SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26th

Draft arrived last night and am going to see them this p.m. Tom Stewart is back, I hear. 34 from 10th Battalion, and remainder English. Padre deserted us today for the back areas. His subaltern, quite a nice fellow, took our service. Stephen Gwynn and Willie Redmond, both over 50, are Coy. Commanders in 16th Div. Really rather fine. They say W.R. [Redmond] is a most excellent personality. Fine day, but river in flood, I hear. Sergt. Lucas, who got M.M., shot the pigeon.

9.45 p.m. I have to be off early in the morn, as Gen. N. is inspecting the new draft. I saw them this afternoon. Three of our old men, 34 from the 10th Battalion, and 100 from London Territorials, with an average of four months’ service. Not a bad lot I think; one Russian amongst them. Padre delighted in ‘Student at Arms’.


Footnote

This reinforcement draft was the second to include English soldiers (see Tuesday, 8 August). These were men from 3/7th or 3/9th Battalions, The London Regiment, and had arrived in France having been posted to the 1/7 (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment or to the 1/9th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles) before being reallocated to 36th (Ulster) Division and posted to 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers. You can read more about this draft here. The Russian was 43314 Private Mat J Pyanowski, who served with the Battalion for the rest of the war.

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