Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
The War Diary of 2364 Cpl Joseph Parker Howe. M.M. Page 8.

Card sent from Armentieres by Joe Howe to his Mother.

Ration carrying roster.

Wednesday. Nothing much doing. Resting, very wet and nasty most of day.
Thursday. 28th October All quiet, odd parades etc. Still nasty weather. We left old billets and went into some old School for the night and next Friday.
Only having odd parades. Going to trenches for a spell tonight. In these billets was a lot of statues, the Virgin Mary etc. And also in the grounds roses were in flower. It seems to have been a nice old place, but it too has suffered from shells. We had issued to us today also Mackintosh Capes, which will prove a Godsend this wet time in trench No 71.
Saturday. All fairly quiet today.
Sunday. All fair, plenty of trench work, digging and repairing trenches.
Monday. 1st November. Very nasty and wet all day. Dugout falling in. Trenches giving. All fairly quiet on enemies part.
Tuesday. Still raining all day and night. Trenches falling in, in about all traverses. Working out in it all day. Got top coat wet through, also oil "sheel" and cap wet through and clarts up to the knees. Very nasty indeed. Communications trenches, boards swimming about. Up to knees in water.
Wednesday. Still raining. Trench sides still falling in and filling up trench. I doubt it if the War lasts long without any bombardments, most of the trenches and dugouts in this part of the line will all come down and cave in. If they shell trenches it would be awful. All trenches would be numbered. I have heard that already the Germans have the same trouble and perhaps worse, for our Artillery is hardly ever silent on trenches etc.
We expect to get relieved tonight. This time up had been the most wretched and uncomfortable yet.
Thursday. 4th Nov. From this date till Nov 18th, we had a fairly quiet time and then went to a village called Merris for a months rest. Having a good time. Officers joining the men in their games etc.
I attended one night a concert given by Soldiers and RAMCs at Bailleul. A very grand concert too. I got a free ticket. Only 2 of each Company could go. So I was lucky. Bailleul is about 2 miles from Merris and 8 miles or so from Armentieres.
On Saturday, 18th December. we left our comfortable billets in Merris and marched to Dickie Busche [Dickebusch].
About 4 o'clock next morning we got a rude awakening for our quiet time in trenches at Armentieres and our rest time was quite a good time, but now we have got to a real hot place.
As I mentioned above, in the morning of 19th December, 4 o'clock, we were all wakened by the smell of Gas, which, when one has undergone it before, never forgets.
The Germans were again using Gas and their Artillery supporting them. They again tried an attack, but were repulsed everywhere, our guns playing havoc with them.
We spent Xmas Day in St James dugouts by Lake Zillebeke, the village and station being all blown to bits. In trenches from Xmas Day night till New Year's Eve night and went back to spend New Year's Day in huts at Dickie Busche, when we got relieved.
[Joe sent the following Greetings cards that show by this time he had been promoted to Lance Corporal and then Corporal]
He was given more responsibilities for his Diary contains a 12 Platoon Roll Call, Ration carrying list, Sick list etc.
Ration Lists.

Number 12 Platoon Roll.
Sergt Coates
Sergt Hudson R
2364 Corporal J P Howe
407 L/Cpl Glasper
1469 L/Cpl Parnaby
L/Cpl Bainbridge T
1472 Pte Brown R W
2322 Pte Bruce A
2453 Pte Cherry A
2157 Pte Farrow B
2528 Pte Hilyard A W

1504 Pte Jefferson H
1469 Pte Parnaby T R
1714 Pte Pickersgill H
3186 Pte Rowe B H
2523 Pte Taylor A G
3614 Pte Vincent R
2370 Pte Bainbridge J W
2507 Pte R Bulmer
3915 Pte Chambers J W
2450 Pte G Bowe
2196 Pte Brown R

2179 Pte Fenton P
2508 Pte Johnson C
3506 Pte Burd H
1988 Pte Ward A J
3435 Pte Russell H
4210 Pte Robinson J
4185 Pte Fawcett A
2596 Pte Libby W H
4103 Pte Marshall A H
4225 Pte Horner G
4265 Pte Eves J

4260 Pte Bowes G W
4262 Pte Jefferson J
4212 Pte Mullen J P
1007 Pte Jamson R
4032 Pte Metcalfe W
4687 Pte Cooper A
5255 Pte Mee A
4224 Pte Charlton N
4693 Pte Robinson T
4919 Pte Grange J H
4109 Pte Taylor J. [S]

4071 Pte Pitt H E. [LG]
3978 Pte Pte Carlin G
2675 Pte Dinsdale G. [LG]
3241 Pte Gibbon A. [S]
2855 Pte Mundy G A
3910 Pte Whitehead W
3936 Pte MacIntyre
4616 Pte McCormack J
4867 Pte Jarvis R
4444 Pte Robinson J W
4473 Pte Brannigan H
4211 Pte Linsley J W
[The LG and S after certain names was probably Lewis Gun and Stretcher Bearer.]
Card sent from Merris by Joe Howe to his parents.

Card sent from Dickebusche by Joe Howe to his Mother.

Card sent from trenches at Hill 60, Ypres by Joe Howe to his parents.

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