The Hundred Days Offensive comprised a series of attacks, known collectively as the Second Battle of the Somme, launched by the Allies on the Western Front in the autumn of 1918 in order to push the Germans out of France. These included the Third Battle of Albert which opened the Allied advance on 21 August; the Second Battle of Bapaume which commenced on the same day and pushed the German army back 34 miles right up to Hindenburg Line from whence they had launched their Spring Offensive in March 1918; and the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, which began on 31 August and ended on 3 September. During this momentous battle, the Australian troops stormed and seized the height of Mont Saint-Quentin, a vital German defensive position on the Somme line. Three Australian soldiers – Albert Lowerson, Robert MacTier and Edgar Towner – were awarded a Victoria Cross for their contribution, and General Henry Rawlinson, Commander of the British Fourth Army praised the feat as the finest military achievement of the Australian Imperial Force during the Great War.
Monday 19 August
Muz wrote letters, & the others sat out in the garden. We had lunch early, & then Ione & Mr H1. rode to the midland Station on their bikes, & Mrs Painter took us in her wee pony trap. We met Nitter, & walked about with her, & had tea at the Blue Bird.2 Then Ione & Mr H. went off again, & we sat out & talked. Then we sat Nitter off by the bus, & we caught the 6-30 train back. Ione & Mr H. rode, & Muz, Tom & I went to the dressmaker to see about her dress, then we had a lovely cool walk back, & got some blackberries. We went to bed at about 9-30. Ione came up at about ten.
A wee trap
Tuesday 20 August
It was awfully hot all day. We sat out in the garden, & Mr H. helped me to clean all my silver. After lunch I lay down “jimmying”,3 & Muz, Ione, Tom & Mr H. went to see Mrs Bridges, & then went on to tea at the Cranstouns, & they sang. Got back at about seven. I read some of the time, then wrote to Heppie. The others sat out in the garden, & Muz played for a bit. Afterwards Muz came & sat on my bed, & Ione came in at about 9-30, & bed about ten.
Wednesday 21 August
I stayed in bed all morning, Muz & Tom wrote letters, & Ione went over to pack Mr H’s things. We had lunch early, & then went in Mr H’s taxi, into Malvern, & did some shopping & then we all went to the Matinee “Monty’s Flapper”,4 it was very funny. Afterwards we met Mary & Di Baird. Then we went to tea at Georges, & then did more shopping, & caught the 6-30 train back. We left Mr H. at the station, as he goes to Newcastle tonight. Mrs Baker met us at the station, & then we went to the dressmaker, about Tom’s dress. It was a lovely cool drive home, as it had been roasting all day.
The Battle of Albert
Friday 23 August
I stayed in bed nearly all day, & read some of the time, & then did some accounts up for Muz. It was dreadfully hot all day. Ione sewed in the garden, & Muz wrote letters. I got up at about 6-30, & Muz & I took Duskey down to Roxburghs, as she is going to sleep there now, as Reynolds wants to put the potatoes in her shed. She may think I am going to stop down there too! but if she does, I will go down for her in the morning.
Saturday 24 August
I got up early to go down & call for Duskey, but she hadn’t been taken in by us last night! & came straight up here, when she was let out! Muz walked over to Mrs Bayliss, & Tom went on her bike. Ione wrote letters in the garden, & I read for a bit. We got a wire from Heppie to say her mother died this morning. After lunch I got tea ready & then read for a bit, then Mary & Di Baird drove over with a Mr Teamon. We had tea in the cowslip field, & they left at about 6-30. Then Muz & Tom walked to the dressmaker, & I took Duskey out & we sat in a field, & then I took her to bed at Roxburghs, & I picked blackberries on the way back. The others didn’t come in till nine, & we went to bed at about 9-30. At about 10-30 Reynolds came in, & made an awful row outside, & put Wipers out of her house, & the sacks, & she slept out all night, & it rained a good bit in the early morning.
Sunday 25 August
Muz, Ione & I wrote letters, & Tom went to church. It rained hard all day. After lunch Ione went for a long ride on her bike, & Muz & I went for a long walk, in the rain, & got very wet, & didn’t get back till nearly six, then I took Duskey down to bed, & dried her. Muz was very tired & cold, so we lit a wee fire with fir cones!
The Battle of Mont-Saint-Quentin
The Battle of Mont-Saint-Quentin
Sunday 1 September
Muz & Mrs Pak drove to church, & Zooie, Tom, Mike & I walked, we all stayed for second service. After lunch I read to them, & then we played. The others went to church in the evening, & I read to them again, & finished “Two Impostors, & Tinker” by Dorothea Conyers.5 After dinner we sat & talked, then Muz & I had a bath, & Mike talked to Tom, & we had cocoa, & went to bed at about 10-30.
A farce in three acts by Walter William Ellis (1874-1956) ⇑
Two Impostors, and Tinker (1910) by Dorothea Conyers (1869-1949), was a story of an Irishman Derrick Herring and his sister Jo who pass themselves off as expert huntsmen and get into various scrapes from which they are invariably rescued by their yellow terrier Tinker ⇑