As I thought, we go into the trenches tomorrow; go down again this p.m. to settle matters. The Division have climbed down now about quintuplicate, and say they will do it [copies of medal recommendations]. A man in Royal Scots—Mudie—has succeeded Spender, friend of Pratt’s. Haven’t seen him yet. Thank heaven they’ve left us absolutely alone this rest tour.
They haven’t got their plans out for the working parties, so we scored. Next time we will be hard at work digging. A draft of 90 arriving today. Hear they are Notts and Derby men. It’s warm again today, mist early, but no rain. I fear very, little rain will turn these trenches and this place into a sea of mud. Padre has taken over the mess, and already an improvement. Finger all right again; due I think to lack of veg. and tinned things perpetually.
10.45 p.m. Went round our new line this evening, three hours solid walking from here. Rather weary, and so hot. Saw Holt. He will act as 2nd in Command of Downs till Bob Maxwell returns. The draft came in this evening, and I inspect them in the morn. Fergie says a fine looking lot.
The draft, in fact, comprised 88 men from 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) at Sunderland. Some were newly trained men and others were recovered wounded or sick who had served previously in France, or with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. It was the first of a series of drafts of English reinforcements that joined the Battalion and reflected the difficulty in keeping the Division up to strength using men from the reserve battalions in Ireland alone. You can read more about the Englishmen who joined the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers here.