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The war diary of Ron Bevitt's Grandad - Corporal W.

Cain ['Talker' Cain] ===================================================== [On openin inside pa e] Corporal W. Cain !"#$ C. Coy. #%th &an'ashire ()siliers. *tta'h +# ,e'tion #-- *. Coy. R. .. [*nother na/e on flyleaf -] 0rs (iford1 2o.+ Grove Cres'ent1 Wi/3orne1 4orset. [where he was 3illeted] ---.nlisted in #%th &an'ashire ()siliers ,ept !th #$#". 5ro'eeded fro/ B)ry to Bovin ton Ca/p 64orset7 for trainin . &eft Bovin ton for Wi/3orne 2ov 8%th #$#". &eft Wi/3orne for Bovin ton to fire *pril #9th. &eft Bovin ton for :)nsley 5ark near Win'hester 6:a/pshire7 +9th 0ay. 5ro'eedin to Wareha/ +%th ;)ne to finish firin . &eft Wareha/ for :)nsley 5ark to finish trainin +$th ;)ne. -------July 15th 1915 #%th &an'ashire ()siliers. !+nd Bri ade. #9 4ivision. &eft :)nsley 5ark near Win'hester :a/pshire .n land via (olkestone to <oin British .=peditionary (or'e (rid ;)ly #%th [#>th?] . *rrived Bo)lo ne at #-8% a/ and pro'eeded to a Base Ca/p o)tside of the town where we had a few ho)rs rest 3efore pro'eedin f)rther )p. *fter f)rther )p in 'attle-tr)'ks to town @@@@@@@@ and arrivin there at "p/ and rested in 3illets. -------Sat July 17th &eft town @@@@@@@@ -a/ and pro'eeded near to firin line arrivin at town @@@@@@@@@@ at -p/ .... slept in 3illets for the ni ht. -------Sun July 18th &eft town @@@@@@@@@@ and /ar'hed to @@@@@@ #+ /ile fro/ firin line. Rested in 3arn.

-------Mon 19th. Anspe'tion 3y General ,/ith-4orrien at villa e. -------Tues 20th Restin in villa e and e=pe't to leave toni ht to @@@@@@@@@@ nearer firin line. Can hear the so)nd of 3i )ns here. -------Wed 21st &eft @@@@@@@@@@ and arrived at " /ile fro/ firin line. -------Thurs 22nd. Restin here. Can see *eroplanes B)ite plain ettin shelled. -------Sat [crossed out] 23rd Fr day &eft for tren'hes at >p/. Within "% yards of Ger/ans here. (irst ti/e )nder fire. An for only +" ho)rs with 6"th R. (.7. O)r 3ri ade are oin to take this part of the line over. -------Sat 2!th Co/e o)t of the tren'hes at -p/ and went 3ehind firin line to so/e h)ts. The Ger/ans are sendin a few shells over1 3)t no da/a e ettin done. -------Sun 25th Went )p to &a-Creek to di tren'hes at dark and finished at dawn. -------Mon 2"th Thin s are fairly B)iet aro)nd here at present. We are /ostly doin fati )e work et'.

-------Tues 27th. C)iet. -------Wed 28st Se#t (ren'h di -------Thurs 29th1 Ger/ans )se liB)id fire 6first ti/e7 and 'apt)re + lines of o)r tren'hes. We 6!+ nd Bri ade7 were h)rried )p in reserve 3)t were not reB)ired as 2otts D 4er3ys. Re . re'apt)re tren'hes. *t ni ht o)r artillery were very a'tive. -------Fr d 30th. .=pe't Ger/ans to 'o)nter atta'k still kept in reserve. Ger/ans sendin plenty of shells over1 3)t not /)'h da/a e done. 5lenty aeroplanes a3o)t # Ger/an *eroplane 3ro) ht down. &ooked like droppin 3ehind o)r lines. -------Sat 1st $u%ust An reserve 3)t e=pe't to shift to the ri ht of :oo e 6&a Creek.7 toni ht. &eave at -p/ and pro'eed to tren'hes to relieve "th Bat. 6Royal. ()s.7. -------Sun 2nd An tren'hes. (airly B)iet here e='ept the )ns are sendin a few over to ea'h other. 5lenty of rifle fires at ni ht. -------Mon 3rd Tren'hes fairly B)iet today 3)t the Ger/ans are sendin a few over to a villa e 3ehind the lines 'alled 64i='h3)ish7. They shell this pla'e nearly every day. We 'all the shells 64i='h3)ish .=press7. in a3o)t a /ile 3ehind firin line plenty of shellin toni ht.

