We lost a little more ground

Whiskey was in short supply.

William Hallam
24th December 1917

This morning I cleaned all my brass ornaments and nic nacs. Chopped up firewood, got in coal. In afternoon went for a walk with wife. Got my friend [in] the regt. at Draycott to bring me in a bottle of whisky from their mess. It is impossible to get any spirits in the town. Sold out weeks ago.

Florence Vansittart Neale
24 December 1917

We lost a little more ground. See Willie Packer’s death confirmed.

Diaries of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25); and Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Swindon full of drunken Scottish soldiers

Drunken soldiers swamped Swindon, according to the diary of our friend Wlliam Hallam:

27th February 1915
After tea to Bath Rd Reading Room. Saw two girls when they came in tonight said the town was full of drunken Scots who were in from Draycott camp.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/23)

Drunk, disorderly and helpless: soldiers a disgrace to their uniform

William Hallam, formerly of Lockinge and now living in Swindon, was horrified by the soldiers’ drunken behaviour:

This afternoon I cleaned the windows and swept down the yard, and after tea I had a stroll round the town. The soldiers, who had come in from the new camp at Draycott, were about the streets in crowds, dozens of them, drunk, disorderly, and helpless. It was indeed a disgrace to the town and the uniform. People say it was just as bad last night.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/22)