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War Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Harcourt Maynard (Royal Field Artillery) 01/06 - 28/06/1918

1st June. This afternoon we were paid for the month, and after messing and breakages had been deducted we have received the large amount of 5 marks. Tonight we have had another Whist Drive but I did very badly and thought at one time I should be “booby”, but picked up a bit towards the end, and so escaped it.

2nd June. No entry.

3rd June. No entry.

4th June. Nothing much to write about for the last 2 or 3 days. Sunday morning I went to non-conformist service at 9.15. Yesterday, I had my parcel issued, and had a good feed last night. We have now some gas stoves installed in the corridors on which we are able to cook and so far I’ve been quite successful in what I have attempted. I received my first letter today, one from mum, and I was jolly glad to get it, and am anxiously awaiting one from Daisy now.

5th June. It has been a very nice day again today, and I have been for another walk, somewhere different again, and still good scenery; the place seems to abound with nice walks, and I have been somewhere fresh each time I have been out.

6th June.  Have had another very nice walk today and two of us picked a fine large bunch of various wild flowers including a large number of thunder daisies, and they are now adorning our room. Tonight I tried my hand at making rissoles of bully beef, with some potatoes and cabbage which I saved from mess, and they tasted very good; the meal was completed with stewed apricots (I had a few dried ones given me) and cocoa.

7th June. No entry.

8th June. Nothing to write about yesterday. This morning I received my first letter from Daisy, and very welcome it was. I also received the first parcel sent to me personally; it contained “Bread Biscuits” and came from Berne; I hope now the parcels have started, they will come regularly. Tonight we have had another Whist Drive, but did not do very well, only averaging just over 6, the winner averaging over 8.

9th June. No entry.

10th June. No entry.

11th June. Sunday morning. I went to service at 9.15, but did very little for the rest of the day. Yesterday it was wet nearly all day and did not go out until the evening, when I had a few turns round the yard for exercise. This morning we had our weekly bath, and I have had a bit of a headache today.

12th June. No entry.

13th June. Nothing to report for yesterday. This morning I received a grocery parcel, from Y.M.C.A. of N. America, which contained biscuits, butter, tea, milk, chocolate, rice, tobacco, cigarettes and soap. It was a fine parcel, and it is jolly good to get a decent smoke again. This afternoon have been for a stroll, we did not go far, but sat down for a good spell. This evening I have been to a lecture on “Farming in Natal”, given by one of the officers who has been there; it was very interesting but rather too large a subject for an hour.

14th June. No entry.

15th June. No entry.

16th June. Very little to write about for the last day or two; the weather has not been so nice, being wet most of yesterday and today. On Friday I received a parcel of bread from Copenhagen; 2 loaves of nice white bread and, although it had been sent off on May 31st, it was in splendid condition when I received it. This morning I went to a non-conformist service at 9.15, and had a little exercise after but could not have much owing to rain.

17th June. No entry.

18th June. No entry.

19th June. No entry.

20th June. Very little to write about lately. On Tuesday evening we had a concert in the library, and considering all the difficulties it was very good.

21st June. No entry.

22nd June. Yesterday I had the first parcel from Red Cross from Blighty and it contained tins of Maconochie pork and beans; jam, milk, meat paste (2) and sardines and also packets of tea, rice, soap, 2 packets of biscuits, 50 Woodbines and a toothbrush. This evening I have had another 2 loaves of bread from Copenhagen in very good condition; and there is another parcel of some sort in the office which will be issued on Monday. I have been to a Whist Drive tonight but did very badly only scoring 95 for 6 games.

23rd June. No entry.

24th June. Yesterday morning I went to service at 9.15 as usual. It was a rotten sort of day very wet and windy and was unable to go out until the evening. This morning my parcel was issued and I found it to contain clothing etc. sent from home and I was pleased to receive same. Yesterday I had a p.c. from D. which had taken a month to reach me.

25th June. No entry.

26th June. Received a letter today from the Mater written on May 24th. This evening I attended the funeral of an officer who died in hospital on Saturday evening, from some intestinal trouble. He was a gunner and I was at Exeter with him and for a few days was in the same hut there. About 36 of us were allowed to go and the authorities provided a large firing party; the Commandant and 2 other German officers were present, and the former placed a very fine wreath on the grave. After the service was finished the Commandant shovelled a little earth into the grave and the others did likewise and then all the English officers did the same. Altogether it was very impressive.

27th June. No entry.

28th June. On Wednesday afternoon I went for a walk. Yesterday I received 3 parcels: one contained clothing and was from home, another contained grocery and was from Red Cross, London, and the third had bread biscuits from Berne. This morning I received another Red Cross grocery parcel and am now well off for supplies. Yesterday, I also had 4 letters, 2 from D. and 1 each from Nance and Chum.

No further entries made although many empty pages in the diary.

Following the Armistice on 11 November 1918, 2nd Lieutenant L H Maynard was repatriated on 11 December 1918. He died on 24 September 1959 at Bournemouth, Hampshire, England, aged 72.

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Published 2 years ago by Project Officer - Somerset Remembers

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