Archive Content: Personal diary, Salonika, Nov-Dec 1917



  • Item Type
    Diary
  • Owner of Item
    RWM Brecon
  • Surname
    Burns
  • Forenames
    W.A.
  • Rank
    Captain
  • Regiment
    South Wales Borderers
  • Battalion
    Not Known
  • War
    World War One
  • Area of Conflict
    Salonika
  • Date of Letter
    04/11/1917
  • Title
    Personal diary, Salonika, Nov-Dec 1917
  • Description
    Capt W.A. Burns served in Salonika (Greece) during WWI.
  • Total Number of Pages
    1
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  • Transcription 1
    Sun 4th
    Down to SASAC to arrange Tpt for move.

    Mon 5th
    Office – up to the eyes. Genl Howard returned from leave.

    Tues 6th
    Col Wingate returned to battn. Rode round Tpt lines with Genl Howard.

    Wed 7th
    Office – move on the brain – very busy. Worc. away to PN[?], French Bn up into line in M sector.

    Thurs 8th
    Oxfords & Gloucs away to PN[?]. Over to Kalinora in morning to arrange camp finally. [?] unit moved in evening, + French into Happy Valley. Into old 115 FA Bde camp. French Bn up into [2?] sector.

    Fri 9th
    Squaring up new camp at Kalinora.

    Sat 10th
    Berks away to PN[?]
    In afternoon rode over to Mihalora[?] to see 9 Glouc – all OK.
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  • Transcription 2
    Sun 11th
    Squaring camp. (Head[?] began).

    Mon 12th
    Over to Mihalora[?] with Brid[adier] to see Berks inspected by Maj Gen’ Gay, + some medal ribbons presented. Devil of a gallop[sic] across country (Head).

    Tues 13th
    In bed all day – touch of malaria.

    Wed 14th
    Up but pretty seedy.

    Thur 15th
    Rain. Fairly fit again. Squaring up camp + office. Played [?] chess up to 12:40 + got beaten.

    Fri 16th
    Fit again. Rain + Vardar wind began. Most uncomfortable, office flooded out, mud everywhere.

    Sat 17th
    Vardar wind – cold as blazes.
    Office + work on camp.
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  • Transcription 3
    Sun 18th
    Church Parade. Kalinora Church 09:00. Office

    Mon 19th
    Office

    Tues 20th
    Office

    Wed 21st
    Round the lines in morning. Office.

    Thurs 22nd
    Down to Causica with Tpt Officers for lecture on vehicles by J. O[?], 12 Corps. Night, Glengarry raided by Bulgars, driven off by Worc.

    Fri 23rd
    In morning round Tpt lines with Genl Howard. Raided 22nd Divn 11th[?] Cheshires, driven off, 5 prisoners, 15 left on wire.

    MEMO
    Everybody going sick. Carting R.E. stores up line for Bn H.Q. + Bde Reserve and Crow Hill.
    Vardar wind lasted 17th to 23rd – re[?]

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  • Transcription 4
    Sun 25th
    Church Parade Kalinora Ch, 08:45.
    Down to see S.O. + 114 Coy A.S.C. and stroll round. Reilly to Sal. En route to England for Staff Course. In afternoon saw part of footie match, B[?] + M.G. Coy.

    Mon 26th
    Thorne brought limber to Bde H.Q. loaded with 60 qrs pack saddles; for trial.
    Office.

    Tues 27th
    Work on camp with party of Worc. Knox-Shaw arrived to do Reilly’s job as B.M.
    In afternoon round Tpt lines with A.D.V.S. – strafing everybody.

    Wed 28th
    Camp. Arranged to go dinner to Mess Divn but cancelled owing to special leave going [?]
    11th Leave party again warned for Base + again cancelled.

    Thur 29th
    Down to Base for leave to U.K.!!! Nothing yet on paper, all telephone instructions. Fox to carry on. [?] to [?]. Lunch with J.N. Taylor in Sal + reported [?] Base Depot 1680.

    Fri 30th
    From Summerfield by lorry 06:30 to Orient Stn. Food for 36 hours from canteen. Train started 9am. 7 officers + 21 men from Sal. Army. Larissa 06:40, Platey[?] 8am, Kalinora 8:30am. [?.....?] Cup of hot tea + some candles on about 9:30 + travelling all night. No glass in windows – rather cold + uncomfortable.

    Sat Dec 1st
    Arrived Brato 08:15, to Rest Camp. Perfect day – very much hotter than near front – very fine scenery. Saw Cadoux + Maj. Bailey. Up tp their Hqrs for tea + dinner.
    In sight, Jarnassus

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  • Transcription 5
    Sun 2nd
    Set out 7:45 am in Sunbeam for Itea with Cadoux, wonderful scenery in pass – arrived Itea 10:00hrs, right in Gulf of Corinth. Lunch in ‘town’ with Cadoux. Rest camp for night. Delphi in sight of rest camp.

