Early in 2016, as this project was coming close to its publication date, the project team was contacted by an individual who had transcribed the War diaries of her great-uncle and who offered the Library copies. While recognising the issues which arise in making available material which cannot be compared with an original, the decision was taken to include these transcripts because the author was a TCD graduate.
There are two diaries which cover the periods November 1915 to January 1916, and August to December 1916. The only surviving volumes are labelled ‘Part I’ and ‘Part IV’ which confirms that losses have occurred.
Diary 10 November 1915 -19 January 1916
Diary 1 August 1916 – 7 December 1916
- Left Aldershot for France 4th Septemberand moved up through Boulogne.
- A night of very heavy rain and constant thunderand lightning followed by a very hot day.
- The view from the sea very fine and dignifiedbut the city itself mainly composed of mean streets.
- Latest rumour that the French have taken over this whole ‘show’and that we are being withdrawn.
- The men and ourselves had to sleep in the openwithout covering.
- With true military intelligence we were made to move camp today100 yards up the hill.
- One of the men of the Brigade found strangled in the linesa few days ago.
- Hope we get even with the Greeks some day.A more hopeless lot of swine I have never seen.
- Have my Tommy’s tunic complete now and wore it on dutymuch to the amusement of my friends.
- Cannot discover what is in the air – are we waiting for the Springor for the Greeks.
- Order for a move first thing this morning.No reason given, no destination mentioned.
- Guns heard at sea every day nowsome time or other.
- Country there very flat with great thickets of dried bamboocane a dull yellow colour.
- Weather still very dry.Mist here on the plain tonight.
- I think he is a damned foolto have these footling field days.
- The English papers do not know where Kitchener went toat the beginning of November.
- Palmed off a Servian francwhich is not currency in this country.
- This is colder and damper than anything I ever rememberat home.
- Out of the frying pan of Franceinto the cold storage of Greece.
- Seemed rather more bacon per manthan yesterday or than usual.
- Shaving brush and sponge frozen in my holdall.I suppose that will now be the normal thing for three months.
- A staff open car stops and asks me if I am going inand takes me in the rest of the way.
- Attended a class of sorts this morning by McNeeon loading and treatment of pack mules.
- Some absurd rumour that we have sent ultimatum to Greeceand threatened to occupy Salonika.
- Warm pleasant sunny morning very profitably spenton the East bank of the Galiko River.
- Patrols galore got lost for an hour at a timesignal lamps could not be seen and the mist drenched everyone.
- Absolutely wet and done and as stiff and sore from ridingas I could possibly be.
- Leather jackets issued to the men.Got hold of one myself.
- Heard story of 10th Division having been caughtshort of ammunition and cut up.
- Very lurid speeches by the C.O. and the G.O.C.indicating that we were walking into a hell on earth.
- Big fight going on on the left a mile or so awayvisible from the mountain on our left.
- The Brigade got out of the trouble very wellat the expense of about 100 men.
- The artillary afforded a great sight hammering the top of Kara Bailin best Boer War fashion.
- The men were put 70 in cattle trucks built for 45 menand 40 officers and men in one built for 34.
- Such was the excellence of our first line transport that we could get mailswhere other Regiments could not get food!
- Put up the bivouacs, lit our fire, had teaand turned in rather late for a good night.
- Greatcoats and bivouacs double their weight with waterand a squelch at every step.
- Had about 2 hours sleep on and offin one of the worst nights I have ever had or ever fear to have.
- The French tried to get horses across the Izan Bridge todaywhere Middlemas’ horse had to be killed a few days ago.
- The men very cheery singing Christmas Carols!How they can do it I do not know.
- Found out by hearing orderly corporal shouting like a bullthat we were moving camp.
- Men’s rations fail today for the second time in a weekand men reduced to quarter rations – biscuits and tea.
- The ‘Commodore’ went down with 2,000 bags of Salonika mailsour Xmas mails.
- Nobody handed over in detention but had 3 Greeks, 1 donkey, and 200 head of sheep by midday!
- Many bonfires lighted by the men and every prospectof a cheery evening.
- Dinner a great success – roast fowls fruit and dessert of many kindscoffee and whiskey.
- I have had four boxes of chocolatefunny what childish tastes one develops!
