26 December 1916

Extract from the diary of Pte James Arthur Railton, 8th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

[Pte Railton was from Wallasey and was called up in October 1916 and sent to Mesopotamia]

After group round Lt Price told the Cheshires off. He said they hadn’t the slightest idea what discipline was and they were the worst lost in the battalion and that he was bloody well ashamed of them. Still alongside. Paid 8/-. Another 16 passes. Several came back drunk and made an awful noise until well after midnight. Fighting, etc

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25 December 1916

Extract from the diary of Pte James Arthur Railton, 8th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

[Pte Railton was from Wallasey and was called up in October 1916 and sent to Mesopotamia]

Christmas day (alongside quay). Service around 10am. Awful dinner. 3 rotten potatoes and a price of fat underdone meat and an orange. No sign of any Xmas pudding. Felt most miserable all day. Wrote home (16 men allowed ashore out of our crowd). Went for dinner.

 Extract from the official war diary of the 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Support trenches

250 men employed in carrying T.M. ammunition.  2nd Lieut JAQUES proceeded on leave and 9 O.R’s.   It was decided to hold no Xmas dinner but to wait until January 2nd

Extract from the official war diary of the 2nd Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Christmas Day was very quiet, enemy acted quite decent, did not fire their guns for the whole of the day.

16 December 1916

Extract from the diary of Pte James Arthur Railton, 8th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

[Pte Railton was from Wallasey and was called up in October 1916 and sent to Mesopotamia]

Usual morning work. Got ready to go to Plymouth but changed by mind so messed about all day mostly in the hut darning socks, etc. Jones took my watch to Plymouth and had to repaired for the second time (no charge). (Everyone stoney broke and no sign of any pay).

 

 

14 December 1916

Extract from the diary of Pte James Arthur Railton, 8th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

[Pte Railton was from Wallasey and was called up in October 1916 and sent to Mesopotamia]

[In Plymouth]

Usual morning’s work. Wrote home in the afternoon. Refused our dinner, not fit to eat so had some more given to us. Rather better. Football match, lost 4-1. I scored only goal, a beauty.

 

3 December 1916

Extract from the diary of Pte James Arthur Railton, 8th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

[Pte Railton was from Wallasey and was called up in October 1916 and sent to Mesopotamia]

Reville 3.30am, breakfast between 4 and 5, awful crush. Parade in full marching order at 6am and left camp at about 7am. Marched to Frairy about 3 miles (kit bags on wagon) and took book to Plymouth where we boarded Empress of Britain at about 10.30am. Wrote home. Quarters just the same as Coronia. Right below forehead packed like sardines especially for sleeping accommodation. Attended an impromptu service in the evening on deck. Conducted by a private of the RWF, fine singing accompanied by a cornet played by a private on the RWF. Enjoyed service very much.

30 November 1916

Extract from the diary of Pte James Arthur Railton, 8th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

[Pte Railton was from Wallasey and was called up in October 1916 and sent to Mesopotamia]

Expected to be out at sea on rising tide but found that a cylinder had burst in engine room so could not proceed. Had breakfast and dinner on board and left ship at about 2pm. Stood on the quay til about 5.30pm when we were marched off to a tug close by and taken to Fort Bovison along the coast and landed in small boats. a rather exciting time. Marched to Renney’s Hall near Plymouth (about 2 miles), with full pack and kit bag in the dark. Absolutely jossed on arrival nit [sic] could get noting [sic] to et [sic] and no bed, not even a light in the hut. Slept on the floor with a couple of blankets.