    Mon 3rd
    Out 05:45 down to quay by lorry + on board French cruiser ‘Chateau Renault’ + away by 8am thru’ Gulf Corinth + Patras[?]. Sick in evening, bit rough, another steamer accompanying 2TBD’s escort.

    Tues 4th
    Sick in morning, then up 9am + going strong. Past Sicily + in heel of Hat[?] by 11am. Taranto 14:00, after quite good trip. To rest camp – good dinner + turned in – jolly comfy mattress + bed.

    Wed 5th
    Cold as blazes + snowing. Fairly hard, late for breakfast – sharing tent with A Coy D. In to Taranto for lunch – very poor place – bitterly cold. Back to rest camp in time for dinner

    Thur 6th
    Down to old Taranto in afternoon + lift by Rapide 18:15 after buying food + fruit for journey. Comfortable journey.

    Fri 7th
    Arrived Rome 10am. To Continental Hotel, bath + cleaned up – lunch. Then round sight seeing – Vatican, St. Peters, Coliseum, Forum, Capitol + ride round. Left by 23:55 train. Comfy journey

    Sat 8th
    Via Pisa, Genoa, changed on frontier at Modane 19:40. On to Paris 22:00hrs – train packed. Just managed to get a seat

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  • Transcription 6
    Sun 9th
    Arrived Paris 09:15 am. Breakfast in Stn, + on to Continental for bath + clean up. To Laurent for dinner + on to Revue at St. Michael in evening.

    Mon 10th
    Good rest in morning. Lunch at Laurent. Cinema in afternoon and left for Havre by 17:00 hrs train. Luncheon [?] well. On board 22:00 + sailed about 11pm.

    Tues 11th
    Arrived Southampton 08:30am, up to town. Arrived Key 11:32pm. [?]
    T. evacuated to make room for me

    Wed 12th
    Early morning cup of tea! K/Riosk for lunch! Free afternoon. Booked a room at the Victoria. Bought [?]. Spotted/potted[?] meat for supper!

    Thur 13th
    No early morning tea! Or breakfast either! Met Tess[?] at 12:20 instead of 12:10. Lunch! At K/Riosk. Marked 2 sets of papers for T.

    Fri 14th
    Met Tess at 12pm. Lunch at K/Riosk. Finished papers – T. Changed breeches! Lets teach ourselves that honourable plop[?]
    Not to outsport discretion

    Sat 15th
    Caught 9:45 train to St. Pancras – Tess came as far as Leeds. Fishguard to Swansea 2hrs late – arrived 11:30pm. Dud[?], Griff + Harvey at 5pm. Everyone very cheery. Up talking until 5am. + dreaming

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  • Transcription 7
    Sun 16th
    Not up till midday – in all day, flooded with visitors especially in evening

    Mon 17th
    Slack morning, Out in afternoon. Dud + Griff – shopping etc. Not back until late rush to post to catch T.

    Tues 18th
    Lillte[?] visiting – afternoon in town. Dud + Griff – no shopping. PS. In evening with D, le Bile[?] + H.A.
    Quiet evening at home – no visitors

    Wed 19th
    Morning visiting Ida’s + Mrs Gorman, afternoon shopping, school + Charlies. Home for the evening

    Thur 20th
    Whitchurch arr. 13:36, dep. 13:50
    Dovey Junction 18:10 (Towyn 18:26)
    9:35 from Vict. [?] to meet T. Moat Lane en route Towyne – Machynlleth, Beddows, Dick Phillips

    Fri 21st
    [?] to Talybont + C. Road. Went down to Towyn in the evening. Sat up very late

    Sat 22nd
    Got up very late. Went down town in the morning with T. Left Towyn 12:34 – arrived Swansea 20:00. Dud + Robin met us, no taxi
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  • Transcription 8
    Sun 23rd
    Up late: Jack Tyler, Syd Clanpus[?], Harry Clanpus[?] called – Ran races up on the Grammar School ground. Dilip + Betty came in. Uup till 4:00 Mon.

    Mon 24rd
    Up late!! Went down town shopping. Met Mrs Rees, H.A. Burnet, Barrett, Harris, 75th Inf Bde. In M[?]Goriman. Lunch at Metropole Empire with Don + T. Silk stockings.

    Tues 25th
    Jack Tyler, Mr Chapman called, Griff Jones called + Harry Clampus. Played [?]

    Wed 26th
    Rugby Football match: New Zealanders V Swansea: Tea at Lovell’s: up to Grammar School field

    Thur 27th
    Bought the engagement ring + cigarette case + fur coat. Lunch at Cameron. Ida’s to tea. Went to see Seven Day’s Leave

    Fri 28th
    Walked to Mumbles + got back late: Everything went wrong!!!!

    Sat 29th
    Went to see another match with Dud. Welsh Guards V. South Wales
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  • Transcription 9
    Sun 30th
    Nothing exciting: up to Cricket field

    Mon 31st
    Out shopping. Rvd wire from Lord Chamberlain