Going to France

13th November 2016

During the third week of November 1916 preparations were made for transfer of the 3rd Division to France. Corporal G H Rainger recorded that as they left camp  ... 'all hands carried 220 rounds of ammunition, 2 PH Gas Helmets, 1 steel helmet, 1 pair tear-gas goggles and pack and equipment consisting of greatcoat, 1 singlet, 1 shirt, towels, shaving-gear, cardigan jacket, sheepskin vest, felt hat cap-comforter, waterproof sheet and two blankets a few private odds and ends and last but not least the rifle.  The whole weight being nearly a hundredweight.' 

Private Turner wrote in his diary that on 24th the 33rd Battalion were ‘up at 3.45 am and marched to Amesbury… entrained and went to Southampton. Had dinner in wharf shed.’

He was among the men who crossed the channel during the night in the boat Hunlette, others sailed on the iron built Mona’s Queen, a former paddle steamer which had been refitted for use as a troop carrier.

The following day the men marched through Le Havre to camp where they rested before a 36 hour slow train trip through Abbeville to a camp ‘somewhere’ where they were billeted until going into the firing line near Armentieres.

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