shells coming very close to billets, after tea had to move out until they finished straffing us.

July 24th

Weather bad, started out of billets 1.30PM taking over trenches. Relieved Hants. Regt. 3.0PM. Plenty of grenades & shells coming over at night. Myself, two more N.C.O.s & 5 men put on listening post, distance across No Man's Land 75 yds, myself & another man waited for the first hour about half way across, very quiet only for snipers.

July 25th

Had an hours before breakfast, shells dropping on left of us, got two parcels & letter from home, enjoyed a good dinner, weather calm, plenty minnie werfers coming over all day. On Listening Post again at night, very quiet only for snipers.

July 26th

Stand Down at 3.30AM, very quiet while breakfast & then they started shelling our first line and buildings in the third line, what we call the Kaiser's travelling menagerie. Plenty rifle grenades coming over all day, went on listening again at 11.0PM while 12.0PM, very quiet.

July 27th

Stand To 2.30AM on account of mist hanging very heavy. Expecting them coming across. Stand down 5.30AM, very quiet all morning, just a nice taste of the menagerie again after dinner. Got relieved [by] W Yorks at 3.30PM, marched to our billets in Locon, very severe bombardment going on our front at 9.30PM.

July 28th

My Birthday. Parade 9.30AM, rifle inspection. Coy Drill. Medical Inspection. Same in afternoon.

July 29th

Weather very hot, parade 9.30AM. Drill Order. Rifle Exercise. Same in afternoon, very heavy bombardment going on in the night.

July 30th

Weather same. Parade 11.0AM. Church Parade. Parade again 2.30PM. Rifle Exercise, concert in canteen at 7.30PM.

July 31st

Weather Grand. Parade 6.50AM. Route March Full Pack, very hot, marched 6 mls, got back 10.0AM. Lecture by C.O. for N.C.O.s only at 1.30PM, rest in afternoon, German aeroplane over.

Aug 1st

Parade 9.30AM, rifle inspection. Parade again 2.30PM. Weather Grand.

Aug 2nd

Parade 6.0AM. Bathing in canal. Parade 9.30AM. Guard Drill. No Parade in afternoon. Parade 7.30PM. Full Marching Order, Route March 8 mls.

Aug 3rd

In charge of guard (aeroplane). Weather fine, nothing doing all day.

Aug 4th

Packing up, taking over trenches from W Yorks 2.30PM, very quiet all day. Put on 29 Post, expecting it being merry with the anniversary of Great Britain declaring War. Weather Medium.

Aug 5th

Stand down 4.0AM, tidying up, got a hours sleep all morning. Plenty minnie werfers, cannisters & rifle grenades coming over, our artillery put a few shells into them, so all was quiet. Weather Medium, all Bdge takes Batt front up. Went in No 29 Post. Rifle & M.G. fire all night.

Aug 6th

On Periscope all day. Minnie Werfers & Cannisters coming over all day. Got moved out to No 12 Listening Post. Not much doing out in "No Man's Land", very exciting at night, aeroplane came and bomb on German second line, reconnoitering all night.

Aug 7th

Stand down 4.0AM, very quiet all morning, weather fair, plenty trench mortar ammunition coming & going over. Making Concertina Wire in afternoon, got an Aerial Torpedo sent at us, we all just escaped, myself dived into a dugout. Very quiet on night, only snipers & M.G. fire.

Aug 8th

Stand down 4.0AM, calm all morning, the enemy playing heavy on us at dinnertime, got an aerial torpedo on us while getting our tea served out, injured four, myself lucky again. Stand to 9.30PM, went on Listening Post all night.
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Aug 9th

Stand down 4.0AM, straightening up ready for going out at noon. Went out 12.30AM [12.30PM], 3 men & myself on bombing course, got to bombing school 3.0PM, very good sleep that night.

Aug 10th

Parade 9.15AM. Weather being bad had a lecture in billet on Hales Short Rifle Grenade & Mills No 5. Parade 2.0PM. Throwing & bayonet Drill & Lectures, finished for the day 4.30PM.

Aug 11th

Parade 9.15AM, bayonet Drill, Lectures & Throwing. Parade 2.0PM. Weather Grand. Trench bombing, Lectures & Throwing.

Aug 12th

Parade 9.15AM. Lectures, Trench bombing & Throwing. Parade 2.0PM. Lecture, Bomb Throwing & Lecture.

Aug 13th

Parade 9.0AM. Throwing live bombs. Lecture. Same in afternoon.

Aug 14th

Marched to trenches, got with own Coy. 4.0PM, day very quiet. Stand to 9.0PM. Weather fair.

Aug 15th

Three straffs [fight?] strong, filling sand bags in afternoon, raining at intervals, got two parcels in trenches.

Aug 16th

Stand down 4.30AM, few missiles all day, weather bad.

Aug 17th

Stand down 4.30AM, in third line while 7.30PM, going on patrol 9.0PM, could not get far, the Bosche had seen us. Retired 1.30AM.

Aug 18th

Went in second line, tidying up all morning, got relieved with 61st Division at 12.30AM [12.30PM], marched back to old billets at Locon. Weather bad.

Aug 19th

No Parade, inspection in afternoon, in charge of aeroplane guard.

Aug 20th

Relieved off Guard at 9.30AM. Rest through day, also Pay day (Sunday).

Aug 21st

Parade 9.0AM. Route March. F.P. 11.0AM Coy Drill. Parade 2.0PM. Coy Drill, finished 4.30PM.

