Memoirs & Diaries - The Diary of Thomas Fredrick Littler: 1917

Thomas Littler, author of the diaries This section of the site comprises the wartime diaries of Thomas Fredrick Littler.

Click here to read an introduction to the diaries.  The following section of the diaries covers the year 1917.

Diary Entries for 1917

January 2nd 1917
Finished working nights, came on days, and leg getting very bad.

January 13th 1917
Was admitted into hospital with my leg being so bad.

January 14th 1917
Left the Field Ambulance Hospital in Bethune, and went by motor car to the Casualty Clearing Station at Lillers.

January 15th 1917
Went by the Ambulance from Lillers to Etaples, and stayed one night.

January 16th 1917
Left Etaples and went in the Ambulance train to Rouen where I was admitted into no 7 General Hospital and treated for septic ulcers in the leg and ankle.

January 25th 1917
Got up for half a day.

January 26th 1917
Up all day.

January 29th 1917
Was discharged from hospital supposed to be better, and drafted to No. 4 Infantry Base.

February 1st 1917
Word had come through about me being transferred to the R. E.s after passing a test at the Workshops, and I was drafted to No.2 Royal Engineers Territorial Base, we are having a severe frost.

February 21st 1917
Left Rouen at 12 noon went up the line to Bethune and arrived at 2a.m. on the 23rd and started work at 8a.m.

February 24th 1917
Got my new pay entered up at Royal Engineers rate 1/2 + 1/4 = 2/6 a day.

February 25th 1917
Leg broke out again and I had a special permit to attend hospital every day.

March 19th 1917
My leg got very bad and when attending hospital the Medical Officer thought it best to detain me.

March 20th 1917
I left Bethune as a stretcher case and went to Chocques where I was operated on, a large abscess being cut out.

March 22nd 1917
I left Casualty Clearing Station at Chocques and went in the Ambulance Train to Etaples where I was admitted into St. John's Hospital.

March 24th 1917
Placed on an Ambulance Train and conveyed to Calais, marked for dear old England.

March 25th 1917
I was placed on board the Hospital Ship Newhaven and crossed the Straits and landed at Dover, it was a Sunday and England looked beautiful and everybody gay. I was put on an English Hospital Train and taken across London up north to Bradford, Yorkshire, and admitted into Ci Ward of Bradford War Hospital.

March 26th 1917
Was nice and comfortable in bed, leg very bad.

April 25th 1917
I left hospital and went home on ten days sick leave and I started courting Kate Barlow of 21 Park St, Castle. She had written to me in hospital, and my leg was on the bad side the whole time.

May 4th 1917
I left home and went to the Royal Engineers Command Depot at Thetford, Norfolk and I was here undergoing treatment to get my leg strong, I drew the whole of my credit, and I stayed at this Depot which was hell itself till...

Diary and photographs contributed by Chris Littler, visit his website at www.first-world-war.co.uk.

Britain introduced conscription for the first time on 2 February 1916.

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Thomas Littler