|Andrew Findlay Nisbet
26 Aug 1891 - 23 Mar 1967
Diary of Lance Corporal A.F. Nisbet
Tuesday 6th July 1915
Landed back at Tidworth (i.e. Parkhouse Camp) 11:45 and after reporting myself had to draw my rifle & equipment from the stores. Also Respirator, Identity Disc, new Water Bottles, First Field dressing & small tin of rifle oil. In the afternoon I had to pass the Doctor who pronounced me fit for Active Service.
Wednesday 7th July 1915
Packed up all my spare kit and handed them in to be sent back to Perth. I don't suppose we will see them again. The rest of the day we lounged about, our advance party left for France 3 a.m. in the morning.
Thursday 8th July 1915
We were paraded & told that half the Batt was leaving camp to proceed on Active Service. At 1 o'clock in the afternoon we got issued out with 120 rds of ammunition and at 1:10 p.m. we left for the Station. As we left camp C & D Companies, who were to follow 1/2 an hour later, gave us a good send off, so also did the other Regiments in Tidworth & the population. We left Tidworth Station about 1:30 p.m. and landed at Folkestone at 9 p.m. the same night, where we embarked & landed at Boulonge 1 about midnight. We were put up for the night in a camp just outside of the Town (Marlborough Camp).
Friday 9th July 1915
We were dished out with Iron Rations and Jack Knives and left at the back of 4 o'clock in the afternoon to march to Pont Des Briques Station. We left this place about 6 at night and arrived at Watten about 4 hours later, passing by Calais on our journey. After arriving at Watten we marched to Moule 2 where we were billeted in stables and barns, with only your Great Coat for a blanket.
Saturday 10 July 1915
Nothing out of the common. Still at Moulle.
Sunday 11 July 1915
Monday 12 July 1915
(heading but no entry)
Tuesday 13 July
Still at Moulle. Got paid 5 francs but had some difficulty in getting them changed as there were too many of us.
We had a Route March to a Castle which had been shelled by the Germans. Result - 1 tree broken. Nothing more of interest only the march was a pure piece of Tomfoolery.
Left Moulle and marched to a place name Hazbrouck 3, where we billeted for the night.
Left Hazbrouck and marched to St. Leraix where we billeted for the night - just the same as Moulle, stables and barns.
About 6:30 left St. Leraix and marched to Houchain 4 where we billeted in old houses, stables and barns.
The Billets not being very good we shifted out to a wood just outside the village, another reason for doing so was that enemy aircraft were flying over us and we could see the shots from our Anti-Aircraft Guns bursting all round them until some of our own aeroplanes came & chased them off.
Still lying in the woods at Houchain where we have made little huts of branches. The people of the village not very obliging. They won't allow us to use their wells or give us a loan of their water Buckets to draw water from the wells.
Received a Brigade order to draw water from a place named Barlin 5. I wish it was only Berlin then we would know this war was finished.
Had to get a pass to allow us to pass the French Sentries who were posted at a Level crossing just outside Barlin. People very interested in our kilts and very obliging. Very heavy bombardment all night - couldn't get to sleep.
Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd
Nothing very particular.
Our Glengarries have been taken from us & khaki Barmoral Bonnets handed out instead. Received our second pay in France - 5 francs (4/2)
Nothing of importance.
Monday 26th until Tuesday 27th
Nothing of Importance
Very easy all day but at 8 o'clock at night we left Houchain to go up into the trenches for two days (48 hrs) for instruction. A & B Coys only with Field Cookers and one Water Cart. We arrived at a place named Bully Grenay 6 where we were attached to two London Territorial Regts, A going with the 24th Batt London Regt (TF) and B going with the 23rd Batt to which I was also attached. As we were on our road up the Artillery of both sides were fairly going at it. Arrived at 12 midnight and were billeted in houses which the people had left in a hurry. Very tired so slept very sound.
Companies went into the trenches after breakfast. I had a look round to see where I was and what a sight. I saw there wasn't a house standing but was either without a roof or had big holes in the walls from shell fire - the whole place is wrecked. All day long the Germans shelled us but we got off scot-free.