-------Tues !th. Tren'hes. The Ger/ans are tryin to 3e s/art today sendin shells D Grenades over 3)t o)r artillery send a few over1 and keep the/ B)iet. --------Wed 5th. Tren'hes C)iet today1 3)t toni ht Ger/ans have ot wind )p and are sendin shells over 3)t are <)st 3e innin to B)iet down. ---------Thurs "th. Tren'hes. 5lenty of rain today 3)t we are fairly 'o/forta3le here as the tren'hes are very ood. - - - - - - - - - - -. Fr 7th. Tren'hes. Eept 3)sy today D fillin sand3a s. *eroplane fi ht today. British *eroplane 3ro) ht down 3)t dropped 3ehind o)r own lines. - - - - - - - - -- - Sat 8th. Tren'hes. Fery B)iet today. We 3elieve the ,a=ons o'')py the tren'hes opposite )s 3)t think they ot relieved toni ht 3y the 5r)ssian G)ards as there is a 3i differen'e in the rifle fire. They have ot G wind )p1 and are openin rapid fire now D a ain D sendin plenty of star shells )p 6looks like R)shen *33ey (ireworks --------Sun 9th Tren'hes. C)iet today1 in fa't it is always B)iet in the day ti/e here e='ept for an odd shell or so whi'h the )ns flin at one another1 in fa't yo) wo)ldn't think there was a war on so/e parts of the day. --------Mon 10th Tren'hes. C)iet a ain1 3)t we et plenty of fati )e work to do 6tren'h di et'.7 --------Tues 11th. Tren'hes. C)iet in day ti/e 3)t we start 3o/3ardin at ni ht1 don't know e=a't reason1 3)t we think it is to fool the Ger/ans1 so as they think there is oin to 3e an atta'k here1 and so take their reserve away fro/ Hpres1 where the British are oin to /ake one. --------Wed 12th. Tren'hes. O)r *rtillery still a'tive1 Ger/ans are replyin 3)t we are sendin a doIen over for their one1 whi'h looks as if we have plenty of shells. --------Thurs 13th Tren'hes. 2o shellin today on either side. --------in

Fr d&1!th. An (ield :ospital. --------Sat 15th. do [d tto] --------Sun 1"th. Tren'hes. Ats very B)iet today as re ards artillery1 3)t there are plenty of aeroplanes a3o)t. --------Mon 17th. Tren'hes. The Ger/ans are 3)sy with Rifle Grenades today 3)t they are sendin the/ too far. --------Tues 18th. Tren'hes G)ns B)iet1 3)t we are doin plenty of fati )e work et'. --------Wed 19th. Tren'hes. Ger/ans shellin today. they are always fairly 3)sy on Wed. D ,)n. --------Thurs 20th. Two o)t of C.Coy. o o)t D fet'h in Bavarian fla . 65te ; Ro)thlid e D ,er t Ri 3y7 --------Fr d 21st. Tren'hes. 5lenty shellin on 3oth sides today ot to keep )nder 'over --------Sat 22nd. Co/e o)t of tren'hes for a rest went 3a'k 3ehind J4i='h3)ishK to JCanadian h)tsK fo)r /ile 3ehind firin line. --------Sun 23rd. Rest Ca/p. 4oin 5hysi'al drill1 D Co/pany drill1 A s)ppose it is to keep fit. --------Mon 2!th. ,)ppose to 3e restin 1 3)t are )p di --------in tren'hes.

