My great uncle Reginald – bottom right on photo
Regimental No 56355 Corps of Royal Engineers
Enlisted 14th October 1915 Qualification Telegraphist
Height 5 feet 5 inches Weight 119 lbs Chest fully expanded 31 inches Range of expansion 3 ½ inches
Complexion Dark Eyes blue Hair Brown
Religious denomination Church of England
Here follows his diary entries for the 1st week of July 1916 and we remember the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago.
Sunday, July 2nd 1916
7.30-12.30pm. Reports to hand of British advance on front of 18 miles. 4th army and French army take part. Successful Sir Douglas Haig sends congratulatory telegrams.
Lie down in afternoon and do a bit of exercise too. Go for an evening’s entertainment at the station cinema. Many Belgian ladies there. We have to go on duty instead of take class tomorrow. Rather glad. Shally and I get down 10pm.
Monday, July 3rd 1916
Doing two shifts so nothing exceptional to report.
Tuesday, July 4th 1916
12.30 to 5pm – go to the fancies picture hall in the evening and before bed have a sing song. Sykes, Shally and I. Over progress is good on our front. Got letter from 83, they are now at Bridlington. Bernard cooks Division is in the push.
Wednesday, July 5th 1916
7.30-12.30pm. We get a pass for Brandhoek and in the afternoon which is pleasant we took the Ypres road and journeyed nearly as far as Flam turning then to the left but could not find the Hull Heavy Bty. Still it was a pleasant walk. After tea went to the Canadians and saw the Willard-Johnson fight.
On duty at 9pm. Gussy and Fat Brammer amuse us. Get a new man who has been at Gallipoli.
Thursday, July 6th 1916
Down at 3am until 8.30. Shally and I go for a walk around Abele Rd and across country to Proven Rd. Have a bit of excitement crossing a ford. Then we had a four course dinner and enjoyed it very much.
Have again got those hateful insects and tried to exterminate them. Think they came in the washing. On at 5pm. Our army and French making progress. Latter near Peronne (2m). Germans throwing men away.
Friday, July 7th 1916
Marking exam papers for Syd. Raining heavily in the morning. On at 12.30pm.
We go for a walk in evening round by the switch road and enjoy it. A really beautiful evening.
Sit in the grounds of Talbot house garden and also read a magazine in the ease of a hammock under the trees. The Yorkshire trio sing until sleep time.