It is all so like soldiering in England except for the rumble of artillery and the latrines

Sydney Spencer’s soldiers complained about smelly, unsanitary toilet facilities.

Tuesday 16 April 1918

Had the warmest and most comfortable night’s rest since being in France. Rose at 7.15. Am now inspecting billets. 9.30.

10.50 am. Have finished orderly officer’s work for time being. Latrine accommodation was the great bug bear! Had to “square” smell up, as poor old Archdale would have said had he been alive.

I am beginning to settle down nicely now although one can hardly say settle down because it is all so like soldiering in England except for the rumble of artillery which is distant from line.

It is warmer today & wind has dropped. Just a spot or two of rain, that is all.

[Continued in pencil:]

My pen has given out so pencil is the only resort. After lunch I got hold of a cottager’s wife who would bake our pots for tonight, & also bought a chicken for 7 francs.

Diary of Sydney Spencer of Cookham (D/EZ177/8/15)