October to December 1917
Returned from leave Oct 24th after most glorious time with L(aura). Took a long time to settle down.
Kept at Div H.Q. for a change. All Brigade men relieved.
At Monument (?) till about middle of December. Several visits to Tonies at Bapaume.
One or two bombing raids and one spell of shelling. One trip to Amiens, otherwise uneventful.
Quiet life on poor rations. Moved to better camp at Behagnes (Behagnies, map). Good billet but poor grub again.
Frequent visits to pictures and another trip to Amiens. Bust up at Christmas and splendid dinner on Boxing night in B mess at Campbell’s invitation.
One big bombing raid. Gotha down in rear of village.
Finis 1917 – and still another year – Roll on –
From The Times 26th December 1917
CHRISTMAS AT THE FRONT – War Correspondent
On Christmas Eve the frost, which had lasted just a week, broke and a rapid thaw set in. The result was that the sun rose this morning on a ‘piebald’ landscape, with the remaining snow patches dully reflecting the rosy brilliance from their slushy face.
It is my impression that there is less of the spirit of Christmas tide in the trenches this year than on the three previous Christmas Days our troops have spent in France. I do not suggest that there is any flagging of cheerfulness. But it seems to me that the men have a consciousness that the present is no fitting time for demonstrative festivity. Not that this has blunted their appetites for the very excellent fare provided for them. The Christmas dinner of the troops this year has been supplemented for the first time, by plum pudding as a regular ration. Heretofore private generosity has made ample provision in this direction. But today plum pudding was a regular issue, and I am assured by those who sampled it that it was excellent.
There has been a good deal of artillery activity on both sides during the past 24 hours, which served as a grim reminder that there was to be no attempt at fraternizing. The Germans are manifesting great curiosity about what we may be doing in various parts of the line, and frequently attempt to raid our trenches, but with a very small measure of success. Probably they have not quite recovered from the shock of the great tank surprise of November 19 last.