Wounded in the hand. Doctor cannot get the piece of stuff out. Agonising.
The Regiment leaves Flêtre at 9 am for La Clytte. Very heavy cannonading during the night and morning between Ypres and Armentieres. Lieutenant Harry Bristowe goes down to the base – sick. Leave billet alone to Mont des Cats. At an inn there the proprietor says she smelled gas which the Germans had been using. It had come into her house. Same incident at Berthen and Westouter thro’ which villages I passed. I arrive at La Clytte; what a hole!!
Mud up to thighs; awful stuff.
The Regiment encamps under canvas tents. A hellish bombardment goes on all around our front. We are next to a battery of 8 inch naval guns. A grand fight at night.
[Out] between Berthen and Westouter. I saw 3 separate fights between aeroplanes, Germans and ours. Our fellows downed them every time.
Artillery pounded away at night and morning.
Germans used gas which I had a taste of but it suddenly turned with the wind and fixed them instead of us. The Cheshire Regiment capture 3 kilometers of trenches and capture 700 Huns. Wallach gets Orderly job.
*Chlorine-Phosgene combined gas attack – December 19th 1915 was the first time the Germans used combined chlorine-phosgene gas as a weapon. 88 tons of gas was released at Wieltje near Ypres causing 1069 casualties and 69 deaths. Allied troops had gas masks available at this time which helped decrease the death toll.
Feeling very sick – influenza. An old friend, Theo C. Walker leaves my billet (only 3 in it, Private Dave Young is the other one) for Ypres, there to report to 10th Battalion Lancaster Fusiliers as Lieutenant.
Heavy cannonading along the front.
Major ( [Later?] Lieutenant Colonel) Pelley leaves the Battalion for a command in Irish Fusiliers.
MacKenzie goes on leave to England
No entry 14th December 1915
Battalion goes route marching 18 kilometres. Private Wallach and I jump on motor lorry intending to go to Bailleul but go (by mistake) to Hazebrouck instead. Purchase souvenirs and postcards (leave Hazebrouck at 3 pm for Bailleul by motor lorry. Arrive at 3:30. have tea at a pokey little place. I nearly collapse am very ill, sick headache and stomach. Walk home 15 kilometres.) Of all the pokey holes Hazebrouck [is one] for getting something to eat. We visited every shop in Hazebrouck for a dinner but could find none. Could get lots of soup, bread, accompanied with beer or coffee.
No. 4 Company are soccer champs, beat 13 Platoon.
No entry 11th December 1915