- Road making in camp under the orders of the REably interfered with by the Brigade staff.
- Rumours flying that a move is imminentplans of the trenches being prepared for handing over.
- Relieved Bryson Brigade Picquet in Pinar 9 am.Quiet day with a couple of prisoners to vary things.
- Booth went into some teashop where he was druggedand knew nothing more till he was picked up by the military police.
- Five hour day ordered by Army Commanderinstead of six hours.
- By God it was good stuff – the most genuine plum puddingI have ever tasted.
- Went with Bloore on reconnaissanceon the main road.
- How the deuce is a mess expected to exist up herewhere nothing can be bought.
- Four months out of England tonightseems more like four years.
- The Bulgars and Turk have had a difference of opinionexpressing itself in a massacre.
- Rumour that Turkish trouble acute in Egyptand that we are to be withdrawn.
- Raid by hostile aircraft on Salonika and districtin which apparently 4 enemy ‘planes took part.
- Was entitled to the day offbut the R.E. sent down for road working parties.
- I found a handful of contradictory instructionsany two of which are less drivel than the third.
- The egotism of the man is perfectly surprising.I trust Major Charles will knock some of the bounce out of him.
- Wrote Mrs Christie to express my sympathy.Nothing much doing.
- Large parcel post in with one badly mashed parcelof foodstuff from Father.
- Dinner soup, boiled mutton and potatoesrice pudding, coffee, nuts and oranges.
- Jameson asked to resign his commissionfor playing the fool.
- Went for a walk over the hills, blundering into drifts18 inches deep in places.
- German and Turkish airplanes over camp in the afternoonthe first I knew of the existence of Turkish machines.
- A narrow road with snow concealing ground on each sideis not exactly the place to meet a big convoy.
- A small polished tin can against the snowis not exactly an easy mark at 200 yards.
- The C.O. wanted to see me with reference to a pass to Salonikaissued by me to a Greek.
- Brigade Staff 65th Infantry BrigadeList of officers.
- Arthur N. Callaghan 14th The Kings RegtPart 1V diary.
- The last few days by far the most trying marchingthe men have ever had.
- Up with the lark hiding the bivouacs from aircraftby building them under bushes.
- Without being pessimistic I don’t think much of the position.We are about 5 miles South of Doiran Lake.
- Patrol work out there most interesting with of coursea very considerable spice of danger.
- Eleven months in the field today9 in Greece.
- Rained like the devil from 8 to midnight.The unfortunate men with no shelter.
- Went down about midnight.French guns pretty busy all first part of night.
- Trench work much as usual. Most of my men out on patrolwith Rutherford near Vladajr.
- Busy from midnight putting finishing touches on splinter sheltersand bomb proofs.
- French Batteries and British Batteries appeared from nowhereand got into action.
- Damned incompetence on the part of the Brigade and Regt Staffto change orders at the last moment.
- Went to the Doctor again with my kneeswhich are very sore.
- Nothing to do except watch the spasmodic bombardmentof the enemy lines.
- Up 3.45am and set off by moonlightfor the Piton des Zouaves reaching there by 5.
- French attack on La TORTUE last night believed successful.Attack on Doiran in progress.
- Great activity last night over La Tortue.French were counter attacked heavily.
- Large forces of Bulgars have been moved from the Vardar to Doiranand the French anticipate trouble.
- Dashed pleasing noise – a shell when you have no dug outand no place whereon to lay your limbs.
- Bulgar becoming far more familiar with us as regards shellingtoo dashed familiar.
- Quiet night. We take things much quieter nowhaving found out that the Scotch had the wind up.
- Bad news in the afternoon of British and French reverseon the right in the Struma valley.
- The guns are expected to retireI suppose we will go back to Dandli and hold that pleasant line again.
- The enemy has a new stock of aeroplanes hereand visits us with them very frequently.
- He is not strong enough for this battalion and is off againto the Garrison Batt he came from.
- Big grass fire North of herethat we had to turn out to stop.
- Very hot day. Ordinary parades.Anderson warned for O.Pip work on 420 Hill.
- The QM stores actually sent up boots for the menby the limber meant for our things.
- Wire up from hospital that Jerry Jennison is dangerously ill– poor devil.
- Moved my bivouac into a gulley beside campwhich we hear is permanent.
