Private John Cushnie Collection

Gentleman's Diary & Letters Home - June 1918

Diary & Letters June 1918

Private John Cushnie wrote approximatly 91 letters home from 1916 to 1918, and a diary with 220 entries from 1918. These letters and diary entries, gratiously provided by Anne Hales and describe John's life in the CEF, from the telegram that he sent saying that he would be home for his first weekend of leave after enlisting, to the telegram that announced that he was back from Europe.

Diary June 1918

Saturday, June 1
Baseball Game
1st Battalion – 6
5th DAC – 5

Sunday, June 2
Fell in at 8.30 am for church parade which lasted a couple of hours after which we got our equipment ready for the route march.
Left Etru at 1.15 pm in heavy marching order.  Were inspected on the way by the GOC.  Very hot marching with heavy packs.  Reached our destination at Mingoval about 5 PM.  Was very tired.  Route march was about 15km.  Mingoval very quiet little place.  Only half battn.  Billeted there – other half at Bethonsart – 2 KM away.
Weather – Hor

Monday, June 3
P.T. in the morning followed by flag drill and lamp readingPay Parade all 11 AM.  Got 25 francs pay.
Slept most of afternoon until tea time.
Went on phone duty in Battalion Orderly Room at 4 PM.  Didn’t have much to do as line wasn’t busy.

Tuesday, June 4
Had a rather cool night with only a greatcoat to keep me warm.
Fell in at 8.30 in battle order.  Were supposed to have 12 mile route march but instead we had maneuvers just outside Mingoval.  Had some good visual work in the scheme.
After tea we went for a walk to Iouy where we did some buying at the canteens etc.  Bill & I got home about 8.30 PM,
Saw Jamieson Martin.
Weather – Fine

Wednesday, June 5
In the morning we had the same maneuvre as on Tuesday but only 2 companies took part and we looked on.  The GOC was present at maneuvre.  OC made a speech afterwards on the scathering system.
Slept all afternoon.
Played ball for a while after tea in a field at back of billet.
Bill& I fixed up a place and slept outside that night.
Weather – Fine

Thursday, June 6
PT in morning after the inspection by Mr. Collier.  Had tests after the PT.
Baseball game in PM 1st Ba(ttalion) vs 3rd Ba(ttalion).  Rather close game but we won by the score of 7-5.  A lot of money changed hands and the Sigs got quite a bit of money.
Canadian mail came in but I just got a box and a letter from home.

Friday, June 7
Section divided into 2 classes A & B classes.
That night we played Dcy.  __? pitched for the Sigs.  It was a rotten game and we lost by 19-5.  The Sigs lost quite a bit of cash to Lieut Charlton on the games.  Smithy pitched the last 2 innings and did some better.

Saturday, June 8
Reveille at 3.30 AM.  After breakfast was detailed for the scheme and I was on Brigade Report Centre.
Fell in at 5.30 and marched to a place 3 miles past Tincques where Bde. Hgrs was to be getting there about 8 AM.  Had an easy time as far as signalling went although we had to move quite a number of times.  Had dinner on the field and hung around until 4 PM when we marched home with the battalion getting home about 6.45 PM
Weather – Hot

Sunday, June 9
Didn’t have to get up until breakfast which was at 8 AM.  No parades in the morning so we played ball most of the time.
Walked to Caucort for a bath with Cpl. More and a few others about 3 oclock.  Had a very good bath and also a change of clothes although I had a __? shirt.
Felt rather stiff & tired as a result of yesterday’s march.
Weather – Fair.

Monday, June 10
The only Parade we had all morning was Church Parade of 10 AM on C Cy Parade grounds.  We were all glad as we hadn’t yet recovered from the hard day on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 11
Had to march to Chelers in the morning to get our gas Respirators tested.  Went around by Tincques which was about 3 KM out of our way.
Got a new canister on my respirator and had the respirator tested also.
Coming back we tried to take a short – cut but we didn’t make the distance much shorter as nobody knew the way and we were going mostly by guesswork.
Weather – Fine

Wednesday, June 12
Was detailed as billet warden in the morning so didn’t have to go on Parade.  It only took a few minutes to clean up the billet and I had the rest of the morning to myself.
In the evening C Cy challenged us to a game of indoor baseball.  Nearly all the fellows were out but we picked a scrub team and played them.  They beat us by 2 runs in the last innings.
Weather – Fine.

Thursday, June 13
The whole battalion marched to Tincques in the morning for the Brigade Sports.  Met quite a number of fellows I knew down there including Bill Black Pinder and Willern of the UG Battalion and also Alec Martin who is a signaller in the 4th Division Artillery.  The 1st ball team won the Bde Championship beating the 4th Ba by 9-8 making 6 runs in a ninth inning rally.
Weather – Fine.

