“We are fed-up with aeroplanes here, and even if I hear a ‘battle in the air’ overhead I cannot be bothered to look at it. There is plenty of bombing by enemy planes on clear nights in the neighbourhood, but it has never yet got very close to us.”
Entry dated May 27th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].
“You would quite enjoy it here; not only have we our own band to play to us in the evening at guard-mounting, which takes place within a few yards of where I work, but in addition the Divisional Band plays each night in the field adjoining – it is quite like Sefton Park!”
Entry dated May 2nd 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].
‘No! I have not had time to visit a Canteen or an eggs-and-chips place since I became post-corporal, but I get coffee and other refreshment in the morning while I am waiting for the mail to come up…’
Entry dated February 25th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].
“Yesterday, as I was taking the mail home (a limber, of course, actually carries the bags) I met Percy, and this time, as he was on foot, he recognized me and we stopped for a little talk. It is curious, in the deserted streets of a French town – we were just in the confines of Armentieres – for friends and neighbours to meet in this way…”
Entry dated January 23rd, 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].
“We have had our Christmas dinner to-day, Boxing Day; otherwise there has been little doing. Our dinner consisted of some pork, with apple sauce, potatoes, and cabbage; also some excellent plum-pudding, tinned but a good imitation of the home made article. The quality of the dinner was good, if the quantity small. This afternoon, I went for a walk with Chisholm; it was frosty and all the scene white with snow.”
Entry dated December 26th, 1917, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].
“More terrible news for you! While spending those few days in shell holes, I developed a passion for the army issue of rum. The conditions were so cold and wretched and the entertainment so poor, that rum certainly engenders a little warmth. So I used quite to look forward to the form of an officer with a rum jar looming out of the darkness, though I could not swallow the stuff under ordinary circumstances. As a matter of fact, though the rum feels warm when trickling down the throat, its genuine warming properties do not compare with those of a cup of hot tea, even to one like myself to whom spirits are a new joy.”
Entry dated November 9th, 1917, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].
“We are still in our muddy camp: it was raining all morning while we were on parade. It is fair now, after dinner, but the weather is very unsettled. However, it is not so very cold, and a crowded bell tent is quite warm at night.”
Entry dated Oct. 23 1917, War Diary 1917 – 1919 by A. L. Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].