- If I don’t smell that city again after six monthsit will be bad luck.
- Had to move our bivouacs and mess from the gulleyup the hill again. Mosquitoes!
- Saw a lot of things and got back to campin a sandstorm at 7pm.
- Spent the day clearing the river bedand trying to set fire to it.
- Extraordinary night – tossing all over the place.Unable to eat any breakfast.
- In such a devilish sweat that I sought out the MOand reported sick.
- Head pretty bad these daysnatural symptom of malaria.
- By God it is a rest after the worry of up the line water to wash, shave.
- Word of heavy casualties up Strumaforced them to clear the hospital.
- Developed my third attack of the beastly malariaand put back in bed in the evening.
- Temp subnormal this morning.103 last night.
- Got overdose of quinineand put in the most miserable night of my life.
- Some of the cases malariabut not many.
- I miss the battalion officers and men more than I can saybut still it is a glorious change after Salonika.
- The hospital is in a converted school – glorious large airy halls marble floored, marble stairs.
- Had to go back to bed on Doctor’s Orderstill he should see how I was.
- Finished Irish Utopia and was slightly disappointedin my second reading.
- The rule of the road is as in England – left in Salonikaand everywhere else except here.
- Foreign enough to be interesting. British enough to be pleasantrespect paid to the uniform and English spoken.
- Very fair concert indeed given by outsidersevidently trained public singers.
- Very quiet and fine day.Did not go out of the house.
- Jones here with dysentery.Two others in with shellshock.
- Milk is delivered by bringing the goat along the pavementto your front door and milking it there!
- More than sorry to hear that the poor skipper had been killedKing, Norman Day, Hilditch and Humphries had all been killed.
- He is off for Blighty again tomorrow by the Galekaand not yet four weeks out of England
- Wrote to poor Roughley’s widow and to other fellows’ peoplewhere they could not write themselves.
- Great number gone from hospital this morning for blightysome of them really too ill to remain.
- In a gallery in the back of the church there is another old organas that we have in the Examination Hall in Trinity.
- Not by any way as satisfactory a performance on the part of sundry officersas I would have expected.
- Tigre Hospital lies across the Marsamuscetta Harbour from Valetta.
- The boats are driven by two men who stand upwith their faces to the bow and push at the oars.
- Informed that I am still anaemic– the first I knew of it.
- Left by motor ambulance to Ghain Tuffeiha.Got my place in a marquee tent.
- The bathing place I went to is a great slab of rockrunning 25 yards into the middle of the bay.
- Had an entertaining afternoon sailingthe boat is about 9 feet long pin beam.
- The Mess catering is done here by Dickeson the Contractorand very poorly done I think.
- Out with Miller again in the evening, and rowed aboutas there was practically no wind.
- Had a glorious bathe and then sailed aboutwith the most constant wind we have had.
- Knocked about town, bought various things we wantedwent out on the Harbour.
- We were rather pessimistic as to our chances of reaching Salonikafor we expected then to sail today.
- Men too badly scattered along with other divisionsto fix responsibility for dirty troop decks.
- Escort broke down 11am 16th instant and returned to Malta.One of the Irish Channel boats – Heroic I think – took it on.
- Very cold weather – quite a shock after Malta– and most of us had shorts on.
- Inspected kits of draft going up the lineand of men come in yesterday.
- Fine fellows the Russians – very largewith devilishly long rifles and bayonets.
- Went to ordnance in forenoon and got rainproof coatand gum boots.
- I wonder where the binocular glasses are that I orderedfrom Dixon and Hempenstall.
- Bought ‘Some Further Reminiscence of an Irish R.M.’?Life of Parnell? and ?Life of Lord Russell.
- Went for a six mile walkacross country with Fielden.
- Thank God orders have come for us all to rejoin our units.Got some things at Ordnance.
- Reported to Major Nichols and found D Coy collapsedand the men merged in ‘B’.
- Still in Transport. Battalion movedagain tonight.
- Dossed down in a shallow ravinenear CIDEMLI.
- I wonder how the Company will workand what sort of a time I have before me.
- Rain. Temporarily off.Men digging themselves in all day.
- Got my glasses in a registered parcel from Dixon and Hempenstall.Very fine glasses.
