On January 6th 1915, in Abbeville, he was “posted to Third Division Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Detailed for draft and issued with bearskin … “. On January 9th, in Berthen, he was “detailed for Telegraphs with the Artillery”. (It may be that he was posted to a signal company because, having previously worked in the Telegraph Service of the General Post Office, he was already fluent in morse code.)
He laid and maintained cables (mostly at night) and worked as a telephonist and visual signaller in dugouts during battles; occasionally he looked after horses.
Letters home were censored; in his diary, he was conscious that one should not keep any material that might be useful to the enemy. (It is commonly held that keeping a diary was forbidden in the trenches, but in an interesting discussion on the Great War forum, it is mentioned that “in King’s Regulations, Field Service Regulations, the Manual of Military Law and the Mobilization Regulations, current in 1914, there are no references to diaries”.)
Though “sick of the desolation”, he enjoyed exploring the French countryside and churches. He was sometimes “blue”, but he found solace in letters from Laura, albeit he did “wish the dear girl would write oftener”. He often mentions regiments (eg R. Fusiliers) and friends (eg Rutherford, Watts). If you recognize any of the names, please feel free to comment. You may thereby find other contacts and information.