Home. Up 6.15 am. Holy Communion at St Stephens 7 am. Dr Davidson 9.30. Ninnis comes over and takes some photos. Hughes comes in for a few minutes. Run over to Ninnis’ to say goodbye. Mr Ninnis comes up to Victoria with mother. Leave Victoria 2 pm. Write to Mother in the train. Folkestone 4 pm. Cross to Boulogne in s/s ‘Victoria’ arriving 5.30 pm. Torpedo nets about a mile long in the Channel. Tea at station. Have a good sleep on the train which starts at 2 am next morning.
Home. Bed 2 am up at 7 am. Dr Davidson at 9 am. Take Mrs Ninnis for a walk round Mitcham Common (before that just call at Ninnis’ then go shopping). Wait for Harry all the afternoon, he arrives about four. Watkins dropped in for 10 minutes, also Richards. Go shopping, then to Ninnis’. Hear from Millar. Turn in just after one (Ninnis gets my diary).
Home. Bed 5.30 am up at 7 am. Go to Dr Davidson about my neck 9 am. Go to Ninnis’. Run up to the office. See Uncle afterwards at Lawe’s. Back to Ninnis’, then Marr’s, Fred’s and Ninnis’ again. (left my pocket book in Post Office).
Boulogne. Sleep on board the S.E. and C. Railway boat ‘Victoria’. Breakfast in refreshment room in station at 3.30 am. Mess about drawing tickets and passes. Steam out 10.30 am, very windy and rain. Arrive at Folkestone 12.30 pm and lunch at the free bar. Send wire to Mother from Folkestone. Leave Folkestone 12.50 arrive at Victoria 3.05 pm, just missed the 3 o’oclock. Young lady presents me with some strawberries. Home at 4.30 pm. Went to Ninnis’, then Hugh’s, then back to Ninnis’.
St Omer. Did some washing in the morning. Pay parade. On station guard from 5.30 pm ‘till 8 next morning. Order supper in. Heavy thunderstorm in afternoon.
St Omer. C.O’s parade in morning. Nothing to do for the rest of the day. Go for a stroll round in the evening, first to the Ruines St Bertin, where a searchlight has been placed on the tower, then to the church of St Denis, a very old church nothing special to mention about it. Next to the Basilique Notre-Dame, this is a splendid church, decorated throughout with red banners in the same way as the R.C. church at St Helier, Jersey. The side chapels are all screened off with black and brown marble. The carving especially of the pulpit and figures are wonderful. Splendid clock with 12 hours ‘till noon, 12 hours ‘till midnight, months, days, position of sun and stars etc. marked on it, and a very little man on top to strike the hours on a very big bell. Two of the doors are inscribed giving the names of, and dates when, different French kings entered. Tea and pastries at a confectioners near the square. Saw General French in the Jardin Public. One thing about the barracks, there is plenty of water for washing.
On the train journey see plenty of ripe wild strawberries and forget-me-knots. Arrive at St Omer at 12.30 and march to barracks where we put up on first evening here in November. Served out with the black and green L.R.B. badges. Leave while at H.Q. is from 12 to 1, and 5 to 9.30 pm. Go out to dinner in evening at café Hotel Vasseur. Menu, soup, fish, roast lamb and haricot beans, French ham and lettuce, gooseberry jelly, cheese, coffee and cigars. Walk round town, some saint’s day or other, girls coming from the churches in white with veils and wreathes. Have neck poulticed and dressed.