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The 1918 Wartime Diary of Private Charles Robert Bottomley

December 1, 1918 -- Held up for rations in Tohogne all day. The rations came in about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. During the day, they had to buy feed and potatoes for horse and men. We slept in a big room in an estamient.

December 2, 1918 -- Left Tohogne about 7 o'clock. We passed through very hilly and wild looking country, all up hill and down. We passed a village called Bomal. Stopped in a village called Harre and slept in a school house.

December 3, 1918 -- Left Harre about 9 o'clock, traveling through very hilly and wild country. We arrived in a place called Lierneux about 4 a.m. No rations came up until 9 p.m. at night. We brought some steak and had a feed. We billeted with an old couple. Last Belgium town.

December 4, 1918 -- We left Liemeux traveling via Corrone Veilsalm and Pethihier, passing over the frontier of Germany at 1.20 p.m. in the afternoon. General Currie and staff taking us over. We arrived in a German village called Recht and slept over a farmer's house. A platoon of infantry was attached to us. Frontier town Valsalm crossed.

December 5, 1918 -- Stayed in the village of Recht all day, resting the horses and cleaning vehicles and guns. We had a pretty good billet. Rations started to come in a little better.

December 6, 1918 -- Got orders to move left of Recht traveling through Born and landed in a village called Bullingham and was billeted with a German farmer. It was funny to see the German discharged soldier saluting our sergeants. The lady of the house cooked a meal of potatoes and cabbage. The village was very dirty also the roads.

December 7, 1918 -- Left Bullingham at 5 a.m., traveling through Rhineland, a very hilly country and a nice looking country. Arrived in a village called Reiffersherd at 4 p.m. Some of our fellow started a racket in an estaminet. The village was not a good looking place. Boarded with a family of six kiddies and man and wife, Passcherdale.

December 8, 1918 -- Left the village about 7 a.m., on a short march. Went through some very nice country. The Germans were just coming from church and lined up to see us pass. Passed through Gall and arrived in a village called Schever, on top of a hill. Boarded with some very nice people.

December 9, 1918 -- Left Scheven about 7 a.m. Traveled through some pretty nice country and arrived in a big barracks town called Fuskuchen. Billeted in the barracks. Met Jack Morton and one or two more Oshawa boys.

December 10, 1918 -- Left the barracks town and made a long hike and landed in a small village called Walberberg, about 10 kilos from Bonn. We billeted with some very nice German people and slept upstairs.

December 11, 1918 -- Working around the horse lines, cleaning guns and wagons. In the afternoon and night, gun park guard.

December 12, 1918 -- On guard during the day. Had a very easy day. Raining most of the day.

December 13, 1918 -- We left Walberberg about 9 a.m., on our march across the Rhine. We went through some of the main street of Colonge and across one of the Rhine bridges and marched pass General Plumer McDonnel and H.Q. staff. We had a splendid view of the Cathedral and the Rhine River. Slept in a prisoner of war cage at Humbold works, Cologne-Kalk.

December 14, 1918 -- Left Cologne-Kalk and marched to a prisoner of war cage near a dynamite works, a place called Militatraugs. Not a bad place. During the evening, six of us went to Colonge and had a look around the city. Got back about 10 at night, Lond Dynamite Works.

December 15, 1918 -- We stayed in the POW camp cleaning guns in the morning. Took things very easy during the day.

December 16, 1918 -- We left the POW camp and went to a big military barracks near Wahn. All the 1st was billeted around here.

December 17, 1918 -- We are settled down in the barracks for a few weeks. I was detailed for guard during the day. We had a good billet both for horse and men.

December 18, 1918 -- During the day, we started to clean up for a general inspection. During the night, we had a walk around town and brought some German pie and cake and she certainly was a rotten dope.

December 19, 1918 -- Cleaning up vehicles during the day. In afternoon, had a bathing parade Stayed in barracks at night.

December 20,1918 -- Cleaning up around the guns and wagons. Having a pretty good time.

December 21, 1918 -- Cleaning up in the morning. In the afternoon, on holiday.

December 22, 1918 -- Church service in the morning. A very impressive service and well attended. In the afternoon, on holiday.

December 23, 1918 -- Cleaning around vehicles all day. Putting in a pretty fair time. Sticking around the barracks

December 24, 1918 -- Working around the gun sheds. General Morrison came around inspecting in the afternoon. The Colonel inspected the horses and men. Stuck around the barracks at night. A lot of the boys were boozed.

December 25, 1918 -- Got up at 6:30 a.m. Had bully beef for breakfast and dinner. At night, we had a great Christmas dinner consisting of soup, vegetables, turkey, goose, pudding, and fruit. We had a good time. Also we had a German orchestra playing. The Colonel gave us a step dance.

December 26, 1918 -- Nothing much doing all day. At night was on guard. Some of the boys were feeling good, into boozing at night.

December 27, 1918 -- During the day was on guard duties. We were taking things very quiet. Rumors that we were going to be relieved.

December 28, 1918 -- Still around Wahn camp. Pretty well fed up with it. Everything around out of bounds. Doing very little all day.

December 29, 1918 -- Having a pretty fun time. At night, went to church. We had a pretty good service.

December 30, 1918 -- Laying around camp all day.

December 31, 1918 -- Laying around camp all day.

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