Tues 25th. do --------Wed 2"th do --------Thurs 27th Ba'k at tren'hes a ain. An wood :oldin .astern Redo)3t a3o)t 8%% yds 3ehind firin line. Ger/ans are shellin the wood often. --------Fr d.28th. .astern. Redo)3t. C)iet today1 5retty lively at ni ht-ti/e. --------Sat. 29th. .astern Rt. do --------Sun.30th do --------Mon 31st do --------Tues 1st Se#t. An (ront line tren'hes to relieve 2orth)/3erland ()s. Ger/ans are sendin plenty of Rifle Grenades over. and 2orth. ()s had a few 'as)alties 3efore we 'o/e in --------Wed 2nd. Tren'hes *rtillery 3)sy today and Grenade fi htin . --------Thurs 3rd. Tren'hes plenty of rain today very B)iet. --------Fr d. !th. Tren'hes. *rtillery fi htin . ---------

Sat 5th. do --------Sun "th do --------Mon.7th. Tren'hes. Ger/ans shell o)r reserve "9 *i Coy. Cas)alties with one shell1 whi'h went in 3arn --------Tues. 8th. Transferred to R.. 6Gas ,e'tion7 to train in the )se of as Cylinders. &eft tren'hes for :a)lfort a3o)t ! /ile fro/ ,t. Or/er. --------Wed. 9th. *rrived at :a)lfort and posted to #-$ Coy. [Co/pany] R...[Royal .n ineers]. --------Thurs. 10th. &earnin how to atta'h pipes to Gas Cylinders1 e=pe't to )se Gas for the first ti/e in a few weeks. --------Fr d 11th Sat 12th Sun 13th Mon 1!th Tues 15th Wed 1"th Thurs 17th Fr d 18th Sat 19th Sun 20th Mon 21st Tues 22nd Wed 23rd --------do [ditto] do do do do do do do do do do do ,hifted )p to 0asin ar3e a3o)t " /ile fro/ firin line.

Thurs 2!th Gettin pipes et' ready1 e=pe't an atta'k to 'o/e toni ht. &eave at >p/ for tren'hes at &oos. --------Fr d 25th. Bi British *dvan'e. Gas )sed for the first ti/e. *fter a 3o/3ard/ent lastin nearly " days the British had the Ger/an tren'hes flattened o)t. They advan'ed a3o)t #"%% yds aro)nd &oos D :ill 9%. $th Bla'k Wat'h D Co)nty of &ondon Re . lead the atta'k appostite [opposite?] &oos. * lot of Ger/ans 'apt)red 3esides 0a'hine G)ns and Bi G)ns. --------Sat 2"th Battle still oin on. --------Sun 27th Gettin the Gas Cylinders o)t of the tren'hes. --------Mon 28th do. Ger/ans are sendin plenty of shells over. --------Tues 29th @ do [ditto]. Wed 30th @do Thurs 'ct 1st @do Fr d 2nd.@ do. --------Sat 3rd. *fter we et 3a'k fro/ tren'hes Ger/ans shelled o)r 3illets.9 killed D - wo)nded. R..'s. --------Sun !th Gettin new pipes ready for another atta'k e=pe'ted to 'o/e of shortly 6&a Bas7. --------Mon 5th Tues "th Wed 7th Thurs 8th Fr d 9th Sat 10th Sun 11th Mon 12th do [ditto] do do do do do do do

--------Tues 13th *nother atta'k 3y Gas. Terrifi' 3o/3ard/ent 3y Ger/ans. Oppose :)llo'h. #st Bla'k Wat'h D -th Royal Bedfordshires lead the atta'k. British 'apt)re # line of tren'hes. 6An /e/ory of Gordon /y 'h)/ who was killed that day. Willie 5)n'h Castletown B. Wat'h 6killed. --------Wed. 1!th ,till in the tren'hes. The Ger/ans are shellin heavy. --------Thurs 15th. O)r 'haps have lost the line of tren'hes they 'apt)red owin to the ene/ies shell fire. and have retired 3a'k a ain to their own line. --------'ct 10. We are )p in the first line ettin the 'ylinders o)t. Both are havin heavy artillery d)els 'ct 17 do. 'ct 18 J 'ct 19 J 'ct 20 J 'ct 21 J 'ct 22 J 'ct 23 J 'ct 2! J 'ct 25 J 'ct 2" J 'ct 27 Reported ,i'k BooI. 'ct 28 An Beth)ne :os. 'ct 29 &eft J J 'ct 30 Travellin 3y :ospital Train Ro)en. (o). 1st. *d/itted into Ro)en :ospital 62o. ## ,tation :ospital7. *ec 2nd Went )nder operation JAn rown ToenailsK. An 3ed 8 wk. *ec 21. Lp for a day1 3)t we are worst than Ger/an 5risoners here. This hospital has ot r)les of its own. We are only allowed to s/oke half an ho)r after /eals 6A think Ger/an 5risoners have 3etter privile es than those. We have ot to do the R.*.0.C. OrderliesM work here1 s'r)33in floors et'. A think they 'o)ld send so/e of these yo)n fellows )p the line1 and let so/e of the old /en o)t of Anfty Re i/ents who are )p there 'o/e down and repla'e the/. .spe'ially when there is an atta'k on1 yo) never see any R.*.0.C. /en in the tren'hes 6or a lot /ore lives wo)ld pro3a3ly 3e saved7 o)r own few stret'her 3earers have to do the work1 and the R.*.0.C who are a3o)t +% /iles 3ehind et the 'redit. We have a very ni'e sister here in fa't1 she is that ni'e lookin 1 we 'all here Rat-trap fa'e and one of the 6;o'ks7 said he had seen 3etter lookin Ger/an 5risoners. ,he said she had fo)r sisters

