First World War Poetry Digital Archive

George Cole war diary 1.doc

George Cole – Army Service

Enlisted: 8 Nov 1915, 7th King’s Liverpool Regiment

Discharged: 12 Feb 1917, no longer physically fit for further service.

From his diary:


18 June, ‘Draft of men picked out to go overseas on active service. I was one. Off the rest day.’

25 June, ‘Left England at 5-30 for fighting line in France

26 June, ‘Travelling all day’

27 June, ‘Arrived in France at 4-30 arrived at Batt Base Depot 5-o’clock

28 June, ‘On Active service in France fired 15 Rounds as a test for sooting also extended order Drill’

29 June, ‘Morning Arms Drill Afternoon off’

30 June, ‘Morning Wire and Gas Lecture Afternoon Bayonet fighting’

1 July, ‘Morning Bombing and Relief at Trenches. Afternoon march Discipline’

2 July, ‘Morning, Examination and went through poisonous gas with Gas helmets on and was passed out as fit for firing line. Afternoon, pay and medical inspection. Drew my first pay in France 5 Francks.’

3 July, ‘Morning Church parade at Base in Rouen and then off the rest of the day’

4 July, Morning Route march, afternoon Company Drill.’

5 July, ‘Morning, Route march, Afternoon Gas Lecture.’

6 July, ‘Morning was preparing to proceed to firing line. Arrived at village in France called Muncih a few miles from firing line.’

7 July, ‘Heard that our Batt was coming out of trenches for rest so we waited at Muncih to join them.’

8 July, ‘Still at Muncih waiting for batt.’.

9 July, Joined our Batt and proceeded to another village in France called Gouhy for rest.

10 July, ‘Church Parade in Gouhy ?Pay 5 Franc?’

11 July, ‘Practising an attack on enemy trenches all day’

12 July, ‘Same duty as on 11th’

13 July ‘Still practising the attack.’

14 July Morning, Baths. Afternoon Route March to anot???’

15 July, ‘Practising the attack again all day’

16 July, ‘Morning Route march and finished for day’

17 July, ‘Church parade and Speech by CO.’

18 July, ‘Morning No parade, Afternoon, Route march’

19 July, ‘Practising attacking enemy ??? all day’

20 July, ‘Morning Still the attack. Afternoon bomb throwing, ??allo injured by accident while bomb throwing. During night enemy airmen tried to bomb our camp at Gouhy’

21 July, ‘left Gouhy and arrived at another village called Beaumets. Rested there for rest of day’

22 July, ‘On march again to a village called St Leger’

23 July, ‘Still on March arrived at village name unknown’

24 July, ‘Church parade in unknown village’

25 July, ‘Still at same Village. Morning, Squad Drill. Afternoon, off. On Guard at 6 o’clock my first guard at active service’

26 July, ‘On guard all day, left Village at 5 o’clock, entrained at another village at 8-30 arrived at another village in France called Merricourt on the 27’

27 July, ‘Billets in old barns and a sham attack on a wood at Merricourt France’

28 July, ‘Morning, Bayonet Fight and bathe in River Somme in France, afternoon Extended order drill’

29 July, Cleaned our billets and marched to a camp close to fighting line’

30 July, ‘Morning, Extended Order and practised digging ourselves in under fire. Afternoon off’

31 July, ‘Morning, Cleaning camp up then we marched to a place called no mans land where the had been forced back from since our Allies and ?B? offensive had started wh?? only started July 1st. Pitched tents on no mans land the first camp in this spot since war started August 4 1914so it shows how far back the enemy has been pushed by British and Allies.’

1 August, ‘Morning Extended order drill. Afternoon Gas helmet inspection and Iron rations inspection. still at camp on no mans land’

2 August, ‘Morning Packing up Ready to go into action releived the 8th Irish Bat in Res at 12 midnight.’

3 August, ‘Went into Front line Trenches our Batt lost 200 before getting to Trenches in front of Gillioment. Was digging Trench deeper all night’

4 August, ‘Still holding front line at Guillement’

5 August, ‘Holding 1st line Trench till releived by Kings own Batt at 10 o’clock at night. Arrived at Res trenches at 2 o’clock in the morning’

6 August, ‘I was sent down to our Transport lines for rest after shell shock’

7 August, ‘Still at Transport lines’

8 August, ‘Was sent down to Clearing station suffering from Bleeding piles’

9 August, ‘was sent still further down line to another clearing station’

10 August, ‘Was sent to No 22 General Hospital in France arrived about 5 o’clock

11 August, ‘Examined by doctor in 22 G Hospital’

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