- Cidemli village and locality badly shelledwhile I was out. No casualties.
- In East Lancs H.Q. camp in the forenoon.?D? Coy to go into support to the Kings.
- Quiet night, but first night in trenchesalways a rather touchy time.
- One year in Salonika today.Not precisely a year of excitement or colour.
- There is always considerable chance of Bulgars attackingup the valleys.
- We have never wasted a roundor got the wind up.
- Back with Sykes shooting – bad luck:only one partridge.
- Walked within 7 yds of enemy sentry without seeing himand signaled to CSM to join me.
- Spent some time in the front trenchtaking bearings of enemy battery.
- Reviewed the doubtful compliment of a messagefrom the CO to go back to Goldie tomorrow.
- Failed to get up the gully I intended but went up Red Ravineand found Bulgar sentry.
- Large draft arrived from 3rd Kings of very fine looking fellowswho have nearly all been in France.
- Lay there in the cold, fairly wet from light (7am)to 10, observing Goldies.
- Settled in. Rained like the devil as usual.Got a new officer.
- If this is war in a civilized centurygive me the middle ages and battle axe.
- Cannot do anything with these placesthe East Lancs have meddled with – damn them.
- Wood gathering and village wrecking partiesin the village last night.
- Ordinary parades . Village wreckingas before.
- The previous draft mainly Liverpool pals who were woundedin July in the Somme.
- Hall on patrol with 20 men.Not returned yet (10.20 pm).
- General Bailey, our new Brigadier, inspected the new drafts.Very funny indeed.
- Ordinary parades – NCOs and Thompsonaway seeing the new regimental line in.
- Relieved East Lancs at 9pm on little Bekirliwith ?D? Coy.
- Saw the line in the daylightand got the shock of my life.
- So far though we have dug winter quartersin about six places.
- Rested and fed there and moved again towards Moravcain the Gola Ridge.
- The Italians spoke no Englishand we spoke no Italian.
- These people made themselves homes with glass windowsdoors that fit, tiled roofs and beds.
- Went up on my Observation postand saw the ground round me.
- Out in the morning in Pangarsli village reconnoiteringfor tiles for the cookhouse roof.
- Horrible day. Thickest of thick mistsand rain all day.
- Bivouacs pitched in a hopelessly wet placeand without any pretence of cover.
- Hall turned up for dinner and misbehaved himselfstill more grossly than usual.
- Thirty days continuous commandcompleted today.
- Rained like fun during the nightand this morning.
- Judging by last year the great blizzard will catch usin 5 days from now.
- An exciting adventure which cost the life of a good officerand friend.
and moved up through Boulogne.
and lightning followed by a very hot day.
but the city itself mainly composed of mean streets.
and that we are being withdrawn.
100 yards up the hill.
a few days ago.
A more hopeless lot of swine I have never seen.
much to the amusement of my friends.
or for the Greeks.
No reason given, no destination mentioned.
some time or other.
cane a dull yellow colour.
Mist here on the plain tonight.
to have these footling field days.
at the beginning of November.
which is not currency in this country.
into the cold storage of Greece.
than yesterday or than usual.
I suppose that will now be the normal thing for three months.
and takes me in the rest of the way.
on loading and treatment of pack mules.
and threatened to occupy Salonika.
on the East bank of the Galiko River.
signal lamps could not be seen and the mist drenched everyone.
as I could possibly be.
Got hold of one myself.
short of ammunition and cut up.
indicating that we were walking into a hell on earth.
visible from the mountain on our left.
at the expense of about 100 men.
in best Boer War fashion.
and 40 officers and men in one built for 34.
where other Regiments could not get food!
and turned in rather late for a good night.
and a squelch at every step.
in one of the worst nights I have ever had or ever fear to have.
where Middlemas’ horse had to be killed a few days ago.
How they can do it I do not know.
that we were moving camp.
and men reduced to quarter rations – biscuits and tea.
our Xmas mails.
but had 3 Greeks, 1 donkey, and 200 head of sheep by midday!
of a cheery evening.
coffee and whiskey.
funny what childish tastes one develops!
ably interfered with by the Brigade staff.
plans of the trenches being prepared for handing over.
Quiet day with a couple of prisoners to vary things.
and knew nothing more till he was picked up by the military police.
instead of six hours.
