Bert Henson Diary - 2

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The War Diaries of Bert Henson

Diary 2 of 10 is summarised below - View full text of Diary 2

Summary of Diary 2

1916  May

12 - 13        


Sgt Edwards, Ray Barrel travelled on foot to Armentieres as advance for Wellington Btn Signallers rain, roads muddy. 2nd Batn L.L.O. passed en route to billets.  Saw Jack McKain, Alex Gilmore, Stan Fanselon,  Jack Roache, McKay


Left Doulieu at 7:00 pm arrived at Armentieres about 11:00 pm.Heavy marching on muddy roads


Trenches after 9 months in camp. Relieved Otago Sigs at Tissage Post (Houplines). Later relieved by West Riding Reg Sigs. Took over Trench C97 about 80 yds from Fritz.

16 – 23       

Good weather, enemy fire, planes busy and anti-aircraft guns. Repairs to trenches continuous.

23 - 30        

Armentieres headquarters at 3:30 am to be relieved by Trents (2nd Bde). Saw W. Thompson from Patea R’lys, Aston and Voyle. Went to cinema with Norm Tingey. We walked around the town, found unused railway station, with smashed lines, signals etc. Our planes continually overhead. Met Earnshaw of artlly. And saw Ted Toy who is anticipating leave in England.  Buzzer practice getting rather monotonous. One of our captive balloons broke away from moorings and drifted over German lines.  Two observers came down in parachutes.

1916 June

2 – 19   

Trenches. Back into C157 about 6:00 pm.  Passed Capt Stansell being removed wounded.  Saw Kivell, and Creighton both of Stratford. Blankets and valise left at QMs in town and we sleep in clothes. Initially weather was fine, but rain made ground  slushy and not too warm. Duckboards help when walking about. Duty 2 am – 6am and again 6 pm – 10 pm. Artillery active, with some landing close. Food is good.

Oscar Johnson replaced by Ted Arnold. Gus Russell,  Birdwood, Braithwaite visited trenches. Heard George Thrupp and Gillies killed in strafe on Taranaki and other wounded. Ted Arnold went off sick. After some heavy artillery Lt. Thomson died and 5 others wounded. Keith Ditchman transferred to Naval communications.

20 – 30 

Relieved by Otago signallers. Mac Berry and I went to Tissage Post signal station. Based in cellar basement, decent mattresses for bunks.

1916 July

01 – 08 

Tissage, Houplines

9 – 16   


17 – 19 

C157 to C115 Sub trenches

20 – 27 



Trench C129 Trenches, Bill Ryder injured


Bert Henson Diary - 2

Sources:Transcribed by Dion G. Minhinnick