Same as Thursday but were relieved at night by C & D companies & we arrived back in Houchain about 3:30 in the morning.
Saturday 31st & Sunday 1st Aug
Resting at Houchain.
Monday 2nd Aug 1915
Left Houchain at 8:45 at night to go back to the trenches for 11 days, where we arrived about 12 midnight & the Coys went into billets for the night. Passed the London chaps on our road up to the trenches - they seemed very pleased at getting away for a good rest and a short holiday at home. They have been out for 4 months.
Tuesday 3rd until Tuesday 10th
Nothing of importance. Shelled occasionally. Had to fill my water carts at night as it was very dangerous to do so during the daytime. But at night the German Snipers are very busy and we are in danger of beeing sniped at from three sides. Never in bed before 1 o'clock in the morning. Left Bully Grenay for Roeux Les Mines 7 for a few days rest. Landed at Roeux Les Mines about 1:30 in the morning - were billeted in barns and stopped until:
Tuesday 17th Aug
when we left for Mazengarbe 8 where our Brigade were to be stationed as reserve in case of attack. Our 1st Batt are lying just in front of our Billets.
Very quiet but at night German Aeroplanes came across our lines armed with machine guns but were driven off by our Anti-Aircraft Guns. Our Artillery opened fire at night but that didn't keep me from having a good sleep.
Friday 20th until Thursday 26th " " (ditto)
My Birthday; left for the trenches and arrived at a place named Philosophe where we had our first man wounded. We stayed here four days and had in all 1 killed and three wounded. It was Capt Gilchrist who was killed.
Landed back in Mazingarbe for another rest about 12 midnight. Nothing doing until:
Two chaps wounded by Accident, Machine Gun, and at night 1 was killed and two wounded while out as working Parties by a trench Mortal Shell. From then until:
Nothing of importance.
Digging Dugouts getting ready for the big Bombardment and advance. Also received instruction in how to use large water tanks in the trenches as I have to go into the trenches along with the Batt next time they go in to look after the water tanks inside the trenches (which is a new idea.)
7th until 23rd Sept
Nothing of importance. Getting ready for the big advance. Got orders that I had also to man the trenches so I went back to my Company on:
Friday 24th and
left for the trenches at about 6 o'clock at night and arrived at the back of 10 o'clock where we found the REs fixing up Gas cylinders and pipes.
Saturday 25th Sept
The Royal Engineers started to put the Gas across to the German lines at 6:10 in the morning and burnt Smoke Candles which gave out a dense cloud of Smoke. The Engineers finished at 6:38 and we jumped the parapet at 6:40 and made for the German lines but we found they had no heart for a fight, prefering to be made prisoners, then we went right on to Loos 9 and captured the place taking a lot more prisoners. Finally landed on a small hill about a 1/2 mile or so at the back of Loos named Hill 70 where we received a check. After lying for about two hours the left flank retired for want of ammunition and also the want of Officers. This left our left flank exposed and we were being enfiladed and in the face of a very heavy fire we had to retire back to where our left flank had taken up their new position. It was while doing so I got wounded in the legs so I just made my way back to our dressing Stations but before I got there a Sgt & a Corporal of the R.A.M.C. dressed my wounds. Then I made my way to where the Motor Ambulance Wagons were and got taken to a clearing Station, where I lay until:
when I was taken by Motor to Lilliers 10 and lay in the 9th Casualty-Clearing Station until one o'clock on Wednesday (29th) morning when we were put on a train for an unknown place, but at last after 36 hours journey we landed at Rouen, arriving 2 o'clock on:
Thursday afternoon the 30th
where I lay until Saturday morning (6 o'clock) when I was taken and laid in a stretcher (being told I was going home) and put into a Motor which took me to the Hospital Ship named "St. George" and we left for England about 9:30 a.m. and arrived at Southhampton about 11:30. We were carried right from the boat to the train which was going to Scotland.
Sunday the 3rd Oct
Left Southhampton at 12:15 a.m. Landed in Edinburgh at one o'clock in the Afternoon & was taken to Craigleith Hosp.
Monday 4th Oct
Was under Xrays to see if I had any bullets in my legs which I haven't been told yet.
Finished for the Present