23rd December 1915
Detailed to relieve [?]Dryson on Brigade Picquet. Delightful morning warm and bright. Took over Picquets 9 am in the village of Pirnar without comparison the dirtiest village I have ever set foot in. There has been no rain and both sun and breeze for several days and yet the streets are ankle deep in mud. Funny game this. Picquet Headquarters, War Brigade Headquarters and examining posts on all the roads and tracks leading into the Brigade area. Orders to run in all natives except with passes – harass the poor Greeks and Turks at all costs. Nobody handed over in detention but had 3 Greeks, 1 donkey, and 200 head of sheep by midday! Extraordinarily philosophical people: they did not trouble a bit though they were kept until 8 pm. Visited my outposts at my own mealtimes – thus finding my way into meals.
Glorious night – men very cheery with their fires and new blankets and oil sheets just up. Tents also up – not to mention 100,000 rounds of rifle ammunition carefully stacked!
Turn in on the verandah of my guard room not exactly for sleep but just to lie up.
Odd Christmas and one that I will never forget. This place in fine weather with the wonderfully clear moon of these regions – its bare hillsides visible for miles and camps showing their fires in every direction has its compensations and for a moment I can persuade myself that I would not have missed this Christmas [?]even for the sake of Dublin.