as oodlookin as herself. A donMt know what the 3ad-lookin /)st 3e like. ,he 'o/e in one /ornin 1 in 3ad tri/1 and we were havin a a/e of 'ards aro)nd the fire1 when she took the 'ards and fl)n the/ in the stove1 so A didnMt think /)'h of her. A will now t)rn to the 2o +. sister. ,he was a very ni'e sister1 the very opposite to 2o #. ,he 'o/e fro/ Areland1 3)t A 3elieve the 60iss &aw7 do'tor was p)llin )p to her1 he always see/ed to 3e doin his ro)nds when she happened to 3e in1 and A wo)ld of done the sa/e. We )sed to et o)t /eals in the dinin hall. We never had a ta3le 'loth on o)r ta3le1 3)t we had o)r photo raphs taken one day1 there was a ta3le 'loth on1 the 3read was ')t )p1 and Ti'klers ;a/ left on a plate1 A s)ppose that photo raph was for the ,ket'h 6To//y en<oys hi/self in hospital7 A donMt think not in that hospital anyhow. A ot dis'har ed on 4e'. #%th1 and the Operation /arks werenMt healed )p 3)t A was lad to et o)t and then /y tro)3les werenMt over as the O.0.,. tried to i/pose a t)ni' on /e whi'h A 'o)ldnMt 3)tton1 3)t after a lot of r)/3lin he ive /e a new one. A think he was tryin to /ake a 3it on his own1 so A wasnMt sorry to et o)t of that pla'e. A wo)ld rather 3e a/on st B)rstin ,hrapnel1 that 3e ad/itted to 2o.## ,tationary a ain. *ec 11th Went to Con. Ca/p. The Colonel of the :ospital told /e A wo)ld 3e fo)r or five days there1 3)t fo)r or five ho)rs was eno) h there. A was p)t in 'har e of the G)ard there1 first ni ht1 and there were all fati )es ne=t day so A told the 4o'tor to /ark /e o)t *'tive1 whi'h he did. A left there on 4e' #8 for Clearin Base Ro)en. *ec 1!. &eft 'learin 3ase for #9 4ivision Base 6&an's ()s7 donMt know e=a'tly whi'h Re A 3elon to &an's ()s or .n ineers and A donMt Care. *ec 15. *rrived at .taples /ornin and pro'eeded to #9 4iv Anfty Base 4epot 6&an's ()s.7 Reported. C.O. and 4o'tor as fit1 and taken on stren th. *ec 1". We do a lot of trainin here 6re'r)its drill et'7 This 3ase re'eives all the drafts fro/ .n that keep feedin the Battalions )p in the tren'hes. *ec 17. 0arked for draft to o )p the line to the #%th &an's ()s. 3)t et /arked o)t a ain1 as A really 3elon to the R. ..s. 64onMt know whi'h B--- Re A 3elon to7. *ec 18 19 20 21 22 23 Trainin and doin Ordnan'e (ati )es. et'.

*ec 2!. 5)t in 'har e of 5)/p G)ard 6+" ho)rs7. 'o/e of on Christ/as /ornin . *ec 25th. 6Christ/as 4ay7 Co/e of G)ard in /ornin . :ad a pass to .taples at ni ht. *ec 2"th. Ord , t for &an's ()s D 2. 2orth ()s. *ec 27. + 28. J J

+ 29. + 30.

