22nd June 1917

Morning came and the problem of the puttees was quickly solved by winding them on inside out.  If the M.O. had been present he would probably have diagnosed elephantiasis but to the casual observer I had the cleanest pair of puttees on parade.  Unfortunately the R.S.M. himself decided to take the parade that morning and ‘Spiky’ with the waxed moustaches was a fearsome being to the lowly rifleman.  He, with Sergeant Partridge in attendance, passed slowly along the ranks – “Do that button up” – “Take that muck out of your pocket” – “Put your belly in” – and similar remarks dear to the hearts of all sergeant majors.  At last he was level with me – a quick glance up and down, a slight hesitation and the great man himself bent down and quickly turned down one fold of a puttee.  He said exactly what one would expect.  For some unaccountable reason Sergeant Partridge found difficulty with his notebook and by the time his pencil was poised the R.S.M. had moved on several yards.  In a quiet voice ‘Birdie’ spoke, “I know your name, you’re Polkinghorne" and hastily scribbled something in his book.  Needless to say the mythical Polkinghorne never appeared on a charge but he spent the rest of the day removing all traces of mud from his person.

Rifle inspection - and kit inspection.
Pay day.
Afternoon sleep.

Original diary entry
Original journal notes