[Lieutenant Colonel Blacker on leave.]

New Year 1916 was heralded by the band, led by the Chaplain, playing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, ‘Le Marseillaise’, ‘Barossa’ (one of the regimental songs) and ‘God Save The King’. The companies were employed on fatigues, although ‘A’ Company managed a turn in the bath house and the football team played 13th Royal Irish Rifles, which resulted in a 1-1 draw.

After a battalion route march on Monday 3 January, the rest of the week was spent training by companies, and in the officers’ mess the officers attended lectures by those who had undertaken classes and demonstrations. By Saturday 8 January the Battalion was ready to move and, with the rest of 108th Brigade, it marched to new billets in Prouville. Lieutenant Colonel Blacker joined the Battalion there the next day.

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