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Old 11-02-13, 14:40
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 32
Default Family transcript 13: "Great War Diary" pt 5

Fifth set of excerpts from the Great War Diary 1915-1916 of my maternal Grandfather, Ernest Walter Cooke (1895-1949), commencing 14th March 1916

14. MARDI Ste Mathilde
Started moving all equipment etc taken to station
Office emptied.
Very busy

15. MERCREDI S. Zacharie
Reveille @ 5.0 am
Breakfast 5.30 am
Hpl. cleared from Imperial Hotel Boulogne
Arrive Dannes-Camiers @ 4.30 pm

16. JEUDI S. Cyriaque
Busy unpacking at Camiers.
Sleep in tents
Y.M.C.A Hut @ 7.0 pm

18. SAMEDI S. Alexandre
Recommended for Cpl63
63Ernest in fact was further promoted to Sergeant later in the War

Promoted Acting Corporal with Pay from 18.3.16.
Went for a walk up Chocolat Hill64

64This does not appear to be a local name: it may, like many other Great War sites, be a British Army jocular re-naming: if so then it would probably be in reference to the Chocolate Hill which saw fierce fighting (including the Warwickshire Yeomanry) in August 1915 during the Gallipoli campaign.

22. MERCREDI Ste Léa
Y M C A @ 7.0 pm
Rcd 5 f from home

24. VENDREDI S. Timothée
Paid 25 f
Y M C A Concert 7.30 pm

Half Day
Walk up Chocolat Hill avec Webb & Fogg
Promotion Barn Sarni?? @ 7.30 Barron’s Office


1 SAMEDI S. Hugues
S M Humphries arrives
On duty all day
Change tents now Cl.

6. JEUDI S. Célestin
Bath 3.0 pm
Walk hills avec Malyon

7. VENDREDI S. Clotaire
Paid 25 f

8. SAMEDI S. Albert
Fancy Dress Football Match
No 11 Genl Sgts Mess
No 4 Genl Sgts Mess65

65Number 4 General Hospital had also recently moved to Dannes-Camiers: in their case in January 1916 from Versailles.

11. MARDI S. Léon
Lena Ashwell at Y M C A

15. SAMEDI Ste Anastasie
Receive first patients at Camiers 92
2 Sec on duty

Good Friday
Second Convoy of 92
Fire Alarm

Easter Day
On duty
6.30 am H.C. Church Tent
Great Football Match
18 Genl Hpl66 0 11 Genl Hpl 0

66Also based in Dannes-Camiers (1915-1917: the entire duration of its existence as taken over by US Army afterwards).

24. LUNDI S. Gaston
Easter Monday
Coy. Whist Drive
Won 4th Prize (111)
Top (114)

25. MARDI S. Marc, év
Trial Cricket Match
Convoy of 157

6.30 am H.C. Church Tent
14614 aCpl A H Jones dies


15. LUNDI Ste Denise
Had several teeth out at 22 Genl Hpl67

67Based at Dannes-Camiers for its entire existence: 1915-1919.

18. JEUDI S. Venant
Evans & Hamilton go to Isolation Hpl

20. SAMEDI S. Bernardin
Celephane (?) awarded 7 days C.C.


4. MARDI Ste Berthe
619 Admissions
Very busy68
68The Battle of the Somme opened on July 1st. Nearly 60,000 British troops were casualties on that day and by the time the battle petered out on November 18th, over 400,000 British and Commonwealth troops had been casualties.

300?69 Discharges
Up all night
Beaucoup admissions

69The question mark is Ernest’s

6. JEUDI Ste Angèle
Work again

This is the final entry, written at a time of what must have been huge numbers of casualties passing through the RAMC’s hands. The final pages are themselves rather torn & dishevelled perhaps reflecting the conditions prevailing.
One can only speculate as to the impact on the writer & his subsequent decision not to resume recording in the diary.
From Appendix 3 it would seem that he was still based at Dannes-Camiers in June 1917.
However he suffered damage to his lungs from a gas attack which suggests that subsequent to this date he was posted nearer the Front Line. He ended the War in Seale Haye Hospital, Newton Abbot, Devon which treated “other ranks” (i.e. non-officers) for neurological illnesses especially what was then referred to as “shell shock”: this again is evidence of a posting nearer the Front after June 1917.
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