Friday, June 14
Carried on with our regular signalling syllabus in the morning.
In the afternoon Eedy, Bolton and I went to Acq near Mt St. Eloi to see the 1st Ba play the 10th .  We went down in motor lorries.  Also saw the 2 Smiths, Patterson, Walters, Copland.  The first won the ball game rather easily as the 10th didn’t have much of a team.
Had a rough ride home as the lorry was packed right full.  Didn’t have tea until about 9 PM.
Weather – Cool

Saturday, June 15
Reveille at 4.30 as we were to have another Brigade Scheme.  Fell in about 6.30 and about 10 am reached Mouche-Breton which was our H.Q.
Didn’t have much to do in the scheme and it ended at noon.
We marched back to Mingoval by way of Tincques and the whole battalion stayed to see the ball game between 1st & 15th Bas.  Our team won the game easily. Saw Alec Martin again at this game.  Marched home arriving there about 9 PM.
Weather – Cool

Sunday, June 16
Church Parade at 10 PM on C Coy’s Parade grounds.  Didn’t have our own Padre and the new one preached a much better sermon than our regular padre.
After Church Parade we went right down o the Pay Office and got paid I got 20 francs.
Played ball most of the afternoon.

Monday, June 17
Was on duty from 12 – to 4 am.  Came back to billet and got ab out 1 ½ hr sleep before breakfast.  Played baseball all morning besides getting cleaned up.  Walked down to Tincques after dinner to see the Divisional Sports.
Met Smithy and the other 10th fellows there.  Our ball team lost out to 1st DAC by the score of 12-3.  We stayed to see the Div. Concert Party.  Same show as we saw at 4 huts – Got home about 10 PM after hard walking.

Tuesday, June 18
In the morning we had a baseball game instead of PT.
We got off the parade for a while and scrubbed our equipment.
Had a lecture by Srg. Henderson on Field Cipher.

Wednesday, June 19
Rain in the morning so bad no parade outside.  Had buzzer practice inside until 11 am.  Then we had a lecture by the Brigade Gas officer in one of the company billets.  He spoke on the different kinds of German gas and what to do in case we ran up against it.
Wrote some letters in the afternoon.
Weather - Rain

Thursday, June 20
Was on duty in the Orderly Room from 8 am until noon.  Was rather busy all morning.
The Section was supposed to go out on a Brigade Scheme to Chelers but it was called off on account of wet weather and they got home by noon.
We had a game of baseball that night.  Operators vs Linemen.  We won by 9-6 when game was called at 6th innings on account of rain.
Weather – Rain

Friday, June 21
Inspec tion by Mr. Collyer first thing in the morning.  Followed by flagger reading  and stations work.  Explored a little French __tory.
At 2 PM we fell in and marched down to Aubeiguy to have the section’s picture taken.  There were about 50 all told in the picture.  Bought a pipe and had super in Aubigny.
Got two letters when  got home from Aunt Annie and A. McEwan.
Weather – Cloudy

Saturday, June 22
Had a few minute PT in the morning.  Heard a court-martial case read out on the p0arade grounds.  Paraded down to Concort for a bath at 10 oclock getting back about 12.30 PM.
After tea the Operators played the Linemen again and we won again by the score of 18-16.
Went down to Bethonsart about 9 PM as I had to go on duty there next morning.  Had a good sleep that night.
Weather – Fine.

Sunday, June 23
Was on duty from 4 – 8 am at Bethonsart.  Very tiresome shift after breakfast went to bed with Crompton and slept all morning.
Sergt. Henderson left for Duastable England for a 9 weeks course.
Wrote letters and read most of the afternoon.
Got a letter from Iris.
Weather – Fine

Monday, June 24
Inspection by Mr Collyer followed by flag drill, line scheme & buzzer reading.
Were supposed to play A Coy indoor ball but game called off on account of rain.
Euart Pat & I went down to Sauy after tea.  Saw the big 14.2 naval gun.
Had a hard job to find an egg & chip joint but finally found one.  Went to YMCA but it was closed when we got there.  Arrived home about 9.45
Weather – Rainy

Tuesday, June 25
Reveille at 5 am on account of Brigade Scheme.  Fell in at 6.30 and arrived at Magniourt about 10 am.  The scheme lasted until about noon and after dinner we marched right home getting home about 4 PM.
After dinner the Sigs played the Runners in Indoor Baseball.  It was a good game and our team won by 8-6.  I played first base on our team.
Slept with Crompton that night.
Weather – Fine.

Wednesday, June 26
No entry

Thursday, June 27
No entry

Friday, June 28
No entry

Saturday, June 29
No entry

Sunday, June 30
Reveille at 4.30.  Packed my equipment ready to move.  Moved off about 6.30 AM in full marching order.  Marched about 13 KM to St. Aubin arriving there about 10.30.  We were billeted in bivouacs and Bill & I had to make one for ourselves.  Were in a good place right along the bank of a river.
Were busy nearly all afternoon fixing up our bivvy.
Were paid at 7.45 PM getting 20 francs as our pay has been reduced 5 francs a month.
Weather – Hot

Letters June 1918

Date Description
Monday, June 03, 1918 Divisional Concert
Wednesday, June 19, 1918 Quiet days at the front
Sunday, June 30, 1918 Their private river