Aug 22nd

Parade 9.0AM. Coy Drill & Wiring Practise, finished 4.30PM. Parade 6.30PM, carrying 60 lbs shells in trenches, marched 12 mls there & back.

Aug 23rd

Got back off carrying party 4.30AM, rest all morning. Parade 2.0PM, Coy Drill & Gas bag. Helmet inspection, finished 4.30PM.

Aug 24th

Rest all morning, rifle inspection in afternoon, finished 4.30PM.

Aug 25th

Parade 7.0AM. Digging Model Trenches while 4.0PM. 6.30 packed up, ridden to Merville, 25 men & myself on coal fatigue.

Aug 26th

Acting Orderly Sergt. Reported all present at night.

Aug 27th


Aug 28th


Aug 29th


Aug 30th


Aug 31st

Marched off 10.30AM to Cleux-la-Bay [Croix Barbée], got back 3.30PM, 9 mls.

Sept 1st

Parade 9.0AM, equipment & rifle inspection. Parade 2.0PM. Gas Helmet Practise. Parade for baths 3.0PM.

Sept 2nd

3 N.C.O.s & myself went inspecting posts we took over 2.0PM, mine being Ruex-Du-Pruits [Rue du Puits], 3 men & myself, very quiet all day, posted sentries as usual at night.

Sept 3rd

Stand down 4.0AM, cleaned rifles before breakfast, tidying all trenches up after. Weather fair, sentries posted as usual.

Sept 4th

Stand down 5.0AM. Weather bad. Made M.G. position. Stand to 8.0PM till 9.0PM, posted sentries as usual. Night very quiet.

Sept 5th

Stand down 5.0AM. Weather bad. Started making dugout for bomb stores. Stand to 8.0PM. Posted sentries as usual, night very quiet.

Sept 6th

Stand down 5.0AM. Weather fair. Making same dugout. Went to doctors for the first time, with my leg breaking out under knee. Stand to 8.0PM, posted sentries as usual.

Sept 7th

Stand down 5.0AM, still building dugout & covering M.G. position. Stand to 8.0PM, posted sentries as usual.

Sept 8th

Stand down 5.0AM, making roof on same bomb stores. Stand to 8.0PM, posted sentries as usual, night very quiet.

Sept 9th

Stand down 5.0AM, making floor in dugout & covering roof with sods. Stand to 8.0, posted sentries as usual, night very quiet until 1.30AM. Ours started straffing while 3.30AM.

Sept 10th

Stand down 5.0AM. Church Service in the post 10.0AM. Digging in bays. Stand to 8.0PM. Posted sentries as usual, night very quiet.

Sept 11th

Stand down 5.0AM, tidying all post up, and checking stores, ready for handing up to 18th W Yorks, relieved 3.0PM, marched to Veille Chappelle [Vieille-Chapelle]. Parade 5.30, digging in trenches, got back 3.0AM. [last sentence may relate to Sept 14th]

Sept 12th

Orderly Cpl.

Sept 13th

Orderly Cpl.

Sept 14th

Orderly Cpl.

Sept 15th

Orderly Cpl. Marched to trenches, taken over 10.0PM, Festubert sector, night very quiet.

Sept 16th

Stand down 6.15AM, weather bad, working in morning. Stand to 7.30PM, night again very quiet.

Sept 17th

Stand down 6.15AM, our post No 9, 6 men & myself, weather raining often, digging sump holes in morning. Stand to 7.30PM, night very quiet only for snipers.

Sept 18th

Stand down 6.15AM, weather awful, cleaning rifles before breakfast, digging sump holes & building parados in morning. Stand to 7.30PM, night calm, gave snipers abundant ammunition.

Sept 19th

Stand down 6.15AM. Anniversary of my enlisting, two years service. Digging in morning. Stand to 7.30PM, night very quiet, weather fair, aeroplane over our trenches but was forced back by our shell fire.

Sept 20th

Stand down 6.15AM. Drew a sketch of objects in front of post while it was light. Night before the Bosche had a search light in his trenches. Weather bad. On periscope Duty all day. Stand to 7.30PM. Night reported very quiet.

Sept 21st

Stand down 6.15AM. Cleaning rifles, after breakfast filling sandbags in No 9 Post, weather fair. Stand to 7.30PM, gave snipers plenty ammunition.

Sept 22nd

Stand down 6.15AM. Digging sump holes, rest in afternoon. Stand to 7.30PM, night again very quiet only for sniper, who I handed plenty of bullets to.

Sept 23rd

Stand down 6.15AM. Weather fair, periscope duty through day. In charge of Listening Post at night, not much doing.

Sept 24th

Stand down 6.15AM. Cleaning rifles & building parados. Stand to 7.30PM, on Listening Post again, got relieved 10.0PM by 13th Y&L, went in third line supports.

Sept 25th

Stand down 6.15AM. Cleaning clothes. On guard all night, heavy fighting on right.

Sept 26th

Stand down 6.15AM. Cleaning bays & rifles, on fatigue all morning. Still heavy bombardment on right of us (Combles [sic.]). Stand to 7.30PM, on patrol all night.

Sept 27th

Stand down 6.15AM. Oiling rifles, weather fair. Stand to 7.30PM. Bombardment 9.0PM, dummy raid.

Sept 28th

Stand down 7.0AM, weather bad. Relieved in afternoon, went in billets in supports. On Orderly Cpl.

Sept 29th

Orderly Cpl.

Sept 30th

Orderly Cpl.

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Permission to publish the transcript of Percy Allsup's diary is by kind courtesy of Percy B. Allsup. Transcript © Andrew C. Jackson 2000.

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