I have ever tasted.
on the main road.
where nothing can be bought.
seems more like four years.
expressing itself in a massacre.
and that we are to be withdrawn.
in which apparently 4 enemy ‘planes took part.
but the R.E. sent down for road working parties.
any two of which are less drivel than the third.
I trust Major Charles will knock some of the bounce out of him.
Nothing much doing.
of foodstuff from Father.
rice pudding, coffee, nuts and oranges.
for playing the fool.
18 inches deep in places.
the first I knew of the existence of Turkish machines.
is not exactly the place to meet a big convoy.
is not exactly an easy mark at 200 yards.
issued by me to a Greek.
List of officers.
Part 1V diary.
the men have ever had.
by building them under bushes.
We are about 5 miles South of Doiran Lake.
a very considerable spice of danger.
9 in Greece.
The unfortunate men with no shelter.
French guns pretty busy all first part of night.
with Rutherford near Vladajr.
and bomb proofs.
and got into action.
to change orders at the last moment.
which are very sore.
of the enemy lines.
for the Piton des Zouaves reaching there by 5.
Attack on Doiran in progress.
French were counter attacked heavily.
and the French anticipate trouble.
and no place whereon to lay your limbs.
too dashed familiar.
having found out that the Scotch had the wind up.
on the right in the Struma valley.
I suppose we will go back to Dandli and hold that pleasant line again.
and visits us with them very frequently.
to the Garrison Batt he came from.
that we had to turn out to stop.
Anderson warned for O.Pip work on 420 Hill.
by the limber meant for our things.
– poor devil.
which we hear is permanent.
it will be bad luck.
up the hill again. Mosquitoes!
in a sandstorm at 7pm.
and trying to set fire to it.
Unable to eat any breakfast.
and reported sick.
natural symptom of malaria.
water to wash, shave.
forced them to clear the hospital.
and put back in bed in the evening.
103 last night.
and put in the most miserable night of my life.
but not many.
but still it is a glorious change after Salonika.
marble floored, marble stairs.
till he should see how I was.
in my second reading.
and everywhere else except here.
respect paid to the uniform and English spoken.
evidently trained public singers.
Did not go out of the house.
Two others in with shellshock.
to your front door and milking it there!
King, Norman Day, Hilditch and Humphries had all been killed.
and not yet four weeks out of England
where they could not write themselves.
some of them really too ill to remain.
as that we have in the Examination Hall in Trinity.
as I would have expected.
with their faces to the bow and push at the oars.
– the first I knew of it.
Got my place in a marquee tent.
running 25 yards into the middle of the bay.
the boat is about 9 feet long pin beam.
and very poorly done I think.
as there was practically no wind.
with the most constant wind we have had.
went out on the Harbour.
for we expected then to sail today.
to fix responsibility for dirty troop decks.
One of the Irish Channel boats – Heroic I think – took it on.
– and most of us had shorts on.
and of men come in yesterday.
with devilishly long rifles and bayonets.
and gum boots.
from Dixon and Hempenstall.
?Life of Parnell? and ?Life of Lord Russell.
across country with Fielden.
Got some things at Ordnance.
and the men merged in ‘B’.
and what sort of a time I have before me.
Men digging themselves in all day.
Very fine glasses.
while I was out. No casualties.
?D? Coy to go into support to the Kings.
always a rather touchy time.
Not precisely a year of excitement or colour.
up the valleys.
or got the wind up.
only one partridge.
and signaled to CSM to join me.
taking bearings of enemy battery.
from the CO to go back to Goldie tomorrow.
and found Bulgar sentry.
who have nearly all been in France.
to 10, observing Goldies.
Got a new officer.
give me the middle ages and battle axe.
the East Lancs have meddled with – damn them.
in the village last night.
in July in the Somme.
Not returned yet (10.20 pm).
Very funny indeed.
away seeing the new regimental line in.
with ?D? Coy.
and got the shock of my life.
in about six places.
in the Gola Ridge.
and we spoke no Italian.
doors that fit, tiled roofs and beds.
and saw the ground round me.
for tiles for the cookhouse roof.
and rain all day.
and without any pretence of cover.
still more grossly than usual.
and this morning.
in 5 days from now.