Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Will Sidney's War - March 1918 - Still on the Italian Front Line

I can't believe its been such a long time since I published a Will Sidney post.  My last post was in September last year and covered day to day life for Will on the Italian front line.

We pick up Will's story at the beginning of March 1918 with notes of day to day life on the front line, bad weather, wrestling on horseback and more marching ...
"3 Sunday - Rev 6, Kit Inspection 10am.  Church P 11am.  I had the day off on account of inoculations.  Rest in bed.  Paid 30 Lires (5/-)."
"4 Monday - Rev 6, B 8, Parade border for 9 then again @ 11.30 for Range.  Raining cats & dogs & got dismissed off the range.  Got back @1 oclock. No letters"
"5 Tuesday -  Rev 6.15, B 6.45, Parade for 3 Sgts & me @ 7.30 for Mountbello Hill to view the ground.  Coy parade & finished @ 2.30.  Letter from Ma."
 "6 Wednesday - Rev 6, B 8, Inspections 9, 10 & 11. Full marching order.  Marched off for Road 12.  Raining all day.  Rotten road, all up hill work.  Very tired.  In bed 7.30."
"7 Thursday - Rev 6, B 8, Parade all cleaned up 11am.  We were all muck up to the eyes.  Rifle inspection. Drill order inspection. Box. Res. Ins. had a game of kick cans. Letters from Charlie. Got them about 10pm in bed."
"8 Friday - Rev 6, B 7.30, Parade battle order for 8.15. Training for over the top. Answered Ethel's letter. Parade 1/4 to 2 for a lecture & drill."
"9 Saturday - Rev 6, B 8, Paraded 1/4 to 9 for live bomb throwing until 12 oclock. Parade @ 7pm for working party in the front line.  Finished @ 3am. Writ to Charlie. Hard work in the front line.  All night shells."
"10 Sunday - Church Parade 11.50.  In Bde Support.  Battalion running match winner. A Coy Parade @ 7pm for same job. Finished @ 3am."
"11 Monday - Rev 7, B 8, Parade @ 10am for range. Finished @ 12pm. No letters from anywhere. Thinking of darling Ethel. God bless her."
"12 Tuesday - Rev 6, B *, Parade 9am. Drill order for B7 & PT & bombing until 12.30. Parade full pack @ 5.30pm by the Colonel."
"13 Wednesday - Rev 7, B 8, Parade full pack for inspection by Coy Officer 10. Marched from Mountbello Hill to Montebelluna. Got there @ 8pm. Put on guard @ 9 oclock. Letter from Elsie."
"14 Thursday - Rev 7, B 8, Parade 9 for billets cleaning, inspection of the guard by CO. Placed Taffy under arrest for absence. Came off guard @ 4pm. Writing pad from Ma. Letter from Ernest."
"15 Friday - Rev 6, B 8, Parade full marching order to leave Montebelluna @ 8.30. Marched to Castelfranco, 20 kilos. Pretty tired. Foot inspection 3 oclock. No letters from anybody. Thinking of darling Ethel."
"16 Saturday - Rev 6, B 6.30, Parade 7.30 for to march off. Left Castelfranco for Bolzano. Landed @ 6pm. Pretty tired.  Letter from Ethel.
" 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 - No chance to write for account of the long marches. I wish I could write."
Map Photo - Thanks to Jono Wood


 "17 Sunday - Relieved Sgt Walton of being ordly Sgt. Very busy work. Answered Ethel & Ma's letter @ 2.15. Working party 10, Church parade @ 2pm, Bath parade @ 3pm, Guard mounting 5pm."
"18 Monday - Rev 6.30, B 7 oclock to 7.15, Parade 9 for BF & PT. Clothing inspection. Had a letter from Ethel & started writing it. CO's ......"
"19 Tuesday - Rev 6.30, B 7.30, sick parade @ 9.15 @ the disposal of OC Coys. Writing to Ethel. Batt St Q @ 10. Finished Ethel's letter."
"20 Wednesday - Rev 6.30, B 7.30, P 9 till 12. P 2.15 to 3pm. No letters from anyone. Thinking of dearest Ethel. God protect her."
"21 Thursday - Rev 6.30, B 7.30, Parade 9. Bombing BF till 12.30. Palmer cut his foot. Put in Dock. OC's inspection of billets. Best in the Battalion. COs leave 2.15pm. Guard. Parade 1/4 to 10. Plenty of orders."
"22 Friday - Rev 6.30, B 8, Parade 9, Guard for H.Quarters @ 10 sharp. Thinking of darling Ethel. God bless her & protect her. No letters from anyone."
"23 Saturday - Rev 6.30, B 8. Platoons, Coy & Batt drill. CO leave 12.30. Sports 3pm. Entered for wrestling on horseback.  Made enquiries about the engagement & leave."

"24 Sunday - Rev 7, B 8, Church Parade 9.20. Brigade out. No letters to go until after the 28th. Worst luck."
"25 Monday - Rev 5.30, B 6, Parade full marching order 7.15. Left Bolzano for Parva Sento. Landed @ 12.30. Slept out all night." 
"26 Tuesday - Rev 7, B 7, P 9. Inspection of rifles & ammunition etc. Staff parade 3 kilos away. No letters from anywhere. Thinking of Ethel."
Map Photo - Thanks to Jono Wood
"27 Wednesday - Rev 4, B 5, Parade full marching order @ 7am. Marched 31/2 kilos & rode in motor cars. Went 40 kilos. Rode to Granezza"
Map Photo - Thanks to Jono Wood
"28 Thursday - Rev 5, B 5.30, Parade FM order & went into support on the Asiago Plateau. Very tired & worn out. No letters from anybody. Very cold."
"29 Friday - Rev 5.30, Stand to 1/4 to 6 till 1/4 to 7. Very cold. Snow 2 ft deep. Letter from darling wife (Ethel). No chance to write."
"30 Saturday - Stand to 5.45am. In bed until Breakfast time. Working on the wall making ... Not so very cold. No letters from anybody. Thinking of Ethel. God bless her & protect her. All this week no chance to write to anyone. Thoughts of darling Ethel."










"31 Sunday - Still on the Lower Alps opposite Asiago Plateau.  Very, very cold. ... marched to ......... from the front line to take over York's billet. Crushed up rotten. Started raining, cold. Letter from Ethel. Wish I could write."
You can read more about Will's time on the Italian Alps in my next post. 

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