Category Archives: Diary – Arthur Callaghan

Judging by last year the great blizzard will catch us

8th December 1916

Still in camp. Rained like the devil all night and going to do it all today. Most of the men spent all last night digging themselves out. Our place about 2′ deep in water this morning! Look like growing fins here. I guess that judging from last year the great blizzard will catch us in 5 days from now. 16 days from the blizzard in the U.K.- golly!
[?] it is all right till Mackinnen comes!

List of officers with date of joining opposite later ones
LtCol. Lambert C.O.
2Lt J.R. [?]Smith adj.
A. Coy
Act. Capt. J.H. Rutherford O.C. A
2Lt. Hampson
2Lt. Buchan Oct. 15.
2Lt. [?]Natts Nov 20

B Coy.
Capt A.R. Sykes M.C. O.C. B
2Lt E.G. Taylor
2Lt Williams Oct. 15.
2Lt. [?]Tanton Nov 20

C. Coy
Capt A.I.W. Smellie O.C.C
Lt Jones
2Lt. Jagoe Oct 15
2Lt. Edmonds Nov.27 Transport

D. Coy
2Lt A.N. Callaghan O.C.D.
2Lt G.Hall Nov. 15
2Lt T. Lockett Nov.27
2Lt. L. Fon

Nearly all the original officers gone away: and no promotions made to fill up except Jones and Rutherford.
A period of incessant front line, heavy casualties and many changes.
It has had many phases for me. August third in the Company responsible for some 30 men and about 200x of line – now in charge of 110 (130?) men and when in the line 1000x or 1400x of line.

Father P.C. 12.8 20.8 22.9 5/10
Wilfie FPC 12.8 20.8 22/9
Tom 28/8
Walter 24/9
George 22/9
Betty 22/9

Black List! Debts
(Shame no cheque book so I have to do this!)
Thompsons. Westmorland St.
Tunic £4.8.3.
Dixon and Hempenstall Binoculars £11.
Emmanuel, Strada Reale Valetta
French cap 17/6

Credit balance
August 4th 1916
Includes payments drawn from Field Cashier up to 24. August and August pay and July allcs.

Rained like fun during the night

7th December 1916

Rained like fun during the night and this morning. Lockett sent out to reconnoiter Dova Tepe main road. Move cancelled on account of inclement weather.

Thirty days continuous command

6th December 1916

My thirty days continuous command completed today. In France that would mean three pips straight away till a senior is sent to take over. In any case it means about L4 Command pay. Hall gone to Salonika today to buy stores. Ordered to be ready for move tomorrow if weather suitable.

Hall turned up for dinner and misbehaved himself

5th December 1916

Report of a small scrap in Rabova village between a ‘B’ Coy fatigue party and the Bulgars. Smellie and [?] in ‘D’ mess. Smellie seems quite satisfied that he is coming here: I hope to goodness I am not going to Dova Tepe. The move seems hanging fire. Hall turned up for dinner and misbehaved himself if possible still more grossly than usual. He is an outsider. Slept here.
Special message of congratulation from G.O.C. Division on the march. ‘I think all concerned deserve greatest credit for accomplishing a most demanding march in the dark over execrable roads and carrying out relief so well.’
We had no end of a polite letter of congratulation from Army H.Q. the other day on general worth. We should keep a file of them, for they are mounting up in numbers, and send them in with each application for leave!

Bivouacs pitched in a hopelessly wet place

4th December [1916]

Same awful weather as yesterday. Went out 10 am to reconnoiter the L7 position and found it – horrors! Bivouacs pitched in a hopelessly wet place and without any pretence of cover. Not back in camp until 6 pm.
This bloody move comes about by old Foley covering Smellie’s place and causing a general move. Nothing is ever done for the regiment by the Orderly Room and so as we were turfed out of the cookhouse Foucancourt, out of our train after Doiran, out of Sykes’ QM Stores in Cidenli, so we are going to be turfed out of our winter quarters here. The East Lancs can have what they jolly well like and we have the leavings.

Horrible day. Thickest of thick mists

3rd December 1916

Horrible day. Thickest of thick mists and rain all day. Stayed in all forenoon. Went for a walk in the afternoon. Received orders to take over part of the line of the 12th Lancashire Fusiliers on the day after tomorrow.

Out in the morning in Pangarsli village reconnoitering

2rd December 1916

Out in the morning in Pangarsli village reconnoitering for tiles for the cookhouse roof. Found a very good stock. Back in the afternoon for them with a mule and a couple of men. Brought home about half a roof. Clearer day and a view down to Demir Hissar.

Went up on my Observation post

1st December 1916 Friday

Up at Orderly Room about 4 men who absented themselves on the line of march. They all got F.P. No.1.
Went up on my Observation post and saw the ground round me. In front at the foot of our steep hills a little plain and then the great sheer wall of the Belashicza mountains … Very foggy yesterday and today, and cold. All the little oak trees dripping. This part very like parts of Wicklow.

These people made themselves homes with glass windows

30th November [1916]

Knocked about. Found my way to Smellie and Sykes and generally settled down. These people made themselves homes with glass windows, doors that fit, tiled roofs and beds and chairs and tables galore. They have gone off to Monastir. I am sorry for them.

The Italians spoke no English

29th November 2016

Solemnly took over from the Italians the support position at Ralova, and housed myself and the men in the most comfortable quarters I have seen in fifteen month. The Italians spoke no English and we spoke no Italian, so both carried on in indifferent French. However I found out most of what I wanted to know. They have built themselves wonderful places with local stone and we are at last in luck’s way to get here. They will probably move us again because this is too comfortable. Country very pretty here.