WWI

(Thursday 10th August 1916) France At Last

The entire 4th Division of the CEF left Southampton for France on the evening of August 10th. The decks and every corridor of the Princess Clementine were crowded with sleeping soldiers. They arrived at LeHavre, France, the following morning enthused with the belief that the war was “confined”—at least James thought so (Diary 25th July). [...]

(Thursday 10th August 1916) France At Last 2017-02-23T18:07:07+00:00

(July 1916) Still Waiting For Deployment

With the horrific aftermath of the first day of battle at the Somme, we often forget that the attrition continued for a number of months. Other divisions of the Canadian war effort were engaged early in the Somme Offensive while the 4th Division was still a Bramshott in preparation. Each day was filled with company drills, [...]

(July 1916) Still Waiting For Deployment 2017-02-23T18:07:10+00:00

Saturday 1st July 1916 (A Contrast: Canada Day Celebrations and the Somme Attrition)

King George V inspects the troops at Hankley Common On 1st July 1916 British infantry engaged in one of the most bloody battles in history; the Somme Offensive.  The plan was simple; for seven days prior, the British Expeditionary Forces would rain down heavy shells on the German front lines. During that period, almost [...]

Saturday 1st July 1916 (A Contrast: Canada Day Celebrations and the Somme Attrition) 2017-02-23T18:07:12+00:00

Sunday 18th June 1916 (Four Day Pass to Visit Family)

During the time at Bramshott James' diary records more of his relationship with Lucy. His thoughts find expression in Pitmans Shorthand, by which he can secure a little privacy. When he gets to the front however, he continues to use Shorthand for more entries; this, presumably, is because he was pressed for time. The 11th spent [...]

Sunday 18th June 1916 (Four Day Pass to Visit Family) 2017-02-23T18:07:13+00:00

Monday 12th June 1916 (The March to Camp Bramshott)

Camp Bramshott was a temporary camp set up on Bramshott Common in the south of England. Camp Bramshott was the base for  Canadian troops during the First and Second World Wars. The 11th Field Ambulance left Twezeldown on Monday 12th June 1916 for the fourteen mile march to Bramshott (The Diary of the Eleventh gives the date [...]

Monday 12th June 1916 (The March to Camp Bramshott) 2017-02-23T18:07:13+00:00

Saturday 10th June 1916 (A Little Romance …)

James met Lucy Kelk on a preaching trip to the Cornwell coast back in May 1910. Lucy was on holiday with her three friends in the village of Looe. James  and Lucy immediately struck up a relationship. In 1912 they had entered into a mutual engagement for marriage, but just prior to his departure for Canada (December [...]

Saturday 10th June 1916 (A Little Romance …) 2017-02-23T18:07:14+00:00

Wednesday 31st May 1916 (Military Camp-Life at Twezeldown)

Before moving on to Bramshott the unit was billeted at Twezeldown for about two weeks. In the few days spent at Twezeldown they enjoyed the relative comfort of huts; this would not be normal "camp-life." At Bramshott they would be living in tents. The Dairy of the Eleventh records this time; The camp at Twezeldown [...]

Wednesday 31st May 1916 (Military Camp-Life at Twezeldown) 2017-02-23T18:07:14+00:00

Tuesday 30th May 1916 (English Soil at Last)

After arriving in Liverpool the unit disembarked in the early morning of the 30th and made its way to Twezeldown Camp in the south of England. Twezeldown was a temporary stop for two weeks before moving on to Bramshott Camp. James wrote of the train trip south; This morning we rose at 4.40 and our first sitting [...]

Tuesday 30th May 1916 (English Soil at Last) 2017-02-23T18:07:15+00:00

Monday 29th May 1916 (Northern Ireland, Isle of Man … and Liverpool)

On the 29th May James wrote in his diary; Today we passed along the coast of Ireland, the Isle of Man and other Islands. It was certainly beautiful. The Canadians thought the scenery was grand. As we sailed up the Mersey to Liverpool there was much cheering (and) blowing of sirens and flying flags. It [...]

Monday 29th May 1916 (Northern Ireland, Isle of Man … and Liverpool) 2017-02-23T18:07:15+00:00

Saturday 27th May 1916 (“The Danger Zone”)

After almost one week at sea the convoy was now off the coast of Ireland. This area of the North Atlantic was known as the "Danger Zone" and measures were taken to lessen the threat of U-boat attacks, which were a real danger. Don't forget that this was just a few days before the Battle [...]

Saturday 27th May 1916 (“The Danger Zone”) 2017-02-23T18:07:15+00:00
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