The first page of the war diary

This is the diary of J.W. Pattison, 2nd Batt., H.A.C., written from France in 1916.

To commemorate him and all those who suffered in the Great War, and in the hope that mankind will never again contemplate such a war, I will be publishing his entries here daily until Dec 16th, 100 years to the day after they were written.

Leonard Cohen recites one of the best known of all WW1 poems.

The Huntscraft The Huntscraft – the boat that took the 2nd Battalion to France.

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Dec 16


Sat Dec 16/16

6.30 am. Paraded Sick. Discharge for duty. Rest. Sent divers Christmas Cards off.
2 pm. Visit by Divis, Gen. Watts.

The Route to The Somme

The 2nd Battalion HAC marched over 100 miles in the first two weeks of October 1916 and another 125 miles in November.

Dec 15

Fri Dec 15/16 Left hospital and had to walk back to Bertrancourt. Arr 4...
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Dec 14

Thur Dec 14/16 Pain in ribs more troublesome. Anxiously awaiting morning paper, for details of Peace ? Terms. Impudent. On light duty at 2 pm. Put windows in marque, then unloaded motor wagon of bacon, boxes, sacks, absolutely fed up, apply for return to Bath tomorrow. Pain in ribs very bad. Off to bed 8 pm....
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The Honourable Artillery Company


Incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537, The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) is one of the oldest military organisations in the world.

During the First World War, the HAC expanded to three infantry battalions and seven artillery batteries, serving mainly in France and Palestine.

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