Fergie’s dinner went off splendidly. We sat down 43, of whom about six were guests. Bde. Staff, Berry, 1st Bn., man in R.F.C. here, etc. Quite a good dinner, at 7 francs a head, in a private room at a café. Mess Sergt. and waiters assisted. Toasts—“The King,” “President French Republic,” “Our Guests,” proposed by me, responded to by Col. Clarke [sic]; “The Battalion,” proposed by Col. Clarke [sic], responded to by Fergie; “The C.O.” proposed by Berry, in a charming speech, and drunk with musical honours. Of course far too flattering. A few songs and finally “Auld Lang Syne,” “Marseillaise,” and National Anthem. We dispersed at 11.00 p.m. We got a ‘bus to bring them in and take them back. Snow still covers the land, and the outlook is very wintry, but a thaw is on and everything is very slushy. The glass has been steadily rising for two days, so I hope no more snow. A man is to be tried for disclosing his whereabouts; got a French girl to address the envelope, stamp it and post it in the civil post office.


The dinner was held in the Hotel du Canon d’Or in Bailleul (later destroyed by shell fire) on the evening of 18 January and the guests were: Major G F Cavendish-Clarke, Staff Captain, 108th Brigade, Lieutenant R T Campbell and Lieutenant E A Godson, who were attached to the staff of 108th Brigade (from 12th Royal Irish Rifles and 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers respectively); Brey Lazart, the 108th Brigade staff interpreter; Captain J G E FitzGerald MC who had left the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers in January 1916 to join the Machine Gun Corps; Captain W S S Berry RAMC, the Battalion Medical Officer; and Lieutenant J Butler MC, an officer of the 1st Battalion attached to the Royal Flying Corps.

(This list should replace that found in ‘Blacker’s Boys’, Chapter 4, p 106.)

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