J J

Lp line a ain (e3 N #$#>. Ti'ket to Wiser e. Overslept. Went to *rks. Walked 3a'k to :alfort. ======================================================= ================== [.24 O( 4A*RH] ======================================================= ================== [ ,.. B.&OW (OR OT:.R .2TRA., *24 A&&L,TR*TAO2,O] [OT:.R .2TRA., *24 A&&L,TR*TAO2,O] O Ank drawin of stylised s/ilin fa'e with ')rly hair and pointed 3eard. O Ank drawin of stylised s/ilin fa'e with heavy <oined )p Psea )llM eye3rows and spiky P3ottle3)shMQhed eho hair O Ank drawin of /o)rnf)l lookin /an with pointed 'hin and ')rly hair N entitled PCorporal WestlakeM >> ,e'tion.M O Ank drawin of si/ilar-lookin s/ilin /an with ')rly hair. O 0iss .. ,tanford "- Grovesend Rd. ,t ;ohns Wood &ondon 2W. O * 'opy of the 'rest of the &an'ashire ()siliers. O [*rtillery notes] >-+#>- at % >-++$# at N > /in = >-++$# N >-+#>----------#%.#+----------Rate of Wind #+.8 per ho)r.

Then artillery ran eQtar et dia ra/s. * +93.8-sevenths ============= O . s 0ay >th + N 8! N 0ay 9th + N 8! N 0ay #N $ #N #% # N -- #-- ! 0ay #N 0ay #% #-! $ #N P8! #% #N #-" ## #N 8[?] #+ # N ------------------- O ;)d in 4istan'e Rifle Ran es 4istan'e +-%% N +%%% yd &on +%%% N #"%% .ffe'tive #"%% N >%% Close >%% D )nder [pl)s dia ra/ of ri ht an led trian le ] O Ran e Card. (or. ;)d in 4istan'e Cpl. W. Cain. [pl)s se/i'ir')lar dia ra/ of ran es and vario)s lo'al feat)res PTreeM P:o)seM O 5te T. C)33on. R*0C. +8rd 0.* C. >!> Coy [Co/pany] Catford ,... .n .

0r ;. Eewley 'Qo 0rs Cro/pton $ Cook ,tR 5endleton ,alford. 0an'hester. &an's. .n land. O Transferred R... ,ept -th #$#!. Ano')lation + doses (e3 #$#!. Wi/3orne 4orset. + dose Ano')lation :alfort. (ran'e #st dose 0ar'h #9th #$#>. +nd J *pril 8rd #$#>. O &etters *pril #8th 0rs T Cain #"th 0rs T C)33on #!th 0r C ; Cain #>th 0iss ( Cain +8rd 0r C ; Cain +"th 0r ; C)33on +!th 0iss & Cain +>th 0rs T Cain +9 0r W Woods +- 0iss 0 (ara her +$ 0iss & Cain 8% 0r C ; Cain 0ay #st Wesleyan ,. G)ild 0ay 8rd 0rs (iford. 0ay !th 0iss T [(?] Cain >th 0r W Woods 0ay $th . 0r C ; Cain J #%th 0rs T Cain J ##th 0rs 0 (ara her J #8th 0iss ( Cain. #"th 5te Geo Eelly. #!th 0r ; Eewley O

()se. 4et. 5ri/a. G)n Cotton. (ire [?] ()se # yd[?]1 -- # S /in Anstan J # se'. 8% ft. Cpl. C. W. O Cain W Cpl. 5te 2i=ion [?] H or [?] & J 0' 2i'ol J J 0a'ly. J J Bates. 4 of W. J (lint. J J Ryan J ---------------------------------------------O O Fi' :anley. #9 4avis ,t. Oldha/ &an's. ------------------.. Cottrell. #$ 4)'hess ,t. Cresswell 4er3yshire -----------------:. Chilton 8% Bod/in Rd. Walton &iverpool. ------------------*. 2i'holson ++8 B)rnley Rd. Colne. &an's. -------------------

0rs (iford 2o.+ Grove Cres'ent Wi/3orne 4orset. Billeted there #$#" N #! *lso ;. Watterson 6killed in a'tion7. O :awkes 0ooney 0'Connell Townsend 0or an O 5arade -."! (ati )e 4ress